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Friday, December 31, 2010

Links - 31st December 2010

"I have an existential map. It has 'You are here' written all over it." - Steven Wright


The animal world has its junkies too - "Coca-chewing garden snails can climb a glass rod in a travelling time 25 per cent less than that of snails fed on a regular diet of ivy... In south-east Asia, some water buffalo will browse poppies that are waiting to be harvested... Once the harvest is over, the beasts’ behaviour returns to normal, but only after they have shown withdrawal symptoms such as tremors, restlessness and convulsions"

The hidden history of China in photos

Involuntary Celibacy: A Life Course Analysis - "As many as 16% of married couples had not engaged in sexual intercourse in the month prior to a representative national survey of U.S. residents (Donnelly, 1993). Another group of researchers reported that 14% of men and 10% of women in the U.S. had not had any sexual activity involving genital contact in the past 12 months, and that 3% had none since their 18th birthdays... Traditional gender role norms appeared to influence our sample, with males reporting hesitancy in initiating dates, and females reporting a lack of invitations by males... Most of the virgins and singles did not date [as teens]... lack of dating and sexual experimentation in the teen years may be precursors to problems in adult sexual relationships... Our respondents overwhelmingly perceived their lack of sexual activity in a negative light... the longer the duration of the celibacy, the more likely our respondents were to view it as a permanent way of life"

Anthropology Group Addresses Furor Over Deleting ‘Science’ - "There has been a longstanding cultural gap within the association between the evidence-based researchers, who include some social anthropologists, and those more interested in advocating for the rights of women or native peoples... The differences between the humanistic and scientific approaches may, however, be too large to be bridged. “I really don’t see how or why anthropology should entail humanities,” said Frank Marlowe, president-elect of the Evolutionary Anthropology Society, another association affiliate, given that the social sciences are empirical, while the humanities are analytic, critical or speculative. “We evolutionary anthropologists are outnumbered by the new cultural or social anthropologists, many but not all of whom are postmodern, which seems to translate into antiscience,” Dr. Marlowe saidt"
It's telling that those who advocate for female and native rights are opposed to those who work from the evidence

YouTube - Star Trek rips off Star Wars - "There's no Star Wars rip off here. Star Trek and Star Wars just happen to use a mythology device known as "the Hero's Journey" (or Monomyth).
THis device can be seen in several films/stories such as Lord of the Rings, The Wizard of Oz, The Hidden Fortress, Harry Potter, The Matrix, Excalibur, Pinnochio."

YouTube - Nude Nuns with Big Guns OFFICIAL TRAILER - "Upon taking her vows to become a nun, Sister Sarah is abused, brainwashed and drugged into submission by the corrupt clergy. On the verge of death from a lethal dose of drugs, Sister Sarah receives a message from GOD telling her to take vengeance on all those who did her wrong. Armed with God's will and an arsenal of big guns, she dispenses Judgment Day on her former tormenters. When the church hires the merciless motorcycle gang the "Los Muertos" to track down and kill her, they soon realize that this SISTER IS ONE BAD MOTHER!"

Do Competitive Work Places Deter Female Workers? A Large-Scale Natural Field Experiment on Gender Differences in Job-Entry Decisions - "Recently an important line of research using laboratory experiments has provided a new potential reason for why we observe gender imbalances in labor markets: men are more competitively inclined than women... we randomized nearly 7,000 interested job-seekers into different compensation regimes... The data highlight the power of the compensation regime in that women disproportionately shy away from competitive work settings"

ST Forum: Narrow the gender gap - "If corporal punishment is indeed effective, why aren't both genders made equally liable?... The other alternative [to National Slavery] is to raise the tax rates for women - as their contribution to the country in lieu of the military service men are required to do... Let us work towards a fair system where no one is penalised for the gender he or she is born as"
Naturally, AWARE is silent on this

ST Forum: Disturbed by 'discrimination' ad - "I WAS taking the MRT when I saw the Great Eastern Life Assurance Company's campaign, titled "It's great to be a woman", on the train. The headline read "Discrimination works. Especially on Ladies' Nite""
Again, the silence from AWARE is deafening; hilarious line: "to me, the moral price paid for buying into the gender norms that clubs sell in return for a good time is higher than the cost of a few free drinks"

The path to enlightenment / The sacred meets the scared in Japan's Kii Mountains - "[As women are banned,] one male protester "has gone so far as to repeatedly climb Mount Omine while wearing a dress, becoming perhaps the first transvestite Buddhist pilgrim"... "Some may call it discrimination, but in Japan there is a long tradition that some mountains are only for men and some mountains are only for women," he said. "On Okinawa, for example, there is a mountain that is only for women. And of course on Mount Omine you have female animals, and the trees are both male and female. So it's not discrimination"... "If he drops you, he is required to jump off the cliff," said Ashihara. This wasn't as comforting as it apparently was intended to be"

YouTube - Girl discovers boyfriend's toilet cam - "A woman contacted Hong Kong police about her boyfriend's secret toilet camera only to find that they don't have the power to investigate because he didn't break any laws. The woman's boyfriend allegedly recorded video clips of her coworkers in the toilet with his spy cam."
Evidently it's not an offence to offend the modesty of a woman in Hong Kong!

YouTube - Viral Chinese time travel commercial

Crayon | Luxirare - Edible Crayons

Pizza Protips: Fat - "Fat isn't required in bread dough, and some might say that it doesn't belong at all in pizza dough. Whether—or when—you use it is up to you. But since it's so common in so many doughs, today we'll discuss the role fat plays in yeasted doughs"

How immigration can benefit native workers - "There is hardly any evidence that immigrant workers have a negative effect on the wages of native workers (see for instance Card 2009 and Glitz 2007) or that they crowd-out other jobs in the US (Card and Di Nardo 2000) or Europe. On the contrary, some authors emphasise the existence of a potentially positive effect of immigrants on the demand for native workers... Our hypothesis is that immigrants, who often do not speak the language and do not master the culture and norms of the host country, are concentrated in more manual-routine tasks (especially among less educated groups). The inflow of immigrants thus increases the supply of manual skills relative to the supply of abstract skill"

NMAWorldEdition: YouTube - Elton John becomes a dad at age 62
"if you think this is homophobic you clearly haven't seen Elton John's older music videos."
No one is calling this Ukraine-phobia - even though Chernobyl can be seen through the adoption office window

Hanna Rosin: New data on the rise of women | Video on - "The phrase first-born son is so deeply ingrained in our consciousness that this statistic alone shocked me. In American fertility clinics, 75 percent of couples are requesting girls and not boys... Certainly this is not the first time that we've had great progress with women. The 20's and the 60's also come to mind. But the difference is that, back then, it was driven by a very passionate feminist movement that was trying to project its own desires... that's why I talk about the end of men... in 1,997 out of 2,000 communities, women, young women, were making more money than young men... here's my favorite quote from one of the girls: "Men are the new ball and chain"... in our pop culture... we have on the male side, what one of my colleagues likes to call the "omega males" popping up, who are the males who are romantically challenged losers who can't find a job... And then on the female side, you have the opposite, in which you have these crazy superhero women"
Unfortunately she doesn't reflect on the disturbing implications of this power shift. She doesn't actually celebrate female superiority but just presents it in a very matter-of-fact way. It's just that we're so used to claims of male "superiority" being met with outrage, or outrage at male "dominance" that the neutrality seems loaded; A Voice for Men takes a page from feminist methodology in claiming she's abusing her children: there is a very good reason the boy was asked not to interrupt - it would disrupt the flow of the video. It's the same reason you try and prevent random people from walking into your frame when you are shooting a video or photo.
Though one comment: "This is exactly why teachers favor girls in the classroom: they don’t pose a significant challenge to a teacher’s authority"

The Case Against Breast-Feeding - "I was left feeling trapped, like many women before me, in the middle-class mother’s prison of vague discontent: surly but too privileged for pity, breast-feeding with one hand while answering the cell phone with the other, and barking at my older kids to get their own organic, 100 percent juice—the modern, multitasking mother’s version of Friedan’s “problem that has no name”... the medical literature looks nothing like the popular literature. It shows that breast-feeding is probably, maybe, a little better; but it is far from the stampede of evidence that Sears describes... how is it that every mother I know has become a breast-feeding fascist?... "Mothers these days are expected to “optimize every dimension of children’s lives"... Even in the best of marriages, the domestic burden shifts, in incremental, mostly unacknowledged ways, onto the woman. Breast-feeding plays a central role in the shift... when people say that breast-feeding is “free,” I want to hit them with a two-by-four. It’s only free if a woman’s time is worth nothing"
Keywords: The case against breastfeeding, overrated

Woman Set Fire To Her Boyfriend's Crotch - "Men – this is a good example of why it is never a good idea to fall asleep before resolving an argument with your girlfriend or wife! Of course, a better idea is not to date or marry a woman who would burn your passion so literally"
"how many people find this as funny simply because the victim was a man?"

EDIFYING EDITING - "One well-known irate author, after a rejection, wrote me “Who are you to reject my paper?” The answer, which I didn’t send, is “I’m the editor”... One author wrote me, with no evidence of a sense of humor, that if I rejected his paper, he would be denied tenure and his three children would go hungry. My response, which I didn’t send, was “Good luck in your next career”... One of the surprises of being an AER co-editor was the number of people who believe the journals are controlled by the top departments for the benefit of the top departments... There are authors who attempt to annoy the editor. I’m not sure why they consider this to be a good strategy... I have seen one that had a heading “Conclusion” with only one sentence: “See the introduction”... “the AER refereeing fee is just enough to buy a bottle of scotch, which helps me forget these miserable papers”... ‘I have written a gentle report, because the author is obviously inexperienced and very junior, and I don’t want to discourage him. But make no mistake: this paper makes no contribution and you should not encourage a revision.’ The author of that paper, which I rejected, had already won a Nobel prize in economics"

Climate Change: Study Says Dire Warnings Fuel Skepticism

A Faustian bargain - "Of all the courses I took in college and graduate school, the ones that have benefited me the most in my career as a scientist are the courses in classics, art history, sociology, and English literature. These courses didn't just give me a much better appreciation for my own culture; they taught me how to think, to analyze, and to write clearly. None of my sciences courses did any of that"
This says more about science education that it does about the necessity of having separate departments of French, Italian, Classics, Russian and Theater Arts
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