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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Links - 22nd October 2014

Japan porn queens raise thousands of dollars from 'Boob Aid' - "A group of Japanese porn actresses raised tens of thousands of dollars at the weekend by having their breasts squeezed by fans at a "Boob Aid" charity event for AIDS prevention... A man was seen pressing his palms together in the style of a Buddhist prayer before and after he softly touched the breasts of each of the nine. Women were occasionally spotted in the mostly male crowd, prompting one of the girls to say in rapture: "Wow, I'm happy. I want her to touch my breasts!" The event was part of a 24-hour "Stop! AIDS" campaign event in Tokyo, which was also televised live on a Japanese adult cable channel... "I'm really looking forward to lots of people fondling my boobs,"Rina Serina told the Tokyo Sports newspaper before the event. "But I would be very happy if you would please be delicate." The bizarre event was staged after sexist heckling of a Tokyo assemblywoman hit the headlines, highlighting old-fashioned views toward women that still permeate Japanese society. "I never thought my boobs could contribute to society," said the ponytailed Serina, apparently unaware of any contradiction. Fellow porn actress Iku Sakuragi had no qualms about being groped by hundreds of pairs of hands. "It's for charity," said the 21-year-old. "Squeeze them, donate money - let's be happy.""

President Barack Obama and race: It's not my job - "As he has grown weary of Washington, President Barack Obama has shed parts of his presidency, like drying petals falling off a rose. He left the explaining and selling of his signature health care legislation to Bill Clinton. He outsourced Congress to Rahm Emanuel in the first term and now doesn't bother to source it at all. He left schmoozing, as well as a spiraling Iraq, to Joe Biden. Ben Rhodes, a deputy national security adviser, comes across as more than a message-meister. As the president floats in the empyrean, Rhodes seems to make foreign policy even as he's spinning it. But the one thing it was impossible to imagine, back in the giddy days of the 2009 inauguration, as Americans basked in their open-mindedness and pluralism, was that the first African-American president would outsource race... Obama has muzzled himself on race and made Sharpton his chosen instrument — two men joined in pragmatism at a moment when idealism is needed. We can't expect the president to do everything. But we can expect him to do something."

Austrian brothel owner has last laugh after nine-year planning battle - "Does prostitution count as "heavy physical work"? Will the presence of a brothel next to a through-road increase the accident rate? How many cubic metres of air are needed for two people to have sex safely? Not questions a judge has to consider every day, but these are the conundrums courts in Austria have been mulling over lately in a farcical battle over a planning application from a pimp."

'Sex drive-in' hailed as success after year-long experiment in Zürich - "Swiss authorities are basking in the afterglow of their decision last year to create a sex drive-in in Zürich, with social services hailing it a success on its first anniversary on Tuesday"

Interpol searching for Malaysian sex blogger Alvin Tan
Ahh... priorities!

Student vows to carry mattress everywhere until her alleged rapist is expelled - "Emma Sulkowicz, a Columbia University student, has claimed she was raped in her bed last year at university by a fellow student. She is one of three women who complained to the university about that student, but Columbia’s dean found him to be not guilty in each case."
Hopefully Columbia has more of a commitment to due process than feminists

Emma Sulkowicz | Rape Awareness | Due Process - "Sulkowicz plead her case to the university. But why didn’t she go to the police? Why rely upon the school’s justice system to take action? Cases like this highlight what seems to be a growing problem in higher education. Professor Jacobson wrote about a similar case in May, also occurring at Columbia. A male former Columbia student filed a complaint with a federal court in New York alleging he was found guilty of sexual assault by university officials based on weak evidence. He also claimed he was denied proper due process proceedings. Legal Insurrection frequently writes about the death of due process on college campuses. Serious allegations would be better be handled by law enforcement equipped to handle them and by a justice system designed to dispense justice as opposed to whatever is most politically expedient."
"I don’t want to deal with the police any more right now. It’s so disorganized, and it’s really upsetting to work with them at all."
Someone: translation "i feelz bad so please serve me justice on a platter"
or more precisely "i prefer the kangaroo court of public opinion as opposed to a legal system in which i know my chances of getting my desired outcome is relatively low due."
so it actually makes sense
she's just choosing the path that will allow her to achieve her means better.
even with the 50.01% burden of proof, she still failed to prove guilt

Not all feminists: How modern feminism has become complicated, messy and sometimes alienating - "By the dictionary definition, the 22-year-old from Melbourne, Australia, is a feminist — she believes in equality for the sexes. And yet, she rejects feminism with a vengeance, brushing it off as a “rude and nasty” movement that is more interested in trashing views that stray from the party line even if, at day’s end, the cause is common. “If feminism really accepted equality, they would not tell me my views are wrong, they would accept it and let me be”... she found Women Against Feminism, a Tumblr page that collects submitted photos of women holding signs explaining why they don’t “need” feminism. A typical sign: “I don’t need modern “feminism” because I am not a victim and I am not a misandrist”... Sheila Sampath, editor of Shameless, an intersectional feminist magazine for teen girls and trans youth, admits she usually has more arguments with feminists about feminism than she does with men. “People have very legitimate reasons to reject feminism,” Ms. Sampath said. “It doesn’t surprise me that the narrative they’re responding to is the dominant narrative. That narrative itself is pretty racist, pretty capitalist and focused only on gender. To be honest, I reject that too.”"

Please Stop 'Burning In' Your Earphones - "Shure has tested some thoroughly used pairs of its E1 earphones, which first launched in 1997. And guess what? They measure the same now as when they came off the line. In fact, during the 15 years Shure has been actively selling earphones, its engineers have reached the same conclusion again and again: The sound produced by these tiny transducers during final testing is the same sound you’ll get in a day, in a year, and in five years… unless something goes wrong... all of this variation gets at the real thing people are reacting to when they buy new head- and earphones: mental burn-in. If you’re used to dark-sounding headphones, neutral ones may sound bright at first until you get used to the new sound. That flexible calibration is how many of our senses work"

5 Reasons Why You Should Take a Nap Every Day - "1. A nap restores alertness. The National Sleep Foundation recommends a short nap of 20–30 minutes “for improved alertness and performance without leaving you feeling groggy or interfering with nighttime sleep.”
2. A nap prevents burnout. In our always-on culture, we go, go, go. However, we were not meant to race without rest. Doing so leads to stress, frustration, and burnout. Taking a nap is like a system reboot. It relieves stress and gives you a fresh start.
3. A nap heightens sensory perception. According to Dr. Sandra C. Mednick, author of Take a Nap, Change Your Life, napping can restore the sensitivity of sight, hearing, and taste. Napping also improves your creativity by relaxing your mind and allowing new associations to form in it.
4. A nap reduces the risk of heart disease. Did you know those who take a midday siesta at least three times a week are 37 percent less likely to die of heart disease? Working men are 64 percent less likely! It’s true, according to a 2007 study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine. Dimitrios Trichopoulos, of the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, who led the study said, “Taking a nap could turn out to be an important weapon in the fight against coronary mortality.”
5. A nap makes you more productive. Numerous medical studies have shown workers becoming increasingly unproductive as the day wears on. But a 2002 Harvard University study demonstrated a 30-minute nap boosted the performance of workers, returning their productivity to beginning-of-the-day levels."

Count Only Unique numbers in a pivot table - Excel User Group - "Within the data field of a pivot table, I know we can sum, count, average, etc,...but is there a way to get a count of unique entries/numbers there?"

NeuroLogica Blog » Artificial Sweeteners and Diabetes - "A new study published in Nature is getting a lot of press, and it seems making a lot of people worried. The Nature News article discussing the study has the headline: Sugar substitutes linked to obesity. I think this headline is misleading. Here’s a breakdown of what the study does and does not tell us... The scientific community is already starting to pick over the results of this study, and dampen public reaction by putting it into perspective. First, the majority of this work was done in mice, who have a different glucose metabolism, diet, and tolerance than humans. The small study with 7 human subjects is very preliminary, and far from sufficient to conclude that the mice data will be applicable to people. The Science Magazine article points out that the study was published in a basic science journal, and that a clinical science journal would probably have been much more critical of their clinical speculations. Another potentially serious criticism is that the researchers combined saccharin, sucralose, and aspartame data. It seems highly unlikely that three very different molecules would all have the same effect on gut microbiota. It’s possible that what the researchers are seeing is isolated to saccharin alone, which the research focused on. Earlier trials used aspartame, which had a smaller effect so the researchers switched to saccharin... A large European epidemiological trial published last year and involving cohorts with >10,000 subjects found an association between drinking sugary drinks and Type II diabetes. It also found an association with drinking NAS containing drinks, but this association vanished when controlled for energy intake and BMI. In other words, people drink diet soda because they are overweight, not the other way around."

On Death and iPods: A Requiem - "We made playlists that spoke to the lives we lived at the moment. Looking at someone’s iPod was like looking into their soul. In their music you could see who they were. You could tell if they were sophisticated or rough. You could see in their playlists the moments they fell in love and the moments they fell back out again. You could see the filthiest, nastiest hip hop in the little white boxes of the primmest people, and know their inner lives a little better than you did before... Soon there will be no such thing as your music library. There will be no such thing as your music. We had it all wrong! Information doesn’t want to be free, it wants to be a commodity. It wants to be packaged into apps that differ only in terms of interface and pricing models. It wants to be rented. It wants to reveal nothing too personal, because we broadcast it to Facebook and we should probably turn on a private session so our boss doesn’t see that we listen to Anaconda on repeat and think we’re high at work. (Point of information: Why is he on Facebook at work?)... I miss the time when we were still defined by our music. When our music was still our music. I miss being younger, with a head full of subversive ideas; white cables snaking down my neck, stolen songs in my pocket. There will never be an app for that."

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Pro-Choice - what you can Choose

"I am pro choice!"

"Can I choose to smoke?"
"No, it's not good for you."

"Can I choose a large soda?"
"No, it's not good for you."

"Can I choose to own a gun?"
"No, it's not safe for kids."

"Can I choose an incandescent light bulb?"
"No, it's not good for the planet."

"Can I choose low-cost coal?"
"No, it's not good for the planet."

"Can I choose to honor God?"
"No, it's offensive."

"So what can I choose?"
"An abortion."

Monday, October 20, 2014

Links - 20th October 2014

Breast implants: Venezuelan women using 'wrong size' due to national shortage - "Venezuelan women are suffering from a shortage of breast implants due to restrictive currency controls. The lack of brand-name breast implants has made women so desperate that they are using versions made in China, where quality standards are less rigorous. Some women are so keen to have plastic surgery on their breasts that they are even asking they are using implants that are the wrong size... Venezuela is thought to have one of the world’s highest plastic surgery rates, with boob jobs being the most common procedure... "I'm not saying they're not safe, but I've removed more than a few ruptured Chinese implants. I just don't feel comfortable with them"... There are fears that the lack of breast implants will affect Venezuela’s culture of taking part in international beauty pageants. Edna Lerebours, owner of Agencia Eme model agency in the Dominican Republic, told The Daily Beast: “The lack of breast implants will of course impact the future of Venezuela’s success in these contests.” She added that Venezuela’s beauty pageant success is “not only from the breast implants in Venezuela, but plastic surgery in general. Of course it will affect Venezuelan beauty pageant culture because many of the women use plastic surgery to look perfect.” On social media, some people are taking the shortage less seriously. Many are using a Twitter hashtag that riffs on the Colombian telenovela "Sin Tetas, No Hay Paraiso" ("Without Boobs, There's No Paradise")"

If I can befriend 'the other woman' then so can you. Here's how... - "7. In the first instance, avoid the pub and meet for cake, or chips. Booze might make you both belligerent, but it’s really hard to stay cross with someone when you’re both eating carbs.
8. Your friendship will totally freak out your ex. You’re allowed to enjoy that feeling.
9. However, when your ex suggest a threesome, as mine did, you must threaten to throw them in the nearest large body of water.
10. Wait until your relationship is solid before you make any quips about having deliberately given your ex an STI to pass on to her."

Cheating boyfriend confronted at airport by his 3 girlfriends - "They shouted at him as he came through customs, calling him a 'liar' and a 'cheat'. Fisher reportedly 'froze', before 'running to his granny' and being driven away in her car... The three women are now friends and told MailOnline that they're planning to meet up and have a couple of nights out. Said Connery: "we can't think what we saw in Charlie in the first place""

Study: Couples who smoke marijuana are less likely to engage in domestic violence

When Scientists Give Up : Shots - "Glomski's problem was that he could only get funding to do very predictable, unexciting research. When money gets tight, often only the most risk-averse ideas get funded, he and others say... Instead of helping society improve its defenses against deadly anthrax, he's starting a liquor distillery, Vitae Spirits. He's actually excited about that. It's a big challenge, and it allows him to pursue an idea with passion, rather than with resignation.

For Brazil’s sex workers, a World Cup brothel boom turns to bust - "Brazil has had a reputation for debauchery since the first Portuguese explorers arrived and sent titillated letters full of descriptions of naked and shameless indigenous people. It became, eventually, a part of the national identity – some nonspecific quality of sexiness that all Brazilians, but women in particular, are said to possess, brewed from the tropical climate, the mesmerizing natural beauty, and stereotypes about race and the mixing of it... people, both foreign and local, have a fascination with the range of skin tones in Brazil, and the sexual mixing it implies, both historical (between European masters and African slaves) and current. It may no longer be socially acceptable to voice these ideas over dinner but they haven’t really changed, she said: the darker a skin tone is, the more sexually available, skilled and interested a person is assumed to be... Before the Cup, there were dark predictions from anti-trafficking organizations that tens of thousands of people, including children, would be moved into and within Brazil to cater to sex tourists. It was enough of a concern for government that President Dilma Rousseff warned that Brazil welcomed visitors but was “ready to act against sexual tourism.” Those fears of mass trafficking were ridiculous, according to Thaddeus Blanchette, an anthropologist focused on sex work at the Federal University. “You have waiting lists to get taken on at the termas that are two years long,” he said. “They called up their reserve list in anticipation of the Cup. They didn’t need to traffic anyone in here”... from 2004-2007 fewer than 1 per cent of cases of sexual exploitation reported involved a foreigner and that the vast majority of cases of sexually abused children involved an adult known to them, suggesting that the high-profile focus on trafficking was misdirected. “Men don’t go to brothels to dominate women; they go to [act out their] perform masculinity,” he said. “And if you’re already there in the stadium drinking loads of beer, cheering with all your friends, you don’t need to go to a brothel.” Many tourists paid the $75 admission fee for the higher-end establishments “for the experience” and taking the brothel selfie, but not paying the additional $200 to have sex with a woman upstairs, he added... For Ms. da Cruz, the stereotype of Brazilian women is just one more demand of her job. “It’s a lot of pressure – men who come here with the idea that Brazilian women are hotter, they’re better in bed. I have to pretend I’m [having an orgasm] for them, they expect that.”"

‘Hook-up app’ numbers spike in Brazil - "“My friends have been stalking gringos like jaguars,” she said. “They don’t care what they look like, they just want a gringo.” She paused. “But a lot of them are really cute.” Her friends don’t speak English, and the gringos don’t speak Portuguese. “But they don’t mind that. They say it’s even better that way.” Ms. Costa has so far been out with an American and a Frenchman she met on the app, and met an Argentine and an Italian in bars. The first two were nice enough – but the Frenchman shoved his face in her cleavage and the Argentine was only interested because she fulfills a stereotype of a curvaceous mixed-race Brazilian women, she said. In the end, she’s not sure there is any point pursuing gringos. “They’re all men: They’re all the same below the waist, aren’t they?”... His last night in Curitiba, after the game, his phone battery had died and he was left wondering how he would figure out the way back to his AirBnB crash pad. But then a young woman called his name out a car window: She recognized him as a “match” from Tinder, he said, and she got him home just fine."

Al Qaeda's new Indian branch attacks Pakistani frigate instead of an American ship - "Ten heavily armed militants from the terror cell had planned to storm an American military vessel in Karachi's sea dock - but found a Pakistani naval frigate in it's place. The men were easily overwhelmed before they could do any damage, investigators said, with three of the militants killed and the remaining seven arrested... News of Al Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent's failure to successfully carry out the terror attack has been met with mockery by ISIS sympathizers. Extremists took to Twitter to brand the group 'out of date' and condemned it for committing terror attacks without ever attempting to seize territory."

(NSFW) Thai woman commits suicide by leaping into crocodile pond

Chinese woman's virginity violated by married man leads to $5000 compensation - "A married Chinese man has been ordered to pay 3000 pounds ($4880 USD) compensation to a woman for ‘violating her right to virginity‘ because he pretended to be single when they slept together... A woman who called herself Su Qinglian would also reflect: ‘Chinese law still has a saying about virginity rights — that’s really sexist.’"
Is Su Qinglian blaming the plaintiff for perpetuating sexism?

Fake links to nude celebrities crash New Zealand Internet

How big was Marilyn Monroe & what size dress did she wear - "A strange mythology has sprung up over actress and model Marilyn Monroe's dress size. For decades people said Marilyn Monroe was a size 12 back in the 1950s. However, in more recent years, Elizabeth Hurley (2000) and Roseanne Barr (1996) have claimed Monroe was a size 16. ( This notion has become popular with overweight women who justify their size 12s, 14s and 16s as making them the same size as Marilyn Monroe. However, one only has to look at old newspaper photos to question the "plus-size Marilyn myth." We've all seen Monroe in movies and photos with her voluptuous chest and hips... and slender, even delicate, arms, legs, neck and waist. Although her weight fluctuated slightly over the years, is it possible her dainty hour-glass figure was ever a size 16? Google offers a page of links to this same quote: "Her measurements were recorded by her dressmaker as 36-23-37 and sometimes fluctuated between that and 36-24-37.""

Majority of French drinkers say they know little about wine, poll finds - "Most French people do not consider themselves knowledgeable about wine and 43% say they know nothing at all.. In May, the International Organisation of Vine and Wine (OIV) suggested American drinkers had overtaken the French in wine consumption for the first time. US drinkers consumed 2.91bn litres in 2013, while French consumption fell to 2.8bn litres. Italy (2.2bn litres), Germany (2bn litres) and China (1.7bn litres) completed the top five wine-drinking countries."

'Offensiveness' and children’s books: censoring ‘slut’ from a Roald Dahl classic - "Though Aldi acted to prevent potential parental backlash, the reaction to the removal of Dahl’s book has been overwhelmingly negative. Over 90% of respondents in a Fairfax media pollbelieve Aldi acted wrongly, and there have even been calls for a boycott of the supermarket. Many parents are concerned by inappropriate products being marketed toward minors, as when youth-oriented jewellery outlet Diva was criticised for selling a Playboy range of jewellery in 2011. However, adults also don’t like the cultural touchstones of their own childhoods being tampered with. When original 1970s episodes of Sesame Street were released on DVD in 2007, they were sold with an adults-only warning label indicating that they “may not suit the needs of today’s pre-school child”. Adults who had been raised on a Cookie Monster who did not know the meaning of a “sometimes” food were offended that their childhood viewing could be considered harmful... Golliwog characters were removed from editions of the Noddy series in the 1980s. References to the titular character and Big Ears sleeping in the same bed have also been expurgated. In the mid-1990s, the Faraway Tree books saw the spank-happy schoolteacher Dame Slap sanitised into Dame Snap, and characters Dick and Fanny can no longer prompt sniggering fits as Rick and Frannie. As with the complaints about the use of “slut” in Dahl’s rhyme, many people mocked the notion that Blyton’s simply written and ubiquitous childhood books could suddenly be regarded as offensive or inappropriate. Indeed, when it comes to children’s books, almost any form of content could be considered unsuitable to somebody, somewhere in the world. Dahl’s James and the Giant Peach, for example, appears on the American Library’s Association’s list of the 100 Most Frequently Challenged Books of 1990-2000... James and the Giant Peach has been challenged because of its depiction of magic, use of the word “ass”, references to tobacco and alcohol, and for alleged promotion of communism."

Andrew Sullivan on the Politics of Offence and Censoring Words

From the famous bigot, homophobe and religious fundamentalist Andrew Sullivan:

Engaging The T, Ctd « The Dish

"This plea in a university to be free of hearing things that might hurt, offend, traumatize or upset you is an attack on the very idea of education itself. And don’t get me started about “trigger warnings.” So many things worth thinking about, grappling with, and chewing over can be offensive at first or second blush. That’s what a real education is about: offending your pre-existing feelings and prejudices with reason and argument and sometimes provocation. Education is not and never should be about making you more comfortable and more safe within your current worldview. It should not be about accusing someone with whom you might disagree of a hate crime.

And the idea that trans people or gay people are those signing up for this mindless crap is particularly distressing.

Policing language is something no gay person should ever countenance – if only because our language and our speech, as tiny minorities, could be the first to be policed in that brave new world. And what does it say about someone’s self-esteem that they run crying out of a seminar because they cannot handle a simple fricking word (and that they do that, while preferring to be referred to as “it”!). I know life as a member of a sexual minority is not exactly an easy one. But what happened to self-empowerment? Whatever happened to the proud, fearless trans people fighting back against the cops at Stonewall? Whatever happened to the great tradition of flouting all sorts of public norms and parading down main street in full Pride regalia? Or the tradition of bawdy outrage perfected by generations of drag queens, gay satirists, cultural provocateurs, and performance artists whose goals often include the salutary impact of – precisely – offense?

All of this is to be buried in a ghastly, quivering, defensive crouch of affirming claptrap, with trans people whining to teacher that someone said a naughty word, and incapable of taking in even a completely benign discussion without collapsing into trauma and tears. There is only one word for this and it is pathetic."


On labelling people 'bigot':

What’s In A Bigot? « The Dish

"I once described the goal of Virtually Normal - written at a time when marriage equality was still a joke to many – as getting past the dynamic of one side yelling perverts and the other side yelling bigots. That has some emotional satisfaction for both sides, but it achieves nothing, and closes dialogue, rather than opening it. And dialogue is what supporters of marriage equality should always want – because our arguments are so much better. Another reader backs me up:

'I have a lot of sympathy for the idea that not every opponent of gay marriage is a bigot. The problem is that I don’t think there is a simple binary between good people who respect gay people and therefore accept marriage equality and evil people who wish to take away the fundamental right of a loving couple to marry'...

People are usually much more complicated that one word “bigot” can convey."

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Links - 15th October 2014

Student Dies of Heart Attack Looking at Erotic Magazine at Sperm Bank - "The case came to light after the man's family took the sperm bank to court, saying that they were responsible for his death. The court ruled that Zheng, 23, a former medical student at the hospital, was ultimately responsible for deciding how many times he wanted to visit the sperm bank. The court heard how he signed up to the programme in 2011, and made four visits to donate to the centre's sperm bank in 10 days. His family demanded £500,000 in compensation, saying that they had pressurised him into taking part in the programme, and had failed to treat him properly when he was found unconscious."

50 Things to Eat in Singapore Before You Die 2012 | I-S Magazine Online
Why all atas food ah?

Nude model photo leaks (Part I): S'pore models tricked into stripping for camera - "“At the end of the shoot, he said, ‘Why don’t you just do 10 minutes of nude shoots, and I’ll pay you $200 more’,” she said, opening up about her story for the first time to Yahoo Singapore. “Honestly, $200 for 10 minutes — to a student (like me), that’s really a lot.”
She was desperate for the money at that time, too as two ex-boyfriends had cheated her of her savings, and a former employer had not paid her more than $1,500 from a previous part-time job she did.
It was awkward, she said, but she told herself to endure it, reminding herself that it was just 10 minutes. “It’s like lighting up a cigarette and waiting till it finishes burning — it’s that kind of time frame, 10 minutes. So I just endured it, got it over and done with, and then rushed to the toilet to get my clothes back on,” she added."
Presumably it's not being "tricked" only if you're not paid

Nude model photo leaks in Singapore (Part II): Why they happen, why victims keep quiet - "Seah points out that there are bad eggs on both sides — he has learned of instances where models have manipulated photographers and nearly gotten them into trouble, hence the importance of contracts, which will protect both parties. “There was a girl who went to a friend’s house, and said she wanted to try nude photography… so he took the photos, said they were not nice and deleted the shots in front of her, saying, ok, I’m not going to keep these photos because they didn’t work out,” he shared. “The next day, this girl reported him to the police, saying he forced her into nude photography… and he had no proof that she was the one who wanted to do the shoot.”"

Bloomberg's folly : Columbia Journalism Review - "In a stroke, Bloomberg was becoming an important player in international news—and now, just as suddenly, it has tainted its corporate identity and journalism brand to a degree that could last for years. All because of its China coverage... The defining moment, however, the one that has dealt the deepest shock to Bloomberg and may affect it for years, was a widely reported speech by the company’s chairman, Peter T. Grauer, who in March said, in effect, that Bloomberg had gotten carried away with its investigative journalism in China to the detriment of its true vocation: selling computerized terminals that provide financial information... while Hong Kong’s Ming Pao newspaper had done the first detailed reporting on high-level elite corruption involving Bo Xilai, Bloomberg was the first foreign news agency to touch the Xi Jinping family’s business interests and thus broke completely new ground. “We got exclusive stuff, and that really got people excited,” he added.

Wimbledon pays equal prize money - "Roger Federer, the 2006 men's champion, earned £655,000 while Amelie Mauresmo took home £625,000 for winning the women's title. The All England Club had previously defended the difference by saying that women had best-of-three-set matches while the men had best-of-five contests.
Equal pay for unequal work. Most feminists: silence (an exception)

Women's prisons should close, says justice taskforce - "Women should not be sent to prison and should instead serve community sentences, according to a new report by the Women's Justice Taskforce."
Women's Justice = sending men to prison, but not women
Comment: "I thought this site promoted feminism and equality?
If someone is found guilty of a crime that warrants a custodial sentence their gender should be of no consequence. To suggest otherwise is extraordinarily misogynistic. At best you're validating the notion that women are all delicate little flowers who need to be treated in a special way lest their fragility result in them suffering. At worst you're saying that women who break the law should be held to a lesser standard of responsibility for that than men who do the exact same thing."
Feminists: silence

Downloading Games Might Not Be Better for the Environment After All, Study Finds - "There is an exception to this: games that are less than 1.3 GB in size prove to have a lower footprint when downloaded. Factors like increased Internet speeds will have an effect on the situation as time goes on, but the study also notes the increasing file sizes of games may offset that. Likewise, consumer behavior--like taking the bus or driving to the store to buy a game and nothing else--also plays a role in how much better physical distribution is for larger games."

He knew his vote would sign their death warrant - "Not a day goes by that newly retired Navy SEAL Marcus Luttrell does not think about the two goat herders he and three comrades encountered on a late June day in 2005 while searching Afghanistan's border with Pakistan for an elusive Taliban leader. Stealth is the tradecraft of the elite special forces soldiers, and that element of surprise was compromised when the herders approached the unit, Luttrell said during an exclusive interview Tuesday on TODAY. The team members had to make a quick decision: Kill the herders, or let them go and risk giving away their position to the Taliban. The men of Seal Team 10 made the decision that comported to the rules of engagement, but it ended up costing the lives of Luttrell's best friend, two others and 16 more servicemen who tried to rescue them. They let the herders go... Executing the Afghanis would have been illegal, under U.S. law, and could have exposed the American soldiers to prosecution back at home. The alternative was to let them go, and risk tipping their hand to the enemy. And that's exactly what happened."

The 6 Worst Things About iTunes

Why I Hate iTunes, and You Should Too - "iTunes, and more importantly the iTunes music store, was in its time a marvel. It made music available on demand—and as single tracks, not on costly CDs—at a price lots of people were willing to pay. But the software soon became the biggest pain point in your computer system. Adam Lashinsky at Fortune has the rundown here about how iTunes morphed from a music file manager into a “TV, DVD player, radio, DJ, college class and software store.” And, I’d add, Thing That Makes Me Terrified to Plug My iPhone Into My Computer. Click on that sync button, and there goes your afternoon.

Apple iPhone, Black Friday Deals: Why We Wait for Hours to Buy Stuff - "For the most part, consumers aren’t waiting in line for logical reasons. They aren’t there to get the absolute best prices, nor (limited edition Nikes notwithstanding) to get their hands on a scarce, highly valuable commodity. What is it, then? Consumer analysts and marketing researchers offer this explanation, which is puzzling to those of us who try to avoid queues like the plague: Waiting in line is fun, and makes you feel good about yourself."

Women at their 'most attractive' at 30, men at 34, survey says

Aborted babies incinerated to heat UK hospitals - "The bodies of thousands of aborted and miscarried babies were incinerated as clinical waste, with some even used to heat hospitals"

How to set a honey trap - "Despite what you see on James Bond, most femme fatales don’t approach an espionage target and start fluttering their eyelashes wildly. As Professor Wolff says, “You can’t just deliver a flood of very attractive Russian females – somebody will of course notice". Instead, many engineer a chance meeting... The most successful acts of seduction aren’t quick flings but long-term emotional manipulations, where the target often believes that they’ve fallen in love. After World War Two, there were far more women than men in West Germany, and so the East German government sent “Romeo” spies to entrap lonely secretaries. In some instances, the spy married his target and admitted that he was a double agent – but working for a friendly country. “Romeo” would tell his wife that his government was worried that West Germany wasn’t being completely honest – could she provide a few details to keep his boss happy? These marriages could last for decades. In the ‘60s, a communist mole who had infiltrated the CIA gained his colleague’s trust through wife swapping. Free love helped Karl and Hana Koecher get to know important CIA officials, and they then passed information onto the KGB. Meanwhile a French diplomat, Bernard Boursicot, was seduced by Chinese secret agent Shei Pei Pu – whom Boursciot thought was a woman, but was in fact a man. The pair were together for 18 years, and Shei Pei Pu even convinced Boursciot that he was pregnant and had given birth to their son. Having sex for your country may not sound like the most patriotic act, but spy agencies believe that seductive espionage can be a valuable way of ensuring national security. As Oleg Kalugin, a former KGB general, once said: "In America, in the West, occasionally you ask your men to stand up for their country. In Russia, we just ask our young women to lay down.”"
No wonder Singapore's SIB interview asks if you're into swinging

Lingerie brand Tezenis removes 'Crime Scene' knickers after outrage over 'rape' connotations
Comments: 'So we used to have feminists burning their bras, now we have them removing their knickers. Why didn't Tezenis just tell Radhika to get a life ?'
'Seriously? Rape? What? Am I the only one who gets absolutely no connotation of rape from this whatsoever, the only time I would think it had a connotation of rape is now that several perma-offended harridans on Twitter have said they think it's about rape. My initial reaction was that the connotation was of skid marks. Not rape.'
'If I had read the slogan without first knowing that someone thought it was to do with rape, I would have thought it was to with the general sexual 'naughtiness' associated with that part of the body. It is using sexual fun as a selling point.'
Whatever happened to: 'If you don't like it, don't buy it' (the usual liberal response to censorship)?

Revealed: identity of Fifi the stunning wartime spy - "For decades, the existence of a Second World War secret agent codenamed ‘Fifi’ was dismissed as fiction. Security chiefs laughed off stories of a beautiful blonde employed as an ‘agente provocatrice’ to tempt British trainee spies into giving away secrets. Almost 70 years later, Fifi’s existence has been confirmed and her identity disclosed. She was Marie Christine Chilver, hired at 22 by the wartime Special Operations Executive and employed in a role so covert that it was known to only a handful of people... Posing as a French journalist – she was fluent in several European languages - she was tasked with charming young trainees and engaging them in conversation over drinks or dinner, gaining their confidence and extracting information from them. The reports she wrote decided whether the trainees could be trusted on foreign assignments, and for some she was their downfall"

The PAP IB is getting even more unruly

The FAP Cafe:

A: How the PAP rewarded themselves with 19-month bonuses in 2008 | The Real Singapore

The powerful do not need to be defended. Instead they need to be accountable for the power they were given by the people..... Strangely, there are many here who think otherwise....

B: You were the one who still refuses to retract your statement even though you admitted you got your facts wrong, right?

A: Retract what? I already said I was mistaken about the time etc..... At the end of the day, it's still harassment....

B: Retract or edit your post, or add an afternote, that the police didn't go down to Han's house at midnight, and that no intimidation took place.

C: Bonus? No such thing.

A: Whether or not there was intimidation, I wouldn't know because I wasn't at the interview. And unless you were there, you wouldn't know either.

B: Then on what basis are you making the allegation? In your post, you said there was intimidation, in case you forgotten.

Please don't think you can come here, anyhow shoot and then get away with it.

A: I said it was shameful..... to put a citizen through the experience..... I said it based on what I read, prima facie..... get away with what?

B: Your exact words,
"Han Hui Hui and company being hauled to the police station at midnight and all that jazz... This is really shameful. The police should spend more time catching real criminals instead of attempting to intimidate citizens who are merely attempting to assert their civil rights."

A: How would you like to attend a long interview at the police station for asserting your civil rights, B?

B: Firstly, it was not midnight. Secondly, no one was hauled even at 9.30pm. Han went to the station the next day, based on the time she chose.

C: Crime is crime. Civil rights? What about the children of special needs, their rights?

A: So much water under the bridge. That has already been clarified. I have already said that I was mistaken in those details. But the substance of the whole affair remains true in my judgment.... a citizen who has not committed a siezeable offence shouldn't have to go through all this....

C: Mental scare in the special needs children is a sizeable offence

A: C.... I do not wish to go over that again..... Visit the thread discussing this very issue if you wish.... I had already stated my view over there.

B: No, you have yet to clarify. You only admitted it was 11pm+, not midnight. But there were other facts you stated which were incorrect and not yet corrected.

A: Really? You know that for sure, C?

C: Try for yourself

B: Anyway, thank you for the exchange, Mr A. I can conclude you are not man enough to retract your statement made based on incorrect facts.

A: Go read the thread, C..... I don't wish to be drawn into all that again....

B..... this is absurd.... but do as you wish..... the powerful really need your support.

B: It's your credibility at stake, not mine.

A: It's all there in black and white....

Me: I note that virtually no comments in this thread are relevant to the originally posted link.

Because A has made a mistake once, he must forever be reminded about it and hounded about it in every unrelated thread, from today until the end of time (or until he leaves this group).

Woe, woe! Such Original Sin is unforgivable and uncleansable. Forever, A shall remain outcast, doomed to ring a bell and shout "Unclean! Unclean!" before posting.

His name shall be cursed forevermore. Infants shall learn to dread it. Grown men shall quake at the mere whisper of it. Women will faint and old men collapse in paroxystic spasms.

So let it be written, so let it be done.

Hail, Hydra! Immortal Hydra! We shall never be destroyed! Cut off a limb, and two more shall take its place! We serve none but the Master—as the world shall soon serve us! Hail Hydra!

Using special needs children as a political pawn is pretty low, even for the PAP IB.

COMMENT: Various accounts of CPF protest ‘heckling’ tell a different story - Yahoo News Singapore

"So now that we know there is more than meets the eye to the heckling story, maybe we can start to look at things from a more rational point of view instead of spewing hate on two figures that are already vilified by Singaporeans for causing trouble.
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