CBC Radio: The only decent radio station in Portugal?

on 10:45 pm

Whenever I feel that I am beginning to forget what a Canadian accent sounds like, or whenever I want to listen to an impartial, complete news report, I point my browser to the CBC Radio site and listen online.

The site is, of course http://www.cbc.ca/radio/

As expected, the site is very well organized. You can listen to the local radio station that you used to listen to in Canada (London, in my case), and you can even listen to past episodes of the different programs.

I was, and still am, a bit of a nerd. As a result, when I was younger and whenever I was home, I would have the radio tuned to CBC Radio Windsor or London frequency. Most Sunday nights I would fall asleep listening to the stories on "Between the Covers"(which unfortunately is now only available as a podcast), or would listen to "As it Happens" and "Quirks and Quarks" during the week.

The voices really stuck with me, mainly because they are full of personality. Listening to them actually provokes a twang of melancholy, since they remind me of simpler times…

It is a shame that radio is such an underrated medium. There is nothing better than being all cuddled up in bed on a cold winter's night eyes and listening to a familiar voice and an interesting story.

So, what is your favourite CBC Radio program?

Digital TV set to start in Jan 2010

on 9:02 pm

In accordance with European regulations, the Portuguese National Communications Authority (ANACOM) has announced that it will start the process of changing from analogue TV to digital in January of this year. The deadline established by the European Commission is 2012. However, according to the officil Portuguese Digital TV site, over 80% of the Portuguese population is already covered by digital TV.

Just a word of warning though, if you are planning to purchase a new TV, make sure that you verify that it is TDT compatible (usually says MP4, TDT, or Full HD on the box). Check the specifications, it should have an integrated "DVB-T" de-codifier that complies with the "MPEG-4/H.264" standard. While all new televisions should already come prepared for the new digital signal, better safe than sorry.

You can consult the full "switch-off plan" here (in Portuguese). And a good blog on the subject here (in Portuguese though).

All hail the Pope!

on 10:59 pm

Forgot to mention that the Pope (yeah, that evil looking fellow) will be visiting Portugal on the 11, 12, 13 and 14 of May, 2010. 

So if you are "Christian" and want to see the Pope (75% of Canadians are Christian, check out the 2001 Canadian Census results for yourself if you don't believe me), or even if you aren't Christian but still want a glimpse of the Popemobile, you can consult the Papal program here http://www.bentoxviportugal.pt/programa.asp

Yeah I know, the site is a bit frightening.

Interestingly enough, at a time in which Portuguese productivity is at an all time low, austerity measures are being put in place, and a global economic crisis looms ahead, the Portuguese government decided to allow public servants to take a day and a half off to see the Pope. Or go to the beach. 

This decision was criticized not only by employers, but also by union representatives

They insist that Portuguese holidays and government conceded leaves cost Portugal around 0,5 to 1% of its GDP per year.

The Portuguese leftist party, the "Left Block" (literal translation of Bloco de Esquerda, give me a little slack) said that this measure violates the Portuguese Constitution (the English version is available here if you're curious), mainly the principle of equality, the separation church and state, and freedom of religion and worship, as expressly stated in articles 13 and 41 of the Portuguese Constitution. 

Surprisingly enough, the Christian Association of Managers and Entrepreneurs (the ACEGE) supports the government's decision. Go figure.

Calling all Portuguese-Canadians! (part deux)

on 7:25 pm

Are you Portuguese-Canadian? Do you like soccer/football (and ice hockey)? If so here’s another chance for you to help out an academic research project!

As you have probably seen below, João Sardinha is a very busy guy. Not only is he a Senior Researcher at the Centro de Estudos das Migrações e das Relações Interculturais – CEMRI, he is also the “Canadian Country Specialist” of the DIASBOLA project. The principle focus of this project is “reporting on football and migration in a Portuguese context.” You can check out the site for yourself at http://www.diasbola.com/

You are probably asking yourself, “That's all well and good, but what can I do to help?” Well, João has created a questionnaire for the project that aims to compare Portuguese soccer (football) and ice hockey and the impact of the two sports on Portuguese and Portuguese-Canadians in Canada.

The questionnaire only takes 10 to 20 minutes to fill out, and you actually end up learning a bit about yourself in the process. You can also get your family members to fill out the questionnaire, if it is applicable to them.

So if you do want to help and are willing to spare a few minutes of your time for an academic cause, send João an email at jmssardinha@gmail.com indicating which language you’d prefer for the questionnaire, and he’ll get in touch with you.

Thanks again!

Last day to hand in your tax statements!

on 1:15 pm

If you are living and working in Portugal, today (18/04/2010) is the last day to declare income tax on earnings from pensions or wages from dependant labour. You can do so online at http://www.portaldasfinancas.gov.pt/ You do need the password sent by Portuguese Revenue in order to log in.

Conversely, if your earnings come from other sources (for example, you are classified as an independent worker, meaning you receive your earnings by way of the infamous “recibos verdes”, or are declaring capital gains, property earnings, etc.), you have until the 28th of May to declare your income tax via the internet.

One word of warning though, if you do not hand in your tax files on time, you may be obliged to pay a fine that can go from €100.00 to €2,500.00. And that’s not all, be extra careful while filling out the forms, because mistakes or omissions can also cost you fines from €25.00 to €15,000.00. Ouch.

Playoff fever is in the air…

on 12:37 am

I am sure you all know that the Stanley Cup playoffs are now underway, with three Canadian teams in the running! (and not the most important one.. poor Leafs… *sniff*)

If you are planning to watch the games in Portugal, your choices are quite limited. Unfortunately, I personally do not know of any Canadian sports bars in Portugal, or any bar that shows hockey and has buffalo wings for that matter.

Only a mirage in Portugal

Therefore, you have to rely on cable TV, ESPN América in particular (a few games are shown on Sporttv3).

Regrettably, due to the difference in time zones, if you want to watch the games you are going to have to face the fact that you are going to be very sleepy at work. The earliest game starts at 11:00PM, and the latest starts at 3:00AM. Ouch.

You can check out the latest news at the following sites:

And don’t forget to check out Coach’s Corner!
Força Canucks/Habs/Sens*!
*and Leafs..well, for next year, which incidentally is going to be our year.

Calling all Portuguese-Canadians! (in Portugal)

on 10:44 pm

Second-generation Portuguese-Canadian Return Project

Last week I received an email from João Sardinha, Senior Researcher in the “Centro de Estudos das Migrações e das Relações Interculturais – CEMRI”, of the Universidade Aberta here in Lisbon, stating he wished to interview me, concerning having returned to my ancestral home land (Portugal) from Canada, for his study project.

We scheduled an interview for today, which we finished about two hours ago. I tried to answer all his questions to the best of my ability, and afterwards we talked about our experiences here in Portugal.

However, João is still looking for more individuals for his study. 

So if you are:
  1. Portuguese-Canadian
  2. currently living in Portugal
  3. willing to share your return to Portugal story, as well as sharing some opinions about your life here and your life back in Canada
  4. willing to help in the advancement of human kind
  5. and more importantly, willing to help a fellow Portuguese-Canadian
Then send João an email at jmssardinha@gmail.com to arrange an interview. He will send you a question guide in advance, so you can prepare for the interview (don’t worry though; the interview is very stress-free and informal).

Aside from being a Senior Researcher in the CEMRI, João is also Portuguese-Canadian (from Prince George, BC) and a really nice guy to boot, so don’t hesitate to contact him, for the good of science!

A different kind of migration studies.