Information increases pain. Oh yes. Two exhilarating news.
About half of the flights from Heathrow are cancelled due to snow. How can it be that in the same circumstances the Gatwick and Stantead airports manage to dispatch all flights? It's proof of Heathrows inability or unwillingness to fix the problems they faced in Christmas 2010. So, if you want to be on the safe side, avoid flying from Heathrow from October to March.
This is only a discomfort. We'll get to South America sooner or later. The other piece of information is more unnerving. Rio de Janeiro's police is on strike. A similar strike in Salvador caused an extreme increase in murders and violent assaults. Yes, you guessed it, they want more money and this is the perfect way to pressure the government, one week before the carnival. Their wages are very low and their demands are absolutely justified. Still, I'd prefer not to get shot.