Friday, April 21, 2006

Celebrating Brazil's self sufficiency in oil

In this day I celebrate a great feat that has deeper meanings than what the title mentioned. Yes, right now with the barrel of oil skyrocketing, it is important to say that you have reached a point where you don't really care about international prices. But what else does it mean?

I am no economist or even living in Brazil to present an in-depth analysis of this. But I can certainly make some observations: Brazil is about number 12 in oil consumption [source] and number 9 in GDP [source]. Quite close, but as it happens with all this distributions, the power law tends to hide the importance of it. Take Russia as an extreme exemple: the GDP is pretty much the same ($1.5 trillion with purchasing power parity), while the oil consumption is 50% higher!

The important thing to take away from this is where your energy comes from. The whole ethanol push that Brazil has undergone might not have been as important as some people have claimed, but it was surely a good part of it.

Anyway, I'll stop here as most probably I've already gone far away from my domain of knowledge and will end up just embarrassing myself. With oil prices still going up and strong, it is an important thing to know... Or maybe you should just ignore it all and start walking.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

And streams of time flow

Sometimes it is hard not to look back and realize the time that has gone by and wonder if you've used it well. This happens in all dimensions: personally, professionally, globally. You look at the things you have done, the things that define what you are right now and just wonder: have I traveled the right way? Have I traveled at all?

It has been tough to get a closure on this. Sometimes it feels like I'm not really doing anything; that I'm fooling myself and letting time just flow by. On other cases, I feel like it is just taking me downstream to a large clearing, I just have to pass through a few turns and everything will be easily visible.

It's interesting how it is easy to lose readers with only a couple of paragraphs. So for the people that are still reading, people that think that can extract some of the hidden meaning behind what is written here, I'll stop. There is no benefit in dwelling on things that are and just dreaming of what might one day be. Today I'm a little depressed, but the reason is not really something I can write down here. It's certainly temporary, but not isolated. It seeps into the future as well as illumine the past.

Alright. Writing too much, time to change topic. Time to go techie.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

And the experiment began

Remember some time ago I mentioned Kevin Kelly's interview where he mentioned that in the future scientific articles will be done "wiki style"? Well, it seems like it had already started:

QEDen - a collaborative site to solve the Millenium Problems that are worth 1 million dollars each. It would be quite a feat if it works and I'll bow my head to Mr. KK for his vision.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Even if I haven't been blogging much lately, I have to blog this:

The Time Is 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

Ingenious observation! I think I'll stay up just to enjoy the moment! Of course that my headache might change the plans, but we'll see.

Besides this strange fact, not much to talk about. Daylight savings time is here and everything is so bright until so late... It's weird! And it will only get worse. At the height of summer here, the sunset is at about 10 pm.

I've been busy, trying to reorganize my life here and put some things behind me, but I haven't been able to complete the whole operation yet. There are some things that I just can't find energy to finish, like my father's project. I start working on it and when I see, I'm reading about JDM (Java Data Mining), Barnes & Noble's rejection of Sony's eBook reader (something that it looks like Amazon and Borders are hoping that will get some more traction on the books business), reading how people can waste time and not really realize it (not really reading it, just realizing it).

Anyway, I've been tired and a little stressed. This last weekend was just something to increase in my level of stress instead of relaxing. On Saturday I spent a lot of time digging out ivy at Golden Gardens Park. Then the rest of the day I did laundry and tried to relax a little. It was quite tiring! Then on Sunday I had two choir "pre-concerts". We went to a library and then a bookstore to advertise about the choir and our upcoming concert. I thought it was quite a waste of time. Surely there were people there, but I don't think there were enought people to really make a difference.

The choir I used to sing with in Brazil had a lot of those events. Singing in short events just to see if people would care enough about the choir. And it never really worked. In many times it seemed like we were not really welcome there. The conductor's theory that it also helped for us to get used to presenting had some merit. But after some time it made no difference at all. The current choir I'm singing, people have years of singing experience. I don't think they need to worry about "how to present". But, hey, who am I to say anything, anyway?

Alright. Time to move onto something else. Maybe I'll get some work done finally...