104 years was the least of Niemeyer's accomplishments

The architect of Brasilia and most of Brazil's modernist architecture has passed away, outliving his slightly older colleague, Le Corbusier, who had a long career, by an astonishing half century.


The Ugly American lives

So Lady Gaga visited Brazil this week. She played some soccer with favela kids, fine. But what's horrible is what these "witty" TV commentators have to say. Has anyone ever heard anything more condescending? "It's probably the coolest thing that these kids are ever going to have happen..." I hope not many Brazilians catch this clip; the basic idea seems to be that the world is just holding its breath, waiting for America to spread its magic fairy dust of glamour and joy upon the otherwise miserable ocean of humanity.
'TMZ' clip


Belo Horizonte, city of doggy love

And they say Paris is the city of love. This canine love motel almost makes up for the botox injections that, according to this NY Times article, some plastic surgeons in Brazil now offer for dogs.


The Microsoft From Ipanema

Forget the Olympics and World Cup coming to Brazil. The clearest sign today of Brazil's rising profile might be a new arrival from Redmond, Washington: Microsoft. The tech giant is bringing R&D and tech startup incubation to the cidade maravilhosa.
NY Times link


Beware the Highway of Death

Personally I think the term is a bit of an exaggeration. The "highway" part, I mean. But this Reuters blog post is interesting, in part because there's someone named "Nacho Doce"?!


The case for loving São Paulo

The New York Times' Frugal Traveler apparently spends quite a bit of time in the business capital of Brazil. His thoughts on what makes the city great were published today. As someone initially underwhelmed by the city after places like Bahia and Rio, I think the way to put it is that Sampa is not for beginners -- it takes a fairly serious Brazilophile to enjoy the city without a bottomless expense account. (Me, I even took an early flight home after being disappointed on my first visit.)


In Brazil, Elvis didn't die -- he ran for office

The curious case of the superheroes who took on the ballot box. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/17/world/americas/in-brazil-eccentricity-at-the-ballot-box-is-the-norm.html


Roundtable on race in Brazil

The New York Times sat down an anthropologist, the director of Olodum, a few authors, and others to discuss "What Brazil Does Well."


Rio Carnaval winner announcement in progress

Grupo especial escola scores being announced now. Portela, Vila Isabel, and Tijuca all have perfect scores so far...


RINGTONES: Doce de Coco e Rosa

Make a smartphone way better with Doce de coco (Jacob do Bandolim recording) and/or Rosa (performed by Pixinguinha).


"Lula, Son of Brazil"

The New York Times today features the Barretto family and Fábio Barreto's new biopic of the former president. I was surprised and delighted by an anecdote from the family patriarch:

He has a boyhood memory of watching Orson Welles filming the never-released “Four Men on a Raft” at a beach there and being “fascinated by all that equipment."