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Meesa gonna kill you!

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Monday, January 17, 2011

Links - 17th January 2011

"I am determined that my children shall be brought up in their father's religion, if they can find out what it is." - Charles Lamb

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Ban sought on Lunar delicacy - "Not only does black moss contain no nutritional value, it has been found to contain a toxic amino acid linked to degenerative diseases affecting the normal functions of nerve cells, such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease and dementia... cultivating the black hair- like alga plant is also detrimental to the environment. Cultivation of 50 grams of black moss would intensify desertification of two standard-size swimming pools... [It] was consumed mainly by tailors, hairstylists and workers at construction sites and factories making cotton products during the 1940s and 1950s. "Black moss is indigestible, so these people ate it to weed out the dust and other small particles stirred up by fans and which they had swallowed, as Hong Kong did not have air-conditioning at the time"... Chan suggested people could switch to lettuce instead as it is pronounced as sang choy in Cantonese, which means "creating prosperity""
Huat ah! And apparently most Fatt Choy is fake

Alleged rapist says woman agreed to sex at his flat - "Ong stated that when he met the woman and her friend for the first time at Zouk, she was quite high. He said they were together most of the time that evening. While drinking, he said she pulled him to the dance floor and the sexy way in which she danced, made it seem she was trying to seduce him. After the club closed, they left in a taxi for home. They started kissing and when he asked if she wanted to go to his place, she agreed, he said. But when they were at his flat, she started to cry, saying she was scared and wanted to go home"

Study: Women's tears a turnoff for men - ""It's hard to get men to volunteer to cry" in a lab... When they sniffed actual tears, they found the women less sexually attractive than when they sniffed saline"

WTF: Underwear With A Built-In Penis

The Most Sadistic Bras Out There (NSFW)

British Newspapers Make Things Up - "By the American standards, all British newspapers are tabloids because they don’t distinguish between what is true and what they make up... even the British government admits, in an official government publication, that British newspapers make things up and report them as facts... not only do British journalists make things up, but what they make up doesn’t even make sense"

It’s Only “Good Science” if the Message is Politically Correct - "The reason, she argues, that women might be better with language could either be “that this [difference] is linked to brain structure” or that “it has an evolutionary explanation,” an “or” which obviously confuses levels of explanation... Bunting thinks that evolutionary psychologists require that sex differences be “hardwired,” developing independent of all aspects of development... this seems to be saying that if a dimension can’t capture all behavioral variation, you might as well ignore it. Infants and the old folks like mushed peas; should we ignore people’s age when trying to predict what they’ll get up to?... “Good science will challenge the tendency to stereotype.” It’s hard to know what, precisely, this is supposed to mean... stereotype threat increased gaps in performance between groups [but] removing it did not eliminate it, suggesting that these gaps have other antecedents"
Small differences can become magnified via a process similar to Fisher's runaway selection à la Malcolm Gladwell and January sportsmen

It opened Pandora's box - "Singapore has a double standard regarding medical practice. For practitioners of Western medicine, mistakes such as omission of a test, missed diagnosis, failure to inform the patient of possible treatment complications and well-intentioned misjudgment would land doctors in legal trouble. But TCM practitioners seem to enjoy an exemption from such obligations... China has its reasons for promoting TCM. We appear to have followed suit for reasons of affordability, medical tourism and the muddled belief that freely allowing all schools and methods of medical practice will lead to progress and innovations... if TCM follows a scientific path, it will eventually become Western medicine as we know it"

Spice Hunting: What's The Deal With Saffron?

Interview w/ Judd Lynn - "This may surprise most of you, but the fact is that the production staff doesn’t really care much about the story. They care about which actors work, which locations, which props and picture cars, how much it will cost, how to schedule it, etc. Why the Black Ranger fights with the Green Ranger is out of their control and therefore doesn’t matter... A writer who hits a deadline come hell or high water, is good. A writer who hits a deadline come hell or high water AND writes a great episode, is gold... That is why I became an invaluable part of the Power Rangers creative team, because I could write a do-able story, within our budget and schedule, between sunset and sunrise if need be. And I did it over and over again, usually with a pretty good attitude... When I watch the show, the thing that stands out to me as the biggest flaw is the lack of strong characters... The Japanese were always much better than we were"

Kant on Killing Bastards, on Masturbation, on Wives and Servants, on Organ Donation, Homosexuality, and Tyrants - "From our cultural distance, it is evident that Kant's arguments against masturbation, for the return of wives to abusive husbands, etc., are gobbledy-gook. This should make us suspicious that there might be other parts of Kant, too, that are gobbledy-gook, for example, the stuff that transparently reads like gobbledy-gook, such as the transcendental deduction, and such as his claims that his various obviously non-equivalent formulations of the fundamental principle of morality are in fact "so many formulations of precisely the same law" (Groundwork, 4:436, Zweig trans.). I read Kant as a master at promising philosophers what they want and then thowing up a haze of words with glimmers enough of hope that readers can convince themselves that there is something profound underneath"

Top 5 Misconceptions about Dungeons & Dragons - "If you honestly think that saying "I cast Fireball" has any connection with the real life practices of witchcraft and occult ritual, then I don't think the D&D player is the person we should be worrying about here... The first few versions of the game were given a lot of hate by Christian groups for listing Demons among the monsters you can fight in the game... I bet if you go to your local library, you will find countless books containing the word Demon, including the Holy Bible that Christianity founds itself upon. Let that one sink in a moment; It's a biggie"

Immigrants' sex secrets will stay in bedroom - "People wanting their partners to gain New Zealand residency will no longer be asked for "evidence" of their sexual relationship... the Immigration Service is coy over the delicate details, including what evidence it has sought... "We have removed reference to sexual relationships from the policy after feedback from migrants and due to issues around people providing, and our staff assessing, the information... It was originally included "because some migrants were not interpreting partnership as it was intended. For example, flatmates did not meet the definition of a partner". What about the evidence though, the Herald asked? Was it true, as a source said, people had sent in photos of themselves sitting up in bed together? Were people, as another suggested, asked to describe their partners' underwear?"
This is dated 2005 but in 2008 or 2009 I still saw the policy stated

Turkish academics sacked over porn dissertation project - "He wanted to make a pornographic film, he said, but also to reveal how synthetic the sexual scenes in it were. They told him the project needed to make a stronger intellectual point. Evidently he did not succeed - his film was marked a fail... As well as the firing of the three academics - who are now being investigated by the police - the entire Communications Faculty has been shut down. Mr Ozgun, and the former student who starred in his film, have gone into hiding... Bilgi has a reputation as one of the most liberal universities in Turkey... guests attending new exhibitions at three art galleries in central Istanbul were attacked by local residents enraged by the sight of them drinking alcohol on the street outside... A publisher who translated erotic European literature was also put on trial last year, but eventually acquitted"
Mild Islamism strikes back

Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior - "Despite our squeamishness about cultural stereotypes, there are tons of studies out there showing marked and quantifiable differences between Chinese and Westerners when it comes to parenting... almost 70% of the Western mothers said either that "stressing academic success is not good for children" or that "parents need to foster the idea that learning is fun." By contrast, roughly 0% of the Chinese mothers felt the same way... Chinese parents can do things that would seem unimaginable—even legally actionable—to Westerners. Chinese mothers can say to their daughters, "Hey fatty—lose some weight." By contrast, Western parents have to tiptoe around the issue, talking in terms of "health" and never ever mentioning the f-word, and their kids still end up in therapy for eating disorders and negative self-image. (I also once heard a Western father toast his adult daughter by calling her "beautiful and incredibly competent." She later told me that made her feel like garbage)... Chinese parents believe that their kids owe them everything... "Children don't choose their parents," [my husband] once said to me. "They don't even choose to be born. It's parents who foist life on their kids, so it's the parents' responsibility to provide for them. Kids don't owe their parents anything. Their duty will be to their own kids"... All decent parents want to do what's best for their children. The Chinese just have a totally different idea of how to do that"
One comment: "your follow up piece should be on your research of why Asian-American females have one of the highest suicide rates in the U.S. -- Feel free to ask my mom how raising a perfect straight A, Harvard MBA daughter worked out when my sister hit 30 and committed suicide after hiding her depression for 2 years."

America and the Middle East: Great sacrifices, small rewards | The Economist - "The Persian Gulf nowadays supplies barely 10% of America’s oil. Its value is far less than what the Pentagon spends on American fleets and bases in the region, even excluding the costs of war in Iraq and Afghanistan. America projects that over the next 25 years its dependence on Gulf energy will fall. Hence its armed muscle is, in effect, protecting the world from a Middle Eastern oil shock. That benefits America—because its consumers pay a world price for their oil. But it also benefits emerging rivals such as China and India, which shoulder none of the burden of serving as the world’s policeman"
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