Tuesday, 15 May 2012


Scientific name: Arachis hypogaea L.

The peanut originates in South America. The Portuguese found it already being cultivated in Brazil. Gabriel Soares de Sousa states that «it is something unknown expect in Brazil the (peanut) are produced underground, where they are planted by hand at a plan's breadth distance; they have leaves like those of the Spanish bean, with branches which spread along the ground. Each plant produces a large plateful of peanuts, which grow at the end of the roots and are the size of acorns». 

The Portuguese introduced them to Africa, they were known as a «tiga» in Malinke, which is a corruption of manteiga (butter), because  the oil content of the seeds in higher than that of Vigna subterranea of African origin, already know and cultivated by the Malinke people. Oddly, Friar Cristovão of Lisbon makes mention of the use of peanut in diet of the Maranhão people of Brazil, where it had «the virtue of serving for those with broken legs and arms, breaching the greens systems and placing them to the break, the bone healing very well». It was also introduced to the Orient, although there are no precise records of this. There are those who claim, although without firms basis, that peanut was introduced to Africa by slave traders.


The peanut, as a food crop, did not expand very quickly in the area of Africa. Te reason for this is because the fat content of the seeds of these two plants are noticeably different, and replacing the seeds of the African plant with those of the American one would result in higher levels of fat intake. 

Despite its enormous value as a food plant, the peanut only spread and cultivation only intensified when the seeds became the raw material for extraction oil, consumed on a large scale in industrialized countries in temperate zones. The peanut husks are used to produce flour and groundnut cake with a high protein content, and fibers for textiles. 

Sunday, 22 April 2012

Jack the Ripper.

"One day men will look back and say I gave birth to the twentieth century" - Jack the Ripper (1888)

This is the most fascinating serial-killer of all time, and one of the most mysterious one. You all know those murders occurred in London more than a hundred years ago, but still they remained popular nowadays so my post is about the immortal Jack the Ripper. 

So, why does he remain so popular? 

The Ripper killed 9 women, but there is some controversial in this matter because there were no proves and not enough evidence to accuse him, but there are five women that are accepted as his "work":

Mary Ann Nichols, murdered Friday, August 31, 1888.

Annie Chapman, murdered Saturday, September 8, 1888.

Elizabeth Stride, murdered Sunday, September 30, 1888.

Catherine Eddowes, also murdered in the same date as Elizabeth.

Mary Jane Kelly, murdered Friday, November 9, 1888. 

All of these victims were prostitutes. Some studiers think that his motivations were psychosexual in nature and also because prostitutes were easy to target. We don't know who he was, but surprisingly, nowadays we have a full understandings of hos modus operandi. He stood faced to face with his victims.When they were occupied, he would grab their throat and strangle them until they where knock off and sometimes dead. Then he would cut the throat of his victims when they were on the ground, from their right to the left side of their throat.

He never had sexual intercourse with none of his victims, but he had the pleasure to take a "trophy". He removed the genitals from the victim and then took a piece of their viscera. The incisions were very meticulous and precise, most of the surgeons who were in the case and who examined the victims believed the killer knew what he as doing, and had some kind of knowledge of anatomy of the body.

He was probably the first serial-killer to appear in a big city and the press, reporting his crimes, created the name "Ripper" and his myths. The name appeared on a letter send by someone claiming to be the killer, signing it with "Jack the Ripper". Some people think this was a fake letter but we will never know for sure. He became the "new thing" in that time. People didn't want to know about the conflict between liberals and social reformers, people wanted blood, chaos and something new. Well they had something , terrifying and quite fascinating at the same time.

There were suspects but they were never formally charged because there was no proof, and one day the killings stopped. The reason, we don't know. Some theories say that he continued to kill under a different method, another says he died (natural causes or suicide) and yet another on says that he was caught but it was never made public by the press or the police because it was a powerful man. But one thing remains for sure, we will never know who Jack the Ripper was and that's what keeps the myth and legend alive. 

Thursday, 5 April 2012


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Sunday, 1 April 2012


Scientific name: Cinnamomom verum

Cinnamon is originally from the island of Ceylon, where cultivation was concentrated until the sixteenth century. To corner the cinnamon trade, the Portuguese occupied the island in 1518, after having visited it in 1506 and seen how rich in cinnamon it was. The Dutch occupied the island in 1556, and control of the cinnamon market passed to them. 

It is thought that as early as the sixteenth century the Portuguese had already introduced cinnamon to Brazil, possibly brought by Jesuits. In 1750, Rocha Pitta states that the cinnamon tree arrived «in Brazil by royal order a few years ago», but »they are already so numerous in Brazil that they far outnumber those in Ceylon», from which one can conclude that the plant was already widely distributed. Bernardinho Gomes tells us that many of the cinnamon trees  in Brazil «seem very old, and many undoubtedly date from the days of the Jesuits». There are indications that in 1682, of the cinnamon plants brought from India, «only one survived, at Quinta do Tanque belonging to the fathers of the Companhia de Jesus».

 It was introduced to Java, possibly in 1825. It was introduced once more to Brazil, Angola and São Tomé from Ceylon at the beginning of the eighteenth century, by royal order, and was to be accomplished in the utmost secrecy, owning to the barriers of the Dutch erected to prevent the removal of cinnamon seeds or plants from the island. The aim of introducing thus and other spices into Brazil was to create a Portuguese spice-production zone to replace that which they had lost in the East. 

During my research I found this challenge on the web. The challenge was to swallow a spoon with cinnamon. Well this is kinda funny so It deserves to be here. 

Saturday, 24 March 2012


Scientific name: Camellia sinensis

Tea originated in a vast region of South-East Asia, including China, Japan, Burma, India and other areas. The tea plant and the method of preparing the drink were shrouded in a fair amount of secrecy among Oriental peoples, to such an extent that until the nineteenth century it was thought that black tea and green tea were produced from direct plants.The Portuguese probably first came across the drink in the Canton region, and used the local word (ch'a). 

As is commonly know, tea as a beverage was introduced to the English court by the Portuguese queen D. Catarina de Bragança, daughter of the king João IV, which leads one to believe that it was already known in Portugal at the time, although it was from far widespread. The same cannot be said of the plant and the method of preparing the tea. It would appear, from details dating from the nineteenth century, that at time it was not generally known in Portugal how to prepare the drink. As for the plant, there are records of tea plant's existence in Angra do Heroísmo, in the Azores, at the beginning of that century, and its introduction to Brazil at the beginning of the nineteenth century is confirmed - although the date is open to question - when King João VI travelled to Rio de Janeiro as a result of the French invasions, and received tea plant as a gift from Chinese emperor. 

From Brazil tea then reached the island of São Miguel in Azores, and continental Portugal, where attempts were made to grow it in the north, centre and south. Plants still exist to this day dating from that time, although they are now abandoned, the largest know group being that on Alto do Chá or «Tea Peak», in the Sintra mountains. 

The cultivation of Tea in Africa was set in motion by the English from India. Tea was brought from former Nyassaland (Malawi) to Mozambique in about 1914, and it underwent a certain amount of expansion there. Records exist of the plant being introduced to Angola, but growing never took off. 

Sunday, 4 March 2012

Nice guys finish last?! Really?!

When you think in a title of this post, you think...relationship, love and that stuff. Well, I do it to, but one day I was curious were did this quote come from? And what was the meaning of the quote? Curious thing, this quote came from a baseball manager called Leo Durocher in 1939 and he was talking about the opposing team rather than to male/female relationship dynamics. 

This idea isn't linear but most of the times is right. American biologist, Garret Harding used the quote "nice guys finish last" to prove the existence of a selfish gene concept of life and evolution, saying that the weakest fall, and the strongest live. This idea means that the person that does anything to survive (mostly in the wrong way) wins. Years later Richard Dawkins tried to dispute this idea and wrote The Selfish Gene, but unfortunately he was misinterpreted, confirming "the nice guys finishing last" view. But this is genetics...this is not the love vision. 
So, where did this vision come from? 

On an article in the journal Sex Roles from 1995, written by Stephan Descrochers, he claims that some nice men (sensitive men), don't believe women actually want "nice guys". It all started here. This idea began because of disbelief of man. We created this. Desrochers said "it still seems popular to believe that women in contemporary America prefer men who are sensitive, or have feminine personality traits".  Like I said this isn't a linear idea, because women and men are the same. The "nice guy" has more chances if the other person wants a relationship. It's just a matter of needs and desires. If you like adventure you don't choose a nice guy, you actually choose a jerk because you want the trill of the adventure. Well this is normally the choice of the one night stands. 

Most men are interested in a good relationship. Most of men will never give in the chance to date the woman of theirs dreams. When a man finds this kinda passion immediately thinks "this woman is a keeper. I'm going to treat her right and do all I can to make her happy". And this is the big problem with being the nice guy. You will eventually become the boring, predictable guy. That initial excitement will eventually fade for the woman because she has what she wants and begins to lose interest and before you know it, her eyes start to wander, and you know what's coming next. Nice guys will be left heartbroken and will start to wonder what he did wrong. The answer is: Nothing. This is now a matter of Ying and Yang. As long as nice guys continue to get bumed, there will always be a jerk in the horizon to provide that adventure and excitement for women. And at this moment is when nice guys realize the type of man women like. Complete douchebags. 

If  women want  nice guys, then why is that most of them are single? Why is that we constantly hear situations about women dating big jerks? The fact is that women don't want nice guys. Because women act most of the time on impulse and emotion. So tha's why you need to be a balanced guy instead of a nice guy or a jerk. Balance you attitude, a man has to be able to woo a woman, amuse her and excite her while constiounisle challenging her. 
So be nice to women but not too nice, because nice guys finish last....true story. 

Wednesday, 22 February 2012


Scientific name: Lycopersicon esculentum Mill. 

The origins of the tomato are on the American continent, possibly in places of high altitude, where some wild forms are still to be found. s far as can be ascertained, the Indians did not include tomato in their diet. It is thought that owning to the intense odour of its foliage when touched, the tomato was included among the so-called «devil's herb», which human were forbidden to use. There are indications that the Spaniards brought it to Europe in 1523, and it has been known in Italy since 1544 and in England since 1597.

 It may well first have been grown in Europe as a novelty plant. The forms introduced, at least Italy, had small yellow fruit, from which the plant derives its Italian name, po,odoro or «golden apple». The Europeans improved the tomato, particulary the size of the fruit, and made it more attractive to horticulturists. Gaspar Frutuoso emphasizes the variety of ways in which the tomato was consumed, being «at the same fruit, vegetable and dressing». It is not known exactly when the tomato was first introduced to Portugal.  

What can be concluded is that the plant was widely distributed as a vegetable in Portugal, and Rocha Pitta, referring to the tomato in Brazil, regarded it as a «European vegetable», which leads one to suppose that improved varieties had already returned to America. The tomato was probably introduced to Africa and the Orient by the Portuguese as a «vegetable», possibly from Eurpoe, and subsequently improved, as mentioned above. 

Sunday, 12 February 2012

Romantic Jealousy.

Jealousy, this stupid feeling when "negative thoughts and feelings of insecurity, fear and anxiety over an anticipated loss of something that the person values". We all had some moment in our life's when this feeling reaches its higher levels and it makes you do some crazy stuff (I was going to use other word but a friend of mine told me not to use bad words). 

"According to a study done by the University of Texas at Austin, a specific set of brain circuits guides our emotional reactions to threats in the context of sexual relationships. This emotional-cognitive module, they argue, makes man innately predisposed to jealousy over a mate's sexual infidelity. It makes women innately predisposed to jealousy over a mate's emotional infidelity." So guys and girls have some different triggers, or at least they seem to respond to different motives, but it's just theoretical talk. For me the sexual and emotional part can exist in  both gender.

So this emotion is neither subtle nor kind, but it's kinda complex.It throws the mind into turmoil and is difficult to dislodge. It's hard to keep your mind sharp and to be the most happy person all the time, because this emotion it will be in you brain all the time. Probably will get you crazy, and probably you will treat other people like crap because you are frustrated, and probably you will do something against the guy/girl that are "threaten" you and the person you like. But you can give this emotion a road of success and transforming it in a positive thing  because if you have jealous, it means you like the person and if you change this negative jealous and the other people notice that you will improve yourself. 

I'm a jealous guy, but I'm in that moment that I don't give a f&%$, at least most of the times. This feeling is kinda useless. When you are in a relationship, and you have jealousy of all the guys or girls that give some extra attention to the person who is with you, well you are dumb, because you must trust the person. That's one of the most important thing in a relationship. If the other person do something wrong....well....he/she is not the right person to you and deserves to have an STD. But continuing to my opinion, having romantic jealousy is tough to handle, and it hard to not giving in to bad thoughts but you need to be strong and well try always to be a gentleman.  Because bit&%$ love gentlemen's. 

Saturday, 4 February 2012


Scientific name: Oryza sativa L.

Prior the Portuguese Discoveries, other species of the «rice» already existed in Africa and America, some of which are still grown today, although in limited areas. «Indian rice» came originally from the Orient, where it has been cultivated for thousands of years. Today it is still the staple of many Oriental peoples; for them, rice is the most important cereal, in the same way that wheat is in temperate climates. White or Asian rice was already known in Mediterranean region before the Discoveries. The Santa Cruz Papers states that in Moluccas rice «surge from the hills with no more effort than cleaning the land, sowing and harvesting». 

Valentim Fernandes, writing at the end of the fifth century, notes that on the hillside of Guinea at that time, «rice is twice sown and twice harvested», which would  have been produced using an African species of rice. Pêro Vaz de Caminha, referring to Brazil, also observed that «some of us made for a settlement some three miles from the sea and brought back from there parrots and a root called inhame, which is the bread used there, and some rice». It is thought that rice was bought from Portugal to the islands of Cape Verde, and from there to Brazil, but it may well have come from Orient via Cape Verde. We will never know.


The Portuguese people didn't discover rice, but helped it spread throughout the world.  

Friday, 27 January 2012


You know that feeling when you do a harmful action against a person who did a bad thing against you? It feels good right? Well I really don't know that feeling, for now. I'm not a revengeful guy... 

This desire of revenge, so well demonstrated in novels like The Count of Monte Cristo or plays like Hamlet or Othello, is quite good. It's a moment when your levels of motivation are really high and you just want to do something to the person who harmed you. But some of you might think that revenge isn't an ethical thing, to the people who think like that, you haven't been hurt enough. Revenge it's human nature, if someone punches you in the face your response is to retaliate, it's an instant reaction. So why do we have to control this desire? Really, why? The answer is simple. You don't want to step down your level of superiority. 

This is a polite thought, of course. Revenge is a dirty action. If you want to do this you need to lower yourself. So, In my modest opinion, you should do something against the person who threatens you, or hurt you, but you will want to do it right. I've been bullied when I was young and I didn't do anything back then, and I sincerely regret that. Everyone needs to feel at least once in a life time the sweet flavour of revenge, because I admit it, it tastes really good. At this point you may think, "This dude said he was not a revengeful guy...I think he lied", well, I didn't lied, at least not totally. I like to see myself like Switzerland, I'm there in Europe bit at the same time I'm not. I don't like to get in to trouble, because I'm a lazy bastard and at the same time if I want to do something against another person, I want to do it right (and I remind you, "I'm a lazy bastard").                                         

This random post is to give you my opinion about this subject, and my opinion is, don't take crap from anyone. You may think you are a bar person after you've done something bad to revenge you, but you are just trying to survive. Doing nothing is never an option. You will be sad, anger and you will never be happy if nothing happens to those who hurt you. At this point you are thinking "This dude is a revengeful person and he lied.", well, you are right. Are you going to piss me off?!

Saturday, 14 January 2012


"Friend zone, or occasionally friendship zone, is a dating term describing a relation in which one part wants to become intimate while the other prefer just to be friends", or the quick sand zone as I like to call it. I don't know if one of you has ever been "friendzoned", but if you have, well you know It sucks. 
I have been friendzoned a few times, and you may ask if it bothers me, well it bothers me like hell. It's hard if you like someone and that person just want to be your friend. And now you will get why I like to call it the quick sand zone. You may think, "ok, he/she is my friend, I can still get him/hem". WRONG! You are going to be polite, give all you've got but the other person will always see you as friend, and you are being just an awesome friend and nothing more. The more you do, the more you sink in to the quick sands of the friend zone. So what to do? How to escape this zone?
I really don't now, I f I had the answer I wouldn't  be in a similar situation, but this is how I see the situation. First, there's a big difference between a guys friendzone and a girls friendzone. It's rare to a guy, to just put a girl in that status, but when it happens, the girl is NEVER, I repeat, NEVER, in a total friendzone. She will always be the back up plan (I know guys are assholes). 
When a girl puts a guy in friendzone he will be in the false "relationship". This is a "relationship" when you  do almost everything in a relation, wait...I said almost....you obviously will not kiss and won't have sex, so no intimacy.
The examples I just gave can be changed of course, but friendzone means NO INTIMACY. Unless you are friends with benefits, and that's an awesome status because you have the awesomeness of a friendship and the intimacy of a relationship (if I can't get in to a relationship with the person I know I prefer to be in this place). 
I have a theory about out to get out but it's hard to do when you like the other person. Here's some steps from my theory:

  1. You don't need him/her. Don't be so available. No one is more important than you. 
  2. You find him/her attractive but there's always competition.  Start noticing other people, you are just friends, and noticing other people is a way to say, "ok I'm here for you, but if you don't want me....cya".
  3. You are a sexual/sensual being. Talk about sex. Talk about the things you like in bed, well talk about it like you are talking about the weather. 
  4. You understand the value of sex with connection. Be romantic, everyone likes romantic things even the most cold person you know. 
  5. You are physically affectionate. Make sure to have some physical contact with the person, like hugging and stuff like that. 
  6. Give conflicting messages that hint your desire. Just joke around and say that He/She can't wear that perfume around you....you get my point.
In theory this could work. But like I said, it's hard to do because if you like this person so much you will always go for the road of romantic stuff. Friendzone sucks, but if you can't win it, you just need to give up, and enjoy the friendship you have with this person.

Sunday, 8 January 2012


Scientific name: Ananas commosus

The pineapple originated in the American continent, in part of Central and South America. Wild varieties are still found in North-East Brazil. The Spaniards encountered the pineapple in Central America, and recorded the fact, while the Portuguese found it in Brazil.Undoubtedly, both immediately recognized its excellent qualities and distributed it through the tropics, because the fruit was unable to withstand long journeys to Europe, and consequently it was one of the first tropical fruits to be turned into a conserve, "unlike any other plant in history", according to Pio Correia.

Pineapples were introduced to the island of Santa Helena by the Portuguese in 1505, to Madagascar in 1549, and to India in 1518, "where there are great quantities of them throughout most areas", as Cristóvão Costa stated. Some oriental historians claim that the pineapple already existed in India before the Portuguese arrived, but they do not dispute the fact that was the Portuguese who taught how to use it and introduced better varieties from Brazil.Of the native plants of Brazil, Sebastião da Rocha saw "the pineapple as the foremost which, like the all-powerful king, crowns nature with a diadem of its own leaves, which encircle its head and surrounding it with thorns, which guarded like archers".

The fruit, with its excellent aroma and flavour, and number of medical properties, is consumed raw in the producing regions, and reasonable proportion reaches the markets of temperate regions in good condition, transport having become faster and more efficient, and there having been noticeable improvement in growing techniques and plant selection. Nevertheless, even today over 60% of production is used as industrial raw material (pineapple rings, chunks, juice, etc). In some places even the leaves are used to extract a coarse fibre.

One more sub-chapter in my master degree thesis. Hope you guys like it.