26 Apr 2010


The title is "The anguish of the white page" and it's an amazing video installation, by Ariel Schlesinger. My favourite is the one with the two pages. Have a look:


Career counseling

This week I attended a conference on Career Counseling. One of the main focuses was to raise awareness to the fact that currently careers are in constant development, changes, and need of adapting and evolve. Career counseling is no longer limited to the high school choice, and no long limited by multiple choice exams. Any age is a good age to do some counseling in this area; as a matter of fact it should be done many times along our lives! Because life cannot be separated from career - if one is not happy with his/her career it’s difficult to be happy in life - as we spend 1/3 of our time (or even 2/3!) working. And, as it is my experience, doing career counseling can be a really enjoyable process of self-knowledge, talking and sharing goal’s, experiences, doubts, and individual characteristics with the therapist. I really enjoy doing career counseling!

19 Apr 2010


I recently gave a conference on Depression and had to search for paintings and poems which could illustrate the condition known as melancholia. The word comes from the old greek black bile and the disease has been known and studied for centuries. Old thinkers, like Aristotle,  connected it to creativity (specially poetry). Robert Burton dedicated to it a magnificent book in the XVI century: The Anatomy of Melancholia.
But melancholia it's a very severe case of depression and can be a rather serious disease, sometimes leading to suicide.
The person has emotionally invested an object (usually a person but it can be also an ideal) and when the latter disappears or fails in any way the result can be catastrophic. The object is already part of the self of the individual, has taken its place in it (as Freud famously said: the shadow of the object fell upon the ego). Being very difficult to let go of the object, the person retreats into itself, indifferent to the rest of the world, not caring about anybody or anything. Apathy and self-recrimination, even self-hate, are a constant symptom.
The best known painting is Durer's Melancholia but I really think Edvard Munch's painting by the same title better represents this awful condition that can border psychosis. Have a look at both of them:



18 Apr 2010

The invention of lying

Today I saw “The invention of lying” and found to be really interesting as it makes us think about a lot of things (more than this trailer suggests…), from the obvious truth vs.lie, until religion and morality. For me the first 15 minutes were the most interesting because we always found lying a bad thing, but this portrait of an “all truthful world” is surely not very inviting… I won’t tell more because I don’t want to ruin your movie view. But I leave you with a question: would we really want to hear the all truth all the time?

17 Apr 2010

Nothing Gold Can Stay by Robert Lee Frost


Nature's first green is gold,

Her hardest hue to hold.

Her early leaf's a flower;

But only so an hour.

Then leaf subsides to leaf.

So Eden sank to grief,

So dawn goes down to day.

Nothing gold can stay.

Robert Lee Frost

14 Apr 2010


I read this interesting article in Harvard Business Review and want to share it.  Apparently,  a woman's  MBA is worth less than a man's. These amazing statistics seem to be linked to the salary on the first job. But please read the full article which is quite surprising. At least at this level. The mind boggles. What are women doing wrong?


12 Apr 2010


Traffic jam in Lisbon. Pedro M Cruz is doing his PhD in this area and got some awesome visualizations. Just have a look at:

Traffic in Lisbon – emphasis on sluggish areas from Pedro M Cruz on Vimeo.

9 Apr 2010

A silent struggle

Some say it’s too much love, some say it’s madness, but domestic violence has been a problem for years… It was not by chance that love was mentioned in the first sentence, it still exists this “urban legend” that the men/women who enroll in violent acts with their partner do it in the same proportion of the love he/she has for the one she/he mistreats. That violence comes from jealousy that comes from love, some say. But the reality is that love shouldn’t hurt this much and that being violent usually means there are unresolved issues… And, as we usually say “it takes two to tango” so when we struggle, someone has to take the first step to get a different perspective and try to understand what is going on underneath it. It takes courage for sure.

5 Apr 2010

Let’s shop 'till we drop

There is something mysterious about quickly satisfying what seems at the moment a big need. We go out, we don’t know why but we see something, either clothes or shoes, or books, or technology, and we have to have it and have to have it now! In this instance we convince ourselves it’s a great need, or that it is the right moment to buy it, or that we shouldn’t but we deserve it… and for a moment we are glad, happy, in a good mood. But then we arrive home, and reality comes crashing, we shouldn’t have bought it, we don’t needed it, we didn’t think enough about it, we could use the money… and then, the happiness gives its place to remorse and a deeper sadness, more profound than the quick sense of happiness. And there is no way to explain that great sadness that suddenly arises from a wrong spending.

What happens is that probably that sadness was already there, it was the subtle voice inside that wanted so much to buy something, it was the voice of emptiness, asking to be “filled” with something. But usually, that emptiness is not solvable with material things… and builds up when confronted with that unfulfillment and frustration… and it’s sadness all over again.

Now with the rising economical crisis, it becomes more and more difficult to be able to spend money randomly – and the anxiety builds up. So finding the right solution to this problem becomes very important to those who suffer.


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