"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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Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Links - 9th March 2010

"Humility is the embarrassment you feel when you tell people how wonderful you are." - Laurence J. Peter


Career U. - Making College ‘Relevant’ - "The University of Louisiana, Lafayette, is eliminating its philosophy major... In 1971, 37 percent [of incoming freshmen] responded that it was essential or very important to be “very well-off financially,” while 73 percent said the same about “developing a meaningful philosophy of life.” In 2009, the values were nearly reversed... The Association of American Colleges and Universities recently asked employers... what they want institutions to teach... 89 percent said they wanted more emphasis on “the ability to effectively communicate orally and in writing,” 81 percent asked for better “critical thinking and analytical reasoning skills” and 70 percent were looking for “the ability to innovate and be creative”... With the recession, she says, they weren’t sure the findings would hold. “But it’s even more intense. Companies are demanding more of employees. They really want them to have a broad set of skills”... “The truth is,” she says, “students think too much about majors. But the major isn’t nearly as important as the toolbox of skills you come out with and the experiences you have”"

YouTube - OK Go - This Too Shall Pass - Rube Goldberg Machine version
This is a Rube Goldberg machine among Rube Goldberg machines

Everything You Know About English Is Wrong: Reredundancy Rerevisited: Hoi Polloi - "My favorite such “redundancy” involves the professional baseball team that began as The Los Angeles Angels. That name translates into “the the angels angels”... I find it interesting to note that the Oxford English Dictionary cites seven manuscripts using the phrase hoi polloi over the centuries. Five of the seven references insert English “the” before the phrase. Granted, two references were from learned authors, John Dryden and Lord George Gordon Byron, which would explain the two holdouts. Would, but doesn’t. Both Dryden and Byron use that icky the-word before hoi polloi."
Dryden: "If by the people you understand the multitude, the οἱ πολλοί"

How Your Race Affects The Messages You Get - "Black women write back the most
White men get more responses
White women prefer white men to the exclusion of everyone else—and Asian and Hispanic women prefer them even more exclusively
Men don’t write black women back"
This roughly fits my theory of inter-racial dating.

Summertime Mystery: More Born, Fewer Die in August - "The modern American birth pattern, though common in some other parts of the world, does not prevail everywhere. Births in parts of Europe tend to peak in spring -- just as U.S. births dip -- and generally decline through the rest of the year. Some studies found a secondary peak in September in parts of Europe. Globally, the European-style spring peak in births "has been considered to be a basic rhythm of human reproduction"... the growing ubiquitousness of air conditioning may be altering birth seasonality in the United States"

How US interrogators use music as a tool of torture - "The proponents of torture by music doubtless think they have come a long way since the early 1990s, when the FBI blasted loud music at the Branch Davidians during the Waco siege in Texas. The repertoire then included Sing-Along With Mitch Miller Christmas carols, an Andy Williams album and These Boots Are Made for Walking by Nancy Sinatra... One budding Emcee artfully mixed the sound of crying babies (which humans seem hardwired to abhor) with a television commercial for Meow Mix cat food. Ultimately, though, the most overused torture song is I Love You by Barney the Purple Dinosaur... "Most people who listen to this kind of music don't give a shit about a political message. They just wanna rock""

Billboard Controversy: Signs in Atlanta Say Black Children are 'Endangered Species' Because of 'Too Many Abortions' - "To the surprise of many, the anti-abortionists behind the billboards are black themselves and say they were motivated by a record number of abortions among black women... Catherine Davis, who is also African-American and leads the division, said that while most people think the anti-abortion movement consists of "just old white men, that's not the case""

'White African-American' Suing N.J. Med School for Discrimination - "Born and raised in Mozambique... he was harassed and ultimately suspended for identifying himself during a class cultural exercise as a "white African-American"... he was instructed "never to define himself as an African-American … because it was offensive to others and to people of color for him to do so"... Serodio only labeled himself after his instructors asked him to do so and was then penalized for it... according to the lawsuit, the harassment, some physical, began in earnest. According to the lawsuit, Serodio's tires were vandalized in December of 2006, other students put up posters slamming him and he was denied protection by the school"
"I know that there are people who do not love their fellow man, and I hate people like that!"
A comment: "Only in America do we redefine words to calm the sensitivities of the easily offended"
Serodio on allaboutrace: "I refused to be intimidated and bullied by 4 deans, some 10 professors and (as yet undisclosed) organized harassers that manipulated the institution to destroy what they saw as the opposite political view", and providing the article he wrote

'Equation,' 'Gingerly' And Other Linguistic Pet Peeves - "Saying that you have a pet peeve about "thinking outside the box" or "Your call is important to us" is like saying you have a pet theory that you should feed a cold and starve a fever... Bierce had a gift for discerning usage errors where no one else would have thought there was anything amiss... personal crotchets are presented as the authorized standards of proper speech, as if you could decree the tune the language is obliged to dance to. But the English language doesn't owe anybody a living — it was here first"

More sex education please, we’re British - "I bumped into eight-year-old Carla carefully balancing a dish. It was a sample of her father’s sperm for “show and tell”. In the Netherlands, sex and children aren’t a taboo subject... The country now has the lowest rates of sexually transmitted diseases among young people, the lowest teenage pregnancy rate in the West, the lowest rate of abortion and one of the lowest rates of divorce"

15 Things You Should Know About Breasts - "Don't smoke if you want to avoid saggy boobs"

Ft. Hood suspect was Army dilemma - "Army superiors were warned about the radicalization of Major Nidal Malik Hasan years before he allegedly massacred 13 soldiers at Fort Hood, Texas, but did not act in part because they valued the rare diversity of having a Muslim psychiatrist... Examples of Hasan’s radical behavior [include] his defense of suicide bombings and assertions that Islamic law took priority over his allegiance to the United States... Hasan’s views and behavior were so well known that before he was transferred to Fort Hood in July 2009 a senior health official at Walter Reed informed a counterpart at the Texas base"
Affirmative action harms everyone - even those it's supposed to help.

Politics of the Crypt: Facing the Future with the Habsburg Dead - "Today, though, aside from the monks and the city of Vienna, only a "Society for the Preservation of the Imperial Crypt," with around a thousand members, sees to it that the deposed Habsburgs' Valhalla, at least, still reflects the family's former splendor... Even 90 years after it enacted the Habsburg Law, the Republic of Austria still greets requests from the former dynasty with "limited enthusiasm," in the words of the president of Austria's Federal Monument Office"

Cold days, hot nights: Olympic Village secrets - "“It’s eye candy all the time. Everybody’s checking everybody else out from moment they get there”... the Vancouver organizers have laid in a stock of 100,000 condoms, which works out to 14 for each of the 7,000 athletes, coaches, trainers and officials housed in the Games’ two villages... In 2000, Sydney organizers thought that 70,000 would be enough. They were wrong and had to send out for 20,000 more. Beijing also ordered 100,000 condoms with an Olympic motto: Faster, higher, stronger... no one will go on the record when talking about certain female figure skaters — no home country was specified — who, as one former athlete put it, “really liked hockey players — and I use the plural. I think Sweden was a very grateful country for that”"

PowerDock Multiple iPhone/iPod Charger – for all your greedy little gadget needs - "Dude, if you need a multi-socket charger for four devices like this, then you’ve probably got too many gadgets for your health and well-being. Like four is just greedy innit? Tsk."

Wanted: naughty pagan girls - "[I] love going down like a sinking submarine on beautiful women...
Send a pic,
don't be meek:
time will tell
if we gel."

I Want To Play With This Controller Shirt - "Russian shop MaryJane is selling this shirt for 1290 rubles (approx. $42 USD) for both the men’s and women’s versions. Play with this controller now!"
That's one expensive T-short

Photographer captures amazing images of lions at watering hole after submerging himself for three months - "It came at a huge price for the photographer who was diagnosed with Bilharzia and contracted several parasites which he soaked up through the dirty water in the drinking hole. Mr du Toit was also diagnosed with deadly malaria twice after contracting it through mosquitoes breeding in the pool... 'This worm was actually visible under the skin of my foot and would move at night. It became a game to find the worm in my foot each morning'"

Photography under threat: The shooting party’s over - "In the most spied-on
country in the world, with an estimated 4.2m CCTV cameras tracking our moves, people are now suspicious if Joe Nikon presses his shutter button... “Some of the greatest pieces of photographic art we have — reportage and street photography and cityscapes — wouldn’t be possible if people didn’t have the freedom to go around and take pictures without being stopped”... It’s personal memory and public history, and, say photographers, it’s under threat... Previously the police had at least to cite reasonable grounds for suspicion in order to stop and search you; now they don’t. If you’re wearing a loud shirt, walking on the pavement cracks, or carrying a camera, you’re fair game... "I dislike the idea of government being the only people allowed to take pictures, which is what this appears to be""

Sinatra Song Often Strikes Deadly Chord - "“I used to like ‘My Way,’ but after all the trouble, I stopped singing it,” he said. “You can get killed”... “ ‘I did it my way’ — it’s so arrogant,” Mr. Albarracin said. “The lyrics evoke feelings of pride and arrogance in the singer, as if you’re somebody when you’re really nobody. It covers up your failures. That’s why it leads to fights”... A subset of karaoke bars with G.R.O.’s — short for guest relations officers, a euphemism for female prostitutes — often employ gay men, who are seen as neutral, to defuse the undercurrent of tension among the male patrons. Since the gay men are not considered rivals for the women’s attention — or rivals in singing, which karaoke machines score and rank — they can use humor to forestall macho face-offs among the patrons"

The Straight Dope: Is mass transit a waste of energy? - "Let's compare the average energy efficiency of different methods of transportation, expressed in British thermal units (BTUs) per passenger mile...
Motorcycle — 2,200 with single rider.
Heavy rail (includes subway and commuter rail but excludes light rail/streetcar) — 2,600.
Commercial aircraft — 3,100.
Bus — 4,300.
Auto — 5,500 with single occupant, 3,500 with average passenger load...
If the proposed 35 MPG fuel efficiency standard becomes reality, auto energy consumption with an average load will drop to an impressively low 2,300 BTUs per passenger mile... Buses are more efficient than a passengerless car, but that's about it"
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