Sesc SP

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Urban histories – The Bexiga district in São Paulo, popularly known as Bixiga, has a curious feature: it simply does not exist, or at least that is what one looking for it in official city records will find out. Possibly founded in 1878, it is the district of the Italian cantinas and customs and, as if preserved in camphor, is still home to some picturesque and centennial residents, famous bars, colorful little houses, arts and crafts workshops, a boisterous nightlife, theaters, typical museums, and a strong religious tradition.

Modern life More and more big city residents are making the decision to move to the countryside on the argument that, among other reasons, they can no longer bear with the frenzied traffic and violence. Contact with nature and a slower everyday pace, they say, allows them to enjoy better quality of life, away from the plights bequeathed by development to urban zones.

Cities – Located in the mountains of Rio de Janeiro State, Teresópolis, population 170,000, has been chosen to host Brazil’s national soccer team before and after the World Cup (starting June 12th) and is expecting unprecedented tourist activity. The countdown to the sports event has not erased, however, the tragic trauma the city endured in January 2011, when a cataclysm devastated its urban and rural areas and took the lives of 392 people.

Transport – In one aspect São Paulo will significantly and positively impress the more than 250,000 foreigners (and nearly one million Brazilians from other states) who, are expected to circulate in the city during the World Cup: the good quality of its taxi service, which, with a fleet of nearly 34,000 vehicles, ranks among the world’s top ten.

Science Mars has definitely come into the sights of world astronomy, and probes and robotic observation craft are being sent to that planet in search of answers to a range of questions. One of them: where have the water and CO2 (carbon dioxide) that used to form the planet’s dense atmosphere gone?

Raw material – As a material, bamboo has undoubtedly great potential. Though longstanding and renewable, the fact is that, even abroad, this plant’s potential is still far from benefiting the population. Nearly all materials can be replaced by this tall member of the grass family, as is the case of secondary structures, in which it can replace steel to reinforce concrete.

Behavior They are adults already – some over 30 years old –, yet they are still in their parent’s home and constitute what has been called the kangaroo generation. They are present in great numbers all around Europe, in the United States, Canada, Latin America, and, of course, in Brazil.

Interview – Composer, musician, and music producer Roberto Menescal, 76 years old and still active, was alongside with Carlos Lyra, João Gilberto, Tom Jobim, and Vinicius de Moraes, the frontline of the cultural movement that, in the 1960s, redefined the foundations of Brazilian arts, catapulting Brazil’s Bossa Nova to world fame.

Business – Not only big companies should profit with the World Cup in Brazil. A study by the Brazilian Service of Support for Micro and Small Companies (Sebrae, from the Portuguese acronym) forecasts that emerging businesses in at least ten economic sectors, such as homebuilding, language schools, furniture makers, tourism, and retail, are likely to benefit from the event.

Health – According to the World Health Organization (WHO), depression today affects, to varying degrees, some 350 million people and accounts for 850,000 suicides a year all over the world. In Brazil, 13 million people suffer from the disorder (2009 data). To make things worse, 50% of those who have had one episode of severe depression will relapse.

Memory A composer who sang disillusionment and abandonment, betrayal and jealousy, nostalgia and tenderness, Rio Grande do Sul-born Lupicínio Rodrigues knew like not many how to make music out of a broken heart. And lived up to the genre in music and in life, mostly spent at tables in bars and restaurants (some of which he owned) drinking and crying over lost loves all night long until new passions came to replace the old ones.

Books Born in the city of São Paulo, Brazilian poet Régis Bonvicino is a constant presence in the international poetry circuit and has become, over the years, São Paulo City’s poet par excellence. Or rather, cities: poems from his latest book, Estado Crítico, while São Paulo is still the main character, also visit, with critical, antitourist eyes, Santiago, Valparaíso, New York, Barcelona, London, Paris, Macau, and Hong Kong. In short, the contemporary urban world.

Thematic panel Economist Marcos de Barros Lisboa, a former Secretary for Economic Policy for the Ministry of Economy, debated with the members of the Economics, Sociology and Politics Council of the São Paulo State Fecomercio, Sesc and Senac the difficulties posed by a lack of productivity to the growth of Brazil. In his opinion, the country is a victim of a number of distortions that have sentenced it to mediocrity.