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Space technology – Ever since it started its space research program, in the 1960s, Brazil has always sought to place Brazilian satellites in orbit, with rockets built domestically, in a base located in the country. Half a century later, the country has two launch centers and three artifacts in space, in addition to a nanosatellite, breakthroughs that are bound to gain traction over the next years.

Performance – A study by the National Economic and Social Development Bank (BNDES) showed that of the 12 sectors surveyed, four are going to increase their investments between 2015 and 2018, while the pulp and paper chain ranked first. In 2014, pulp and paper exports grew by 8.8% year on year, and by 5.3% in the first semester of 2015 alone.

Top shopping street – It is the busiest thoroughfare in South America, a retail cluster that is home to hundreds of stores selling an unparalleled variety of goods. An unrivalled shop window that attracts, daily, some 400,000 people, or 1.2 million on special dates like Mother’s Day, Valentine’s, Father’s Day, Children’s Day, and Christmas. Thus is 25 de Março Street, in the city of São Paulo.

Agriculture – Brazil is forecast to harvest in the 2015-2016 crop season, according to an estimate by the National Food Supply Company (Conab), 655.16 million tons of sugar cane, up 3.2% year-on-year. Slightly over 30% of this supply will become sugar and about 65% will go into the production of alcohol.

Economy – The Brazilian economy is going downhill, GDP is actually bound to shrink by 2% in 2015, yet some segments should continue to grow all along 2016, according to a study by Mintel Group, one of the biggest international market intelligence agencies. The highlights are food and beverage, beauty, well-being, and health companies.

Famous brands – A constantly evolving market, mergers, economic shifts, and changes in command due to succession. There are several reasons, yet the fact is that is constant is that myriad Brazilian famous brands in the retail, manufacturing and services industries disappeared over the last decades, as were the cases of, among many others, Gurgel, Mappin, Matarazzo Group, Mesbla, Transbrasil, Vasp, and Varig.

Cities – Mountain climate, European architecture, endless tourist attractions. Campos do Jordão, 170 kilometers away from the capital of the state of São Paulo and with slightly over 50,000 inhabitants, draws the interest of tourists from all over Brazil, especially during the Winter Festival, with its recitals and classical music concerts. The last one, the city’s 46th festival, from July 4th to August 2nd, 2015, was enjoyed by some 200,000 tourists.

Interview – Actor Juca de Oliveira, aged 80, continues with the same vitality, sharing his time between the cities of São de Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, where he records for Globo TV. In a talk with Problemas Brasileiros, Juca explained why he is against the Rouanet Law, which fosters the support of the private initiative to the cultural sector through fiscal incentives. “It is disastrous for the theater”, he said.

Health – The name of the malady is osteoarthritis, a disease that more often than not leads to musculoskeletal pain. Initially caused by the wearing of the joints, thus making it prevalent among the elderly, it also affects teenagers and young adults. It is the third greatest cause of job absence in Brazil, only trailing behind backaches and depression. The Ministry of Health recently informed that osteoarthritis afflicts about 15 million Brazilians.

Soccer – Rio de Janeiro is the Brazilian capital city with the largest number of small teams in a state soccer league, among which are América, Bangu, Bonsucesso, Campo Grande, Madureira, Olaria, Portuguesa, and São Cristovão, teams that, with no structure and resources, strengthen the motto that it’s all about competing.

Music – Caetano Veloso and Gilberto Gil, two superstars of the Brazilian art scene, both aged 73, have celebrated the fiftieth anniversary of their musical careers, a date they are commemorating with concerts in Europe and then, upon their return to Brazil, with the show Gil e Caetano – Dois Amigos. Um Século de Música. [in a free translation, “Gil and Caetano – Two Friends. A Century of Music.”]

Memory – Picture in your mind, late 1930s, fans fainting and the police force having to act to hold the bolder ones! Yes, this already happened in Brazil eight decades ago. And the one responsible for that scene, who was to become a national unanimity, was singer Orlando Silva, revered by the critics of the time and his admirers as the “Singer of the Crowds”.

Books Cultivando Diferenças – Fronteiras Simbólicas e a Formação da Desigualdade, organized by Michèle Lamont and Marcel Fournier (Edições Sesc, São Paulo), a book being launched for the first time in Brazil (originally published in the United States in 1992 under the title of Cultivating Differences: Symbolic Boundaries and the Making of Inequality), has the merit of broadening the discussion on the role of culture in social inequality.

Thematic panels – Hélio Zylberstajn, who holds a PhD in industrial relations, discussed with the members of the Economics, Sociology and Politics Council of the São Paulo State Federation of Trade in Goods, Services and Tourism, and of Sesc and Senac the complicated Brazilian labor market regulation. The many attempts of reform carried out over time failed and the prospect is one of more and broader conflicts. Before the same council, on a different date, historian Luiz Felipe de Alencastro spoke on the thirty years of the Brazilian redemocratization, a period in which the country went through profound sociopolitical, economic, and demographic changes.