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Meesa gonna kill you!

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Monday, October 10, 2011

Links - 10th October 2011

"Whoso would be a man must be a nonconformist." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

***

Most professionals don't clear leave - "Just two in five, or 39 per cent, of the 8,980 professionals polled recently in 19 countries could manage to clear all their leave last year. The number is even smaller in Singapore - under one in three, among the lowest in the poll done by recruitment firm Robert Walters... 'The figures reflect that Singaporeans do not have a strong work-life balance'... Job insecurity is probably widespread in the US, where only 23.81 per cent of the professionals polled cleared their leave in 2010. Roughly the same number didn't go on leave at all that year - higher than the 14.8 per cent polled for all countries. The percentage of people who didn't go on leave was 13.43 per cent in Singapore"

Huge silicone breast saves woman from husband's knife - "According to the surgeon, the woman's husband asked his wife to enlarge her breasts five years ago. The woman agreed. The surgeon examined the woman carefully and offered to try size four implants. The client happily accepted the offer. During the fight, the man stabbed his wife in the left breast. He was apparently trying to kill her since he was targeting the heart. However, the knife did not even reach the thorax because of the large breast implant."

GOP might be anti-science, but so are Democrats - "Rates of vaccine non-compliance tend to be higher in places where Whole Foods is popular — and 89% of Whole Foods stores are located in counties that favored Barack Obama in 2008. Federal health data suggest that anti-vaccine sentiment is more common in progressive areas. With the exception of Alaska, the states with the highest rates of vaccine refusal for kindergarteners are Washington, Vermont and Oregon — three of the most progressive states in the country. Unlike denying evolution, refusing vaccinations can be deadly. Progressives are also often against genetically modified food, despite its known benefits and widespread support among agricultural scientists and molecular biologists... We can also thank progressives for blocking the construction of nuclear power plants, even though nuclear power is supported by 70% of the scientific community. Ironically, they oppose this technology despite the fact it would help reduce carbon emissions and limit the impact of global warming. Progressive organizations such as PETA are opposed to animal research, despite the fact that an overwhelming 93% of scientists support it. These progressives believe that the rights of animals should trump our desire to cure our loved ones affected by HIV, Alzheimer's or cancer"

What's the Scientific Reason Women Have Orgasms? - "On the face of it, the byproduct theory seems rather male-focused and maybe even anti-feminist... On the other hand, it’s also possible that the byproduct view could actually support feminist efforts against the so-called medicalization of female pleasure"
It is telling that the vast majority of the article is not about whether the scientific theories about why women have orgasms are true or not, but whether they are feminist or anti-feminist

Mrs., Ms. or Miss: Addressing Modern Women - "I never understood why, from the perspective of fighting the patriarchy, it was somehow more liberated to bear your father's name than your husband's, especially since you choose your husband and inherit your father"

Zombie Disney Cosplay - "Apparently I go to the wrong conventions, because at the Midlands MCM Expo they have Zombie Disney Cosplay going on"

Why Jobs Is No Edison - "Apple’s products are actually third-order innovations that use a variety of fundamental second-order innovations in the now vast realm of electronic components to assemble and to program devices whose greatest appeal has been due to their (choose your own adjective, or embrace all of them) sleek, unorthodox, elegant, streamlined, clean, functional interface design... looks and product appeal are far too little in order to qualify for an Edisonian mantle... And as for the “awesome technologies” that sprang from Jobs’s Apple laboratories, would not an impartial observer describe the iPad as just a small laptop computer without a keyboard and a cover (a boon for the makers of covers that people buy to protect the device) rather than an epoch-making innovation on par with electricity, vaccination, hybrid crops, or synthetic nitrogen fertilizers?... Auletta concludes that Jobs, like Edison, has been “an inventor and a man who has changed our lives.” Instant history has its perils"
"Instant history has its perils" also makes me think of Obama and the Nobel Peace Prize, amongst many early plaudits

The importance of stupidity in scientific research - "I remember the day when Henry Taube (who won the Nobel Prize two years later) told me he didn't know how to solve the problem I was having in his area. I was a third-year graduate student and I figured that Taube knew about 1000 times more than I did (conservative estimate). If he didn't have the answer, nobody did. That's when it hit me: nobody did. That's why it was a research problem... Preliminary and thesis exams have the right idea when the faculty committee pushes until the student starts getting the answers wrong or gives up and says, `I don't know'. The point of the exam isn't to see if the student gets all the answers right. If they do, it's the faculty who failed the exam"

Boyfriends for hire | Her World Singapore - "Most female customers of host bars pay these men simply to be pampered with attention – sex not included. “In a host bar, a woman can experience most of the things she would in a serious relationship, minus the baggage,” says Vanessa Von Auer, psychologist and clinical director at VA Psychology Center. This includes having a patient Adonis who will listen to her woes and even show affection in the form of casual flirting. “The hosts appeal to a woman’s need to feel taken care of, loved and respected,” Vanessa says... “In these nightspots, the power relations between men and women are reversed,” says Daniel Koh, a psychologist with Insights Mind Centre. “Women call the shots and can get the men to cater to their needs. They also feel validated because other women in the club are doing the same”... hosts are not obliged to sleep with customers. Ming says he makes excuses to fend off requests for sex, but adds that he does not mind doing it with customers who are his “type” – young, pretty women with a sweet disposition. He declined to say if he has been paid for sex... would a woman engage an escort without expecting sex? Gary*, 30, a Singaporean engineer who has been a freelance escort for eight years, admits that most of his engagements end up with sex... He says it is common for his customers to develop feelings for him, regardless of whether sex is involved, and a significant number have confessed that they “love” him... being a good escort involves more than just sex, Gary says. “Giving your customers the ‘boyfriend effect’ – showing them love, care and concern – is an escort’s greatest talent. I make them feel like they’re the best in the world by doing sweet things like putting my arm around their shoulder”... Aden, 29, a Singaporean, decided to become a freelance escort in July while on a one-year career sabbatical. Curious to see if a demand for such services existed, he advertised himself online, charging $10 an hour to test the market and build his client base... One client was between jobs and had plenty of time to kill"
Comments: i) I'm told that many men treat prostitutes the same way (though sex is included more often - but not always)
ii) Does this count as objectification?
iii) If you're a woman who goes to these places the power relations are probably in your favour already
iv) The "boyfriend effect" parallels GFE for men
v) One thing they only mentioned peripherally was that the host bar phenomenon came from Japan (what's new)


Millions mourn Steve Jobs - "A charismatic figure, Jobs was not universally popular. He was also seen by some as arrogant and vicious towards business rivals. He often parked his car in the disabled parking slot at Apple headquarters and one of his first acts on returning to the company in 1997 was to terminate all of its corporate philanthropy programmes. No aspect of corporate life was immune from his authority and he was said to be controlling when it came to dealing with the press. One journalist described getting an interview with Jobs as about as easy as getting an interview with Saddam Hussein, "except Saddam would probably be more helpful and certainly more polite". Some said he ruled Apple with a combination of foul-mouthed tantrums and charm, withering scorn and carefully judged flattery. People were either geniuses or "bozos", and those in his regular orbit found that they could flip with no warning from one category to the other"

‘The Submission,’ at Lucille Lortel Theater - Review - NYTimes.com - "While cable television has inured this country to almost all obscenities, there are a couple of epithets that can still explode like H-bombs when spoken in public, especially by the right (or wrong) people. Those words are “nigger” and “faggot.” And they are used (with less and less caution) by Danny (Jonathan Groff, “Spring Awakening” onstage and “Glee” on television), a gay white playwright, and Emilie (Rutina Wesley of HBO’s “True Blood”), a black actress. Danny and Emilie are partners in crime, of a sort, which keeps them in closer contact than they would ever have found themselves otherwise... [his play is] about a black family in the projects, and Danny assumes (no doubt correctly) that producers will be put off by the disconnect between writer and subject. So he invents an alter ego, named Shaleeha G’ntamobi, as the play’s official author, and he hires an initially reluctant Emilie to impersonate her."

Don't drink coffee! It contains 1,3,7-trimethylxanthine. - "1,3,7-trimethylxanthine is an alkaloid (like cocaine and morphine!) and has significant effects on the central nervous and renal system. It is a P1-purino receptor agonist; these receptors play an imporant role in the regulation of the blood perfusion of the human heart. Animal experiments (e.g. in spiders) show that it is a highly neurotoxic agent. So far it has already been found in coffee, tea, and many soft drinks but it may be a lot more prevalent. We demand food free of chemistry and genes!"

私はPuffyです: Rafflesian Discipline - "And then came jaywalking across the road directly outside the backgate as a bookable offence... One day in Secondary 4, after having stayed back in school, my friend and I decided to take the shortest route to the bus stop. To our horror, we discovered a prefect at the bus stop, who walked over all ready to book us. (What was she doing there! Aren't all prefects supposed to be guai and home straight after school mugging for their O levels??!!) Fortunately, 132 came, and since the waiting time for 132 was rather long, the prefect looked like she was torn between wanting to book us and going home ASAP. (See! They all want to go home and mug! =P). To make life easier for her, we decided to pretend to queue to get on the bus, and when she was safely on it, we moved off and waited for the next bus. However, the next day, this prefect tracked me down and told me she had booked me for the offence. I was like ok, suay, met her in school, nothing I could do about it. Then she says 'Please tell Shi'an I booked her too.' I was like 'Erm ok. How do you know her name?' She said 'Oh I booked her in Sec 1.' Poor Shi'an"
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