The Monocle Minute

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Today’s top stories, opinion and opportunities
Monday 11 April 2016

Image: Evaristo Sa

Latin laughter

Amid all the political turbulence Brazil is facing, the country’s main daily newspaper Folha de São Paulo, has launched a new twice-weekly humour column. According to its creator Rogerio Ortega, “The column will exist until the crisis or the country is over, whatever comes first.” But it’s not just Folha embracing satire: Brazilian television is now full of shows making fun of the political circus in the country. Although there are quite a few dire impersonators of president Dilma Rousseff there’s also some great stuff on offer, including intelligent insights from comedy collective Porta dos Fundos and TV show Ta No Ar by beloved Brazilian comedian Marcelo Adnet. Brazilians are in poor health politically but at least they are using the best medicine.

Image: Mark Lehmkuhler

Tries and tyres

Two of Asia’s tiger economies are going head to head this year, taking on each other’s trophy sporting event in a competition to attract international tourists. Following a rugby sevens extravaganza in Hong Kong, the series moves to Singapore this weekend, which is hosting the event for the first time in a decade. Hong Kong ups the ante in October when it hosts its first Formula E ePrix event along the city’s picturesque central harbourfront, only a few weeks after Singapore’s iconic F1 night race. Both cities will be keen to show off their best sides: Singapore’s new national stadium opened in 2014, while the Hong Kong government is upgrading the city’s roads before the race starts.

Image: Nous Vous

New chapter

London-based design collective Nous Vous – the brainchild of three friends who specialise in illustration, graphic design and storytelling for clients such as Tate Publishing and Hato Press – has plumped for its very own publishing imprint, which launched this month. It’s a way, says (appropriately named) co-owner Jay Cover, to focus their various creative talents and make their own content. The idea is to nurture the imprint and let it grow organically, each new book paying for the next. “We have always had a strong relationship with print and there are things that just can’t be communicated in a digital format,” says Cover. Their first offering is Nature Calls, a colourful collage aimed at parents who want to teach children about peculiar idioms found in the English language (“breaking the ice”, for example, is brought to life by a heavy-footed polar bear).

Image: Andreas Jakwerth

The Monocle Quality of Life Conference, Vienna

Ask almost any architect or savvy urban planner and they’ll tell you that there are far too many plate-glass windows and chilly interiors in modern developments. Not only do they look bland but they can also leave us feeling short-changed on comfort and security. How do we embrace a new vernacular that delivers spaces that leave us feeling better about our lives? Monocle will sit down with the experts — including Ilse Crawford, the founder of Studioilse; property entrepreneur Ecmel Ayral; and Diana Balmori, the founder of New York-based Balmori Associates — to find the answer at our Quality of Life Conference, on from Friday 15 to Sunday 17 April in Vienna. Keen to join in? Final tickets are available here.

From Monocle 24

The Menu: Taming the flame

London-based top chef Ben Tish proves that with the right techniques, barbecue can bring a new dimension to a high-end restaurant experience.

From Monocle Films

Perfect balance: Chiang Mai

What’s it like being a second city? On duty for The Escapist, Robert Bound found Chiang Mai to be an ancient town with a contemporary buzz of bars, bands and boxers, wonderful food and beautiful girls on scooters. It doesn’t feel like it’s in a race with Bangkok – or anywhere else for that matter.

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