Sunday 2 August 2015

The Procrastinator (some) Times Summer Edition

Hello dear friends! Welcome to our 2015 Summer Edition of the Procrastinator (some) Times. We have compiled a couple more articles than usual because after this Sunday we enter in summer holidays mood and we won't be around fot a couple of months. We have a bit of everything; from summer reading lists to deep-fried comets. Just have a look!

In our News section, firstly we have a great article on why some cities in the United States are fighting to attract immigrants. Yes, you read right, they really really like immigrants as local governments all over the U.S. are trying to replicate the success of many metro areas with large foreign-born populations that have thriving local economies. 

For our usual quota of Venezuelan news we have three really interesting articles: in the first one, 1984 Nobel Peace Prize Desmond Tutu, urge us not to be misled by news about elections as the government violates human rights, emboldened by the international community’s silence. We already knew that but I won't deny is recomforting that the international community is  s  l  o  w  l  y  starting to wake up from the big fake-socialism spell cast by the late Hugo Chávez. Remember that what's happening is the direct and logical consequence of his government, not a radical detour by his hand-picked predecessor. 

Also in the Wall Street Journal, John Otis notices that political satire in Venezuela is no laughing matter, as President Maduro is cracking down on comedians who joke about rising crime, skyrocketing inflation and corruption... or as we call it in Venezuela: life as we know it. Finally, via Bloomberg, we check ten everyday items that now cost more than the monthly minimum wage in Venezuela.

In Science & Technology we share an article of the New York Times that discuss how screen addiction is taking a toll on children. Also a short article in Quartz that tell you why comets are less like flying rocks and more like deep fried ice-cream. In Design, Business & Innovation, Harvard Business Review share some tips for when the job hunt starts again after the summer because -they say- if your résumé can't capture someone's attention in 6 seconds, you need to fix it.

In Culture & Entertainment we have a nice summer reading list of new Latin American authors ready to demonstrate that there is life beyond Roberto Bolaño and Junot Díaz, while Scott Fitzgerald conjugate the verb "to cocktail". A verb that "ought to be conjugate it at least once" (a day)... cheers to that! You can also have a look at Gabriele Galimberti's Toy Stories, a beautiful photography project created by the Italian photographer where kids show their most valuable possessions: their toys. Fast Company share four things you might not know about M.C. Escher. Finally, of course there's a cat-related article (procrastinators' favorite animal) because the Museum of the Moving Image in Queens is opening an exhibition about how cat videos took over the Internet.

In Culturetas, Yamily Habib shares a very interesting piece on politics and identity inside a hetero-normative where the pair male-female is the “normal” standard, miss-conceiving the adjective as a proportional to “common”, leaving aside the options kept in the margins of what produces immediate reproduction among other things. Interesting, complex, and perfectly timed. 

Our friends of In Dog We Trust share with us a very summery guide on how boating with your dog, some summer looks from Bodhi, the "Menswear Dog" and an interesting article about how our bond with dogs may go back more than 27000 years (!)

Finally, if you are traveling this summer to Paris, London, Madrid, Barcelona, Berlin, Brussels, Zürich, Sydney, Sao Paulo or Ciudad de México, please don't forget to explore our sister-project: Minimaps, as we have some nice routes created by and for travelers and/or locals like you. Have a look and experience the city guided by the friend of a friend. Minimaps are free to download and print (:

I hope you enjoy your summer holidays, I intend to do so as well! See you à la rentrée! (:


NEWS: Why American Cities Are Fighting to Attract Immigrants

Photo via The Atlantic.

"Immigrants take our jobs. They don’t pay taxes. They’re a drain on the economy. They make America less … American.
You’ve probably heard all of these arguments, especially with the country recovering from a financial disaster. Indeed, they’ve been heard for a century or two, as successive waves of immigrants to this nation of immigrants have first been vilified, then grudgingly tolerated, and ultimately venerated for their contributions.
This time, too, there is ample evidence that immigrants are creating businesses and revitalizing the U.S. workforce. From 2006 to 2012, more than two-fifths of the start-up tech companies in Silicon Valley had at least one foreign-born founder, according to the Kauffman Foundation. A report by the Partnership for a New American Economy, which advocates for immigrants in the U.S. workforce, found that they accounted for 28 percent of all new small businesses in 2011." Read full article in The Atlantic. E.T.P. 8'

NEWS: Human-Rights Abuses & No Sense of Humor

Photo via The Wall Street Journal.
"The Venezuelan government announced last week that it will hold parliamentary elections on Dec. 6. This news wouldn’t have attracted much attention if it weren’t the result of a 30-day hunger strike by imprisoned opposition leaders Leopoldo López and Daniel Ceballos. It is encouraging to see the Venezuelan government make motions toward respecting democracy—but a true election cannot be held when more than 75 political prisoners languish in jail.

Venezuela must be held accountable for its human-rights abuses. We can start by speaking out against the imprisonment of the numerous opposition figures. Unfortunately, important voices—namely, Venezuela’s neighbors in Latin America—have remained muted.

This reluctance to take a stand is startling. Venezuela’s economic and security situation is dismal, as is the government’s response to citizen frustration. Since the 2014 street demonstrations, during which hundreds of thousands of Venezuelans protested against the corruption and repression that plague the country, President Nicolás Maduro’s government and state-sponsored thugs have killed at least 43 people and arrested more than 3,000." Read the rest of Desmond Tutu's article in The Wall Street Journal. E.T.P. 3'


"Standup comics here say they have no shortage of material: the president claims to have talked to a bird, one political candidate said Tylenol grows on trees and, amid shortages of a key bathroom staple, the National Guard occupied a toilet paper factory.
But using such absurdities in comedy sketches is getting harder amid a government clampdown on political satirists.
Some humorists have been blacklisted by state-run theaters and hotels, and local governments in several towns won’t even allow them to perform. Comedy programs that poke fun at the government have disappeared from Venezuelan TV. A few humorists have given up and moved abroad.
“It is getting worse every day,” said Emilio Lovera, whose satirical TV program, “Misión Emilio,” was abruptly canceled last year. “I can no longer work on television.”
Comedians here aren't calling for an anti-government uprising. But their pointed barbs about rising crime, skyrocketing inflation and corruption invariably paint President Nicolás Maduro as bumbling and morally bankrupt at a time when his socialist government is showing less tolerance for dissent. His administration has jailed opposition politicians, violently put down street protests and pressured independent news outlets with lawsuits and fines." Read full article in The Wall Street Journal. E.T.P. 6'