Sesc SP

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Prehistory – In the São Raimundo Nonato region, in the Serra da Capivara National Park in Piauí, today an area covered by caatinga forest, is the country’s largest concentration of rock engravings, in addition to archeological sites where, years ago, researchers found animal skeletons and human remains that go back some 60,000 years.

Behavior – They can be found all over the country and abroad, in Canada, Spain, the United States, Israel, France, and Portugal. The Center for Gaucho Traditions (CTG, from the Portuguese Centro de Tradições Gaúchas), an entity with more than 3,000 units, was started in 1960, in the municipality of São Gabriel (RS), with the aim of divulging the historical roots, customs, way of life, and sociability of the people of Rio Grande do Sul state.

Technology – Science fiction had predicted them, and they are finally here. Drones, the name by which unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs – actually small-sized aircraft that have begun to cross the skies around the world) have become known, are being used in practically every field of human activity.

Agriculture – A fruit that has the looks of and is grown as a vegetable, the tomato has undoubtedly secured a place in salads and other gastronomic preparations and, today, is a staple, whether fresh or industrialized. In Brazil, whose production reached 3.8 million tons in 2013, the greatest suppliers of tomato are the states of Goiás (30%), São Paulo (18%), and Paraná (7%).

Cities – Pomerode, in the Itajaí Valley in the state of Santa Catarina, some 170 kilometers from capital city Florianópolis and with 28,000 inhabitants, has proclaimed itself “the most Germanic city of Brazil” due to the strong influence of its German immigrants and descendants. Besides the folklore, food, and typical parties, the influence of the culture of the country of the Sauerkraut can be seen, for example, in the post-and-plank houses, one of the city’s most beautiful postcards.

Rarities – Brazilians are strongly adhering to the so-called “antigomobilismo”, as is officially known the practice of collecting automobile models that have long stopped being manufactured. So much so that the Brazilian Federation of Old Vehicles (FBVA) has given up counting the number of clubs around the country, where the aficionados for this hobby gather.

Urbanism – Opened in 1974, 13,3 kilometer-long President Costa e Silva Bridge, or simply the Rio-Niterói Bridge, is the largest construction of its kind in the southern hemisphere. It serves the 150,000 vehicles that cross this colossus every day, transporting 400,000 people.

Interview – Neurologist Paulo Bertolucci, 59, is interviewed on Alzheimer disease, whose main risk factor, as he explains, “is intellectual inactivity”. Scientific director for the Brazilian Alzheimer Association (Abraz), Bertolucci says that, according to his Abraz estimates, some 1.2 million Brazilian elderly people suffer from gradual impairment of memory, a situation that inevitably culminates in dementia.

Health – Discovered 25 years ago, hepatitis C leads the rank of the so-called silent diseases, the main cause for its world-scale increasing advance. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), there are 150 million chronically infected patients, while some 500,000 die of the disease every year.

Memory – In four years of conflict, 65 million men were mobilized. Of these, eight million died and 21 million were maimed. The civilian casualties – nine million – outnumbered those fallen on the battlefield for the first time in history. These are some of the figures of World War I (1914-1918), a conflict that changed the meaning the word catastrophe had to the Europeans.

Science – Therapist Ascânio Jatobá de Almeida Soares, a University of São Paulo (USP) philosophy graduate, dedicates a day a week to transmit his knowledge to groups of people that gather in an old and small two-storey house in the Bexiga district, in the capital city of São Paulo, to tell their dreams, discuss them, and reach a conclusion.

Culture – Artist Maria Martins, already deceased, and writer Julio Monteiro Martins, who in spite of their common surname are not related by family, were forced to live and work abroad to win the recognition that only recently they started being awarded in Brazil.

Books – In 1993, journalist Roseli Tardelli interrupted her career to dedicate to a family matter. Infected with HIV, her brother Sérgio Tardelli had treatment denied by his health plan. She then decided to fight against the prejudice against the disease, a story she tells in her book O Valor da Vida – 10 Anos da Agência Aids [“The Value of Life – 10 Years of the AIDS Agency”], published by Editora Senac São Paulo, with the support of the State of São Paulo Health Department.

Thematic panel – Philosopher Renato Janine Ribeiro discussed with members of the Economics, Sociology and Politics Council of the São Paulo State Federation of Commerce, Sesc and Senac a bitter question for the country: “Why can’t Brazil be successful?”