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'

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