Sunday 23 February 2014

The Procrastinator (some) Times Sunday 23rd of February Edition


EDITORIAL

This week has been really tough, but only if you've been paying attention. I've realized how easy is to go through life paying little to no attention to what happens around you unless someone burst into flames right next to you on the Tube. Not that I didn't know that, but sometimes these things become more painfully evident.

Venezuela had a week-long nightmare, as well as Ukraine. I notice that most of the people that visited the blog during the last week were from Ukraine (second after the US), and I felt bad about not having anything about them in the News section. Is true that they have a lot of attention of the media, that Europe is not indifferent to what is happening with them (unlike Latin America to what is happening in Venezuela), and more important, to be perfectly honest I don't know much about Ukraine, other than the things I could have read in the newspapers, and I know, how infuriating and frustrating it is to read inaccurate information about your reality, interpreted by people trying to accommodate it to their ideologies and their structures, making no effort at all to really understand.

The News section this week features Ukraine including a couple of links that I think were helpful for me to understand what is happening and a lot of photos. And of course, Venezuela and its ongoing protests that as violence and censorship escalates are getting more attention from international media. Finally.

The rest of the edition is short, but sweet, as they say. Please have a look at the Culture section that includes one really sexy film list by the BFI; The Guardian's review of the new Henri Cartier-Bresson exhibition in the Pompidou, and little more on Spike Jonze's Her. In  Design, Business and Innovation there are articles about storytelling, Google Glass and the Toy Fair. And finally in our Science section is cyborg time.

Happy Sunday and happy reading.


NEWS

Kiev's Independent Square Before and After. Via The Atlantic.
Anti-government demonstrators remain in Independence square, on February 22, 2014. (Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images) via The Atlantic.


The images that came from Kiev's violent clashes this week were devastating. By the time I'm writing this the situation is as follows: the government had agreed a pact to call early presidential elections, the quick formation of a coalition government with the opposition, and ruling out a state of emergency, but people remained on the streets, as presidential election promise was not enough to satisfy the protesters after the bloody clashes leave dozens dead. Ukraine's parliament voted to remove Yanukovych from office and he denounces the actions as a "coup". His whereabouts are unclear. The barricades surrounding Independent square are still in place; the leaders of the paramilitary police who fought protesters have appeared on television to say they are “with the people”; the opposition leaders in the streets surrounding the presidential building, that used to be under custody of the police, say that Yanukovych is not coming back in there. Only the new president will step in. Have a look at the links below, and if you're from Ukraine and you want to share something with us, please do so.

The Economist: Ukraine's New Dawn. Shots called, now what? "As the outside world was digesting the deal between the Ukrainian regime and the protesters, and the unexpectedly helpful role of Russia in the European Union's mediation efforts, everything changed. President Viktor Yanukovych fled the capital, Kiev and protesters who only hours earlier had been dodging sniper bullets found themselves guarding the presidential palace."

The Guardian: 'The dictatorship has fallen.' But what will take its place?

The Atlantic: Ukraine's President Voted out, Flees Kiev.

BBC: Live: Ukraine power vacuum as presidency unguarded 

The Guardian: Live: Ukranian Crisis

NPR: 4 things to know about what's happening in Ukraine.

The Atlantic: Kiev Truce Shattered Dozens Killed and Bloody Battles in Kiev


***Updates


BBC News: Ukraine warns Russia against 'agression' in Crimea. (Added Thrusday 27)

VICE: Video: Ukraine Burning. (Added Thrusday 27)


Photo from the 18F, this is the opposition demonstration in Caracas,
I love this image. Reuters via Buzzfeed.
Photo: Manifestations in London. The Procrastinator (some) Times.


Yesterday there were yet more manifestations in Venezuela, and also more repression. Táchira state is been fighting really tough and in isolation because the government shut down the Internet in the area, as well as electricity and water in some sectors, while threatening them in national TV with taking stronger measures. Also Venezuelans outside the country called for demonstrations around the world to show their support to the students, and claim for more international media attention so the world can find out about the clear violation to human rights that the Venezuelan government keeps inflicting on their people.

In last week's news post there is a massive compilation of links and videos from the 12th until the 22nd of February. I'm sharing with you the latest more important/recent ones here, and I'll keep updating this post daily.

The Guardian: Venezuela: chaos and thuggery take the place of the pretty revolution. "Hugo Chávez's dream world has become a nightmare of shot-down protesters, jailed oppositionists, economic meltdown and a brutal war waged against a defiant middle class".

Reuters: Venezuela deaths rise as unrest claims student and biker.

The Guardian: Venezuela's poor join protest as turmoil grips Chávez's revolution. "...As demonstrations sweep several major cities, even the people of Petare have taken to the streets to protest again surging inflation, alarming murder rates and shortages of essential commodities."

The Huffington Post: The 8 things you need to know about the Venezuelan protests.

El País (España): La oposición venezolana exhibe fuerza y unidad contra la represión.

The Independent: The left has a blind spot on Venezuela. When will it acknowledge that Chavez's socialist dream has turned into a nightmare:

USA TODAY: Voices: where are the diplomats to help Latin America? Unlike in Ukraine, there's little hope Venezuela's neighbors will intercede in an effort to quell violence.



Gawker: How Venezuela became a "warzone"? Even as the near-apocalyptic imagery of Ukraine's violent protests have captured the top of the news, Venezuelan cities have gone from dangerous to "warzone" overnight.

Boing Boing: Venezuela: 15 Years of Solitude. "The governments of Hugo Chavez and Nicolas Maduro, amongst the most corrupt and inefficient in the world. . . Very few authors (Will Dobson, Michael Penfold, Javier Corrales) have studied Chavez as a new form of authoritarianism. Public opinion in general, for the 14 years of the Chavez regime, viewed him as a modern-day Robin Hood."

The Economist. Protests in Venezuela: A tale of two prisoners. "If not the president, who is putting the thugs on the street? A prime suspect is Diosdado Cabello, the hardline president of the National Assembly. Perhaps the two men are playing good cop/bad cop."

MOTHERBOARD: Not satisfied with blocking Twitter and TV, Venezuela shut off the Internet


VICE (México): Un muerto carga a otro muerto: Protestas en Venezuela


CanalPlus (France): Video: Le Petit Journal du 21/02. Martin Weill à Caracas.

Der Spiegel: Proteste in Venezuela: Staatschef Maduro schickt Fallschirmjäger gegen Studenten.


And finally Channel 4: Is Venezuela burning while the world watches Ukraine? 

The answer to Channel 4, is yes. Venezuela is burning while the world watches Ukraine, Sochi, memes about Whatsapp and the girl scout that sold 177 boxes of cookies.

Keep reading and keep sharing. #Venezuela needs you. #SOSVenezuela



****Updates:


Caracas Chronicles: The other side of communication hegemony. "Just remember, guys, it’s the opposition who practice “media terrorism.” And Eurasia has always been at war with Oceania."  (Added Monday 24F) 

The Telegraph: Venezuela, the lefts favourite socialist paradise  is sliding into poverty and dictatorship. ¨How is Venezuela doing? Well, tens of thousands of protesters are in the streets, the army's been sent to crush revolt, an opposition leader has been arrested and supporters of the government just shot dead a former beauty queen. It's going to hell in a handcart, that's how it's doing." (Added Monday 24F)

Infographic: Crime: One of the reasons why people is protesting in Venezuela. (Added Monday 24F)

The Daily Beast: Venezuela's Useful Idiots. "Defenders of the Venezuelan regime would never allow the White House to arrest opposition leaders and shut down unfriendly media outlets. So why the double standard?" (Added Tuesday 25F)

The Huffington Post: Venezuela and the hypocrisy of the international left. "As students and the middle class protest for almost two weeks in the streets of Venezuela, the international left remain silent. Why is this wide swath of Venezuelan society protesting? Because of meddling from the United States in preparation of a fascist coup, says Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro. Certainly lines borrowed from the Cuban/Soviet handbook." (Added Tuesday 25F)

Diario El Carabobeño: Flickr photostream: protests and repression. (Added Tuesday 25F)

Quartz: This App is fueling the uprising in Venezuela. "The government-owned Internet service provider, CANTV, which hosts 90 percent of Venezuela’s Internet traffic, was blocking the app as well as access to Zello’s website." (Added Tuesday 25F)

Europe 1 (France): À l'ombre de l'Ukranie, le Venezuela.  (Added Tuesday 25F)

The New York Times: In Venezuela, Protests Ranks Grow Broader. (Added Tuesday 25F)

BBC: Venezuelans Stop Traffic in Anti-government Protests The BBC invite people who has witness the protests to email them at haveyoursay@bbc.co.uk adding 'Venezuela' in the subject heading. to send pictures and videos to yourpics@bbc.co.uk or text them to 61124 (UK) or +44 7624 800 100 (International). If you have a large fil you can upload it in the website. (Added Tuesday 25F)

Quartz: The world's hottest conductor needs to stop hiding behind children and condem Venezuela's crackdown. (Added Thursday 27F)

Fast Company: Why Venezuela is exploding, explained in simple chartsEven as political arrests intensify and injuries and deaths mount, Venezuelans remain on the street, making their voices heard. The reasons for their persistence are clear from Gallup's 2013 World Poll data - they see their lives and the economy getting worse, and they feel less secure than ever in their own neighborhoods. (Added Thursday 27F)

The Huffington Post: Venezuela motorcycle gangs videos show terror and violence in support of Maduro. (Added Thursday 27F)

Europäische Parlament: Venezuela peaceful and respectfucl dialogue only way out of the crisis, MEPs say. (Added Friday 28F)

El País: La soledad de los estudiantes venezolanos. Mientras el país se encamina hacia una dictadura, en Latinoamérica hay un apoyo al chavismo por parte de la izquierda derivado, en el fondo, del prestigio menguado pero extrañamente vivo de la Revolución cubana. (Added Friday 28F)

Esquire: Before and after: Venezuela on Instagram.  30 photographs of how normal life changed in a matter of days when the people stood up to what they feel is an oppressive regime. (Added Friday 28F)

SCIENCE


Photo via psfk.

In psfk we found this cool article about a device that enables people to listen colours. "Our eyes differentiate colors by picking up on various light frequencies, but for people who are born with achromatopsia, color needs to be translated into sound before they can experience the vivid world around them. Christopher Yamen’s “Wasiliscope” is the newest device that lets people “hear” colors, representing modern technological improvements that are benefiting human cyborgs who are color-handicapped in life." Read full article in PSFK. E.T.P. 3'


Photo via CyberSalon.


Calling all cyborgs! We've just found out about this event Human 2.0 - Technologies of Enhancement. It looks definitely interesting and it's happening next week. "Since the turn of the 20th Century human enhancements and augmentations have been increasingly aestheticised and fetishised by medium of Science Fiction. But only in the last two decades are we beginning to encounter tangible advances that could be leveraged towards the project of dramatically altering the human condition." Read more about it in CyberSalon website, buy tickets and if you're attending and want to share your experience with us, please do so!

DESIGN, BUSINESS & INNOVATION


Photo via Fast Company.

Harvey Deutschendorf writes for Fast Company a nice article about one of the latest buzzword in business: Storytelling. "Not only is it commonly accepted that good storytelling beats other forms of communication hands down, there is scientific evidence that backs this up. When we receive information from a presentation on powerpoint the language parts of our brain that decodes words into meaning becomes activated. However, when we listen to a story a lot more happens. Not only does the language processing part become activated, but other parts are used to process the experience of the story for ourselves. For example, descriptions for foods would activate our sensory cortex. Hearing a story puts much more of our brain to work than simply listening to a presentation. Not only can we stimulate various areas of the brain, but if the listener relates to a story, their brain’s can become synchronized with the storyteller’s. Emotions that the storyteller is experiencing can be shared with the listener". Read full article in Fast Company. E.T.P. 6'


Photo via PSFK.


So, finally here they are, Google Glasses will be used in a trial by Virgin staff to offer personalized service to passengers. "Virgin Atlantic concierge staff in the Upper Class lounge at London Heathrow wear Google Glass to provide a hyper personalized experience to all customers. Google Glass will enable the staff to immediately be able to identify a customer by name as well as see their flight details and preferences in food and drink. This experiment was created in response to findings in a Virgin Airlines survey that stated over half of travelers worldwide think flying is less glamorous or exciting than it was in the past." Read full article in PSFK. E.T.P. 2'

Photo via Wired.

"The Toy Fair is exactly what it sounds like. It’s been going on for 111 years, and it’s huge. This year, more than 1,150 toy companies squeezed into New York City’s Javits Convention Center to show off the new things kids will be clamoring for later this year. Toy traditionalists and forward-thinkers have much to get excited about: While apps, robots, and meme-based toys are all trending, plenty of old-school playthings are in the mix, too. " Read full article in Wired. E.T.P. 3'

CULTURE & ENTERTAINMENT


Photo Henri Cartier-Bresson via rendezvousenfrance.com


In case you needed an excuse to visit Paris soon, this is the one! Sean O'Hagan writes in The Guardian: "The subtitle of the Pompidou Centre's retrospective of the 20th century's best-known photographer could be: Almost Everything You Know About Henri Cartier-Bresson is Wrong. Or, at least, Long Overdue a Rethink. Its curator, Clement Cheroux, has risen to the unspoken challenge that any Cartier-Bresson exhibition now presents: how to shed new light on the life and work of an artist who so defined the medium that yet another celebration of his genius might seem superfluous." Read full article in The Guardian. E.T.P. 8'

Photo: Belle de Jour still via BFI.

Since th BFI's movie lists are always great, specially when it comes to meaningful procrastination, this week we are sharing one that will definitely catch your attention: 10 Great Films About Sex. "As Lars von Trier’s Nymph()maniac arrives in cinemas and on the BFI Player, we survey sex on film with a list of some of cinema’s naughtiest classics. Warning: this feature contains explicit imagery!" Read the list in the BFI website. E.T.P. 12'


HER still via happynicetimepeople.com


Emily Ruscoe makes a really interesting comparison in the blog Mediander between Spike Jonze's Her and Ridley Scott's Blade Runner.  "Her, Spike Jonze’s new movie about love and tech, may not be too substantive, but it’s very pretty to look at. The action takes place in a futuristic yet familiar Los Angeles filled with jewel-like, colossal buildings and smoggy skies, which has drawn comparisons to another sci-fi flick set in L.A.—Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner." Read full article in Mediander. E.T.P. 3'

IN DOG WE TRUST


Photo: Biggie Smalls via his Instagram.


Hello dog lover! Hope you're having a nice weekend! 

Here are some interesting links for you:







Video of the week: You shall not pass, dog

Enjoy your Sunday! And follow Biggie Smalls the Notorious D.O.G. on Instagram



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In Dog We Trust is edited by: Carola Melguizo from La Guía del Perro.

Sunday 16 February 2014

The Procrastinator (some) Times Sunday 16th of February Edition


EDITORIAL

This is been a very tough week for Venezuela, my country. That is why the news section is entirely devoted to try to explain the situation and sharing links of photos, articles and videos. In our Culture & Entertainment section everything is House of Cards and lovely Ellen Page. In the Design, Business & Innovation you can see a list of the top 10 most innovative companies in advertising via Fast Company. In the Science section an interesting article about how the human brain has adapted to react to emoticons in the same way it would to expressions on real human faces. And finally In Dog We Trust share some good news about Sochi's dogs and introduce us to the lovely Hashi.

Happy weekend, happy reading, and my brave Venezuelans, keep fighting!


NEWS

Photo: Carlos García Rawlins (Reuters) via El País.

Photo Leo Ramirez (AFP) via El País.

Photo: Jorge Silva (Reuters) via El País.


This past 12 of February there was a demonstration, mainly composed by students and young Venezuelans asking for fellow students who had been jailed after earlier protests to be freed, and also protesting against massive shortages in food and medicines, ravaged economy and one of the highest murder rates in the world. Armed groups supported by the government called "colectivos" fired their arms against the students killing two of them and leaving more than 20 injured. Security forces, police and military, instead of helping the civilians, fired tear gas, used water cannons and used extreme violence against the students, and the protestors in general. See some of the videos in YouTube here, here, here, here, here, here, here (yesterday afternoon Saturday 15), and watch how they even used a tank here.

The murder of one of the students, Bassil Da Costa, by the government supporters was recorded for at least three different point of views by different people using their cell phones. The proof is undeniable. Nevertheless the government did not say anything about these videos, instead they proceed to put dozens of students in jail and tortured them.

After 15 years of "Revolution", the Venezuelan media (with the exception of some newspapers and radio stations) belongs to the government, directly or indirectly. No TV channel reported the clashes instead they were forced to transmit a military parade, and the only channel NTN24 from Colombia that was covering the demonstrations live was taken out of the cable during that day and their website was also blocked. Graphic reporters from international agencies were attacked and robbed during the protests, but some images managed to reach the international media that very same day. Now the government is blaming the French agency AFP of conspiracy.

Venezuelans only count with social media, powered by a non casually slow and intermittent Internet to keep themselves informed and to share what is happening. They use Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and open platforms like 9Gag. But the government is trying to block that too. Twitter Inc. confirmed on Friday that the Venezuelan government blocked users' online images as opposition groups marched through Caracas for a third day. Venezuela’s main telecommunications company, CANTV, is government-run and handles the overwhelming majority of internet traffic.

As the protest continues, the coverage in international media has increased. More people are now fully aware of the strong censorship imposed by the government to the local media that offered a very limited and biased coverage, as Venezuela’s government dominates the country’s airwaves.

Nobel peace prize and ex-president of Costa Rica, Óscar Arias, expressed his concern about the current situation and said that "Venezuela can do all sort of narrative efforts to sell the idea that is a true democracy, but with every violation of Human Rights committed, that claim is denied in practice because it represses criticism and dissent. Every government that respect Human Rights should respect the right of its people to demonstrate peacefully, the use of violence is unacceptable. Let's remember Gandhi's words: and eye for an eye only ends up making the whole world blind."  Sadly, other Latin American leaders remained silent, or even worst expressed support to Maduro's repressive and anti-democratic regime. The power of cheap oil and "petro-dolars" cannot be underestimated.

What I've tried to do here is the only thing I can do as a Venezuelan living abroad, trying to make other people understand what is happening in my country. Despite the repressive efforts made by the Venezuelan government we are not voiceless due to the work of a lot of people that is trying to send our reality, our message, our pain, our indignation across.

Thanks for reading. Thanks for not being indifferent to injustice, repression and tyranny. And thanks for sharing, if you do it, the efforts made by the brave people holding their cell phones would not have been in vain.

There are links along this paragraphs, supporting my claims and my words, that even though are not neutral (how can they be?) they are supported by facts. Below there are other links, updated daily in case you want to know how the news are unfolding, and share, of course.


English:

YouTube: Armed "Colectivos" (paramilitar groups supported by the government) kidnap a student in Maracay.  (Added Wednesday #19F)

Quartz: The pictures the Venezuelan government doesn't want people to see. (Added Wednesday #19F)

The Guardian: Venezuela: raid on Leopoldo López headquarters as Maduro cracks down. (Added Tuesday #18F). People then recorded this in a mall where the police chase down activists.

Caracas Chronicles: Torture, Rape and Ransom. (Added Monday #17F)

The Daily Beast: Is this the end of Huga Chavez's Venezuela. (Added Monday #17F)

Al-Jazeera: Venezuelan protest leader calls new rally. (Added Monday #17F)

The Huffington Post: Pictures: Venezuela See Two Students killed.

The Washington Post: Photos: Violence erupts amid anti-government protests in Venezuela.

BBC. Venezuela student protest ends in deadly violence.

USA Today: Twitter reports image blocking in Venezuela.

Bloomberg: Venezuelans blocked on Twitter as opposition protests mount.

US News: Venezuela's opposition braces for crackdown as blame traded for deadly protests.

News Australia: Tanks, tear gas used by security forces to break Venezuela protest.

Reuters: Anti-Maduro protestspersist in Venezuela, dozens jailed.

Al-Jazeera: Police fire tear gas at Caracas protesters

Español:

Últimas Noticias: Murió Génesis Carmona, modelo herida durante las protestas en Carabobo. (Agregado Miércoles #19F)

Venenews: Mensaje de Leopoldo López antes de entregarse. (Agregado Miércoles #19F)

YouTube: Colectivos armados secuestran estudiante en Maracay  (Agregado Miércoles #19F)

El Mundo: "Los militares me violaron con el cañón de un fusil." (Agregado Miércoles #19F)

El País: La Policía Política pone en aprietos a Maduro. (Agregado Martes #18F)

El Nacional: Comunicado de Unasur no es el mismo que leyó Jaua. (Agregado Martes #18F)

NTN24: Víctima de abuso de la GNB relata las violaciones a los DDHH a las que fue sometido. (Agregado Lunes #17F)

RTVE: Video: Capriles convoca una marcha por la paz. (Agregado Lunes #17F)

Últimas Noticias: Video Análisis de los disparos en la Candelaria el 12F. (Agregado Dom #16F. Excelente periodismo de investigación ¡Hay que verlo!)

 El País. Fotogalería de imágenes del #12F.

El País: La soledad de Venezuela. América Latina da la espalda a la violencia política, la censura y la criminalización de la protesta que se ha agudizado en el país.

Julio Jiménez Gelden: #BetaPolítico #ElInicio #12F. (Este análisis de la situación es de los más sensatos que he escuchado hasta ahora, must see!)

CNN: Elías Jaua en CNN Conclusiones.

BBC Mundo: En fotos: Jornada de marchas en contra y a favor del gobierno en Venezuela.

Roberto Mata Instagram: Corto testimonio del padre de Roberto Redman.

Français:

AFP: Venezuela: les étudiants toujours mobilisés, avant les partisans du pouvoir samedi.

Le Nouvel Observateur. Les manifestations continuent au Venezuela.

Les Voix Du Monde. Venezuela: silence médiatique au pays de la révolution bolivarienne.

Deutsch:

Spiegel Online. Tote bei Protesten in Caracas.

DW: Drei Toten bei Krawallen in Venezuela.


***LATEST UPDATE***

The night of the 19th of February was the most violent one that had happened in my country in decades. The military, the police and the paramilitary ("colectivos") went out to the streets to persecute, assassinate, and intimidate the Venezuelans. As the blog Caracas Chronicles says (first link) "this is no war zone: in a war zone you have two sides shooting at each other. Tonight one side is doing all the shooting, the other side is doing all the being shot at."


Have a look for yourselves, more recent articles are on top and with an asterisk the articles and videos you really really should read/watch:

English:

The Independent: The left has a blid spot on Venezuela. When will it acknowledge that Chavez's socialist dream has turned into a nightmare

Channel 4: Is Venezuela burning while the world watches Ukraine? 

USA Today: Voices: where are the diplomats to help Latin America? Unlike in Ukraine, there's little hope Venezuela's neighbors will intercede in an effort to quell violence.

Motherboard / Vice: Not satisfied with blocking Twitter and TV, Venezuela shut off the Internet.

ABC: Internet a crucial Venezuela battleground 

BBC: Venezuela revokes 'acreditations and visas' of CNN journalists 

BBC: Venezuela threatens to expel CNN over protest coverage

Caracas Chronicles (must read!) 19F The night Venezuela finally imploded

Slate: Venezuela Erupts in Violence. The Venezuelan president appears to have ordered a national crackdown on protesters.

Buzzfeed: CNN journalist robbed at gunpoint in Venezuela

NPR: In Venezuela, Another Beauty Queen's Death Adds To Anger 

Buzzfeed: 29 disheartening imagesabout what's happening in Venezuela 


Español:

YouTube: Comunicado del Movimiento Estudiantil (2014)

NTN24 (Colombia): Video: Así se enfrenta la GNB con gases lacrimógenos y tanquetas a los manifestantes en San Diego  

DW (Alemania): DW es también obstaculizada en su labor periodística

Clarín (Argentina): Los días en que la calle pisoteó el carisma

El Nacional (Vzla): Una operación para el horror.
El País (España): El gobierno de Venezuela militariza el Estado Táchira.


And these are the videos recorded by people on the streets:


You Tube: Tupamaros en El Marqués (video)  ("Tupamaros" paramilitary in El Marqués neighborhood).

You Tube: Caracas 19F GNB dispara a civil en La Candelaria (Military shot dead a man in La Candelaria, Caracas city centre).

You Tube: Violencia en Chacao (video) (Violence in Chacao)

You Tube: Guardias Nacionales matan a joven en Avenida Panteón (video) (Military kill a man in Av. Panteón)


SCIENCE


Image via The Independent.


The human brain has adapted to react to emoticons in the same way we would to expressions on real human faces, new research suggests. Having first appeared in the 1980s, the pattern of brain activity triggered by looking at an emoticon smiley face is now the same as when someone sees a real smiling human face, scientists from the school of psychology at Australia's Flinders University in Adelaide said.Read full article in The Independent. E.T.P. 3'


Photo via The Independent.

Belgium has become the first country in the world to allow euthanasia for any age group, after its parliament backed amendments to the existing law which would in very rare cases permit doctors to help end the life of a terminally ill child. Read full article in The Independent. E.T.P. 4'

DESIGN, BUSINESS & INNOVATION

Image:Flickr user Dan DeLuca via Fast Company.


Fast Company published a list with the world's top 10 most innovative companies in advertising. Among them is GoPro, Volvo Trucks, and Samsung. According to FC by having a look at their strategies you can have a pretty good idea of how the future of advertising will look like. Read list in Fast Company. E.T.P. 6'



Photos La Muralla Roja via Fubiz.

Have a look at this amazing, colorful and very original architectonic project in Spain made by Ricardo Bofill in La Manzanera, Spain. The complex is called La Muralla Roja. More photos and info in Fubiz. E.T.P. 4'

CULTURE & ENTERTAINMENT


Photo House of Cards via The Atlantic.


And one of the most awaited shows on this new sort of TV that is not aired on TV, House of Cards just started last Friday on Netflix. Spencer Hornhaber in The Atlantic is watching and reviewing all episodes. At the moment of writing this he's already in episode 08. Have a look at his reflexions in The Atlantic. E.T.P. unknown as the article is still being updated. Christopher Hooton also talks about HoC "ferocious return" and its "malignant first episode" in The Independent. E.T.P. 4' (Major spoilers in both articles, of course).


Photo: Ellen Page via The Guardian.
Lovely Ellen Page, has announced that she is gay. "Speaking in Las Vegas on Friday, at a Human Rights Campaign-organised Time to Thrive conference of counsellors who work with teenagers who identify as gay, lesbian, transgender, bisexual or queer, she said: “I’m here today because I’m gay, and because maybe I can make a difference.” Read full article in The Guardian. E.T.P. (with video) 12'

Stranger by the Lake still via BFI.

10 great French gay films. As acclaimed thriller Stranger by the Lake is released in cinemas nationwide and on the BFI Player, we look back at the best of French gay cinema. See the list in the BFI website. E.T.P. 6'

IN DOG WE TRUST


Photo Hashi via Instagram.



Hello dog lover! Hope you're having a wonderful Sunday

Here are some links for you:






Do you share your bed with your dog? Here's some expert advice on bed sharing.




Enjoy your Sunday! And follow Hashi on Instagram.





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In Dog We Trust is curated by: Carola Melguizo from La Guía del Perro.

Sunday 9 February 2014

The Procrastinator (some) Times Sunday 9th of February Edition

EDITORIAL

This week Sochi Winter Olympics has been a great excuse to put Russia and Vladimir Putin under close scrutiny. From the 'titanic budget' to the Olympic Rings fail in the opening ceremony, the photos of journalists and athletes arriving at half-done facilities, and of course the biggest of all: Russian anti-gay laws.
The Design & Business section highlights articles about Twitter and about Destination Branding. Some J.R.R. Tolkien and antimatter for the Science section. In our Culture & Entertainment we have a must-see list and "selfies" from the Berlinale, and more controversy as the Allen-Farrow neverending story keeps unfolding. Will this issue affect the already highly influenced opinion of the Academy in the upcoming awards ceremony? Finally don't miss out on what Carola and Andreína prepared for their lovely sections In Dog We Trust and Photoautomat.

Happy Sunday, happy reading and follow us in Twitter!


NEWS

Friday 06 of February Google Doodle. Screenshot.

Sochi 2014 began and happily a lot of important organizations took the opportunity to expressed their opinion about Russia's Anti-Gay laws. Channel 4 changed its logo to a more fully gay-colored one and wished good luck to athletes with its peculiar Gay Mountain video. The influential giant Google decided to used its emblematic Google Doodle and in the name of the Olympic spirit advocate for the right of every individual to practice sports without discrimination of any kind. Soon after other media like The Independent and The Huffington Post joined by changing their Twitter avatars. And finally in Canada, the Toronto-based Canadian Institute for Diversity and Inclusion, an organization that according to its CEO Michael Bash works to create “inclusive work environments … focused on the broad spectrum of diversity”, made a great video hoping the games remained -as they always have been- a little gay. Well done everyone! (If you have some more good examples, please share them with us in the comments section).


Photo: Antonio Pardo, bailando en Sochi via People Magazine.


If you have the Sochi fever, here are some Olympic related news:

Sochi: snow, skis and scandals - an idiot's guide to the Winter Olympic. Read full article in The Guardian. E.T.P.  8'

Journalists at Sochi are live tweeting their hilarious and gross hotel experiences. Read in The Washington Post. E.T.P. 6'

The lighting of the Olympic flame by two of Russia's famous Olympians, Irina Rodnina and Vladislav Tretiak, was also not without controversy — but this time over discrimination of a different variety. Read in The Huffington Post. E.T.P. 3'

Sochi hotel guests complain about topless portraits of Putin in rooms. The Borowitz Report, of course. Read in The New Yorker. E.T.P. 2'

An my personal favorite: Venezuela's lone athlete, alpine skier Antonio Pardo (photo above), who enthusiastically danced his way around the stadium. Read in People. E.T.P. 2' and in the Toronto Star E.T.P. 3'



Photo: Jim Merithew via WIRED

NSA Style. "The latest Snowden-related revelation is that Britain’s Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) proactively targeted the communications infrastructure used by the online activist collective known as Anonymous. Specifically, they implemented distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks on the internet relay chat (IRC) rooms used by Anonymous. They also implanted malware to out the personal identity details of specific participants. . .Whether you agree with the activities of Anonymous or not . . . the salient point is that democratic governments now seem to be using their very tactics against them. The key difference, however, is that while those involved in Anonymous can and have faced their day in court for those tactics, the British government has not. When Anonymous engages in lawbreaking, they are always taking a huge risk in doing so. But with unlimited resources and no oversight, organizations like the GCHQ (and theoretically the NSA) can do as they please. And it’s this power differential that makes all the difference". Read Gabriella Coleman's full article in Wired. E.T.P. 8'

SCIENCE








Photos via Fast Company.



In The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, British author J.R.R. Tolkien created a fantasy world called Middle-Earth for his dragons, elves, dwarves, and wizards to inhabit, but he only ever rendered it in text. Now, a team of Danish programmers is taking Tolkien’s descriptions of Middle-Earth and rendering it on computers, on a truly planetary scale. Read full article and watch more photos in Fast Company. E.T.P. 5'


                                               St. John’s College, Cambridge, where Dirac discovered his famous equation.                    Image: Andrew Dunn via Science Museum's Blog.


Collider exhibition curator Dr. Harry Cliff writes a post in the Science Museum blog on Dirac’s discoveries and anticipating antimatter. "It was 86 years ago on Saturday that one of the most important scientific papers of the 20th century appeared in the Proceedings of the Royal Society. Written by the young British physicist Paul Dirac, it was simply titled A Quantum Theory of the Electron, and was nothing short of a theoretical triumph." Read full article in the Science Museum's Blog. E.T.P. (if you already understand Dirac's equation) 8' / (if you don't, but you want to) 2 years.

DESIGN, BUSINESS & INNOVATION


Photo via Wired.


"Twitter is sharing its massive trove of data with the academic world — for free. The social networking outfit has long sold access to its enormous collection of tweets — a record of what the people of the world are doing and saying — hooking companies like Google and Yahoo into the “Twitter fire hose.” But now, through a new grant program, it wants to make it easier for social scientists and other academics to explore its tweet archive, which stretches back to 2006 . . . 'It will be biased towards people who are on the internet, says Devin Gaffney — a developer who holds a master’s degree in Social Science of the Internet from Oxford University — but it’s still better than before. Plus, it’s less work. You don’t have to talk to 10,000 people. You just write some code to do it for you.' " Well done Twitter! Read full article by Klint Finley in Wired. E.T.P. 4'


Photo: Museumsplein via This is not advertising.


There are very successful and absolutely iconic city emblems like “I NY” and “I amsterdam,” that is why Paul Hiebert explores in his article in The New Yorker if a logo can change a city’s reputation, and this relatively new trend called destination branding, "which aims to package cities, regions, and countries as marketable products to lure potential tourists and investors". Read full article in The New Yorker. E.T.P. 8'


Todo sobre mi madre Achiset by Federico Babina via Dezeen.

This is absolutely fabulous, lovely example of meaningful procrastination: "Famous film set designs are translated into detailed cross sections that resemble the insides of dolls' houses in this series of illustrations by architect and illustrator Federico Babina." Have a look in Dezeen. E.T.P. 5'

CULTURE & ENTERTAINMENT


Grand Budapest Hotel still via Dazed Digital.

Dazed Magazine share with us its must-see list for the Berlinale: "The Berlin Film Festival kicks off next week. From the director’s cut of Lars Von Trier’s sex addict epic Nymphomanic to the on-form latests from Richard Linklater and Wes Anderson, here’s what not to miss if you can make it to Potsdamer Platz to soak up the goodness". Read full article and watch some cool trailers in Dazed Digital. E.T.P. 15'

Michel Gondry selfie at The Berlinale via Télérama


Also in the Berlinale mood Michel Gondry decided to document the beginning of the festival with his phone and share some selfies with the world. Silly but cute. Have a look in Télérama. E.T.P. 2'




Mia Farrow, Woody Allen, and their children Dylan and Ronan, January 1988. Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images via The New York Times.

Finally, I don't know if this article belongs to the Culture & Entertainment section, but due to a better section to be placed is here. Woody Allen responded in a letter published by The New York Times to the revived accusations made by her daughter Dylan Farrow in a letter published recently also in the NYT. This whole Farrow-Allen thing makes me think of the term 'character', but in a sort of legal way (as portrayed in TV). When someone is testifying in court (in TV court, that is), sometimes the lawyers share with the jury facts about that witness' life to help them see his 'character', because ultimately what he is saying and what he considers the truth will be filtered by its morality and his beliefs. Perception can be more powerful than facts.
By reading the comment section on every article published about this whole thing you can tell that most of the people commenting already made their minds long before the article was published, the section was just an opportunity to air their opinions. Maybe because it was an old issue, or because these are very public figures, but one thing is clear: they listen what they want to listen and ignore or disregard the rest. I'm not saying that there is no one out there that on the light of these new letters being exchanged, changed his or her mind about Woody or Mia (Dylan, unfortunately is a victim no matter what), I'm just saying that I haven't seen one single comment that doesn't seem to come from a person who already though that Farrow was a lying snake or Allen was an old perv.
Sometimes manipulating people seems to be the easiest thing on earth, sometimes changing one person's mind proves to be an impossible task. I am, of course, one of the persons that already have an opinion and probably won't change it. What about you? What do you think? Read Woody Allen's letter in The New York Times. E.T.P. 6'