Older blog entries for jvic (starting at number 19)

Los Hermanos does it again

I've just got the new Los Hermanos album, "4". Now there is no doubt, they really are the best rock/indie band in the world currently (in my not so humble opinion).

This album once again goes a new, bold, unexpected, direction. It opens with the song "Dois Barcos", which is definitely their most elaborated song ever. A work of art. Every instrument, every note, sounds like it was very carefully thought and put in its place... everything in its right place. The lyrics uses a trick of writing senteces in a "backward" fashion (like our national anthem does), which just makes it sound even more complex and interesting. Just put on your headphones and listen to this song, it'll make you shiver.

You'll get some latin music in "Paquetá", and rough 70's in "Os Pássaros" -- amazing songs by Amarante! The hit "O Vento" will make you feel like dancing on your own all night along, sticking in your head for days, even though the song doesn't even have a chorus. (By the way, is it just me or there is a little bit of Legião Urbana in this song?)

What else? There's a beautiful bossa nova in "Sapato Novo", great indie rock in "Condicional", melancholy in "Pois É"... yes, this album has it all. Great great music folks!

BTW, i went to their concert last weekend. Was great except for the fact my cell phone got robbed... anyways.

Totally Gridbag

Yup, doing some GridBag code can be so much fun. Thank god we've got JGoodies, and now Matisse.

More about Spanish

Folha Online disagrees with the about-to-be-approved decision of giving Spanish a higher priority than English in brazilian schools. According to them, this is just silly "Che Guevarism". I had just written something about it a while ago.

They say this is a mistake because english is the "universal language", it's the language used in all business negotiations, artistic discussions, etc. I can't say i disagree with that, but the author completely forgets the reality about our schools and english teaching in our schools, which i talked about in my previous post. You may say "you should then fix that problem in our schools"; and i'd say: yeah, maybe in 50 years we can change our school system.

He also mentions that spanish is so close to portuguese, it's almost useless learning it. In my previous post i expressed the opinion that that's actually a good thing, not a bad one; and, i'd like to add i wholeheartedly disagree the 2 languages are that close. His opinion is that you can read anything in spanish just knowing portuguese. Yeah. You may read 2 or 3 sentences in some outdoor or something, now, try reading something uselful, like a book in spanish and see how far you go.

And to finish this post, i needless to express how i think we should embrace our latin culture and get closer to our latin american fellows (call it Che Guevarism or anything you want, i don't care), something Brazil has always failed in doing it. (PS: Why is it that the big media here is always, always, so pro-americanization of everything? Geesh).

Sshhhhhhh!

So the new Harry Potter book has leaked in Canada and they've got a court injunction barring buyers of the book from disclosing the plot. WTF?? Is such a thing possible by law? I mean, the buyers didn't sign any contract when they bought it, right?

It's not that i'm saying what the bookstore did is right... but... it is a "funny" situation, to say the least.

8 Jul 2005 (updated 8 Jul 2005 at 16:49 UTC) »
Hola, hermanos!

I've just read a news that it's about to be approved a law that will make Spanish classes obligatory in every brazilian school. About time!

The funny thing is, i was actually talking about this very subject just last week with my girlfriend. I was telling her i feel like i need to learn spanish (haven't started taking classes yet), and how odd it is that we don't learn spanish at school. I mean, just look around. We're completely surrounded by spanish-speaking countries in Latin America, i feel ashamed i don't know spanish.

There's also another reason why i believe we should have spanish classes at school. And that is: english classes simply don't work at our schools, IMHO. If you wanna learn english, you better take private classes, at english courses. At school you'll just learn how to say "hello", "good morning", which ain't gonna be useful for nobody, really.

But why doesn't it work? I think it's mainly for 3 reasons:

  • English is way too different from our native-language (portuguese), and that itself is a huge barrier for many students;
  • Our school classes are too crowded, which makes it a mess for teaching english (too many uninterested students won't let the interested ones learn anything), which gets even worse because of the 1st point;
  • Sometimes the teacher isn't good enough (specially at public schools).

I don't know about point 3, but i definitely think points 1 and 2 would be a lot different were it spanish classes instead of english ones.

Now, i don't mean to say we shouldn't learn english; but i'd rather have our students speaking well portuguese and spanish, than speaking portuguese and barely speaking english.

11 Jun 2005 (updated 12 Jun 2005 at 02:15 UTC) »

Java2D with Cairo

Sven just showed me this demo he made of Classpath's Java2D using Cairo as a backend. Swing, here we come.

3 Jun 2005 (updated 3 Jun 2005 at 18:01 UTC) »
Getting a feeling of FISL

If you're one of us who couldn't make it to FISL -- where Mark, Dalibor, and other Classpath hackers are right now -- you can still see it through the TV SoftwareLivre. Today they've put more bandwidth, and the stream is really nice: i've been watching for almost an hour now (Marcelo Branco is talking right now, BTW), without interruptions!

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