Sunday 31 August 2014

The Procrastinator (Some) Times Sunday 31st of August


This last weekend of August really caught me in the middle of "la rentrée", as the French call it. I've just come back from my holidays and somehow, I'm still in a different rhythm/state-of-mind that prevented my from delivering to you an extra-large, large or medium edition of The Procrastinator. This one will be a small one, but a very very nice one as, aside from the necessary (and specially dense this week) news section, there are my favorite sections: Culture & Entertainment, introducing Miranda July's new app, and some interesting Anaïs Nin thoughts on writing, Our Weekly Procrastination at the Oscar Muñoz exhibition "Protographs" @ Jeu de Paume Museum in Paris, In Dog We Trust sharing 28 ingenious things for your dog you had no idea you needed, and the letter C of ABC: Artist, Book, Celebrity.

Hope you enjoy this little edition. Happy reading, happy Sunday et bonne rentrée pour tous!


Daily Show Video Still.

Even of you have been on extended holidays you have to heard something about the shooting of Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager, by a white police officer, in Ferguson, Missouri; about the justified protests that started demanding justice; and, of course, about the disproportionate response of the local police to the protests. If you don't know anything about this case, or if you want to watch a pretty critical summary of the Ferguson situation, the media coverage and what it means to be black in America, Jon Stewart is, of course, your man. “Race is there and it is a constant. You’re tired of hearing about it? Imagine how f***ing exhausting it is living it”. Watch the video and read The Independent's article. E.T.P. 11'

Video still via NPR.

"The Ebola epidemic in West Africa is out of control, a major reason is corpses. Health Department teams can't pick them fast enough, and it's not easy to watch." This is how starts the visual reportage made by NPR about the body collectors in Monrovia, Liberia's capital. Nurith Aizenman writes about one of the most dangerous jobs in the time of ebola.
"When I wake up in the morning, I will pray to God to give me strength and focus," says 21-year-old Sorie Fofana.
His job is collecting the bodies of those who die from Ebola in Monrovia, Liberia's capital city of roughly 1 million people. Before, Fofana was an artist, making designs for T-shirts. The new job pays better — $1,000 a month. But every morning, the lanky, laid-back Fofana has to steel himself to go out and do the job." Read full article and watch the video in NPR. E.T.P. 10'

Photo: @spiritusdivino in Twitter via Dazed.

Raising awareness for Gaza: "While the West chucks endless buckets of water around, Palestinians have responded with their own version of the craze – the Rubble Bucket Challenge. The idea is simple: raise awareness for the political situation in Gaza by replacing ice and water with debris from bombed-out buildings.
Palestinian journalist Ayman al-Aloul and Jordanian comedian Mohammed Darwaza have spearheaded the movement, with both releasing videos of themselves pouring rubble on their heads.
"We looked for a bucket of water, however the use of water is more important than to go over our heads," Aloul says in his video. "This challenge is for all people who sympathise with the Palestinian people. We ask for solidarity from those who have followers and audience." Read full article in Dazed. E.T.P. 4'

Photo  via BBC.

Devastating chronicle by Lina Sinjab in BBC: Hope fades for Syrians one year after chemical attack.
"It is to the world's shame that it witnessed such a massacre and remained unmoved. We don't seem to matter to anyone. This issue about human rights and democracy is only a lie that the West and UN use when it suits their interests." Read full article in BBC. E.T.P. 4'


Photo via Dazed.

So, Miranda July just released a very Miranda July App called "Somebody". This is how it is described in Dazed Magazine: "Ever wished a stranger could break up with someone for you? Ever needed to tell your platonic friend that you're completely in love with them but can't bring yourself to do it? Artist/actress/writer Miranda July's new app "Somebody" lets strangers deliver messages verbally, meaning that you can legitimately say "At least I broke up with you face to face". The app works by sending a message intended for you to the nearest Somebody user, who then has to track you down to deliver the information." You can chose who is going to deliver your message, and when you receive one, rate the deliverer. This video directed for July and produced by MiuMiu explains everything better.

I already have the app and sent a message, hope it's delivered soon. If you still don't have it, go ahead, it sounds like a fun/weird (aka Miranda July) technological-art-experiment. Read full article in Dazed Magazine. E.T.P. (with video): 12'

Photo via Brain Pickings.

A very nice post by Maria Popova in Brain Pickings: Anaïs Nin on Writing, the Future of the Novel, and How Keeping a Diary Enhances Creativity: Wisdom from a Rare 1947 Chapbook. "In December of 1946, Anaïs Nin was invited to give a lecture on writing at Dartmouth, which received an overwhelming response. The following summer, after receiving countless requests, Nin adapted the talk in chapbook titled On Writing, which she printed at her own Gremor Press — the small publishing house Nin founded in 1942 out of disillusionment with mainstream publishing, which led her to teach herself letterpress and self-publish a handful of elegant manually typeset books with gorgeous engravings by her husband. On Writing, in which Nin considers the future of the novel and reflects on what keeping her famous diaries since the age of eleven taught her about writing, was published in a limited edition of 1,000 copies, 750 of which were for sale. Only a few are known to survive." Read full article in Brain Pickings. E.T.P. 7'


Photo: Cosmo via his Instagram.

Hello dog lover! Hope you're having a lovely day!

Here are some links:

Video of the week: Grandpa gets a puppy!

Enjoy your Sunday! And follow Cosmo on Instagram

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


With every edition one artist, one book title and one celebrity are selected to appear in an article that highlights the artworks, songs, movie scenes, and performances that made them stand out of the crowd. The principle of following the chronological order of the alphabet and of finding names that all share the same initial letter has been inspired by the German game 'Stadt Land Fluss'. To help people to remember the names easier, I create little aide-memoires from emojis (so far they have proved to be fairly efficient).



Untitled (The Hotel Eden) (1945)

American artist and sculptor, Joseph Cornell was born in 1903 in New York and lived for the most part of his life in Flushing, New York, as a recluse (He died in 1972). His lack of relationships made him a self-taught artist that was afraid of strangers. His shyness made romantic relationships almost impossible. Cornell was one of the pioneers and most celebrated exponents of assemblage and he was also an avant-garde experimental filmmaker. Many of his boxes, such as the famousMedici Slot Machine boxes, are interactive and are meant to be handled. As a young man he worked as a textile salesman. He began to make montages of engravings at the age of 26, without any art training; 6 years later they were included in the first Surrealist group exhibition in the USA at the Wadsworth Atheneum (the oldest public art museum in the United States). Cornell has met many of the leading Surrealist artists and writers at the Julien Levy Gallery, New York, and started to make glazed boxes containing mysterious assemblages created from found objects in poetic association. His work included was in the exhibition Fantastic Art, Dada, Surrealism at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, in 1936. 3 Years after at the age of 33 he had his first one-man exhibition at the Julien Levy Gallery. Cornell made recurrent use of objects such as clay pipes, wine glasses, engravings, mirrors and astronomical maps, often with a flavour of Victorian and some allusion to the opera or the ballet. He also had numerous friendships with ballerinas, who found him unique, but too eccentric to be a romantic partner.His imagery was often related to that of Nerval, Novalis, Mallarmé and other 19th century Romantic and Symbolist writers. He also made a number of short lyrical films and a montage of old Hollywood film clips with existing film stock that Cornell had found in New Jersey warehouses, one of which isRose Hobart (additional TP 9'12'' Link: Died in Flushing.

E.T.P.: 2'

Fyodor Dostoevsky (also spelled Dostoyevsky) is renowned as one of the world’s greatest novelists and literary psychologists. His works grapple with deep political, social, and religious issues while delving into the often tortured psychology of characters whose lives are shaped by these issues. Raskolnikov’s time in a Siberian prison, described in the Epilogue of Crime and Punishment, is based on Dostoevsky’s own experiences at a similar prison. Dostoyevsky conceived the idea of Crime and Punishment in the summer of 1865, having gambled away much of his fortune, unable to pay his bills or afford proper meals. Raskolnikov, a conflicted former student, lives in a tiny, rented room in Saint Petersburg. He refuses all help, even from his friend Razumikhin, and devises a plan to murder and to rob an unpleasant elderly pawn-broker and money-lender, Alyona Ivanovna. His motivation comes from the overwhelming sense that he is predetermined to kill the old woman by some power outside of himself. While still considering the plan, Raskolnikov makes the acquaintance of Semyon Zakharovich Marmeladov, a drunkard who recently squandered his family's little wealth. Raskolnikov also receives a letter from his sister and mother, speaking of their coming visit to Saint Petersburg, and his sister's sudden marriage plans which they plan to discuss upon their arrival... The main plot involves a murder as the result of "ideological intoxication," and depicts all the disastrous moral and psychical consequences that result from the murder.

E.T.P.: 2'

Marion Cotillard born 30 September 1975 is a French actress, singer and songwriter. She is also an environmentalist and spokesperson for Greenpeace, the organization for which she travelled to Congo in 2010 to visit tropical rainforests threatened by logging companies. Besides she has also been the face of Lady Dior handbags since 2008 and has appeared on more than 200 magazine covers around the world. Cotillard was born in Paris, and grew up around Orléans, Loiret, in an artistically inclined, "bustling, creative household". Her father, Jean-Claude Cotillard, is an actor, teacher, former mime, and 2006 Molière Award-winning director. Cotillard's mother, Niseema Theillaud, is also an actress and drama teacher. Her two younger brothers are twins: Quentin and Guillaume. Guillaume is a screenwriter and director. Cotillard began acting during her childhood, appearing on stage in one of her father's plays. Since October 2007, Cotillard is in a relationship with French actor and director Guillaume Canet and in 2011 their now 3 year old son Marcel was born. The couple prefers to live a simple lifestyle and neither star discusses their relationship with the media. Cotillard garnered worldwide acclaim for her roles in films such as La Vie en Rose in 2007, in which she starred as the French singer Édith Piaf and for which she received critical acclaim and won several awards  including Golden Globe Award for Best Actress (she was the first person to win an Academy Award for Best Actress in a French language performance).

E.T.P. 2-3'


Narcissus, 2002

Line of Destiny, 2006

Shower Curtains, 1985-1986.


Photos: The Procrastinator (some) Times.

Last week we checked some fantastic exhibitions in Paris, being one of the most amazing and together the one of the Colombian artist Óscar Muñoz at the Jeu de Paume Musée: Protographs, that spans nearly forty years of Muñoz career. Curated by José Roca and María Wills Londoño and co-produced by the Museo de Arte del Banco de la República de Bogotá.

Muñoz mainly explores the role of the photographic image, especially portraits and self-portraits in relationship with memory and ephemerality, and he do it exploring in very experimental, sometimes impossible supports and formats, from video and installations, to glass, mirrors, water and shower curtains. His work is both deeply social and truly innovative. I was moved, surprised and inspired throughout the whole exhibition.

Roca and Wills Londoño point out that if the ontology of photography lies in fixing a moving image for all time, extracting it from life, it can be said that Oscar Muñoz's work is located in the temporal space prior (or subsequent) to the true decisive moment when the image is fixed: that proto-moment when the image is finally about to become photography, hence the title of the exhibition.

One of my favorite pieces was the video/portrait Línea del destino [Line of Destiny, 2006], "in which Muñoz looks at his reflection on the surface of water held in the palms of his hands. The reflected image forms and dissolves constantly as the water flows through his fingers, revealing a fluid portrait doomed to be effaced," as explained in the exhibition catalogue.

At the Jeu de Paume Musée you can also see a very complete retrospective of Kati Horna's work, another great discovery (for me),  and Kapwani Kiwanga's Maji Maji exhibition. The museum is right next to Concorde (1, Place de la Concorde, Paris 8eme), a very convenient location if you are in a hyper-touristic trip, and if you live in Paris, seriously don't miss out on this, c'est de bonne procrastination pour la rentrée!

Sunday 17 August 2014

The Procrastinator (some) Times Sunday 17th of August


Hello friends! How is the summer going? Around here, thanks to Bertha the weather its been a bit more #GreatBritishSummer, but we have had cool days. Anyway, I hope the next two weeks will be amazingly sunny and warm and summery wherever you are.

In our News section we have a very interesting article via The Independent about World Peace, the one thing that every Miss Universe wish for, and every world leader apparently reject like the plague. Only 11 countries (10, probably after the World Cup demonstrations) appear to be free of internal conflicts (or with an conflict index low enough). I already gave you a clue of one of the countries, can you guess the other ten? In other news, a very complete article in Bloomberg about Venezuela. If you know nothing about the current situation in Venezuela and you landed in this website by mere chance with only 10 minutes to spare, please expend them reading that article.

In our Design, Business & Innovation section, one interesting piece on the virtues of working less (as the principles of meaningful procrastination suggest, of course!) and another one on what happens when you like everything that Facebook slap in your face (another clue: is like staring into the abyss). Our Culture and Entertainment section features the wonderful work of book jackets designer Peter Mendelsund, who now is publishing two books of his own. We also have a small compilation of articles about Robin Williams (RIP), as well as in In Dog We Trust by La Guía del Perro which entire section is a little homage to Williams. Finally, in our second ABC: Artist, Book, Celebrity we are, of course in the letter B. B as in Chuck Berry, Beloved and Kobe Bryant, have a look.

Happy Sunday and happy reading!


Illustration via The Independent.

World peace? Think again. With the crisis in Gaza, the rise of Islamist militants in Iraq and Syria and the international stand-off ongoing in Ukraine, it can sometimes feel like the whole world is at war. But experts believe this is actually almost universally the case, according to a think-tank which produces one of the world’s leading measures of “global peacefulness” – and things are only going to get worse. It may make for bleak reading, but of the 162 countries covered by the Institute for Economics and Peace’s (IEP’s) latest study, just 11 were not involved in conflict of one kind or another. Read full article in The Independent. E.T.P. 4'

Photo: Jorge Silva/Landov via Bloomberg.

In an oil-rich country run by leaders who’ve promised to create a socialist economy that benefits the poor, millions of people struggle every day to find the basics. In this nation blessed with abundant natural resources, it’s the friends of Chavez and his ministers . . . who have accumulated wealth."  Read full article in Bloomberg. E.T.P. 10'


Photo: Luke MacGregor/Reuters via The Atlantic.

Here a very interesting article on the virtues of working less, which for us of course means worrying less about occupying your time with meaningful procrastination activities like visiting galleries, picnicking outdoors when the sun is shining, exercising or simply clicking on another tab and devoting 5 minutes to reading an inspiring article, instead of engaging into a starting contest with your computer screen just for cultural inertia.

"Even though the amount of time you work tends to match how productive you are as if on a sliding scale, length of work and quality of work at a certain point become inversely related. At some point, in other words, the more you work, the less productive you become. 
For example, working long hours often leads to productivity-killing distractions. Such is an instance of the saying known as Parkinson’s law, which states that work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion. Work less, and you’ll tend to work better.

Many people are still stuck on the fundamental importance of work compared to free time: the structure it gives, the purpose it affords, the morality it signifies. But what if we viewed leisure time not as goofing off, but as necessary time for reflecting, for inspiring creativity, and for saving up brainpower and energy for future work?" Read full article in The Atlantic. E.T.P. 7'

Illustration via Wired.

Mat Honan liked everything he came across in Facebook for 48 hours, here's what he has to say about his experiment: "The like and the favorite are the new metrics of success—very literally. Not only are they ego-feeders for the stuff we put online as individuals, but advertisers track their campaigns on Facebook by how often they are liked. A recent New York Times story on a krill oil ad campaign lays bare how much the like matters to advertisers. Liking is an economic act.

I like everything. Or at least I did, for 48 hours. Literally everything Facebook sent my way, I liked—even if I hated it. I decided to embark on a campaign of conscious liking, to see how it would affect what Facebook showed me. I know this sounds like a stunt (and it was) but it was also genuinely just an open-ended experiment." Read full article in Wired. E.T.P. 7'


Images: Peter Mendelsund book jackets for The Trial, Hopscotch and of course Cover.

I 'discovered' book jacket designer and Knopf's Associate Art Director, Peter Mendelsund about 5  years ago when I came across the wonderful design work he did for Kafka books and his very interesting reflexions on what make Kafka, Kafka. I found everything extraordinary, honest and refreshing, and being a Kafka fan myself I entered in contact with him, he turned out to be a really nice person and a super interesting character. Back then I started following his blog, where he shows not only his finished works but also a little bit of his process and his thoughts on design and books. One of his most famous covers are the ones he did for Stieg Larsson's The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo trilogy, one of the ones I love most is the one he did for Rayuela, the beautiful English edition I own (shown above).

This past week I discovered that now he is publishing two books of his own (two!). One is Cover a full color collection of his design work of the past eleven years, that includes a little bit of writing, as in his blog, "as well as essays from some of the writers and designers I’ve been fortunate enough to know, and/or work for and with over this short span of time" -says Mendelsund. The second book is an exploration into the phenomenology of reading What We See When We Read, a remarkable work of nonfiction where Mendelsund "combines his profession, as an award-winning designer; his first career, as a classically trained pianist; and his first love, literature—he considers himself first and foremost as a reader—into what is sure to be one of the most provocative and unusual investigations into how we understand the act of reading," according to the Amazon summary (that sadly has no author specified). 

Several articles appeared about Mendelsund's books, I chose two: one nice interview in LA Times (E.T.P. 5') and a great Q&A about the utility of book covers in the digital world in Slate (E.T.P. 3'). Go ahead and find out more about Peter Mendelsund nice work, and if you read his books, please let me know so we can discuss them! (WWSWWR is due to be released in the UK in September 10th).

Photo via the Badass Digest.

We are as deeply shocked and sad as everyone else with Robin Williams' dead. Here are some links with the best homages from the Internet, including five in-depth interviews compiled by Long Reads. Robin William's greatest lesser-known roles, compiled by Dazed Magazine (including a clip from one of my favorites: The Fisher King). A heart-warming article by Sarah Larson in The New Yorker called Robin Williams: The Best Weirdo. And finally, a piece in The Guardian by Dean Burnett on why we should not call suicide a 'selfish' act: "News of Robin Williams’s death due to apparent suicide, said to be a result of suffering severe depression, is terribly sad. But to say taking your own life because of such an illness is a ‘selfish’ act does nothing but insult the deceased, potentially cause more harm and reveal a staggering ignorance of mental health problems."

Also, the photo above was taken from a FB status of the Badass Digest, this little story can be read as  the photo caption:  

"When Christopher Reeve was in the hospital, awaiting a back surgery that had a fifty/fifty chance of killing him, a man burst into his room. He was wearing surgical scrubs, talking in a Russian accent, and said he was there to give a rectal exam. It was Robin Williams; the two men had been roommates together at Juilliard. Later Reeve said of his life-long friend:

“For the first time since the accident, I laughed. My old friend had helped me know that somehow I was going to be okay.”

That's sort of what Robin Williams did for all of us."


Photo via Curly Tail Pug Rescue's Instagram.
Hello dog lover! This week this section is dedicated to the memory of Robin Williams, a true animal lover. May he rest in peace.

Here are some links from around the web:

Video of the week: Meeting Katie

Enjoy your Sunday! And follow Curly Tail Pug Rescue on Instagram

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


With every edition one artist, one book title and one celebrity are selected to appear in an article that highlights the artworks, songs, movie scenes, and performances that made them stand out of the crowd. The principle of following the chronological order of the alphabet and of finding names that all share the same initial letter has been inspired by the German game 'Stadt Land Fluss'. To help people to remember the names easier, I create little aide-memoires from emojis (so far they have proved to be fairly efficient).


Photo via Jmeshel.

Chuck (Charles Edward Anderson) Berry was born in 1926 in St. Louis, Missouri. The guitarist and songwriter is also known as “The Father of Rock’n Roll”, as he has introduced rock’n’roll some 70 years ago, while at the same time trying to merge the worlds of black and white through music. His performances such as Maybellene (1955) (watch online:, Roll Over Beethoven (1956), Rock and Roll Music (1957), and Johnny B. Goode (1958), are well known because of his approach to entertain the crowd according to their immediate feedback on stage. ( Although his first notable performance was on his school's musical stage singing ‘Confessin The Blues’ (listen on youtube: accompanied by his friend, Tommy Stevens, on guitar it was not until he met Muddy Waters in 1955 when his career started to pick up. He was sentenced to prison for the first time while he still was at high school, from 1944 to 1947 for armed robbery from and again in 1960 to 1963 for transporting a 14-year-old girl across state lines. In between he was trained as a hairdresser at the Poro School, freelanced as a photographer, assisted his father as a carpenter and even owned a restaurant while beginning his career as a musician. His passion for food made him choose the locations of his performances according to the proximity to the next Indian restaurant. Berry was included in several Rolling Stone “Greatest of All Time” lists and three of his songs made it into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll. Today at the age of 87 Chuck Berry is still performing live.

ETP (5-8')

Beloved was written in (1987) by american writer Toni Morrison. The novel is set after the American Civil War (1861 - 1865). The book's epigraph reads: "Sixty Million and more," by which Morrison refers to the estimated number of slaves who died in the slave trade. Morrison's fifth novel is loosely based on the life and legal case of the slave Margaret Garner, who temporarily escaped slavery during 1956 in Kentucky by fleeing to Ohio, a free state. After a posse arrived to retrieve her and her children Margaret killed her two-year-old daughter rather than allow her to be recaptured. Beloved's main character, Sethe, kills her daughter and tries to kill her other three children when a posse arrives in Ohio to return them to Sweet Home, the Kentucky plantation from which Sethe recently fled. The tombstone of the daughters grave shows the word "Beloved". A  woman presumed to be her daughter, called Beloved, returns years later to haunt Sethe's home at 124 Bluestone Road, Cincinnati. The story opens with an introduction to the ghost: "124 was spiteful. Full of a baby's venom." Beloved is not narrated chronologically; it is composed of flashbacks, memories, and nightmares. As a result, it is not an easy read if you haven't encountered William Faulkner, James Joyce, or Virginia Woolf. It aims to point the difficulties victims of slavery experience to deal with the past that leads to a fragmentation of the self and a loss of true identity. The novel received the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1988 and was a finalist for the 1987 National Book Award. It was adapted during 1998 into a movie of the same name starring Oprah Winfrey (watch the trailer). A New York Times survey of writers and literary critics ranked it the best work of American fiction from 1981-2006.

You can read more here and here.

Photo via Deadline.

 Kobe Bean Bryant (born August 23, 1978) is an American professional basketball player for the Los Angeles Lakers of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He entered the NBA directly from high school, and has played for the Lakers his entire career, winning five NBA championships. Bryant is a 16-time All-Star, 15-time member of the All-NBA Team, and 12-time member of the All-Defensive team. As of March 2013, he ranks third and fourth on the league's all-time postseason scoring and all-time regular season scoring lists, respectively. Bryant and Shaquille O'Neal led the Lakers to three consecutive championships from 2000 to 2002. He is also the all-time leading scorer in Lakers franchise history. Since his second year in the league, Bryant has been selected to start every All-Star Game. He has won the All-Star MVP Award four times (2002,2007, 2009, and 2011), tying him for the most All Star MVP Awards in NBA history. At the 2008 and 2012 Summer Olympics, he won gold medals as a member of the USA national team. Because of his recent devastating injury Kobe Bryant's basketball career has come to an end. His new project is called "Kobe Bryant's Muse", a screening of his biography that will come out this autumn.

Sunday 3 August 2014

The Procrastinator (some) Times Sunday 03 of August


It's August. I have not done the OMG-time-flies-so-fast routine in a lot of time so I think I'm entitled to one now. In August. OMG.

This edition is the first one of the second year of The Procrastinator (OMG), and we are starting with a new section named ABC, written by our great collaborator: Caroline Truyol. To describe the section I'll just quote Caroline: "The ABC for artists, books, and celebrities to fight against my name illiteracy through writing and creating an aide-memoire with emojis (inspired by the german game 'Stadt-Land-Fluss')." It couldn't be more clear, right?

In our News section a devastating chronicle by Richard Preston in The New Yorker describing the wake of the Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone. Also a couple of articles about the Tower of David mass eviction in Caracas, Venezuela. In our Design, Business & Innovation section, H.R. Hennessy share his thoughts on how we are being dragged towards a tech-utopia that nobody wants, and to accompany our new section a mini test to find out how fluent are you in 'emoji'. Our Culture & Entertainment section is packed with goodies: Dazed Magazine's summer project: State of Independence curated by Kenneth Goldsmith, BFI's list of the best documentary films, and 'Emoji Among Us'. Yes, this is an edition particularly filled with emojis, I should have written all the editorial with them. In Our weekly Procrastination we talk about the wonders of the Magritte Museum in Brussels where we went a week ago. And finally, In Dog We Trust introduce us to Franklin the Frenchie, whilst the video of the week show us how dogs react to humans barking.

Happy August, happy Sunday and happy reading!


Graphic via Quartz.

Richard Preston, author of “The Hot Zone,” describes the tragic wake of the latest Ebola outbreak in West Africa. "This spring in West Africa, a muttering emergence of the Zaire species of Ebola virus turned explosive. As of this writing, more than thirteen hundred cases of Ebola-virus disease have been officially reported in Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Liberia. The virus is spreading, uncontrolled, in widening chains of infection, which include cities—something never seen before. In Liberia, parts of the medical system have effectively collapsed. Some hospitals and clinics have been abandoned, while others have become choked with Ebola patients. The hospitals of Monrovia, the capital of Liberia, are full of Ebola patients and are turning away new patients, including women in childbirth. American Ebola experts in Monrovia are hearing reports that infected bodies are being left in the streets: the outbreak is beginning to assume a medieval character. People sick with Ebola are leaving Monrovia and going into the countryside to search for village faith healers, or to stay with relatives. In Sierra Leone, in the town of Kenema, eighteen doctors and nurses who had been working in the Lassa/Ebola ward have contracted Ebola, and at least five have died. They had been working in biological-hazard suits, yet they got sick anyway. People are wondering if the virus could spread to Europe or the United States, but the more immediate question is whether it could infect a whole lot more people in Africa." Read full article in The New Yorker. E.T.P. 3'

**UPDATE (Friday 8th August)**

WHO declares Ebola epidemic a global emergency. "The World Health Organisation on Friday declared the killer Ebola epidemic ravaging parts of west Africa an international health emergency and appealed for global aid to help afflicted countries. The WHO move comes as US health authorities admitted on Thursday that Ebola's spread beyond west Africa was "inevitable", and after medical charity Doctors Without Borders (MSF) warned that the deadly virus was now "out of control" with more than 60 outbreak hotspots. 
The scientists who discovered the virus in 1976 have called for an experimental drug being used on two infected Americans to also be made available for African victims. One of the three, Peter Piot, director of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, said "African countries should have the same opportunity" to use ZMapp, which is made by US company Mapp Pharmaceuticals."

Read full article in Yahoo. E.T.P. 3'

You can also read:

Here are the 35 countries one flight away from Ebola-affected countries. Via Quartz. E.T.P. 6'

Ebola crisis: Virus spreading too fast, says WHO. Via BBC. E.T.P. 3'

US Ebola victim arrives at Emory University hospital in Atlanta. Via The Guardian. E.T.P. 4'

The skyscraper known as the "Tower of David" is seen in Caracas January 31, 2014. Photo: Jorge Silva via Reuters.

View of the Tower of David. Photo: Elyxandro Cegarra via Les Inrocks.

La Torre de David (Tower of David), the world's higher slum situated in downtown Caracas, Venezuela, home to more than 3000 people that invaded the property is finally being vacated. Some have a very romantic vision of that building as a community that emerged in the ruins of the capitalism, others like the Urban Think-Tank architectural agency praise it as a new model of vertical circulation. I think that you have to be very foreign or very cynic to be able to romanticize the tower. My very own personal mini-opinion is that is a just a massive symbol of the country's decadence that incredibly continues to accurately represent Venezuela's government, as the main reason for emptying the tower is believed to be because (among some other things) it was sold to China.

Reuters's article begins like this: "Venezuelan soldiers and officials began moving hundreds of families on Tuesday out of a half-built 45-story skyscraper that dominates the Caracas skyline and is thought to be the world's tallest slum". E.T.P. 3'

Les Inrocks article, like this: "This is the end of what has become a myth. On Tuesday, the skeleton of the Tower of David, known to be the highest squat in the world, down from its 45 floors, began to empty. Residents carry boxes and mattresses in front of journalists. They will be relocated by the government in new apartments. The evacuation could last several months. According to the last census, 1,740 families lived there, or at least 3,000 people, perhaps 5,000." Read the rest of the article in Les Inrocks (in French). E.T.P 8'