quarta-feira, fevereiro 25, 2009

Still life

terça-feira, fevereiro 17, 2009

Truth be told

It begins with:

"Nothing is easier than to admit in words the truth of the universal struggle for life, or more difficult - at least I have found it so - than constantly to bear this conclusion in mind."

Charles Darwin, On Natural Selection

But some of the results are worth it:

sábado, fevereiro 14, 2009


sexta-feira, fevereiro 13, 2009

We are not alone

quinta-feira, fevereiro 12, 2009


All so that it would be a stronger world
A strong, though loving, world
To die in

John Cale

quarta-feira, fevereiro 11, 2009


As far as we can discern, the sole purpose of human existence is to kindle a light of meaning in the darkness of mere being. - C. G. Jung

terça-feira, fevereiro 10, 2009

Quis custodiet

Wer mit Ungeheuern kämpft, mag zusehn, dass er nicht dabei zum Ungeheuer wird. Und wenn du lange in einen Abgrund blickst, blickt der Abgrund auch in dich hinein." - Nietzsche, Jenseits von Gut und Böse

segunda-feira, fevereiro 09, 2009

Better, as Juvenal once said...
And I'm up while the dawn is breaking, even though my hear is breaking. I should be drinking a toast ot absent friends instead of these comedians. - Elvis Costello

Who watches...

At midnight, all the agents and superhuman crew go out and round up everyone who knows more than they do. - Bob Dylan

terça-feira, fevereiro 03, 2009

Mais uma que nunca pensei dizer

Mas Nadal a n.º 1 em várias coisas. Isto, senhores, é ter nível:

Rafa Nadal quedó muy impresionado por la humanidad demostrada cuando rompió a llorar después de perder la final del Open de Australia. El manacorí ya dijo en su intervención tras el partido que Federer era uno de los más grandes tenistas en la historia de este deporte y que rompería el récord de catorce 'grandes' que posee Pete Sampras.

Sin embargo, el número uno del mundo sigue asombrado por la humanidad que demostró su gran rival en público y está empeñado en ayudarle a reconocer su grandeza. Por eso, ni corto ni perezoso, el último Premio Príncipe de Asturias está pensando pedir que concedan al helvético este galardón. Rafa Nadal, que se caracteriza por una gran humildad y un tremendo respeto por sus rivales, siempre ha reconocido la calidad de Federer y piensa hacer campaña para que sea galardonado con el próximo Premio Príncipe de Asturias de los Deportes.

"Es un gran candidato y se lo merece aunque hay otros candidatos que también se lo merecen. Como tenista y como persona, Federer es excepcional. Me gustaría que le dieran el premio", aseguró Rafa.

domingo, janeiro 18, 2009

Hail to the Chief

Barack Hussein Obama, first President to hail from Hawaii.

quarta-feira, dezembro 31, 2008

Música do ano

Momento desportivo do ano

Usain Bolt 100m 9.69 ( LIVE VIDEO ) Beijing Olympic Gold & WR - Click here for this week’s top video clips

Filme do ano

A primeira hora disto:

Livro do ano

He thought that in the beauty of the world were hid a secret. He thought the world's heart beat at some terrible cost and that the world's pain and its beauty moved in a relationship of diverging equity and that in this headlong deficit the blood of multitudes might ultimately be exacted for the vision of a single flower.

terça-feira, dezembro 09, 2008

Naturalmente depois disto...

El Real Madrid destituye a Schuster

Bernd Schuster ya no es entrenador del Real Madrid. El club blanco le citó en las oficinas del Santiago Bernabéu y le comunicó su destitución. El alemán ya no dirigirá el entrenamiento del equipo previsto para esta tarde. Juande Ramos, hasta hace mes y medio entrenador del Tottenham, es el elegido para coger las riendas del equipo.

segunda-feira, dezembro 08, 2008

Breaking news
Buraka Som Systema em Oxford! Na quarta!!!

Eclectricity [presents]
Electro, bassline, fidget house, b-more and other beats
Buraka Som Sistema (DJ & MC set) + Get Your Geek On! + Kartik Poria10pm - 3am
£5 Advance more on the door www.wegottickets.com

Real Madrid coach asks to be dismissed!

Schuster: "Ahora mismo no es posible ganar en el Camp Nou"

El entrenador del Real Madrid, el alemán Bernd Schuster, rechazó asumir con resignación la situación en la que se encuentra el equipo, del que espera un "golpe de efecto" para revertir la dinámica en la que se encuentra, aunque no en el Nou Camp, donde considera que "no es posible ganar".

"El partido contra el Barcelona me preocupa menos que cualquier otro partido. Allí no es posible ganar porque el Barcelona está arrasando y creo que este va a ser su año. El equipo puede hacer un buen papel allí. Pero de más no se puede hablar", reconoció Schuster. El preparador alemán del Real Madrid no se resigna, sin embargo, a asumir el momento en el que se encuentra el equipo. "No me resigno porque los jugadores están dando todo. Pero hace falta cambiar la suerte de este equipo. Un golpe de efecto sería importante", apuntó.

domingo, dezembro 07, 2008

That's what I'm here for...

THERE are few better ways of upsetting a certain sort of politically correct person than to suggest that intelligence (or, rather, the variation in intelligence between individuals) is under genetic control. That, however, is one implication of a paper about to be published in Intelligence by Rosalind Arden of King’s College, London, and her colleagues. Another is that brainy people are intrinsically healthier than those less intellectually endowed. And the third, a consequence of the second, is that intelligence is sexy. The most surprising thing of all, though, is that these results have emerged from an unrelated study of the quality of men’s sperm.

Ms Arden is one of a group of researchers looking into the connections between intelligence, genetics and health. General intelligence (the extent to which specific, measurable aspects of intelligence, such as linguistic facility, mathematical aptitude and spatial awareness, are correlated in a given individual) is measured by psychologists using a value called Spearman’s g. Recently, it has been discovered that an individual’s g value is correlated with many aspects of his health, up to and including his lifespan. One possible explanation for this is that intelligent people make better choices about how to conduct their lives. They may, for example, be less likely to smoke, more likely to eat healthy foods or to exercise, and so on.

Alternatively (or in addition) it may be that intelligence is one manifestation of an underlying, genetically based healthiness. That is a view held by many evolutionary biologists, and was propounded in its modern form by Geoffrey Miller of the University of New Mexico, who is one of Ms Arden’s co-authors (and, as it happens, her husband). These biologists believe intelligence, as manifested in things like artistic and musical ability, is such a reliable indicator of underlying genetic fitness that it has been chosen by members of the opposite sex over the millennia. In the ensuing arms race to show off and get a mate it has been exaggerated in the way that a peacock’s tail is. This process of sexual selection, Dr Miller and his followers believe, is the reason people have become so brainy.

Hitting the g spot

Ms Arden sought to test this idea in a way that excluded intelligent choice and got directly at any correlations between intelligence and health that operate at the physiological level. She chose sperm quality because it is both easily measured and about as far from intelligent choice as it is possible to imagine—and because the relevant data had already been collected.

Her retrospective “volunteers” were former American soldiers enrolled in what was known as the Vietnam Experience Study. In 1985 almost 4,500 veterans of that war volunteered for extensive medical and mental examinations. Some of them gave semen samples that were analysed for sperm concentration (ie, number of sperm per cubic centimetre), sperm count (ie, total number of sperm in the ejaculate) and sperm motility.

Ms Arden found 425 cases where samples had been collected and analysed from unvasectomised men who had managed to avoid spilling their seed during the collection process and had answered all the necessary questions for her to test her hypothesis, namely that their g values would correlate with all three measures of their sperm quality.

They did. Moreover, neither age nor any obvious confounding variable that might have been a consequence of intelligent decisions about health (obesity, smoking, drinking and drug use) had any effect on the result. Brainy men, it seems, do have better sperm.

By implication, therefore, they have fitter bodies over all, at least in the Darwinian sense of fitness, namely the ability to survive, to attract mates and to produce offspring. That is an important finding. Hitherto, biologists have tended to disaggregate the idea of fitness into a series of adaptations that are more or less independent of each other. This work adds to the idea of a general fitness factor, f, that is similar in concept to g—and of which g is one manifestation. To him that hath, in other words, shall be given. Unfortunately for the politically correct, Dr Miller’s hypothesis looks stronger by the day.


segunda-feira, novembro 17, 2008


quinta-feira, novembro 06, 2008


Let us imagine that Galaxy A moves at a given speed (let's say 27% of the speed of light) in a given vector, meaning that it will collide with Galaxy B which is moving at 15% of the speed of light in a vector which is directly perpendicular to that being followed by Galaxy A. Let us furthermore assume that it took 370,000 thousand years for the galaxies to cross each other - a low estimate, for sure. What is the end result?


quarta-feira, novembro 05, 2008

Well, it did not take long

For Obama to be poked, as the Vice-President elect so honestly put it:

In a wide-ranging attack on the United States, President Dmitri Medvedev of Russia warned Wednesday that Moscow might deploy short-range missiles in the Baltic region to counter a perceived threat from a proposed U.S. missile defense shield in eastern Europe.
Medvedev also proposed to extend the constitutional term of the presidency from four years to six - a move that could enable future Russian presidents to serve 12 years over two consecutive terms. His remarks, in his first state of the nation address since assuming the presidency in May, was delivered within hours of the election of Barack Obama in the United States and offered a chill glimpse into the potential issues and tensions confronting the new U.S. leader when he takes office in January. His comments also seemed at odds with the broader groundswell of support for the U.S. president-elect from many governments across the globe.
Medvedev did not specifically congratulate Mr. Obama on his victory, saying only that he hoped that "our partners - the new U.S. administration - will make a choice in favor of full-fledged relationship with Russia."

It's an exageration, but it was one of the great moments of Demokratia since Pericles' oration to Athenians

What is it about loss that makes men so lovely? John McCain just gave the best speech of his political life. He looked tired, as he should. But he was inspired and profound, the noble soldier many wish had prevailed in 2000.
My transcription may be imperfect, but the gist is clear and inspiring:

"His [Obama's] success alone commands my respect for his ability and perseverance. … Senator Obama and I have had and argued our differences, and he has prevailed. No doubt many of those differences remain... And I pledge to him tonight to do all in my power to help him lead us through the many challenges we face.. . . I urge all Americans who supported me to join me in not just congratulating him, but offering our next president our good will and earnest effort to find ways to come together to find the necessary compromises to bridge our differences and help restore our prosperity, defend our security in a dangerous world, and leave our children and grandchildren a stronger, better country than we inherited... It's natural, tonight, to feel some disappointment. But tomorrow, we must move beyond it and work together to get our country moving again."
That's the definition of grace. Someone had to lose this election, but in losing, McCain reminds us of our great good fortune. In America, it really can happen. An African American can rise to the top. And an American hero can concede without rancor. So it goes in the land of the free and the home of the brave.


First speech as President-ellect, sounds pretty good. Then again, it always does. Hope is the main word here. Not the best word, obviously, but then again, a very good word. It will not happen, but I would like to see the 2 candidates together. This is Democracy at its best, and truth be told, one of them is a great man. Let's hope that the one who has just be thrown into the world stage lives up to the standard the other one has already set, and possibly surpasses it

It's Official
From now on, anyone can be President of the United States. It's beautiful, on the one hand, but on the other, why do I feel so nervous? We shall talk about this in the end of January (in the worst of scenarios).

domingo, novembro 02, 2008

Things to look at on the first Tuesday after the first Monday of November

To see whether it is a complete blow-out, look at whether North Carolina turns blue - if it does, it will be over before midnight and someone is getting over 300 electoral votes.
To see whether Obama wins confortably: Obama wins either Virginia, Florida or Ohio. If this happens, it might be a blowout or not, but in any case we can go to bed before midnight (in the UK) knowing that Barack Obama will be inaugurated as President of the United States (so help him God) on 20 January 2009.
To see whether McCain stands a chance: the above mentioned states stay red, and McCain wins Pensylvania. If this happens (and the average of polls in Pensylvania up to last Wednesday gave Obama a +10 point advantage), we are in for a long, long night.

In praise of idleness
§1 - Cats that look like Hitler


§ 2 - Christopher Walken as Colonel Angus

Watch more Saturday Night Live videos on AOL Video


§3 - Cork Soakers

Watch more Saturday Night Live videos on AOL Video

sábado, novembro 01, 2008

In due time, test the following hypothesis:

- Am I too young to keep good love from going wrong?

- Am I too young to hold on, but too old to just break out and run?

sexta-feira, outubro 31, 2008

Above and beyond