Sesc SP

Matérias da edição

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Food – In spite of all the advances made by humanity, some 800 million people worldwide – one out every nine terrestrials – are still suffering from hunger. And a main cause for that is food wastage. It is known that every year 30% of everything produced by our farmlands ends in the garbage at some point between the plantation and the consumers’ homes. In Brazil, the world’s fourth biggest food producer, million tons of food products are wasted.

Sustainability – The Brazilian natural pesticides market has grown by leaps and bounds. If in 2011 only 26 products used in agriculture to fight pests were based on biological control agents, or biocontrol, in 2013 this number had nearly doubled to 50. Over the last two years, the number of biological products applying for registration has continued to increase, underscoring the rising interest for this kind of pesticide.

Economy – Just like in other countries, the Brazilian bicycle market is also gaining momentum, in spite of a drop in units sold in 2015. It is estimated that the national bicycle fleet is about 70 million units, while annual production is over 4 million, making the country the fourth largest producer worldwide. With a supply of 85 million new bicycles a year, China ranks first, followed by India (12 million) and Taiwan (4.5 million).

Tourism – São Paulo is no Montreal, the city with the world’s largest underground complex, which extends over 32 kilometers of well-lit tunnels, but does have ‘holes’ that can rival, at least as far as the cultural arena is concerned, with the Canadian city’s attractions. And the underground options in the capital city range from aquariums and catacombs to restaurants and theaters, in addition to urban rubble.

Environment – Every year, some two billion liters of edible vegetable oil are consumed in Brazil. Of total consumption, 80% is ingested with other food, while the remaining 20%, becomes waste cooking oil, a pollutant that most often ends up in the sink drain or even in the toilet, the worst possible choices.

Agriculture – Brazil is one of the world’s most important food producers. Over the past years, Brazilian agriculture has become heavily mechanized and, as a result, our agribusiness has risen to prominence in the industry. Yet a few items of the Brazilian cooking are not given the same importance by national agriculture. One example? Potatoes. The Brazilian potato production ranks 23rd globally and has a market share of less than 1% of the world supply.

Digital world – The familiarity of 60-year-olds and over with computers and the Internet is increasingly less infrequent but is still far from being the rule. Data from the 2013 National Household Sample Survey (PNAD), conducted by the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE), show that the overwhelming majority of the Brazilian web surfers is made up of young people: 75% of 15 to 19-year-olds had surfed the web that year, in contrast with only 12.6% of individuals aged 60 years plus.

Cities – Jaraguá do Sul, in Santa Catarina State, population 160,000, boasts highly impressive numbers. In just 13 years, its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew by 385.7% and is worth R$ 7.8 billion. The 9,515 companies based in the municipality generate 68,700 jobs and, in 2014, most of them (84.1%) were micro and small companies. Weg, one of the world’s top manufacturers of electric motors, is headquartered in Jaraguá do Sul.

Interview – Over the two last decades the Brazilian rail industry has nearly doubled its cargo transportation capacity, yet it is still far from meeting the country’s logistics needs. To better understand the challenges of this key sector of the Brazilian economy, Problemas Brasileiros spoke with Vicente Abate, aged 65, president of the Brazilian Railroad Association (Abifer), a business that produces nearly everything train lines need.

Health – Everyone has had insomnia at least once in their lifetimes and knows that the next morning it will take its toll: bad humor, fatigue, difficulty in reasoning and making decisions. Most people get rid of the problem, but 20% of them don’t. Those are the ones who suffer from chronic insomnia, whose symptoms are not being able to start or continue sleeping for at least three days a week over a period of three months, as well as waking up too early, eventually compromising daily activity.

Society – The contours of the patriarchal family that prevailed in Brazil until the second half of the 20th century have faded significantly in our days. The backbone of society for the positivists who proclaimed the Republic, so much so that Ruy Barbosa stated that “the motherland is the family enlarged”, the structure organized around the indisputable power of the patriarch gradually gave room to other arrangements. The truth is that the family is going through changes triggered by society’s structural mutation.

Memory – Tarsila do Amaral was one of Brazil’s most important painters, having participated in the Modernist Movement of 1922 side by side with the country’s most renowned artists. She created such paintings as Retrato Azul [Blue Portrait] (of Sérgio Milliet); Pont Neuf; and cubist-style landscapes like Veneza, Rio de Janeiro. Acclaim came with her La Nègre (Black Woman), a great synthesis of vibrant colors and daring shapes.

Books – The idea of telling the history of the library from the perspective of the architectural evolution of their buildings over the centuries came to architect and historian James W. P. Campbell when, still a student, he was assigned to research the subject. Thus was born The library: A world history, a grandiose book written by Campbell – with buildings and interiors photographed by specialist Will Pryce– and translated by Thais Rocha, now brought to Brazilian readers by publishing house Edições Sesc São Paulo.

Thematic panel – The writer, journalist, and art critic Jacob Klintowitz delivered a talk at the Economics, Sociology and Politics Council of the São Paulo State Federation of Trade in Goods, Services and Tourism, and of Sesc and Senac on the theme “Art and the Recent History of our Lives” [“A Arte e a História Recente de Nossas Vidas”]. In his opinion, the artistic process is also the process of building human consciousness.