Fighting Aedes Sp – Part 1- Anti-Mosquito lotions

To anyone coming to Brazil, and to brazilians, a few tips will follow about how to avoid Dengue Fever, Chikungunya and Zika virus.

This is official info about the anti-mosquito lotions available in brazilian supermarkets (source – SIMERS, Secretaria da Saúde, It's n portuguese but nothing Google Translate can't handle.



That time of the year has come…

…when I repeatedly repeat the yearly repeat “I hate Carnival”.

Tips for foreigners, whether you are in Brazil or not:

  1. DO NO ASK A BRAZILIAN IF HE LIKES CARNIVAL OR ABOUT CARNIVAL AT ALL . Do not ask a brazilian of he likes samba. Do not ask a brazilian for carnival party tips. Brazilians are pretty obvious and outgoing about their love for carnival. They will practically harrass you to go to a carnival party of any kind and get drunk, to the point you'll say 'yes let's go' only because you will realize the brazilian will not stop bugging you unless you agree to go out. So, if YOU ARE IN FRONT OF A BRAZILIAN WHO DID NOT MENTION CARNIVAL AT ALL, SHUT UP AND DON'T EVER BRING IT UP, BECAUSE YOU ARE IN FRONT OF A BRAZILIAN WHO HATES CARNIVAL. JUST GO WALK AROUND and you will find plenty of people just hanging out around the corner or asleep on the gutter, who can give you tips about where to party.
  2. DO NOT SAY “I LOVE BRAZIL.” D.O N.O.T S.A.Y I.T. especially if you are a celeb or if you are going to appear on media of any kind, unless you wanna sound as dumb and clueless as Alicia Silverstone on Clueless. If people ask you what are your thoughts abotu the visit and your country, be short, smart and stay true to yourself. DO NOT SAY “I LOVE BRAZIL”.
  3. Do not expect exotic, hot or “spicy” food. In general Brazilian cuisine is bland, non-creative and very simple in the matter of seasonings. The main “spices” of Brazil are salt and sugar, and all food tends too be either too salty or too sweet. Most meals are made with ingredients not very different from the ingredients in other western countries, and we have a huge network of fastfood imported from America. Brazilians have a sweet tooth and you'll find dozens of varieties of candies and chocolates and sweet places with a dedicated desserts and sweets buffet. Also, you'll find a coffee place every 50 meters, and every coffee place will always have espresso, which may be simples or dulpo (yes, double). Coffee places do not offer cream or creamer as an option here. You can only get straight milk.
  4. Don't expect to get your change straight. BRAZILIANS HATE COINS. They always round the price up or down to whatever amount of coins you have that is closest to the real change. Actually we hate coins so much that we pretty much eliminated the use of the 1 cent coin by simply ignoring it. If you find one, send it to me, I collect them. I actually have ONE 1 cent coin in my piggy bank. I even wonder if it's worth more just because of it's rarity.

O PT e a Farsa do Mais Médicos

Médica cubana abandona o programa Mais Médicos e busca asilo político sab as asas da oposição, alegando que o acordo Brasil-Cuba é uma farsa orquestrada pelo Governo Dilma e pela ditadura Castrista, que a OPAS não está e em momento algum esteve envolvida neste acordo, e que este foi arranjado entre o Brasil e uma empresa terceirizada cubana que vende serviços médicos. O valor do salário cubano divulgado pelo governo Dilma também é uma mentira: ao contrário do que divulgou Dilma, cada cubano recebe apenas 1000 dólares por mês, sendo que apenas 400 destes vão para os médicos cubanos. A médica que pediu asilo está sendo perseguida pelos ditadores petistas, pelos ditadores cubanos e pela polícia federal.

Links para a notícia seguem:

Médica Cubana deixa Mais Médicos e diz que pedirá asilo no Brasil.


Médica cubana deixa o Mais Médicos e pede asilo no DEM, em Brasília

Fãs Cegos e uma Vitória Falsa

Queria falar um pouco sobre as reações de alguns socialistas ao plano do Brasil de importar seis mil médicos formados na Cuba.

Primeiro, deixe-me descrever a situação. O interior do Brasil não é bem desenvolvido. Em muitas cidades pequenas faltam serviços básicos. Coisas básicas como ruas pavimentadas, bancos, remédios, saneamento básico, conseguem estar em falta. Frequentemente as escolas não são boas. Como você pode imaginar essas vilas não são lugares atraentes para um profissional de classe média morar. Entre as várias coisas que podem faltar estão médicos.

Ler mais…

How fandom and ideology blinded the Brazilian left from seeing the blatant exploitation of Cuba’s doctors.

Read the full article here.

Happy Thanksgiving

Last weekend we held a small thanksgiving feast – prepared by my lovely hubby Cary – and even though we don’t celebarte thanksgiving in Brazil, we even had Black Friday. We had turkey, blueberry pie, special gravy, mashed potatoes and yummy stuffing!!

We found out that there’s peanut butter in the public market here, which is just a couple blocks down our place, so my husband is very happy as you can imagine

My sweetie feline Mistofelis had a bad diarrhea but I’m so glad he’s competely recovered!!

I’m watching American Horror Story: Asylum. I must confess I hate psych ward – but I’m LOVING AHS Asylum. Psychiatric hospital were and still are a place  for the nightmares. Hardly any other theme has more potential for horror and suspense. I’m liking AHS better than the Walking Dead. The Walking Dead is lost within its slow story and uninteresting characters – issues that could have been solved in a three lines dialogue are lasting for the entire season. Killing Lori was a mistake, Michonne is annoying and poorly written, Merle is a pain in the ass. None of the character’s behavior has any logic or makes any sense. They really should review certain things in case there s next season.

My reading is uber slow and I’m so behind my new year resolution of reading 10 books in 2010. Aprox. 12hrs of work per day and I get home and pass out in bed. There’s french class I’d like to dedicate to a little more. I’d like to excersice, do something else. I read medical periodics but that does not count as reading. I’m pretty tired to be honest.

Link: The mental asylum of San Servolo,Venice (1860–1978)

The mental asylum of San Servolo,Venice (1860–1978): plots, classifications, subjects. Epistemology and history.


I had to share this. Even though psychiatry is not part of my medical talents, I must confess I find all things mental very fascinating.

Dona Zefinha – Comida Nordestina

Dona Zefinha specializes in northeastern Brazilian cuisine. The menu is extensive and has many traditional dishes from that area. The service was quite good.

Many of the dishes are for 2, and we got the Caramão Tropical Refeição: shrimp and rice served in pineapple halves with a rich cream sauce. One pineapple half held the shrimp and the other the rice. The sauce was divine. We stuffed ourselves happily, and then had tapioca de coco e doce de leite: tapioca (also common in the northeast) with coconut and dulce de leite.

I can’t wait to go back!

Dinner at Dona Zefinha

Address: Rua Lima e Silva, 776, Porto Alegre, RS, Brazil
Phone: +55 51 3072-5557
Hours: Monday to Saturday – 5am to 1am

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks – HeLa Cells

I’m finishing Rebecca Skloot’s account of the story behind the HeLa cells.  I can’t tell how much of my fascination with this book comes from the uncanniness of the story itself and how much comes from Skloot’s incredible mastery of the art of reporting a real story. It’s a non-fiction work but it looks like a work of  fiction when it gives each of its characters/facts a beginning, middle and end. It was so well written! Every phrase passed in front of my eyes like a scene from a film, a very sad film, where black people were relegated to medical apartheid and scientists and science played the great villain. When you work with people (and I know about that because I’m a doctor) sometimes it can be hard to balance professionalism and emotional detachment from the person who’s your work subject. It’s a thin line. I guess anyone who read the book can tell Rebecca Skloot got deeply involved with her research got emotionally involved with the Lacks family, and she pretty much wrote herself as a “character” into the book, in a very clever – and very professional – way. Congratulations to the author, it’s probably the best non-fiction book I have ever read.


Edited: and I should not forget to mention the book’s awesome approach to the ethics of tissue research at the end of the book.


HeLa Cells from Radiolab on Vimeo.

Podcast on HeLa cells from Radiolab

I’m in the middle of reading two books…

One is “The Disappearing Spoon: And Other True Tales of Madness, Love, and the History of the World from the Periodic Table of the Elements” by Sam Kean. It speaks about the development of the periodic table by telling stories the involve the use of the each element. I’m only in the beginning of the book, thus I wasn’t very surprised perhaps because the explanations were aimed (mostly) at lay people (since I studied chemistry for one and a half year…). But I was perplexed by the tale of  the exploration of Niobium and Tantalum in Congo and its repercussion. Niobium and tantalum are fundamental parts of cell phone batteries (or mostly other electronics batteries) , and are part of the root of conflict in this country – yes, the same country of the “blood diamonds”. It seems it’s not only the diamonds that are bloody after all. At this height  is there anything that comes out of Congo that is not blood tainted?


The other book I’m reading is another non-fiction called “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks” by Rebbeca Skloot. 

I’m in the middle, I’m loving it and there’s so much to say about it that my comment alone would make another book! I’ll write a longer review about it after I’m finished, now all I can say is: highly recommended!

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