Chemistry

Dear reader,

As one of the most important topics (the another one is probably physics) related to science, chemistry is definitely a paramount scientific discipline.

Across the history of human civilization, from the ancient times to the present, the study of chemistry changed our lives in a very drastic way! From the control of fire by early human through the formulation of atomic theory and the discovery of subatomic particles, the progress of mankind in terms of technological revolutions has been astonishing!

A concise timeline of history of chemistry

I don’t intend to write everything about chemistry in this blog since it will take years and thousands of articles! 🙂

However, I will try to write about the most significant concepts and interesting discoveries that have contributed to our evolution as a rational animal (although sometimes we use our knowledge to make irrational things).

Initially, it’s interesting to know what does the chemistry word mean. According to the Wikipedia, “the etymology of the word chemistry is debatable. It is agreed that the word derives from the word alchemy, which is a European one, derived from kimiya (كيمياء) and al-kīmiyāʾ (الكيمياء). The Arabic term is derived from the Ancient Greek χημία khēmia or χημεία khēmeia. However, the ultimate origin of the root word, chem, is uncertain..

Also, “there are two main views on the derivation of the word, which agree in holding that it has an Arabic descent, the prefix al being the Arabic article”:

Assuming an Egyptian origin, chemistry is defined as follows:

  • Chemistry, from the ancient Egyptian word “khēmia” meaning transmutation of earth, is the science of matter at the atomic to molecular scale, dealing primarily with collections of atoms, such as molecules, crystals, and metals.

Assuming a Greek origin, chemistry is defined as follows:

  • Chemistry, from the Greek word χημεία (khēmeia) meaning “cast together” or “pour together”, is the science of matter at the atomic to molecular scale, dealing primarily with collections of atoms, such as molecules, crystals, and metals.

In a near future I intend to write more articles about chemistry, including its history, subdisciplines, principles, discoveries, etc. Therefore, if you really enjoy chemistry as I do then I invite you to take a look occasionally here at this blog, OK? 😉

Works Cited

“Etymology of Chemistry.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 14 Nov. 2018, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Etymology_of_chemistry.

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Fake News

Dear reader,

From the beginnings of civilization the human being spreads false news around himself and his community. With the advent of printed paper the reach of false news has increased considerably. Later, the invention of radio and TV also contributed significantly, mainly in places where we had and still have a predominance of great conglomerates of broadcasting.

Unfortunately, things got much worse with the development of Internet!  😦 😦

I always remember one professor’s comment at my Electrical Engineering undergraduate course in Porto Alegre, Brazil. At that time (pre-Internet era) he used to say “The paper accepts everything.” with the purpose to warn his students that often a project in practice presents a completely different result from the theory …

The same applies to the Internet:  “The digital world accepts everything!”  😉

In other words, it’s extremely easy to tamper an article, a photo and even a recorded voice!  😦

Accordingly to Wardle, there are basically seven types of fake news:

  1. satire or parody (“no intention to cause harm but has potential to fool”),
  2. false connection (“when headlines, visuals or captions don’t support the content”),
  3. misleading content (“misleading use of information to frame an issue or an individual”),
  4. false context (“when genuine content is shared with false contextual information”),
  5. impostor content (“when genuine sources are impersonated” with false, made-up sources),
  6. manipulated content (“when genuine information or imagery is manipulated to deceive”, as with a “doctored” photo) and,
  7. fabricated content (“new content is 100% false, designed to deceive and do harm”)

It’s amazing, and extremely worrying at the same time, how the quantity of fake news increased exponentially with the use of social media across the globe during the last five years …

The roots of “fake news” (by UNESCO – World Trends in Freedom of Expression and Media Development Global Report 2017/2018)

For example, on last weekend we Brazilians elected our new President. Most of us were astonished by the huge quantity of fake news about the two front-runners on social media such as Facebook and WhatsApp!

Since it’s almost impossible to extinguish fake news of these chaotic times, then at least we must be able how to identify them. The picture below shows an useful method how to spot fake news:

How to Spot Fake News (By the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions)

Therefore, dear reader:

Always be alert, open your eyes, and especially, always distrust any sources, even the reliable ones!  😉

Works Cited

Wardle, Claire. “Fake News. It’s Complicated.” First Draft News, Harvard Kennedy School’s Shorenstein Center, 16 Feb. 2017, firstdraftnews.org/fake-news-complicated/.

Newspapers

Dear reader,

Some months ago I have written small articles about three of my favorite printed media related to reading such as comics, magazines, and books. This month I would like to write about another one of my favorite printed media, i.e., newspapers.

Despite of starting my reading skills with comics, I started reading newspapers at an early age, probably when I was 7 or 8-years-old. Of course, it doesn’t mean that I was a fully literate child at that time! Actually, for the first two or three years after starting reading newspapers, I just read the section about soccer and the daily charge!  🙂

Then, during the years of my childhood and adolescence I started reading more sections of a newspaper, a habit I learned with my dad and my grandfather. 😉  I never forget it. I often used to wait my dad or grandfather finish reading their newspapers and then only later I would start reading them. Occasionally, I was able to read the newspapers before them, but it was uncommon. However, sometimes we would be able to read the newspapers at the same time because they had separate inserts (then each of us would read a separate section) or my dad and grandfather would buy more than one newspaper. 😉

After more than four decades I really miss those reading times with them. Usually on Sundays, sometimes on Saturdays and occasionally on Wednesdays, I always enjoyed reading newspapers. Unfortunately, with the advent of Internet I stopped reading printed newspapers and moved to digital content published most of time by the same newspaper publishing companies…

On the next article related to newspapers I will introduce and comment about some printed newspapers I used to read during the last century. So, if you excuse me I have to check the current news with my browser! 🙂

                          Peanuts’s gang enjoying reading the newspaper 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

Discrimination

Dear reader,

This month I will try to write here a brief article about discrimination, one of the worst things that can happen to a human being!  😦

Accordingly to the Wikipedia, “discrimination is treatment or consideration of, or making a distinction towards, a person based on the group, class, or category to which the person is perceived to belong. These include:

  • age,
  • colour,
  • convictions for which a pardon has been granted or a record suspended,
  • disability,
  • ethnicity,
  • family status,
  • gender identity,
  • genetic characteristics,
  • marital status,
  • nationality,
  • race,
  • religion,
  • sex, and
  • sexual orientation.

It consists of treatment of an individual or group, based on their actual or perceived membership in a certain group or social category, in a way that is worse than the way people are usually treated. It involves the group’s initial reaction or interaction going on to influence the individual’s actual behaviour towards the group leader or the group, restricting members of one group from opportunities or privileges that are available to another group, leading to the exclusion of the individual or entities based on illogical or irrational decision making” (Discrimination).

Discrimination have been happening for centuries, almost everywhere and with everyone… 😦

Despite of formal laws against discrimination being approved in most countries in the world, it seems to me that nowadays there is having been an increase, specially in those cases related to age, ethnicity, gender identity, nationality, race and sexual orientation. That’s not really a coincidence, since currently there is a significant escalation of intolerance among us. It gives me the sad impression that our chaotic world and consequently our societies are just divided in black and white, good or bad, without any grayscale between… 😦

Unfortunately, this is happening with me right now, but I won’t give up! The best way to vanish or at least decrease discrimination significantly is to speak up and denounce it without being afraid of being discriminated too. Also, if we don’t want to be discriminated, the first step is not discriminate others!

What about you, dear reader? Are you being (or were you) discriminated? Feel free to comment here and speak clearly about it.

Works Cited

“Discrimination.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 25 Aug. 2018, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Discrimination.

 

Religion and Faith

Dear reader,

I was so busy on this July that I barely had time to think about which topic I should write here. I was going to write about laziness when at the last time (i.e., with just few hours left in this month) I decided to write a very short article about religion and faith, two subjects that attract the interest of billions around the world.  😉

Some people think that religion and faith depend on each other, but that’s not correct. I mean, we can have faith without following any religion, but I don’t think that people have or follow a religion without faith

Accordingly to the Wikipedia, “religion may be defined as a cultural system of designated behaviours and practices, world views, texts, sanctified places, prophecies, ethics, or organizations, that relates humanity to supernatural, transcendental, or spiritual elements” (Religion).

On the other hand, we “can define faith as confidence or trust in a particular system of religious belief, within which faith may equate to confidence based on some perceived degree of warrant, in contrast to a definition of faith as being belief without evidence” (Faith).

The table below summarizes very well the differences between them:

Differences between Faith & Religion (source: Pediaa.com – Know about Anything)

What about you, dear reader? Which alternative below corresponds to you? 😉

  1. I have faith and follow a specific religion.  🙂
  2. I have faith, but don’t follow any religion.
  3. I follow a specific religion, but don’t have any faith
  4. I don’t follow any religion and don’t have faith at all!

That’s definitely an interesting topic to explore more deeply, something that probably I will do here someday. Meanwhile, let’s think about it, especially considering that currently we live in chaotic times …

Best Regards from the Land of Buddhism and Shintoism,  🙂

PS. By the way, in my case the correct alternative is the first one cited above.  😉

Works Cited

“Faith.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 27 July 2018, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Faith.

“Religion.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 27 July 2018, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religion.

 

The World Cup 2018

Dear reader,

I was supposed to write a long article this month here, but unfortunately I wasn’t able to make it … 😦

That’s because on last June 14th it started, finally, the World Cup 2018 in Russia! Therefore I’ve been extremely busy this month! 😉 In other words, I’ve been watching all the soccer matches since the opening match between Russia 5 x 0 Saudi Arabia. Only to you have an idea, I’m watching the first match for the best-16 right now between France 1 x 1 Argentina! 🙂

Some of you (especially those that aren’t passionate about soccer) maybe are asking yourselves “Why are some soccer supporters so crazy about World Cup?”

There are more than one answer, but the most correct one (and I support it) is that, (un)fortunately, the World Cup occurs only every four years! That means, it occurs only twice in a generation!

Consequently, I apologize here in advance for not posting anything interessant for your reading. Until the middle of next month I will continue watching all the World Cup 2018 matches and at same time cheering as a crazy soccer supporter since my country still has a small chance to go to the grand finale! 😉

See you on next month! 🙂

The World Cup trophy: the most coveted trophy in soccer!

 

Portuguese language: Introduction

Dear reader,

As a Brazilian (although living abroad for almost twenty years) I will try to write here a short introduction about Portuguese language, my mother tongue.

Basically it originated (as French, Italian, Spanish and Romanian languages) from Vulgar Latin, a nonstandard form of Latin (as opposed to Classical Latin, the standard and literary version of the language) spoken in the Mediterranean region during and after the classical period of the Roman Empire.

I wonder if you know it, but nowadays there are approximately 215 to 220 million native speakers and 260 million total speakers around the world! According to Wikipedia “is usually listed as the sixth most natively spoken language in the world, the third-most spoken European language in the world in terms of native speakers, and the most spoken language in the Southern Hemisphere. It is also the most spoken language in South America and the second-most spoken in Latin America after Spanish“.

Countries where Portuguese language is the official language

Despite of enjoying Portuguese language when I was a teenager I often had some trouble in trying to understand it at middle and high school classes, especially when the main topic was Literature. Also, in terms of grammar, punctuation was (and still is) difficult to understand. It’s interesting to mention here that the most difficult part for a foreigner is the verb conjugation since it changes for all pronouns, without exception (although there are some rules)!  😉

Anyway, here goes a sample of some useful expressions in Portuguese (I hope it can be useful to you):

Some basic Portuguese expressions

In a near future I intend to write specific articles about the history, dialects, vocabulary, phonology and grammar of Portuguese language.

If you’re a foreigner and is trying to learn my mother tongue, don’t hesitate in contact me, please. I will try my best to help you understand this beautiful language.  🙂

Until there I say

“Até breve!”  (See you soon!)  🙂

Works Cited

“Portuguese Language.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 22 May 2018, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portuguese_language.

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