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PP-PDR-BR1

Constellation L-049 da Panair do Brasil, estacionado no Aeroporto Santos Dumont, RJ

Na longínqua data de 3 de abril de 1946, a aeronave mostrada na foto, código PP-PCF e batizada como “Bandeirante Manuel de Borba Gato”, inaugurou a rota aérea transoceânica entre o Brasil e a Europa, partindo de Recife, com escalas em Dakar, Lisboa, Paris e Londres.

O Constellation, encomendado por Howard Hughes à Lockheed para a sua empresa aérea (TWA),  se transformou no avião preferencial de passageiros no pós-guerra, sendo capaz de transportar 40 passageiros a uma velocidade de cruzeiro de 483 km/h e uma altitude de serviço de 7,315 m.

Seus propulsores, que eram motores a explosão e não turbinas a jato, não eram muito confiáveis, motivo pelo qual o Constellation era carinhosamente apelidado pelo pessoal do ofício de “o melhor trimotor do mundo”.

Bem, esse avião voava exatamente sobre o trecho entre o Brasil e a África onde o AF 447 acidentou-se.  Isso há mais de 60 anos atrás, em condições tecnológicas bem menos favoráveis do que as de hoje.

Então essa é a minha contribuição, após uma série de posts reconhecidamente preocupantes, à discussão sobre o transporte aeronáutico: se o pessoal viajava nessa heróica lata, você, meu caro, não precisa ficar tão nervoso assim quando precisar ir à Europa.

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botton-sarney

O que verdadeiramente me espanta nessa história toda é o seguinte: a família Sarney é dona de metade do Maranhão e a esta altura deve ter também metade do Amapá.  Como é possível que o patriarca tenha se arriscado a se queimar tanto por conta de 4 mil e poucos reais para a filha do cunhado?   Isso me parece ser fruto de uma mentalidade que realmente não consegue enxergar a menor diferença entre o público e o privado.  Exceto, é claro, quando se trata de defender o privado:

FOLHA – Como o sr. avalia a onda de escândalos envolvendo o Senado e o sr.?
JOSÉ SARNEY
– A vida sempre me reservou desafios. A crise da democracia representativa está atingindo todos os Parlamentos no mundo inteiro.”

Abaixo, a patética entrevista de Sarney na Folha de hoje.

Continue lendo »

Fantástico:

When reports started to trickle in a few years ago about European blackbirds imitating ambulance sirens, car alarms, and cell phone ringtones, researchers were skeptical, writes Dawn Stover, an editor at large for Popular Science magazine. Doubting scientists asked for tapes. What came back were “pitch-perfect” renditions of urban noises, even a recording made near a golf course of birds copying the annoying sound of a golf cart backing up.”

Continua aqui.

Entrevista com Ben Simpendorfer, um especialista em relações sino-árabes, na New Yorker:

Is this the first time they’ve come in large numbers or is there an ancient precedent?

Arabs have been visiting China since at least 600 CE. The majority arrived along the Silk Road, one of the world’s historic trade routes. However, trade along the Silk Road dried up after the sixteen-hundreds, in part because the ruling Ming Dynasty turned inwards and attempted to assimilate Arab traders with the local population. (Their descendents are still living in China). And arrivals along the Silk Road soon turned into a trickle. This is what makes today’s events so remarkable. I mean, the sheer number of Arabs travelling to China is something we haven’t seen for over four hundred years. And, for the romantics of the world, the resurrection of the Silk Road is a more attractive side of globalization than is the inexorable spread of box-like Wal-Marts or Carrefours.

Why are they coming?

The Arabs are hungry for “Made in China” goods. Households in Dubai and Riyadh have money to spend as a result of the rise in oil prices. But Chinese goods are also priced right for poorer households in Cairo and Damascus. I’ve been shopping for digital cameras with Arab friends and I can’t explain their delight at being able to afford something once considered a luxury. But cheap goods are only part of the story. Visas are also important. It is difficult for Arab traders to visit Europe or the United States ever since the events of 2001. Their visa applications are either denied or take weeks to process. But they can typically turn up at their local Chinese embassy and receive a visa in a day or less. It’s one of the great untold stories of the global economy. We’re so used to buying our goods from big multinationals like Wal-Mart that it’s easy to forget that its small-trade traders, buying for their own stalls, who drive trade in the developing world.

Daqui, via esta discussão:

The Intrinsic Goods of Childhood

I’m interested in children’s rights but also more generally in the relationship between rights and value. Many, or most, children’s rights are justified in terms of the adult persons that the children may become and the goods those adults lives may contain. Perhaps the most famous paper on children’s rights, “A Child’s Right to an Open Future,” makes this explicitly clear. Our focus on children is largely future directed. For the most part, I think this makes sense. But I also think there is a danger in focusing too much on the future and neglecting the goods of childhood. This is especially true if some of the goods of childhood are valuable in their own right, and even more so if some of those goods are incommensurable with the goods of adult life. (Michael Slote makes this point but doesn’t develop it much further.) Suppose, for example, there is no amount of good in the future that could outweigh a childhood of suffering and misery. Let me give two examples to illustrate this point. Both are areas in applied ethics where this point makes a difference.

First, the literature on a child’s right to good sex education is entirely adult-directed. Sex education for children is justified entirely in terms of producing mature and competent adult sexual decision makers. There is little or no recognition of the positive role sex plays in the lives of teenagers. We focus on protecting children from adults and on the adult choosers they’ll become but largely ignore the positive aspects of teen sexuality. The dangers here should be obvious. The most important strategic consideration is having one’s educational materials dismissed as largely irrelevant. We also fail children if we cannot provide them with the information they need. For philosophers, we also get it wrong if we neglect those aspects of the good life that occur before adult life begins.

Second, the literature on children and sport likewise focuses on adults. And this cuts both ways. Sometimes an appeal to a balanced childhood is justified in terms of maximizing choices for adult life. This is a common argument against children’s involvement in one sport in a serious way. At other times the appeal to the adult athlete the child could become were her potentially fully developed is used to argue for children’s participation is seriously demanding sports. Both arguments have in common that they ignore the goods that occur within childhood.

***

Na medida em que me preparo para ser pai (calma, calma, é um projeto, não tem nada no forno 🙂  ), puericultura (lato sensu) é um tema que anda me interessando.   Mas é claro que eu sou um engenheiro, e é claro que com isso vem um ônus: realmente eu penso em termos de “futuro” _ que escola vai ser melhor, etc.  Mas esse texto aí me fez pensar que é preciso, também, evitar os perigos de um excesso de utilitarismo nessa matéria.

O que pensam os Srs. (e Sras.) leitores?

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