Now, the real estate market is booming in these favelas. Middle-class Brazilians have discovered the slums as a cheap housing alternative. They are also accompanied by an influx of foreigners, most of whom come from the crisis-ridden countries of Southern Europe. Many of the newcomers head to Rio to build an entirely new life for themselves.
Cantagalo is now home to Spaniards, Italians, Argentineans and an Australian. In the neighboring favela of Pavão-Pavãozinho, a prominent immigrant from Germany has also found a place to live: the former senator of the interior in the city-state of Hamburg, Ronald Schill, who was once called “Judge Merciless” for his harsh rulings. Until recently, he was living in an apartment on the Copacabana. Now, he has purchased a small house in the favela.
“Rents and purchasing prices are lower here than down below,” he says as he points to the asphalt jungle at his feet. It’s primarily the favelas in the southern zone of the city that attract the gringos. These areas are usually only minutes from the beach and offer some of the best views of Rio’s stunning urban landscape.
Standing on his terrace, Baronio gazes at the Atlantic. It takes him only 15 minutes to get to the beach. “In Europe the rich would live here,” he says in amazement.
nostalgiate asked: Saw that post about your Eurovision program and would love to know how you did it! I'm a first year in college studying program and would love to see how it works (Also, I'm from Ireland so I would like to see how said we should have done!)
All the data I collected is up on Drive at https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0ArXDKVnP4lmEdFJWcmlWQkQ1Qzc3TlFwajRlaHRqQ0E&usp=sharing if you want to look. As for the how, well, it’s all publicly accessible data on Twitter. The trick is in picking a signal from that vast field of noise. I could just tell you exactly how I did it, but trust me, there’s more benefit to you in the long-term if you try working it out for yourself. I will point you in the right direction though. First up, Python. It’s become the go-to language for Big Data, and consequently has all kinds of helpful pre-written modules out there. I did the track at Codecademy to get me started. I’ve worked with a bunch of different languages, and this is far and away the nicest, not least because rather than compile the code every time you want to test, you run it through an interpreter instead. Quick, neat. I’d then suggest you pick up a copy of Python For Data Analysis by Wes McKinney from O’Reilly - that’ll take you to the next level. I’m still working through it myself, but got awfully sidetracked by this project, because the best way to learn programming is to do programming.
It worked! My program worked!
I mean, it didn’t pick the winner or anything, and it was dead-wrong about Ireland, but it allowed me to correctly judge that Italy was going to do the best out of the Big Five countries (which means I very nearly broke even, thank you very much), and it also allowed me to identify that Azerbaijan were going to do considerably better than most experts seemed to think.
The votes award 1-8 points to a country’s 10th to 3rd favourites respectively, 10 points to the second place, and 12 to the first place, which tends to give a runaway victory, so for Denmark to win with 281 points and Azerbaijan to come second with 234 (with Ukraine, another of my faves, third with 214) is really bloody good. If I’d bet on them to place, rather than to win, I’d have come away richer (slightly, because it was only a £5 bet after all).
Conclusions: The software, as it currently works, is never going to reliably pick the winner, even with proper weighting. The survey is too heavily biased away from Eastern Europe, so it’s not taking the temperature over there effectively enough, and that’s partly due to Western Europe being a far greater presence on Twitter. Nothing I can easily do about that. Also, Ireland. Not sure what the fuck happened there, but I suspect I need to introduce some semantic interpretation to figure out if people are being positive or negative. Even so, just on the strength of the song, I’m baffled that Ireland did so badly. It’s like everyone just sort of forgot about them. A weird result by anyone’s standards, and one to keep in mind.
Even with these problems, the software was still a bloody incredible tool for assisting in making an informed decision. It showed me that after the second semi Azerbaijan was suddenly getting a lot of attention. Bearing in mind that they could rely on the Eastern Bloc to vote their way, this showed me that over here in the West we were gonna give them votes too. Certainly not a foolproof method, but now I know how it works, and it gave me one hell of an edge over everyone else, especially considering that this was just a silly little trial-run.
I’m going to fucking town with this, boys and girls. This changes everything.
Well, my software has been scanning the Twitter chatter about the Eurovision entries every five minutes (timing problems permitting) for the past week. It’s half past eight on the morning of the live final, and I have collected over 1850 sets of results. I want you to picture a spreadsheet of data, 41 columns wide, and getting close now to two thousand rows long. That is what I have made, and it’s all based entirely on what people are talking about on Twitter.
As far as I’m aware, this is the single most detailed study of Eurovision Twitter buzz ever conducted (though if you know of another, I’d be seriously fascinated).
Unfortunately, since there’s more people here in western Europe, my data is biased towards the Big Five countries (UK, France, Spain, Germany, Italy - all share the majority of the cost for putting on the contest), and since I’ve never run a study like this before I have no baseline to work out weighting. It’s all intuition, experience, and best-guesses who might win, but here’s what I reckon:
- Pretty much all of the former USSR countries qualified, so their vote will be split and diluted. Still, Mother Russia has a solid song and is tracking well. Probably not a winner, but a respectable placing is on the cards.
- The Ukraine has a giant. It’s an ingenious ploy, because everyone’s talking about the giant. That counts for a lot. The song isn’t half bad, and the singer is a pretty lady. They’ll also do well.
- None of the former Yugoslavian countries made it through to the final. Bit of a shocker, that. They normally vote for each other, but now those votes are in the wind. Still, expect them to favour the former Soviets, and I suspect they’ll quite like Ireland and The Netherlands.
- Everyone in Malmö is talking Denmark for a win, but it looks to me like Finland’s gambit of having a kind-of demeaning post-feminist bit of pretend lesbianism is giving them some last-minute traction. When you’re choosing who to vote for from so many countries, memorability counts for a lot, and a girl-on-girl snog (awkward and fake as it may be) is a pretty good way to get everyone to remember you. Suspect they’ll finish above Denmark in the end.
- Romania has a falsetto-singing operatic vampire with a giant parachute skirt from which emerge dancers. If you are from America and have never watched Eurovision, this sort of shit is pretty much standard. I like them. Bit of a dark horse, as are The Netherlands. I don’t much like the Dutch song, but they’re getting people talking, and that’s what counts.
- Finally, who’s gonna win? I’ve weighed up the options, looked closely at all my data, and finally decided who to put money on. I make no guarantee about the quality of my tip, but I reckon Azerbaijan have a good song, clever staging, and the weight of their neighbours behind them, plus they’ve been getting a sudden boost in attention since the rest of us saw them in the semi on Thursday. I’ve got a fiver on them to win, at 12:1. I’ve also put another fiver on Italy to get the top score out of the Big Five, at 1.83:1. I’m confident about the latter, less-so about the former. Ukraine and their giant could easily steal it out from under Azerbaijan, or maybe the bookies are right to make Denmark the favourite. But that’s where I’ve put my money.
We’ll know later tonight, but either way it’s been fun getting this software working.
I’m gonna point it at the markets next, and see how that works out.
Skater girls seen in Vanak Square in Tehran, Iran. [photo cred: Nooshafarin, Humans of Tehran]
I love the fact that the Avengers fandom denied that Coulson died so hard and for so long that they finally made a series about him coming back to life.
According to the Law of Conservation of Mass, matter can neither be created nor destroyed. This means that all atoms are recycled over time. Which in turn means that our own atoms are ancient as well. One’s skin could have carbon in it from a meteorite or from a trilobite thousands of years old, and your blood could contain hydrogen from earth’s original atmosphere.
Even better - the universe originally just contained hydrogen. But you do not. All that carbon and hydrogen that you’re made of formed in the core of a star, billions of years before the solar system formed.
But you’re made of more than just carbon, hydrogen and oxygen - anything in the periodic table beyond iron, gold for example, is only made when a star far bigger than our own Sun reaches the end of its life, collapses in on itself, and then explodes in a supernova, a single explosion bigger than the solar system and as bright as an entire galaxy. The fact that there is gold, and copper and iodine and tin and the rest, present on this planet mean that our planet, our entire solar system, are made from the remains of a supernova.
And that includes you too.
We’re literally all made from stars.
The buzz tracker is now live, running, and updated whenever I can be arsed doing it. Spain are currently putting on a spurt, but will it last and do you give one half of a shit?