Personal Blog

Brazilian Election

Today is election day in Brazil, when the governing Workers’ Party (known locally as Partido dos Trabalhadores or PT) face off against the Social Democratic Party (Partido da Social Democracia Brasileira, or PSDB). This is an important election, with PT facing its first real electoral challenge since gaining power 12 years ago under Lula da Silva. The government of the current incumbent, President Dilma Rousseff, has been rocked by huge corruption scandals and launched a desperate campaign to cling onto power. Rather than responding to corruption allegations, Rousseff and former president Lula da Silva have responded by resorting to gutter politics and a smear campaign. They’ve been especially vicious against the opposition candidate, Aécio Neves - referring to him as a playboy and drunkard, accusing him of beating women, and made a ridiculous assertion that he is intent on persecuting people of Brazil’s northeast like the Nazis did with the Jews in World War II. Read More...

Tribute to Oscar Niemeyer

It was with considerable sadness yesterday that I learned about the death of Oscar Niemeyer. He was just ten days short of reaching his 105th birthday. Niemeyer has long been somewhat of a personal hero to me - not only as a gifted architect, but also as one of those larger than life personalities who enrich our world. His career spanned spanned almost 80 years, with him still being active and advising on projects until recently.

Although Niemeyer designed many buildings throughout Europe and North America, his most well-known masterpieces are in his native Brazil. These include the Congress, Cathedral, and other major state buildings of Brasília.

Dear BBC. Thanks for Michael Palin's Brazil - but ...

I’ve just finished watching the Michael Palin series, Brazil. I’ve loved Michael Palin’s travel shows since his original Around the World in 80 Days. As you can probably tell from this site, I’m a serious nature lover - and I especially love wild and exotic places such as the Pantanal. This is why I was upset by the content of the last episode of Michael Palin’s Brazil. It featured the Pantanal region which, IMHO, is the best area for wildlife in all of South America - even better than the Amazon. There were obligatory shots of Palin with oohs and aahs as he gazed on the region’s natural beauty and fauna. He then retired to enjoy a traditional Pantaneiro barbecue with local cattle ranchers who also espoused their love of the environment, and their efforts to protect it. The problem is, the BBC obviously didn’t do their research. Read More...
© 2015 Andrew Mercer