quarta-feira, 7 de outubro de 2009

Dive (almost) scary version:

It has been a while since my last post.
Today I’m going to try something different. This post will be an attempt to scare you, mainly if you’re non divers and are thinking about trying it.
I promise I’ll write a nice Dive version one of these days :)

Here follows the preparation of your dive:

  • You’ll have to dress up with a very hot suit that squeezes your body and your air ways. Trust me, you’ll be tired just from dressing it.
  • You’ll have a weight belt around your waist and tighten it up as much as you can so the lead (you’ll have one kg for every 10 kg of your body weight and than add one or two more) doesn’t fall.
  • You’ll have to dress a Buoyancy Compensator with a tank attached that weights 20 kg with compressed air of at least 200 bar. This means the air pressure inside the tank is equal to the pressure of 200 atmospheres. (small bomb behind your back ahah!!)
  • You’ll noticed several tubes coming out from the tank. Two are for breeding, (one just in case the other breeder doesn’t function or your buddy’s air runs out), one to inflate your buoyancy compensator, and another attached to a small device that tell you how much air you still have left in the tank. You’ll have yet another device attached to your pressure gauge that tells you how deep you are going.
  • The regulator (the one you breed from) and the octopus (the second regulator) make you breed from your mouth, and you have to squeeze it with your lips so it doesn’t fall.
  • It is advised to have a knife attached to your leg, so you can defend yourself against predators……… AHAH just kidding, it’s only to cut some nets from fishermen’s you might find, or to stab your buddy if he panics and tries to drown you… Kidding again :)
  • You’ll have to put a mask so you can see where you’re going, in which you have to spit into first so it doesn’t dim under water. (disgusting)
  • Then, just before you dive, you’ll have to put on some fins.

Now that you’ll all dressed up, looking like a penguin, you’ll have to put yourself on your two feet and try not to fall back with all the weight you have on your back, and walk like a penguin. Don’t try to run on those, it’s not healthy!!

Now here are some considerations your instructor will tell you while you’re sailing to the sea, a few miles from the shore.

Your first contact with the water will be scary! You’ll enter the water by a giant step or by falling back. You’ll also breed for the first time by your regulator. The air will feel heavy and cold, and will be strange to breed form your mouth. oh and I almost forgot, you'll feel the cold water getting in by your suit. If it's cold on the surface imagine down there!! heheh. Unless you'r lucky enough to be in a tropical country! Than you'll only have to worry about not cut your self on a coral and not be bitten by all the dangerous poisonouss animals you'll find.

Anyway, back to the air ways, your biggest concerne!! Because you’ll be breeding underwater, as you go deeper in the water, your body will compress, as will do your air ways. So you have to be careful not to dive very quickly, because your ear-drum might burst. To avoid this, you have to compensate that small airway by go down slowly and breath out with both your mouth and nose closed.

On the ascending, after you feel animals pass by your body without being able to identify them, and being bitten by a moray (kidding), you have to ascend very slowly, because your lungs are compressed, and need do decompress and ajust the amount of air they can carry while you breed normaly, if you suddnely go up and forget to breed your lungs might burst. If you ascend quickcly, even if you'r breeding normaly, you risk the formation of air bubble in your blood-vessels that can paralyze you or even kill you (if one goes to your brain).

Well I’m finish with this brief description. Hope you’ll like it!

And if by any chance, I was able to scare you, don’t be.

Diving gives you a sense of freedom like you have never felt before, despite of all the equipment.

quinta-feira, 24 de setembro de 2009

Free Tibet

The most peaceful people ever have been, for the last 50 years, oppressed by the Republic of China. Genocides, tortures, exploration, control, almost everything that goes against the human rights, is happening on Tibet. Women are been sterilized and forced to abort, anyone that speaks his mind is tortured, arrested, or killed and their family is threatened. There is no religion freedom, no cultural freedom, no freedom of speech. No freedom for the Tibetans that are still living there. If they want to work or to study, they are forced to learn Chinese in an attempt to eradicate the Tibetan language and culture.

The Tibetans that managed to escape and refuge on India or Nepal, have to cross the Himalayas by foot. Many don’t survive the path, not only because of the hard conditions the Himalayas represent, but also because of the Chinese police force that arrest and kill the ones that are trying to cross. China has closed access to the international media, since 1989, when the last scene of violence was recorded. Since then, only one scene was captured on camera when, two tourists recorded a killing on the Himalayas crossing. The Chinese said it was in self defense!!!!!

There is one Chinese policeman for every 20 tibetans, you can imagine the control that goes on out there! They are on constant fear and stress of being caught. The psychological effects on Tibetans is causing them to be paranoid.

Turists can only go to Lahsa, the capital of Tibet, where a few monks can practice their rituals in a monastery that is highly secured by the Chinese police force in civilian clothes that make sure Tibetans won’t say anything that can compromise them.

If Tibetans want to work or to study, they are forced to learn Chinese in an attempt to eradicate the Tibetan language and culture. The Chinese government continues to say that everyone has access to education but that is not the truth. They are being totally oppressed!

The interest of China, in their obsession with economic growth, is that Tibet has many minerals in the mountains, the potencial of Hydric energy, and oil reservations. Maybe this economic interest and increased economic dependency by the other world leaders to China, is causing a numbness to the situation.

The landscape is transformed, and the climate change is very perceptible at Tibet, more than at any where else in the World.

The government of China denies every attempt to eradicate the Tibetans culture and rights. But everyone sees this, The proof is the worldwide manifestations that happen all over the world.

And be aware, many things “made in China” are made by Tibetans in forced labour that are starving and are tortured when they don’t accomplish the objectives. Please, don’t buy “made in China” products, you’ll not only be fighting against the Chinese occupation, but also will help to save jobs in your community by buying local products.

Dalai Lama is trying, for the last 50 years, a pacific approach to this cause, which China continues to ignore. Hopefully his patience will come to an end and some action will be taken soon.

For more information go to the Human Rights Watch website.

segunda-feira, 24 de agosto de 2009

Remodeling a house and vertical gardens

It’s going to be a year since I moved out form my mother’s home in search of my independency. For the last year, me and João, rented a house near Lisbon, and we’re a week away from moving to our new home, after 4 long months of remodeling.
Thing to consider when remodeling a house:

When you ask for a budget to a contractor, spend some time thinking about all de details you want to see in your house. Small details are easy to forget like light bowls, fake ceilings (don’t know how you call it), electricity spots, bathroom tiles, wardrobes and all the doors and drawers, baseboards, and so on.
Check your pipes and your electric supply system, to see if they need to be replaced.

Good isolation is a great step for energy saving, so choose some good windows. It may cost a little bit more at first, but you’ll safe in air conditioning, heating machines and dehumidifier (one great problem me and João faced last Winter in our current home). Your wallet as well the environment will thank you.

For me, choosing tiles to the bathrooms and toilets was the most difficult thing. I have a visualization problem. If you suffer the same, ask someone you trust with good taste for help, and don´t see everything in the store. Check out a dozen of showcases and pick the one you like. Don’t check out everything!!! (I’m serious!!!!)

A good way to save some money in decoration is to recycle furniture. Go to your grammas house, or to the house in the country side where no one goes, pick a piece of furniture and paint it. That way, not only you’ll spend very little money, but you’ll have something unique, and you’ll be able to join the old fashion with the contemporary.

Choose your kitchen well and according to the space you have. Those modern kitchens with the islands in the middle are fabulous, but if your kitchen has 12 square meters, you’ll probably won’t be able to put an island in the middle. Don’t waste time on kitchens that are not right for your home.

If your house has little space for plants, and you want to have you own apartment garden, choose a vertical one. Here are some tips from Garden Girl TV.

Well, got to go pack some boxes.

quinta-feira, 6 de agosto de 2009

Save the Human!!

Here I am again, writing some boring stuff for you guys! Just kidding!

For the last few hours, Twitter and Facebook have been down, right at the moment I wanted to share something with the world, about my rage against my almost remodeled house who tends to threat to end after I leave my current one. By being without these two web sites, I started to think about how the world would be without Internet, or better, what would happen to human race if all modern communication systems, by some strange phenomenon, would suddenly go down, with all the satellites and stuff in between.

On the negative side, my friends, I believe Chaos would be the answer. Stock markets would crush, worsening the crisis to standards we may not be able to deal with for a long time; companies would close down, world security would be at risk; people would run into the supermarkets grabbing everything they could as well as robbing everything in everywhere; starvation would take place because the lack of natural resources in populated areas, some would think aliens attacked us, others that a natural phenomenon would end the world, money may start to be worth nothing, or worth so much that would be impracticable, and so on… I would really have to reflect about this for some time before I can be close to imagine the real impact it may have. All I know is that it would represent such a change, that most of us would have a hard time adapting to it, and it would significantly reduce human population.

On the bright side, I believe this change would symbolize, in time, a return to the Nature. Ancient people like the Egyptian, and current nomad civilization like the Tibetans and african tribes, understand the balance of Nature and respected it above all, worshipping gods that symbolized water, land, sun, life…. As a matter of fact, the few nomad tribes that still exist, understand this. They know that altering this balance would be catastrophic, so they live in such a communion with Nature and with its cycle, understanding it is so much greater than them, that they would not even think about threatening it.

Human kind, somehow lost this respect along the way, as we “evolved”, and grew bigger than ourselves, to an unconsciousness state, where we went blind to the consequences of our obsession with control, creation and manipulation. We seem numb to life, running against the natural law of Nature, that is the survival of the strongest. What does it take for us to realize that everything has a cycle? Are we so cynical that we think we are stronger than Nature?.... We are Nature! Are we so irrational and illogical that we don’t understand that life will go on with or without us? Are we really so naturally self-destructive that we can’t see we're building walls instead of bridges?

Change will eventually come, and it’s starting to show in our life time. We need to rediscover our role in the ecosystem, because if we don’t have one, Nature will find a way to wipe us out of the face of this planet, and I truly believe that with our “biggest brain of the animal kingdom”, we will come to our senses and turn this route we are taking upside down.

Let’s protect the Human Race for a change (so we can truly protect everything else)!!