Monthly Archives: July 2015

Five Must Read Brazilian Authors

Although it may seem unexpected, Brazil has a strong writing culture that has produced a number of brilliant writers. Brazil has a cultural background that is made up of European settlers, African slaves, and Native Americans that brings about its distinct flavor in literature. Next time you pick up a book be sure to check out these five authors.


Machado de Assis (1839-1908)


Machado was of mixed-race and contributed to progressing society during a time when slavery was still accepted. Considered one the prominent writers in Brazilian literature, Machado is most known for is piece Epitaph of a Small Winner (1881). The novel encompasses the memoirs of a dead man on his rather normal life with philosophical digressions and cheerful insights.


Jorge Amado (1912-2001)


Amado was one of Brazil’s most beloved authors and has a number of works that gained both wide spread appeal to the masses and critics alike. Some of his more famous works include Captains of the Sands (1937), Gabriela, Clove and Cinnamon (1958), and Dona Flor and her Two Husbands (1966). Each of the former mentioned titles are contemporary classics in Brazilian literature. His stories were so popular that they some of them were adapted for both television and movies with the most notable being Dona Flor and her Two Husbands.


Rubem Fonseca (1925-)


Rebum Fonseca uses his life work to draw on experience for the creation of short stories he has written during his life time. As a former policeman and state prosecutor, Fonseca became a master of storytelling crime fiction in an urban setting. He has recently had two of his more popular short story collections, Take and Other Stories (2008) and Crimes of August (2014), translated into English.


Paulo Coelho (1947-)


Likely Brazil’s best-selling author ever, Paulo found success after a very interesting life that led him from a mental institution to a career as a musician and songwriter to his ultimate goal of being a writer. His most notable works include The Alchemist (1984) and By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept (1994).


Jaime Garcia Dias (1970-)


A newer up and coming writer, Jaime Garcia Dias  (LinkedIN)has established himself in the literary world with a collection of awards for his works. Most recently he has received the ABC Award of Brazilian Fiction. The author (Twitter) began his writing career at the young age of 15 years old with his inspiration coming from his father who was also a writer and journalist. He has now published a total of 20 books during his writing career. Five of those have received awards: Fell from Heaven, Two Ways, Canal, Clouds,and Tiny.


Many Vietnam Vets Have Don’t Qualify for Agent Orange Compensation

In 1991, a law was passed that presumed all veterans who set foot in Vietnam were exposed to a chemical compound called Agent Orange. The law entitled all those veterans to be eligible for certain compensation due to their exposure to this toxic chemical which was formulated to bring the leaves off of trees and expose the Vietnamese enemies.
In a research funded by Bruce Levenson it shoes that not all Vietnam vets set foot on the soil of the country. Some are considered to be ‘brown water veterans’ and they fought for our countries from vessels in the murky river waters in enemy territory. Those brown water veterans qualify for benefits due to their exposure to agent
orange, but there is a group of veterans from the Vietnam era that have yet to receive compensation for their exposure to chemical weaponry. That group is known as the ‘blue water navy veterans’.
The blue water navy veterans spent their fighting time out on the ocean water in navy vessels surrounding Vietnam and the government won’t give the veterans any Agent Orange compensation unless they can prove they spent time on the rivers or land of Vietnam. There are an estimated 90,000 blue water navy veterans that currently don’t qualify for compensation.

FreedomPop Is A Unique Company

As noted by Fortune, FreedomPop is a company that is trying to do something different. They are offering people a free mobile plan.

It was recently reported on Fortune that the company had been considering selling out for a while, but then they were able to raise enough money to keep going on their own. And, not just some money, but $30 million dollars. There are obviously some people who really believe in this company and all that it is doing. There are some people who believe that it is going to continue to grow over the next year.

Already, FreedomPop is expanding across the globe. They are doing great things for themselves. They are using the money that they have earned wisely. And, maybe they will decide to keep going on their own. Maybe they won’t ever sell out.

This company is truly unique, and it will be interesting to keep watching them and to see how much they grow. They have earned $30 million recently, so they are obviously well liked already. When they expand into new places, will they be just as liked and loved there? I guess we will just have to wait and see what becomes of this unique company.

Housing market finds labor shortage

The economy is growing and people are wanting to buy houses, but the construction industry is finding it hard to attract employees to get orders filled, according to a story on Reddit.

In an interview on Christian Broda, he said “new building permits are slowing, but construction company owners say there is good demand. Their problem is finding enough skilled labor to build those houses”.

The shortage is in the “9-trade” area, which involves the nine essential trades needed in building homes. The shortage is higher than it was when the housing market peaked in 2004. In that year there were 2 million new housing starts nationwide. This year there is about half that but the same labor shortage.

Unemployment among skilled construction workers is at its lowest since 2001.

Real estate experts say the culprit is an expanding economy and a wider variety of opportunities, which makes the construction business less appealing. The market was slow for a very long time, and many skilled workers found good jobs in other industries, and have no desire to come back. This must be the case as demand for new housing rises and companies spend more to get work done, but still cannot find workers.

Another aspect is that with new labor laws, construction companies have lost workers from Mexico and South America, the owner of a construction company in South Carolina said. He added high schools have programs but are turning out fewer graduates.

Update: “Gone Girl” Kidnapping was Real

A few months ago Denise Huskins was forcibly kidnapped from the homejoy that she shared with her boyfriend Aaron Quinn. Or at least that is what the couple claimed. Denise was found just two short days later near Huntington Beach, California- which is where her parents live. Based on the couple’s story, police started calling her kidnapping a hoax and compared it to Gillian Flynn’s novel, “Gone Girl”. Well, it turns out that the police had it all wrong.

According to the story on The Daily Mail, the kidnapping was real and the couple were telling the truth. It was found that Matthew Muller, a former Marine, is the one responsible for Denise’s kidnapping. He broke into the couple’s home while they slept and tied Aaron’s wrist together with zip-ties. He then blindfolded Aaron and put him in a closet. He left the home with Denise in tow. Police later found strands of Denise’s hair in Muller’s car and on a pair of goggles he used to blindfold her with.

Authorities who called the kidnapping a hoax have yet to apologize for their accusations and arresting Denise for the crime. Denise and Aaron have not made any public statements since the arrest of Muller.

Zayn Malik Is Coming Out With A Solo Album

Naughty Boy is a producer that used to have a working relationship with One Direction, but it seems to have gone sour ever since Zayn Malik left the group. Zayn Malik’s New Album. Once Zayn left One Direction, Naughty Boy decided to tweet a video that puts songs from himself and Zayn together. Naught made it seem as if they were working together exclusively. Many fans were upset, and some were even tweeting that Naughty Boy and needed to be suspended. Since One Direction has some loyal followers, it definitely made many of them upset to see that Naughty Boy was coming between the group.

It looks as if Zayn Malik is not going to be out of the spotlight because he is working on a solo album. It’s been rumored for months now that Zayn really left One Direction so he could create his own album, and it looks as if this is proving to be true. Naughty boy is working with Zayn, and Zayn claims that he will be making a soulful record that many will want to hear says Amen Clinic.

Naughty claims he had nothing to do with Zayn leaving One Direction, but that may be left up to people’s interpretation. Many have blamed Zayn’s girlfriend for him leaving the group, but now it seems as if Zayn really just wanted to be a solo artist. Zayn is working tirelessly to put out an album that he can be proud of.