Thursday, November 15, 2007

Another holiday. We have the day off today and I don't even know why exactly. And there's another holiday next week for the patron saint of Natal, whose name I can't remember.

Nirvana - Smells Like an Unlikely Story. 16 years ago Nirvana's song Smells Like Teen Spirit was top of the Rock Charts in the USA. I'm showing my age when I say I can remember that... unlike some of my students who weren't even born. Anyway, for the benefit of some of the rock fans in my classes I played the video of the song, the excellent parody from Weird Al Jankovich and also the extremely bizarre Paul Anka swingy jazzy version. One of my students piped up after I played the song and said, "Oh, I saw this band in concert!" I was stunned, and also secretly quite jealous. How? "I saw them in concert in 2003", she continued. "Uh-huh", I said "Are you absolutely sure?" The suicide of the Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain 1994 has generally been accepted by historians as the moment the band ceased to exist. After a bit of mirth and confusion, it turns out she saw another band, whose name she forgot, who played Smells Like Teen Spirit as a cover. Either that, or Kurt Cobain, along with Elvis and Jimi Hendrix and John Lennon are touring the Brazilian NE in some kind of phantom super-group... I'll let you know if they come by here again.

Brazil has more oil and Spider-Man. A big story that has people excited here is that a new oil field was discovered off the coast of South Brazil. This huge reserve will make Brazil one of the top 10 oil producing countries in the world. I teach a group of Lawyers from the Brazilian national oil company Petrobras who are the chief stakeholders in the enterprise. These Lawyers were beside themselves with excitement. One of my teenage students studying geology declared his intention to work on the new rigs that will be built. Another story from Brazil that made it into international circulation was the tale of the 5 year-old boy dressed as Spider-Man who saved a baby from a burning house.

Peru v Brazil. The Brazilian national team are back in the country from their clubs in Europe. I couldn't believe it when 2 (of the 5!) sports channels on our cable package had dodgy, unending camcorder footage of the team's training session before their weekend World Cup qualifier in Peru... Ronaldinho and Kaka may be the best players in the world but they do sit-ups in much the same way as anybody else, in my opinion.

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