Coming back soon...

You guys probably have noticed that there have not been many new posts around. Yeah, this is because of college. BUT I have a surprise for you guys coming soon. I still have to work on the concepts, interface, and all that good stuff, so don't worry: you will soon see some new and exciting changes.

Interviewing a Princeton Alumnus

Now I am interviewing an alumnus from Princeton. It is a honor to know some one who gives major importance to his education and that helps others also achieve educational success.

Peter Kurz is the father of David Kurz.

Both father and son are part os the Princeton community: he as an alumnus who majored in Politics, and his son as a major in biology (graduating in 2012).

Princeton is considered one of the best universities in many areas, such as mathematics physics and astronomy, economics, history, and philosophy. The university has only 5000 undergraduates and 2400 graduate students. Notwithstanding, it is one of the wealthiest universities in the world, with  an endowment of more than eleven billion dollars (the forth in the world), that comes from donations made by alumni.
Thus, anyone can study in Princeton even though they are not able to pay the US$50620 tuition, because the university offers need-based scholarships.

Questions: click on read more to read the answers

What did you major in?
How is life after graduation? Is it harder or easier?
How do you feel about having your son studying at the university you graduated from?
What do you already know about Brazil?
How did you learn Portuguese?
Several people admire the people of the United States for the support that alumni give to the universities. How do you support Princeton and how important is this for you?
What kind of students is Princeton looking for?
What do you have to say to Brazilians interested in going to Princeton or any other prestigious college in the United States?

Questions from blog readers (they are also part of my Creative Writing group):
      Was studying at Princeton determinant, important, fundamental? How? (Question from Marilia Costa, Portuguese and English Language teacher, PhD student in Linguistics and Portuguese Language at Unesp (São Paulo State University)).
      What has changed in the University since you graduated? How were these changes responsible for the maintenance or even the increase of the status of the University? (Question from Rafael Jordan).

Comfort food

Comfort food is any kind of food that makes you feel comfortable, pleasant and satisfied. By extension, determining what is on the comfort food list is something personal. In my case, the most comforting dessert ever is carrot cake with cream cheese topping (honestly, I am not that into chocolate). Its flavor is unique and remarkable, because of the touch of cinnamon in the dough, and in addition, the cream cheese topping is fuzzy. Click on read more to see the recipe.

Interviewing a Princeton Student

So, I promised I would be interviewing a Princeton student:

David Kurz is a major in Biology and he is really interested in Brazil. He is sharing some advice, and also some of his experiences in Princeton.

Age: 19

Class of 2012

Questions (click on "read more" to see the answers):
  1. What do you think that helped you being accepted in Princeton?
  2. How are the classes in Princeton? What are your favorite ones?
  3. How are the extracurricular activities in Princeton? Are you part of any groups?
  4. How is the community at the University? How is living in a dorm?
  5. How do you feel about studying at the same university your father graduated from?
  6. What are your interests in Brazil? What part of the country do you plan visiting in the future?
  7. Most people value the “school spirit.” In Brazil, this is something rare. How is the school spirit in Princeton and how valuable is it for you?
  8. What do you have to say to Brazilians interested in going to Princeton or any other prestigious college in the United States?
  9. What do you expect from Princeton in the future? How important do you think it is going to be for you? (Question from Marilia Costa, Portuguese and English Language teacher, PhD student in Linguistics and Portuguese Language at Unesp (São Paulo State University))
  10. What made you choose Princeton? What do you think it is unique about it? (Question from Rafael Jordan)
"Apply, Apply, Apply! What do you have to lose? About 10% of the student body here is made up of international students, and diversity is celebrated by almost everybody."

"Listen to your heart"

"Listen to your heart," once said that song from the 80s that I hate. Maybe I hate it so much that I ignored the message and realized how important it is only when someone uncovered my eyes from my prejudice.
No matter what others think of me, or if college A is better than Z. I just have to listen to my heart.

Soon, in my blog, I am going to post interviews with students and alumni from Princeton. I hope the readers will learn more about the college and be interested in going to prestigious colleges such as Princeton.


Cupcakes are everywhere! Milan, Paris, and even among friendsFrankly the Paris ones are the most beautiful, but who cares?! What happened to the muffins and bagels and churros? In a couple of months we are probably going to have cupcake carts on the streets. (I should not have said that, someone will steal my idea). Soon the UN will send boxes of cupcakes to Haiti instead of giving medical care.
But what is the problem? Is this is a conspiracy of the "American imperialism?" No one knows. (But beware, the FBI can certainly arrest you for revealing the secret plans of the US government cooks).
We must fight against this epidemic! Many have begun to build rehabilitation clinics, and you can help too. Get rid of any form of cup-shaped cake with some type of topping (be careful not to reject the muffins). Also ignore any reference to the noun "cupcake." Do not delight yourself with this aberration. Do not even take a bite: the risk of addiction is imminent. Do not even dare to look at these goodies: some say they were created by Medusa.
We must battle to have our dignity back. Spread this manifesto!


Father and son always fight right? Let us say yes: at least once a child has raised his voice to his father. Fights between father and son are more common in adolescence, a time in which some young people complain about the authority of parents, and some others complain about their permissiveness. Several scholars have tried to explain this phenomenon. Some say father and son fight as a demonstration of virility: perhaps that happens not only in the literal sense of the word, but some also fight to show who is right. Carlos Drummond de Andrade is an example of a son who did not get along with his father. Drummond only graduated in pharmacy to give the diploma to his father, since he was forced to study in college. Drummond demonstrates his fear and his parents’ severity in the verses of "Noturno:" (the poem was translated by me, as no published translation was found):

Que noite mais comprida desde que nasci.
Viajando parado. O escuro me leva
sem nunca chegar. Sem pedir abença
como vou saber que não vou sozinho?
Que o mundo está vivo? Abença papai,
abença mamãe. Mas falta coragem
e peço pra dentro. Dentro não responde.”

The longest night since I was born.
Traveling stopped. The darkness takes me
never arriving. Without asking the blessing
how will I know I am not alone?
That the world is alive? Bless me father,
bless me mother. But I lack courage
and I ask quietly. They do not respond. "

But can father and son live harmoniously? The answer is obvious and the formula is simple:

For a good parent-child relationship, both must have:

1. Unconditional Love (father and son should love one another even if one does not do what pleases the other, and even if one disappoints the other. Love in the family is not something disposable);

2. Maturity (Years after the death of Drummond’s father, the poet said he did not agree with the attitudes of his father, but he understood them. Maturity is directly related to understanding. If both sides are mature, or at least they respect the differences, the relationship will be healthy).

Simple, isn’t it? In fact, for many, these two points are difficult to keep up with. But if it were easy, how fun would it be?

Valentine's Day

I remembered an episode of mythbusters where they prove that it is possible polish turd. And, metaphorically, I also polished poop, but in the kitchen. Actually I made a kind-of-molten twix become a French dessert. Twix is not that bad, but nobody would ever serve that chocolate after serving foie gras. The before is up there and the after below:

Mini-pizza to snack on at nite.

Simple and delicious. When hunger comes at dawn, use some fried egg roll dough, cherry tomatoes, mozzarella, and ham or turkey. Preheat oven to 325 ºF. Cut the tomatoes into 4 pieces and place them on the dough. Actually, I take the skin and seeds off the tomatoes, sprinkle a little dried onion soup and brown sugar. The onion soup prevents tomatoes detached lots of water, and also add flavor to pizza, brown sugar takes away the acidity of the tomatoes and also flavors, letting the tomatoes with a more mature taste. Of course, using industrialized tomato sauce is much more practical to use than fresh tomatoes, but not so tasty. Then add the cheese and ham and put a little oregano on top. Bake until the pastry is golden and the cheese melts.
Another way to make the pizza a little more Italian is to use buffalo mozzarella and basil.

300 channels and what to watch.

Many criticize me because I watch cartoons and teen series. Sometimes some people stare at me with a strange look meaning: you-are-too-old-for-it. According to them, I qualify to watch Criminal Minds, Bones, and CSI. But honestly, these shows are more childish than the shows in Playhouse Disney.
Series about attempts to escape from prison, airplanes falling on islands, or vampires who engage in romantic relationships are a step backwards in emotional stability, and (depending on the series) in the critical and analytical capacity of an individual.
For example, when comparing Vampire Diaries with Phineas and Ferb, one can see that the series about vampires is just entertainment for teenage girls, while the cartoon is responsible for developing the intellectuality and character of a child. Phineas and Ferb are two young, creative inventors, who instinctively follow the standards of meritocracy. The fact that the two are very young, for example, to use reverse engineering or to explain quantum physics is repeated in the show, but the kids never get discouraged and never think about quitting. But probably (of course there are always exceptions) Vampires Diaries fans have never heard of reverse engineering, and probably never understood quantum theory, but a children's program is so much superior that it teaches these concepts to children whose parents block the Warner Channel.
Of course the plot of cartoons is suitable for young children, but it is an intellectually much more intellectually active than spending hours mesmerized by Two and a Half Man. And obviously not all children’s series are good for the mind (I highlight the poor performance in My Wife and Kids and the poorly written plot of H2O, Girls Sirens). And not every adult series is a disaster for the mind (for instance, the wonderful satire to Western customs in The Simpsons and in Friends. Also, CSI makes a few neurons work, but just a few.
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