Sunday 21 December 2014

The Procrastinator (some) Times Sunday 21st of December Edition


We are here again my friends. This will be -as you might have imagined- the last Procrastinator of the year 2014, and before going into the specific of this edition I have to ask you to really take a moment to reach out to us and tell us what do you like of The Procrastinator and what could we be doing better. If you read us, please take 5 min of your time to give us your always appreciated feedback. This is the only Christmas gift we will be asking from you.

However if you want to give a little more, and considering that the Ebola crisis in Africa is a big part of this edition, here's an article about how you can help in an efficient way. Medecins Sans Frontiers is generally on the top of all the lists about organizations that have been most visible and useful during the outbreak, here's a link to their website. You can also contribute with The School Fund that is a nonprofit organization linking students in the Third World to funders across the globe. 100% of online donations go directly to students' school fees. Or you can chose a different cause to contribute from these NGOs.

Now talking about this last 2014 edition: in our News section we are sharing an extensive report about TIME Magazine's person of the year: the Ebola fighters. And some extra info about the economic consequences of the Ebola outbreak via AFP and Vice. Oil prices falling and the historic announcement of Cuba and the US resuming diplomatic relations, are also in this section.

In Science & Technology, 9 giant steps women made this year and Google is heading for an exit in Russia. Our Culture & Entertainment section is filled with films, reviews, lists and links, because enjoying a good movie is the best holidays procrastination. Also political shock art in Russia and the word of the day. The 32 dog selfies that changed the world in 2014 (!) and the amazingly cute Juntowa in this week's In Dog We Trust by La Guía del Perro. And finally we asked our friends, contributors and fellow procrastinators about the books they loved the most procrastinating with during 2014 and we made a list! Have a look for interesting reading options to procrastinate with in 2015 and if you want you give us your recommendations in the comments, go on share the joy of meaningful procrastination!

I hope 2015, the year of the goat (and any other way you'd like to name the immediate future), will be a great year where a lot of things start falling into place after a very hectic and chaotic and definitely exciting 2014. I know it will be awesome and I hope you feel that way too!

Merry everything and happy reading!


‘Ebola fighters’ have been named as the Time magazine person of the year for 2014 for their “risk, persistence and sacrifice” in the battle against the disease outbreak that has killed more than 6,000 people, reports The i100. Nancy Gibbs, editor of Time commented: "The rest of the world can sleep at night because a group of men and women are willing to stand and fight. For tireless acts of courage and mercy, for buying the world time to boost its defenses, for risking, for persisting, for sacrificing and saving." Have a look at the full report (large article and a couple of videos 11' and 6') in Time magazine. E.T.P. 1 hour.

Also, Vice's Samuel Oakford and Kayla Ruble wrote on Vice how the economies of Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone Have Been Wrecked by Ebola. "Months before the Ebola virus crossed over the border from neighboring Guinea, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon described Sierra Leone as "an inspiring experience for international peace-building efforts." The country, ravaged by a civil war that spanned the 1990s and early 2000s, was seemingly on track for economic growth and social stability." Read full article on Vice. E.T.P. 7'

Finally AFP reports that up to one million can be facing hunger in Ebola-hit countries. "Border closures, quarantines and crop losses in West African nations battling the Ebola virus could lead to as many as one million people going hungry, UN food agencies said on Wednesday. The deadly haemorrhagic fever that has killed 6,800 people has severely disrupted daily life in the worst-hit nations of Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone, the latter two of which have gone so far as to ban Christmas celebrations. The UN Food and Agriculture Organization and the World Food Programme said the disease and the resulting restrictions had "caused a significant shock to the food and agriculture sectors in the affected countries". Read full article in Yahoo. E.T.P. 2'

Photo via

The late Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez helped keep the Cuban regime propped up, but that's not possible in an era of low oil prices, writes Girish Gupta in Time Magazine. "It is likely not a coincidence that talks between the United States and Cuba—which culminated yesterday in an announcement that the two countries would begin to resume full diplomatic relations—began just after the death the former Venezuelan president who had bankrolled Cuba’s Revolution.

Photo via The Economist.

"THE oil price has fallen by more than 40% since June, when it was $115 a barrel. It is now below $70. This comes after nearly five years of stability. At a meeting in Vienna on November 27th the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries, which controls nearly 40% of the world market, failed to reach agreement on production curbs, sending the price tumbling. Also hard hit are oil-exporting countries such as Russia (where the rouble has hit record lows), Nigeria, Iran and Venezuela. Why is the price of oil falling?" The Economist explains it, read full article here. E.T.P. 3'

The Economist shared a couple of days ago the Good Country Index, and index that tries to measure how much each country on earth contributes to the planet and to the human race. "Released on June 24th by Simon Anholt, an independent policy advisor, aims to overcome this. It ranks countries based on how much they do for others globally. Ireland and Finland come on top; Libya is rock bottom. The measure is based on 35 datasets broken down into seven areas, such as technology, health and culture. The idea is clever but the execution is tricky. The index often scales countries on a GDP basis to give poor countries a chance against rich ones." Although the index is flawed is some aspects, it is important (for me) to highlight how after 16 years of ""revolution"" (yes, doble inverted commas), Venezuela is now in the bottom 10 in Technology, Culture, Prosperity and Equality, that means that the contribution of Venezuela in those areas to the world is close to nothing... not that we didn't already know that. Anyway. Find out more about the nuances of this peculiar index in The Economist. E.T.P. 3'


Photo via Fast Company.

"Fast-forward to 2018. That year, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce, the country will have 1.2 million unfilled jobs in the disciplines of science, technology, engineering, and math, known by that increasingly inescapable acronym STEM.
Look at those positions now and the lack of women—a group who make up more than half of the workforce—isn't a problem just for women. The whole economy feels it. And without question, changing gender stereotypes and breaking down what scientists and engineers should look like is a long overdue transformation. The good news is, it's all happening." Read about the 9 giant leaps women made in science and technology this year in Fast Company. E.T.P. 6'

Photo via Quartz.

Google is heading for the exits in Russia and others are likely to follow. "After president Vladimir Putin called the internet a “CIA project,” this was probably just a matter of time: Google confirmed late Thursday (Dec. 11) that it’s getting its engineers out of Russia. According to tech site The Information, which first reported the news (paywall), its 50 mostly Moscow-based engineers will have the option to leave the company or relocate to other countries. Google will, however, keep marketing and sales teams in Russia, and it’s not shutting down its services; on the contrary, company sources have told both Western and Russian media that it plans to up its investment in Russia next year." Read full article in Quartz. E.T.P. 3'


Photo via BFI.

"The best films of the year – the overground, the underground, the widely released and the still emerging, from oldtimers and first-timers – as chosen by 112 of our international contributors and colleagues." Read full list in the BFI website. E.T.P. 6'

Photo via Film Reference.

Open Culture has compiled in its platform 8 Free Films by Dziga Vertov. "We offer a roundup of all the Dziga Vertov movies currently viewable free online, a collection that allows you to watch and judge for yourself whether he and his collaborators succeeded in making a dent in what he called “the film drama, the Opium of the people.” Despite the thoroughly low-tech nature of these pictures, even by documentary standards, you may find yourself moved after having watched them — not necessarily by the Soviet causes he sometimes extolled, but by his cinematic rallying cry: “Down with bourgeois fairy-tale scenarios. Long live life as it is!” Have a look at a couple of films and access the links in Open Culture. E.T.P. something between 10' and 9 hours.

Photo via NPR.

Nice review of Venezuelan director Mariana Rondón's latest film Pelo Malo in NPR. "Pelo Malo" means "bad hair" in Spanish. It's a term that is commonly used in Latin America, and it's also the title of a new Venezuelan film that tackles racism and homophobia . . . Pelo Malo is a rare look into identity politics among Latin Americans, where racism is often a taboo topic. Despite the taboo, director Mariana Rondón says, the term "pelo malo" is common currency. "The origin of the term is very offensive. It's very racist. But it's also true that in Venezuela, we are so mixed, that in every single family there is someone with ... 'bad hair.' We joke that the second most profitable industry, after oil, is hair straightening. Because everyone here wants to have straight hair." Read or listen to the full article in NPR. E.T.P. 4'

Photo via The Conversation.

Russia has seen a surge in such performance art actions while individual liberties have been rapidly diminishing. Performance art has often been used in ways that resemble protest and so it’s unsurprising that it is often perceived as hooliganism. But these very dramatic and public forms of art are actually connected to a long line of performance traditions in Russia that date back to the revolutionary era. Read Chopped earlobes and the long history of political shock art in Russia by Amy Gryzbel, lecturer in History of Art at University of Aberdeen in The Conversation. E.T.P. 5'

Whilst Oxford's dictionary word of the year was vape, which is new okay, but is very much meh,'s one was exposure, which I though it was more interesting. This is why: "In 2014, the Ebola virus, widespread theft of personal information, and shocking acts of violence and brutality dominated the news. Vulnerability and visibility were at the core of the year’s most notable headlines. Encapsulating those themes,’s Word of the Year for 2014 is exposure." Read full article in Dictionary's Blog. E.T.P. 5'


Photo: Juntowa via Instagram.
Hello dog lover! Hope you are having a fantastic weekend.

Here are some links for your Sunday morning:

Enjoy your Sunday! And follow Juntowa on Instagram


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


Dear Procrastinators, this year instead of sharing the reading lists of  The New York Times or The Guardian, we decided to make our own, so we reached out to our friends and contributors (two days ago!) and asked them to share those books they enjoyed procrastinating the most with during 2014. These are the answers we got,  truly great recommendations from fellow procrastinators sharing the joy of reading. Enjoy and add yours to the comments!

2. The Martian, Andy Weir

"All of them are highly recommendable. The first one is dense, more than 800 pages, but it's -give or take- the best book I've read in my entire life. It's about the discovery of the atom, about the physics of the beginning of the 20th century, the world wars, the atomic bomb, etc. Very interesting narrative from a critical point of view. The second book is fiction, it tells the story of an astronaut that ends up in Mars, alone. Very geek, but fun (and I read that the movie is on its way and it'll be directed by Ridley Scott). Finally, the 3rd one, I read it on the middle of my Himalayan fever. It's the real story of an Everest expedition in 1996 that ended up tragically. The author is Jon Krakauer who survived  that expedition and reached the top (he's the same authot of Into the Wild). You can read the book in two days, is one of those you cannot put away (and btw, I also read they'll be doing this film next year!)"

Luis, Geophysical Engineer.

1. My Year of Meats, Ruth Ozeki

2. The Goldfinch, Donna Tartt

"These are two books that are far from being masterpieces but I devored them in few days and they made me stop doing stuff that I should have done... I think that's the Procrastinator's spirit, right?"

Victoria, Illustrator & Animator

"2014's procrastination: Southern Reach trilogy by Jeff Vandermeer (that honestly is one book divided in three episodes.) Imagine a book that condense the adventure and mystery essence of Verne with Lovecraft's strangeness and suspense, the best WTFery of Lost, and X-Files conspiracies involved with the decadent and dystopic spectrum of Terry Gilliam circa 12 Monkeys. Now imagine that everything that does not imply knowing what happened in the 12th expedition and what the hell happened in the X Area are just secondary stories and voilá... perfect procrastination."
Germán, Illustrator & Animator.
1. The Art of Asking, Amanda Palmer.

"One interesting fact is that through her twitter account she connected people that couldn’t purchase the book with people that offer to purchase book and deliver them worldwide for free! Her community of fans is one of the most powerful and enacted I’ve ever seen. And this book reveals a bit about this phenomenon. I think that depending on the eyes you read it with, you can reach different “insights". For me,  the book gives a very personal and artistic explanation on the “economy of sharing” phenomenon." 
Lily, Interaction Designer.
New York.

2. Steal like an Artist, Austin Kleon.
3. Show Your Work, Austin Kleon.
"The first book I discovered it at the library of the Pompidou Center, just after leaving the Henri Cartier-Bresson exhibition. I loved that there was an interview with Elliot Erwitt, one of my favorite photographers. I discovered "Steal like and artist" and "Show your work" both from Austin Kleon, thanks to some friends in England. We were talking about how to promote and sell our work. Also, I just started Mirages: The Unexpurgated Diary of Anais Nïn, 1939-1947. No idea how that book fell into my hands."
Karem, Cinema & TV Producer.

"The only book I can think of is this Murakami one, after which I quit smoking, started running and decided to become my own boss... but that was in 2013." (After that introduction, I think that book deserved to be here, right?) 
Marie, Social Entrepreneur / Playful Pony.

"This year I read a lot of books, but mainly thesis-related ones, these two I found them on a Saturday morning in one of Broadway Market's book shops and decided to buy them as they seemed to have some loose relation with the themes I was exploring (actually I was just looking to procrastinate). Goldsmith's Uncreative Writing turned out to be exceptionally related, and his point of view on writing/copying/re-contextualizing/originality, and all things language related in the digital era in fact ended up giving a whole new twist to my dissertation project. Goldsmith is known for being the guy that tried to print the Internet, and most recently it was mentioned a lot because he will be offering a class at the University of Pennsylvania called "Wasting Time on the Internet". On the other hand Turchi's work -and beautiful maps- helped me a lot when facing the challenge of creating a story, a  universe, specially in a language that is not my own. It's not super extraordinary, but the time I spent procrastinating with this book inspired me enough to start a new project that hopefully you will discover soon! Finally, if you must know, I am fighting with Albert Camus's The Myth of Sisyphus. Maybe this time next year I'll be done with it... maybe not."

Ana, Procrastinator.
The Cloud.

Sunday 7 December 2014

The Procrastination (some) Times 7th December Edition


Hello dear friends! It's already December and you already know that, but come on, this seriously deserves a wow. So, wow! Hope you have some nice, meaningful, warm and sweet procrastination planned for this Christmas holidays. I know I am (:

In our News section; Ferguson verdict consequences and the trick the genius town of Wunsiedel in southeastern German, used to make neo-nazis march against themselves. In Design, Business and Innovation: a privacy lawyer explains what the new Terms and Conditions of Facebook will mean to you; bank notes that celebrate science and not presidents; and a nice article about how to take a productive approach to procrastination via Fast Company and our friend Jorge (obrigada!). Two great articles about the power of melancholy and alter-egos in our Culture & Entertainment section. Nine emerging trends in pet food for gourmet dogs only, and the adorable Beans in this week's In Dog We Trust by La Guía del Perro. And finally, for Our Weekly Procrastination we visited two nice exhibitions of two great photographers: Roman Vishniac and Martin Parr.

As an extra in this week's editorial we invite you to visit the project of our great collaborator, fellow procrastinator and zoanthropic friend Marie: The Pink Pony. A social enterprise that is looking to create meaningful connections between business organisations and local communities in London through play. Sounds fun, right? Well, it is. Visit the brand new Pink Pony website and find out more about this great project and ways to get involved (:  

Hope you have a lovely, festive, and not too cold, couple of weeks. Happy Sunday and happy reading! x


Photo via The Economist.

The Ferguson verdict in black and white: Police officers who sometimes employ excessive force are almost never indicted for it, and such impunity, that in cases like this appears to be the norm, is for saying the least insidious.  "We shouldn't be at all surprised by the grand jury's verdict. While it is generally easy to get an indictment, it is extremely difficult to indict a police officer. This is especially true for homicide, as Jamelle Bouie writes. While 410 "justifiable homicides" were reported by the FBI in 2012, there were virtually no indictments of police for killing people. FiveThirtyEight's Ben Casselman wonders whether the difference is based on jurors being more inclined to trust police; prosecutors being less inclined to make cases aggressively against police; or prosecutors being forced to bring weak cases against police, due to political pressure." Read full article in The Economist. E.T.P. 5' Read also The Ferguson Veredict. E.T.P. 2'

Policemen are standing next to banners of the action group "Wunsiedel is Colorful" along the route of a demonstration by far-right extremists. (Fricke/Agence France-Presse via Getty Images) Via Washington Post.

"For decades, neo-Nazis have traveled to the southeastern German town of Wunsiedel, where Rudolf Hess, Adolf Hitler's deputy, was buried until 2011. The right-wing extremists march through the town in commemoration of Hess year after year, glorifying the horrors of the Third Reich.
This time, however, everything was different: Although Wunsiedel's inhabitants had observed the march from a distance over the past years, this Nov. 15, some of them welcomed the neo-Nazi protesters effusively with rainbow confetti and even cheered for them. . . The group Rights versus Rights (Rechts gegen Rechts) had come up with a new way to protest the annual neo-Nazi march: For every meter the neo-Nazis walked, local businesses and residents would donate $12.50 to a nongovernmental organization devoted to making it easier for neo-Nazis to leave behind their hateful politics." Simply brilliant! Watch the video in The Washington Post. E.T.P. 2'


Photo via Fast Company.

This is a nice Fast Company article sent by our friend Jorge in which Jane Porter talks about Piers Steel's book The Procrastination Equation, a book that we mention in our small manifesto. It is always nice to read people that is trying to rescue the term and the practice of procrastination, for Piers is all about taking a structured approach to achieve productive procrastination, for us, as you well know, is all about meaningfulness.

"Every time you decide to work, the payoff gets evaluated twice: once by the limbic system and a second time by the prefrontal cortex," according to Steel. In other words, it's a battle of impulse against rationality. But while the term "productive procrastination" used by Steel, is a contentious one amongst scholars in the field, some of whom strongly believe there can be nothing productive about procrastination. But there's no question that of the many ways we can waste time, some are far better for us than others." Read the full article in Fast Company and find out the 5 best ways to procrastinate according to Steel, the 6th best, you already know it ;) . E.T.P. 4'

Photo via Vice.

Michael Grothaus of Vice asked a privacy lawyer what facebook's new Term and Conditions will mean for you. The article is concerned "not only with new additions to the Facebook Terms of Service, but the complete Terms of Service, which include some old terms unchanged by Facebook at this time. One new feature is the ability for Facebook to track your location. This ability is contingent on a user's consent." Read full article in Vice. E.T.P. 5'

Image via Wired.

Following the new avant garde design of the new Norwegian notes Travis Purrington, student at the Basel School of Design in Switzerland wants to use money to celebrate science instead of presidents. "What if we used money “as an educational tool?” Purrington wonders. “And not to reinforce such a patriotic bond with the country, but more of a global bond with mankind.” For his master’s thesis, Purrington (who is an American, from Idaho) gave US currency a top-to-bottom, front-to-back overhaul." Purrington proposes to celebrate science, I think that we should also celebrate art, but in any case we are heading in a good direction. Read full article in Wired. E.T.P. 3'


Image via Medium.

Misfit advocate, events-goer amish, wisdom hacker, economist historian and writer Alexa Clay, is woman with multiple personae, that is probably why she wrote a very interesting piece in Medium about the power of alter-egos. "The fun of alter egos is that you get to un-brand or re-mix yourself. We are constantly living in a world with self-commodifying pressures, from the social media sites where we package ourselves to the practice of resumé creation or networks like LinkedIn that ask us to serve up cohesive and linear narratives of our functional time spent on earth. The radical idea that we are living in a constant ebb and flow or that ‘self’ might be an illusion altogether goes against the mechanics of our age where individualism has become the primary interface for interaction — and where homo economicus (the rational, utility-maximizing agent) pre-supposes an atomized ‘I’ for engaging in our economic systems." Read full article in Medium. E.T.P. 5'

Photo The Procrastinator (some) Times.

Maria Povova in her lovely Brain Pickings talks about melancholy and how deeper and darker emotions can empower us creatively. "For one am afraid that our American culture’s overemphasis on happiness at the expense of sadness might be dangerous, a wanton forgetting of an essential part of a full life. I further am wary in the face of this possibility: to desire only happiness in a world undoubtedly tragic is to become inauthentic, to settle for unrealistic abstractions that ignore concrete situations. I am finally fearful over our society’s efforts to expunge melancholia from the system. Without the agitations of the soul, would all of our magnificently yearning towers topple? Would our heart-torn symphonies cease?" Read full article in Brain Pickings. E.T.P 3'


Photo: the great Beanz via Instagram.

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

Here are some links for you:

Video of the week: Sophia grows

Enjoy your Sunday! And follow Beanz on Instagram

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


In November, photography month in France, we attended two nice photographic exhibitions: one of the complete work of Roman Vishniac in Paris, and another one of Martin Parr called Paris, in Lille. Both worth visiting and both ending in January, so you still have time and the free days to do it!

After New York (International Center of Photography, 2013) and Amsterdam (Joods Historisch Museum, April-August 2014), the Musée d’art et d’histoire du Judaïsme is showing Roman Vishniac: from Berlin to New York, 1920-1975. Bringing together some 220 works, many never previously shown, it completely re-evaluates Vishniac’s photography from his beginnings in Berlin until the post-war years in the United States. The expo will be on until 25th January 2015.

Musée d'art et d'histoire du judaïsme
71 Rue du Temple, 75003 Paris.
+33 1 53 01 86 53

Martin Parr's Paris shows us in his peculiar and always refreshing way, a selection of Parisian people, events, traditions, places and clichés. The Festival en plein air, Paris fashion Week, Paris plague, or a game of petanques they're all observed in detail to capture and reveal the absurd, the sublime or the ridicule.

The expo is on until the 21st December, Also, la Maison de la photographie of Lille is a great space that even though is not right next to the city center is well worth a visit!

Maison de la photographie.
18, rue Frémy - 59000 Lille
Tél. 03 20 33 00 22