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CNN ranks the coolest nationalities….and the winner is…..Brazilians?

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The world’s coolest nationalities: Where do you rank?

We know, we’re lame for ranking the world’s coolest people — which is why we can only wish we were on the list

By Barry Neild 21 January, 2011

s it possible to call an entire nation cool? Is it fair to say one nation is more cool than another?

Given that most countries have their own share of murderers, tyrants and reality TV stars, the answer is unequivocally — yes.

To help sort the cool from the less fortunate, we’ve compiled this list of the hippest peoples on the planet. No easy task when faced with almost 250 possible candidates.

The main problem is, of course, every nationality in the world believes it is the coolest — with the exception of Canadians, who are far too self-deprecating for that sort of thing.

Ask a man from Kyrgyzstan which people cut the biggest dash and he will say, “the Kyrgyz.” Who knows (seriously, who would know?) he might be right.

Ask a Norwegian and he will carefully finish chewing his mouthful of Thai green curry, take a swig of Thai Singha beer, gaze wistfully across the Thai resort of Phuket at the sunshine that eludes his country for 10 months of the year, then mumble softly, with a semi-suicidal lack of conviction: “Norwegians.”

Equally perplexing is how to define cool. Are Italians cool because some wear tightly fitting designer suits? Are the Russians uncool because some favor outmoded sportswear and pro-wrestling hairstyles?

Are the Swiss too neutral to be cool or uncool?

Before you start punching your computer screen in nationalistic indignation at your own country’s omission from our cool list — or the lazy stereotypes it inevitably falls back on for cheap laughs — remember, if you care that much about being cool then you, valued reader, simply ain’t cool.

 

1. Brazilians

Brazillians

Celebrating their number-one ranking at Copacabana Beach is way cooler than reading this article.

Without Brazilians we wouldn’t have samba and Rio carnival; we wouldn’t have the soccer beauty of Pele and Ronaldo; we wouldn’t have the minuscule swimwear and toned bodies of Copacabana beach; and we wouldn’t have certain eye-watering procedures performed with wax.

Unless they’re using their sexy, laid-back, party-loving reputation as a cover for exterminating dolphins or invading Poland, then we have no choice but to name Brazilians as the coolest people on the planet.

So, if you’re Brazilian and reading this, congratulations — although, since you’re sitting at a computer instead of showing off your six-pack on the shoreline, you probably aren’t that cool yourself.

Icon of cool: Seu Jorge. The favela-raised performer’s soulful Portuguese-language Bowie covers make you wish Ziggy Stardust was from Brazil, not space.

Not so cool: Mmmmm, Brazilian meat and cocoa — so delicious, but farming’s destruction of vast tracts of rainforest leaves a bitter aftertaste.

Rio de Janeiro #1 destination in Brazil-TripAdvisor's Travelers' Choice Award (2012)

Travelers' Choice 2012THE BEST DESTINATIONS

Top 10 Destinations in Brazil

Rio de Janeiro

Rio has some of the most beautiful beaches in the world—and some of the skimpiest bikinis. That’s the norm here, so you’d better not stare. But you’ll also want to explore the city itself, which has beautiful architecture. The cable car ride to the top of Sugar Loaf Mountain (Pao de Acucar) offers beautiful views of the city. Ride it at sunset if you can!

AND the rest of the TOP 10 DESTINATIONS IN BRAZIL:

Florianopolis was dubbed by Brazilian weekly Veja as “the best place to live in Brazil”, so it’s only natural that tourists would want to check it out, too. And do they ever. Florianopolis is a thriving destination for its perfect beaches, excellent surfing, amazing seafood, and juxtaposition of a modern megacity with 16th-century colonial fortresses and relaxed markets and parks.

The largest city in South America, Sao Paulo’s cuisine and art is as multinational as its diverse population of 10 million. With the restaurants of the Jardins district serving every food imaginable to diners from around the world, you wouldn’t be out of place going to Sao Paulo just for the dining. But you’d be missing out on world-class museums, diverse and vibrant neighborhood tours, and crazy-good shopping.

If there’s a “beach economy,” Buzios is its Wall Street. Its more than 20 beaches, world-class galleries, clubs and boutiques draw an elite set of travelers. Surfers love Geriba Beach, snorkelers enjoy Ferruda, hip Ossos Beach offers upscale beachside cafes and laid-back Ilhabela Beach offers a more down-to-earth Buzios experience.

Brazil’s former capital is renowned for its African-influenced cuisine, music and architecture. Known as “the Capital of Joy,” because of its exuberant week-long Carnaval celebrations, Salvador brims with contemporary music and art amid architecture that has gone untouched since the 17th century.

Giant anteaters, howler monkeys, ocelots, endangered jaguars and clouds of butterflies are among the attractions at this World Heritage-designated park that marks the border between Brazil and Argentina. By foot or by raft, explorers can view one of the world’s most stunning waterfalls, Iguazu Falls. Among the park’s 270 waterfalls, spectacular Devil’s Throat combines 14 falls and generates a “perpetual rainbow” in good weather.

Named for a local swamp fish, Paraty sits on Brazil’s southeastern coast, 125 miles south of Rio, with the Bocaino Mountains at its back. The small colonial town’s center is a national historic monument with well-preserved buildings on its pedestrian-only streets. Take a boat trip out into the bay to the flotillas of islands and coves nearby. Explore sugarcane plantations and hike or take a train through Atlantica Forest. Keep an eye out for the monkeys that roam the cobblestone streets.

When you can trek through the rainforests in the morning and take in a tear-jerking opera at night, you know you’re in a special place. Manaus offers a rich variety of nature, culture, art and dining. Explore the lush vegetation of Amazonian jungle on a guided backpacking or river tour, or sample the colorful bounty of the Mercado Adolpho Lisboa. The stately Amazonas Opera House was built with the finest materials, and inside you’ll be blown away by powerful performances.

The crystalline waters of Bonito are some of the purest in the world, thanks to natural deposits of limestone that act as an organic filter. Unsurprisingly, the snorkeling here is unparalleled, like swimming through liquid glass. High above sea level, you can brave the Circuito Arvorismo, a labyrinth of walkways that let you navigate the treetops with the ease of a mischievous monkey. A tour of the Blue Lake Cave is simply stunning—inside, a sapphire pool is framed by intricate rock formations that look like abstract art.

Silky beaches, coconut palms, and designer boutique hotels are mainstays of Trancoso’s casual/chic vibe. Candy-colored clay houses line the streets and squares, lending a bohemian vibe to this otherwise rustic destination. The world-famous beaches boast velvety white sands and natural pools created by coral reefs.

Anny & Alemão-Painting at Casa Cool Beans

We have had the privilege of hosting two young, up and coming artists here at Casa Cool Beans for the past 10 days…..Anny & Alema0.  Here is a wonderful video they made of their creative venture here at Casa Cool Beans!  THANK YOU to both of you!!!!!

Pintura “Casa Cool Beans” RJ 2012 – Anny e Alemão

Uploaded by on Apr 6, 2012

Pinturas realizadas no Hotel Casa Cool Beans, RJ, Santa Teresa.

Brazil leads Latin America in travel

Brazil leads Latin America in travel
The World Travel & Tourism Council, according to new research, finds that Brazil is on track to receive an additional $5.5 billion toward the nation’s GDP from travel in 2012. As a region, research shows that Latin America will trail only Asia-Pacific in travel and tourism growth in 2012. “Brazil’s travel & tourism industry is set for a great few years and I’m certain that Brazil agreeing to a number of open skies agreements have contributed to the positive growth figures,” said David Scowsill, president and CEO of the WTTC. “However, Brazil has a few hurdles to overcome with two major sport events coming up. In order for these events to be successful, present inadequate infrastructure must be improved.”

Rio’s 2012 Carnival in Numbers-Rio Times

Rio’s 2012 Carnival in Numbers

February 28, 2012 | Filed underDaily Update | Posted by

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – At a press conference on Monday, the municipal Secretaries for Tourism and Conservation – Antonio Pedro Figueira de Mello and Carlos Roberto Osorio, respectively – announced that this year’s Carnival generated estimated revenues of R$1.45 billion (approximately US$850 million) in the city of Rio de Janeiro.

Bloco Cordão de Bola Preta attracted 2.2 million at Carnival 2012, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil NewsBloco Cordão de Bola Preta attracted 2.2 million at Carnival 2012, photo by Fernando Maia/Ascom Riotur.

According to their estimates, Rio welcomed 1.1 million visitors this year, 29 percent more than expected, and 32 percent of whom were foreigners.

Statistics from the Brazilian Association for the Hospitality Industry in Rio de Janeiro (Associação Brasileira da Indústria de Hotéis) show that the average hotel occupancy rate was 95 percent. Hotels in Centro recorded the highest rate at 99.16 percent, followed by the neighborhood of Flamengo at 98.66 percent.

In the Zona Sul (South Zone), hotels in Leme and Copacabana showed an average of 94.45 percent occupancy and Ipanema and Leblon registered rates of 93.81 percent.

The municipal authorities’ estimates also indicate that 5.3 million people took part in Rio’s 425 Carnival street parties (or “blocos”) – an increase of 9.7 percent on last year’s figures, with Cordão de Bola Preta attracting the largest number of revelers at 2.2 million people, followed by Monobloco with 400,000 people.

According to the Municipal Secretary of Tourism, Antonio Pedro Figueira de Mello, the Carnival of 2012 can be considered a success: “We had a Carnival of absolute success. We received a large number of tourists. With this success come new challenges. We still have problems with peeing in the street and garbage, but it is something that is already being planned [for in the future] and will be improved.”

The number of people arrested for urinating in the streets increased to 1,014 from 777 last year, while the amount of garbage decreased 23 percent from 1,300 tons in 2011, to 1,000 tons in 2012, which was attributed to more recycling this year.

It was also announced that Zona Sul will not have any new blocos licensed. The secretary said. “Regarding the number of blocos, we’ll talk with some of them, as the Afro Reggae, which appears in [Zona Sul’s Ipanema] grew a lot. We can find an alternative place.”

Read more (in Portuguese).

Rio’s Carnival a big draw for gay tourists-Associated Press

February 22, 2012|; Juliana Barbassa, Associated Press

It took Dutch tourist Adriaan little time after landing in Rio to pick out his favorite spot during Carnival, the five-day party that officially ended Wednesday.

A 35-year-old graphic designer, he found his niche at the gay meeting point on Ipanema beach, where palm fronds and rainbow flags wave in the balmy ocean breeze, and tanned, well-muscled young men strut about in swim suits that reveal more than they conceal. Conversation failed to distract the tall, blond visitor from his careful perusal of the bathers rinsing off salt water at an open-air shower in a ritual that was equal parts bathing and public display of bodies toned to perfection.

“This is just beautiful,’’ he said while sitting on the beach in the gayest neighborhood of a city routinely ranked as a top destination for gay tourists.

“We have a lot of gay people at home, it’s very normal, no big deal. But it’s not like this: so many people, in the sun, partying together. This is like a candy shop!’’

Adriaan, who preferred not to give his last name to keep his Carnival carousing off from the Internet, was one of thousands of foreigners drawn by the heady sensuality and live-and-let-live attitude displayed by residents year-round, and especially at Carnival time.

The love goes both ways: Rio officials are trying to attract more visitors such as Adriaan, who bring an enormous amount of money into the economy.

“The city of Rio doesn’t discriminate. It is in its essence welcoming,’’ said Rio Secretary of Tourism Antonio Figueira de Mello. “Carnival is when the city shows that side most clearly. It’s a party that welcomes the world.’’

By all accounts, this year’s festivities lived up to the expectations, despite a police strike that threatened to derail the event, but was called off before the glitter started flying.

The daylong street parties drew hundreds of thousands, while glamorous parades took over at night in the city’s Sambadrome stadium, where Rio’s most beautiful men and women shimmied atop elaborate floats dressed only in strategically placed feathers and sequins.

The final numbers of visitors, gay or straight, are not yet in, but city officials are saying this was one of the most successful, and diverse, parties yet.

The mayor’s office last year created a diversity department headed by Carlos Tufvesson, a gay, multilingual fashion designer, to work with gay tourists, researching their needs and launching campaigns against homophobia and for safe sex during Carnival.

A series of gay-friendly initiatives followed: the resurrection of anti-discrimination laws that had been on the books since 1996 but were seldom enforced; the establishment of a hotline for homophobia complaints; vocational training for transvestites and anti-bullying efforts meant to help gay and lesbian students.

According to the tourism secretary, more than a quarter of the approximately 3 million tourists who flood into Rio every summer are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender, and 75 percent are young men between ages 20 and 35. They stay in the city an average of five days and spend about $200 a day, more than double the $74 a day that heterosexual tourists spend.

The city had local artists produce a samba song urging the city to hold a “Carnival without prejudice’’ and it distributed paper fans urging people to report violations of Rio’s anti-discrimination laws to a hotline.

Reality, however, isn’t always as sunny as Ipanema’s gay beach and bars would suggest. On Feb. 13th, days before Carnival, two gay Brazilian tourists were assaulted by taxi drivers on their way out of the city’s international airport. One of them needed stitches and checked into a hospital.

The civil rights organization Grupo Gay da Bahia registered 282 occurrences of discrimination in Brazil based on sexual orientation in 2011, ranging from insults to 87 of physical aggression, according to anthropologist Luiz Mott, who founded the group.

French tourist Frederic Du Pont, 36, on his fourth visit to Rio, said he has heard the occasional anti-gay slur on a city bus or away from the wealthy south side, but he’s never felt threatened.

“Sometime I worry a little bit, I’m not sure how far I can go,’’ he said. “Maybe I look at the wrong guy in the eyes a little too long, maybe they’re not gay. But I’ve never been harassed.’’

Du Pont, like many visitors, said he still can’t pull off the easy Carioca way of approaching a total stranger and within minutes extracting a kiss. Even on his latest return trip he was a little shy about diving into the sweat-soaked, percussion-driven throng at Ipanema during Carnival.

Even so, Du Pont said he’d had no trouble finding friends.

“There is so much seduction everywhere,’’ he said. “You are in overdrive, all the time. This is Carnival.’’

Santa Teresa Bonde Back in 2014-The Rio Times

Santa Teresa Bonde Back in 2014

February 25, 2012 By Sarah de Sainte Croix, Senior Contributing Reporter. The Rio Times

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Santa Teresa’s iconic yellow tram – the “bonde” – will be back on the rails in time for the 2014 World Cup, the state government’s Chief Secretary of Staff, Regis Fichtner, announced yesterday. According to Fichtner, a call for tenders to build fourteen new trams has been scheduled for Monday, February 27th, and the bonde should be running again by March 2014. A R$110 million budget has been set for the project.

Santa Teresa tramway just past Largo do Guimarães junction, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil NewsSanta Teresa tramway just past Largo do Guimarães junction, photo by Andre Oliveira/Wikimedia Creative Commons License.

He also announced plans to extend the tram route to link Carioca Station in Centro to the old Silvestre Station in the Zona Sul (South Zone), following an original tram line which has been abandoned to all intents and purposes since 1966.

From Silvestre, the revival of another disused line will connect the tram to the Corcovado train, which takes visitors up to the Cristo Redentor (Christ the Redeemer).

Fichner emphasized that the new system would reduce waiting times and improve passenger safety, saying, “People will not be allowed to travel on the outside of the tram they will travel seated inside safely. This means that there will be no extraordinary weight loaded onto the tram, and it will prevent people from falling out, as had previously been the case,” he said.

The tram has been out of action for six months since it derailed due to suspected poor maintenance, killing six people and injuring more than fifty. The incident occurred just two months after a French tourist fell to his death as the tram passed over the Arches of Lapa and a safety barrier gave way.