Sunday 26 October 2014

The Procrastinator (some) Times Sunday 26th of October Edition


Hello dear procrastinators, I hope you're doing great!

In the news this week we have an article about the researchers in Canada, Britain, the US and Mali testing drugs in the hope to find a vaccine to stop Ebola; a couple of articles about Russell Brand whose name started buzzing again in the news as he is promoting his new book: Revolution. Among other stuff, Brand talks about feeling misrepresented by the current system, governments and institutions, and that's exactly how I felt when I found out that Venezuela, one of the most dangerous places in the world, with a capital where a person is killed every 20 minutes was given a place in the Security Council of the United Nations, that's our third news. Congratulations planet, you're doing a great job.

In our Science & Technology section we share a Vice article where Thijs Roes gets in touch with Professor Brian Cox to talk about the meaning of life, and almost as amazing, a new caterpillar species is named after the Cat-bus of Studio Ghibli's My Neighbor Totoro. In Design, Business & Innovation, the ad industry finally makes peace with crowdsourcing, and brands should look into ways of connecting with us in more creative ways. In Culture & Entertainment, Isaac Asimov on creativity via the MIT Technology Review; great photobooks that great photographers would save from a fire via The Guardian; and the opening of the Musée Picasso in Paris. Have you met a pessimist dog? Read about it In Dog We Trust and meet the lovely Leroy Milo Brown. Finally in Our Weekly Procrastination we spent a wonderful time watching Emiland Guillerme's short documentaries about Thomas Sauvin's project Beijing Silvermine "a unique (crowdsourced-ish) photographic portrait of the capital and the life of its inhabitants following the Cultural Revolution".

As autumn this side of the planet started to get serious, I guess that indoors procrastination is the way to go. Let us know how are you spending your procrastination time. Exhibitions, lectures, restaurants, pubs? Anything goes, as long as it meaningful, and it's even better if you share it with all of us! Get involved!

If you haven't done so, here we are on Twitter. Come on, let's be friends!

Happy reading and happy Sunday! x


Children play in Monrovia, Liberia. The World Health Organisation says that more than 4,500 people have died due to the Ebola epidemic in west Africa. Photograph: John Moore/Getty Images. Via The Guardian.

Mark Honigsbaum, Wellcome Trust Research Fellow at Queen Mary University of London describes in The Guardian the efforts researchers are making to stop the humanitarian disaster unfolding in west Africa – and prevent Ebola becoming as prolific as HIV. "In 1959 the French microbiologist René Dubos gazed into his crystal ball and found reasons to be concerned. In his lifetime Dubos had witnessed the steady decline of diseases such as diphtheria, tuberculosis and polio, but rather than giving him confidence these medical successes filled him with foreboding. Though vaccines and therapeutic drugs had neutralised many of the threats of the past, he warned that humans could not escape the microbes that transmitted infectious diseases, because they were part of the environment and our ecology. Complete freedom from infectious disease was a mirage, he warned. “At some unpredictable time and in some unforeseeable manner nature will strike back.” Read full article in The Guardian. E.T.P. 9'

Photo via The Independent.

This week Russell Brand started sounding again in the media. Vice had a quick schizophrenic chat with Russell Brand. He talked about how his revolution looks like and how we don't have a story that bind us together other than celebrity and consumerism culture, mythologies that really don't help us to connect to one another. Russell's idea of revolution implies working less hours, spending more time with the people you love and being part of a cultural narrative attached to ecology and to the planet as a whole... which doesn't sound bad at all, of course, I'm curious though, on how we actually join that revolution, I guess we will have to buy his book to find out, because as Charlet Duboc, Vice's presenter accurately pointed out the book is not being distributed for free in the streets. Have a look a the whole interview in Vice (includes explicit references of elephant wanking). E.T.P. 11'

The Independent also featured another interview about the release of his book, this time with Evan Davis, the new anchor of Newsnight. "As well as shouting about his utopian stance on social reform, he also admitted he remained perceptive to the validity of 9/11 conspiracy theories.
"We have to remain open-minded to kind of possibility," he said, asked by Davis whether he believed the terror attacks on the Twin Towers had been orchestrated by the American government." Read full article and have a look at the interview in The Independent. E.T.P. 17'

Finally, because of the Newsnight interview, people started trolling Russell Brand by tweeting graphs at him. Here's a quick article in The i100. E.T.P. 2'

Photo via The Guardian.

So, María Gabriela Chávez is Venezuela’s new deputy ambassador at the UN mission. Her only credential is, of course, being Hugo Chavez's daughter. "Despite the Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro’s close ties with Syria’s Bashar Assad and Iran and his support for Russia over the Ukraine crisis, the US chose not to publicly oppose Venezuela’s candidacy this year.
Rights observers expressed concern over some of the newly elected council members. Philippe Bolopion, the UN director of Human Rights Watch, said: “The security council’s new membership could prove more problematic on human rights issues, with several generally rights-friendly countries leaving and others coming on board with poor voting records. “This is particularly true of Venezuela, which has consistently challenged protection efforts at the [UN] Human Rights Council, but also of Angola and Malaysia, which need to demonstrate a more human rights-oriented approach in New York than they did in Geneva.” " Read full article in The Guardian. E.T.P. 2'

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