sábado, 6 de agosto de 2016

The amazing brick bottles of Heineken

Nowadays the beers companies struggle to produce the most modern bottle, the most amazing, or even the most different one. All for market reasons. But in the 60s, Alfred Heineken – CEO of Heineken beer company, at that moment – had the great idea of creating a bottle which could be reused in civil construction. According to popular saying, Freddy, as he was also known, got chocked with the poverty of the Curacao inhabitants, old Netherland colony in Caribe. The amount of glass bottles dumped on the island beaches draw his attention as well.  

He hired the renowned Dutch architect, John Habraken to design a bottle that could be used like a brick. With a totally renewed, Habraken designed the bottles with the bottom indented so that the neck of another bottle could be embedded in it. The bottles could be piled up as bricks, and with the addiction of some mortar, it was possible to build a house easily.
It was necessary three years by the launching of the bottles in 1963, they were called WOBO – World Bottles.

In the same year, it was produced about 100,000 Bottles. What would be enough to build 10 small houses). The idea, however, did not work, but the experience’s photos are displayed in the Heineken factory in the Netherlands. Freddy, died in 2002 and is now revered as a visionary the way ahead of his time by environmental advocates.

domingo, 24 de abril de 2016

The senssuality of the vinyl woaman.

I think the women are naturally beautiful creatures. But there isn’t over the whole Earth such creature who has the habit of using such a great amount of accessories to change their appearance as the above cited. A different hairstyle each season, colorful makeups following the clothes' color and style. These sweet beings are really experts at the art of adorning themselves. I don’t know how it is for you, but when I see a woman with leather accessories or similar ones that imitates them like vinyl or latex, I get nuts.

Mizuho Lin (Semblant)

I tried to figure out the reason for it and there isn’t a scientifically proven answer, the women in leather accessories convey some rebelliousness that, in a way, we wish  them, a little bit of imprudence with the square fashion that dominates the world nowadays, a refined taste in a society very addicted to fads that come and go. I do believe I achieved some cool conclusions. Leather-like accessories, as vinyl or latex, make men’s hormones boil due to their modeling perfectly the female body.

Angela Gossow( Arch Enemy)

This type of outfit amplifies the essentially female curves. It works like if we were seeing the woman in her natural state, naked, but it remains a mystery, because she is totally dressed. The cinema always explored the female sensuality and the like-leather clothes since then made the difference. Mainly in the superheroes movies in which these beauties wear clothes to impose themselves before their mortal enemies, but the sensuality that emanates from these beings is so powerful that no enemies can bear it.

Here there are a comparison between two amazing actresses, that nevertheless belongs to different generations. Uma Thurman who starred in the movie The Avengers in 1998. She was, for a long time my favorite vinyl woman, and still is, but Anne Hathaway who starred in Batman this year (2012)- has been shaking my preference. A sensuality show.

André Stanley alcunha de André Luiz Ribeiro é professor e escritor; autor do livro “O Cadáver” (Editora Multifoco – 2013); É membro efetivo da Asso. Dos Historiadores e pesquisadores dos Sertões do Jacuhy desde 2004. Atua hoje como professor e pesquisador de História Cultural. Também leciona língua inglesa, idioma que domina desde a adolescência, Administra e escreve para os blogs: Blog do André Stanley (blogdoandrestanley.blogspot.com) – Sobre História, política, arte, religião, humor e assuntos diversos e Stanley Personal Teacher (stanleypersonalteacher.blogspot.com) onde da dicas de Inglês e posta exercícios para todos os níveis.

segunda-feira, 21 de dezembro de 2015

Brazilian Heavy Metal band Seven Keys releases "Visions of Time" Their firt full album after 15 years of existence.

The band Seven Keys was formed in the small Brazilian town Guaxupé, in 1998, when a group of friends with a taste in common joined to play Heavy Metal. Nowadays the band is consolidated as a power trio formed by brothers Carlos and Anderson Stampone – Bass and Lead guitar – and the drummer William Ferreira. 

It’s a band formed by talented musicians and with a very refined taste. Their main influences are Black Sabbath, King Diamond and Helloween. 

So, these guys have a solid background. After 15 years of journey and an EP released in 2008 – Seven Bullets – the guys has just released “Visions of Time” their first full album in great style. For the making of this pure Metal artifact they had the more than especial participation of Fabio Laguna (Ex- Angra, currently in Hangar) in the keyboards, plus special guests. 

The album has 10 compositions of theirs that convey that, the 15 years of hard journey helped build the group’s maturity and consolidate their style. The beautiful cover was made by João Duarte who has in his portfolio, works made for Hangar, Angra, Circle II Circle, Metal Church and others.

Summarizing, this is a great work made by folks who do understand about the matter. It’s going to please the most demanding of Melodic Heavy Metal fan.

terça-feira, 10 de fevereiro de 2015

Yakuza Moon - The diary of Shoko Tedno a gangster's daughter.

There’s nothing original in this book, but there are a lot of good things on it, of course. Alike the famous diaries of former prostitutes that turned into a fever in Brazil and another countries, Yakusa moon has a value that overcomes the simple narration of a personal story of any “dirty girls”. Shoko Tendo chose a consecrated formula that turned Christiane F. famous in the beginning of the 80s. But on the contrary of the German girl – now Mrs.Felscherinow, Mss. Tendo describes her life since she was a child as a daughter of a Yakuza boss. In this case Tendo is a little bit better than the others. She was able to describe a cultural element of her country that sometimes we don't find in other similar works. Despite the name, “Yakusa moon” is not a book about Yakusa itself, but describes the familiar elements of this organization seen by a young lady. But there are some other good things in this book that deserves note. For examples, the tradition that is present in the Japanese contemporary culture. How the Japanese people mind about the local of their dead. How Japan is today an ordinary capitalist country, and on the other hand a great keeper of ancient traditions. The tattoo she shows on the cover of the book is not too yakuza business as the author herself explain, but it illustrates another cultural element that makes Shoko Tendo a great representation of the exotic beauty from Japan.

quinta-feira, 15 de agosto de 2013

SWAT and the challenges about an extreme militarization of American Police

Original Title: Rise of the Warrior Cop for The Wall Street Journal.

On Jan. 4 of last year, a local narcotics strike force conducted a raid on the Ogden, Utah, home of Matthew David Stewart at 8:40 p.m. The 12 officers were acting on a tip from Mr. Stewart's former girlfriend, who said that he was growing marijuana in his basement. Mr. Stewart awoke, naked, to the sound of a battering ram taking down his door. Thinking that he was being invaded by criminals, as he later claimed, he grabbed his 9-millimeter Beretta pistol.

The police say that they knocked and identified themselves, though Mr. Stewart and his neighbors said they heard no such announcement. Mr. Stewart fired 31 rounds, the police more than 250. Six of the officers were wounded, and Officer Jared Francom was killed. Mr. Stewart himself was shot twice before he was arrested. He was charged with several crimes, including the murder of Officer Francom.

The police found 16 small marijuana plants in Mr. Stewart's basement. There was no evidence that Mr. Stewart, a U.S. military veteran with no prior criminal record, was selling marijuana. Mr. Stewart's father said that his son suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder and may have smoked the marijuana to self-medicate.

Early this year, the Ogden city council heard complaints from dozens of citizens about the way drug warrants are served in the city. As for Mr. Stewart, his trial was scheduled for next April, and prosecutors were seeking the death penalty. But after losing a hearing last May on the legality of the search warrant, Mr. Stewart hanged himself in his jail cell.

The police tactics at issue in the Stewart case are no anomaly. Since the 1960s, in response to a range of perceived threats, law-enforcement agencies across the U.S., at every level of government, have been blurring the line between police officer and soldier. Driven by martial rhetoric and the availability of military-style equipment—from bayonets and M-16 rifles to armored personnel carriers—American police forces have often adopted a mind-set previously reserved for the battlefield. The war on drugs and, more recently, post-9/11 antiterrorism efforts have created a new figure on the U.S. scene: the warrior cop—armed to the teeth, ready to deal harshly with targeted wrongdoers, and a growing threat to familiar American liberties.

The acronym SWAT stands for Special Weapons and Tactics. Such police units are trained in methods similar to those used by the special forces in the military. They learn to break into homes with battering rams and to use incendiary devices called flashbang grenades, which are designed to blind and deafen anyone nearby. Their usual aim is to "clear" a building—that is, to remove any threats and distractions (including pets) and to subdue the occupants as quickly as possible.

The country's first official SWAT team started in the late 1960s in Los Angeles. By 1975, there were approximately 500 such units. Today, there are thousands. According to surveys conducted by the criminologist Peter Kraska of Eastern Kentucky University, just 13% of towns between 25,000 and 50,000 people had a SWAT team in 1983. By 2005, the figure was up to 80%.

The number of raids conducted by SWAT-like police units has grown accordingly. In the 1970s, there were just a few hundred a year; by the early 1980s, there were some 3,000 a year. In 2005 (the last year for which Dr. Kraska collected data), there were approximately 50,000 raids.

A number of federal agencies also now have their own SWAT teams, including the Fish & Wildlife Service, NASA and the Department of the Interior. In 2011, the Department of Education's SWAT team bungled a raid on a woman who was initially reported to be under investigation for not paying her student loans, though the agency later said she was suspected of defrauding the federal student loan program.

The details of the case aside, the story generated headlines because of the revelation that the Department of Education had such a unit. None of these federal departments has responded to my requests for information about why they consider such high-powered military-style teams necessary.

Americans have long been wary of using the military for domestic policing. Concerns about potential abuse date back to the creation of the Constitution, when the founders worried about standing armies and the intimidation of the people at large by an overzealous executive, who might choose to follow the unhappy precedents set by Europe's emperors and monarchs.

The idea for the first SWAT team in Los Angeles arose during the domestic strife and civil unrest of the mid-1960s. Daryl Gates, then an inspector with the Los Angeles Police Department, had grown frustrated with his department's inability to respond effectively to incidents like the 1965 Watts riots. So his thoughts turned to the military. He was drawn in particular to Marine Special Forces and began to envision an elite group of police officers who could respond in a similar manner to dangerous domestic disturbances.

Mr. Gates initially had difficulty getting his idea accepted. Los Angeles Police Chief William Parker thought the concept risked a breach in the divide between the military and law enforcement. But with the arrival of a new chief, Thomas Reddin, in 1966, Mr. Gates got the green light to start training a unit. By 1969, his SWAT team was ready for its maiden raid against a holdout cell of the Black Panthers.

At about the same time, President Richard Nixon was declaring war on drugs. Among the new, tough-minded law-enforcement measures included in this campaign was the no-knock raid—a policy that allowed drug cops to break into homes without the traditional knock and announcement. After fierce debate, Congress passed a bill authorizing no-knock raids for federal narcotics agents in 1970.

Over the next several years, stories emerged of federal agents breaking down the doors of private homes (often without a warrant) and terrorizing innocent citizens and families. Congress repealed the no-knock law in 1974, but the policy would soon make a comeback (without congressional authorization).

During the Reagan administration, SWAT-team methods converged with the drug war. By the end of the 1980s, joint task forces brought together police officers and soldiers for drug interdiction. National Guard helicopters and U-2 spy planes flew the California skies in search of marijuana plants. When suspects were identified, battle-clad troops from the National Guard, the DEA and other federal and local law enforcement agencies would swoop in to eradicate the plants and capture the people growing them.

Advocates of these tactics said that drug dealers were acquiring ever bigger weapons and the police needed to stay a step ahead in the arms race. There were indeed a few high-profile incidents in which police were outgunned, but no data exist suggesting that it was a widespread problem. A study done in 1991 by the libertarian-leaning Independence Institute found that less than one-eighth of 1% of homicides in the U.S. were committed with a military-grade weapon. Subsequent studies by the Justice Department in 1995 and the National Institute for Justice in 2004 came to similar conclusions: The overwhelming majority of serious crimes are committed with handguns, and not particularly powerful ones.

The new century brought the war on terror and, with it, new rationales and new resources for militarizing police forces. According to the Center for Investigative Reporting, the Department of Homeland Security has handed out $35 billion in grants since its creation in 2002, with much of the money going to purchase military gear such as armored personnel carriers. In 2011 alone, a Pentagon program for bolstering the capabilities of local law enforcement gave away $500 million of equipment, an all-time high.

The past decade also has seen an alarming degree of mission creep for U.S. SWAT teams. When the craze for poker kicked into high gear, a number of police departments responded by deploying SWAT teams to raid games in garages, basements and VFW halls where illegal gambling was suspected. According to news reports and conversations with poker organizations, there have been dozens of these raids, in cities such as Baltimore, Charleston, S.C., and Dallas.

In 2006, 38-year-old optometrist Sal Culosi was shot and killed by a Fairfax County, Va., SWAT officer. The investigation began when an undercover detective overheard Mr. Culosi wagering on college football games with some buddies at a bar. The department sent a SWAT team after Mr. Culosi, who had no prior criminal record or any history of violence. As the SWAT team descended, one officer fired a single bullet that pierced Mr. Culosi's heart. The police say that the shot was an accident. Mr. Culosi's family suspects the officer saw Mr. Culosi reaching for his cellphone and thought he had a gun.

Assault-style raids have even been used in recent years to enforce regulatory law. Armed federal agents from the Fish & Wildlife Service raided the floor of the Gibson Guitar factory in Nashville in 2009, on suspicion of using hardwoods that had been illegally harvested in Madagascar. Gibson settled in 2012, paying a $300,000 fine and admitting to violating the Lacey Act. In 2010, the police department in New Haven, Conn., sent its SWAT team to raid a bar where police believed there was underage drinking. For sheer absurdity, it is hard to beat the 2006 story about the Tibetan monks who had overstayed their visas while visiting America on a peace mission. In Iowa, the hapless holy men were apprehended by a SWAT team in full gear.

Unfortunately, the activities of aggressive, heavily armed SWAT units often result in needless bloodshed: Innocent bystanders have lost their lives and so, too, have police officers who were thought to be assailants and were fired on, as (allegedly) in the case of Matthew David Stewart.

In my own research, I have collected over 50 examples in which innocent people were killed in raids to enforce warrants for crimes that are either nonviolent or consensual (that is, crimes such as drug use or gambling, in which all parties participate voluntarily). These victims were bystanders, or the police later found no evidence of the crime for which the victim was being investigated. They include Katherine Johnston, a 92-year-old woman killed by an Atlanta narcotics team acting on a bad tip from an informant in 2006; Alberto Sepulveda, an 11-year-old accidentally shot by a California SWAT officer during a 2000 drug raid; and Eurie Stamps, killed in a 2011 raid on his home in Framingham, Mass., when an officer says his gun mistakenly discharged. Mr. Stamps wasn't a suspect in the investigation.

What would it take to dial back such excessive police measures? The obvious place to start would be ending the federal grants that encourage police forces to acquire gear that is more appropriate for the battlefield. Beyond that, it is crucial to change the culture of militarization in American law enforcement.

Consider today's police recruitment videos (widely available on YouTube), which often feature cops rappelling from helicopters, shooting big guns, kicking down doors and tackling suspects. Such campaigns embody an American policing culture that has become too isolated, confrontational and militaristic, and they tend to attract recruits for the wrong reasons.

If you browse online police discussion boards, or chat with younger cops today, you will often encounter some version of the phrase, "Whatever I need to do to get home safe." It is a sentiment that suggests that every interaction with a citizen may be the officer's last. Nor does it help when political leaders lend support to this militaristic self-image, as New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg did in 2011 by declaring, "I have my own army in the NYPD—the seventh largest army in the world."

The motivation of the average American cop should not focus on just making it to the end of his shift. The LAPD may have given us the first SWAT team, but its motto is still exactly the right ideal for American police officers: To protect and serve.

SWAT teams have their place, of course, but they should be saved for those relatively rare situations when police-initiated violence is the only hope to prevent the loss of life. They certainly have no place as modern-day vice squads.

Many longtime and retired law-enforcement officers have told me of their worry that the trend toward militarization is too far gone. Those who think there is still a chance at reform tend to embrace the idea of community policing, an approach that depends more on civil society than on brute force.

In this very different view of policing, cops walk beats, interact with citizens and consider themselves part of the neighborhoods they patrol—and therefore have a stake in those communities. It's all about a baton-twirling "Officer Friendly" rather than a Taser-toting RoboCop.

Corrections & Amplifications 
The Consumer Products Safety Commission does not have a SWAT team. An earlier version of this article incorrectly said that it does.

Mr. Balko is the author of "Rise of the Warrior Cop" published this month by PublicAffairs.

A version of this article appeared July 19, 2013, on page C1 in the U.S. edition of The Wall Street Journal, with the headline: rise ofthe warrior cop.

sexta-feira, 2 de agosto de 2013

The New Stoned Age: Bill Maher

Economic incentive to legalize weed and the failure of the War on Drugs have produced a sea change in America that's here to stay

June 10, 2013 6:00 AM ET
It's a brave new pothead world. Until fairly recently, even a year ago, I would not have guessed that we would be at the place we are now – with 18 states legalizing medical marijuana and, according to one recent poll, a whopping 85 percent of the nation supporting medical use. For all our political rancor, it turns out, what ultimately unites us is pot. Weed is one of the few things that both hillbillies and hippies like. Rappers smoke pot, and country artists smoke pot. There's just as much pot on Willie Nelson's tour bus as there is on Snoop Dogg's tour bus. Marijuana is bridging the red and blue divide and becoming a purple issue.

For those who worry that we will become a nation that sits on the couch eating Cheetos all day, relax. Smoking pot does not equal laziness. Weed was something I could always justify because it excited my brain. Some people it puts to sleep, others it turns paranoid. Some it makes creative, and we're the lucky ones, because if it has done any damage to us, at least we have a receipt. I've gotten a lot of good ideas from pot. Including smoke more pot.
Legalization is another one of those issues, like gay marriage, that drives the Tea Bag people crazy. That Leave It to Beaver black-and-white 1950s image that Mitt Romney fit into so well is going away, and one big reason is marijuana. Bill Clinton once said, "If you look back on the Sixties and think there was more good than harm, you're probably a Democrat. If you think there was more harm than good, you're probably a Republican." Well, for those people who loved the Fifties, pot played a huge role in the cultural revolution that they detest.
Republicans have always been an uneasy alliance of Jesus freaks, gun nuts, generic obese suburbanites and the super-rich, but what binds them is this idea that life was perfect in Appleton, Wisconsin, in 1958. As soon as President Obama was elected, this visual of a black guy who liked smoking pot walking into the White House was too much. Whenever you hear them say, "I want my country back" – from what? Did Blackmanistan invade us? They may want it back, but that America is gone forever.
Of course, there's a big economic incentive to legalizing marijuana. More than a decade ago, there was a county in Georgia where the people fired the sheriff because he was busting pot farmers. The crop was their lifeblood, so they got rid of the hardass and elected a sheriff who pledged to look the other way. That's the kind of sea change that's happening in America right now. If 40 years of abject failure of the War on Drugs has taught us anything, it's that the customer base is large, strong and loyal. So as in everything, money talks. And money is there to be made. There's no going back. We've reached the tipping point, legal marijuana is here to stay – it's just a matter of how fast it will happen across the country.
This story is from the June 20th, 2013 issue of Rolling Stone.