"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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Monday, April 05, 2010

Links - 5th April 2010

"Last year I went fishing with Salvador Dali. He was using a dotted line. He caught every other fish." - Steven Wright


The Male Brain: More Complex Than You Think - "What happens when a guy is becoming a father?
The hormone testosterone is going down and the hormone prolactin is going up in the male brain, because he is smelling the pheromones of his pregnant wife. Prolactin is the hormone in females that makes breast milk. We don't know what it's doing in males yet. We assume it has something to do with making the daddy brain circuits. By the time the baby is born, he's able to hear infant cries much better. So something about his auditory-perceptual system has actually changed. His sex drive has gone down along with his testosterone. Therefore his brain is being primed to be a caretaker. If he doesn't get some alone time [after birth] with the baby, however, the daddy brain won't develop fully."

Great-grandmother given an electronic tag and curfew for selling a goldfish to a 14 year-old - "Joan Higgins, a pet shop owner, was caught selling the fish to the teenager in a 'sting' operation by council officials. She was then prosecuted in an eight month court process estimated to have cost the taxpayer more than £20,000. Under new animal welfare laws, passed in 2006, it is it illegal to sell goldfish to under 16s. Offenders can be punished with up to 12 months in prison"

Summary of The Power of the Pill: Oral Contraceptives and Women’s Career and Marriage Decisions, by Claudia Goldin and Lawrence F. Katz - "After establishing that pill diffusion among young and unmarried women was at least partially caused by legal changes, K&G show the relationship between pill use and age at first marriage and career investment by analyzing cohorts of women born 1921-1960. Alternative explanations, such as anti-discrimination laws, liberalization of abortion policy, and feminist influence on culture are also considered."

Cleavage can harm your career, study shows - "Elisabeth Squires, author of Boobs: A Guide to Your Girls says woman have stopped power dressing in favour of tight low-cut tops and short skirts. But it could be putting off colleagues and hampering changes of promotion... 'Women understand the power of breasts in general, but they don't understand the power of their own'... A study commissioned by Squires found that displaying too much flesh in the office can be distracting and damage a woman's career. Men who took part in the study where shown photographs of women in a generic workplace in various outfits and with different bra sizes. When asked which of the women looked the most professional and personable, most men picked out women who were discreetly dressed and women with medium-sized breasts"

The Hidden Meaning of Lady Gaga's "Telephone" - "When I first heard Telephone on the radio, I thought the song was about Lady Gaga receiving phone calls from an annoying dude while she’s out in a club... the “telephone” is a metaphor for Gaga’s brain and the fact that she is not answering that phone (her brain) means that she has “dissociated” from reality. Dissociation is the ultimate goal of Monarch mind control. It is induced by traumatizing events, such as electroshock therapy or torture, to force the victim to dissociate from reality. This enables the handlers to create in the victim an alter personality that can be programmed to perform various tasks, such as carrying out an assassination... Gaga and Beyoncé engage into a highly dissociative conversation. It basically sounds like dialogue between two mind-controlled slaves. The phrase “Trust is like a mirror. You can fix it if it’s broke but you can still see the crack in the motherfucker’s reflection” can refer to a cheating boyfriend and can also refer to the permanent damage caused by the fragmenting of one’s personality in mind control"
Wild literary readings have a lot in common with conspiracy theories

The origins of selflessness: Fair play | The Economist - "People living in communities that lack market integration display relatively little concern with fairness or with punishing unfairness in transactions. Notions of fairness increase steadily as societies achieve greater market integration... As societies have become more complex, those that have developed systems of sanitation, transport, energy and so on have been more successful than those which have not. It may be that the notion of fair play is an intangible equivalent of these systems... Participation in [a world] religion led to offers in the dictator game that were up to 10 percentage points higher than those of non-participants. World religions such as Christianity, with their moral codes, their omniscient, judgmental gods and their beliefs in heaven and hell, might indeed be expected to enforce notions of fairness on their participants, so this observation makes sense. From an economic point of view, therefore, such judgmental religions are actually a progressive force. That might explain why many societies that have embraced them have been so successful, and thus why such beliefs become world religions in the first place"

The battle of the sexes: Face off | The Economist - "In a man, the craggy physical characteristics associated with masculinity often indicate a strong immune system and thus a likelihood of his producing healthier offspring than his softer-featured confrères will. But such men are also more promiscuous and do not care as much about long-term relationships, leaving women to raise their kids alone... In environments where disease is rampant and the child-mortality rate is high, women prefer masculine men. In places like America and Britain, where knowing how to analyse health-care plans is more important than fighting off infection, effeminate men are just as competitive... polygamy is more common in societies that have more disease. In those societies, a modern Hercules can have his way because women prefer to share him rather than have a wimp to themselves"

Some Yahoo email accounts hacked in China, Taiwan - ""A lot of people I used to contact in Lanzhou, Xi'an and elsewhere have not been reachable by phone for the past few weeks"... "China is going back rather than going forward in terms of information and control. That reflects the lack of confidence in the (current) Chinese leaders... China's Internet has become a controlled Internet, an internal Internet rather than linked internationally. It defeats the whole purpose""

Art of the Steal: On the Trail of World’s Most Ingenious Thief - "“Cunning, clever, conniving, and creative,” as one prosecutor would call him, Blanchard eluded the police for years. But eventually he made a mistake. And that mistake would take two officers from the modest police force of Winnipeg, Canada, on a wild ride of high tech capers across Africa, Canada, and Europe. Says Mitch McCormick, one of those Winnipeg investigators, “We had never seen anything like it”"

Former TV actor Mark Chow fined S$6,000 for molesting woman - channelnewsasia.com - "Chow molested the 27-year-old former pub operations manager while she was asleep in her office in the wee hours of the morning. The 30-year-old had touched various parts of her body, including her buttocks and left thigh... Chow's defence was that he was merely trying to wake her up."
Moral of the story: guys should only wake girls up with ten foot poles. And/or find a better excuse.

The Stats Behind Prostitution (link removed ) - "$1 - the median price for many prostitutes in South Africa... 1 out of 2 of them have HIV 1 in 10 men in the world have purchased a prostitute. The rate in China is 1 in 4. And 1 in 5 Korean men pay for sex more than 4 times a month... In America, 80,000 citizens are arrested a year for soliciting sex, costing tax payers $200 million a year... 2 out of 5 men paid for services they never receive 1 out of 5 were robbed by the prostitute The Top 3 Reasons men paid for Sex: 1) Satisfy an immediate urge for sex 2) Experience a specific physical, racial or sexual fetish 3) Unsatisfied in their current relationship"

State of the Art - David Pogue’s Review of the iPad - "The haters tend to be techies; the fans tend to be regular people. Therefore, no single write-up can serve both readerships adequately. There’s but one solution: Write separate reviews for these two audiences"

High Court Judge overturns John Ng's decision (update 1) - "High Court Judge Choo Han Teck has overturned District Judge John Ng's decision to acquit five activists for conducting a procession in 2007. Mr Choo ordered that the matter return to DJ Ng for conviction and sentencing... A simple act of conducting a walk that, even according to the court, posed no public disorder or nuisance is not allowed in Singapore. Yet Chief Justice Chan Sek Keong insists that Singapore is a democracy based on the rule of law"
Who is surprised by this?

How bureaucrats decided not to save the bluefin tuna - ""This is just to test the system," the chairman said. "Here's a simple question to make sure the buttons are working properly: Is Doha the capital of Qatar? To record Yes, please press button number two." Thirty seconds later, once the 150 delegates had reached forward to prod the relevant button and the votes were recorded, two nations, Croatia and Cameroon, had voted No and - perhaps from force of habit long-established in security councils and global gatherings - China abstained. The Cameroon and Croatian delegations could not or maybe did not want to explain why they appeared to have learnt little about the city in which they had spent the past week. The Chinese delegation remained inscrutable and said nothing. Perhaps they thought it might be giving too much away if they stated unequivocally that Doha was the capital of Qatar. What this identified, I think, is a level of cynicism and mistrust that is new to the convention... Maybe it is naive to be surprised that that CITES' lofty ideals have become sullied and tarnished by geo-politics, but it is impossible to apply anything other than a very cynical interpretation to the bluefin tuna vote"

Louis Vuitton's Ponytails - "Marc Jacobs and New York beauty editors are on the same page, apparently... To complement Jacobs's ladylike, vintage-inspired collection, Redken creative consultant Guido gave the models high, bouncy ponytails with perfect 50s curls at the ends"

Bardo Bizarre Foods Dinner #2 - "Flatbread pizza with meal worms, crickets, roasted red pepper, feta cheese and red onion. One of the diners said “You could put feta on anything and roast it and it would taste good.” The big globule in the photo is roasted garlic. I tried the mealworms and they were tasteless. I tried the crickets and they were crunchy (obviously) and tasted good, just like grasshoppers and locusts. Once you put them on the pizza and added garlic and feta, you couldn’t taste them"

Doctors baffled by huge moobs - "A CHINESE farmer has the world's biggest set of MAN BOOBS, say doctors. Busty Guo Feng, 53, is desperately seeking a solution to his massive moobs as they get in the way of his manual work. And fascinated locals queue up at his dairy farm to point and laugh — forcing him to wear a heavy coat at all times, even in hot weather."

Online sex shop a hit with Muslims - "All ingredients are halal, or "permissible under Islam", said Mr Aouragh, and conspicuously absent is any type of pornography... Muslim clerics like Dutch Imam Abdul Jabbar see no harm in Mr Aouragh's site. "As long as he doesn't sell sex toys or those sorts of things there is no problem," he said, adding: the Prophet Mohammad gave lots of advice about sex in marriage and "there need not be any shame""

OpenRPG: Online Virtual Tabletop - "OpenRPG is an Internet application that allows people to play Role Playing Games in real-time over the Internet. OpenRPG is free, open source, software, distributed under GNU/GPL license"

The Public Editor - Censored in Singapore - "The notion that it could be defamatory to call a political family a dynasty seems ludicrous in the United States, where The Times has routinely applied the label to the Kennedys, the Bushes and the Clintons. But Singapore is a different story... Safire told The American Journalism Review in 1995 that the world’s free press should unite and pull out of Singapore in the face of any new libel action. I think that is what should happen too, but it never has... I think Google set an example for everyone who believes in the free flow of information"
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