sábado, dezembro 29

Os coelhos e a cajadada...

A nomeação do novo presidente do conselho administrativo da Caixa Geral de Depósitos (CGD) tornou-se uma questão política, quando deveria ser uma questão técnica. As ridículas declarações e birras do líder do PSD (exigindo que o novo presidente fosse do PSD) foram o mote para tal polémica dispensável...
O Governo tomou uma decisão de mestre: nomeando Faria de Oliveira, uma figura muito próxima do Presidente da República (e não da liderança laranja!), Sócrates mata dois coelhos com uma só cajadada: agrada de sobremaneira a Cavaco e provoca de uma maneira subtil mas dolorosa a Meneses!

quinta-feira, dezembro 27

O assassinato de uma esperança...

A ex-primeira-ministra e dirigente da oposição paquistanesa Benazir Bhutto morreui hoje num atentado-suicida contra um seu comício em Rawalpindi que matou pelo menos 20 pessoas, indicou uma fonte do seu partido.

A história de Benazir Bhutto dava realmente um filme e pode ser consultado um breve resumo aqui, num bom trabalho da SIC Notícias.
A CNN avança desde já com o envolvimento directo da Al-Quaeda neste ataque suicida, mas ainda carece de confirmação; a ser verdade, prova-se uma vez mais os poderosos tentáculos desta organização, uma autêntica nação-pária que ninguém consegue controlar, orquestrando um reino de terror no mundo inteiro.
De qualquer forma e independentemente do autor de tal acto, a verdade é que este atentado é uma autêntica machada no processo de renovação ideológica, económica e social que Benazir Bhutto (justamente ou injustamente!) simbolizava. Regressou ao seu país natal em Outubro numa espécie de "acordo de cavalheiros" com Musharraf, mas a sua popularidade ameaçou sempre o regime militar e ditatorial do actual presidente do Paquistão, o que leva a pensar que Musharraf deve ter suspirado de alívio com este desaparecimento; tal como os grupos mais extremistas e de fanatismo religioso do Paquistão... no fundo, foram sempre estes grupos que mais queriam ver a cabeça de Bhutto rolar, perpetuando, assim, o conservadorismo secular naquele país!
Apesar da figura tremendamente polémica, fruto da sua governação no passado e a sua coragem no passado muito recente, o Paquistão perde-se, de novo, no meio deste turbilhão.... mas não deixa de ser um novo aviso para o Ocidente!

E, em apenas 1 minuto...

define-se a melhor prenda de 2007...


Picture of the Year

The volcanic cone of Santa Maria pierces
the clouds in the western highlands of Guatemala.

quarta-feira, dezembro 26

Ano novo, 2 prendas...

Para entrar no novo ano com imenso bom gosto...


quarta-feira, dezembro 19

Lamentos de final de ano...

Confessa-nos o John Brockman, uma das dinâmicas e provadoras mentes do nosso tempo:

Given the well-documented challenges and issues we are facing as a nation, as a culture, how can it be that there are no science books (and hardly any books on ideas) on the New York Times 100 Notable Books of the Year list; no science category in the Economist Books of the Year 2007; only Oliver Sacks in the New Yorker's list of Books From Our Pages?
Instead of having science and technology at the center of the intellectual world—of having a unity in which scholarship includes science and technology along with literature and art—the official culture has kicked them out. Science and technology appear as some sort of technical special product. Elite universities have nudged science out of the liberal arts undergraduate curriculum—and out of the minds of many young people, who, arriving at their desks at the establishment media, have so marginalized themselves that they are no longer within shouting distance of the action. Clueless, they don't even know that they don't know.

Como te compreendo, meu amigo .... como te compreendo ...

quinta-feira, dezembro 13

Homenagem a um sonhador!

No próximo dia 16, Sir Arthur C. Clarke faz 90 anos.
São centenas as peças de arte do futuro que ACC emprestou à nossa imaginação, provocando-a, soltando-a; inspirou futuros cientistas, engenheiros, vários mundos... os de "lá de fora", os de "cá de dentro", o cinema...
O Homem foi mais feliz e deu passos muito mais longos na sua evolução quando se deixou guiar pelas estrelas... a História prova-nos isso! E, nessa viagem, ACC foi e continua a ser um distinto comandante!
Partilho, com todos vós, a mensagem que ele nos deixa neste seu 90º aniversário!

Hello! This is Arthur Clarke, speaking to you from my home in Colombo, Sri Lanka.

As I approach my 90th birthday, my friends are asking how it feels like, to have completed 90 orbits around the Sun.

Well, I actually don't feel a day older than 89!

Of course, some things remind me that I have indeed qualified as a senior citizen. As Bob Hope once said: "You know you're getting old, when the candles cost more than the cake!"

I'm now perfectly happy to step aside and watch how things evolve. But there's also a sad side to living so long: most of my contemporaries and old friends have already departed. However, they have left behind many fond memories, for me to recall.

I now spend a good part of my day dreaming of times past, present and future. As I try to survive on 15 hours' sleep a day, I have plenty of time to enjoy vivid dreams. Being completely wheel-chaired doesn't stop my mind from roaming the universe - on the contrary!

In my time I've been very fortunate to see many of my dreams come true! Growing up in the 1920s and 1930s, I never expected to see so much happen in the span of a few decades. We 'space cadets' of the British Interplanetary Society spent all our spare time discussing space travel - but we didn't imagine that it lay in our own near future...

I still can't quite believe that we've just marked the 50th anniversary of the Space Age! We've accomplished a great deal in that time, but the 'Golden Age of Space' is only just beginning. After half a century of government-sponsored efforts, we are now witnessing the emergence of commercial space flight. Over the next 50 years, thousands of people will travel to Earth orbit - and then, to the Moon and beyond. Space travel - and space tourism - will one day become almost as commonplace as flying to exotic destinations on our own planet.

Things are also changing rapidly in many other areas of science and technology. To give just one example, the world's mobile phone coverage recently passed 50 per cent -- or 3.3 billion subscriptions. This was achieved in just a little over a quarter century since the first cellular network was set up. The mobile phone has revolutionized human communications, and is turning humanity into an endlessly chattering global family!

What does this mean for us as a species?

Communication technologies are necessary, but not sufficient, for us humans to get along with each other. This is why we still have many disputes and conflicts in the world. Technology tools help us to gather and disseminate information, but we also need qualities like tolerance and compassion to achieve greater understanding between peoples and nations.

I have great faith in optimism as a guiding principle, if only because it offers us the opportunity of creating a self-fulfilling prophecy. So I hope we've learnt something from the most barbaric century in history - the 20th. I would like to see us overcome our tribal divisions and begin to think and act as if we were one family. That would be real globalisation...

As I complete 90 orbits, I have no regrets and no more personal ambitions. But if I may be allowed just three wishes, they would be these.

Firstly, I would like to see some evidence of extra-terrestrial life. I have always believed that we are not alone in the universe. But we are still waiting for ETs to call us - or give us some kind of a sign. We have no way of guessing when this might happen - I hope sooner rather than later!

Secondly, I would like to see us kick our current addiction to oil, and adopt clean energy sources. For over a decade, I've been monitoring various new energy experiments, but they have yet to produce commercial scale results. Climate change has now added a new sense of urgency. Our civilisation depends on energy, but we can't allow oil and coal to slowly bake our planet...

The third wish is one closer to home. I've been living in Sri Lanka for 50 years - and half that time, I've been a sad witness to the bitter conflict that divides my adopted country. I dearly wish to see lasting peace established in Sri Lanka as soon as possible. But I'm aware that peace cannot just be wished -- it requires a great deal of hard work, courage and persistence.

* * * * *

I'm sometimes asked how I would like to be remembered. I've had a diverse career as a writer, underwater explorer, space promoter and science populariser. Of all these, I want to be remembered most as a writer - one who entertained readers, and, hopefully, stretched their imagination as well.

I find that another English writer -- who, coincidentally, also spent most of his life in the East -- has expressed it very well. So let me end with these words of Rudyard Kipling:

If I have given you delight
by aught that I have done.
Let me lie quiet in that night
which shall be yours anon;

And for the little, little span
the dead are borne in mind,
seek not to question other than,
the books I leave behind.

This is Arthur Clarke, saying Thank You and Goodbye from Colombo!


Powered by Blogger