Entertainment

Brazil’s Bolsonaro Blamed Leonardo DiCaprio For The Amazon Fires, Now The Actor Claps Back

During a webcast President Jair Bolsonaro blamed the Academy Award-winning actor Leonardo DiCaprio for causing the increase in Amazon forest fires. The controversial rightwing president seemed to think the cause of the depleting rainforest is nongovernmental organizations (NGOs). CNN noted that Bolsonaro went on the rant “providing no evidence to support the accusation.”

DiCaprio has a long history of supporting environmental causes and has pledged $5 million to save the Amazon. According to the BBC, Bolsonaro has made four arrests — despite a lack of evidence — that some volunteer firefighters were starting fires to use the images to solicit donations for NGOs. 

Bolsonaro calls Leonardo DiCaprio out for allegedly donating half a million to an NGO. 

“The NGO people, what did they do? What’s easier? Set fire to the bush,” Bolsonaro said in a webcast. “Take photo, film, send it to an NGO, the NGO spreads it out, does a campaign against Brazil, gets in touch with Leonardo DiCaprio and Leonardo DiCaprio donates $500,000 to this NGO. One part went to the people who were setting the fire, right?”

Bolsonaro essentially blamed DiCaprio for participating in an unsubstantiated conspiracy to set the Amazon rainforest on fire to accrue donations to save it. 

“Leonardo DiCaprio, you are assisting with the burning of the Amazon, that can’t be,” Bolsonaro continued in the bizarre rant.

Bolsonaro’s accusations seem to stem from a disputed social media conspiracy that the World Wildlife Fund paid volunteer firefighters to set fire to the Amazon and take photos.

However, NGOs are saying Bolsonaro’s accusations were politically motivated and the law enforcement sting was harassing the environmental groups when it arrested the volunteer firefighters. Despite opposition, the president continued to blame the actor. 

“This Leonardo DiCaprio is a cool guy, right? Giving money to torch the Amazon,” Bolsonaro said the following day. 

DiCaprio responds to Bolsonaro on Instagram. 

“At this time of crisis for the Amazon, I support the people of Brazil working to save their natural and cultural heritage. They are an amazing, moving and humbling example of the commitment and passion needed to save the environment. The future of these irreplaceable ecosystems is at stake and I am proud to stand with the groups protecting them,” DiCaprio stated.

DiCaprio denied even having any ties or donating to the World Wildlife Fund. The World Wildlife Fund also denied receiving any money from DiCaprio. The actor’s foundation, named after himself and created in 1998, is dedicated to combating climate change. In 2018, DiCaprio’s foundation said it would match recurring donations for the entire year of 2019. 

“While worthy of support, we did not fund the organizations targeted. I remain committed to supporting the Brazilian indigenous communities, local governments, scientists, educators and general public who are working tirelessly to secure the Amazon for the future of all Brazilians,” the actor said. 

This isn’t the first time Bolsonaro has claimed that NGOs, rather than illegal farming and logging, is the cause of the deforestation in the Amazon. In August, he said “everything indicates,” NGOs were starting the fires, according to Reuters. 

Two major organizations issue statements regarding Bolsonaro’s attack on NGOs. 

Two of the largest environmental groups in the Amazon, Global Wildlife Conservation and IUCN Species Survival Commission released statements calling out the president. 

“We are alarmed by recent events that seek to undermine this progress. In the past few days, false accusations have been made to undermine environmental defenders and distract the general public from policies that directly lead to environmental disasters like those across the Amazon earlier this year,” GWC said in a statement. 

The IUCN also defended NGOs and environmental activists from the ire of the rightwing leader saying, “environmental defenders, whether in local communities, NGOs, or government agencies, should be afforded with the highest protection of the law in Brazil.” 

Activists speak out against Bolsonaro’s continued targeting of environmental groups. 

Bolsonaro decreased NGO funding after taking office. Under his administration, Amazon fires have peaked, increasing by 83%, with INPE recording 72,843 fires in 2019 as of August. Many advocates believe Bolsonaro’s attacks are a diversion from his administration’s negligence and considerable dismantling of protections for the rainforest. 

“This is a sick statement, a pitiful statement,” Marcio Astrini, Greenpeace Brazil’s public policy coordinator, told Reuters. “Increased deforestation and burning are the result of his anti-environmental policy.”

The increase in fires is more accurately attributed to farmers clearing the land for cattle — an act Bolsonaro seemed to encourage.

“NGOs working in the Amazon do not use fire in farming. On the contrary, they encourage rural communities to avoid fire,” climate scientist, Carlos Nobre, told Reuters. 

This Brazilian Paraglider Fell 150 Feet And Survived To Tell About It

Entertainment

This Brazilian Paraglider Fell 150 Feet And Survived To Tell About It

Top Litoral / Facebook

A paraglider in Brazil was filmed as he lost control of his parachute and began to fall 150 feet. The man, identified as Marinquinhos, 35, got caught in gusts of strong winds as he was gliding along a beach over the Dream Beach Hotel in Itanhaém on the coast of Sao Paulo, Brazil. He lived to tell the tale. After Marinquinhos collided into a building, the video recorder rushed to his side and called emergency services. The fallen paraglider survived with fractures to both of his legs and is expected to make a full recovery. He’s currently being treated for his injuries at a hospital in Brazil.

The exact reason for Marinquinhos’ literal downfall has not been determined yet. In extreme sports like paragliding, human error can often be fatal, but Marinquinhos lucked out.

Marinquinhos valiantly tried to maneuver away from the buildings and toward the beach but the winds got the best of him.

Credit: Top Litoral / Facebook

In the video, you can see the paraglider being whipped around in the air as the parachute collapses, losing wind from its sails and the wind energy that kept him afloat. The video cuts short as he starts to fall, with the last frame of Marinquinhos’ body falling headfirst. The recorder drops the camera as the, what started out as idyllic, video of a paraglider soon becomes a nightmare. 

Later, images emerged of the paraglider’s parachute dangling from a second-story terrace as a group of people and medical personnel surround the extreme sports enthusiast. both of the man’s legs were stabilized in foam restraints as his wounds were bandaged on the scene. He managed to survive with relatively minor injuries, and enough of an adrenaline rush to probably last a lifetime, or at least until his broken bones heal. 

Statistically, paragliding isn’t any more dangerous than driving.

Credit: Top Litoral / Facebook

It doesn’t get you from point A to B, nor does our culture necessitate the risk as it does commuting to work, but as scary as paragliding accidents seem, the fatal risk of paragliding isn’t higher than that of driving. According to the Association for Safe International Road Travel, 4 out of every 1,000 Americans die in road crashes every single year. Meanwhile, in Germany, just 1 out of every 11,000 paraglider pilots suffer fatal injuries from the extreme sport, according to a New Zealand paragliding company. 

That said, a medical study conducted from August 2004 to September 2011 in Turkey found that of those patients who were hospitalized for paragliding injuries, more than 20% of them would succumb to those injuries. That’s a 1 in 5 chance that if you get into a paragliding accident, you will die (in Turkey). 

Paragliding was only just invented in the 1940s and popularized in the 1980s.

Credit: Top Litoral / Facebook

Those who start out paragliding usually do so accompanied by a pilot using a special parachute. Typically, you’re also outfitted with an emergency parachute in the case that the specially designed paragliding parachute fails. The perks of paragliding is that it’s considered an aviation sport that doesn’t require any logistical coordination with an airport. The aforementioned study also found that “the number of accidents that usually cause high energy trauma and subsequent morbidity or mortality has tended to increase in this sport correlatively with the increasing number of flights.” That is, the more people often a person makes a paragliding jump, and the more experience they acquire, the more likely they’ll be injured. Objectively, it makes sense when thinking about sheer exposure to the danger, but not in terms of expertise.

Men and tourists are more likely to be injured by paragliding.

CREDIT: Небо и Экстрим / YOUTUBE

The Turkish study found that more than half of those injured and killed by paragliding were tourists, seeking an adrenaline-rushed bird’s-eye view of their travel destination. More so, nearly 85% of those hospitalized were men. the most stomach-lurching statistic is obvious: injuries and fatalities are higher when the paragliding event failed mid-air. Of course, that means a long, terrifying fall from the sky and a long road to recovery if you’re lucky. The average length of hospital stay for a paragliding injury is 18 days in Turkey. In America, that’s called guaranteed medical bankruptcy, unless you have a wealthy circle of GoFundMe friends or scribble “Take the jump, go vegan!” on your hand before the flight.

We don’t need a medical or social study to declare the obvious: our mamis do not approve of this sport.

READ: Freak Rollercoaster Accident In Mexico City Kills Two And Injured Dozens Others

Brazilian Researchers 3D-Print Part Of The Face For Cancer Survivor

Things That Matter

Brazilian Researchers 3D-Print Part Of The Face For Cancer Survivor

@mr_nobody / Twitter

A Brazilian cancer survivor has been fitted with a prosthetic eye and face to cover the hole that a devastating bout of skin cancer left. Denise Vicentin, 52, beat her cancer a decade ago and has since been living without a part of her jaw and her right eye ever since. Vicentin was so self-conscious about her battle scars, she became afraid to go out in public. People would stare at her everywhere she went and, soon, her social life and marriage fell apart. “[Before] when I was on the metro or train, I tried not to pay attention to the stares. At places like the bowling alley, I felt them looking, and the person would even leave when they saw me,” she told the Daily Mail.

Ten years later, researchers were able to create a custom prosthetic using just a smartphone camera and a 3D printer. Now, she feels like she has her ‘missing piece’ and says she is so happy that she even sleeps with it on.

Years ago, she was offered a hand-made prosthetic, but it would have cost her half a million dollars.

CREDIT: @MR_NODOBY / TWITTER

A portion of her right jaw was removed, making it difficult for her to eat and slurring her speech. One of Vicentin’s most painful wounds left behind by the cancer was her inability to navigate throughout society without being ostracized or made to feel different. When doctors offered her the opportunity to have a prosthetic made for her, she had no choice but to turn it down. It would have cost over half a million U.S. dollars. 

Waiting for the right moment may have paid off for Vicentin. As technology has advanced, the capabilities of 3-D printing are only just now being realized. Vicentin sought out an alternative treatment at São Paulo’s Paulista University just last year and is already walking into 2020 with a new lease on self-confidence.

The final prosthesis just took 12 hours to create and a fraction of the cost thanks to 3-D printing technology.

CREDIT: @VAZIYETCOMTR / TWITTER

The research team at Paulista University formulated a plan to give Vicentin her ‘missing piece.’ Vicentin would have to undergo several surgeries over the next year in order to fit the prosthesis. Then, the doctors took 15 photos of Vicentin’s right eye socket from a simple smartphone. From there, they were able to use all the images to digitize a 3-D model that would eventually become the blueprint for the 3-D printer. 

The final model was printed and refined in just 12 hours, from a mixture of silicone, resin, and synthetic fibers. After the 3-D printer created the technical piece that would sit flush on Vicentin’s face, a bit of human artistry was applied to make the prosthetic as realistic as possible. The researchers painted the prosthetic to match Vicentin’s exact eye hue and skin color. They even individually secured lashes to resemble that of her other eyelid.

The research team has been perfecting 3-D prosthetics since 2016, offering new levels of confidence to over 50 patients so far.

CREDIT: @CANAL_44 / TWITTER

Dr. Rodrigo Salazar has specialized in maxillofacial prosthetics for the last few years and has married technology with medicine to create lasting change for his patients. In order to get a proper model for a prosthetic, he used to have to create a mold of the patient’s face, on the patient’s face. Today, he needs only a smartphone camera to capture the necessary data to create a model prosthetic. 

Vicentin never expected skin cancer to become a defining chapter of her life.

CREDIT: @VAZIYETCOMTR / TWITTER

When Vicentin was in her early 20s, she found a strange growth on her face and went to the doctor. It was a tumor, but it was benign, non-cancerous. She had it surgically removed and thought that was the end of it. It returned again, once again, benign. She had it removed a second time and enjoyed nearly 20 more years tumor-free. Ten years ago, the tumor came back, but it was malignant, slowly ravaging the right side of her face.

Today, Vicentin has titanium hooks surgically placed around her eye socket in order to be able to securely wear the prosthesis and take it off when she pleases. So far, Vicentin has been wearing the prosthetic for just a month and she loves it. ‘It was a long time looking at a face which was missing a piece, so I am so happy. I only took it off to clean it – I even slept with it,” Vicentin told the Daily Mail