Is internet making us socially dumber?

Here’s a nice article about this fact, with which I very much agree. Internet is an easy way not to feel lonely and, at the same time, self-preserving. But it all comes with a cost, and in my opinion, this cost is too high. Having online relationships instead of real ones sounds a lot easier. You can answer that message whenever you feel like it (if you ever do), it’s easier to be polite when you really don’t want to, and you don’t have to deal with your friend’s problems unless he states it explicitly in written terms. But nothing substitutes a personal contact. Looking at the persons eyes and hearing the tone one uses to say something is all part of the communication, and it gives you much more information than any set of words can in a written message. I am afraid that, since people are transferring more and more their relationships to virtual ones, we’ll all loose the ability to read the signs when we speak with each other personally.

For the sake of the future, please watch your kids and how much time they spend on this virtual lives. It should never *ever* replace the real one.

From the series “shows I’ll never forget”

I already found “Labyrinth”, “The completely mental misadventures of Ed Grimley” and “Round Twist” during my TV nostalgic moments on the internet. Shows I don’t remember much but the images, some characters and sometimes the plot line, and after some effort and key words and Google I was able to track them down and see some episodes in YouTube.

Today, for some reason, I remembered this science show that aired on Discovery Kids. It was always a boy and a girl explaining phenomenons, how things are made and making cool experiments. It took me about an hour, but I finally found it! It was “Popular Mechanics for Kids”. From my point of view, it’s competing with “Beakman’s World” on the cool science TV shows category. I wonder if anyone else remembers it… Here’s a classical opening:

Social responsability

There is only one Brazilian channel on the cable TV here in Vienna. It is not the best one (actually, it’s very very bad), but I was missing listening some Portuguese and tired of listening to news about Syria and Libya all day long. So I watched for a few minutes and saw this part when they help really poor people. There was this lady with four kids and all she wanted was a hot dog kart, so she could stop working as a cleaning lady and start a hot dog business. Not a car, not a house, not a TV set or computer… a hot dog kart. I was astonished. First of all, it was a very smart attitude to ask for something that could give her some profit. Second, I felt really sad about it… really. I think it’s because I realized that some people need so little to be happy, and sometimes I think I could do something to help… but I do nothing. =(
Something’s gotta change.

Male, female or X

I just saw this on the news this morning. I really don’t know what to think about it… On one hand, everyone should have equal rights, this is true. And being harassed while traveling because your passport gender does not match your face must be really annoying. On the other hand, this whole sex changing thing is really creepy for me (call me old-fashioned, I don’t care… I can accept the homosexuals and all, but changing your body seems too much). And besides, I cannot decide which is worse: you see a person whose gender on the passport does not match the appearances (although most of the time you can tell without the need of a document) or you get a passport and the stated gender is X.

Brazilian Music

Today a colleague called me and said he’d show me a “brazilian music” that he found. Why was I not surprised when he showed me this? Damn the stereotypes!!

To avoid any future confusion and to save our music and culture, I made this playlist with some nice Brazilian music and sent to everyone here. I was glad to find that bossa nova is still known outside Brazil =)
I post my favorite one here.

Wine tasting

This weekend I went to a wine tasting event near Vienna, in Pillichsdorf. It’s a nice place. A little village of farmers that grow grapes and make their own wines. Once a year, they make this tasting thing so people can go there and taste their wines and hopefully take a box home. Well, I went there just for the tasting, so by paying 9 euros you get a glass (that I could take home =) and you can go to the booths of every wine cellar and taste their wines. I found out that Austria has very nice white wines, but are not experts in red ones. I really have to start learning how to distinguish the different types…

Here’s a picture of one of the houses:

And here’s a picture from the fields, looking at the houses: