September 11, 2014
The Associated Press - CBS News, 09/11/2014
Kids streaking back and forth on a soccer field in scorching tropical heat promises to produce something more than buckets of sweat.
Billed as Brazil’s first player-powered soccer pitch, a field inaugurated Wednesday in a Rio de Janeiro slum harnesses the kinetic energy of players’ movements to provide nighttime illumination. Soccer legend Pele was on hand for the pomp-filled event in the Morro da Mineira slum, which saw a local youth team put the system to the test.
Under the project, sponsored by Royal Dutch Shell, around 200 energy-capturing tiles developed by British startup Pavegen were installed the width and breadth of the field and covered by a layer of AstroTurf. Working in conjunction with solar panels also installed around the field, the player-powered tiles feed electricity to a system of floodlights overhead.
September 10, 2014
Secretariat for Social Communication of the Presidency of Brazil (SECOM), 09/10/2014
Also announced at this year’s Congress, in 2018 Brazil will become the first Latin American nation to host the Congress, which will bring some 4,500 researchers from around the world to Rio de Janeiro, again highlighting Brazil’s commitment to investing in global human capital.
In addition to Mr. Artur Ávila (a 35-year old Brazilian mathematician who was awarded the prestigious Fields Medal at the International Congress of Mathematicians (the Congress) in Seoul, South Korea), four Brazilians were invited to lecture at this year’s Congress in Seoul, also all from the IMPA: Fernando Codá, Carlos Gustavo Moreira, Mikhail Belolipetsky and Vladas Sidoravicius.
The IMPA has built a global reputation for supporting ground-breaking research, often in partnerships with other leading institutions around the world, as well as for educational activities to assist the development of young Brazilians across the country. For example, the IMPA supports Brazil’s Olympic Mathematics Program – a national competition involving 190,000 students, as well as teachers from 5,300 schools and 155 graduate courses across Brazil. Mr. Ávila is just one example of a former Mathematics Olympian who has gone on to achieve global breakthroughs in his field.
September 4, 2014
Jenny Barchfield – Associated Press, 09/04/2014
Thirty years ago, poor Brazilian women were paid for their breast milk, leaving their children at risk of malnourishment. Equipment at the few milk collection centers was so costly it limited the country’s ability to expand the program’s reach.
That has changed dramatically, thanks in part to Joao Arigio Guerrade Almeida, a chemist who has turned the Brazilian Milk Bank Network into a model studied by other countries and credited with helping slash infant mortality by two thirds.
“Brazil is really the world leader in milk bank development,” said Dr. Lisa Hammer, a University of Michigan pediatrician who was part of a team visiting the Rio de Janeiro-based network last week.
September 3, 2014
Jenny Barchfield – Associated Press, 09/02/2014
Rio de Janeiro officials on Tuesday unveiled a new sanitation project that aims to eliminate the stain of raw sewage defiling the waters of Rio de Janeiro’s Gloria Marina, where the 2016 Olympic sailing events are to be held.
Under the agreement, Rio’s state government is building a 1-kilometer- (0.62-mile-) long pipeline in the city’s Flamengo neighborhood to stem the flow of raw sewage into the Marina. The $6.2 million project will connect area rainwater collectors with a sewage treatment center in the Ipanema Beach area.
More than half of the sewage in this city of 12 million goes untreated, meaning that collected rainwater is often contaminated with raw sewage. More than 10,000 liters of raw sewage flows each second into most of Rio’s waterways, from the massive Guanabara Bay, where the Gloria Marina is located, to its beaches and lagoons.
August 29, 2014
Douglas Main – Newsweek, 8/28/2014
The forests surrounding some of Brazil’s biggest cities, like São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, are home to a dizzying variety of life, with iconic species like golden lion tamarins (pictured above), maned three-toed sloths and red-tailed parrots. A total of 2,200 species of birds, mammals, reptiles and amphibians are found in Brazil’s Atlantic forests, and nearly 200 types of birds live there and nowhere else.
But these forests are disappearing as farmers clear them for agriculture and as towns spread outward; less than 15 percent of the original forest cover remains.
The good news is that scientists have calculated that it would cost a relatively small amount to pay the area’s farmers to protect their own land by not developing it. By their estimate, it would cost Brazil $198 million annually—or 6.5 percent of what the country currently spends on agricultural subsidies—to preserve enough land to harbor a sustainable level of flora and fauna, the scientists wrote in a study published today (August 28) in the journal Science.
August 28, 2014
Bill Faries – Bloomberg, 8/28/2014
American enthusiasm for soccer’s World Cup prompted Brazil to shift more of its advertising toward the U.S. ahead of the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, the head of Brazil’s tourism agency Embratur said.
U.S. citizens represented just over 10 percent of the 1.04 million foreign visitors to Brazil during the month long tournament that ended July 13, Embratur President Vicente Neto said in an interview. That made the U.S. the second-biggest source of foreign fans after neighboring Argentina, whose team made it to the final against Germany.
“It exceeded all our expectations,” Neto said in Miami last week. “We’re expecting that to be the same with the Olympics, given the U.S. history and participation in the Games.”
August 22, 2014
Mimi Whitefield – Miami Herald, 8/21/2014
During the World Cup, more than 1 million international visitors flocked to Brazil — far exceeding pre-tournament expectations.
That wasn’t the only thing topsy-turvy about the world’s biggest sporting event. The Brazilian soccer team was a pre-Cup favorite and many expected Brazil would flub at organizing the June 15-July 15 event. Instead, Brazil was routed in the semifinals and got high marks for its hosting efforts.
Now it hopes to take some of the lessons it learned from organizing a successful World Cup as it barrels full-speed ahead in preparing for its next mega sporting event: the 2016 Rio Olympics.