"Malaysia Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad and the Sultan of Johor are seen in a blue Proton Saga... "When asked whether there is any tension with the sultan, Dr Mahathir said: “No, I don’t see anything because I went to see him and he drove me to the airport. I don’t want to comment on the sultans because if I say anything that is not good then it’s not nice because he is the sultan”"

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Wednesday, December 30, 2009

"There is no fate that cannot be surmounted by scorn." - Albert Camus


Flirting with Disaster: Dating + Cheating: Details - "Although it takes more than sexual experimentation to make a woman gay, there's a particularly cruel irony when a lesbian-obsessed guy gets ditched for another woman... Even among those who've had their marriages destroyed and egos obliterated, it's hard to kill the thrill of chick-on-chick action"

Admitted Cat Killer Sentenced - "A Kenton County Judge has sentenced a Highland Heights man to the maximum of 12 years in prison for breaking into a former co-worker's home and stabbing her two cats to death"
I can see someone getting less time for stabbing humans.

'Jesus-era' burial shroud found - "The researchers believe that the fragments are typical of the burial cloths used at the time of Jesus. As a result, they conclude that the Turin Shroud did not originate from 1st Century Jerusalem."

Facebook mum wins case - "'The email sent by the defendant doesn't contain any defamation. It constitutes criticism so the public will be protected from mistreatment by any hospital or doctor,' the judges said in their ruling. Ms Mulyasari had written to her friends about being misdiagnosed with dengue fever at the hospital outside Jakarta, when in fact she had mumps. The hospital filed criminal charges on behalf of two doctors after the emails were circulated without her knowledge on social networking website Facebook. She was facing up to six years in jail. Arrested on May 13, Mulyasari spent three weeks in custody without charge until public anger at her detention forced authorities to release her and bring her before the courts to face criminal charges"
ST on Twitter's headline was "Mum in defamation suit for criticising a hospital's misdiagnosis of her illness wins case". I knew it wasn't a Singaporean case.

Nicholas Kristof: How to Save the World - "Those of us who care about human rights and global poverty can do a far better job in our messaging. Like Pepsi, humanitarian causes need savvy marketing. Indeed, they need it far more than a soft-drink company... saving a large proportion of a group is very satisfying, while saving a small proportion seems like a failure—even if it's a high number... Unfortunately, the most cost-effective aid interventions tend to be the kind that are incremental and save only a small proportion of lives—and are thus least satisfying to the giver... Readers support [a rape victim who rebounded] because she reflects a story of hope and triumph that makes them feel good... storytelling needs to focus on an individual, not a group... our empathy begins to fade when the number of victims reaches just two. As he puts it: "The more who die, the less we care"... humanitarians often make poor countries sound like unremittingly tragic hellholes full of starving children with flies in their eyes. That's counterproductive... over the years I've learned to focus on individuals in my columns... I learned that readers cared above all about girls, so when I came across a young man with a compelling story, I would apologize and ask him if he knew any girls with similar problems"
The last bit is interesting. People are uncaring about men - even in realms beyond sex-deprivation

Blatant Benevolence and Conspicuous Consumption: When Romantic Motives Elicit Strategic Costly Signals - "Inducing mating goals in men increased their willingness to spend on conspicuous luxuries but not on basic necessities. In women, mating goals boosted public—but not private— helping. Although mating motivation did not generally inspire helping in men, it did induce more helpfulness in contexts in which they could display heroism or dominance... romantic motives seem to produce highly strategic and sex-specific self-presentations best understood within a costly signaling framework... A social role theory might also posit that it is part of the male role to be the provider and part of the female role to be the caregiver. Although our results are consistent with such roles, it would be difficult for social role theories to have predicted a priori why helping is part of the female role in public but not in private contexts; why men spend more money on public but not on private purchases; why men are helpful in heroic, dominant, and philanthropic contexts; why men’s sociosexuality moderates some of the mating-prime effects; and why women primed for mating do not increase their spending on domestic goods to display their abilities as housekeepers"
Translation: Men spend money and endanger their lives in order to attract women and women are nice to others to attract men. And relying only on social role theory gives you rubbish results.

Stoicism: its relation to gender, attitudes toward poverty, and reactions to emotive material - "A scale was developed to test the hypotheses that stoicism would be more prevalent in British men (n = 30) than in British women (n = 32) and that stoicism would be related to negative attitudes toward the poor. It was also hypothesized that stoics would exhibit a weaker emotional reaction to stories that had emotive content. All three hypotheses were supported"
Translation: women complain more than men, but the more you complain, the nicer you are to people in unfortunate situations

Emotional Expression - "The emotions of happiness, sadness and fear are believed to be more characteristic of women, whereas anger has been found to be more characteristic of men... men prefer a problem-focused, rather than emotion-focused approach to stressful situations they encounter... men express less anxious and depressed feelings than women do... [Wagstaff and Rowledge found that] men scored significantly higher than women on stoicism... In a 1976 review of ethnographic data for 60 societies... In 28 societies females were found to cry more frequently than males, however, in no societies were men found to cry more often than women"

True Love - ""A woman unconsciously uses orgasms as a way of deciding whether or not a man is good for her. If he's impatient and rough, and she doesn't have the orgasm, she may instinctively feel he's less likely to be a good husband and father. Scientists think the fickle female orgasm may have evolved to help women distinguish Mr. Right from Mr. Wrong"... Levels of serotonin in both the obsessives' blood and the lovers' blood were 40 percent lower than those in her normal subjects. Translation: Love and obsessive-compulsive disorder could have a similar chemical profile. Translation: Love and mental illness may be difficult to tell apart. Translation: Don't be a fool. Stay away. Of course that's a mandate none of us can follow. We do fall in love, sometimes over and over again, subjecting ourselves, each time, to a very sick state of mind. There is hope, however, for those caught in the grip of runaway passion—Prozac... Anthropologists used to think that romance was a Western construct, a bourgeois by-product of the Middle Ages... even if you just jog in place and then meet someone, you're more likely to think they're attractive. So first dates that involve a nerve-racking activity, like riding a roller coaster, are more likely to lead to second and third dates"

The 6 Weirdest, Scariest Processed Foods - "Once upon a time, some brave scientists had a noble dream of ridding food of nutrients. That dream is closer to reality than ever... This right here may be the pinnacle of processed food magic. Kraft has managed to make a food product without an actual main ingredient, akin to tomato-free tomato sauce or potato-free baked potato. Yes, there are no avocados in Kraft’s guacamole. Then what is it made of, you ask? How about some modified food starch, coconut and soybean oils, corn syrup, food coloring…in other words, you’re eating green-colored oil."

Jesus image appears on banana peel - "‘I put some photos up on Facebook – one of my friends said it looked like a monkey... One of my friends said they saw the Holy Mother on their bathroom door and another saw an apparition of Mary on the mould of their shower floor"

Diner gunman nicked as he scoffs meal after raid - "A DOZY robber was nicked while scoffing a chicken dinner at a restaurant he held up at gunpoint 20 minutes earlier"

Males dressed as maids latest fad for Akihabara cafes - ""Men who are not used to being served by women can feel relaxed and talk to the "maids" easily because they are male"... Before the cafe's debut, more than 100 men applied for a maid position... on weekends he serves at the maid cafe wearing a size 9 uniform, padded bra and fake nails. At 165 cm tall and weighing 51 kg, he has a girlfriend, but she doesn't know about his second job, he said. "I become a totally different person to release my stress from work. I have the feelings of a man and I will quit once I get married," he said."
Damn Japs

iPod generation prefer MP3 fidelity to CD says study - ""I found not only that MP3s were not thought of as low quality, but over time there was a rise in preference for MP3s," said the Professor who suggests the digitising process leaves music with a 'sizzle' or a metallic sound. As with a previous generation's debate over the pros and cons of vinyl and CD, the study suggests young ears at least prefer the tinnier and flatter sound of some digital music over CDs and vinyl... "Some people prefer that needle noise, the noise of little dust particles that create noise in the grooves, I think there's a sense of warmth and comfort in that""

The Good Enough Revolution: When Cheap and Simple Is Just Fine - "It captured relatively low-quality 640 x 480 footage... It had a minuscule viewing screen, no color-adjustment features, and only the most rudimentary controls. It didn't even have an optical zoom... The Flip's success stunned the industry, but it shouldn't have. It's just the latest triumph of what might be called Good Enough tech. Cheap, fast, simple tools are suddenly everywhere. We get our breaking news from blogs, we make spotty long-distance calls on Skype, we watch video on small computer screens rather than TVs, and more and more of us are carrying around dinky, low-power netbook computers that are just good enough to meet our surfing and emailing needs. The low end has never been riding higher... We now favor flexibility over high fidelity, convenience over features, quick and dirty over slow and polished. Having it here and now is more important than having it perfect"
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