Brazil

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Nuts are good sources of heart-healthy fats, vitamins and minerals.
Photo Credit: Elisabeth Dillon | Daily Texan Staff

It’s time to get a little crazy with your diet. That’s right — it’s time to go nuts. 

Nuts, such as Brazil nuts, almonds, cashews and pecans, are full of heart-healthy fats and can be used to make sweet and savory dishes stand out. 

It might seem counterintuitive, but eating nuts in their most natural state is not the healthiest way to consume them. Raw nuts contain phytic acid and enzyme inhibitors, which prevent the body from taking in crucial nutrients and digesting food properly. 

To avoid these roadblocks, simply soak nuts in salt water to break down and remove the harmful elements. The salt water soak is also the first step for making nut milk, a non-dairy alternative perfect to use in smoothies and baked goods. After the nuts have soaked, place them in a blender with more water and then strain through a cheesecloth. 

Homemade nut butters trump their store-bought counterparts in virtually all aspects because the more expensive grocery-store nut butters tend to be laden with extra oil and sugar. Use nut butters to thicken up smoothies, “healthify” brownie recipes and eat by the spoonful while cramming for stressful final exams. 

To make homemade nut butter, toast raw nuts lightly in an oven to break down those pesky enzyme inhibitors, place in a food processor and blend until smooth. 

Walnuts are an omega-3 powerhouse and are also known for helping with cholesterol levels and risk of heart diseases. Use walnuts for more savory dishes — stir them into a warm quinoa and Brussels sprouts salad. Walnut oil is also a good substitute for canola or vegetable oils. 

If you’re concerned about your protein intake, grab almonds from your pantry. Many plant-based protein bars found in grocery stores contain almonds and almond butter. Save the money and make your own energy bites using dates and almonds. Alternatively, lightly toast slivered almonds to toss on top of fresh asparagus. 

Brazil nuts, generally found in the bulk section at stores such as Whole Foods, contain high amounts of selenium. Selenium aids in the production of antioxidant enzymes, which help with cell damage and reduce the risk of cancer. Eat these in moderation, though, as Brazil nuts contain higher amounts of saturated fat than their healthier nut cousins. 

Cashews are a staple in many vegan kitchens. Not only are they high in vitamins and minerals, but they can be broken down into a cream used to make things such as cashew yogurt or dairy-free cheesecake. These cashew-based desserts can end up being high in calories, but they’re also high in good-for-you fats. 

Ready to get nutty? Check out our raspberry cashew butter smoothie recipe:

Recipe

  • Ingredients:
  • – 2 frozen bananas
  • – 1/4 cup frozen raspberries
  • – 3 frozen strawberries
  • – 2 tablespoons cashew butter
  • – 1/4 teaspoon maca powder
  • – 1 teaspoon chia seeds
  • – 3/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
  •  
  • Directions:
  • – Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. If too thick, add more almond milk. Split between one or two glasses and enjoy. 
Cassio Turra, associate professor of demography in Brazil, speaks about public funding problems Monday afternoon.
Photo Credit: Zoe Fu | Daily Texan Staff

Brazil’s outdated public funding system faces many difficulties, which stem from the country’s unbalanced population structure, according to Cassio Turra, associate professor of demography at Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais in Brazil.

The public funding system provides many benefits, such as social security, for its elderly population while sacrificing education and other benefits for children, according to Turra, who spoke Monday at Sid Richardson Hall. 

Although the current Brazilian population has a higher number of children and elderly than adults, Turra said he believes the country does not evenly distribute aid to the poor.

“There is no country like Brazil in terms of allocating public resources to the elderly,” Turra said. “The adult groups are responsible for providing the surplus, so we have fewer people at [working] ages providing the surplus and more people at [nonworking] ages who are in debt.”

The 1930s was a period of stimulus for the Brazilian government, during which it increase the allocation of public funds to the elderly, according to Turra. In the 1930s, Brazilians had a high chance of poverty at older ages because 70 percent or more of children lived in poverty, and the average amount of schooling for children was four years, Turra said.

Sam Hagan, an intern at LLILAS Benson Latin American Studies and Collections, believes that increasing public funding to children should not be the only focus for the Brazilian government.

“I believe there are other areas of social policy that are of equal or greater impact on young lives that have been ignored in recent years, such as education,” Hagan said.

A majority of the Brazilian population still depends on the public funding system that was developed in the 1930s, Turra said. In the 55-69 age group, 66.1 percent of people live in a household in which at least one person receives social security benefits, according to Turra.

“If we want to improve children’s lives, we should give money to them instead of giving money to their grandfathers,” Turra said.

Public health freshman Jonathan Tran believes that this will pose a problem for Brazil in the future.

“It’s obvious that this public funding system cannot sustain itself, which means that change must come,” Tran said.

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Sandro Fiorin | Daily Texan Staff

Gabriel Mascaro is an installation artist, script writer and up-and-coming documentary filmmaker. He may not be well known in the United States, but his films and installations are popular in Brazil because they provide glimpses into the nature of life in the diverse country.

Mascaro’s films will be the first installment in the Latin American Filmmakers Series hosted by the Department of Spanish and Portuguese and the Brazil Center of LLILAS. On Monday, the center will show Mascaro’s “Ventos de Agosto” at the Marchesa Hall & Theatre, followed by a Tuesday screening of his documentary, “Doméstica,” at the Harry Ransom Center. Both screenings will end with a Q&A session.

The Austin Film Society will co-sponsor the first film screening. “Ventos de Agosto” follows the story of a young girl, her love interest, a hurricane and research of the sound of wind.

Mascaro is better known for his documentaries such as “Doméstica,” a film that captures the real-life perspectives of seven teenagers who filmed their housemaids. Brazil Center coordinator Carla Silva-Muhammad said the film was acquired as a permanent collection for the Benson Latin American Collection.

“It’s a clash of the way they perceive the domestic workers in their house and then the life of the doméstica really,” Silva-Muhammad said. “I think it is a perfect way of synchronizing both things.”

In addition to the film series, LLILAS will host a number of professors for their Faculty Book Talks. Sônia Roncador, associate professor in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese, will speak about her book, “Domestic Servants in Literature and Testimony in Brazil, 1889–1999,” for the series. The themes of “Doméstica” will tie into the discussion of her book.

“Gabriel Mascaro originally contacted Professor Sônia Roncador and sent her a link to his film because he knew of her book,” said Jason Borge, an associate professor in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese. “Now, the culmination of that relationship is that he is actually going to be at the book opening as a discussant.”

Roncador’s book focuses on how servitude was portrayed in Brazilian literature and journalism as a privileged sign of social or racial otherness following the abolishment of slavery in 1888.

“Too much of the time, domestic service is ‘invisible’ and maids themselves disrespected, underpaid and even abused,” Roncador said. “I want readers to develop a greater appreciation of the work they do.”

One of the main goals of the film series is to increase community outreach and expose films that would otherwise remain unseen.

“First of all, I’d just like them to develop an appreciation for Brazilian filmmaking in the 21st century,” Borge said. “Also to exhibit the talent and vitality of a new voice in Brazilian and Latin American film generally.”

In accordance with the series’ mission to showcase up-and-coming filmmakers, Mascaro was chosen to showcase his talent.

“Mascaro has been making film for a few years, but he’s not quite famous yet,” Borge said. “He’s really on the cusp of becoming a major filmmaker in Brazil.”

Germany's Bastian Schweinsteiger raises the trophy after the World Cup final soccer match between Germany and Argentina at the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on Sunday. 

Photo Credit: AP Photo/ Martin Meissner | Daily Texan Staff

The 2014 World Cup broke records. It defined excitement. It showed us the country of Brazil in a way we’ve never seen it before. And it brought us one of the best soccer tournaments in recent history. But now, it is gone. In its absence over the next four years, we will have these memories:

The fall of the greatest

It will be written in books and shared down generation lines, but nothing will ever compare to witnessing what happened on Tuesday, July 8. Brazil, the host nation and greatest international soccer team that has ever existed, lost worse than anybody could have ever thought was possible. The 7-1 dismantling by the eventual champions Germany was two hours that stopped the world and will probably never happen again.

A superb host

Many factors made this World Cup great but at the root of it all was the host country, Brazil. The soccer-loving culture fit perfectly, as expected. The atmosphere of games was unmatched. The scenic views of surrounding mountains and the iconic “Christ the Redeemer” statue in Rio De Janeiro topped it off. There was little doubt left of the impact a South American host can have on a World Cup. It’s where soccer is religion and where international tournaments clearly belong.

The surprises

Who could have predicted the superstardom of Colombia midfielder and World Cup Golden Boot winner James Rodríguez? Or the unbelievable surge Costa Rica, a nation of roughly 4.5 million, made to the quarterfinals stage? And what about the last minute victories, the improbable loses, the penalty shoot-out finishes and the consistently close games? Add the social media frenzy with each game and the dramatic story lines that followed marquee names like Luis Suárez and Neymar, and nothing was left out of this tournament.

A showcase of perfect play

In June, we witnessed what perfect basketball could look like through the NBA champions San Antonio Spurs. And in this World Cup, we got to experience what that looked like on a soccer pitch. It shouldn’t be surprising that Germany tied the 2002 champion Brazil team for best goal differential in World Cup history, or that the team’s worst game was a 2-2 tie against Ghana in group play. Their play against Brazil put them on another level, and the way they picked apart teams with their defensive, but aggressive, style was incredible. It was soccer at its finest. Germany will be remembered as 2014 champions, but they’ll be more revered for the way they did it.

The tides possibly turning

Yes, a powerhouse German team did win. And all four of the semifinal teams are considered soccer greats, but down the line, other groups are emerging and ready to take the grand stage next World Cup. This tournament showed true promise of what the next World Cup could look like. Sides like Colombia, Belgium, Mexico, Costa Rica, and even the U.S., demonstrated the potential for less historic countries to make an impact. So many of these games were great because the margin of talent has come closer together between nations. This makes for a 2018 World Cup that should draw heavy attention. Because more than ever, the golden trophy could end up in the hands of first-time champions.

Germany's Bastian Schweinsteiger raises the trophy after the World Cup final soccer match between Germany and Argentina at the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on Sunday. 

Photo Credit: AP Photo/ Martin Meissner | Daily Texan Staff

Germany, on the verge of a penalty shootout ending with Argentina for the FIFA World Cup title Sunday, earned a victory from a strike delivered by substitute forward Mario Götze in the 113th minute of extra time, making them the first European nation ever to win a World Cup hosted in the Americas.

“It’s an unbelievable feeling,” Götze, the FIFA Man of the Match said afterwards, “I don’t know how to describe it. I just took the shot and didn’t know what was happening. For us, the dream has become a reality.”

Germany dominated throughout the tournament. They had won their group, cruised through the round of 16 and quarterfinals and dismantled Brazil to reach the final. But against Argentina, it was a struggle.

There were times it appeared that the South American country would be the one hoisting the golden trophy. Moments like the 47th minute, when Lionel Messi was just feet away from the goal before he struck the ball and missed by the closest of margins.

There was also forward Gonzalo Higuaín’s miss in the 22nd minute, a shot that was taken from twenty yards out in a one-on-one situation with German keeper Manuel Neuer. The goal could have given Argentina the early lead in a very defensive contest.

But Germany had already proven many times this World Cup that if you let them stick around they will find a way to come out victorious. And that is exactly what happened at Estádio Maracanã in Rio De Janeiro.

They had put up their previous chances too. Defender Benedikt Höwedes’ header in the 46th minute was inches away from crossing the line, but bounced off the right goalpost instead. In the 91st minute, forward André Schürrle was just outside the box when Argentinian keeper Sergio Romero deflected his right-footed strike away from goal.

The scoreless draw was broken when a perfect lob pass from Schürrle in the 113th minute of extra time came down feet away from the goal line on Götze’s chest, from there he volleyed it past Romero for the latest goal in World Cup Final history.

A German side that had been awaiting this moment since their last World Cup victory in 1990 rejoiced, while Argentinians, who dominated the crowd inside of the stadium, saw their hopes of victory slip away. There would be no reliving the Diego Maradona 1986 glory days. 

“They left everything on the pitch,” Argentina coach Alejandro Sabella said. “These are very close matches and, when you make a mistake, you know it’s difficult to turn it around. But in general terms, I’m very proud and my boys played an extraordinary World Cup.”

With the heroic goal, Götze became the first substitute to ever score in overtime of a World Cup final. And for Germany, the team that played as sound and organized as any soccer team ever has, the World Cup title is now their fourth, only one behind all-time leader Brazil.

“We started this project ten years ago,” German coach Joachim Löw said. “We’ve made constant progress, we believed in the project, we worked a lot and, if any group deserves it, it’s this team. Every player in this team gave everything they had.”

Brazil vs. Germany – Tuesday, July 8 at 3 p.m. CT

No Neymar and no Thiago Silva. What will this mean for a Brazilian team that is making its 10th World Cup semifinals appearance? Brazil has yet to show their best, having made it to this point without any decisive victories. But perhaps that is where they find their peace going into Tuesday’s game against Germany. They know they can do better, which should be quite frightening for the opposing team. Replacing two of the most important players will be tough, but Brazil also has history on its side. The country has not lost a competitive match at home since 1975. And as shaky as they’ve been, they’ll need every ounce of advantage that they can get. Germany plays organized and disciplined, a style of play that has frustrated Brazil all of this World Cup. With a hard defensive line, Germany beats opponents by neutralizing attacks and striking when the opportunity presents itself. Players like Thomas Müller have been creating plays for the German side all tournament long. If Brazil hopes to reach its 7th World Cup final, scoring early, just as they did against Colombia in the quarterfinals, will be vital. The last time these two powerhouses met on such a grand stage was in 2002, when Brazil beat Germany 2-0 to win the World Cup.

 

The Netherlands vs. Argentina – Wednesday, July 9 at 3 p.m. CT

Through superstar Lionel Messi, Argentina is as close to winning the World Cup as it’s been since the days of the great Diego Maradona. The team has looked steady and Messi has been living up to his famed name. The country has yet to lose a match this World Cup, seeming to somehow always find a way to win. On the opposing side is the 2010 World Cup runner-up Netherlands, which has appeared to be the team of destiny so far. While they too have not lost a match this tournament, they have beaten opponents in nail-biting fashion, as they did in the penalty shoot-out victory over Costa Rica. Argentina has not made a semifinal appearance since 1990, and historically, they have only beaten the Dutch once. The Netherlands have the better numbers in both shooting and scoring for this tournament, with forwards Arjen Robben and Robin Van Persie each having scored three goals so far. But they also do not have a player like Messi. Nothing will be as important for this Netherlands team as keeping the Argentinian striker at bay. Messi has the second most goals in the tournament with four, but has also constantly created scoring for teammates, which is where the true danger lies. The Dutch will need to disrupt Argentina’s world class passing attack. A more wide-open type of match can be expected from this second semifinal, and based on how both teams have played; a penalty shoot-out would not be surprising. 

Photo Credit: Hannah Hadidi | Daily Texan Staff

The Fourth of July, our national holiday that celebrates the independence of the original 13 colonies from the British Empire, is a day of patriotic celebration, with patriotic citizens gathering their friends and family members to enjoy barbecue, watermelon and fireworks. South of the border, celebrations of national independence also focus on countries gaining freedom from their imperial forefathers, but vary
in tradition.

In Brazil, Independence Day is Sept. 7 and celebrates the day regent Prince Dom Pedro declared the country independent from Portugal in 1822. São Paulo, Brazil, native Mariana Silva said Brazil’s day does include small activities at schools such as Native American dance
performances.

“[The dancing] is more of, like, focusing on the culture of what makes Brazil, Brazil — not having to do with Independence Day exactly, but more like celebrating the culture,” Silva, a civil engineering sophomore, said. “In the independence month, they would have something in the museums or in the city, but I do not remember it being a big deal.” 

On a larger scale, the countries of Central America, including Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua, celebrate their collective independence from Spain in 1821 on Sept. 15. Monica Monroy, an international student from Guatemala City, Guatemala, said her school would
participate in parades and decorate the classrooms
to celebrate.  

“I’ve only experienced this in the capital city where a lot of bands train [for the celebration], and the military is there, so they perform for the president. There’s also a torch ran around the country,” Monroy, a civil engineering sophomore, said. “They start selling merchandise like flags a month before, and it’s a really big deal to decorate your car or wear a Guatemala T-shirt that day.” 

Moving north, Mexican Independence Day, or “Grito de Dolores,” is on Sept. 16, and celebrates the beginning and end of the revolutionary war against Spain. They celebrate “Los Insurgentes,” or the revolutionaries, who participated in the war that led to Mexico gaining
independence. Amadeus Miranda, a women’s and gender studies junior, has visited Ciudad Juarez, Chihuhaha, to celebrate, and said that each city holds its own celebration, while the capital city celebration done by the president is broadcast nationally.

“Everyone gathers in front of the City Hall on the eve of Sept. 16. Once midnight hits, the mayor of the town comes out of City Hall on the balcony and rings a bell. Every time he rings the bell, he shouts ‘VIVA ____!’ The blank is filled with each name of the Insurgentes, the city it is being done in, and lastly, ‘VIVA MEXICO,’” Miranda said. “This is known as ‘El Grito.’ People do this because this is what the priest who started the Mexican Revolution did on the day the revolution started.”

Already, the 2014 FIFA World Cup has been historic in many ways, and we’re just 29 games in as of Saturday night. Here are the five biggest takeaways so far from the tournament, as well as a preview of the USA-Portugal matchup tonight at 5 p.m.

  1. South America has dominated

Teams from the host country’s continent have obliterated the competition, going 8-1-1 combined so far. But it’s not just South America, though, that has taken charge. The entire Americas have played well above their opponents at this point of the tournament. Combined, North America and South America have an 11-2-0 record. It could be a changing of the guard or it just could be that the Americas, especially the Southern continent, feel more comfortable playing closer to home. Whatever it is, teams from this side of the world are showing no sign of slowing down.

  1. Is this soccer or the NFL?

But really, the kind of offense we have seen from World Cup teams in Brazil has been incredible, and its comparison to the offense-heavy league we see in our American version of football might not be that far-fetched. The point is that this World Cup has been about scoring, and the numbers back it up. There have been 80 total goals scored so far. Compare that with 2010’s World Cup number with the same number of games played (29) and the result is 23 more goals this year. 23. That’s about one more goal per match so far at this World Cup.

  1. Star play has come from non-marquee names

We heard so much about big names like Neymar, Ronaldo and Messi before the World Cup, and while two of those three have already made an impact, they have not led the pack. It has been players like Germany’s Thomas Mueller, who’s in a four-way tie for most goals so far with three and leads FIFA’s Castrol Index: Top Player rankings, a statistic that measures the overall impact a player is having on the game. Then there’s Mexico’s keeper Guillermo Ochoa, who’s four world-class saves against Brazil were the reason El Tri was able to stun the host country in a 0-0 draw. In total, Ochoa has a World Cup-leading seven saves and zero goals allowed in what has been a surprising Mexican run so far. And speaking of surprises, there have been plenty of them already. Besides countries like Mexico playing well, not many predicted teams like Spain and England to already be out of contention. 

  1. Technology has made what’s already entertaining, even better

For those on social media, especially Twitter, the fun has existed beyond the pitch. Whether it’s the hundreds of memes that have been shared or the cool flags that twitter has created to go alongside each team’s country abbreviation, it’s safe to say this has been the most interactive World Cup to date. Never before has this sporting event been almost as easy to follow online as it has been watching live. But technology has not just been about the tweets or Facebook posts. It has also directly affected the games. This World Cup introduced goal-line technology that has eliminated any question of close-called goals. Situations like what happened in the 2010 World Cup, when a clear goal by England’s Frank Lampard was not counted as his team was trailing 2-1 in a second-round match against Germany, have been eliminated. Any close call has been easily resolved in this World Cup. Tracking player’s fatigue, among other playing factors, with specially designed chips inside of their jerseys, has also affected the overall quality of play during games. This technology has been important for team’s use in Brazilian host cities like Manaus, where the high humidity and temperatures can affect play.

5. No Vuvuzelas deafening every other noise

Everybody remembers the 2010 World Cup in South Africa and how much the loud, annoying Vuvuzelas became a part of the headlines. This time around, Vuvuzelas have been replaced with what we’re used to hearing at World Cup matches – screaming chants from fans. Brazil has provided stadiums filled with unbelievable atmospheres. For all of the talk of problems with getting the facilities ready before the games began and the safety concerns plaguing host cities, Brazil has, from a far, looked like a solid host. The fans have shown up with passion and the culture of South America has been ever-present. Between the high scoring and energizing crowds, this World Cup has been worth the four-year wait.

Quick Preview: USA VS Portugal, 5 p.m. CT at Arena Amazonia stadium in Manaus, Brazil –

Very simple. Win, and the U.S. is in to the knockout round of the World Cup. Not so simple, is how this game could play out. The Americans come in with pure confidence after their 2-1 victory over Ghana six days go and feel even better that they are facing a hobbled Portugal squad. 

The European team got dismantled by Germany, 4-0, in their first match of group play and lost one of their key defenders, Pepe, to a red card and suspension for this game. Cristiano Ronaldo’s injured knee is a concern for Portugal and a factor that will determine how powerful the team’s offense can be in attacking, based on how he’s feeling. 

But, with all that’s happened to this squad, they are still Portugal, and this is still the “group of death.” Portugal will not go out easily and they certainly won’t allow the U.S. to walk into the round of 16. Argentina’s Lionel Messi proved on Saturday, when he scored the game-winning goal for Argentia in the last minutes of the game against Iran, that if you have one of the best players in the world on your team, anything can happen. Ronaldo will try and second that notion Sunday evening. 

This matchup will be won in the midfield and in the counterattacks, where the U.S. could take advantage of a weaker Portuguese defense. Historically, the U.S. and Portugal are as even as you can get, each having two wins and one draw against each other with five total goals scored by each country as well.

Already, the 2014 FIFA World Cup has been historic in many ways, and we’re just 29 games in as of Saturday night. Here are the five biggest takeaways so far from the tournament, as well as a preview of the USA-Portugal matchup tonight at 5 p.m.

  1. South America has dominated

Teams from the host country’s continent have obliterated the competition, going 8-1-1 combined so far. But it’s not just South America, though, that has taken charge. The entire Americas have played well above their opponents at this point of the tournament. Combined, North America and South America have an 11-2-0 record. It could be a changing of the guard or it just could be that the Americas, especially the Southern continent, feel more comfortable playing closer to home. Whatever it is, teams from this side of the world are showing no sign of slowing down.

  1. Is this soccer or the NFL?

But really, the kind of offense we have seen from World Cup teams in Brazil has been incredible, and its comparison to the offense-heavy league we see in our American version of football might not be that far-fetched. The point is that this World Cup has been about scoring, and the numbers back it up. There have been 80 total goals scored so far. Compare that with 2010’s World Cup number with the same number of games played (29) and the result is 23 more goals this year. 23. That’s about one more goal per match so far at this World Cup.

  1. Star playi has come from non-marquee names

We heard so much about big names like Neymar, Ronaldo and Messi before the World Cup, and while two of those three have already made an impact, they have not led the pack. It has been players like Germany’s Thomas Mueller, who’s in a four-way tie for most goals so far with three and leads FIFA’s Castrol Index: Top Player rankings, a statistic that measures the overall impact a player is having on the game. Then there’s Mexico’s keeper Guillermo Ochoa, who’s four world-class saves against Brazil were the reason El Tri was able to stun the host country in a 0-0 draw. In total, Ochoa has a World Cup-leading seven saves and zero goals allowed in what has been a surprising Mexican run so far. And speaking of surprises, there have been plenty of them already. Besides countries like Mexico playing well, not many predicted teams like Spain and England to already be out of contention. 

  1. Technology has made what’s already entertaining, even better

For those on social media, especially Twitter, the fun has existed beyond the pitch. Whether it’s the hundreds of memes that have been shared or the cool flags that twitter has created to go alongside each team’s country abbreviation, it’s safe to say this has been the most interactive World Cup to dat. Never before has this sporting event been almost as easy to follow online as it has been watching live. But technology has not just been about the tweets or Facebook posts. It has also directly affected the games. This World Cup introduced goal-line technology that has eliminated any question of close-called goals. Situations like what happened in the 2010 World Cup, when a clear goal by England’s Frank Lampard was not counted as his team was trailing 2-1 in a second-round match against Germany, have been eliminated. Any close call has been easily resolved in this World Cup. Tracking player’s fatigue, among other playing factors, with specially designed chips inside of their jerseys, has also affected the overall quality of play during games. This technology has been important for team’s use in Brazilian host cities like Manaus, where the high humidity and temperatures can affect play.

5. No Vuvuzelas deafening every other noise

Everybody remembers the 2010 World Cup in South Africa and how much the loud, annoying Vuvuzelas became a part of the headlines. This time around, Vuvuzelas have been replaced with what we’re used to hearing at World Cup matches – screaming chants from fans. Brazil has provided stadiums filled with unbelievable atmospheres. For all of the talk of problems with getting the facilities ready before the games began and the safety concerns plaguing host cities, Brazil has, from a far, looked like a solid host. The fans have shown up with passion and the culture of South America has been ever-present. Between the high scoring and energizing crowds, this World Cup has been worth the four-year wait.

Quick Preview: USA VS Portugal, 5 p.m. CT at Arena Amazonia stadium in Manaus, Brazil –

Very simple. Win, and the U.S. is in to the knockout round of the World Cup. Not so simple, is how this game could play out. The Americans come in with pure confidence after their 2-1 victory over Ghana six days go and feel even better that they are facing a hobbled Portugal squad.

The European team got dismantled by Germany, 4-0, in their first match of group play and lost one of their key defenders, Pepe, to a red card and suspension for this game. Cristiano Ronaldo’s injured knee is a concern for Portugal and a factor that will determine how powerful the team’s offense can be in attacking, based on how he’s feeling.

But, with all that’s happened to this squad, they are still Portugal, and this is still the “group of death.” Portugal will not go out easily and they certainly won’t allow the U.S. to walk into the round of 16. Argentina’s Lionel Messi proved on Saturday, when he scored the game-winning goal for Argentia in the last minutes of the game against Iran, that if you have one of the best players in the world on your team, anything can happen. Ronaldo will try and second that notion Sunday evening.

This matchup will be won in the midfield and in the counterattacks, where the U.S. could take advantage of a weaker Portuguese defense. Historically, the U.S. and Portugal are as even as you can get, each having two wins and one draw against each other with five total goals scored by each country as well.

Brazilian activists Andreia and Hamilton dos Santos discuss the impact of state violence on Brazil's black community. The talk they gave extends to police brutality and issues in the prison system. 

Photo Credit: Ethan Oblak | Daily Texan Staff

As Brazil prepares for the World Cup this summer and the Olympics in 2016, the country is doing its best to show the world an image of happy, healthy citizens — a far cry from life for the black majority, according to community activists Andreia Beatriz Silva dos Santos and Hamilton Borges dos Santos at a talk Friday.

Andreia and Hamilton dos Santos said racism is a pressing issue in Brazil, largely ignored and somewhat facilitated by the government, at the talk organized by the Lozano Long Institute of Latin American Studies and the Benson Center.

Kate Layton, a Latin American studies graduate student, translated the discussion from Portuguese to English.

Hamilton said while Brazil has made many economic strides, these new advances aren’t necessarily good for the people of Brazil. Hamilton said that while people now have access to consumer goods like cars and refrigerators, more important resources like health care and education are still unavailable.

“This development hasn’t changed the systems of inequality in Brazil,” Hamilton said. “This development has fortified the banks, system of credit, foreign companies and their exploitation of the country.”

Andreia dos Santos said the Brazilian government imposes many forms of oppression on black Brazilians.

“What they’re talking about here is a conjuncture of actions that have impeded four generations, and in many ways black folks, and she’s talking here of direct or indirect violence, the absence of the state and imprisonment, which has led to an eradication of a people,” Layton said. “Another factor, of course, is the absence of state and the absence of access to appropriate services like education [and] health.”

Christen Smith, assistant professor of anthropology and African and African diaspora studies, said being able to hear from people involved in this struggle is a rare occurrence because they barely ever get a chance to take a break to talk about their work.

“Both of them have a considerable history of action and struggle in the community that goes from organizing around questions of police brutality and of police violence all the way to organizing in the prison system,” Smith said.

Hamilton and Andreia dos Santos gave the talk in Portuguese — which was then translated into English by Kate Layton, a Latin American studies graduate student — and Hamilton said the main barrier to their campaign right now is language.

“[The purpose of this discussion is] to amplify the voice to these fights that are pretty anonymous and unknown in most parts of the world and to affirm the importance of this fight of being able to speak for ourselves,” Hamilton dos Santos said.