Posts Tagged ‘news’

Crônicas do Brasil: The “Real” Deal

Thursday, August 18th, 2011

Downtown São Paulo.

Tudo bem, Stanford? I write to you from Brazil, where I have spent the past seven weeks working for a commercial real estate company in São Paulo.

Before the Brazilian winter ends, I intend to write a couple posts about my observations and experiences here. The first will give some timely updates on the state of Brazil’s economy, with a focus on what I have noticed in person. In a later post or multiple posts, I shall address Brazilian culture, the Portuguese language, and some overall takeaways from my time in Sampa. All questions and comments are welcome.

Robust Economy

São Paulo (SP) is unquestionably booming. Lots of construction–particularly of high-rises and large shopping malls–and a flourishing nightlife indicate the city’s increasing wealth. SP is a car-centric city; even the poorest households in the C segment favelas will have a car. Every gas station provides ethanol. As in the U.S., credit cards are accepted at almost every place where you could conceivably spend money, except at some cheaper restaurants. Unlike the U.S., nearly every card transaction is conducted with a portable point-of-sale, separate from a computer or centralized system, which frequently makes the transactions faster.

Furthermore, Brazil’s unemployment rate just went from 6.4% to 6.2%. Residents of SP work as hard and long as New Yorkers, and they have a strong sense of national pride and Brazil’s increasing importance in the world.  (more…)

A Final Plea for Sudan

Saturday, January 8th, 2011

Tensions run high in the southern regions of Sudan

Sudan is less than 48 hours from a historic precipice.  Depending on whether the Southern Sudan referendum passes on January 9th, Sudan will either descend into renewed anarchy or emerge triumphant with the hope and promise of a more peaceful future.

As you may remember from my earlier article when George Clooney and John Prendergast visited Stanford, the current referendum in Sudan proposes the splitting of Sudan with the hopes of preventing future religiously and economically motivated violence.  With very high stakes in the form of oil-rich regions, this option is one of the few viable solutions for finally obtaining peace in the tumultuous Darfur region.  In a frantic, last-minute push, Prendergast and Clooney have returned to Sudan to implore the Sudanese government to seriously consider the referendum and begin taking the necessary steps to protect all Sudanese people.

Supporters of secession

If you’re writing the Sudan issue off as another distant tremor in war-torn Africa, please think again.  Consider for a moment the movie Hotel Rwanda.  Just a decade ago, during our lifetimes, genocide in Rwanda led to the death of 800,000 citizens.  Not combatants.  Not soldiers.  Men, women, and children who were raped, shot, and slaughtered by machete.  In Sudan, we have a new Hotel Rwanda waiting to happen.  The very thought that something like that could happen under our watch is truly bone-chilling.

Our generation can do better.  Our generation can stop genocide before it begins.

The clock is ticking, but the battle’s not over yet.  If you care about the people of Sudan, if you empathize with the thousands of displaced refugees and heartbroken widows this conflict has produced, please consider doing the following to make your voice heard:

  • Sign a petition at sudanactionnow.org:  ask Deputy National Security Advisor Denis McDonough (Obama’s point person inside the White House on Sudan) to “make sure Sudan’s leaders fully comply with the benchmarks for progress in both Darfur and South Sudan before any incentives are granted by the U.S. Government.”
  • Write a personal letter to Obama himself:  ask him to remember the January deadline.
  • Join STAND, Amnesty International, or any of Stanford’s other anti-genocide groups on campus.

Stanford Bowl chances: where to read

Sunday, November 28th, 2010

After Stanford got a huge win against Oregon State yesterday, speculation is abound about what will happen next. Is Stanford going to make it to a BCS bowl? The AP poll pushed us up to 5th after LSU and Boise State lost, which might just be enough love from the human polls to get us to 4th and an automatic berth for a BCS bowl. But all of this is just me covering other people’s coverage and reporting, which are just as available to you. Here are the blogs and publications that I have been reading this season and will be following closely over the next few hours.

  • The Daily Axe. Their editor, Willys, has posted a few times for TUSB, and they’ve been following Stanford football all season
  • Go Mighty Card. A Stanford football blog
  • Rule of Tree. Another great Stanford sports blog. They already have some discussion up about bowl possibilities
  • PAC-10 Blog from ESPN. Ted Miller’s job is cover the PAC-10, and he loves Stanford football. Expect more of the hyperbole and optimism you get from other Stanford news sources. Brad Edwards also has a video outlining the situation pretty clearly
  • Stanford Daily. An article early yesterday outlined the bowl situation before our game. Considering that the Arkansas-LSU upset fell our way, it’s pretty convincing
  • BCS. Even with all the speculation, they really get to make the decisions. Keep an eye out for new rankings around 5PM west coast time
  • CBS bowl predictions. Between this and the Daily article, it sounds like they mostly have things figured out
  • College Hotline. Your college sports blog from the Mercury News. Predictions and an explanation already up. Articles about Stanford sports also available here
  • College sports from the SF Chronicle.
  • The Bootleg on Stanford sports
  • The Cardboard, a forum for Stanford fans