23 novembro 2015

Viagem à procura de Mim

Depois de estar Fora de Mim, tive de ir à procura de Mim :) Os livros não estão relacionados, mas são os dois belíssimos. 

Após o súbito divórcio dos pais, Mim Malone é arrastada da sua casa no norte dos EUA para o desolado sul, no Mississípi, onde passa a morar com o pai e a madrasta. Como se não bastasse estar a dar-se mal com a mudança, ainda descobre que a mãe está doente e pode precisar da sua ajuda.
É então que decide fugir de casa e embarcar numa viagem de mais de 1500 quilómetros, de regresso à sua terra natal e à presença apaziguadora da mãe. Mas o caminho está repleto de perigos e de amizades inesperadas.
Para se reencontrar, Mim vai ter de enfrentar demónios pessoais, pôr em causa as suas verdades e pisar as fronteiras da normalidade.

Tradução minha para a TopSeller

19 novembro 2015

Fora de Mim - Out of My Mind

Ninguém escreve como a professora Sharon M. Draper

Melody tem onze anos e uma memória fotográfica. O seu cérebro é como uma câmara de filmar que está sempre ligada. SEMPRE. Não existe forma de o parar. Ela é a rapariga mais inteligente da sua escola, mas ninguém imagina que isso possa sequer ser possível.
A maioria das pessoas, incluindo os seus professores e médicos, não acredita que Melody seja capaz de aprender, e os seus dias são passados a ouvir as mesmas canções da pré-escola, uma e outra vez. Se ao menos ela conseguisse falar, dizer às pessoas o que pensa e o que sabe. Mas não consegue. Não consegue falar. Não consegue andar. Não consegue escrever.
Estar presa dentro do seu corpo é cada vez mais difícil de suportar. Mas tudo está prestes a mudar com a descoberta de algo que a pode ajudar finalmente a comunicar com as suas próprias palavras. Só que nem todos à sua volta parecem estar prontos para a ouvir.
Um livro extraordinário e que nos faz ver o mundo com outros olhos.
Tradução minha para a Booksmile :)

15 outubro 2015

Slava's Snow Show

We did it!
It's been almost 15 years since we watched this work of wonder - twice, in my case.
Now we managed to take the kids and they absolutely loved it.

13 outubro 2015

European Occupational Surnames - alas, not my own

I made it with Cartopy, Shapely, and Natural Earth data. The surnames are taken mainly from the appropriate Wikipedia page. Redditors provided data for Sweden, Norway, Lithuania, Latvia, Bulgaria, Macedonia, Serbia, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Turkey, and Catalonia (Ferrer = Smith), as well as corrected my mistakes in Ukraine and Austria. I sincerely appreciate their help. Click on the links to see relevant comments.
This is a quick hack, not serious research. The map takes into account countries rather than ethnic or cultural areas (update as of October 1, 2015: now the maps of Spain and Serbia include the most frequent Catalan and Kosovar occupational surnames, respectively). The methodology is simplistic: I always picked the most frequent occupational surname even though Wikipedia aptly notices that in the Netherlands the set of {Smit, Smits, Smid, de Smit, Smet, Smith} outnumbers both {Visser, Visscher, Vissers, de Visser} and {Bakker, Bekker, de Bakker, Backer}. Similarly, redditors commented that {Schmidt, Schmitt, Schmitz, Schmid} outnumber {Meier, Meyer, Maier, Mayer} and {Müller} in Germany, {Maier, Mair, Mayer} outnumber {Huber} in Austria, {Seppälä, Seppänen} outnumber {Kinnunen} in Finland, and {Herrero, Herrera, Ferrer} outnumber {Molina} in Spain. I learned that occupational surnames are alien to Nordic countries so Möller and Møller are relatively rare imports in Sweden and Norway, that Molina and Ferreira are “second-order occupational surnames” as they derive from places rather than from professions, and that surnames in Turkey are so recent invention that Avcı probably was not a real occupation.
In case this is not obvious, the political boundaries and the disappearance of the smallest countries on the map are is not my fault.
 Marcin Ciura's blog

26 julho 2015

The Lost Boy - Greg Holden

About a boy taken from Somalia to escape genocide, who never sees mom and dad again.
About Opie. You got this.

03 julho 2015

Dr. Thompson on Books

“I don’t advocate drugs and whiskey and violence and rock and roll, but they’ve always been good to me.”
The quip above, written by Hunter S. Thompson for Playboy shortly before his death in 2005, captures what many readers best knew him for and still remember. Beginning with the publication of Hell’s Angels in 1966, rising with “The Kentucky Derby is Decadent and Depraved” in 1970 and reaching its zenith in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, the second part of which was published by Rolling Stone 43 years ago this month, Thompson forged a lasting persona for himself as an outlaw journalist. It was astonishingly successful — his books, film adaptations and general cultural influence are all testaments to that — but it came largely at the expense of his first love: novel-writing.
Although readers today associate Thompson most with his drug-and-booze-fueled antics, he was in fact a committed literary stylist, especially early on. As a child growing up in Louisville in the ‘50s, he would type out his favorite novels, particularly The Great Gatsby and The Sun Also Rises, over and over again to get a feel for the words. This aspiration, melded with his initially frustrated writing career, made Thompson a harsh literary critic, if not a bit of a dick. An example:
“I have tonight begun reading a stupid, shitty book by Kerouac called Big Sur, and I would give a ball to wake up tomorrow on some empty ridge with a herd of beatniks grazing in the clearing about 200 yards below the house. And then to squat with the big boomer and feel it on my shoulder with the smell of grease and powder and, later, a little blood.”
That comes from a letter by Thompson to a friend in 1962. Throughout his personal correspondence (published during his lifetime in two volumes,) Thompson digs into contemporary writers and classics with his trademark venom, but he also occasionally recommends a book to an acquaintance — and then he gushes.
These are a few of the reads Thompson recommended before Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, before he had become an outlaw journalist, back when he was just a desperate Southern gentleman:

Down and Out in Paris and LondonDown and Out in Paris and London
by George Orwell
To Knopf Editor Angus Cameron:
“Fiction is a bridge to the truth that journalism can’t reach. Facts are lies when they’re added up, and the only kind of journalism I can pay much attention to is something like Down and Out in Paris and London. …But in order to write that kind of punch-out stuff you have to add up the facts in your own fuzzy way, and to hell with the hired swine who use adding machines.”

The FountainheadThe Fountainhead by Ayn Rand
To high school friend Joe Bell:
“To say what I thought of The Fountainhead would take me more pages than I like to think I’d stoop to boring someone with. I think it’s enough to say that I think it’s everything you said it was and more. Naturally, I intend to read Atlas Shrugged. If it’s half as good as Rand’s first effort, I won’t be disappointed.”

Down and Out in Paris and LondonThe Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
To Knopf Editor Angus Cameron:
“If history professors in this country had any sense they would tout the book as a capsule cram course in the American Dream. I think it is the most American novel ever written. I remember coming across it in a bookstore in Rio de Janeiro; the title in Portuguese was O Grande Gatsby, and it was a fantastic thing to read it in that weird language and know that futility of the translation. If Fitzgerald had been a Brazilian he’d have had that country dancing to words instead of music.”

The Kandy-Kolored Tangerine-Flake Streamline BabyThe Kandy-Kolored Tangerine-Flake Streamline Baby by Tom Wolfe
To the author, Wolfe:
“I owe the National Observer in Washington a bit of money for stories paid and never written while I was working for them out here, and the way we decided I’d work it off was book reviews, of my own choosing. Yours was one; they sent it to me and I wrote this review, which they won’t print. I called the editor (the kulture [SIC] editor) the other day from the middle of a Hell’s Angels rally at Bass lake and he said he was sorry and he agreed with me etc. but that there was a “feeling” around the office about giving you a good review. … Anyway, here’s the review, and if it does you any good in the head to know that it caused the final severance of relations between myself and the Observer, then at least it will do somebody some good. As for myself I am joining the Hell’s Angels and figure I should have done it six years ago.”

Lie Down in DarknessLie Down in Darkness by William Styron
To Viking Editor Robert D. Ballou:
“Last week I read two fairly recent first novels — Acrobat Admits (Harold Grossman), and After Long Silence (Robert Gutwillig) — and saw enough mistakes to make me look long and hard at mine [Prince Jellyfish]. Although I’m already sure the Thompson effort will be better than those two, I’m looking forward to the day that I can say it will be better than Lie Down in Darkness. When that day comes, I will put my manuscript in a box and send it to you.”

The OutsiderThe Outsider by Colin Wilson
To his mother, Virginia Thompson:
“As a parting note — I suggest that you get hold of a book called The Outsider by Colin Wilson. I had intended to go into a detailed explanation of what I have found out about myself in the past year or so, but find that I am too tired. However, after reading that book, you may come closer to understanding just what lies ahead for your Hunter-named son. I had just begun to doubt some of my strongest convictions when I stumbled upon that book. But rather than being wrong, I think that I just don’t express my rightness correctly.”

Singular ManSingular Man by J. P. Donleavy
To freelance journalist Lionel Olay:
“Now that you’ve taken personal journalism about as far as it can go, why don’t you read Singular Man and then get back to the real work? … I’m not dumping on you, old sport — just giving the needle. I just wish to shit I had somebody within 500 miles capable of giving me one. It took Donleavy’s book to make me see what a fog I’ve been in.”

World of SexThe World of Sex by Henry Miller
To Norman Mailer in 1961:
“This little black book of Miller’s is something you might like. If not, or if you already have it, by all means send it back. I don’t mind giving it away, but I’d hate to see it wasted.”
To Mailer in ‘65:
“Somewhere in late 1961 or so I sent you a grey, paperbound copy of Henry Miller’s The World of Sex, one of 1000 copies printed “for friends of Henry Miller,” in 1941. You never acknowledged it, which didn’t show much in the way of what California people call “class,” but which was understandable in that I recall issuing some physical threats along with the presentation of what they now tell me is a collector’s item. … And so be it. I hope you have the book and are guarding it closely. In your old age you can sell it for whatever currency is in use at the time.”
For more reading recommendations from the good doctor, check out both his collections of letters: The Proud Highway and Fear and Loathing in America.

08 maio 2015

A funny primer for Art

Giger's Nepenthe

I am not a fan but, even as a layperson, I concede the man was a genius.

Check all the photos by Matthew M. Kaelin

13 março 2015

06 março 2015

A world of Fiction

From the good folks at PopChartLab. Click to access and enlarge - it's truly a world :)

29 janeiro 2015

Do not fall in love with people like me - The Poetry of Caitlyn Siehl

Do not fall in love
With people like me.
people like me
will love you so hard
that you turn into stone
into a statue where people
come to marvel at how long
it must have taken to carve
that faraway look into your eyes

Do not fall in love with people like me
we will take you to
museums and parks
and monuments
and kiss you in every beautiful
place so that you can
never go back to them
without tasting us
like blood in your mouth

Do not come any closer.
people like me
are bombs
when our time is up
we will splatter loss
all over your walls
in angry colors
that make you wish
your doorway never
learned our name

do not fall in love
with people like me.
with the lonely ones
we will forget our own names
if it means learning yours
we will make you think
hurricanes are gentle
that pain is a gift
you will get lost
in the desperation
in the longing for something
that is always reaching
but never able to hold

do not fall in love
with people like me.
we will destroy your
we will throw apologies at you
that shatter on the floor
and cut your feet

we will never learn
how to be soft

we will leave.
we always do.

Caitlyn Siehl

Courtesy of my good friend and Queen :)

11 dezembro 2014

Annie Jump Cannon, Astronomer

1863 - 1941

Annie Jump Cannon was the eldest of three daughters to shipbuilder and state senator Wilson Cannon, and his second wife Mary Jump. It was Annie’s mother who encouraged her interest in astronomy, teaching her the constellations. Annie went on to study physics and astronomy at Wellesley, one of the top academic schools for women in the US. Annie did not take to the cold winter climate and on one occassion was striken with scarlet fever that rendered her almost completely deaf. She graduated in 1884 with a degree in physics and returned home, but grew restless with the limited career options open to women. Her hearing loss made it difficult to socialise, although she made a trip to Europe to photograph the solar eclipse in 1892.  She returned home and in 1894 her mother died. She eventually reapproached her teachers at Wellesley and took graduate courses there in astronomy. She also learnt about spectroscopy and photography. In order to gain access to a better telescope she enrolled at Radcliffe Women’s College at Harvard, which gace her access to the Harvard College Observatory.

anniecanon2In 1896 she joined the Harvard College Observatory women under director Edward Pickering and by 1907 she had received an M.A. from Wellesley. Her role, like the other women there, was to reduce data and carry out astronomical observations. In particular, Pickering’s interest lay in obtaining optical spectra of thousands of stars and to index and classify them by their spectra. This analysis was begun by Nettie Farrar and contined by Williamina Fleming, who devised a classification system with 22 classes. The work was continued by Antonia Maury who invented her own system. Finally Annie Cannon took over, and applied her own scheme which resulted in the famous OBAFGKM classification which is still used today. The ordering of the letters of Fleming’s original system were rearranged by Cannon into order of decreasing surface temperature. Cannon classified the most stars in a lifetime than anyone else has ever achieved, around 350,000, published in Draper catalogues. She could classify three stars a minute just by looking at their spectral patterns, and using a magnifying glass could classify stars down to 9th magnitude, around 16 times fainter than the human eye can see. She also published catalogues of variable stars, including 300 that she had discovered herself.  At this time, women astronomers were paid 25 cents a day, much less than the secretatries at Harvard were paid.
Her career spanned more than forty years and she received many "firsts", including the first recipient of an honorary doctorate from Oxford and the first woman elected an officer of the American Astronomical Society. At Harvard she became the Curator of Astronomical Photographs after Fleming, but it wasn’t until 1938, just two years before her retirement, that she obtained a regular Harvard appointment as William C. Bond Astronomer. She also received the Henry Draper Medal which only one other female has won, she shared it with a male colleague. She was also listed as one of the 12 greatest living american women by the National League of Women Voters.

There is now the Annie Cannon Prize, awarded to women astronomers who have made outstanding contributions in astronomy.

She is an Astronomer website

An Anthology of Mythical Creatures

from Reginald D. Laniger