Saturday, 24 December 2011

The Black Keys.

The Black Keys is an American band from Akron, Ohio. Dan Auerbach and Patrck Carney met one day and decided to make music. A friend of theirs who had the habit of calling all he knew "blacks", and they like that name so much, that they decided to make music under the name The Black Keys.

From there, they started very well with the album "The Big Come Up", which was released in 2002. The duo was also compared to the duo The White Stripes, but with a footprint much more psychedelic and lo-fi (low fidelity). In this album they did a cover of a song by The Beatles, "She Said, She Said".

After the first album, not so great but overwhelming, they released their second album "Thickfreakness". This CD reached a higher level in the mainstream indie rock with a psychedelic blues, in the style of Led Zeppelin mixed with White Stripes. One song on "Thickfreakness", "Set you free", entered the film School of Rock starring Jack Black. One of the greatest hits of this album was "Have love will travel", reaching the top charts of indie rock music.
But they rocked even more in the their release, "Rubber Factory", with fast melodies and clean sounds. They were ordered in some of the most popular talk shows in U.S., like the Late Show's with David Letterman. The singles of this album was "10 AM Automatic" and "stack Shot Billy".

After this third album I practically begin to love this band in a level so high that I can't explain. Metallica is my favourite band entered to number one in my favourite band list. The albums "Brothers", and the latest "El Camino" are absolutely perfect. This band it's a real big deal for me, and it's on the list "Bands I want to see before dying". Here's my favourite song,hope you like it as much as I do.

Saturday, 17 December 2011

God is a voyeur and Jesus is a Zombie.

One of the reasons I’m not very attached to this thing called religion and the belief that God exist it’s because it freaks me out a bit the phrase “God is everywhere”.I admit I am bit paranoid, and the idea of being watched 24 hours a day by an entity with a beard, colourful t-shirts, calling for peace (In my head God is a Hippie), makes me very uncomfortable. 

Ok, you can say “but God protects you and look for you”. Right…The thing is, I do not need him to watch over me while I’m in the bathroom, or while I’m dressing up or even when I’m running around the house naked screaming “THIS IS SPARTA!!!”. Is he looking in those moments? 
The bible says that God create the universe in 7 days, but what about evolution, the big bang theory (I love you Sheldon) and a bunch of other theory's that totally destroys the bible? What about the dinosaurs? If Jesus was riding a velociraptor fighting the Romans, I admit, I would probably be a Christian, but let's face it, we all now that the bible is just a book and God doesn't exist. Look at the world, there are wars, natural disasters, diseases, etc, a bunch of bad things made by man and there is no sing of God to stop it. Ok. He is not a super hero, but give me a break, if he loves the humankind, he probably needs to do something now. In my opinion, He is a bad man. The flood in a bible is an example. He wiped the human race from the Earth, only Noah and his family escaped, talking about overeating. I tough the Devil was the bad guy here. Really I did. But God punishes and needs 24 hours he a woman?! At least I know woman exist, and I like them very much.

But I have to admit it, Christians are cool. Why you may ask? How can I say, people that believe in something I don't are cool? It's quite simple. Think with me. Jesus died and came to life 3 days after his death...I know what you are thinking he is a ZOMBIE! Zombies are cool, and I like zombies a lot. Imagine. People worshipping a zombie. How cool is that?

I could continue talking trash about religion, God and Jesus but I will continue in another future post. Believe me I have much more things to say.

Saturday, 10 December 2011

Deadly Coincidence

In 1975, while riding a moped on the island of Bermuda, a man was accidentally struck and killed by a taxi.
One year later, this man's brother was killed in the very same ways.
It was found that he was, in fact, riding the very same moped. To make this coincidence even more difficult to believe, he was struck by the very same taxi driven who, wait for it, was even carrying the very same passenger.The odds of this thing to happen are very low...really very low.
 The taxi driver sure thought "Ohhh not this again?!".

Another similar story is about some Finnish twins with 71 years old that where killed in an identical bicycle accident, on the same road and just two hours apart. When talking to the police officer Marja-Leena Huhtala, she said "This is simply a historic coincidence. Although the road is a busy one, accidents don't occur every day". She also said "It made my hair stand on end when I heard the two  were brothers, and identical twins at that. It came to mind that perhaps someone from upstairs had a thing to say".

Well, I believe in coincidences and I really don't believe in God, so I think this stories  are an example of the weird stuff that happen in the world. blaming God for this, it's just insulting him because if you do this, you are telling everyone that he is a "bad guy" and last time I checked...the devil was the bad guy.


Friday, 2 December 2011

The Botanical Garden of the University of Coimbra.

My new post is about the place where I'm going to do my internship, for my master degree thesis. This place is the Botanical Garden of the University of Coimbra, one of the oldest and most beautiful botanical gardens in Europe, known worldwide for its extraordinary biodiversity, beautiful scenery and historical architecture.

 This place was created during the Pomabline reform of the university and reflects the enlightened spirit of the XVIII century: It's purpose was to create a place for experimental studies on natural history and medicine.
The Marquis of Pombal ordered the director of the University to find an "appropriate place in the neighbourhood of the University", called the Ursulinas Valley.
A location  was soon found at the farm of the Benedictine College wich would later become the Hortus Botanicus. 

A first proposal was presented, probably by Elsden which it was an extraordinary masterpiece. But the project was considered "extravagant and an example of ostentation" and it was rejected by Pombal whose goal was a "boys study garden". This garden would include "only the number of medicinal herbs considered as indispensable for botany exercises".
A new sketch was submitted, probably by the Italian Guilio Mattiazzi, the first gardener of the Botanical Garden.
Although simpler than the first, the two blueprints were similar: a design of a circle of flowerbeds, around the central square, divided into four beds, with fountains and sculptures, terraces, staircases and iron railings according to the Italian design of the Botanical Garden of Padua. In January of 1774 the University became the of the garden.

The work began without delay and was, supervised by the great naturalist and resercher Domenico Vandelli.
The first plants came from the Royal Garden of Ajuda, in Lisbon. And a little later, new and unique species arrived from other continents. Many of them were sent by another naturalist, Alexandre Rodrigues Ferreira, who was collecting plants and species from Brazil, during his "Philosophical Journey to Amazonia". 
A small greenhouse was built in 1776, and another larger one in 1785.
In 1791, Felix Avelar Brotero replaced Vandelli as the scientific director of the garden, and created the Systematic Schools where a diverse collection of the native Portuguese and exotic plants could be observed and studied by the students. Species from all over the world were cultivated in the greenhouses and terraces in the garden. It was taking roots.

Visiting this place can be like traveling around the globe - the collections of plants that fill every corner can transport us to different latitudes and regions. In the Central Square, the oldest part of the garden, we can find trees dating from the foundation of the garden, namely Erythrina crista-galli, whose leaves have a substance -  the eritrina - with similar action to the poison curare. Native South Americans had a habit of putting leaves of this plant on the tips of their hunting arrows.
There are many trees of exceptional size, such as the giant sequoias from California or the palms from Brazil and China, but the most tall tree in the garden is a big eucalyptus, with 50 meters.
There are two relic species that are considered living fossils at the main entrance: the Ginkgo Biloba, originally from China (that is used for therapeutic application for peripheral and cerebral micro-circulation) and the tulip tree, Liriodendron tulipifera L., that blossoms in June, the traditional month of final exams ("pontos") of the University and, for that very reason, is known as the "'arvore-do-ponto" ("exams tree").

Today, as in the past, the botanical garden is a place of tranquillity, enjoyment, discovery and knowledge, and I hope to be blessed by this place for my master degree thesis.