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Meesa gonna kill you!

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Thursday, August 19, 2010

Links - 19th August 2010

"Democracy means that anyone can grow up to be president, and anyone who doesn't grow up can be vice president." - Johnny Carson


Opinion: Victor Davis Hanson: America has moved beyond race, and the president should, too - "Race seems to be the subtext of almost every contemporary issue, from the soaring deficit and government spending to recent presidential appointments and the enforcement of existing immigration law. In times of growing deficits, white people are stereotyped as being angry over supposedly paying higher taxes to subsidize minorities, while minorities are stereotyped as being mostly on the receiving end of entitlements...Obama appealed to voters along exclusionary race and gender lines — not traditional political allegiances — when he called upon "the young people, African-Americans, Latinos and women, who powered our victory in 2008""

Gay and lesbian television portrayals criticised - "Young people rarely see positive portrayals of lesbian and gay people on television, according to Stonewall... It said gay people were mainly portrayed as promiscuous, predatory, or figures of fun."
Among the many problems with this: it does not consider the portrayal of non-gay people (television does not portray real life accurately), it assumes everyone not portrayed as gay is portrayed as heterosexual, it insists on statistical equality (if it doesn't matter what sexual orientation you are, why kick up a fuss?), and it subscribes to the monkey-see, monkey-do theory of human behavior

The Web Means the End of Forgetting - "In Brandeis’s day — and until recently, in ours — you had to be a celebrity to be gossiped about in public: today all of us are learning to expect the scrutiny that used to be reserved for the famous and the infamous"

Questions From Your Girlfriend That Aren't Really Questions - "Question: “Do you love me?”
What it really means: “Lavish me with compliments or I’m leaving you.” OR “I am a clingy psychopath, please dump me”"

Reason must always come before identity, says Sen - "'In a political context, the prioritising of identity over reason has the effect of rejecting ideas of cross-cultural dialogue'... it is hard to believe that we do not have a choice in determining our identity. Sen gave the example of Gandhi who positively chose his identity as an advocate of independence over his identity as a barrister."
I usually see "identity politics" in a different context, but this applies to that also

Secrets of the Dalai Lama - "Who told a press conference in 1997 that men to men sex and woman to woman sex is sexual misconduct?
The Pope, or the Dalai Lama?...
Who said that having sex during the day is sexual misconduct?
The Pope, or the Dalai Lama?
Of course, every single answer is: The Dalai Lama."

YouTube - Street Fighter: Legacy - Short Fan Film

Creating God in Our Own Image « - "As participants’ own views changed, so did their estimates of God’s view... Overall these results suggest that God is a blank slate onto which we project whatever we choose to. We join religious communities that argue for our viewpoint and we interpret religious readings to support our personal positions."

All Joy and No Fun - "A wide variety of academic research shows that parents are not happier than their childless peers, and in many cases are less so. This finding is surprisingly consistent, showing up across a range of disciplines... what children really do, he suspects, is offer moments of transcendence, not an overall improvement in well-being... "They’re a huge source of joy, but they turn every other source of joy to shit"... "In our studies, it’s the men, by a long shot, who have more work-life conflict than women"... Healthy relationships definitely make people happier. But children adversely affect relationships"

A Boy's Life - ""We can’t tell a pre-gay from a pre-transsexual at 8,” says Green, who recently retired from running the adult gender-identity clinic in England. “Are you helping or hurting a kid by allowing them to live as the other gender? If everyone is caught up in facilitating the thing, then there may be a hell of a lot of pressure to remain that way, regardless of how strongly the kid still feels gender-dysphoric""

Failure to Launch? - "This started me thinking about my single friends who were still living with their parents and wonder how they do it without it stunting their maturity in some way or other... I once visited a 40-something single friend who lived with her parents. Her Mum kept nagging her to get married but, at the same time, told her she had to be home by 10pm while her Dad vetoed her clothes if they were too revealing. So my friend goes around in long-sleeved shirts and ankle-skimming skirts and without makeup all the time... At my university hostel, many hooked up - boosted by the huge concentration of singles in one place and the lack of parental supervision"
Addendum: keywords - "tabitha wang", "today online", "todayonline", "hong kong", "budget tai tai", "budget taitai", "convenience", "my pajamas", "husband"

Bangladesh hospital bans burqa to prevent theft - ""We decided to enforce our uniform regulations after discovering instances of stealing by veiled staff," he said, adding some burqa-wearing staff had also been secretly sending unqualified "proxy workers" to cover shifts for them... [They] could carry diseases into the hospital"

Explain This Image - WTF Pics, Images That Make No Sense - "Have you ever seen a picture that simply makes no sense? We have collected pictures from around the web that left us scratching our heads and saying "wtf". See if you can explain these photos and read other peoples explanations"

YouTube - Jamie Oliver - Nugget experiment epic failure - "Jamie Oliver attempts and fails miserably in trying to convince a group of American kids that consuming processed chicken nuggets are bad."
"It pains me to give you them, but there you go"

House of Hell Movie | Steve Jackson & Super Team Films Present House of Hell | Fighting Fantasy
The Bluray and Website versions will let you choose what happens in the movie!

Why is Fanta so much more popular abroad than in the United States?

Book Review: Ernest Gellner - - "He did, however, make a strong case that the whole theory of "orientalism"—Said's idea that Western interpretations and depictions of the East were designed not to understand the East but to control it—was based on erroneous assumptions about the political power of literature. The viceroys of India, he pointed out brutally, were not known for eagerly scanning the pages of late-19th-century literary magazines... Gellner's response to feminist critics was characteristically blunt but perhaps less satisfactory. When backed into a corner about the absence of women from one of his seminal works, he answered that, while he liked women, he had to insist that they had nothing to do with historical development... Noam Chomsky, who had accused him of ignoring Western crimes, Gellner charged that his critic had "obscured" the fact that "the survival of freedom and accountable, limited government is an enormously important value even when some of its defenders are occasionally tarnished""

"Clearly you've never been..." - "Occasional and illustrated accounts in the elongated and dubiously edited style of the day pertaining to films and television that claim to represent the island-nation of Singapura with rare excursions over the causeway to Johor"

Mastering the Unmasterable - A French Puzzle - "With some effort and application, foreigners can learn to tie a scarf like a French woman or to chew wine like a French man. But they cannot hope to master the intricacies of the tu and vous forms of address, because the French can't either... For members of the 1968 generation, hearing themselves addressed with a respectful vous comes as a damping sign of age, rather like the first time a woman is offered a seat on a bus (a humiliation unlikely to occur in Paris public transport). While Catholics usually address God as tu, Aubry writes, they always use vous to the Virgin"

Sharpie Reinvents Pen with Liquid Pencil - "The Sharpie Liquid Pencil contains an “ink” made from liquid graphite and lays it down just like a pen. Once written, you have three days to think on the validity and weight of your words. During this period you can erase it just like pencil-marks. After the three days is up, the pencil lines will turn to ink and remain inscribed forever."

A Mathematician’s Lament - "Algebra is not about daily life, it’s about numbers and symmetry— and this is a valid pursuit in and of itself...Suppose I am given the sum and difference of two numbers. How can I figure out what the numbers are themselves? Here is a simple and elegant question, and it requires no effort to be made appealing. The ancient Babylonians enjoyed working on such problems, and so do our students... We don’t need to bend over backwards to give mathematics relevance. It has relevance in the same way that any art does: that of being a meaningful human experience... Technique in mathematics, as in any art, should be learned in context... Give your students a good problem, let them struggle and get frustrated. See what they come up with. Wait until they are dying for an idea, then give them some technique"
If this guy had his way, 1/1,000 maths students would have a Road to Damascus moment - and the other 999 would hate maths even more

HIROSHIMA: THIS IS YOUR LIFE - "On May 11, 1955, before an audience of millions of viewers, a survivor of the Hiroshima bombing was shocked to receive a handshake from the co-pilot who flew the mission to destroy his city"

Are the poor more charitable than the rich? - "The poor are more more inclined to charity than the rich."

Teaching philosophy with Spider-Man - ""This is what philosophy has tried to do from the very beginning," he says. "Philosophy starts with Socrates in the streets of Athens taking his message to the people and speaking in their language - agricultural analogies and common mythology." Through the centuries, though, philosophers retreated into academia, creating a convoluted vocabulary that can appear inaccessible to the average first-year university student... Mr Robichaud has little patience for critics who say that this work cheapens the traditional study of philosophy. "The sort of philosophy I do - analytical philosophy - uses thought experiments all the time," he says. "If the examples we are drawing from are fictional examples from popular culture, as long as that's in the service of good philosophy, who cares? Who cares if the example is from Middlemarch or Watchmen?""

Jailed for religious insult - "IN THE first case of its kind, air-con repairman Andrew Kiong Kheng Kiat, 44, was jailed two weeks on Friday for wounding the religious feeling of a couple... [he put] a card on the windscreen of her car. Written on it, were questions that cast aspersions on Prophet Muhammad."
In some circles, using the wrong hadith counts as casting aspersions on Prophet Muhammad.

Google Flops & Failures - The Failed Google Graveyard

Giving way for 2 weeks – Thoughts about YOG - "For the past month, I’ve been attached to a secondary school. And it was then I begin to realise what YOG is doing to our youths. Many of them, I wish you could be there to see it for yourself."

The Red Army Orchestra - Birth of an Internet Meme - chinaSMACK - "The same footage of the Red Army Orchestra was synced to Michael Jackson‘s “Beat It”. While the syncing of “Waving Flag” was done well this “Beat It” version was far superior, showing an understanding of musical syncopation, call and response, instrument textures and layering, and even a smoking electric erhu solo by a Chinese Red Army version of Eddie Van Halen"

The Allure of a Female Hitchhiker’s Breast Size (To Male Drivers). - "Statistically speaking, only men's behaviors were affected by the hitchhiker's breast size (p < .03). The frequency of stopping in the cup C condition was marginally greater than that of cup B (p = 0.09) and significantly greater than that of cup A (p < .01). The difference between cups A and B was not significant."
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