Archive | December, 2012

Learn Brazilian

20 Dec


Lit. Gérson’s Law.

  • The law by which you take advantage of everything and everybody for self benefit, without thinking about how this will affect other people. Opportunism.

A Lei de Gérson está em alta. Todos só querem levar vantagem.
Gérson’s Law is on the increase. they all just want to take advantage.

gersonThe concept of being smart, using connections and pulling strings to get what you want is a deeply rooted value in Brazilian culture. This may involve means that are not entirely ethical, or getting what you want at the expense of others. In other words instead of a win-win situation, you have a win-lose one.
The expression Lei de Gérson comes from the name of a football player Gérson, who featured in a famous and disastrous advertisement for Vila Rica cigarettes in the 1970S. The advert tried to show that this particular brand had an advantage over others because it was the best and cheapest, and at the end Gérson said:
Você também gosta de levar vantagem em tudo, certo? you also like to take advantage in everything, right?

Are the British the worst language learners?

19 Dec


It has generally been accepted, during this century, that the world’s worst linguists are the British, closely followed by the Americans, Australians and other English-speaking peoples.

Different reasons have been given to explain this state of affairs. It has often been said that the Englishman considers himself superior to others and sees no reason why he should speak another language, writes Richard Lewis in The Telegraph

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Useful site for high-level English language learners (and native speakers!)

19 Dec


A really popular site in the Brazilian office is the  language page of the stack exchange site based on all things about the English language. It’s worth a look, especially if you speak English as your first language, and contains some excellent discussions about confusing words, etymology, pronunciation, lexical sets and grammar.

Stack exchange is a forum where peers ask and answer questions related to a theme (e.g maths, technology, programming) and its also a free platform so new topics can be created. Contributors get ‘reputation’ points for good questions and good answers. Through this system, moderators are assigned when they reach a certain number of reputation points, resulting in a discussion page which is democratically self-policed.

Stack Overflow, the globally recognized mother of all stack exchange pages, is used by us all to solve problems. This English language forum is an excellent place to solve specific problems or just browse through a list of wide-ranging conundrums

If you’re interested in all things Anglo-linguistic, check it out here…


Monthly update… Highlander

17 Dec



November was a dark and long month for our fellas from Highlander due to a couple of very awkward sprints.

Hard work, hard times…but nobody said that life would be always easy and fun.


We had to work overtime to finish our sprint (although we also ate some pizza), but we can say that in the end we came up smelling of roses because the work that was delivered was approved for the client and we learned how to cope better with tricky situations.

Some guys from our office went to visit the Sheffield office so we got two presents… two weeks without Rodrigo (just kidding we love you…or not) and Ian sent us some cool origamis. Legend has it that he himself made them for us as a gift.


And as we are talking about trips, James went back to England, this was sad too…but he will come back soon to cheer up our lives again! We did a farewell party for him and the Grisa Brothers ate oysters for the first time…they said it looks like vomit, but tastes good, similar to fish maybe (have you ever noticed how difficult it is to describe the taste of food?).


The Grisa brothers really love trying new food so they were presented to a peculiar restaurant where Mateus likes to eat, and where you can eat as much as you want for just 10 reais (something like 3 pounds). Priscila didn’t want to try, probably because she started a diet or MAYBE, just maybe because of the lovely nickname that guys call it : Pobreza (Poorness)


What do you prefer to watch on TV? The Highlanders love to watch movies and series.

Priscila and the Grisa brothers turned Mateus into a series addict as they already were, now he is a big fan of Dexter and Breaking Bad.

Priscila is a now a big fan of Homeland, but she always forgets to share the episodes, so the rest of the team aren’t fans YET, maybe this can change for the next month.

Merry Christmas from us all in Brazil

Monthly update… Marmite

14 Dec


November was an exciting month for the team, firstly because the team formation has been completed with Rodrigo’s joining the team and on his first sprint, we all had the opportunity to work with even more interesting features on our products. What a lucky guy!

Having joined the team, Rodrigo has been demonstrating his terrific coding skills and being able to really help the team. He’s rapidly got the team spirit, despite not sharing the same passion towards the wonderfully rich flavour yeast extract as the rest of the team.

Also, when our Marmite supply was running out and hope was threatening to abandon the team, Hilton came back from England bringing us loads of the mightiest Extra Old version of the savoury nourishment. Well done, Hilton! The aging member of Marmite team’s trip to Tribal’s office in Sheffield, with his colleagues from other teams, might one day be fully covered in a separate blog post! (unlikely though…Ed)

This month was also when Guilherme and Alex had their 45-day review. “It was not that easy, but we have put 110% of effort in this match and we managed to get to the final! The cup is ours!”, Guilherme said.

Also, James mentioned in that review Guilherme’s fabulous skills in preparing handcrafted goods.

November would not be complete without mentioning the “Movember” movement, which Alex and Craig were the team’s representatives! Sadly (or luckily) we don’t have pictures to show as evidence but we can say that facial hair is a no-go these days.

As a finishing note, after the end of the Brazilian football championship, some of us are happier, while some others so-so (poor Rodrigo). That’s life, only the strongest ones survive. By Atlético Mineiro taking second place, Alex earned the right to proudly bear and wave around the symbol of the team he supports: a large Rooster! Also known as the Crazy Rooster in Minas Gerais. “Nothing makes me happier than a big rooster” he added

A short story to end with:

Once upon a time, there was a boy who cried “wolf!” It was a good thing, because wolves were in fact invading the village, so the wolves were killed (because that is what they used to do in the old times – not anymore!) and everyone lived happily ever after.

Monthly update… Magic Island

14 Dec

Magic IslandMagic Island

Well, October and November were good months for Magic Island.

Cris, Scrum Master of our team, spent 2 weeks in UK in October. She met the people of the Hessle office. She stayed in a lovely barn located in Aberford, Leeds.

Working for a team there, she had the opportunity to learn a bit more about how they work, she participated in their meetings as well and she saw their day-to-day lives.

Here in Brazil, during this period, Arthur did a very good job as temporary Scrum Master.

Diego crashed his new car! And Helton bought a new one, bigger than the previous one to offer more comfort to his family.

In November we celebrated Danilo (from EBS team) and Jon’s birthdays!

By the way, we usually eat cakes when someone has a birthday and also when Arthur comes back from his parent’s home, in Paraná. It’s because his mother is a cake maker and he kindly (under pressure) brings us a delicious chocolate cake! Recently, in November, he went to Paraná, so, we got another cake…  Thanks, Arthur!

Arley had a hard Jiu-jitsu’s competition and won the silver medal. Well done, Arley!


But he is a bit sad now because his family went back to Paraná while he searches for an apartment. In the meantime he is Diego’s neighbor because he shares an apartment with our friend Henrique.

Nei (Claudinei) is now an effective Magic Islander! He has worked the 3 months trial period and was contracted this month.

So, we are already in the Christmas spirit and we are buying presents for children from an orphanage  here in Florianópolis. We also are preparing our end of year party and the “secret santa”.

But, at the same time we are very busy preparing the next sprint… Wow!  A sprint lasting 4 weeks, guys!

So good work, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Spanglish or Hinglish?

14 Dec
Chinese characters and English text

Online, English has become a common language for users from around the world. In the process, the language itself is changing. Taken from the site this morning…

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