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domingo, 19 de abril de 2009

AP IMPACT: Tons of released drugs taint US water

imge by Elaine Cristina

U.S. manufacturers, including major drugmakers, have legally released at least 271 million pounds of pharmaceuticals into waterways that often provide drinking water - contamination the federal government has consistently overlooked, according to an Associated Press investigation.

Hundreds of active pharmaceutical ingredients are used in a variety of manufacturing, including drugmaking: For example, lithium is used to make ceramics and treat bipolar disorder; nitroglycerin is a heart drug and also used in explosives; copper shows up in everything from pipes to contraceptives.

Federal and industry officials say they don't know the extent to which pharmaceuticals are released by U.S. manufacturers because no one tracks them - as drugs. But a close analysis of 20 years of federal records found that, in fact, the government unintentionally keeps data on a few, allowing a glimpse of the pharmaceuticals coming from factories.

As part of its ongoing PharmaWater investigation about trace concentrations of pharmaceuticals in drinking water, AP identified 22 compounds that show up on two lists: the EPA monitors them as industrial chemicals that are released into rivers, lakes and other bodies of water under federal pollution laws, while the Food and Drug Administration classifies them as active pharmaceutical ingredients.

The data don't show precisely how much of the 271 million pounds comes from drugmakers versus other manufacturers; also, the figure is a massive undercount because of the limited federal government tracking.

To date, drugmakers have dismissed the suggestion that their manufacturing contributes significantly to what's being found in water. Federal drug and water regulators agree.

But some researchers say the lack of required testing amounts to a 'don't ask, don't tell' policy about whether drugmakers are contributing to water pollution.

"It doesn't pass the straight-face test to say pharmaceutical manufacturers are not emitting any of the compounds they're creating," said Kyla Bennett, who spent 10 years as an EPA enforcement officer before becoming an ecologist and environmental attorney.

Pilot studies in the U.S. and abroad are now confirming those doubts.

Last year, the AP reported that trace amounts of a wide range of pharmaceuticals - including antibiotics, anti-convulsants, mood stabilizers and sex hormones - have been found in American drinking water supplies. Including recent findings in Dallas, Cleveland and Maryland's Prince George's and Montgomery counties, pharmaceuticals have been detected in the drinking water of at least 51 million Americans.

Most cities and water providers still do not test. Some scientists say that wherever researchers look, they will find pharma-tainted water.

Consumers are considered the biggest contributors to the contamination. We consume drugs, then excrete what our bodies don't absorb. Other times, we flush unused drugs down toilets. The AP also found that an estimated 250 million pounds of pharmaceuticals and contaminated packaging are thrown away each year by hospitals and long-term care facilities.

Researchers have found that even extremely diluted concentrations of drugs harm fish, frogs and other aquatic species. Also, researchers report that human cells fail to grow normally in the laboratory when exposed to trace concentrations of certain drugs. Some scientists say they are increasingly concerned that the consumption of combinations of many drugs, even in small amounts, could harm humans over decades.

Utilities say the water is safe. Scientists, doctors and the EPA say there are no confirmed human risks associated with consuming minute concentrations of drugs. But those experts also agree that dangers cannot be ruled out, especially given the emerging research.


Two common industrial chemicals that are also pharmaceuticals - the antiseptics phenol and hydrogen peroxide - account for 92 percent of the 271 million pounds identified as coming from drugmakers and other manufacturers. Both can be toxic and both are considered to be ubiquitous in the environment.

However, the list of 22 includes other troubling releases of chemicals that can be used to make drugs and other products: 8 million pounds of the skin bleaching cream hydroquinone, 3 million pounds of nicotine compounds that can be used in quit-smoking patches, 10,000 pounds of the antibiotic tetracycline hydrochloride. Others include treatments for head lice and worms.

Residues are often released into the environment when manufacturing equipment is cleaned.

A small fraction of pharmaceuticals also leach out of landfills where they are dumped. Pharmaceuticals released onto land include the chemo agent fluorouracil, the epilepsy medicine phenytoin and the sedative pentobarbital sodium. The overall amount may be considerable, given the volume of what has been buried - 572 million pounds of the 22 monitored drugs since 1988.

In one case, government data shows that in Columbus, Ohio, pharmaceutical maker Boehringer Ingelheim Roxane Inc. discharged an estimated 2,285 pounds of lithium carbonate - which is considered slightly toxic to aquatic invertebrates and freshwater fish - to a local wastewater treatment plant between 1995 and 2006. Company spokeswoman Marybeth C. McGuire said the pharmaceutical plant, which uses lithium to make drugs for bipolar disorder, has violated no laws or regulations. McGuire said all the lithium discharged, an annual average of 190 pounds, was lost when residues stuck to mixing equipment were washed down the drain.


Pharmaceutical company officials point out that active ingredients represent profits, so there's a huge incentive not to let any escape. They also say extremely strict manufacturing regulations - albeit aimed at other chemicals - help prevent leakage, and that whatever traces may get away are handled by onsite wastewater treatment.

"Manufacturers have to be in compliance with all relevant environmental laws," said Alan Goldhammer, a scientist and vice president at the industry trade group Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America.

Goldhammer conceded some drug residues could be released in wastewater, but stressed "it would not cause any environmental issues because it was not a toxic substance at the level that it was being released at."

Several big drugmakers were asked this simple question: Have you tested wastewater from your plants to find out whether any active pharmaceuticals are escaping, and if so what have you found?

No drugmaker answered directly.

"Based on research that we have reviewed from the past 20 years, pharmaceutical manufacturing facilities are not a significant source of pharmaceuticals that contribute to environmental risk," GlaxoSmithKline said in a statement.

AstraZeneca spokeswoman Kate Klemas said the company's manufacturing processes "are designed to avoid, or otherwise minimize the loss of product to the environment" and thus "ensure that any residual losses of pharmaceuticals to the environment that do occur are at levels that would be unlikely to pose a threat to human health or the environment."

One major manufacturer, Pfizer Inc., acknowledged that it tested some of its wastewater - but outside the United States.

The company's director of hazard communication and environmental toxicology, Frank Mastrocco, said Pfizer has sampled effluent from some of its foreign drug factories. Without disclosing details, he said the results left Pfizer "confident that the current controls and processes in place at these facilities are adequately protective of human health and the environment."

It's not just the industry that isn't testing.

FDA spokesman Christopher Kelly noted that his agency is not responsible for what comes out on the waste end of drug factories. At the EPA, acting assistant administrator for water Mike Shapiro - whose agency's Web site says pharmaceutical releases from manufacturing are "well defined and controlled" - did not mention factories as a source of pharmaceutical pollution when asked by the AP how drugs get into drinking water.

"Pharmaceuticals get into water in many ways," he said in a written statement. "It's commonly believed the majority come from human and animal excretion. A portion also comes from flushing unused drugs down the toilet or drain; a practice EPA generally discourages."

His position echoes that of a line of federal drug and water regulators as well as drugmakers, who concluded in the 1990s - before highly sensitive tests now used had been developed - that manufacturing is not a meaningful source of pharmaceuticals in the environment.

Pharmaceutical makers typically are excused from having to submit an environmental review for new products, and the FDA has never rejected a drug application based on potential environmental impact. Also at play are pressures not to delay potentially lifesaving drugs. What's more, because the EPA hasn't concluded at what level, if any, pharmaceuticals are bad for the environment or harmful to people, drugmakers almost never have to report the release of pharmaceuticals they produce.

"The government could get a national snapshot of the water if they chose to," said Jennifer Sass, a senior scientist for the Natural Resources Defense Council, "and it seems logical that we would want to find out what's coming out of these plants."

Ajit Ghorpade, an environmental engineer who worked for several major pharmaceutical companies before his current job helping run a wastewater treatment plant, said drugmakers have no impetus to take measurements that the government doesn't require.

"Obviously nobody wants to spend the time or their dime to prove this," he said. "It's like asking me why I don't drive a hybrid car? Why should I? It's not required."


After contacting the nation's leading drugmakers and filing public records requests, the AP found two federal agencies that have tested.

Both the EPA and the U.S. Geological Survey have studies under way comparing sewage at treatment plants that receive wastewater from drugmaking factories against sewage at treatment plants that do not.

Preliminary USGS results, slated for publication later this year, show that treated wastewater from sewage plants serving drug factories had significantly more medicine residues. Data from the EPA study show a disproportionate concentration in wastewater of an antibiotic that a major Michigan factory was producing at the time the samples were taken.

Meanwhile, other researchers recorded concentrations of codeine in the southern reaches of the Delaware River that were at least 10 times higher than the rest of the river.

The scientists from the Delaware River Basin Commission won't have to look far when they try to track down potential sources later this year. One mile from the sampling site, just off shore of Pennsville, N.J., there's a pipe that spits out treated wastewater from a municipal plant. The plant accepts sewage from a pharmaceutical factory owned by Siegfried Ltd. The factory makes codeine.

"We have implemented programs to not only reduce the volume of waste materials generated but to minimize the amount of pharmaceutical ingredients in the water," said Siegfried spokeswoman Rita van Eck.

Another codeine plant, run by Johnson & Johnson subsidiary Noramco Inc., is about seven miles away. A Noramco spokesman acknowledged that the Wilmington, Del., factory had voluntarily tested its wastewater and found codeine in trace concentrations thousands of times greater than what was found in the Delaware River. "The amounts of codeine we measured in the wastewater, prior to releasing it to the City of Wilmington, are not considered to be hazardous to the environment," said a company spokesman.

In another instance, equipment-cleaning water sent down the drain of an Upsher-Smith Laboratories, Inc. factory in Denver consistently contains traces of warfarin, a blood thinner, according to results obtained under a public records act request. Officials at the company and the Denver Metro Wastewater Reclamation District said they believe the concentrations are safe.

Warfarin, which also is a common rat poison and pesticide, is so effective at inhibiting growth of aquatic plants and animals it's actually deliberately introduced to clean plants and tiny aquatic animals from ballast water of ships.

"With regard to wastewater management we are subject to a variety of federal, state and local regulation and oversight," said Joel Green, Upsher-Smith's vice president and general counsel. "And we work hard to maintain systems to promote compliance."

Baylor University professor Bryan Brooks, who has published more than a dozen studies related to pharmaceuticals in the environment, said assurances that drugmakers run clean shops are not enough.

imge by Elaine Cristina

"I have no reason to believe them or not believe them," he said. "We don't have peer-reviewed studies to support or not support their claims."

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2010 Porsche Panamera debuts in Shanghai

Porsche has slowly released photos of its new Panamera sedan over the past several months, culminating to an official unveiling at the 13th Auto Shanghai, which took place today. The automaker has released a handful of new photos of the car, plus some added details. After looking over the official info, be sure to also check out our first ride report.

The Panamera has no shortage of luxury or high-tech features, and the official starting price of $89,000 is certainly better than what was rumored a few months ago. The exterior styling is controversial to say the least, yet it looks at home in the Porsche lineup. The interior is less daring, but should help raise the bar in the grand touring luxury segment.

Porsche says that the Panamera is 76 inches in width, making it an especially wide sedan. A Mercedes-Benz S-Class, by comparison, is less than 74 inches wide. The Panamera measures 55.8 inches in height and 195.7 inches in length. This makes for a roomy interior, especially for just four passengers. The cabin is complete with 18-way adjustable front seats, and 8-way adjustable rear seats.

The entry-level powerplant will be Volkswagen’s 3.6-liter six-cylinder engine with 300 horsepower. The ‘S’ model will deliver 400 hp from a 4.8-liter V8, and the Turbo variant will offer an estimated 500 horses. The Panamera S will start at $89,000, while the all-wheel-drive 4S will cost $93,800. The Turbo will ring in at $132,600, which is slightly more than a Cayenne Turbo. U.S. sales are to begin in October.

The rear-wheel drive Panamera S has can sprint from zero to 60 mph in 5.2 seconds on its way to a top speed of 175 mph. The Panamera 4S can hit 60 in 4.8 seconds and achieves the same top speed. The all-wheel drive Panamera Turbo sets a zero to 60 time of 4 seconds flat and a top track speed of 188 mph.

All models are equipped with Porsche’s new PDK dual-clutch gearbox. Porsche is also planning a hybrid variant of the Panamera, though the automaker failed to disclose any further details. The turbocharged version will come standard with all-wheel-drive. Rear wheel drive will be standard otherwise with four-wheel propulsion a line-wide option. A hybrid version is expected to debut later this year.

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Porsche lança o esportivo Panamera S

Veículo pode atingir a velocidade máxima de 303 km/h.
Modelo de quatro portas será vendido a partir de setembro.

Do G1, com informações da Associated Press

Foto: Eugene Hoshiko/AP

Porsche Panamera S é apresentado em Xangai (Foto: Eugene Hoshiko/AP)

Porsche Panamera S faz sua estreia na China (Foto: Eugene Hoshiko/AP)

A fabricante alemã Porsche promoveu neste domingo (19), em Xangai, na China, a estreia mundial do novo carro esportivo Panamera S. O carro de quatro portas pode atingir a velocidade máxima de 303 km/h.

O modelo será comercializado a partir de setembro com duas versões de motorização: 4,8 litros V8 com 400 cavalos de potência, e 4,8 litros V8 turbo, com 500 cavalos de potência a tração em todas as rodas.

A empresa vai ainda produzir o modelo a gasolina com motor de seis cilindros e

200 cavalos, e uma com motor V6 híbrido em 2010.

O carro tem porta-malas de 445 litros podendo chegar a 1.230 com o banco traseiro rebatido. O interior será equipado com um sistema de som com 1000 W de potência e 16 auto-falantes.

O novo Panamera S estarã no Salão do Automóvei de Xangai, que começa nesta segunda-feira (20) para a imprensa e quarta-feira (22) para o público.

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Menino de 10 anos, que estava desaparecido no Mato Grosso, foi morto por pedófilo

Plantão | Publicada em 19/04/2009 às 09h18m
TV Centro América

CUIABÁ - O menino Kaito Guilherme Nascimento Pinto, 10 anos, foi encontrado morto na noite desta sexta-feira, em um terreno abandonado perto do Fórum de Cuiabá. Ele estava desaparecido desde segunda-feira, segundo informações da polícia. Ainda de acordo com a polícia, o menino teria sido sofrido agressões sexuais e foi morto por um homem de 29 anos, que foi preso em flagrante nesta sexta-feira. Ele estava em um ônibus com destino a Campo Grande.

Ao ser preso, ele levou os policiais até o local do crime, onde o corpo foi deixado. O suspeito teria dito à polícia que já conhecia a vítima, pois trabalhou como servente de pedreiro em uma obra no condomínio onde o menino morava. Ele teria dito ainda que chegou a pintar o escritório do pai da vítima. Em depoimento, o suspeito disse que pegou o menino em um ponto de ônibus e ofereceu carona de moto até o trabalho do pai do menino. No caminho, o pedófilo inventou que precisava pegar um outro capacete, que estaria escondido no matagal, onde o corpo do garoto foi encontrado.

A investigação da Polícia Civil informou que o suspeito já cumpriu pena pelo mesmo tipo de crime. O primeiro ataque do pedófilo foi em 1999, em Primavera do Leste, também no Mato Grosso, quando matou a pauladas um menino de 8 anos depois de violentar sexualmente a vítima. Pelo crime, o acusado foi condenado a 46 anos de cadeia, mas foi beneficiado por progressão de regime após cumprir nove anos de pena.

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Protógenes usou cota de passagens do PSOL, diz Luciana Genro

da Folha Online, em Brasília

O delegado Protógenes Queiroz utilizou a cota de passagem aérea da deputada Luciana Genro (PSOL-RS) para participar de um ato do partido contra a corrupção e proferir palestra a estudantes, no Rio Grande do Sul, no final do ano passado.

A parlamentar confirmou à Folha Online que seu gabinete emitiu dois bilhetes para o delegado porque os atos eram relacionados ao combate à corrupção --principal bandeira de campanha do PSOL.

15.abr.2009 - Lula Marques/Folha Imagem
Delegado Protógenes Queiroz usou cota de passagens do PSOL, diz Luciana Genro
Delegado Protógenes Queiroz usou cota de passagens do PSOL, diz Luciana Genro

"O delegado usou, usará e considero um uso dos mais justos e legítimos da minha cota de passagem porque foi na luta contra a corrupção. É a mesma bandeira do PSOL e do delegado Protógenes", disse Luciana.

A deputada disse que, se a Câmara proibir que terceiros utilizem a cota de passagens aéreas para fins relacionados ao mandato, o PSOL poderá ressarcir os cofres da Casa. Do contrário, ela disse que o partido não vai reembolsar a Casa --uma vez que a prática é autorizada pela Câmara.

"Não é só porque a Câmara permite o uso que eu cedi os bilhetes ao delegado, mas porque é justo e necessário apoiar a luta contra a corrupção. Meu mandato está a serviço disso. Esse é o foco do meu mandato, esse é o foco do PSOL. Se eu não puder usar minhas passagens para este objetivo, não vejo motivo para utilizá-las", afirmou.

Cada deputado tem direito, mensalmente, a uma verba para a compra de passagens de acordo com seu Estado de origem. O ato da Mesa Diretora que disciplina o uso da cota aérea era omisso sobre o que o deputado pode fazer com as passagens e a quem pode destiná-las.

Esta semana, os deputados decidiram legalizar a doação de passagens para familiares dos parlamentares, assessores e correligionários que usarem os bilhetes em atos relacionados ao mandato.

As cotas variam de acordo com o Estado do parlamentar --de R$ 4.700 (para deputados do Distrito Federal) a R$ 18,7 mil (para os de Roraima).

Atos políticos

Em novembro do ano passado, Protógenes participou em Porto Alegre (RS) de um "ato contra a corrupção" promovido pelo PSOL. Na ocasião, em cima de um carro de som, o delegado fez um discurso com críticas veladas a uma suposta interferência do governo no trabalho da Polícia Federal.

O delegado usou as passagens de Luciana para participar do ato e proferir palestra na UFRS (Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul). Convidado pela universidade, Protógenes fez palestra para estudantes de Direito. Como não recebeu os bilhetes da instituição, usou as passagens oferecidas pelo PSOL.

Na semana passada, Protógenes foi afastado de suas funções na Polícia Federal até o fim do processo disciplinar interno que investiga se ele usou o cargo para tirar proveito político ao participar de um comício em Poços de Caldas (MG). A PF proíbe a participação de agentes em atos políticos.

O processo pode resultar na demissão do delegado se, ao final das investigações, ficar comprovado que ele infringiu as normas da PF ao falar pela instituição durante o comício político.

O delegado nega que tenha falado em nome da instituição durante o comício em Poços de Caldas e ameaça recorrer à Justiça caso seja demitido pela PF no final do processo.

Protógenes também responde a um segundo processo disciplinar na Polícia Federal por suspeitas de vazamento de informações da Operação Satiagraha --que prendeu o banqueiro Daniel Dantas, do Opportunity, o ex-prefeito Celso Pitta (SP) e o megainvestidor Naji Nahas por suspeita de sonegação fiscal, lavagem de dinheiro e evasão de divisas.

A reportagem entrou em contato com a assessoria de Protógenes, mas foi informada de que o delegado está em viagem ao exterior.

"Farra das passagens"

Reportagem publicada hoje pela Folha informa que dirigentes e líderes partidários financiaram dezenas de viagens ao exterior de familiares e amigos.

A partir de uma lista de bilhetes aéreos, foi constatado que nomes como Ricardo Berzoini (PT-SP), José Carlos Aleluia (DEM-BA), Mário Negromonte (PP-BA) e Rodrigo Maia (DEM-RJ) beneficiaram parentes com bilhetes aéreos pagos pela Câmara.

Constam da lista também nomes como Ciro Gomes (PSB-CE), ex-candidato ao Planalto; José Genoino (PT-SP), ex-presidente do PT; Armando Monteiro Neto (PTB-PE), presidente da Confederação Nacional da Indústria; e Vic Pires (DEM-PA), ex-candidato a corregedor da Câmara.

Maia confirmou que cedeu passagens aéreas de sua cota pessoal para parentes. "Foram viagens em que coincidiram passeio e trabalho."

Aleluia confirmou ter viajado com mulher e filho com verba da Casa. Irritado, defendeu que é preciso haver tratamento igualitário entre Legislativo e Executivo, já que a primeira-dama Marisa Letícia viaja com o presidente Lula.

Pires confirmou as viagens com familiares e amigos. "Na regra antiga, podia. Agora, se tiver de devolver, vou devolver. É preciso discutir o que ocorre com os créditos não usados."

Negromonte disse que somente conseguiu emitir passagens a Nova York para ele e cinco familiares por ter economizado com viagens à Bahia. Já Monteiro Neto disse que a emissão das passagens se sustenta em normas da Câmara.

Genoino, Ciro e Berzoini não foram localizados para comentar o assunto.

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Fotogaleria Andrea Bocelli ao vivo no Rio de Janeiro

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Tristão e Isolda: teatro da mente de Richard Wagner

O teatro da mente de Richard Wagner em versão lírica

Maestro Daniel Barenboim oferece nova leitura de Tristão e Isolda em produção do Scala de Milão lançada em DVD

João Luiz Sampaio

São quase cinco horas sobre o ...silêncio. A ausência. E ainda assim, poucas obras são tão eloquentes ao descrever a filosofia do amor quanto a ópera Tristão e Isolda. Em 2009, completam-se 150 anos desde que o compositor Richard Wagner colocou o ponto final naquela que talvez seja a sua mais ambiciosa partitura. E, como mostra uma nova montagem da ópera, filmada em dezembro de 2007 no Teatro Alla Scala de Milão e lançada agora em DVD (Virgin), estamos longe de compreendê-la em sua totalidade.

A origem de Tristão e Isolda é uma narrativa celta do século 12, recontada por diversas fontes desde então. Tristão, herói da Cornuália, captura a princesa irlandesa Isolda, que pretende oferecê-la a seu rei, Mark. No entanto, ela, inconformada com seu destino, oferece a ele a poção da morte. Um detalhe: sua dama de companhia a substitui pela poção do amor. E os dois, a partir de então, são obrigados a viver com a culpa e a intensidade de um amor impossível, mal de que se libertariam apenas por meio da redenção da morte.

Para entender a adaptação de Wagner, é preciso recorrer ao filósofo Arthur Schopenhauer. Para ele, o universo não podia ser entendido como fruto da vontade de Deus, mas, antes, como expressão de um "impulso cego" - o homem é um ser movido por aspirações e paixões, constituintes da Vontade, princípio a nortear a vida humana. A poção do amor, para Wagner, entusiasta das ideias de Schopenhauer, seria o gatilho desse impulso cego. E Tristão e Isolda se transformaria, por meio de sua música, em algo como o teatro da mente humana. Trata-se de uma ópera estática, sem ação exterior. Tudo se passa dentro das duas personagens. Um bom exemplo é a cena final, em que Isolda descreve o corpo de Tristão subindo ao céu, seu coração se enchendo "de orgulho", batendo "sublime". "Não o sentem? Não o veem? Sou a única que ouve essa melodia? (...) Felicidade suprema!", ela canta.

Como recriar em música estados da alma? É nessa busca que está a grande revolução da música de Wagner para Tristão e Isolda. De um lado, temos o uso dos leitmotiv, temas recorrentes que, em suas óperas, se associam a momentos específicos e vão reaparecendo ao longo da trama, comentando a ação, no caso, a flutuação de sensações das personagens. Mas Wagner vai além. Uma melodia, tradicionalmente, tem começo, meio e fim. Essa sequência organiza o discurso musical em um todo fechado. Mas, e se uma melodia não tivesse necessariamente um fim? E se esse fim pudesse ser disfarçado? Para cada acorde da música, Wagner então cria duas dissonâncias, mas resolve apenas uma delas, deixando que a outra ecoe enquanto novo acorde se forma. A música, assim, torna-se uma mistura de certezas e dissonâncias, que se opõem. E se completam. Afinal, a força desse amor só é tão forte quando sua impossibilidade.

Conseguir manter essa tensão ao longo de cerca de cinco horas de música é um enorme desafio que, aqui, coube ao maestro Daniel Barenboim. Wagner é uma de suas especialidades, mas ele aponta nesta gravação para uma direção totalmente diferente do que nos habituou. Sua gravação da ópera em Berlim, nos anos 90 (selo Teldec), mostrava uma mão pesada, marcando fortemente cada clímax da narrativa. Desta vez, no entanto, o que ele nos oferece é um Tristão e Isolda doce, lírico. Talvez o motivo seja o trabalho com a orquestra do Scala, mais acostumada ao idioma da ópera italiana. Em todo caso, fica clara a diferença entre força e intensidade na interpretação, que acaba surgindo de dentro da música, dando significado ainda maior ao contraste entre momentos de sensualidade erótica, como no início do dueto do segundo ato, e outros de caráter quase incorpóreos, como a seção iniciada com "Sink Hernieder". A soprano alemã Waltraud Meier interpreta Isolda, ao lado do Tristão do tenor inglês Ian Storey. A autoridade com que ela constrói a personagem compensa o desgaste natural de sua voz, em especial nos graves. Um pouco hesitante de início, Storey faz um terceiro ato, em que Tristão se consome à espera do retorno da amada, para morrer ao seu lado, muito bonito.

A concepção cênica é do francês Patrice Chéreau. Ele evita o uso de grandes e detalhados aparatos cênicos. Imensas paredes se deslocam, apenas sugerindo ambientes, como o navio do primeiro ato, e aprisionando os personagens. Mas a ousadia está mesmo na direção de atores. Tristão e Isolda é uma ópera de grandes sensações, desejos incontroláveis - e, para Chéreau, de pequenos gestos. Em seus devaneios de amor e morte, os personagens pouco se olham, parecem falar apenas a si mesmos. São como um selvagem colocado de repente frente a um espelho, ao qual observa com curiosidade e estranhamento. Tristão e Isolda não vivem o amor da mesma forma, são pessoas diferentes, procuram em recantos distintos a explicação para seus desejos. O único ponto de contato de ambos é a visão da morte como o fim da contradição, da paixão reprimida, da tortura. E o diretor, então, os faz se abraçarem. A ideia da morte por amor foi poucas vezes tão eloquente

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Homem morre após cair de ponte na Marginal do Tietê

RICARDO VALOTA - Agencia Estado

SÃO PAULO - Uma pessoa morreu após cair, por volta das 19 horas de hoje, da Ponte da Freguesia do Ó, atingindo a pista expressa sentido Lapa-Penha da Marginal do Tietê, na zona norte de São Paulo. Segundo a Companhia de Engenharia de Tráfego (CET), o desconhecido, ao cair na via, foi atropelado por um caminhão. Bombeiros e policiais militares do 18º Batalhão foram acionados para retirar o corpo do local e transferi-lo para o canteiro central.

Segundo as primeiras informações que chegaram ao Centro de Operações da Polícia Militar, o desconhecido estaria pichando a ponte e acabou se desequilibrando. Outra ligação, contudo, dava conta de que uma pessoa havia se jogado da ponte. O caso será registrado no 28º Distrito Policial, da Freguesia do Ó. A pista expressa teve de ser bloqueada por alguns minutos, o que causou lentidão no tráfego.

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ana paula arosio perolas

ana paula arosio perolas, upload feito originalmente por photos.elainecristina.

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Pai tenta vender atriz de "Quem Quer Ser um Milionário?"

O pai da atriz Rubina Ali, 9, que interpretou a personagem Latika quando criança no filme vencedor do Oscar "Quem Quer Ser um Milionário?", está tentando vender a menina, informa o site de notícias britânico "News of the World".

A atriz Rubina Ali (à esquerda) foi colocada à venda por 200 mil libras
A atriz indiana Rubina Ali (à esquerda) foi colocada à venda por 200 mil libras

A informação foi passada pelo pai da atriz após a reportagem se identificar como um suposto interessado na compra da criança.

De acordo com a reportagem, para fugir da pobreza na Índia, o pai da atriz quer vendê-la por 200 mil libras (cerca de R$ 647 mil). "Preciso pensar no que é melhor para mim, minha família e para o futuro de Rubina", disse o pai da criança para a publicação.

O pai de Rubina, chamado Rafiq, ainda tentou culpar os empresários de Hollywood por o forçarem a colocar a menina à venda. "Não ganhamos nada com esse filme", declarou.

De acordo com a reportagem, a quantia pedida por Rafiq atualmente representa quatro vezes o valor inicial. "Essa criança é especial agora. Ela não é uma criança qualquer, é uma criança vencedora do Oscar", afirmou.

Para o "News of the World", o pai da menina está desesperado para vendê-la. Para ele, a venda da criança representa a fuga de sua família de uma favela de Mumbai.

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26/10/2008 free counters

Peugeot 3008

Recommended. Peugeot's first crossover is the most practical and comfortable on sale, despite offering just five seats and no four-wheel drive.

Verdict on Cars Test

This is Peugeot's Nissan Qashqai alternative, a compact crossover that also competes with front-drive versions of the Ford Kuga and VW Tiguan. It does without four wheel drive and a seven seat option, but offers plenty of space and a measure of loadspace versatility. Although it's not the best looking or sharpest to drive compared with rivals like the Ford Kuga or Nissan Qashqai, it is well-equipped and competitively priced.

Engines include 1.6 and 2.0 litre turbodiesels, as well as 120bhp and 150bhp petrols. Six-speed manuals are standard, the 2.0 litre diesel can be had with a six-speed automatic, and an automated manual transmission for the 1.6 HDI usefully lowers its CO2 emissions.

Some unusual equipment includes an optional head-up display that also reveals the stopping distance between you and the car in front, a roll control system that operates on the rear suspension of the most powerful petrol engine and a so-called grip control system, that optimises the traction control's behaviour when traversing wet grass, mud or snow, though this can only be had with mud and snow tyres. A panoramic glass roof and an impressive infotainment system are also options.

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26/10/2008 free counters

YouTube in Sony content deal, sees more

By Sue Zeidler

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Google Inc's YouTube said on Thursday it has reached a deal to post Sony Corp films and TV shows and was talking with other big studios to ramp up content and attract more advertising dollars.

YouTube also announced deals with 11 other partners including the Anime Network, Shout Factory, Telenext Media, Documentary Channel and First Look Studios, bolstering its licensed content offerings from dozens of movies and hundreds of TV episodes to 700 movies and thousands of TV episodes.

YouTube also recently announced a partnership with Walt Disney Co to get shortform excerpts of content from ABC and ESPN, reflecting its aggressive efforts to thaw a chilly relationship with Hollywood, which had criticized it in the past for posting unauthorized content.

The partnerships also mark YouTube's efforts to compete with Hulu, a joint venture of General Electric Co's NBC and News Corp's Fox and a popular online hub for TV shows and films.

YouTube, purchased by Google for $1.65 billion in 2006, is under pressure to start yielding a return in line with its huge popularity. More than 100 million users watch videos on the site every month, but the site, best known for grainy videos uploaded by users, has been unable to attract major financial commitments from marketers reluctant to advertise their brands alongside unprofessional content.

"We are in active negotiations with premium content providers and are looking forward to announcing more content partnerships in the near future," YouTube spokesman Chris Dale said on Thursday.

As part of its latest efforts, YouTube said on Thursday it launched a new destination for TV shows and an improved page for movies to make it easier for viewers to discover content.

YouTube has a pending copyright infringement lawsuit from Viacom Inc, but Viacom's sister company CBS posts episodes of older shows like "Star Trek" and "Beverly Hills 90210" on the video sharing site.

Lions Gate Entertainment had previously reached a deal to feature film clips on YouTube, while MGM is one of the few studios to offer full-length movies via its own channel on YouTube.

A Sony spokeswoman said about 15 mostly older films like "St. Elmo's Fire," and "The Blue Lagoon," will be viewable via YouTube on Sony's Crackle site.

YouTube said it was also posting Sony TV shows like "Charlie's Angels" and "Married with Children."

Last week YouTube and Universal Music Group said they will launch a premium music video site called Vevo featuring mainly just professionally-made music videos.

(Reporting by Susan Zeidler; Additional reporting by Yinka Adegoke in New York; Editing by Richard Chang)

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26/10/2008 free counters

VW threatens to overtake Toyota as number one

German giant’s sales set to beat Japanese rival

By Sarah Arnott

Saturday, 18 April 2009

Volkswagen is set to overtake Toyota as the world's biggest car maker, despite sales falling by a fifth thanks to the dire state of the global market.

VW sold 1.39 million vehicles across its nine major car and truck brands in the first three months of the year, 11.4 per cent fewer than last year. But as restricted finance and weak consumer confidence cut a swath through car markets, the German giant has grown its share from 9.7 to 11 per cent.

By comparison, Toyota is in a parlous state. The Japanese group is asking the government in Tokyo for up to $2bn (£1.4bn) in emergency loans as it faces its first net loss in 59 years. Output has been slashed – by a massive 53 per cent in February – and first- quarter estimates predict that 1.23 million vehicles will be delivered, 47 per cent down on last year.

Toyota overtook GM as the world's biggest seller only last year. But its core markets in Japan and the US are some of the worst affected by the global recession, while its German rival is benefiting from a 40 per cent market share in China and a broader range of brands. Toyota's sales have dropped every month of 2009 in China, while VW's are up by 6 per cent.

Garel Rhys, at Cardiff Business School's Centre for Automotive Industry Research, said: "VW is by far the leader in China, and China has just passed both the US and Japan as the biggest single market in the world. That is an amazing base load for VW and the proportion of its sales accounted for by China is enormous."

The German brands – which include Audi, Skoda and Seat as well as the main VW marque – are also holding up well in the EU. In western Europe VW's market share grew by 2 percentage points to 20.6 per cent, and in central and eastern Europe by 2.5 points to 12.9 per cent.

"GM's dominance for more than 70 years was built on the fact that it had more than one bite of the cherry: if you didn't want a Chevrolet you could have a Pontiac, or a Buick, or a Cadillac," Professor Rhys said. "Toyota doesn't have that breadth, and that was always going to be a long-term constraint. Although it owns Daihatsu and Lexus, that is still not equal to VW."

Even in the US, which is one of Toyota's biggest markets, VW has made better progress. More than 58,000 VW brands rolled off the forecourts from January to March – nearly a fifth down on last year's numbers, but a strong performance in a market down by 38.4 per cent. Toyota is not the worst-affected supplier in the US, but with sales down by about 30 per cent it is underperforming VW.

The German group has long had a target to overtake Toyota by 2018. But it may be too soon to break out the champagne. "VW is certainly capable of overtaking Toyota in the long term, but it may be a little early to be sure this is more than a blip," Professor Rhys said.

Scrappage incentives introduced in a number of VW's major regions – and being eyed by the UK Government – may also have helped. New car registrations shot up by 20 per cent in Germany when the subsidy started, pushing VW sales up by 4.5 per cent in the first quarter. By the end of March, more than 160,000 vehicles had been ordered under the scheme.

Detlef Wittig, at VW, said: "This demonstrates that the government's measures are having an effect. At the moment, this is the best programme for safeguarding jobs, protecting the environment and for customers."

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26/10/2008 free counters

Group interested in buying Saturn brand

Members include some of brand’s dealers and private equity group

GM discussing Saturn sale
April 15: General Motors is in discussions with Black Oak private equity group over a potential sale, or spin-off of its Saturn brand and distribution network. CNBC's Phil Lebeau reports.



1.86 -0.08 -4.12%

Data: MSN Money and IDC Comstock delayed 20 min.
Hot wheels in New York
Tiny cars, cool hybrids and stylish sedans on display the 2009 New York auto show.

more photos

Image: Infiniti G37

updated 5:19 p.m. ET April 15, 2009

DETROIT - An Oklahoma City private equity firm has teamed with a group of Saturn dealers in an effort to buy the money-losing brand from General Motors Corp.

The proposal from a group led by Black Oak Partners LLC is among several that GM has received for the brand, said GM spokesman Mike Morrissey.

“We are working with all those groups,” Morrissey said. “It’s too early to speculate as to what the ultimate outcome is going to be.”

Jennifer Threet, a spokeswoman for the Black Oak group, said it delivered a proposal to GM last week and is awaiting a formal meeting.

The group said in a statement issued Wednesday that it would get vehicles from GM initially, but it expects to sell smaller, fuel-efficient vehicles from other global manufacturers.

GM put the Saturn brand up for review and possible sale last year. The company must shed Saturn and other brands as part of its restructuring plan to justify billions in government loans that it needs to stay in business.

Carl F. Galeana, who owns two Saturn dealerships north of Detroit, said the interest shows that the Saturn brand is worth something despite GM’s willingness to part with it.

“There’s people out there that realize that Saturn is a valuable brand. It’s telling our customers that Saturn is going to be there in the long run,” he said.

Morrissey would not disclose the other potential buyers, saying that most are covered by nondisclosure clauses in their contracts.

GM said in a restructuring plan submitted to the government in February that it will only keep Saturn running through the 2011 model year, but it’s open to the possibility of spinning off the brand to retailers or investors. It had placed the brand under review for possible sale in December.

Saturn’s 440 U.S. and Canadian dealers, with laid-back salesmen and no-haggle pricing, often match luxury brands’ scores in independent customer satisfaction surveys. Their locations could be a ready retail network for a foreign automaker to come to the U.S.

In a statement, the Black Oak group said it would form a new Saturn Distribution Co. that would keep a vehicle design function but will not manufacture vehicles. Designers would help other automakers tailor their products to Saturn’s style and customer needs, the statement said.

The new Saturn would offer vehicles from global manufacturers that would be sold in most cases under the Saturn brand, the statement said.

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26/10/2008 free counters

'Lost' Recap: Little Children

We find out what happened to both Aaron and young Ben in this very Kate-centric episode, as Juliet and Jack take stands on the fate of their would-be nemesis

Benjamin Linus got it wrong. Fate isn't a ''fickle bitch,'' as he told Hurley last season. No, it's a fickle brat who suddenly changes his mind on what can slake his late-night thirst. Should Young Ben survive his Sayid-inflicted gunshot wound and realize his Dharma-purging, castaway-terrorizing bug-eyed bastard potential — the matter was still in doubt by the end of last night's episode ''Whatever Happened, Happened'' — he should send a ''Thank You'' card to a certain creepy little kid who changed his mind about a carton of milk. Follow my logic here, and forgive me if it sounds as sketchy as pair of wisecracking, domino-playing time travelers parsing the complexities of quantum leaping. (That would be Hurley and Miles, angling for their own Odd Couple meets Big Bang Theory sitcom.) The way I see it is this: If Aaron didn't ask for some liquid refreshment to parch his creepy little throat, then Kate — a.k.a., Ms. ''Can't tell my (fake) kid 'No''' — wouldn't stop at the supermarket. If Kate didn't stop at the supermarket, she wouldn't get distracted by Aaron's change-of-mind (Me want juice box instead!) and an ill-timed phone call from Jack. If Kate didn't get distracted, then she wouldn't lose track of Aaron when he wandered off, dazzled by the pudding pop display. If he didn't wander off, then Kate wouldn't get rattled when she found the boy walking hand in hand with a dead-ringer (from the back at least) for Claire. (Pale, long blonde hair, wayyy too much make-up.) If she didn't get rattled, then she wouldn't get the epiphanies that finally compelled her to leave Aaron with Grandma Littleton, go back to the Island, and take it upon herself to save the life of her future foe in order to save the Star Wars generation from timeline-collapsing paradox. Aaron, we owe you one.

Kate's big season 5 flashback episode aspired to reveal why Kate was so emotionally invested in Aaron and managing the lie that he represented. Certainly time played a role. Funny now to think that Kate had been Aaron's mother longer (three years) than Claire had ever had been (a couple months). Yet ''Whatever Happened, Happened'' revealed that Kate needed to be Aaron's mother. To fill her Sawyer void. To assuage her guilt over abandoning the Left Behinders. And because Kate, God bless her, just has a heart for Fate-screwed kids, even ones who grow up to be killers. Which makes sense, given how much Kate can relate. Her Mama did her no favors with her bad choices, bad attitude, and bad-boy attraction. Her stepfather was an abusive monster who turned out to be her biological father, and when she discovered that hideous truth, she snapped from betrayal and dissonance and blew him to smithereens. For the most part, this complicated — maybe over-complicated — bundle of psychology felt correct, and the scenes that mattered the most — Kate leaving Aaron in the care of Claire's Mom; her tearful parting — were money. So did her stated reason for going back to the Island: ''I'm going back to find your daughter,'' she told Mrs. Littleton. Kate evidenced a compelling picture of change and heroism that was real and relatable. As she has done all season, Evangeline Lilly rose to the challenge of the fantasy and found where the emotional reality lived. I'm not going to kid you: It took me two viewings to really like ''Whatever Happened, Happened.'' The first time around, it bounced off me. The second time, it moved me. That happens sometimes.

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26/10/2008 free counters

'Lost' Recap: A Will of Their Own

The trippy episode with many time-travel implications plays up the concept of free will as Sayid makes a stunning decision

''The world is all that is encased here; life, death, people, the allies, and everything else that surrounds us. The world is incomprehensible. We won't ever understand it; we won't ever unravel its secrets. Thus we must treat it as it is, a sheer mystery!'' — Carlos Castaneda

We are mysteries unto ourselves. Are killers born or made? Are we born evil or do we become evil? Are we products of nature or nurture? ''He's Our You,'' the tenth episode of Lost's rapidly dwindling fifth season, was a brain-melting thriller filled with deep, dark thoughts, with none bigger than this: Has Sayid changed Lost history by popping a cap in Young Ben in the Dharma Initiative past? It's the old ''If you could go back and kill Hitler, would you and could you?'' conceit, and the show winked at it when Sayid dropped the ''genocide'' bomb in describing his former employer's wickedness. However, I'm guessing that Sayid — new and improved with drug-induced pseudo-enlightenment — didn't succeed in realizing his new life's purpose, at least not yet. Shooting Ben didn't immediately cause reality to blink away, so we are left to wonder: Did the paradox-averse Overmind which regulates the course of events on the Island direct Sayid's bullet to avoid Ben's major organs? (Yo, Double-O Jarrah: Aim for the freakin' head!) Or is Young Ben simply not dead yet? You know where this is going. Next episode: ''Paging Dr. Shephard! Paging Dr. Shephard! Yet another life-saving/cosmos-preserving surgery on your arch-nemesis is waiting for you in Operating Room 306!''

''He's Our You'' reminded us that Ben has invested a lot of energy twisting and warping and prodding and poking Sayid into a vengeance-crazed, self-loathing killing machine. During the Oceanic 6 off-Island digression, when he recruited the heartbroken castaway to serve as his personal instrument of death, Ben led Sayid to believe that there was a great purpose to his globetrotting killing spree. He was avenging the murder of his true love Nadia. He was protecting the Left Behinders. He was prosecuting a righteous war against an awful evil. But then came the Moscow incident, when Ben — looking super fly in his Harry Lime-meets-The Shadow black-rimmed hat and overcoat — kicked him to the curb in the dirty Russian snow. The war with Widmore was over. No more people to kill. ''You're free!'' Ben said. Sayid was shell-shocked. ''What am I supposed to do now?'' he whimpered, looking like an abandoned puppy. Ben told him to ''Go live your life,'' but there was a cruel knowingness to it, and Sayid saw through it. Epiphany: They had never been allies. Ben was the pimp, and he was the whore. Turning bloody tricks hadn't filled Sayid with meaning, just corruption and damnation. The debasement continued months later in the Dominican Republic. Ben: Actually, I got some more folks for you to bump off, old chum. Sayid: Leave me alone. Ben laid it on, Moscow cruel. ''You are capable of things most of us aren't,'' Ben said. ''It's in your nature. It's what you are. You're a killer.'' This, while Sayid was trying to rehab his bullets-and-bloodspurt life by hammering together homes for the ironically named philanthropy Build Your World. (Extreme Makeover: Redemption Edition.) Sayid refused...and then basically did what Ben wanted him to do, anyway. Ben really is the Shadow: He knows what lurks in the hearts of men — and he knows how to work it.

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26/10/2008 free counters

'Lost' Recap: The New Long Con

Sawyer continues to take the lead by hiding Jack, Kate, and Hurley in plain sight, and finding a way to keep Sayid alive

Let me begin by guessing what most of you were thinking at the very end of last night's Lost: Harry Potter. Right? Add a lightening bolt scar and a British accent to that bespectacled pasty white cherubic mug, and young Benjamin Linus would have totally been the spitting image of J.K. Rowling's boy hero. Which is a rather provocative connection to make. Quick! Write me a mini-essay on all the ways Ben Linus = Harry Potter. Be sure to work in the words ''Parselmouth,'' ''chosen one,'' and ''I seem to recall a lot of people wondered if Harry might go bad, which is kinda like Ben, at least in the sense that so many people wonder if Ben is a good guy or a bad guy.'' Send your homework to JeffJensenEW@aol.com. Meanwhile, allow me to forge other connections between ''Namaste'' and Harry Potter that are probably totally irrelevant but somewhat amusing to consider. Didn't Jack, Kate, and Hurley's Dharma orientation feel very Sorting Hat to you? And didn't Sayid's incarceration have a certain Prisoner of Azkaban whiff? (Hey: That book had a time travel hook, too!) And now that I'm really going down the rabbit hole: Hippyish Horace Goodspeed = Professor Dumbledore by way of Michael Gambon; Snippy Radzinsky = Snappy Snape; Body-challenged Jacob = reincarnation-questing Voldemort. And are The Others = Death Eaters scheming to facilitate his reincarnation?

Oh, wait: You came here to actually read about Lost, not Harry Potter, didn't you? ''Namaste'' in a nutshell: Time travel trio Jack, Kate, and Hurley got assimilated into 1977 Dharma society. Time traveler Sayid was suspected of being a ''Hostile'' and got thrown in the Dharma detention center. And back in the present — which in Lost time is the year 2007 — Sun and Lapidus paddled to the big island and learned from Christian ''Dead Man Walking'' Shephard where and when the other castaways are. It was a transitional episode of Lost — an installment that cleared up some unfinished business and put everyone where they needed to be for the episodes to come. Coming out of the two-week break, ''Namaste'' was good for reminding us where we are in the larger season 5 saga.

I know how the time jumping baffles some of you. So let's establish temporal context. It seems those Ajira 316 castaways and the Oceanic 6/Left Behinders are separated by 30 years of time. While there's always been some debate as to when exactly the Oceanic 6 left The Island, I'm going to take the conservative estimate and say it was late December 2004. They spent three years away from The Island before boarding Ajira 316 to head back. Hence: The Ajira/Hydra castaways are in 2007. The time travelers are in 1977.

Got it? I hope so, because we're moving on.

Our landing strip speculations were accurate, after all! Who says tracking arcane bits of Lost mythology is a total waste of time? Besides my psychiatrist and my neglected children, I mean? (Now you know where my Ben's face-slapping anger comes from.) In the opening sequence, we saw that after the Island beamed Jack, Kate, Hurley, and Sayid off of Ajira 316, Captain Frank Lapidus spied a makeshift runway on Hydra Island and successfully executed a landing. (Alas, RIP his shish-kabobbed co-pilot.)

If I am recalling the Lost lore accurately, the Others were working on the landing strip during the time that Kate and Sawyer were stuck in the polar bear cages. In fact, I think Project: Runway was the hard labor the fugitive lovers were assigned during their imprisonment. Sure, the Others may have been making the strip for their own use. But I'm liking the idea that they were making it because they knew — or more precisely because Ben knew — that it needed to be there in the future for Ajira 316. It certainly fits my long-held contention that Ben's machinations have been informed by knowledge of future events. Of course, Ajira landed on Hydra Island roughly three years after Kate and Sawyer's Hydra drama. So it's also possible that the project was started/finished during that three-year span by...well, by someone. Or some peoples.

One more note about the Ajira crash sequence: Did you catch the expression on newcomer Illana's face when the turbulence hit? I couldn't tell if her nonchalance was because she's a frequent flyer who's unfazed by rough air — or if she knew exactly what was about to happen. And did you catch the name she muttered when Caesar shook her awake. I heard ''Sarah.'' What did you hear?

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26/10/2008 free counters

'Lost' Recap: Settling Into A Groove

The Left Behinders, led by Sawyer, wind up finding their place with the Dharma Initiative folks...at least until they have their big reunion with some old friends

If Jack is the Man of Science, and if John Locke is the Man of Faith, then I nominate Sawyer as Man of Heart. To hell with it: Can we just say he's the effin' man?!' Because in last night's Lost, he certainly was all that, plus a bag of Dharma chips. The kind of dude all the boys want to be; the kind of hunk that all the girls wanna get with — provided they're cool with his new slightly shorn and less stubbled look. Stepping up as leader, savior, and super-cool boyfriend — and succeeding wildly at all three — Sawyer found himself born again in the Dharma Initiative past. He seemed perfectly at home, perfectly at ease, perfectly self-realized within the confines of the trippy-hippy Utopian commune. Making the ex-con the head of Dharma security? Genius. Coupling him with fertility doc-turned-motor pool mechanic Juliet? Totally worked for me. Kudos to Josh Holloway and Elizabeth Mitchell for selling us on the best romance Lost has ever given us. Consider my membership in the Skater/SawKate/Kateyer 'shipper club resigned, chopper kiss be damned. But bliss is fleeting on Lost, and so, after Sawyer told Dharma's troubled uber-nerd Horace Goodspeed that he could barely remember the face of the girl that got away, we got the moment the entire season had been setting us up for. As Sawyer locked eyes with his former (?) fugitive dreamgirl, newly returned to the Island, I heard Sawyer's internal monologue say ''Oh, yeah. I, like, totally love you. Er, I mean, loved you. I mean: Crap!'' If they gave Emmy nominations for meaningful gazes, Holloway should start ironing his tuxedo T-shirt and best ripped jeans, because he'd be going to the ceremony.

The timing of the episode couldn't have better. As much as I dig trippy time travel puzzles and heady riffs on religion, reason, and existentialism, Lost's fifth season has very much lived inside its big old brain. ''LaFleur'' — flower in French — felt as if the show decided to open up some windows and let some fresh spring air chase away the stuffiness. I laughed, I teared up (Juliet delivered a baby! She's not the Passover angel, after all!), I got goosebumps. ''LaFleur'' reminded me that Lost is at its best when the show is an emotionally-charged adventure story that keeps its geeky mysteries in the background — not invisible at all, but rather turned away from the drama lest they overwhelm us and the story. You know: Exactly like last night's long-awaited return appearance by Four Toed Statue (Complete Edition), which loomed in the horizon, back turned to us and the castaways, standing like some Statue of Liberty scanning the horizon and beckoning lost, huddled masses to come to it shores...so Smokey can eat them. Decoding the visible details demands a Doc Jensen column of its own. But briefly: Looks Egyptian. Skirt, but no shirt — so despite the long hair, I'm thinking male. Those appear to be ankhs in the hands — symbolic of life in general and eternal life, specifically. And on the head, two pointy ears (Cat? Greyhound? Pig? Spock?) and a rectangular headpiece, like a crown or Jughead's beanie. These clues could link to any number of Egyptian deities (Bast, Set, Anubis, and Horus will be popular guesses), though given how the Island's wormhole exits into a different North Africa nation — Tunisia — I'm mulling Ba'al and Moloch, too. In that spirit, I would like to cover my ass and note that...we never actually saw that famous foot, did we? Was this really Four Toed Statue — or some monolithic companion? For now, let's stick with the general vibe the Statue gives us: The Island appears to have once been home to an ancient civilization; and that Egyptian connotation reminds us that Egyptians were fixated on the afterlife and the possibility of resurrection. Both themes were detectable in ''LaFleur.''

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26/10/2008 free counters



Para 4 porções: 4 pedaços de lombo de bacalhau dessalgado sem pele e sem espinhas (500 g), 1 xíc. de vinho do Porto branco, 2 ramos de salsa, 2 ramos de orégano, 8 minicebolas, 2 batatas médias cozidas com casca, 1 maço pequeno de agrião, 1 xíc. de leite desnatado, 2 col. (chá) de sal, lâminas bem finas de batata assadas.

Como preparar

Ponha numa panela o bacalhau, o vinho, os ramos de salsa e os de orégano, as minicebolas com a casca e 1 xíc. de água (precisa cobrir o bacalhau). Cozinhe em fogo o mais baixo possível, sem ferver, por cerca de 2 horas. Retire e reserve. Descasque as batatas. Passe-as por espremedor aparando numa panela. Junte o agrião batido com o leite e o sal. Cozinhe, mexendo com um batedor, até obter um purê bem leve. Sirva entre as lâminas de batata assadas com o bacalhau e as cebolas. Pedaço de grapefruit decora.

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26/10/2008 free counters



Para 4 porções: 2 xíc. de codorna cozida e desfiada, 1 col. (sopa) de azeite, 1 ovo, 1 clara, 1 xíc. de creme de leite light, 3 col. (chá) de sal, pimenta-do-reino, 2 batatas cozidas, sem casca, 5 col. (sopa) de cream cheese light, folhas amargas e 2 de cobertura light de caramelo, 1 col. (chá) de molho de pimenta.

Como preparar

No processador, bata carne, azeite, ovo, clara, creme de leite, 2 col. (chá) de sal e a pimenta-do-reino. Ponha em tigela refratária e cozinhe, em banho-maria, mexendo às vezes, por 12 min. Amasse as batatas num prato. Misture o cream cheese e o sal restante. Distribua entre quatro aros vazados (8 cm de diâmetro) colocados nos pratos. Por cima, distribua a musse de codorna. Gele por 1 hora. Retire os aros. Sirva com as folhas e regue com a cobertura de caramelo misturada ao molho de pimenta. Decore com broto de alfafa.

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26/10/2008 free counters



Para 4 porções: 3 col. (chá) de gelatina em pó sem cor e sem sabor, 1 xíc. de vinho verde do tipo branco, 2 fatias médias de abacaxi pérola picadas, 4 col. (sopa) de creme de leite light, 2 col. (sopa) de maisena, 2 col. (sopa) de adoçante em pó forno e fogão.

Como preparar

Em tigela refratária, hidrate a gelatina em 1/2 xíc. de vinho. Em seguida, dissolva em banho-maria. Incorpore o restante do vinho. Despeje em assadeira de 10 cm x 3 cm. Deixe na geladeira até ficar firme. Bata no liquidificador o abacaxi com o creme de leite, a maisena e o adoçante. Despeje em uma panela. Cozinhe, sem parar de mexer, até obter um creme encorpado. Leve para gelar. Sirva com a gelatina cortada. Sementes de papoula e cebolinha francesa decoram.

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26/10/2008 free counters



Para 4 porções: 200 g de abacaxi, 200 g de melão, gengibre ralado quanto baste, suco de 1/2 lima-da-pérsia, 50 g de azeite extravirgem, 10 g de coentro picadinho, 1/2 manga descascada, algumas folhas de coentro, 8 lagostins, 100 g de alho-poró fatiado à juliana e frito em azeite.

Como preparar

Parta o abacaxi e o melão em gomos largos e, logo seguida, em fatias finas. Reserve. Misture o gengibre ralado, metade do suco de lima, 20 g do azeite de oliva extravirgem e o coentro picadinho. Regue as fatias de abacaxi e de melão. Reserve. Faça o molho. Processe a manga com a sobra de suco de lima, as folhas de coentro, a sobra do azeite, sal e pimenta-do-reino moída a gosto. Reserve. Doure os lagostins na chapa por 2 min, em fogo moderado. Sirva o lagostim com as frutas e o alho-poró.

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26/10/2008 free counters



Para 4 porções: 1 filé suíno de 1/2 kg, 1 xíc. de suco de laranja, 1 col. (sopa) de casca desidratada de limão, 4 folhas de laranjeira, 2 col. (chá) de sal grosso moído na hora, 150 g de azeitonas verdes sem caroço, broto de alfafa para acompanhar e pimentão amarelo para decorar.

Como preparar

Deixe o filé marinar na geladeira por 2 horas em tigela com suco de laranja, casca de limão, folhas de laranjeira e sal grosso. Vire de vez em quando. Aqueça uma frigideira antiaderente. Junte filé (reserve tempero) e doure de maneira uniforme. Ponha tempero e 1/2 xícara de água. Tampe a frigideira. Abaixe o fogo e cozinhe por 30 minutos. Reserve. Bata as azeitonas no processador e passe por peneira de malha fina. Sirva com o filé fatiado e o broto de alfafa. Regue com o molho da frigideira. Pimentão picado decora.

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26/10/2008 free counters