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Monday, May 05, 2008

"You know everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects." - Will Rogers

***

China Says Democracy Hurts Kenya - "The election-related violence that has killed hundreds in Kenya is proof that Western-style democracy is a bad fit for Africa, said China... "Western-style democratic theory simply isn't suited to African conditions, but rather carries with it the root of disaster," said the paper, the official mouthpiece of China's ruling Communist Party."
Meanwhile, Chinese-style authoritarianism is not responsible for the violence in Burma or Tibet - it's the evil machinations of the Aung San Suu Kyi and the Dalai Lama!

When does kinky porn become illegal? - "A bill outlawing the possession of "extreme pornography" is set to become law next week. But many fear it has been rushed through and will criminalise innocent people with a harmless taste for unconventional sex... Under the new rules, criminal responsibility shifts from the producer - who is responsible under the OPA - to the consumer. But campaigners say the new law risks criminalising thousands of people who use violent pornographic images as part of consensual sexual relationships... "Do you ban alcohol just because some people are alcoholics?"... "How many tens or hundreds or thousands of people are going to be dragged into a police station, have their homes turned upside down, their computers stolen and their neighbours suspecting them of all sorts?""
Comments below: 'Speaking as a psychologist who has taught for nearly 10 years the alleged links between violent media and aggression, I think we need to take a step back here. Despite popular assumptions that watching violent images 'causes' aggression, the evidence (around 1000 published studies) that it does is contradictory and far from conclusive. It is one thing to say that a deeply disturbed and dangerous person may seek out violent pornography to fulfil their deviant fantasies: however it is an entirely different matter to say that normal, well adjusted people will be inspired to commit violent crimes if they watch such images.'
'If owning material that contains "An act which threatens or appears to threaten a person's life" becomes illegal, then almost every film I own will be illegal. Even if the violence must be in a sex scene I can think of several mainstream films this would include. Basic instinct and Goldeneye to name two.'


'Aqoul: Threesomes: Halal or Haram? - "The fatwa consists of three sections:
1. That no woman should see another woman’s awrah (her private parts, specified incidentally as the area between her navel and knees, the same applies to men) and it is assumed that if there were a threesome both women would naturally see each other’s forbidden areas.
2. That in the hadith it was forbidden to discuss affairs of the marital bed in public
3. That it was an absurd and frankly distasteful idea in the first place
The simplest solution that comes to mind is that the whole sordid affair can be conducted in the dark, which I am sure is how the majority of couples choose to conduct their physical relationships... So, if the threesome is in the dark where the women cannot see each other’s awrah and there is no discussion afterwards, then surely the husband is only fulfilling his duty to treat both wives equally and thus justify his decision for taking another wife in the first place. And Allah Almighty knows Best."

Disney Underwear Ads - Tarzan, Prince Philip, Milo etc in briefs.

Racial Discrimination in Japan - "All peoples are, to one extent or another, racist, nationalistic, sexist, ageist, economic or intellectual snobs, etcetera, etcetera. What changes as we go from country to country is the degree, the frequency, the intensity, the main targets of, and the way the prejudice is expressed... most Japanese landlords will not rent to a foreigner... the Japanese landlords do not normally hang out a “For Rent” sign at an apartment building. They go to a “fudosan”- a real estate agency to help them find tenants. However, try and check out some signs near your local “fudosan”- you can usually see those that say: “No Animals, No Prostitutes, No Foreigners.” Lovely, isn’t it?... Second, there are quite a few bars, hotels, and nightclubs that are for “Japanese Only”. Just like those “White Only” places in the US or South Africa in the times of old; except that in the latter case, worldwide outrage had removed those signs, while the Japanese signs are still hanging just like before, and few people care. You see, the Japanese are not white, so it is OK for them to be racist. Plus most UN human rights activists do not read Japanese and do not hang out near such real estate agencies... There are other annoyances that get under your skin- taxis pass by and do not stop for you. The same thing that Blacks people complain about in the US. And in Japan you do not have to be black for that to happen. Also, you often see people giving out promotional items in front of department stores, and you as a foreigner often will not be given one. They will simply skip you and greet another Japanese behind you."

Show your support for net neutrality, lose your cherry - "The notoriously unorthodox campaigner from Belgium, Tania Devereaux, is offering to make love to every virgin who defends the Internet... 'An unusual amount of today's Internet users are virgin. That's a problem I intend to solve. In history, man has always waged war for freedom. Now it's time to obtain our freedom with love.'... Tania herself isn't unfamiliar with using sex to make a statement. Last year, Belgian politicians made claims of creating 400,000 jobs. Tania, not believing a word, then offered 40,000 blowjobs and ran for a seat in the Belgian senate."

Wrongmodo: Putting Video Cameras in the WRONG Places (VERY NSFW) - "Yes, a camera. I just don't understand how they could place the video camera—with a big honking coaxial cable and a fiber-optics light source no less, no wireless here—inside there without causing a mess and not moving. That's just wrong, no matter how interesting it could be from a scientific point of view. And Mr. Zoltan, please don't get any more weird ideas."
'Disgusting' Chris sent me this

Legal firm bans fishnet stockings because they distract male colleagues - "One solicitor, calling herself City Woman, fumed: "What a total load of tosh. My male partners openly coo when I'm wearing Jimmy Choos, short skirts and nicely cut tops as it all reinforces the image they wish to project about themselves, the people they work with and the quality of bird they've attracted to the partnership... "At my firm, our investment banking clients were always happy to see us girls at negotiation meetings in very short skirts. Our male colleagues were very happy about it too. Do I detect a hint of jealousy among the frumps that can't get away with it?" Feelings were really running high by the time an investment banker put in his two pennyworth. "Fishnet stockings? Are you out of your mind? Which law firm do you work for? Soho Working Girls LLP?" he wrote... "Some of our trainees and newly qualifieds look like lap-dancers. Maybe they're just trying to snare a husband and don't see a longterm future for themselves in the law but I know I wouldn't take them to a client meeting looking like that."... One woman lawyer confided: "I've always found a brief flash of fishnets under a skirt suit a very effective method of tribunal advocacy.""

Farmers strike a pose to promote organic milk - "Tristan Dale, Love-OM farmer demonstrator of the move 'surveying the fields' explains: "Being an organic dairy farmer is hard work. I want to make sure I am as relaxed and focused as possible. My mood definitely transfers to my cows and as organic farmers we believe happier cows produce better milk. "Organic farming, like Tai Chi, is all about maintaining a balance. In organic farming we do our best to maintain a balance with nature and Tai Chi has helped me maintain the inner balance which is reflected my farm." Drawing inspiration from China, where farmers have practiced Tai Chi since the seventeenth century, the FOMG enlisted the services of a Tai Chi Master or 'Sifu' to help teach members the special moves, renowned for bestowing a mood of wellbeing."

Hard lesson for man who wanted a quick romp - "A man looking for a quick fix was mighty upset when his Pretty Woman turned out to be a very pretty... male... Eager to taste her delights, he ripped off all his clothes. He asked her to do the same. She refused, and then demanded to be paid before proceeding any further. An argument ensued and the man grabbed the prostitute. "Let's just say that when he touched her he realised he wasn't touching a woman," said Inspector Moses Maphakela... Soon afterwards the man realised his cellphone was gone. He went to the police station to lay a charge of theft. While he was there, the prostitute walked in to lay a charge of assault against him."

Man’s Best Friend - Weird News Story Archive - "When an elderly couple’s dog fell into a ventilation shaft, someone was there to help them. The Budapest, Hungary, couple watched as a man identified only as Jozsef P. came to their aid by lowering himself down the 20-meter shaft on a rope. The man then tied the rope to the dog so they could pull the animal to safety. The relieved couple hurried off with the dog but, Jozsef says, they didn’t bother to throw the rope back down to him. A passerby heard his dwindling calls for help — four days later. He is hospitalized in serious condition suffering from malnutrition and dehydration."

Africa's Growth Tragedy: Policies and Ethnic Divisions - "Explaining cross-country differences in growth rates requires not only an understanding of the link between growth and public policies, but also an understanding of why countries choose different public policies. This paper shows that ethnic diversity helps explain cross-country differences in public policies and other economic indicators. In the case of Sub-Saharan Africa, economic growth is associated with low schooling, political instability, underdeveloped financial systems, distorted foreign exchange markets, high government deficits, and insufficient infrastructure. Africa's high ethnic fragmentation explains a significant part of most of these characteristics."

Proposal to protect 'fly alone' women: Have letter will travel - "In a move to stop Malaysian women being duped into carrying drugs for international syndicates, the Foreign Ministry has proposed that all women travelling out of the country alone be required to have a letter from parents or employers. Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim said the letter would be a declaration which stated clearly the reason the woman was travelling."
Malaysia Boleh!

The elephant in the classroom - "Schooling in a homogeneous group of students appears to have a positive effect on high-ability students' achievements, and even stronger effects on the achievements of high-ability minority youth. Grouping does not seem to affect negatively the achievements of low-ability youth. Indeed, ability grouping seems to have no consistent negative effects on any group or any outcome we studied. Therefore, we reject the claims of opponents of ability grouping that it is harmful to students' achievements, aspirations, or self-perceptions. Instead, we assert that ability grouping may have positive effects on gifted students' learning, the most important educational outcome, and that these effects seem particularly powerful on gifted minority youth. If grouping indeed has positive effects on high-ability youth and no negative effects on low-ability youth, we can see no reason to support the current trend away from ability grouping. Talents are far too rare, and too valuable for society, to be sacrificed on an altar of blind egalitarianism."

The reason fat people find it hard to lose weight is found - "The difference in the number of fat cells between lean and obese people is established in childhood and, although fat people replenish fat cells at the same rate as thin ones, they have around twice as many... The body constantly produces new fat cells to replace equally rapid break down of the already existing fat cells due to cell death. They also show, that overweight people generate and replace more fat cells than do lean - and that the total number of fat cells stays equal after a diet program... The study shows that the sequence is a third more common in those with Indian Asian than in those with European ancestry. This could provide a possible genetic explanation for the particularly high levels of obesity and insulin resistance in Indian Asians, who make up 25 per cent of the world's population, but who are expected to account for 40 per cent of global heart disease by 2020."
But race does not exist, so the researchers must be racist!
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