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Monday, November 28, 2011

Links - 28th November 2011

"Sometimes I get the feeling the whole world is against me, but deep down I know that's not true. Some smaller countries are neutral." - Robert Orben

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disproving intelligent design with a mouse trap ( TheUKatheist ) - YouTube

Who says sex doesn't sell? - Richard's Blog - Virgin.com - "All of the books I have written with sexual connotations in the title have sold a storm. Losing My Virginity, Screw It Let's Do It and Business Stripped Bare all went down well. The only one that hasn't sold as well as the rest was Reach For The Skies, which I wanted to call Getting It Up""

Cheated!!! : Brought a iPhone 4s but gotten a Samsung instead! - "She was given a Samsung phone instead of the iPhone 4S. Mdm Kun Tong immediately asked for a refund but the shop assistant refused and instead challenged her to bring him to court. She called the police immediately, but police officers could do nothing to help her... With the help of CASE, the shop eventually agreed to give her a refund, but insists on charging her $120 for a Goods and Service Tax (GST) processing fee"

Gabe Newell: Piracy is a “Non-issue” to Valve; Providing better Services Will Result in More Sales - "No one knows the PC market better than Valve, and in a recent interview with TCS, Gabe Newell explained why Valve is so successful... He said that there is a general misconception about piracy, and it’s not really the high cost that forces people to pirate. It’s about the delivery service and how convenient it is to people with purchasing power... “Prior to entering the Russian market, we were told that Russia was a waste of time because everyone would pirate our products. Russia is now about to become our largest market in Europe”"

Women gamers have more sex, study finds - "Female Gamers have more sex, are more social, and are happy

'He was supposed to drop cat off at SPCA' | The New Paper - "Her husband was caught on camera dumping the feline into a rubbish bin, triggering outrage from netizens... she said that Michael had bipolar disorder and suffered a relapse eight days ago"
Now we see who's stronger: the cat lovers or the advocates for the mentally ill

Having Children Brings High Carbon Impact - NYTimes.com - "Having children is the surest way to send your carbon footprint soaring, according to a new study from statisticians at Oregon State University. The study found that having a child has an impact that far outweighs that of other energy-saving behaviors"
The best way to reduce your carbon footprint is to kill yourself

Man appears in FHM's '100 Sexiest Women' list - "That readers of FHM have voted an androgynous man in to their most recent list of the 100 Sexiest Women in the World might have been a cause for celebration among equal rights campaigners. Instead, the magazine has provoked outrage over its warning to readers to "pass the sick bucket" on encountering 19-year-old Andrej Pejic, rather ignoring the fact that it was they who voted for him in the first place... Having been chatted up by Australian men since the age of 14 ("Sometimes they're shocked, but most of the time they still want to buy me a drink," Pejic says), neither his place on the list nor the reaction it has engendered will come as a particular surprise to him. He has been more philosophical than his persecutors on the matter. In an interview last month, he declared: "It's a very liberal industry. You can be yourself. Just not overweight""
Is it misogynistic to vote a man into a woman's competition?

10 illegal baby names

Ignorance is bliss when it comes to challenging social issues - "The less people know about important complex issues such as the economy, energy consumption and the environment, the more they want to avoid becoming well-informed"

Section of Evidence Act that can discredit sexual assault victim to be repealed
I'm not holding my breath for Section 509 to be repealed; naturally AWARE is deafeningly silent on it. Bizarrely, Lim Kit Siang says that Section 509 protects men rather than women.

Swearing in Quebec: If you profane something no one holds sacred, does it make a swear? - "One motivation behind the museum exhibit on swear words was to show visiting school children the objects they were referring to when they swore, as many had no idea what a chalice, tabernacle or ciborium (ciboire) looked like. They would recognize hosts, but only because these communion wafers are now sold as snacks in Quebec grocery stores... Swear words disappear not through censorship, but when they no longer offend"

Scorpios and Virgos need not apply, says job at university ' because they are too moody and critical'

STOMP - Singapore Seen - Are curry puffs sold outside MRT stations safe to eat? - "They do not have any license or proper way of handling these curry puffs. They just put the curry puffs in plastic bags!... It is extremely unhygienic to have these people selling curry puffs like this. I urge the relevant authorities to look in to this matter." NEA: "Any person who wishes to sell curry puffs or other food items must do so in a licensed premise such as a food shop or food centre. NEA will continue to deploy officers to take enforcement action against illegal hawkers"
And you wonder why entrepreneurship is so hard to encourage

Fox News Viewers are the Most Misinformed: A Seventh Study Arrives to Prove It (and to Vindicate Jon Stewart!) - "I noted in my prior posts that the studies documenting the “Fox News effect” do not necessarily show causation. In other words, watching Fox may make you more misinformed, but people who believe lots of political misinformation may also gravitate towards Fox. I actually think both things are going on simultaneously—but the new Feldman study does make a strong causal case that Fox is actively driving a lot of the problem."

omy - 新闻 News - Men falling for online sex con - "Con men are now pretending to be underage girls to blackmail men online... The "girls" all claim to be at least 18 years old in their posts. When contacted, the "girl" will not answer the phone and will instead send an SMS to say that she is actually only 15 years old, and willing to have sex for cash. After the offer for sex, the con victims will receive SMSes from the girl's supposed "father", threatening to bring the case to the police. A short while later, victims will receive SMSes from a supposed "policeman" asking them to go to the station to assist in investigations. At this point, the girl's "father" will SMS again to ask for money to drop the case"

Attacks on small nations a 'direct challenge' to S'pore - "The invasion of a small country by a larger neighbour and the forceful removal of its government are direct challenges to Singapore's foreign policy, former deputy prime minister Wong Kan Seng said yesterday at the S. Rajaratnam Lecture. The former coordinating minister for national security used Cambodia as an example. Even though Singapore did not agree with the country's Khmer Rogue regime, it had to make a stand against Vietnam's invasion of Cambodia in 1978."
Free Tibet! Free Taiwan!

Lost in translation: our top 20 picks
The majority are from China

American Samoa football team celebrate first ever win - "American Samoa's football team - ranked as the worst international team in the world - has won a game for the first time in its history."

How to be a bad tourist - "Here are a series of photos I took of some Korean (I think) tourists and a young Burmese girl near Amarapura in Burma earlier this month. This is why when I travel, I try to only take pictures of food."

Burma parliament passes protest bill - "Burma's military-dominated parliament has passed a bill allowing citizens to protest peacefully, a lawmaker said Thursday -- the latest in a rapid series of reformist moves in the isolated country."
And now Burma has more freedom than Singapore (on paper)

Islamic embryology: overblown balderdash : Pharyngula - "I have read the entirety of Hamza Andreas Tzortzis' paper, Embryology in the Qur'an: A scientific-linguistic analysis of chapter 23: With responses to historical, scientific & popular contentions, all 58 pages of it (although, admittedly, it does use very large print). It is quite possibly the most overwrought, absurdly contrived, pretentious expansion of feeble post hoc rationalizations I've ever read. As an exercise in agonizing data fitting, it's a masterpiece."
Is science Islamophobic? If science offends religion, should we criminalise science?

Joe Pressil: Dude, Where's My Semen? - "Joe Pressil is accusing a Houston fertility clinic, Advanced Fertility, of accepting a semen sample from a woman claiming to be his wife in 2007, and, without his knowledge or consent, performing "in vitro fertilization which resulted in the birth of twins... Gibson says Anetria surreptitiously smuggled the spunk by saving the condoms that had been used... Anetria got pregnant only to squeeze more money -- and the house -- out of Pressil, Gibson says"

Tibet and the Chinese People's Republic. A Report to the International Commission of Jurists by its Legal Inquiry Committee on Tibet - ""The view of the COMMITTEE was that Tibet was at the very least a de facto independent State when the Agreement of Peaceful Measures in Tibet was signed in 1951, and the repudiation of this agreement by the Tibetan Government in 1959 was found to be fully justified. In examining the evidence, the COMMITTEE took into account events in Tibet as related in authoritative accounts by officials and scholars familiar at first hand with the recent history of Tibet and official documents which have been published. These show that Tibet demonstrated from 1913 to 1950 the conditions of statehood as generally accepted under international law. In 1950 there was a people and a territory, and a government which functioned in that territory, conducting its own domestic affairs free from any outside authority. From 1913 -1950 foreign relations of Tibet were conducted exclusively by the Government of Tibet and countries with whom Tibet had foreign relations are shown by official documents to have treated Tibet in practice as an independent State"

The Great Irish Famine and the Holocaust - "When blight struck the Irish were ‘totally vulnerable’. This was a ‘nuanced genocide’, he continues, one that manipulated fate ‘by pushing a people to the brink of annihilation and turning away so not to hear the wailing …’. Put briefly and more bluntly, professors Charles Rice and Francis Boyle believe: ‘the policies pursued by the British government from 1845-50 in Ireland constituted ‘genocide’’... to narrow the focus simply to the role of the British government for a moment: for all the massive irresponsibility and buck-passing that characterised the five years of crisis, the state succeeded in organising public relief schemes that employed three-quarters of a million workers, and at one point was responsible for feeding three million people on a daily basis. These are not the actions of a Government or a state bent on genocide"
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