Sunday 9 February 2014

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


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 AndreĆ­na prepared for their lovely sections In Dog We Trust and Photoautomat.

Happy Sunday, happy reading and follow us in Twitter!


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'

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