Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Monday, June 29, 2009

Advances in the treatment of Alzheimer’s desease

Today I saw a fascinating documentary about Alzheimer's disease and decided to put what I learned here on the blog in case the information comes in handy for anyone.
It spoke of several ongoing researches and studies and how many of them are concentrated in the appearance of some structures in the brain called “Amyloid plaques”. However, the investigation of a doctor in particular caught my attention. Instead of coloring the tissues of the brain with common tye solutions in this type of analysis, he used another colorant that revealed the emergence of cells that are associated with the onset of an inflammation. Then he thought, is Alzheimer's disease not more than an inflammation? So he decided to contact some reimatologistas in search of records of patients with rheumatism and other problems associated with inflammations. He queried whether there was a correlation between arthritis and Alzheimer's disease. Surprisingly he could not find a record of a patient with arthritis who had developed Alzheimer's. Then he asked himself: would the anti-inflammatory drugs that patients take exert an influence on the disease? Unfortunately he has found difficulties in finding those who want to fund his research. He thinks that nobody is interested because anti-inflammatory drugs such as Ibuprofen, are cheap drugs and do not bring big profits for pharmaceuticals companies.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Norwegian Vs. Portuguese society

I have high expectations for my future life in Norway. I read a lot and try to learn a little bit of the language in order to facilitate my integration in the Norwegian society.
A neighbor of mine recently told me she had already been to Norway and told me of a curious episode that happened to her. She told me she saw a bracelet in the street and asked why no one took it. They said that the person that had lost the bracelet would eventually return to the same site and find it there. Having heard this, i almost bet that this kind of attitude does not happen in Portugal very often. I think that a person in the same situation here would even be mocked by other friends if he/she would tell them they left the bracelet alone. It is almost like the birth of a culture of “every man for himself”. This may seem exaggerated, and not all people have this kind of behavior, but those who do, no matter how few, sometimes exercise a great negative influence on society.
I had a bizarre episode where in a dinner with friends I discussed with one of them the advantages of changing the Portuguese society into a more truthful one, and how we could achieve this goal by providing future generations with good examples. In this conversation, I was surprised by my friend’s answer when he tells me I should not think this way, and that to be a successful person I would have to use deception on others before others would use it on me.
Unlike this kind of attitude, I hear that in Norway the situation is exactly the opposite. People, despite their cold temperament, are more human to each other than people from other countries said "civilized". My Norwegian teacher used to tell me that people from her home town are so good and kind to each other it almost makes her cry. It must be a pleasure to live amongst such noble people.

In memoriam

Saturday, June 20, 2009


The "Santos" (literally means "Saints") are religious and very popular festivals that occur in Lisbon during the month of June. It's all about, sardines, alcohol and most important thing of all, spending a good time with your friends. The highlight of the festival is to walk at night in the historic districts of Lisbon with your friends and eat a grilled sardine with bread.

Clearly, as we are in Portugal, something that can not miss is an extreme lack of hygiene, people throw garbage on the floor and urinate on the walls. Anyway, it's a time well spent, specially if you're on vacation here in Portugal.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Chocolate cake - Sjokoladekake

- 120g of chocolate powder; 
- 4 eggs; 
- 2 tea cups of flour; 
- 2 tea-cups of sugar (brown sugar is better); 
- 1/2 tea-cup of olive oil; 
- 1 dessert spoon of baking soda; 
- 1 tea-cup to warm milk; 
- 1 package of cream (100 mL); 
- 150 to 200 grams of dark chocolate. 

Mix while adding the ingredients by the following order: first the chocolate powder, then the sugar, baking soda, the flour, beaten eggs, milk and olive oil. The mixture seems too liquid, but no problem, just put it in the oven and heat up to 180 degrees Celsius. Leave it there for 50 minutes tops.
Now it is time to prepare the covering of the cake. Heat the cream on a stove until it starts to boil. Immediately add the chocolate broken into small pieces. Blend the hot cream and chocolate until the chocolate melts, and cover the cake with it (obviously, wait until the cake is ready). For the perfect flavor, the cake has to be placed in the refrigerator and eaten cold.
Sometimes I add an extra layer in the middle of the cake, adding either nuts or almonds. In the photo I also invented a cream of white chocolate (using the same technique as previously done with dark chocolate).

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Quote of the day

"Some are born lucky, others... in Portugal."

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Home by Yann Arthus-Bertrand

This movie is great. I liked it a lot. As the name suggests, it's about our home, earth. It puts things into perspective and it may help change some minds and behaviors that may endanger the future of our children.

Here is the link for the full movie on youtube:


You can check out the trailer here:

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Salmon with cream and yogurt sauce

- 200mL of cream;
- 1 yogurt;
- lemon juice;
- salt (optional);
- 2 salmon flitches;
- Olive Oil;
- Milk.

- Green beans;
- 2 carrots;
- Olive oil;
- Koji sauce.

Season the salmon with salt and lemon. Put the salmon in the oven with a little bit of olive oil and cover it with milk. Leave it in the oven at 180 degrees for 20 minutes. While the salmon is in the oven you can prepare the sauce and the garnish. For the sauce, simply mix the yogurt with a 200mL package of cream. When the salmon is almost done, take it out of the oven, cover it with the yogurt and cream sauce and put it in the oven again for an extra 5 to 10 minutes. As for the garnish, grab a fry pan and mix in a little bit of olive oil with green beans and a carrot, both sliced into tiny pieces. For an extra touch you can add a little Koji Japanese sauce.

Bon Appétit.

Quote of the day

"In Portugal we have the best managers... that money can buy."

Monday, June 1, 2009

Base jumping in Norway

I can hardly wait...