Wednesday, 31 October 2007

Este Blog Diz Piaçaba!!!

Jà que o piaçá é uma vassoura que não estudou...vamos todos dizer "piaçaba"! :-D

Sunday, 28 October 2007

HOT CHOCOLATE...

Because of the weather outside (preparing itself for snow) and the need to cocoon that comes with it, I prepared my self some old fashioned home made hot chocolate. Enjoying it in my pyjamas, I thought of sharing the recipe with you. So here goes:

INGREDIENTS:
2 ounces of chocolate powder (+ 2 squares of Toblerone if wanted)
1/3 cup sugar (if the chocolate powder is not already sweetened)
4 cups milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Whipped cream (for those who want a richer taste and texture)
Marshmallows (for those who like it)

PREPARATION:
Place chocolate, sugar and milk in a saucepan over medium-low heat.
Heat, stirring, until chocolate melts (include the 2 squares of Toblerone at this stage) and mixture is well blended.
Add vanilla and the whipped cream; pour hot chocolate into cups. Put marshmallow on top.
This hot chocolate recipe serves 4.

Of course my recipe does not rival with the famous hot chocolate from the “Barbare” in Lausanne where the chocolate texture is so sick that the spoon stands on its own in the cup (and you actually have to eat the hot chocolate with the spoon rather than drinking it), but I can guarantee my recipe is excellent!

Saturday, 27 October 2007

A lingua portuguesa tem cá destas coisas!!!!

Dando uma voltinha no oceano da internet, fiquei "encalhada" num blog que achei de muita utilidade no que respeita às definições que dà da lingua portuguesa.

Tudo o que diz faz muito sentido...basta ver uma das definições que dà de "pleonasmo" (clique aqui). Pela mesma ocasião fez-me descobrir uma enciclopedia de português disponivel gratuitamente na internet que muito me espantou por ser...digamos...séria (desculpem tive de parar de escrever porque isto de rir e escrever ao mesmo tempo não dá muito jeito!) e pela sua...hum...originalidade.

Cliquem no link da enciclopedia "O Portuga de A~Z" e juro-vos que vão compreender porque é que ainda não consegui parar de rir! É...como explicar...uma nova visão da nossa lingua. Digo bravo aos prestigiados investigadores que desenvolveram esta obra magnífica!

Algumas dicas: cliquem nas imagens que aparecem ao lado das definições, terão (boas?) surpresas e.g. cliquem, nos pontos vermelhos no homemzinho página 03, ou na panela do cozido à portuguesa na página 07, na seta verde na página 05, mesma coisa para a definição de emigrante na página 11 (oh meu Deus que tenho de me rebolar no chão de tanto rir), enfim...deixo-vos descobrir...todas as imagens ao lado das definições têm links e se clicarem vão descobrir maravilhas!!!

(recomendo...ai se recomendo a visita à definição da letra "P" página 33 - passem com o rato por cima das definições para compreender do que se trata...mesma coisa para a página "musica").

BOA LEITURA!!!!!

Ah le amour...always ze amour...believe vous?

"...chi sa perché noi maschieti doppo avere tanto lottato per conquistare una femina, non vediamo l'ora di scapare?"

Friday, 26 October 2007

Duro svegliarsi la mattina...

Non avete mai avuto delle mattine difficili...delle mattine dove alzarsi era tanto difficile? Bisogna ringraziare Francesco di avermi fatto capire che potrebbe essere ancora peggio!

video

Thursday, 25 October 2007

Les Hommes Peuvent Attendre...


Je viens de finir un livre qui est une petite perle pour toute celles qui comme moi ont été (et le sont toujours d'ailleurs) fan de Bridget Jones mais qui en même temps se demandent pourquoi elles devraient arrêter de vivre en attendant leur Prince Charmant.

Le critique littéraire du journal "The Observer" a écrit "la meilleure manière de lire ce livre, c'est au lit, en pyjama de soie, en mangeant des choux à la crème". La vérité c'est que j'ai presque suivit le conseil à la lettre tellement ce livre est "délicieux"!

Le livre n'est en aucun cas un plaidoyer pour la vie en solitaire. Sur dix personnes qui vivent seules, cinq ne peuvent tout simplement pas faire autrement, et sur les cinq restantes, au moins trois s'avèrent d'un egoïsme exaspérant. Que l'on considère sa vie en solo comme une malédiction ou une aventure, il faut une stratègie si l'on tient à tirer le meilleur parti de cette situation.

Tel est le constat que fait Marjorie Hillis en 1936, et qui est toujours d'actualité en 2007. Dans ce petit bijou datant d'une époque raffinée, elle décrit avec finesse et humour ce que peut être la vie des femmes célibataires. "Les Hommes Peuvent Attendre - L'Art de Vivre Seule" fut un Best-Seller des années 1930 mais il est toujours d'actualité et est le parfait antidote à la morosité préconisée par Bridget Jones!

Je recommende tout particulièrement le Chapitre 4 - "Points d'étiquette pour la femme qui vit seule"...un vrai régal!!!!!!

Les filles, à vos pyjamas en soie et choux à la crème...ce livre est absolument à recommender!!!

Sunday, 21 October 2007

Pythea's Blog...has new layout!


Most of you have now noticed...Pythea's Blog has got a new layout! The Blog has grown to be more in agreement with its owner's desires i.e. simple lines and the predominance of the red colour...Pythea's favourite!

Haven't you ever felt bored around 4:00 on a sunday afternoon? That is what was happening after having left the friends I had had lunch with. Got home and after considering the different options I decided to take the less "easy" one. Why not trying to use my new web editor/designer skills for my own blog and see what I can come up with? I can say I am quite happy with the result! After having fiddled around with lots of HTML code, becoming despaired with design (ever tried making sense out of CSS Style Sheets?) that did not want to obey orders and wanting to throw the computer out of the window (especially if one thinks that working with web sites is what I do at work!!!), the results looks very nice. Next step...a real web site!

I can't help looking back and wonder what happened to the person who was completely not into technology a few years ago. I refused for a long time to even have a mobile phone (do remember telling friends how bad it was for their health, etc.). I now own 2 of them, have got a PC with lots of gadgets, a laptop with another set of gadgets, MP4 etc... However, the weirdest is to be now working with web sites!

Colleagues from the University in Portugal must be having a good laugh remembering how much I hated these "infernal" machines...end up working with them is the craziest twist of destiny one could have ever thought of!

Well, hope that you'll like the new design...you are welcome to make any comments and suggestions!

By the way, this new design is dedicated to Jörg and Pascal...thanks for "showing" me the way!!!

Pobreza não pára de aumentar em Portugal

20% dos portugueses vive abaixo da linha de pobreza!!! Os únicos com maiores índices de risco de pobreza são a Espanha, Grécia e Irlanda e embora esteja lado a lado com a Itàlia é o país da União Europeia com o maior desquilíbrio a nível de distribuição de rendimentos.
Mais uma vez a os aumentos e a redução de investimento em todos os serviços básicos, afectam somente a população mais necessitada criando um desequilíbrio ainda maior!

My own two cents on Madeleine...Part IV

Booker Prize winner Anne Enright ran into controversy after writing an extraordinary article describing how much she disliked Gerry and Kate McCann. The piece, which was published in the London Review of Books before the Irish novelist won the 2007 award for “The Gathering”, is a provocative 2,000-word analysis of her own reactions to the plight of the McCanns.

She writes how at one stage her family suspected that the McCanns were responsible for missing Madeleine's death, and tells how she disliked the McCanns "earlier than most people" - particularly Gerry.

Enright, who has two children, aged four and seven, also talks about the "narcissism" of Kate McCann and compares remarks they have made to exchanges between Macbeth and Lady Macbeth.

In the article Enright wrote: "In August, the sudden conviction that the McCanns 'did it' swept over our own family holiday in a peculiar hallelujah. Of course they had. It made a lot more sense to me than their leaving the children to sleep alone."

Describing disliking the McCanns as "an international sport" she wrote: "I disliked the McCanns earlier than most people (I'm not proud of it). I thought I was angry with them for leaving their children alone. "In fact, I was angry at their failure to accept that their daughter was probably dead. I wanted them to grieve, which is to go away. In this, I am as bad as people who complain that 'she does not cry'."

While most of the animosity against the McCanns was centred on "Madeleine's beautiful mother", she said she reacted worse to Gerry and the way he speaks. "I find Gerry McCann's need to ' influence the investigation' more provoking than her flat sadness, or the very occasional glimpse of a wounded narcissism that flecks her public appearances.
"I have never objected to good-looking women. My personal jury is out on the issue of narcissism in general; her daughter's strong relationship with the camera lens causes us a number of emotions, but the last of them is always sorrow and pain."

She added: "The sad fact is that this man cannot speak properly about what is happening to himself and his wife, and about what he wants. The language he uses is more appropriate to a corporate executive than to a desperate father. This may be just the way he is made. This may be all he has of himself to give the world, just now. "But we are all used to the idea of corporations lying to us, one way or another - it's part of our mass paranoia, as indeed are the couple we see on the screen. No wonder, I think, they will not speak about that night. Then I go to bed and wake up the next day, human again, liking the McCanns."

Family is the subject of Enright's novel which took the £50,000 prize at the Guildhall ceremony last night.

Now, my own cents...Is looks and public behaviour really important in this story? The British press seems to be asking this question to itself as well as all those that are following the “world campaign” organized by the McCann to find Madeleine.

If I looked more like the typical middle-aged mum, people would look at me with more sympathy” recently declared Kate McCann. Who is right, who is wrong? The mother who does not shed a single tear or the author (that dares expressing out loud what most of us are thinking) that does not forgive the tough stance showed by Kate McCann?

Wednesday, 17 October 2007

To all those who are major fans like me!

"A Little Less Conversation" (A Little More Action Please) - Charles Chaplin accompanied by Elvis Presley

To the "Dream Team" ...Coffee Breaks!

Charlie Chaplin - Modern Times (1936) - Coffee Break

Tuesday, 16 October 2007

Passando a palavra...em Português!


O Português, sendo a sexta língua mais falada no mundo e lingua materna para quase 220 milhões de pessoas, está agora a ser alvo de mais atenção da parte da Organização Mundial da Saúde (OMS).

ePORTUGUESEe, uma iniciativa para alargar o multilinguismo na OMS, fornece aos países de expressão portuguesa meios de informação para melhorar os seus sistemas de saúde e realçar o desempenho do pessoal de saúde. O Português é a lingua falada em Angola, Brasil, Cabo Verde, Guiné Bissau, Moçambique, Portugal, São Tomé e Principe e Timor Leste. E também a lingua official em AFRO e AMRO ("regiões" da OMS).

O Director brasileiro de "Ageing and Life Course" (Envelhecimento e percurso de vida), Alexandre Kalache, declarou "hoje em dia, a informação é transmitida em menos de um secondo e aqueles que não compreenderam a mensagem ficam para trás. A iniciativa ePORTUGUESEe é um bom exemplo de uma rede de divulgação da informação em linguagems locais assegurando-se que a mensagem é compreendida por aqueles que mais precisam".

ePORTUGUESe estabelecerá e manterá uma conexão entre instituições relacionadas com a saúde para desenvolver a informação em português e facilitar a divulgação de conhecimento. Esta iniciativa resulta da resolução 58/28 da World Health Assembly (WHA - Assembleia Mundial de Saúde) e que apoia iniciativas de eSaúde ao nivel regional e interregional entre grupos de países que falam a mesma lingua.

Um dos seus objectivos principais é expandir a Virtual Health Library (VHL - Libraria de Saúde Virtual) desenvolvida por PAHO e que dá acesso ás ultimas informações de saúde em todos os países de expressão portuguesa. Em junho, a iniciativa ePORTUGUESEe realizou um seminário em São Paulo, Brasil onde os participantes dos oito Estados Membros se reuniram e discutiram todos os aspectos e dimensões dos cuidados de saúde, recursos humanos, ajuda ao desenvolvimento, educação ao nível de saúde e pesquisa.

A iniciativa ePORTUGUESEe também tem ajudado a WHO Press e a WHO Library (libraria da OMS) a desenvolver uma versão em português do projecto Blue Trunk Library (BTL - Libraria Azul). Ajudando assim profissionais de saúde em lugares onde a comunicação por via electrônica é difícil o então não existe.

Descobri esta noticia esta manhã quando cheguei ao escritório e fiz como sempre faço todos os dias, verifiquei a intranet da OMS para ver o que havia de novo. Qual não é o meu espanto quando me deparo com a palavra "portuguese" em grande na página do site! Tenho de admitir que sabendo que o português não sendo uma lingua oficial da OMS fiquei surpreendida, bem surpreendida, de saber que existia um programa que tem como objectivo proporcionar informação e ajuda ao nivel de saúde em lingua portuguesa.

A minha primeira reação foi saber como poderia contribuir para o programa ter mais "visibilidade" jà que esta é uma inciativa que merece toda a nossa atenção.
Contactei a pessoa responsável do programa para poder ter a autorização de publicar o artigo no meu Blog jà que hoje em dia os blogs são os melhores veículos de informação. Por isso lhes peço que dêm uma olhada ao site web e ao blog do programa. Quem sabe, talvez vocês possam ajudar a divulgar a informação necessária atravês de novas estratégias e técnicas!

O site do programa ePORTUGUESEe pode ser visto aqui.
Resolução 58/28 da WHA pode ser vista aqui.
Endereço do blog do ePORTUGUESEe: http://eportuguese.blogspot.com/

Este artigo foi publicado com a gentil autorização da Dra Regina Ungerer

Spreading the word... in Portuguese


Portuguese, the 6th most widely spoken language in the world and mother-tongue to almost 220 million people, is receiving more attention on the World Health Organizazion (WHO) agenda.
ePORTUGUESe, an initiative to extend multilingualism at WHO, provides Portuguese-speaking countries with information tools to improve their health systems and enhance health workforce performance.

Portuguese is the national language of Angola, Brazil, Cape Verde, Guinea Bissau, Mozambique, Portugal, Sao Tome and Principe and East Timor. It is also an official language in AFRO and AMRO. Brazilian Director of Ageing and Life Course, Alexandre Kalache, said "Nowadays, information can be transmitted in a split second and those who cannot understand the message are left behind. The ePORTUGUESe initiative is a good example of a network to circulate information in local languages making sure the message is fully understood by those who really need it".

ePORTUGUESe will establish and maintain a link between health-related institutions to promote the development of information in Portuguese and facilitate the spread of local knowledge.

The initiative follows World Health Assembly (WHA) resolution 58/28, which supports regional and interregional eHealth initiatives among groups of countries that speak a common language. One of its main objectives is to expand the Virtual Health Library (VHL) developed by PAHO, which provides access to the latest health information in all Portuguese speaking countries.
The ePORTUGUESe initiative prompted a workshop last June in São Paulo, Brazil where participants from the eight Member States met and considered all the aspects and dimensions of health care, human resources' capacity building, health education and research. ePORTUGUESe has also helped WHO Press and the WHO Library to develop a Portuguese language version of the Blue Trunk Library project (BTL). This will assist health workers in places where electronic communication is difficult or non-existent.

I discovered this news this morning when arriving at the office and did as I always, checked the intranet to see what was new. To my big surprise the word "portuguese" was all over the site! I do have to say that portuguese not being an official WHO language I was quite surprised to find out that there was a programme aiming at providing health information and help in portuguese within WHO. I was very well surprised and immediately wondered how I could help the programme have more visibility as this is a great initiative that deserves our support.

I have therefore contacted the person in charge of the programme for authorization to publish it in my Blog as blogs are nowadays the best way to "spread" the news. So, please take your time to tour the website as well as the blog. Who knows, maybe you can help creating opportunities to disseminate information through new communication strategies and techniques.

The ePORTUGUESe website can be viewed here.
World Health Assembly (WHA) resolution 58/28 can be viewed here.

You might wish to also visit the ePORTUGUESEe Blog at http://eportuguese.blogspot.com/

Published with Dr Regina Ungerer kind permission.

Saturday, 13 October 2007

Blog Action Day 2007

JOIN US!

PASTAFARIANS...!!!


In the United States, someone who was appalled by the decision taken by the State of Kansas in 2005 to teach “creationism” at school, created the “Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster”!

The school authorities had decided that the “intelligent design” which is suppose to explain the creation of the world by a superior being, should be taught as an alternative to Darwin’s theory of evolution which is traditionally in every school programme.

Bobby Henderson, a scientist, decided to counter-attack by “absurdity” and sent a letter to the authorities to explain that “pastafarism” should also be taught in science classes (read the letter here). According to this theory, the universe was created by a Flying Spaghetti Monster and the followers of the Church of the Flying Monster are called “pastafarians”!

This info had been circulating on the web site BoingBoing and had gained a lot of momentum from then on. A creationist had offered a lot of money in reward to anyone who would be able to provide an “absolute proof of the theory of evolution”. The site had reacted offering even more money to anyone who could provide an “absolute proof that Jesus is not the son of the Flying Spaghetti Monster”! Proof is still awaited…

The first time I read about this, the only reaction I had was to shake my head, the second was to laugh. I thought “why once again do we have to battle over such things? Why is it that religion has to be the centre of discussions which are from the beginning condemned to end nowhere”? Religion is and should always be a personal thing. Should we impose our beliefs on others? I think if you look at the past, on what was and is being done in HIS name, you will get an approximate answer.

I was born a catholic, even went to Sunday school for a while, but religion was never a very important part in my life, not in a way that makes me go to Church every Sunday. I did use to wonder when I returned to Portugal, why religion (catholic) was taught at school? So, being an adolescent who had, as other adolescents, other important things to worry about; I thought that religion did not belong in school and said so. That earned me a very fiery discussion with the priest who used to teach the religion classes!

I am a Roman Catholic, and as such I believe in one of the most precious gifts God has left us “free will”. I choose to believe that there must be a superior being watching over us, and I choose to believe that when I talk to Him, He listens, where ever I am.

But then, I also have a scientific upbringing. Having studied archaeology, I often stop at details and ask as Saint Thomas did, i.e. “see to believe”. Therefore, the religion part in me makes me talk to Jesus when I need comfort and then the scientist in me makes me think that he was a man of flesh and blood who had very interesting ideas and a good philosophy of life.

Now, this “sterile” debate between the theory of evolution and creationism is devoted to get no where! Because no one can be a hundred percent sure. I am sure my fellow “scientists” will agree with me, that we can never be sure of anything, that no matter how far we get in getting scientific explanations and proofs out, that there is always a small percentage of doubt. That is the most important part in science (in my humble opinion) “doubt to be able to go further”. When you reach a certainty, you are stuck and will not be able to see further in future unless you remain with a small part of doubt and challenge that certainty to be sure.

Therefore, who can guarantee what God looks like? Could it be a Flying Spaghetti Monster? It could also be anything else we like if we start thinking this way!


To anyone interested, visit the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster website (click here)!

Friday, 12 October 2007

My own two cents on Madeleine...Part III

The DNA results have still not arrived in Portugal, but the elements already available seem to indicate that Madeleine McCann was in the car the parents had rented. The Portuguese police believes that the new evidence will be crucial for the continuing of the investigation, which can now regain momentum.

The data which has been provided to the Portuguese police seem to lead to the conclusion that the evidence material collected in the car and in the apartment of the McCann, belonged Madeleine McCann. The Portuguese authorities are supposed to be having the full report by the end of the week, but all points to a confirmation of the information released by the press i.e. that the McCann may have been "active" participants in Madeleine's disappearance.

However, several details still need to be confirmed. Namely, if the hair found in the car and in the apartment is Madeleine's and if it was ante or post-mortem. Also still to be confirmed, is if the analyses will show traces of sedatives, as implied by the police.

The police is also awaiting for other confirmations such as the analysis of the evidence material found in the Renault Scenic, rented one month after Maddie disappeared. The current available reports lead to a confirmation of the theory that Maddie was carried in the car and that it was not just a mere transfer of DNA through a piece of cloth as the McCann have declared. The other answer provided by the McCann, namely that the DNA found in the car could belong to any of Maddie's twin sister or brother was dismissed as not possible by the British laboratory in charge of examining the DNA material.

According to the Portuguese newspaper "Correio da Manhã", the arrival of these new reports, gives new momentum to the investigation. All this will be communicated to the British police as any further questioning of the McCann from the Portuguese will have to be done through their British counterparts (British law does not allow extradition of its citizens) - will they be going back to Portugal, if the Portuguese authorities request it, as they always said they would???? In case they will be formally charged of having a participation in Madeleine's disappearance/death, they will have to be judged in England (unless they decide to go back to Portugal).

Now guess what? To counter the laboratory results (may I remind that it is a BRITISH lab), the law firm Kingsley Napley, hired their own team for new testing - this after the Birmingham lab itself suggested that the Portuguese police may be right! Also, may I remind everyone that the choice of the Birmingham laboratory was a well-thought decision? After all, that is where the best and most modern technology for this kind of tests can be found. Aren't the British shooting their own foot?

What???? Are they thinking their results will be any different? Gosh, the results presented so far were presented by the Forensic Science Service. How far are the British willing to go just to keep on their smear campaign against the Portuguese police and their work?

Monday, 8 October 2007

Immigration...contre tests ADN? Exception française?



Un amendement au projet de loi sur l’immigration, qui prévoit dans le cadre du regroupement familial d’effectuer des tests ADN sur les candidats, a été adopté à l’Assemblée nationale française. Plusieurs responsables politiques et associations françaises de défense des droits humains ont déjà exprimé leur indignation face à une telle pratique.

Les candidats au regroupement familial pourraient être obligés de subir des tests ADN. C’est le sens de l’amendement présenté par le député UMP, Thierry Mariani, et qui a été adopté par la commission des lois de l’Assemblée nationale lors de l’examen du projet de loi sur l’immigration du ministre Brice Hortefeux. Le test serait volontaire et le demandeur devrait en supporter le coût évalué à 1000 euros.





La France ne ferait ainsi que suivre l’exemple de onze autres pays européens. Vraiment? Les Italiens et les Allemands semblent avoir fait de cette preuve un usage exceptionnel quand la France veut en faire une loi!

En Italie, par exemple, les tests ADN sont réalisés dans le cadre du regroupement familial sous l’égide de l’Organisation internationale pour les migrations (OIM) qui conduit depuis 2001, à la demande du gouvernement italien, un programme d’aide à la réunification des familles. L’OIM récolte les échantillons nécessaires qui sont ensuite traités par un laboratoire agréé par l’Etat italien. L’examen est pris en charge par ce dernier.

Cependant, le test est volontaire et n'intervient que s’il n’existe aucun document pour prouver la filiation. Ce dernier point est néanmoins laissé à l’appréciation des autorités italiennes. D’autant que « la notion de famille ne peut se limiter aux liens du sang ».

L’Allemagne n’a pas légiféré sur les tests ADN

L’OIM recommande également que les migrants et leurs familles soient tenus informés à chaque instant du processus dans lequel ils se sont engagés. De même, le refus de se plier au test, qui peut accélérer la procédure, et c’est l’un de ses principaux avantages, « ne doit influer négativement sur la décision finale ». Suggéré ou spontané, le test reste bien évidemment confidentiel et l’OIM est garant de la destruction de ces résultats qui ne seront ainsi utilisées à aucune autre fin. En somme, la pratique fait figure d’ultime recours et c’est dans la même logique que s’inscrit l’Allemagne.
Premier point : la loi allemande ne prévoit pas de test ADN en matière de regroupement familial. « Le recours au test génétique est très rare », souligne-t-on à l’ambassade d’Allemagne à Paris. « C’est une très grande exception ». La règle veut que la République fédérale exige des personnes qui souhaitent fouler son sol une preuve scientifique de leur appartenance familiale si elle doute fortement de la véracité des éléments qui lui ont été fournis. Aussi, peut-elle inviter le demandeur « à coopérer » en se soumettant au test qu’elle exige.

Comme en Italie, la démarche peut aussi s’avérer volontaire dans le but d’obtenir une décision plus rapide.

Certes, les tests ADN se pratiquent dans certains pays européens, mais ils ne font pas pour autant partie d’un dispositif légal.

(Source: Afrike.com du 8 Octobre)


Le but de la loi dans le fond est clair, il s'agit d'éviter les fraudes (trop souvant des réseaux de traffic humain utilisent l'excuse du regroupement familial). Malheureusement, encore une fois la forme n'est pas la plus appropriée et peut donner lieu à bien plus de problèmes qu'elle ne veut en régler.

My own two cents on Madeleine...Part II

Daniel Krugel, a South African private detective who last July searched for Maddie in Praia da Luz (and who had been invited by the McCann) claims to know where Maddie is buried.

Daniel Krugel declared to the “Sunday Mirror”: “I am convinced that Madeleine’s body is in Praia da Luz”. He added that “the chances that she is alive are very slim”.According to the Portuguese newspapers, a source close to the investigation says that the place is the area where Maddie’s father used to jog.

According to the newspaper “Correio da Manhã”, the Portuguese authorities believe that the body may have been buried on the beach a few hours after her death. Daniel Kruger confirmed that he arrived in Portugal with his team on 17 July and during 4 days he used a machine of his own invention which can detect people based on their DNA. The targeted areas were the Ocean Club apartment as well as the surroundings and main exits from Praia da Luz.

Krugel told the “Sunday Mirror” that he is about to return to Portugal at the McCann request. In a report he surrendered to the Portuguese police, Krugel mentions a 500 square metre area as the probable place where Maddie was buried. However, the authorities did not proceed to any dig on the area.

Krugel says that his work started with one of Maddie’s hair which had been provided by Gerry McCann. “The aim was to have a chart of the DNA”. He then used the machine of his own invention (called matter orientation system) which, based on quantum physics and GPS, can reveal the location of a body.

Of his work done in Algarve he states that: “I did an extensive search in Praia da Luz with the help of the machine and of some friends. We were there 16 hours a day. No place was forgotten”. Mr Krugel is forbidden to reveal the location he mentioned in his report to the police as per Portuguese law.

He stated to the “News of the World” that he is not mentioning it to “avoid people going there out of curiosity and therefore destroying evidence”. He however stressed that “everyday the trail was clearer”. “The machine was always providing the same bearings which made me always come back to the same location. This made me believe that Madeleine is there”.

Daniel Krugel a former colonel of the South African police is known as “The Locator” name given after his discovery of several bodies. He guarantees a success of 90% in all the cases he investigated.

It was following Daniel Krugel’s work that the request for the British dogs (which can smell dead bodies) was made. This lead to the collection of evidence which in its turn lead to the belief that the McCann were guilty.

My opinion???? What to believe? So many incredible stories about Madeleine’s disappearance have been around that one does not know what to believe anymore…besides this one seems to be a little bit “tirée par les cheveux” as we would say in French!!!

Quantum physics and GPS to locate DNA? I’ll let the scientists answer…

Sunday, 7 October 2007

Free Burma!

Casa Pia...Part II ???



One is entitled to ask what kind of justice exists in Portugal at the light of the latest news concerning the “Casa Pia” (translation: “Pious House”). I was shocked to read the latest declarations on the Portuguese newspaper “Correio da Manhã” from Catalina Pestana ex-headmaster of the Casa Pia: “...there is still internal abusers... there is a strong suspicion of external networks that continue to sexually abuse the children of the Casa Pia”.

Did we not learn anything, did we not take any lessons from that high profile lawsuit of some years ago which revealed the ugliest sides of human nature if such acts continue to exist among this venerable institution?

In her interview, and still according to the Correio da Manhã, the former headmaster has assured that an official inquiry has been undertaken since she has already been heard, adding that, “I don’t know what happened in the meantime. However, I expect that as the prosecutor says that our Criminal Code must be modified, that he will also put the same energy into this inquiry and not leave it buried in a drawer”.

According to a source from the office of Pinto Monteiro, the PGR (Procuradoria Geral da Républica = Attorney General Office of the Portuguese Republic) received the formal complaint from the ex-headmaster and has proceeded to an official inquiry. A situation that is confirmed by the Attorney General himself, who in a statement to RTP (Portuguese State Television), said he was not aware if the sexual abuses in the institution were still going on, but that he had received and registered the complaint from Catalina Pestana and that he had forwarded it to the competent office which is now investigating the case.

Still according to the newspaper, the Ministry of Social Solidarity, which has the guardianship of the Casa Pia, did not want to comment the declarations of the ex-headmaster considering that it is necessary to safeguard the reputation of the institution and of its pupils.

Peter Namora, ex-pupil of the Casa Pia and now lawyer said he does not have any formal proof but he corroborates the declarations of Catalina Pestana guaranteeing that the pupils are seen “out” again and that they are seen “having supper and been driven around by persons that the pupils do not know” which might indicate that the sexual abuses are still going on.

Many complain that Catalina Pestana has once more put the matter on the front page, considering that one of her duties as ex-headmaster of the institution is to watch over the reputation of the Casa Pia.

How ridiculous can this be? Had she not done it, could we guarantee the total “integrity” of the institution and appropriately fight what seems to still be happening? Do we have to forget because of some old-fashioned ideas, that the most important are the children and not the reputation of an institution? Children well-being should be the first concern on this matter. Our first worry should be to verify if the statements are correct and if such is the case, we must make sure that such does not happen again. Children should look at the future with optimism and trust.

I make mine the words of Catalina Pestana: “I hope that the Attorney General will not leave this inquiry in the bottom of his drawer”!

Casa Pia...episódio II???



É de se perguntar que tipo de justiça existe no nosso país quando se lé as ultimas noticias. Qual não é o meu espanto ao ler as ultimas noticias no jornal “Correio da Manhã” que segundo Catalina Pestana, ex-provedora da Casa Pia, “…ainda existem abusadores internosexistem fortes suspeitas de redes externas que continuam a usar miúdos da Casa Pia para abusos sexuais”.

Mas afinal para que serviu aquele processo altamente mediático que revelou os lados mais sordidos da natureza humana se tais actos continuam a existirem no seio desta venerável instituição ?

Numa entrevista, e ainda segundo o Correio da Manhã, a antiga responsável garantiu saber da abertura de um inquérito porque já foi ouvida, acrescentando que, “não sei o que aconteceu entretanto, mas espero que, com a mesma frontalidade com que o senhor Procurador diz que o Código de Processo Penal tem de ser alterado, também não deixe ficar esse inquérito no fundo da gaveta”.

Segundo fonte do gabinete de Pinto Monteiro, a Procuradoria Geral da Républica recebeu a queixa da ex-provedora e procedeu à abertura de um inquérito-crime. Uma situação confirmada pelo próprio Procurador que, em declarações à RTP, disse não saber se os abusos sexuais naquela instituição continuam, mas que recebeu a denúncia de Catalina Pestana e a remeteu para o departamento competente, que está a investigar o caso. Segundo o jornal, o Ministério da Solidariedade Social, que tem a tutela da Casa Pia, escusou-se a comentar as denúncias da antiga provedora, considerando que é necessário salvaguardar a reputação do estabelecimento e dos alunos que o frequentem.

A corroborar as denúncias de Catalina Pestana surgiu Pedro Namora, antigo aluno da Casa Pia e advogado, que, ainda segundo o jornal, disse não ter provas, mas que subscreve as palavras da antiga provadora, garantindo que os alunos andam outra vez “cá fora” e são vistos “a jantar com personalidades que não conhecem de lado nenhum e a serem transportados de carro”, o que indicia um reinicio da prática de pedofilia. Muitos se lamentam que Catalina Pestana tenha voltado a meter o assunto nas primeiras páginas dos jornais, considerando que uma das diligências da ex-provedora era zelar pela reputação da Casa Pia.

Mas meus caros amigos, se ela não o tivesse feito, serà que poderiamos garantir a total integridade da instituição e do que (parece) continua a suceder? Serà que por và-se là saber que tipo de ideas da era “victoriana” temos de esquecer que o mais importante são as crianças e que deveriam ser essas mesmas a nossa principal preocupação, verificar se o relatado é verídico e se tal for o caso assegurar que tais actos não se repitam e que as crianças possam olhar para o futuro que as espera com outros olhos...com optimismo e confiança?

Faço minhas as palavras de Catalina Pestana “Espero que não deixe (Procuradoria Geral da Républica) ficar este inquérito no fundo da gaveta”!

Artigo no Correio da Manhã de domingo 7 Outubro 2007:

As suspeitas de novos abusos sexuais na Casa Pia participadas pela ex-provedora Catalina Pestana e que estão a ser investigadas pelo Departamento de Investigação e Acção Penal (DIAP) de Lisboa – coordenado por Maria José Morgado – apontam para uma falha no processo de reestruturação do ensino da instituição que acolhe crianças carenciadas e sem família.

A ser verdade fico bastante constrangido”, disse ao CM Roberto Carneiro, que liderou o conselho técnico-científico que criou as directrizes para uma reforma da Casa Pia. O antigo ministro da Educação entende que, a confirmarem-se as suspeitas, significa “que falhou o acompanhamento das crianças e que os formadores não estão em condições de se dedicarem em pleno à sua missão”.

A aposta na formação foi um dos princípios base que orientou o trabalho da comissão. A comissão científica projectou uma reforma profunda da Casa Pia que visava a formação de crianças sem família e ensino profissional, em detrimento do ensino para alunos externos.

Roberto Carneiro, desconhece se, três anos depois de concluído o seu trabalho, esta reforma foi concretizada. “A comissão não tinha responsabilidades executivas para uma posterior avaliação”, disse.

Saturday, 6 October 2007

Je t'aime encore - Marcia featuring II Wayz

Marcia is a young Zouk artist from Cabo Verde. Needless to say she has an amazing voice!

Tuesday, 2 October 2007

On Travel...on travels!

While abroad, enjoying my own private farniente, looking at the sea and being surprised by how much I had succeeded in forgetting work (OK, couldn't help verifying my mails one day and to even answer to a few people), I found my self thinking of all the travels I have already done and how much my life has changed because of it.

I often wonder what really made me leave to Greece that spring of 1999. The person I was at that time was not one to take risks. Quite the contrary. Was it a risk to go to Greece? Yes! Do I regret it? No.


Looking at the sea today, the thought came to my mind, that if I hadn't accepted that invitation to go to Greece, I might not be where I am today, I might not be doing the work I am doing and I would surely not be the person I am now. Για πολλούς λόγους, η Ελλάδα θα είναι πάντα ειδική...είναι ένα "δεύτερο" σπίτι.

I am not saying that that adventure was the only responsible factor. All the other steps taken after that contributed to the person I am and led me to the career I am currently building. In those steps I include all the mistakes done along the way, all the successes (proud to say they were many) and all the travels and experiences coming from them and which enriched my life.
Then, I couldn't help thinking of the trip I made to India. I discovered an incredible country. One goes to India with definite ideas of what it is and once there all the pre-conceived ideas are simply wrong. I found my self in a country so welcoming, people with such a philosophy of life (and here I am using the larger meaning of the word) that once again I felt like being "home".

I will never forget those children I met in that village in Andhra Pradesh and their wonderful smile or the way they were touching my hair because they had never seen hair that colour and wanted to know how it was possible, what it felt like once one touched it. One of the best experiences I had during that wonderful discovery of India.


I don't even regret having used a motorickshaw, although I several times felt like it was the end seeing the way the driving rules are...heuh...what might be the appropriate word? Ignored?!!! Yet, that is one experience one should really not miss out on if going to India!

There was also that incredible trip to Brazil, to Salvador in the state of Bahia. Estar em Salvador foi como estar em casa...sensação incrível! The "Pelourinho" in Salvador is the reminiscence of the portuguese culture with that zest of life which is so proper to Brazil and its mix of cultures.
There, we discovered that incredible programme that aims at taking children out of the streets. The group "Olodum" has a school where children can learn how to play drums (among other things, music being "le fil conducteur"). (Olodum is famous for having taken part in one of Michael Jackson's songs and video). Seems like something very simple, but the programme is quite complex when one thinks of all it brings to those children and it has achieved unbelievable results.

I couldn't conclude this post without talking about Italy and Uganda. Both these countries are important to me for many different reasons. Uganda, brings bitter-sweet memories, so you will forgive me if I don't talk much about it.

As for Italy, for many years I thought of going there, but life was always taking me to other countries, to other continents. Peró, per diversi motivi (che non appartengono in questo blog), l'Italia é sempre stata molto importante per me. Ed un giorno, sono andatta in Italia (Lisa, non ridere se dimentico una lettera!). Diciamo che...é un paese che vi fa vivere le vostre aspettative...durante tutto il tempo che ho passato in Italia mi sembra come se fosse stato in un "roller-coaster"...phheeewww!

All the above, is a good conclusion on why I enjoy so much to travel, to go to new places, to discover different ways of life which are completely opposite from the way I live mine. Most especially, all the travels (and the ones mentioned above are only a few among all those I undertook. Yet, I leave those for another post, for another subject) were important steps in my life.
"Broaden your horizons if you want to succeed in life" my father always told me. I surely will never regret to have taken the decision to go to Greece...that was only the beginning!