Monday, 30 January 2012

UFOs heard (but not seen) in São Paulo

São Paulo: not popular with terrestrial tourists but a hit amongst aliens
As a mathematician and atheist I tend to help myself to large portions of skepticism whenever I hear of alien/UFO stories. And the one about UFOs (presumably controlled by aliens) visiting us here in São Paulo last week is no exception but in order not to offend any believers amongst this blog’s followers I’ll tell you what happened and you decide:

As reported by the Examiner “strange UFO sounds” were heard over the Saúde district of São Paulo on the night of the 24th January 2012. If you are unsure what the difference between a “UFO sound” and a “normal” sound is, don’t worry. The UFOs, OVNIs in Portuguese, were kind enough to avoid the use of infrasound and ultrasound so that we, human beings, could hear them and were even kind enough to allow a resident of Saúde to record them:

Tracey Perace, founder of and whose job title is “Unexplained Phenomena Examiner”, tells us that these noises have in fact been heard all over the world, are referred to as "sounds of the apocalypse" or "UFO sounds," and are causing an “international sensation” so it definitely deserves a blog post or two.

São Paulo has quite a history of UFO interactions. In 1947 José Higgins claimed to have been struck by one whilst out in a field in Bauru and more recently, in 1986, as many as 20 UFOs apparently came to visit us here in São Paulo. They were picked up by radar as well as 6 airplanes and from what I gather government officials dedicated considerable time to the matter discussing it in depth at the Ministry of Aeronautics in May 1986. 

Sadly  I was not here at the time to suggest it might have been a meteor shower or some stray lightning..

Thursday, 26 January 2012

SP Turismo's Viva Tudo Isso campaign

By the was this was the official video put together by Sao Paulo Tourist board under the "Viva Tudo Isso"      ("(Long) Live all of this") umbrella campaign to commemorate the city's birthday yesterday:

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Happy birthday São Paulo

Today São Paulo is 458 years old! I never really thought about cities having birthdays until I was told that today was a day off for all Paulistanos. Since then I am very much in favour of city birthdays ;)

Just about everybody is getting in on the act and there are many bizaare activities such as collective dog walks on Avenida Paulista, the erection of temporary inflatable icebergs on city lakes, and many others but my favourite is this special edition coupon site which is offering various "bargains" priced at R$ 4,58 R$45,80 or R$458 such as these dubious chicken sticks for R$ 4,58 (2 euros):

Only 1 set of chicken sticks seem to have been sold despite this wonderful advert for the site:

Friday, 20 January 2012

Photos of São Paulo with no people

Today I discovered this set of photos by Fernando Costa Netto which are well worth sharing.

The brave man got up in the early hours of the morning on the 1st January last year when the rest of São Paulo was asleep or hungover and took these shots of the city. It's not often you can catch a street with no cars or people in São Paulo, luckily Fernando took some great pics. Parabens!

Avenida Doutor Arnaldo

Avenida Faria Lima

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Street Art in São Paulo Part 6 - Pinheiros

Somewhat overshadaowed by the grafitti heavy Vila Madalena, Pinheiros still has some nice street art if you look carefully. A few weeks ago I saw this one headinga long Faria lima towards Alto de Pinheiros area:

Clothes left behind on Avenida Faria Lima

And slightly further on, this friendly elephant was walking down the street:

A runaway elephant cooling down a passerby

More São Paulo street art here

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Cute words in Portuguese Part 5

An alternative way of saying “where is” in Portuguese is “cadê?” It’s used as an equivalent to “what’s up” as well as in “cadê você”?

I learnt this relatively late. It confused me at first because it is not intuitive and doesn’t have a twin word in other Latin languages. So where does it come from?

Nobody really knows. One theory is that it is derived from “Que e de” – literally “what is of”. So “que e de sua mae” would be “what is of your mother” and this over time would have become “Cadê sua mae” i.e. where is your mother:

“Que e de sua mae?"

"Quede sua mae?"

"Cadê sua mãe”

The other somewhat less plausible theory is that there has somehow been some Slavic influence in Brazilian Portuguese as the word “where” as in “where is” is very similar to “cadê” in various Eastern European languages:

Bulgarian: къде (pronounced: [kâ`dé])
Polish: gdzie (pronounced: [gdjé])
Russian: где (pronounced: [gd(i)e])
Czech: kde (pronounced: [gdé])

This does seem more of a coincidence than a theory as there would surely be other Slavic influences in the language. Plus, there has been no significant immigration between these two areas of the world.

Either way it’s become one of my favourite words!

More cute words in Portuguese here:

Monday, 9 January 2012

Brazil and São Paulo, emerging global leaders for real estate investment

In recent weeks there's been a lot of alarmist local press about the Brazilian economy stagnating. From my limited perspective it seems to be more a case of temporarily slower growth rather than a shrinking economy and certainly a much more manageable problem than the ones in left behind in Europe.

The 2012 AFIRE Annual Foreign Investment Survey has just been released and gives us a view from outside. In essence it is what real estate holders regard as the best places to invest in. In its own words:

"Although the U.S. is still regarded as providing the best opportunity for capital appreciation , its first-place score shrank from 64.7% in last year’s survey to 42.2% this year, with Brazil closing the gap in second place with 18.6% of the votes.   Survey respondents hold more than $874 billion of real estate globally, including $338 billion in the U.S"

"Brazil and its largest city, Sao Paulo, have emerged among the global leaders in this year’s survey. Brazil jumps 14.2 percentage points, from fourth place in last year’s survey, to be named the second best country for capital appreciation, pushing China into third position. With the U.S., these countries received approximately 70% of the vote on this question; the remaining 30% was spread across 13 countries on five continents. Sao Paulo rose from 26th place to be named investors’ fourth global city for real estate investment dollars in 2012.  "

Here are some of the graphics from this year's survey:

Brazil is second only to the US for capital appreciation opportunities:

Brazil, number one ranked emerging country for real estate acquisitions:

São Paulo is ranked 4th best city for real estate investment:

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