Episode 4 – Colonial Era, 1500-1630 (Quick History #2)

(This is a repost of episode 4, as the original had an issue with the audio file. My apologies for the problem.)

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Roberto Unger, Brazil’s Minister of Strategic Planning, interviewed on Philosophy Bites podcast

One of my favorite podcasts, Philosophy Bites, interviewed Roberto Unger, the minister of the Secretaria de Assuntos Estratégicos (Department of Strategic Planning, more or less). The SAE is a cabinet level department so this is a nice feather in the cap of the podcast. The interview is about Unger’s philosophy of what he calls “deep freedom”, but wanders into some political talk as well.

Enjoy it here.


Episode 3 – Carnaval, in the name of moderation

A short, impromptu episode about Carnaval that grew longer than I intended. It covers the origins of the holiday and its history in Brazil including the differences between Rio’s Carnaval and how Carnaval is celebrated further north in cities such as Salvador.

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Live Carnaval broadcast on YouTube this evening

Alert listener Olivia let me know that there will be a live broadcast of Carnaval in Salvador (the capital of the northeastern state of Bahia) on YouTube starting at 6pm my time, which is 4pm in the eastern US and 21:00 GMT.

The link is featured on YouTube’s front page though whether that’s only the case here or not I don’t know. In case it’s not, just click here.

Anyhow, the Salvador Carnaval is quite different from Rio de Janeiro’s and is (generally) considered to be more traditional as well as having a greater variety of music and dance styles.

In related news, I’m putting the finishing touches on an episode about Carnaval. I should have it read in a 2-3 hours.

Episode 2 – The Pre-Columbian period

What was Brazil like before the arrival of the Portuguese? How did the early Amazonians live? Where did they come from and when?

Why did Europe finally sail into the west? What was going on in Spain and Portugal that prompted people to make the first dangerous voyages into the Atlantic?

It’s a lot to cover, but, with a lot of reading, writing, recording, agonizing over what details to put in, which prompted some rewriting and rerecording, episode 2 is complete.

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Episode 1 – Geology & Geography

Today we cover a very tiny amount of the geology & geography of South American and a more substantial, but still limited, amount of Brazil’s physical and political geography. I also tacked on a thumbnail sketch of how the government is organized today since it seemed to go well enough after the political geography.

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Superinteressante, super apropros

2014-02-05 11.45.31I’ve been spending some time reading and writing episodes between fiddling with the Kickstarter (which I’ll submit for Kickstarter.com to review in few days). As I mentioned I’m going to start with a history overview, including the pre-Columbian history. Naturally, the Pre-Columbian era will be the first of the history overview episodes.

I was delighted to see the cover of this month’s issue of Superinteressante (sort of the Brazilian equivalent of Popular Science in the US). The center text, “O Brasil antes de Cabral”, means “Brazil before Cabral”. Who or what is Cabral, you ask? Good question! Cabral refers to Pedro Álvares Cabral, the first Portuguese navigator to land in what is now Brazil. Although one or two Spaniards had been there a few years earlier, Cabral is considered the discoverer of Brazil as it was he who formally claimed the land for Portugal.