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Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Links - 23rd June 2010

"It's hard to take over the world when you sleep 20 hours a day." - Darby Conley (Get Fuzzy)


Handling of 'abduction' case involving teen has been absurd - "In this paranoid world, you never approach a small child who is by herself, take her by the hand and walk out of a store with her in search of mommy... He saw a 3-year-old girl without a parent. If he had it to do all over again, if he could see the cops, the handcuffs, the TV cameras and the jail cell all awaiting him, I imagine the last thing he would have done was try to help her... Interestingly enough, the girl's mother never did press charges. But the Sheriff's Office decided it would, ultimately settling on a charge of false imprisonment. "He was in custody of the child and had no authority to be so,'' said Capt. Angelo Nieves. "The thing is to make clear we have not charged him with an offense that did not occur.''"
No good deed goes unpunished

New study shows sperm-donor kids suffer. - "Regardless of socioeconomic status, donor offspring are twice as likely as those raised by biological parents to report problems with the law before age 25. They are more than twice as likely to report having struggled with substance abuse. And they are about 1.5 times as likely to report depression or other mental health problems. As a group, the donor offspring in our study are suffering more than those who were adopted... some donor offspring have [feelings] of being a "freak of nature" or a "lab experiment""

Notes From TED: Can Simplicity and Innovation Overcome Complexity and Cynicism? - "The one thing you're never going to hear here is: "I love your idea, but it will never fly... you'll never get it past middle America... you'll never get it past Olympia Snowe!"... When you hear David Cameron promise to deliver all those things if he's elected Prime Minister, as he did this morning, you find yourself believing him and forgetting for a moment that Barack Obama promised to deliver all those things if elected president"
What is perhaps more troubling is that "If you criticize his event you don’t get invited back"
Addendum: This is what I call TED Delusion - thinking that bright ideas, hope and enthusiasm are sufficient to change the world for the better. See also: The Vacuity of 'Hope'

Unique Scoop: Rare Star Wars Photos

Why lawsuits based on looks discrimination—even good ones—are a bad idea. - "Hundreds of American businesses have strict dress codes, especially for employees who interact with the public. For instance, according to the Los Angeles Times, the Ritz Carlton hotel chain forbids "beards and goatees, 'mutton chop' sideburns, dreadlocks, big hair … earrings larger than a quarter, more than two rings on each hand, skirt lengths higher than 2 inches above the top of the knee and long fingernails." Lots of people really like their goatees, dreads, and door-knocker earrings, but must every workplace permit them?... In the end, dress and grooming codes are just another job requirement—no different from rules about how employees should greet and interact with customers... A dress code or a boss who offers explicit wardrobe guidance can be an egalitarian counterweight to the subtle class biases that inappropriate clothing choices would otherwise trigger... There's a troubling immodesty about the perfectionist quest to blind us all to appearances—a quest that would dismiss as bias so much of what many people consider a sign of professionalism, respect, and good form"

Debrahlee Lorenzana: ‘I Want to Be Tits on a Stick’ - "If you've been following the tale of Debrahlee Lorenzana, who claims she was fired from Citigroup for being too distractingly good-looking, you''ll know that the burden of being beautiful is something she has struggled with her "whole life"... Some nights, it even keeps her awake — wondering what it might be like to just look like a normal person, with frizzy hair, a poochy stomach, and a less Jessica Rabbit–like chest... But in fact, Debrahlee already knows what that's like, because back in 2003, she got a tummy tuck, liposuction, and two boob jobs to bring her rack up to its current 32D size"
"Lorenzana seems to be craving male attention in the Discovery series"

LKY’s prejudice - "With no such friends among other Sri Lankan communities he is certainly ill-equipped to make a sweeping racist statement like the one he has made in his latest book that “Sinhalese who are less capable are putting down a minority of Jaffna Tamils who are more capable”... His repeated references to Tamils here as Jaffna Tamils indicate that the legendary nation builder is clueless about the basic demographic structure of Sri Lanka."

Short people 'more prone to heart disease'
It must be due to discrimination!

World Cup fever can work up sex appetite

I Hate Lotus Notes | The Global Lotus Notes Support Group - "This website is dedicated to my fellow sufferers who day in day out are forced to use Lotus Notes, causing them to struggle with email communications, squirm at the thought of planning another day and generally fighting for their will to live. Don't despair, don't be broken, don't hang yourself, stand up and be counted."

NY school crowns gay friends prom king and queen - "A pair of gay best friends were voted prom king and queen by such a wide margin at an upstate New York high school that the school didn't bother choosing runners-up."
Homophobic bigotry which confuses (delibertately?) sexual identity and sexual orientation!

Eye Bleach - "Need Some Eye Bleach? Gently rinse out your eyes with the refreshing images."

Sampson, Gil, and Trudgill: Language Complexity as an Evolving Variable - "For much of the twentieth century it was an axiom of linguistics that “all human languages are equally complex”. Early in the century this idea emerged as part of a reaction against the popular assumption that unwritten third-world languages were crude communication systems, not comparable in subtlety with the languages of high European cultures... About the turn of the millennium, linguists across the globe began to challenge and reject this axiom, from many points of view and using many different kinds of observational evidence... The new wave of linguists tend to see languages not as a function of human biology, but as institutions developed as part of a society’s cultural heritage – and hence as differing and evolving in their levels of complexity, just as other cultural institutions do."

Romantic Music Makes Young Women More Likely to Say Yes - "Researchers in France (where else?) investigated the effect of romantic music on a young woman’s receptiveness to a request for a date by having a young man rated as “average” in appearance ask women out. The women who were asked out after having heard a romantic song were far more likely to give out their phone numbers than the young women who had listened to a song that was not about love. The subjects in the study were 87 single women between 18 and 20... the influence of media is not limited to violence"

Stepping Outside Gender Roles Affects Men and Women Differently - "Men who are successful in traditionally female jobs are more likely to be perceived by co-workers as “wimpy” and less deserving of respect. But women who succeed in jobs traditionally held by men suffer not from lack of respect but instead from personal dislike. In both cases, workers find either men or women who pursue professions not considered traditional less preferable as supervisors."

Should You Play Hard to Get? - "For almost 40 years now, social scientists have tested whether women who play hard to get light men's fire. In 1973, Elaine Hatfield (formerly Walster) and her colleagues published six experiments designed to test the hypothesis that men desire hard-to-get women more than easy-to-get women... After these five experiments failed, Hatfield finally recognized that there are two distinct ways in which a man can think of a woman as hard to get: (1) how hard it is for me to get her and (2) how hard it is for other men to get her. In her sixth and final study, Hatfield discovered the truth: Men are most attracted to women who are hard for other men to get - but easy for themselves to get!"

The ball girl (and the bitching): Tennis's sexiest player reveals how the women of Wimbledon are not friends - "She has revealed the behind-the-scenes bitchiness that goes on between the women of Wimbledon. Although the male players seem to get along, she claims, the ladies on the court don’t. She said yesterday that the players compete over 'who's the prettiest, who's the most popular, the most fashionable, who's getting the most coverage. In the men's game, they're all friends. But we're not friends'... British number one Elena Baltacha, 2, also claimed yesterday that tennis rackets had been sabotaged, food was stolen and most of the women were incredibly unfriendly... British teen Laura Robson has been highly critical of her peers, describing some of them as 'sluts'"
Men are so honest, so thoroughly square;
Eternally noble, historic'ly fair;
Who, when you win, will always give your back a pat.
Well, why can't a woman be like that?

Why pregnant women can't get a seat on the bus - "Pregnant women are being left standing on public transport because commuters are too afraid to offer their seat in case they are simply overweight"

How condoms could save the world's forests - "Brazil has also developed a highly effective anti-HIV/AIDS campaign, which is widely credited with having prevented the type of epidemic that has devastated other developing countries. It's succeeded despite the wrath of the Catholic Church, of the previous US Administration... and of the big drug companies... The Brazilian Government is the largest single buyer of condoms in the world... These are promoted using high profile advertisements and a variety of outlets targeted to reach at-risk groups. Most recently, the Government has started to include condoms in the basic basket of goods that it distributes for free to low income families as part of its strategy to combat hunger. This serves a double purpose, since there is a clear link between family planning and poverty reduction"
I'm sure someone is claiming this is a form of eugenics

Neurotic women 'more fertile than laid-back peers', say scientists - "Women with higher levels of neuroticism and men who were rated as extrovert were likely to have a significantly higher number of children. Women with above average neuroticism are characterised as being prone to anxiety, depression and moodiness... Neurotic women were more likely to have malnourished children with decreased body mass index (BMI), suggesting their negative personality trait carries a cost for families... Previous work on personality traits and birth rates in modern Western countries revealed neurotic women typically had fewer children. The unexpected results from Senegal could explain why the genetically-inherited trait of neuroticism has not died out as a result of evolution... But researchers are still trying to figure out exactly why neuroticism bucks the trend and results in larger families in developing countries. Dr Lummaa, from the Department of Animal and Plant Sciences, said higher sex drive among neurotic women could be a possible cause... 'Women who are highly neurotic tend to have more short-term sexual partners, suggesting a link between their sex drive and personality trait. In the type of society where contraception is not common that could explain why these women have more children.'"
Maybe this explains why psychotic women are supposedly wilder in bed
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