Lusophone + Lusitania

I learned new words today: one of them is Lusophone (Wikipedia Link)

Lusophones (Portuguese: Lusófonos) are peoples and nations that that recognize Portuguese as an official language, comprising an estimated 270 million people spread across 10 sovereign states and territories. This area, known as Lusofonia or the Lusophone world (Mundo Lusófono), is the corresponding community of Lusophone nations which exist in Europe, the Americas, Africa, Asia, and Oceania.


The term Lusophone is a classical compound, wherein the combining form “Luso-” derives from the Latin term for an area roughly corresponding to modern Portugal, called Lusitania. The suffix “-phone” derives from the Ancient Greek word φωνή (phōnē), meaning “voice”. The use of the term Lusophone mirrors similar terms such as Anglophone for English speakers, Francophone for French speakers, Hispanophone for Spanish speakers, and Sinophone for Chinese speakers. The term is sometimes used in reference to the Community of Portuguese Language Countries, similarly to the Francophonie.

Ah, another new word: Lusitania, the name of the Roman Province that eventually became Portugal. (Wikipedia Link)

I read the word Lusophone in today’s Monocle Minute Newsletter

President de Sousa’s whistle-stop trip marked the 100th anniversary of the first aerial crossing of the South Atlantic from Lisbon to Rio de Janeiro – and 200 years since Brazil’s independence from Portugal. That flight was crucial in strengthening the relationship between the two Lusophone nations. To honour the connection, his schedule included meetings with former Brazilian presidents including Lula da Silva, Michel Temer and Fernando Henrique Cardoso, as well as a planned stop in Brasília to sit down with current Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro that never came to pass. Instead of successful diplomacy, the headlines were dominated by Bolsonaro’s decision to cancel the lunch after he discovered that De Sousa also planned to meet with Lula, his main opposition in October’s elections.

Portugal’s president De Sousa gave the world a lesson in how to deal with a bully. The newsletter continues:

Bolsonaro’s move backfired. Not only did De Sousa’s meetings with former leaders go ahead regardless but Portugal’s president pressed on with his schedule, seemingly indifferent to the changes. It was an attitude received favourably by the press: Folha de São Paulo, for example, ran an opinion piece describing Bolsonaro’s decision as “diplomatic vandalism”. In diplomacy it seems that any publicity is better than none. When he first heard about the cancellation, De Sousa politely told reporters, “Whoever invites you to lunch is the one who decides whether to have lunch or not.” If anything, the success of his trip proves that etiquette and common decency still go a long way in diplomatic circles.

You have a full partner at the US DOT

Ray LaHood, President Obama’s Transportation Secretary kicked off the opening plenary at the National Bike Summit this morning. » Sec. LaHood: “You have a full partner at the US DOT”
One bright spot that did not go unnoticed by the crowd is that LaHood said he and other transportation officials plan to study European models of bike and walk-friendly facilities this spring (something Portland, New York City, and others have already been doing).

At the end of his speech, LaHood repeated his line about how the US DOT will be a “full partner to accomplish the things you want to do” and he added that, “We are on the cusp of making more progress on these issues than ever before.

Priorities – The Copenhagen Bike Culture Blog: Copenhagenizing Copenhagen & Denmark
While the U.S. Congress debated whether to include less than $1 billion in funding for Amtrak in the stimulus package, the Danish parliament has put all its economic stimulus eggs in one basket: transportation. The small Nordic country of 5.4 million people will spend 94 billion kroner, or about $16 billion, by 2020 to improve transportation. Two-thirds of that money will be used to make public transit even better than it already is.

The government will invest billions in high-speed intercity trains that will cut travel between northern Jutland and Copenhagen by a third, install light rail systems, expand the Copenhagen Metro, and widen and
lengthen city bike lanes.

“We are making public transit a lot more attractive with massive investments to increase capacity, improve on-time performance and lay brand-new railroads. We are also making the biggest push to promote cycling in recent memory,” said Transport Minister Lars Barfoed.

For Copenhagen, already one of the world’s most bicycle-oriented cities, that is a very tall order. The oil shocks of the 1970s inspired Denmark to build a vast network of bike lanes in the hope that Danes would start driving less and biking more. Three decades later, the strategy has borne fruit in Copenhagen, where a third of the inhabitants, or more than 500,000 people, now bike to work every day.

Walk, Baby, Walk,
Cycling for Everyone

Isn’t it ironic, don’t you think?

Small victory
From p. 143 of the stimulus bill, which the U.S. Congress passed yesterday: “$50,000,000, to be distributed in direct grants to fund arts projects and activities which preserve jobs in the non-profit arts sector threatened by declines in philanthropic and other support during the current economic downturn.” An attempt by Sen. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma to eliminate all arts and museum funding from the bill was defeated. Ironically, Sen. Coburn is the father of the outstanding young soprano Sarah Coburn, who has appeared many times at opera houses supported by the National Endowment for the Arts. Last year the younger Coburn went home to Oklahoma to sing in Lakmé at the Tulsa Opera — a production made possible in part by a $15,000 grant from the NEA.
(Via Alex Ross: The Rest Is Noise)

Wild Finance: Where Money and Politics Dance

Wild Finance: Where Money and Politics Dance
Postscript on the Shift from a Capitalist to a Noetic Economy

When a system malfunctions, or becomes dysfunctional under new evolutionary circumstances and environments, it goes bump in the night and makes a lot of noise. The accumulation of noise helps to draw the system from one basin of attraction to another. We are now in this period of shift. An “out of the blue” attractor is emerging and drawing the noise of the old system toward a new basin—sort of like a black hole beginning to form a new galaxy. This will take time, so continue to breathe.
(Via Upaya Blog)

Continue reading.