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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Links - 30th August 2011

"Love can be sordid only if you work at it." - Brooke McEldowney

***

French woman in Malaysia 'killed for refusing sex' - "She and the suspect Asni Omar, a 36-year-old local businessman, had been drinking together on the island and she was later killed after refusing to have sex with him"
Malaysia Boleh!

"Last-place Aversion": Evidence and Redistributive Implications - "Why do low-income individuals often oppose redistribution? We hypothesize that an aversion to being in "last place" undercuts support for redistribution, with low-income individuals punishing those slightly below themselves to keep someone "beneath" them. In laboratory experiments, we find support for "last-place aversion"... Last-place aversion predicts that those earning just above the minimum wage will be most likely to oppose minimum-wage increases as they would no longer have a lower-wage group beneath them, a prediction we confirm using survey data"

Searah's Museum of Screwy Sex Toys - "This device came out maybe five or so years ago and is an attachment for your vacuum that you use to… wait for it… stimulate your clitoris. Yes indeed! Just pop this hard plastic tube on the end of your household appliance that suctions up dirt and grime and suction up your clit for fun!... #1- turning on the vacuum at 12am would wake up the rest of my sleeping household # 2- I did not want this thing anywhere near my goodies."

How external cues make us overeat. - "Instead of Italian Pasta, we called it Succulent Tuscany Pasta. Or instead of Chocolate Cake, we called it Belgian Black Forest Cake, even though the Black Forest isn't in Belgium. Once we added a descriptive name, sales jumped by 27 percent. And it's not just that food. People rated the restaurant better and the chef more competent.... the McDonald's eaters underestimated their calories by 19 percent, but the Subway eaters underestimated by 27 percent... I just had a dissertation defense for a student who found that if people were given a food labeled "organic," they estimated the calories as 15 to 20 percent lower than if the food wasn't called organic... there are real dangers to the health halo. It's not just that you underestimate calories. It's that the next step is to reward yourself by eating even more... "if you have 17 years of college behind you, you're likely to think that education is the answer to everything"... education is probably not the way to go... we find that the smarter people are, the more they get fooled because they believe that they are smarter"

Angola-Portugal, la colonisation à l'envers | Slate Afrique - "Ces trois dernières années, pas moins de 100.000 Portugais se sont installés en Angola, ancienne colonie lusophone d’Afrique australe pays situé à sept heures de vol de Lisbonne. Quelque 25.000 demandes de visas ont été deposées en 2010 par de jeunes professionnels qui veulent échapper à la crise au Portugal. Si le flux migratoire persiste, la communauté portugaise pourrait retrouver en Angola son niveau d’avant l’indépendance: 500.000 personnes. Du jamais vu, dans les annales post-coloniales"

Back to the Future Co-Creator Bob Gale Explains How Marty and Doc Became Friends

Find Out Why This Could Be The Greatest Wedding Photo Of All Time

Sex, lies and pitfalls of overblown statistics - "“On average, men think about sex every seven seconds.” How did the researchers find this out? Did they ask men how often they thought about sex, or when they last thought about sex (3½ seconds ago, on average)? Did they give their subjects a buzzer to press every time they thought about sex? How did they confirm the validity of the responses? Is it possible that someone just made this statement up, and that it has been repeated frequently and without attribution ever since? Many of the numbers I hear at business conferences have that provenance."

Theodore Dalrymple: The Barbarians Inside Britain's Gates - "The rioters in the news last week had a thwarted sense of entitlement that has been assiduously cultivated by an alliance of intellectuals, governments and bureaucrats. "We're fed up with being broke," one rioter was reported as having said, as if having enough money to satisfy one's desires were a human right rather than something to be earned... while the rioters have been maintained in a condition of near-permanent unemployment by government subvention augmented by criminal activity, Britain was importing labor to man its service industries... The reason for this is clear: The young unemployed Britons not only have the wrong attitude to work, for example regarding fixed hours as a form of oppression, but they are also dramatically badly educated. Within six months of arrival in the country, the average young Pole speaks better, more cultivated English than they do"
Meanwhile people say making people work for benefits is slavery, amounts to Victorian workhouses etc

Tuscan friars ask God to deliver diarrhoea for basilica bible thief - "Friars at the 15th century church of San Salvatore al Monte, which was a favourite of Michelangelo, were irritated when a rare and expensive bible disappeared from the lectern, and they flew off the handle when a replacement bible donated by a worshipper also went missing and within a few hours."

Mozilla: Firefox 7 browser might use 50 to 75% more memory - The IT Reporter - "When reporters compared Firefox against Google Chrome‘s performance and stability, Kovacs shrugged and pointed out that Firefox still is the only browser that has a cute animal in the logo. The Association for Firefox Developers responded positively. An overjoyed spokeswoman said that this decision was “long overdue” and praised the Mozilla Foundation for “bravely dumping overrated software development concepts”, such as stability, performance and efficiency"

How did Rocky and Drago avoid steroid testing? - "We finally learned how "Back to the Future's" Doc and Marty met. It's time solve these other '80s movie mysteries"

10 Most Hated Jobs
Amusingly, Law Clerk is #7. Also, "IT directors reported the highest level of dissatisfaction with their jobs, far surpassing that of any waitress, janitor, or bellhop"

The Most Brilliantly Pointless Street Flyers | Happy Place

The Sweet, Superb and Scary Cosplay of Gamescom 2011
The Japs have higher standards (in more than one sense of the word) but many characters look more natural when played by Caucasians

Study: Singles Die Earlier Than Married People - "New research shows that getting married could lengthen your life for up to 17 years"
I read a few reports and they don't seem to have controlled for self-selection - people going to live longer are more likely to get married (or even considered this possibility). This is what happens when you get a sociologist to do an economist/statistician's job!

Bear Attacks Cows & Learns Getting Beef Isn’t Easy

TOC photographer hauled to police station by SBS Transit staff - "We are horrified to learn that this had happened. This is certainly not something we condone... For these lapses, we are taking disciplinary action against him. We would like to extend our deepest apologies to Mr XXX for the inconvenience and distress caused"
What a refreshing change from usual Singaporean responses

Confessions of an Ex-Moralist - NYTimes.com - "Is not morality like this God? In other words, could I believe that, say, the wrongness of a lie was any more intrinsic to an intentionally deceptive utterance than beauty was to a sunset or wonderfulness to the universe?... One interesting discovery has been that there are fewer practical differences between moralism and amoralism than might have been expected. It seems to me that what could broadly be called desire has been the moving force of humanity, no matter how we might have window-dressed it with moral talk... Mother Theresa was acting as much from desire as was the Marquis de Sade. But the sort of desire that now concerns me most is what we would want if we were absolutely convinced that there is no such thing as moral right and wrong. I think the most likely answer is: pretty much the same as what we want now... to argue that people who use animals for food and other purposes are doing something terribly wrong is hardly the way to win them over. That is more likely to elicit their defensive resistance."

STOMP - Singapore Seen - At it again! Malaysian hooligan points laser at Lion's keeper to blind him - "A similar incident had occurred during Malaysia's Suzuki cup meeting with Indonesia which led to the Indonesian team walking out temporarily during the match"
Malaysia Boleh!

It's official: women are better liars - "Scientists at Queen Margaret University College in Edinburgh have been counting the pauses between words and discovered that men are almost twice as likely as women to hesitate mid-sentence. Normally a liar can be spotted by an increase in the number of pauses in their conversation"

Women’s Bathrooms in China — The Honest Truth about Chinese Toilets - "So have you ever seen those old women who, without any modesty, leave the door hanging wide open while doing something rather private then precede to not flush? Sure it seems close to vile in western culture but look at from a cleanliness perspective – she didn’t touch the door handle or the toilet handle. She thinks it’s disgusting when us westerns not only close the door but grab hold of the handle and fasten the lock, then precede to touch the toilet handle, that has been touched by countless people who have just touched some not so clean places, to flush the toilet."

Ogling by Men Subtracts from Women's Math Scores - "Getting the once-over from a man causes women to score lower on a math test, a new study finds. Despite this drop in performance, women were more motivated to interact with men who ogled them, perhaps because they were trying to boost their sense of belonging... The researchers are now investigating whether woman-on-woman or man-on-man gazing has any effect on performance. They're also interested in whether licentious glances could become as taboo as butt-slaps under sexual harassment law"
Is it more important to boost women's maths scores or to give them what they want? The more interesting finding here was that women like being checked out by men. Is it sexual harassment if the "victim" wants it?
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