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.



O pior pesadelo…

…de uma aficcionada por maquigem é:

1 – ser alérgica à maquiagem dos sonhos, e

2- ter conjuntivite e não poder se maquiar por uma semana.

My new toy!!!

I recently heard of Kangoo Jumps from a coworker during coffee break. Kangoo Jumpas are a pair of boots made of a rigid plastic outer shell and a soft cushioned inner part, but the most outstanding characteristic is the sole, which is basically a spring, composed on two arched plastic pieces united by a rubber spring in the middle. It sort puts a cast on your ankle, like ski boots, only it does not freeze your legs in a forward angle like ski boots. Good side: you'll hardly if ever hurt your ankles with kangoo jumps. The whole boot can be disassembled, so if a part breaks or wears of, you just buy a new piece to repace them, and it's cheap.

It s the best way to run and dance for me, because it removes up to 80% of the impact on your joints, if compared to tennis shoes or other sports shoes. I haven't read this anywhere, but it also improves my aerobic capacity since I feel I can breathe easier for much longer keeping an optimum heart rate. Plus: it works your legs muscles just fine 🙂 and burns a lot more calories than just running or jogging or dancing.

But the most important feature of all: IT IS SO FUN!!!!!!




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

That’s what I was talking about (on my last post)

GoodReads Progress on HeLa

The Immortal Life of HeLa - Goodreads Progress


Boyfriend Cary is reading the very same book.

“The Way of All Flesh” by BBC’s Adam Curtis on “HeLa” Cells

I came to know about this video while  reading the book The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks” by Rebbeca Skloot – page 81 of the e-book edition, to be more exact.

The video and the words below are embedded from what has been puclished on Google Video.




The Way of All Flesh by Adam Curtis
53:33m – 2 anos atrás

Follows the story of the cells of Henriettta Lacks. She dies in 1951 of cancer, before she died cells were removed from her body and cultivated in a laboratory in the hope that they could help find a cure for cancer. The cells (known as the HeLa line) have been growing ever since, and the scientists found that they were growing in ways they could not control.


 If anyone has any problem, concerning copyright, with me embedding this video on my site, please contact me and I’ll be glad to talk to you.

Book Review: “Eating Animals” by Jonathan Safran Foer

This is not a random gullible green author raising the flag of veganism. It is a rather detailed research on how does the American meat industry works. Every claim and factual citation is properly referenced. Even when the reference is “just” a website (people will believe anything that is on the internet), there are ways to check further for the veracity of it.

You can also go farther than the author, and research the web for resources that try to debunk the things written on the book (not he he does not do that himself). The author gets to his own conclusion, and does not impose veganism on the reader. It’s up to the reader to make his own decisions, which, if you are smart enough and pay attention to the news, should not be a hard task.

In less than two months we have had two massive food recalls, all related to the factory farm meat industry: first there was the poultry and meat recall due to E.Coli contamination, and then there was the scandalous egg recall due to Salmonella. These only happen because the animals’ immune system is genetically designed so deficient that their bodies serve as playground to microorganisms. The factory farmed animals would never survive in case they were not fed tons of broad spectrum antibiotics everyday mixed with their food. As if that was not enough, you still have account improper management of the animal/meat througout the whole slaughtering process. Headlines like “Egg recall highlits the dangers of mass food production” only happen thanks to factory farms.  By reading Foer’s book, you would not have to read the article behind that headline. Because you would know instantly what would be written therein.

We (that is, human beings) are frequently lectured over self-medication and misuse of antibiotics; doctors and entire hospital staffs are blamed for bacterial resistance and the eminent “superbugs”. While there is truth in that, nothing can bear more guilt for imminent diseases (say H1N1) and “superbugs” than factory farms. It is a safe bet that you will never hear of the “Cat Flu” or “Dog Flu”. Because we do not eat cats and dogs. And even when we do (Koreans do), they are not produced in a genetically engineered immune deficient massive industrial scale fed broad spectrum antibiotics. Now chickens, pigs, fish and cow? The situation is so bad that I would not be surprised in case there was something that sounds as absurd as a “fish flu”. So please watch out for what (who) you eat and food safety. It’s not just about animal welfare, but our health depends on it too.

My Grain

Since a few weeks ago I became vegetarian and decided to increase the daily consumption of dietary fiber.

The following text has noting to do with that. It is more about how  fibergasted I was at the intensity of my last headache.

It  pounds my skull, pulsing, as a very very bad idea insisting to get out.

Each footstep evenly conducts itself up through my body into my skull, making my neurons resonate and my brain dance frantically like a gelatin about to part in the middle under the slightest pressure.

When the miminum light beam does not dim my sight enough to make it go white blind¹, I can see stars and planets and supernovas and all kinds of celestial bodies. Even being indoors².

Even the sounds of lower magnitude reverberate causing the jelly, I mean, the brain, to dance even more willingly and frantically.

(To think I always thought I was a bad dancer.)

The resonace spreads from my brain only to take over my body and suddenly I am dancing fully instead of only in my head (that’s what I call putting your ideas in practice…).

My skin gets pale and moist  from the dancing and my stomach announces the milk shake has been shaken enough already and going up the cup…

…and then I get home and take a miracle pill.

(What, you thought I was on drugs before all that happened?)

¹what the unskeptical lay people also know as “seeing God”?

²Probably would fit the diagnostic criteria for some random DSM-V diagnosis entitled to psychotropic prescription drugs.

P.S.:  this case has shown no valid statistical evidence of correlation between fiber ingestion, vegetarianism and altered mind states. I reamain a cereal eater and a vegetarian. Now just go eat your cereal and enjoy your salad, please.

Olivian Fettuccine

I’m a hopeless cook disaster.

I don’t think I ever made anything in my life that was’t noodle without failing terribly (ok, I confess I made omelete, but overall I’m not only bad but dangerous at the kitchen).  Anyway, for whatever reason (as in “there was no yogurt to eat with my cereal” and “the house ran out of fruits”) today I decided to make pasta (surprise…) with whatever I had laying around in the kitchen. And the thing is:  miracle or not, it actually ended up tasting really good. And I had a Casillero del Diablo 2008 Carmenere wine that went just perfect with it.

Cutting the chit-chat, here’s the recipe to my…

Olivian Fettuccine

Chop in slices a few leaves of Treviso Radicchio, lettuce and  half a grated carrot, and leave it there waiting.

Fill a pan with water, add salt and put it on the stove. It’s  a good idea to light the stove so, you kow, the water will boil.

In another pan, pour a bunch of olive oil; drop a proportional bunch of  herbes de provence; drop a proportional bunch of coriander (actually you can exaggerate a little here); pour (ok, careful here) a few bunch of drops of traditional Tabasco; pour a bunch of acetobalsamico di Modena (equivalent to 3 soup spoons). Do all this with the stove off. Fine. By now the water in the other pan must be probably already boiling, so you add the desired ammount of fettuccine to the first pan. After that you light the stove in low heat and with a wooden spoon you keep mixing all the spices for 3-5 minutes. Then you turn of the fire a little, add a bunch of mayonese and mix it all together really well. Then you add the chopped vegetables that I mentioned in the first line of this post, turn the fire on again, low, and mix it all together for like 2-3 minutes.

Well, at this point the fettuccine is probably al dente, so you drain the water from the pasta, and add all the fettuccine into the pan with the spicy sauce, and mix it really well.

Put it on a dish, and eat it with a fork and a knife, and a good glass of Carmenère wine.

Update on H1N1 vaccination in Brazil

The Brazilian National Vaccination Campaign against Influenza H1N1 has ended officially on June the 2nd.

On June the 3rd the government published an official note saying the vaccination campaign has been prorogued indefinitely, until the number of people immunized reaches the initial target (that is, 80% of the population at higher risk of disease).

In Brazil, vaccination against Influenza H1N1 is administered for free by the government to all the population at high risk of disease. We have enough vaccines, so in case you haven’t had yours yet, please go to the public health care facility next to you as soon as possible, and get your H1N1 shot.

There are many people declining the vaccine claiming they don’t have enough time/have to work/etc.

 My advice: don’t be silly!! In case  people had to pay for the vaccine, or if there wasn’t enough of it, I’m sure eveyone would complain and would blame the government for being ill. But now the vaccine is for free, and there’s enough for everyone: means that, if you get ill, and by any chance Brazil’s morbidity and mortality for H1N1 this year gets higher, the only one to blame is yourself! Now go get your shot! I already got mine!

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