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More adventurous than the average bear

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Sunday, August 14, 2011

Links - 14th August 2011

"I can believe anything, provided that it is quite incredible." - Oscar Wilde



The Patent System Is The World's Biggest Threat To Innovation Today - "Ultimately, you bear the burden of these lawsuits, patent acquisitions, and protection kickbacks in the form of higher device prices. Even worse, you lose your freedom of choice as smaller players are forced out of the market and larger players are discouraged from innovating. If you’re an entrepreneur that has dreams about building a better mousetrap on your own, forget about it. Someone else has probably already patented the idea of “mousetraps that are better than previous ones”"

Illusio: Bringing the gavel down on Workers Party I - "There is an unfolding situation over at Aljunied-Hougang Town Council. No doubt it's been angled ever so subtly by the government-owned media in Singapore as the B plot and convenient distraction to its presidential election due to take place on 27 August. Like a carefully plotted campaign, Singapore's news media is content to put its citizens on a drip on this story, calibrating the slow release of information that may build up to an implied allegation of mismanagement or corruption in the AHTC as well as the original HTC"

The Butterfly Tales...: The Caveman Tactic - "If you’ve actually forced yourself on any women enough, you’ll know that persistence is a virtue that is sometimes rewarded. You can turn most ‘no’ into a ‘yes’ if you try hard enough, long enough or have enough alcohol or chloroform with you. Maybe she relented because she was playing hard to get, or maybe you irritated her enough, or maybe it was even sympathy, but when a woman really means ‘No’, you’ll know it because she won’t be around long enough for you to try again. Punching you in the face is also a way of telling you she’s serious about saying ‘No’. I’m pretty sure about that... When a girl you don’t know agrees to come up to your place in the middle of the night, after a clubbing session, she is not there to just have a conversation with you"
Cue the moralistic fallacy

The Power of Free Tattoos « - "When we asked the people in line for the free tattoos if they would get the tattoo if it were not free, 68% said they would not. They were only getting it because it was free... when you are facing a decision about a “free” offer, my suggestion would be to imagine what you would do if the price was not free and instead it was very cheap (maybe $1) — and ask yourself if this would change your behavior. And if you would make a different decision if free was not involved, maybe this is a good sigh that the decision was not that good to start with?"

My Little Pony attracts Brony fans - YouTube The Stray Shopping Carts of Eastern North America: A Guide to Field Identification - "Working in the naturalist's tradition, the photographs depict the diversity of the phenomenon and carry a surprising emotional charge; readers inevitably begin to see these carts as human, at times poignant in their abandoned, decrepit state, hilariously incapacitated, or ingeniously co-opted. The result is at once rigorous and absurd, enabling the layperson to identify and classify their own cart spottings based on the situation in which they were found"

Even the Tooth Fairy Pinches Pennies During a Recession - "Kids today receive an average of $2.60 per lost baby tooth, down from $3.00 in 2010. That's a relatively substantial 14 percent drop"

When the rapist is a she - "Female rapists "are most likely to use psychological pressure such as verbal pleading and arguments, emotional blackmail, and deception." Also common among cases of female-on-male sexual assault is taking advantage of an intoxicated man... Just as with prison rape, female-on-male rape gets the comedic treatment"
NoToFemaleRape blithely ignores this issue

cyberpioneer: Top 5 myths about the SAF's latest weapon - the iPad! - "5. Join military, get an iPad 2!
Seriously, if you're joining the Army just to get an iPad 2, I don't know what to say.
Since we're at this, you should check out Mr Brown's take on iPads in the SAF."
Whoever wrote this deserves props

Ashes to bullets: a different way to spend eternity - "Closer to home, there are teddy bears designed with a cavity to hold a container of ashes, so that the dearly departed can still be hugged"

Dead Bodies On Mount Everest - "Unlike a fictional killing by Freddy Krueger, the summit of Mt. Everest is a dream that can truly end in death. Here are the horrific photographs of a failed common goal to achieve Himalayan greatness"
"Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined."

Divorcee wins £4.3m of ex-husband's inheritance despite judge saying 'she did not work for it'
"A Man Is Not a Financial Plan" "No, but a Divorce is"

Intelligence : Sex differences in general knowledge - "A general information or knowledge test, which was shown to measure 19 domains of general knowledge... males obtained significantly higher means than females on the second-order general factor and on four of the six first-order factors identified as information about Current Affairs, Physical Health and Recreation, Arts and Science. Females obtained a significantly higher mean than males on the first-order factor identified as Family. There was no sex difference on the remaining first-order factor identified as Fashion. The results confirm the findings in a number of standardisation samples of the Wechsler tests that males obtain higher average scores than females on the Information subtests and that this is not attributable to a bias in favor of males on these tests"
Men know more General Knowledge than women, not least in Current Affairs. It is also interesting that "Arts" in "Arts and Science" didn't balance out the disparities

mental_floss Blog » 15 Wonderful Words With No English Equivalent - "13. Bakku-shan (Japanese)
The experience of seeing a woman who appears pretty from behind but not from the front."

Spoiler Alert: Stories Are Not Spoiled by ‘Spoilers’ - "Spoilers don’t spoil stories. Contrary to popular wisdom, they actually seem to enhance enjoyment. Even ironic-twist and mystery stories – which you’d be forgiven for assuming absolutely depend on suspense or surprise for success – aren’t spoiled by spoilers... “Plots are just excuses for great writing. What the plot is is (almost) irrelevant. The pleasure is in the writing”"

How youth-led revolts shook elites around the world - "Of all the millions of words expended in the global media on this year's rash of youth-led revolts across the globe, none are more relevant than those penned by Alex Andreou, a Greek-born blogger who now lives in Britain. "You have run out of ideas," he wrote in June, echoing the message of Greek protesters to their country's political and economic elites. "Wherever in the world you are, that statement applies.""
It's not like they have any better ideas than the "elites" themselves

What are the world’s best free attractions?

Jonathan Kay: Take it from me — ‘gender-free’ parenting doesn’t work - "My motives were purely selfish: I wanted my daughters to become racquet addicts, like me, so I could combine my sporting and family loves in the same weekend activities. The project was a total failure... this is like dealing with an overweight kid by telling everyone that we live in a world without gravity. Or telling a very tall child that we live in a world without doorways. Or telling an albino child we live in a world without sun. It is correct and admirable to grant a child unconditional love even if he or she has trouble fitting into the two clubs — straight boys and straight girls — that arithmetically dominate all societies. But it is a species of lie — and a damaging one, at that — to pretend that those clubs are illusory"

City of Richmond v. J. A. Croson Co. - "To accept Richmond's claim that past societal discrimination alone can serve as the basis for rigid racial preferences would be to open the door to competing claims for "remedial relief" for every disadvantaged group. The dream of a Nation of equal citizens in a society where race is irrelevant to personal opportunity and achievement would be lost in a mosaic of shifting preferences based on inherently unmeasurable claims of past wrongs."

Little girl found - "As my daughters grow up I become more aware that vague generalisations about the one-child policy are not the same as concrete facts about where they were born, and when, and to whom – and the real reasons why their parents could not keep them... She was eight then, and not long after our visit she challenged my version of her abandonment myth: “She could have paid the fine,” she said to me one night... She wanted me to stop making her abandonment story into a fairy tale about the good parent and the evil one-child policy: maybe her mother was a businesswoman who was just too busy to have a baby. Maybe she could have paid the fine"

Thrill of the chaste: The truth about Gandhi's sex life - "Was the Mahatma, in fact, as the pre-independence prime minister of the Indian state of Travancore called him, "a most dangerous, semi-repressed sex maniac"?... Gandhi found it easy to embrace poverty. It was chastity that eluded him. So he worked out a series of complex rules which meant he could say he was chaste while still engaging in the most explicit sexual conversation, letters and behaviour"

Gay man marries transexual woman in Cuban first
Is this a transphobic or homophobic act, given that he is not supposed to be interested in her?

BBC edits out the word terrorist - "Early reporting of the attacks on the BBC's website spoke of terrorists but the same coverage was changed to describe the attackers simply as "bombers"... "the word 'terrorist' itself can be a barrier rather than an aid to understanding" and its use should be "avoided", the guidelines say. Rod Liddle, a former editor of the Today programme, has accused the BBC of "institutionalised political correctness" in its coverage of British Muslims"

Porn, Privacy, and BitTorrent: the case of a legally blind man accused of illegally downloading adult flicks

STOMP - Singapore Seen - TV celeb Patricia Mok slams NDP as 'stupid' and 'waste of time' - "As a Singaporean who does she think she is to say this year's NDP is stupid and a waste of time? Singaporeans agree?"
Presumably only Malaysians can criticise NDP
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