Scam, Tree Planting, Origins of Madeira, Animal adoption opportunities, etc.

TODAYS PHOTO : Thanks to Alan … I’m guessing that’s in Paul da Serra, probably the longest straight bit of road on the island.

Source : Diário de Notícias 23/4/2008

One of today’s lead stories is about an 87 year old man living alone in São António who was paid a visit by 2 women claiming to be from the social security and saying he was entitled to a bigger pension. They asked him if he would like a cup of tea, which one of the ladies went off to make. Whilst they were talking about his pension, the elderly gentleman drank his tea and promptly passed out due to drugs put in his tea. When he awoke, he checked his wallet to find €250 missing, which was his only money to pay for food and bills, and clothing and other items were also stolen.

Another article talks about growing concern about “Bullyng” in schools. Ok they can’t spell it quite right, but it’s notable that they have had to adopt an English word to describe a phenomenon which presumably is a fairly recent concern here.

Since 1994, more than 600,000 trees have been planted up in the mountains of Paul da Serra, helping to increase the areas of natural forest in the region. Madeira now has 16,000 hectares of “natural” forest, as opposed to the 12,000 as recorded in 1972. School children have deliberately been involved in the work so they can learn about wildlife and professions relating to forestry.

Theorising about the origins of Madeira has been a preoccupation of many both on and off the island. In a project titled ‘Geological Cartography of the island of the Madeira’, developed in partnership with the Faculty of Sciences of the University of Lisbon, it is stated that the ‘cabo girão’ (presumably the end of the island, not the place, as there are no capital letters) is not the remainder of a volcanic structure, and that volcanic activity here is not extinct, just sleeping. “Another fact is that the Arco’s of Calheta and of São Jorge would have been considered ‘caldeiras’* of half volcanic structures destroyed by the erosion of the sea, when in fact they are big landslides” said a specialist.  These are some of the resulting knowledge of fieldwork carried out by a team of six investigators, in the 20 years of existence of the University of the Madeira. 

*Caldeiras are formed in a number of ways. They usually form when huge amounts of magma are erupted out of sub-surface magma chambers. The removal of all this magma leaves a void below the surface and the top collapses in to form the caldeira. Subsequent eruptions usually fill them in partially so that the jumbled debris is buried”.

Confused … me too. Whilst learning my relatively poor grasp of Portuguese, geological terms were not high on my priority list, and as the technical words don’t even appear in dictionaries, then it’s all a bit of pot luck.

The Government of Madeira is to apply for a loan of €154 million in order to pay it’s suppliers and shorter term debts. The application will be made under a national programme aimed at encouraging organizations to pay their debts on time. Lets hope they are successful, as we wouldn’t want that €7 million ‘Whale Museum’ cancelled as a result of poor debt management … would we?

The CTT (mail company) has obtained 15 ‘all terrain’ quad bikes to facilitate the distribution of the post in the trickier’ parts of Madeira. Ten operate in Funchal, and the remaining five in the most distant localities elsewhere. I first spotted one in Rib. Bra. about a month ago and have seen it nearly every day since, and it certainly was not doing ‘all terrain duties’, just pottering around town with the post lady delivering mail to local shops.

The European Treaty of Lisbon was due to be ratified in the Portuguese Parliament yesterday … no big obstacles were foreseeable in the ratification process. Probably all a bit of a waste of time if the Irish people don’t accept it in the only referendum amongst the 27 member states.

Madeira’s favourite son got a black mark last night when he missed a crucial penalty in the champions league semi final. Cristiano Ronaldo doesn’t miss often, but as a result the tie between Barcelona and Manchester United ended up as a goalless draw.

Can you help Lucas or Boris, a dog and cat looking for new homes? Please take a look :

This Saturday brings the madeira4u 200th blog so I am looking for ideas to do something special, but so far have drawn a blank … any ideas, please let me know.

Aside from your valued blog responses, please send any unreported Madeira news, photos, events information, or snippets for the madeira4u blog to – thank you!

2 thoughts on “Scam, Tree Planting, Origins of Madeira, Animal adoption opportunities, etc.”

  1. Hi Der.
    The drink we are going for on saturday. We could make an all day job of it to celebrate the 200th blog. But if we work to hard on it you might be late doing 201
    Cheers Alan F

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