Saturday, August 22, 2020

Summer holidays, a week-end !

Festas Senhora da Agonia 2020
credits: Luis Lagadouro

Good morning from the north of Portugal! This summer break is in Viana do Castelo  one of the most beautiful cities. Country side, Atlantic Ocean, beautiful and enormous beaches. And river side. Just perfect! Enjoying every bit.

It's my first summer break this year. The lockdown was long and I couldn't to do it early.

Mordomas/ Young women 
credits: Olhar Viana do Castelo

Every summer, I lke to come back to Viana do Castelo because we can enjoy different landscapes. The sea, the river and the mountain. 

The 3rd week of July, Viana do Castelo celebrates the most famous country fair and devoted pilgrimage. Not this year. Social distancing due the COVID19 pandemic. So, the celebration was cancelled.


Cortejo de mordomas 
Young girls parade

The activities will be digital or on different places with social distance. Not the big annual event.

Arte em Movimento
School Dance at Viana do Castelo

A dance school Arte em Movimento published this wonderful video with its students dancing dressed with ancestral costumes and honoring ancestral traditions. Coreography on Cynthia Erivo's song Stand-up.

Nice sunny here. The sun, a bit windy at the beach, and the nature. Well, it will be a good time, best vibes.

Summer break is obviously one of the best things humankind has ever come up with, I am excited! It's my 'first' break of this summer

Feeling so well at our country house! In the morning, we went to the beach. Nice weather, a bit windy, but nice temperature.

Tonight, we go to the city to coffee shop terrace. Tomorrow morning we will go to the beach, and then come back home.

Not so bad, right?! Relaxing time!

Wherever you are I hope that you're having a great time too.

I'll be back posting the normal roundup next week.



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Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Science : The Perseids meteor shower : Look up to the stars !

The Perseids shower
credits:  Jeremy Perez

What are some skywatching highlights in August 2020? See the Moon posing with various planets throughout the month, plus catch the peak of the annual Perseid meteor shower.

The annual Perseid meteor shower peaks on the morning of August 12th. The last-quarter moon will interfere with visibility of most fainter Perseid meteors this year, but you'll still be able to see a few brighter ones, including the occasional "fireball." 

The best time to look is in the pre-dawn hours on Aug. 12, but midnight to dawn any morning the week before or after should produce a few meteors. 

The Perseids generally appear to radiate from a point high in the north, called the "radiant." But you need only point yourself generally toward the north and look up.

And while we're talking meteors, did you know many of these "shooting stars" come from comets? Most of the annual meteor showers we observe take place as Earth passes through trails of debris left behind by active comets orbiting the Sun, casting off little bits of dusty debris in their long tails. 

Comet Swift-Tuttle

  • Some information:

The Perseid meteors come from a comet called Swift-Tuttle, which orbits the Sun every 133 years. This is also the reason for the formation of the annual Perseid meteor shower on Earth.

Every year from mid-July to late August, observers are able to admire burning cometary debris all over the sky. This year, the peak comes from the evening of August 12 until the morning of the 13th. The moon will enter a phase of the crescent, eliminating additional lighting. The sky will be perfectly dark for viewing the meteor shower.

The Royal Observatory Greenwich in London said: “As the bits of rock and dust in the stream of debris collide with the Earth’s atmosphere, they burn up and create fiery streaks across the sky.”


A veritable ritual for summer stargazers, the Perseids are considered one of nature's best fireworks shows, with dozens of shooting stars an hour falling at peak times. 

This annual meteor shower comes as Earth passes through the tail of Comet Swift-Tuttle, causing bright streaks that appear as though they’re radiating from the constellation Perseus. The Perseids will peak this weekend between, when moonless nights will make for an especially dark sky.

The peak morning of the Perseid meteor shower is most likely August 12, under the light of a wide waning crescent moon. 
The mornings of August 11 and 13 are worth trying, too. The morning of August 13 will present a thinner and less bright moon than on the previous dates … and also more hours of dark sky for meteor watching. So moonrise is a key factor for watching 2020’s Perseid meteor shower. 
Visit Sunrise Sunset Calendars to find out when the moon rises in your sky, remembering to check the moonrise and moonset box.
Also, keep in mind that the Perseids tend to be bright. So we expect a number of them to overcome the moonlit glare over the next several mornings. Will you see as many as 40 to 50 meteors per hour in the predawn hours? Maybe!

credits: via YouTube
  • Video: 

  • Links: 
NASA: Perseids Peak: Watch Best Meteor Shower of the Year!
EarthSky: Peak Perseid mornings: August 11, 12, 13

ESA/ Space for Kids : Here come the Perseids

Hope you will enjoy, as a sky watcher, admiring the beauty of this annual awesome event.

Happy  viewing!


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Science : The Perseids Meteor Shower : Look up to the stars ! by G-Souto is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Education : Global Campaign #SaveOurFuture in the Age of COVID-19

An outdoor class at a school in Copenhagen in Denmark
 Thibault Savary/AFP via Getty Images

“Education is the key to personal development and the future of societies. We are at a defining moment for the world’s children and young people”

António Guterres, UN Secretary-General

Some 1 billion students and youth across the planet were affected by school and university closures due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

The United Nations and a Global Education Coalition launched a new campaign on Education #SafeOurFuture. This is the first words by UN Secretary General, António Guterres, on a video message about the prolonged closure of schools around the world due to the pandemic.

Damien Meyer/AFP via Getty Images

The United Nations called all countries today, 4th August, to give priority to the reopening schools as soon as countries have controlled the local transmission of the Coronavirus, warning that the current situation of closure poses the risk of a "generational catastrophe".

Education is the key to personal development and the future of societies. It unlocks opportunities and narrows inequalities.
It is the bedrock of informed, tolerant societies, and a primary driver of sustainable development.


The COVID-19 pandemic has created the largest disruption of education systems in history, affecting nearly 1.6 billion learners in all countries and all continents. 

Learning losses due to prolonged school closures threaten to erase progress made in recent decades, especially for girls and young women. 

A new policy brief by Secretary-General António Guterres reaffirms that education is a fundamental human right. It advises governments to strengthen the resilience of education systems by placing a strong focus on equity and inclusion.

"We are in the greatest education emergency of our times."

The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted the education of over 90% of the world’s students. It has exacerbated already existing inequalities and magnified the global learning crisis. The future of an entire generation is at risk.

But while education is clearly a victim of the pandemic, it is also the solution to the longer-term recovery.


Schools across the countries have been closed since March. They will begin in phased reopening from 1 June to September under the governments' lockdown exit strategies. Denmark was the first country in Europe to reopen its schools for the youngest pupils on 15 April. 

An handful of studies have been carried out across the world, and scientists are divided over their interpretation.

Some research indicates that children are far less likely to become infected compared with adults but other studies suggest that when they do become infected, they carry as much viral load as an adult, and therefore pose a real risk of passing the virus on to others.

Increased transmission would also result from parents not having to stay at home with their children, researchers say.

 Copyright  Daniel Leal-Olivais/ AFP
via Euronews

Meanwhile, schools in European countries such as Denmark and Germany reopened. And France, Portugal, UK and Italy will reopen next September.

We are faced the greatest education emergency of our times. The COVID-19 pandemic has magnified and exacerbated the global learning crisis. This reality threatens to continue creating lost generations of children without education.

The new campaign will amplify the voices of children and young people and urge governments worldwide to recognize investment in education as critical to COVID-19 recovery.

"⁣The decisions that governments and partners take now will have lasting impact on hundreds of millions of young people, and on the development prospects of countries for decades to come."


The UPolicy Brief calls for action in four key areas:

1st: Reopening schools.
It will be essential to balance health risks against risks to children’s education and protection, and to factor in the impact on women’s labour force participation.
Consultation with parents, carers, teachers and young people is fundamental.

2nd: Prioritizing education in financing decisions. 

Education budgets need to be protected and increased. And it is critical that education is at the heart of international solidarity efforts, from debt management and stimulus packages to global humanitarian appeals and official development assistance.(...)

3rd: Targeting the hardest to reach.  

Education initiatives must seek to reach those at greatest risk of being left behind - people in emergencies and crises; minority groups of all kinds; displaced people and those with disabilities. (...)

4th: The future of education is here.

We have a generational opportunity to reimagine education. (...) To achieve this, we need investment in digital literacy and infrastructure, an evolution towards learning how to learn, a rejuvenation of life-long learning and strengthened links between formal and non-formal education.

And we need to draw on flexible delivery methods, digital technologies and modernized curricula while ensuring sustained support for teachers and communities.

Learn more at Save Our Future


Available in English, Français, Español, Português, العربية

Social Media: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter

Maharashtra (India)
credits: Prashant Waydande/ REUTERS

"We are potentially damaging children's life chances. People worry about the pandemic but in the future there might be an epidemic of educational poverty."

Gavin Williamson, UK Education Secretary



Copyright © 2020G-Souto'sBlog,®

Creative Commons License
Education : Global Campaign #SaveOurFuture in the Age of COVID-19 bG-Souto is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

sources: United Nations/ Save Our Future website