"Malaysia Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad and the Sultan of Johor are seen in a blue Proton Saga... "When asked whether there is any tension with the sultan, Dr Mahathir said: “No, I don’t see anything because I went to see him and he drove me to the airport. I don’t want to comment on the sultans because if I say anything that is not good then it’s not nice because he is the sultan”"

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Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Links - 6th December 2011

"The price of being a wolf is loneliness. The price of being a sheep is boredom. Choose carefully what you will be." - Hugh MacLeod


To Be Young (Like 9, on Average?) and Homeless - NYTimes.com - "Is the average age of a homeless person 9 years old? Such a statement is made in a new video from the Coalition for the Homeless, which describes itself as the nation’s oldest advocacy and direct service organization helping homeless men, women and children... we reached out to the city’s Department of Homeless Services. Heather Janik, a spokeswoman, said that the department data showed that the average age across the whole system was 24; the average age of single adults was 45, and the average age of people in families, with children and without, was 19. All would lead to an average much higher than 9... Patrick Markee, senior policy analyst for the Coalition for the Homeless, said that the statistic was from the NYC Homes for the Homeless Institute for Children and Policy, and that it has been used and cited by dozens of other organizations (which, while it will be noted, doesn’t make it accurate, just often repeated)"

Fliers Still Must Turn Off Devices, but It's Not Clear Why - NYTimes.com - "Surely if electronic gadgets could bring down an airplane, you can be sure that the Department of Homeland Security and the Transportation Security Administration, which has a consuming fear of 3.5 ounces of hand lotion and gel shoe inserts, wouldn’t allow passengers to board a plane with aniPad or Kindle, for fear that they would be used by terrorists... The government might be causing more unnecessary interference on planes by asking people to shut their devices down for take-off and landing and then giving them permission to restart all at the same time"

Is the time you spend online ruining your marriage? - "The more frequently an individual uses the Internet the happier they are in their marriage. This news comes with one caveat, however, that independent of frequency of use people who are compulsive Internet users are less happy with their spouse... The authors test to see if the unhappily married were more inclined to be compulsive Internet users, as opposed to compulsive users being more likely to be unhappily married and found no evidence to suggest that the causality runs in that direction. Here is the most interesting result, though: the compulsive Internet users are only making themselves unhappy. They perceive that their marriages are less satisfying and behave toward their partners in an increasingly negative way over time as a result. This could be related to the fact that 42% of compulsive internet users admit to engaging in affairs online and that 50% use the Internet to engage in sexual activities"

Cadence: i've misjudged your character. - "BEST COSTUME had to go to this young dude who came around smiling benignly and shook everyone's hands. omg he was so in character, i knew what he was immediately - with all the General Elections that just took place this year it's not hard to guess - HE'S ACTING AS A YOUNG PAP MEMBER. he even gathered his friends to behave as his minders, WOW. WOW WOW WOW...
them: er, i think he was a real MP or a member of the GRC.
me: WHAT!! wai, you stay here. do you know him?! ... OH GOD WHY DIDN'T ANYONE TELL ME?!?!??!?! i hate you all.
them: we don't know who he is!!!!
me: wah lau eh! who goes around and shakes hands on Halloween, what the heck?!"

J.Ko » The Straits Times and Copyright - "It is a shame that while The Straits Times is suing Yahoo! News for copyright infringement, it does not conduct proper citation or image attribution in its very own backyard."

Boys’ brains, girls’ brains: How to think about sex differences in psychology. - "His colleagues are so afraid of being called “neurosexists” that they’ve refused to study or acknowledge differences... two female scientists in the audience... called the aversion to studying innate differences anti-scientific and an impediment to understanding mental illness in women. The exchange, in which one panelist repeatedly portrayed sex-difference research as a waste of time, confirmed the problem: Fear of sexism has produced a bias against conceding sex differences, which gets in the way of frank discussion and investigation... anyone who dismisses boy-girl differences as cultural artifacts (the panelists criticized Cordelia Fine’s Delusions of Gender in particular) isn’t accounting for similar patterns in animals, such as research showing that male monkeys prefer to play more with cars and less with dolls than female monkeys do. Hines also mentioned a male-female gap in “maze performance” among rodents. You can’t blame that on society... sex differences in math performance had largely evaporated over the past 20 years. But not all differences: A stubborn gap remains in mental rotation, which requires the imaginary realignment of three-dimensional shapes... We need more of that humility, and less glib generalization... 78 percent of effect sizes in studies of psychological sex difference were small or near zero. But that aggregate figure obscures the fine print: Half the effect sizes were between .11 and .35. In aggression, they averaged around .50, and in mental rotation, they were even higher... boys and girls differ more in toy preference than in height... While Eliot and Hyde characterized the effect sizes in sex-difference studies as small or near zero, Cahill argued that these effect sizes were no smaller than those typically found in other neuroscience research. (Indeed, I heard no complaints from the panel about small effect size when Wraga cited a 6-percent effect on math scores as evidence of stereotype threat.)"

Is there a First Amendment right to beat your MMA opponent senseless?

Thai crackdown on Facebook remarks on king - "Thailand has warned users of Facebook that they could face prosecution under harsh lese-majeste laws if they press ''share'' or ''like'' on images or articles considered unflattering to the Thai monarchy"

Atheists can not be trusted: Religious people rank non-believers alongside rapists, study

Why women can be their own worst enemies: Tracy Grimshaw - "If you get a bunch of blokes together in a pub, they are more collegiate, whereas women will be checking out the size of each other's butts or whether they're wearing the right shoes, or what sort of clothes or whether they've got dark roots ... "

Female labour markets: The cashier and the carpenter | The Economist - "It may be unfair, but by working shorter paid hours, women are managing to achieve a reasonable balance in their lives. In a regular survey produced by the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions, only 16-18% of women (depending on whether they have young children) across Europe report dissatisfaction with their work-life balance, against 20-27% for men... Hours and conditions [in the public sector] are usually more congenial and maternity arrangements more generous. So with better pay, conditions and promotion prospects, it is no wonder that the public sector is the employer of choice for so many women."
This survey is full of more reasons besides discrimination for gender gaps in labour markets. Among other gems, "in all the Nordic countries working women are heavily concentrated in the public sector", "women can be their own worst enemies. They tend to be less self-confident than men and do not put their hands up, so they do not get the plum assignments or promotions or pay rises", "asked to advise a consultancy on the reasons for high turnover among its women, it found that the firm’s projects were often badly managed, making for long hours. The men, it discovered, were not happy either, but they quietly rearranged things to make life easier for themselves. The women went part-time or quit"

Power Rangers run Standard Chartered Marathon.

You May Want to Save Your Pocket Change Next Time You See a Jingle Dude - "The Salvation Army has a wide and noticeable history of financing and supporting anti-LGBT legislation, such as opposing marriage equality. Is that where you want your pocket money going… to defense of marriage lobbyists?"

Inequality and taxes: Equality doesn't always mean redistribution | The Economist - "While income taxes in the Netherlands are highly progressive, all the other taxes (VAT, social insurance, excise taxes and so forth) are so regressive that the total burden of taxation is almost flat across income groups. Everybody pays about 40%... the main reason the Netherlands has low levels of inequality is that incomes in the Netherlands just aren't very unequal, even before taxes or transfers... After taxes and transfers, the Netherlands has about the same level of inequality as Germany and somewhat less than France or Italy. But before taxes and transfers, Germany, France and Italy are far more unequal; in fact gross income in Germany and Italy is more unequal than in America. You can't really say "in Europe, they have higher taxes and more transfers, which is why inequality is lower." That's true in parts of Europe. In other parts, inequality is lower because people just tend to earn relatively equal amounts of money."

Ron Paul vs. the New World Order - "Ron Paul has made a career out of transmitting extremist beliefs, particularly far-right conspiracy theories about a looming "New World Order," into the mainstream of public discourse by reframing and repackaging them for wider consumption, mostly by studiously avoiding the more noxious and often racist elements of those beliefs. Along the way, he has built a long record of appearing before and lending the credibility of his office to a whole array of truly noxious organizations, and has a loyal following built in no small part on members of those groups."

36% of 16-19-Year-Old Boys “Sexless” - "The results of the latest governmental survey of Japanese attitudes to sex and marriage, undertaken every 5 years, reveal a society in which men and women are apparently increasingly alienated from one and other. The survey found 61% of unmarried men aged 18-34 have no girlfriend, a 9.2% increase from 2005. For women, 50% had no boyfriend (suggesting they are tending to date older men)... A quarter of unmarried men and women in their late thirties also reported having had no sexual experiences at all... A related survey of young people aged 16-19 found extraordinarily low levels of interest in sex amongst youngsters – 36% of boys reported having “no interest” in or “dislike” of sex, up 19% in only 3 years, and amongst girls it was up 12% to 59%... It has also been frequently suggested that [Japanese women] tend to have unrealistic expectations as to the income and status of their desired husband"

Nude Lady Gaga reveals all on bad romance - "She added that sometimes she feels she is destined to be lonely. “I had a man say to me, ‘You will die alone in a house bigger than you know, with all your money and hit records, and you will die alone’”"

Philosophy Bro: The Full List - "Philosophy is hard - I read and summarize, so you don't have to, man"
"All it would take is one sneaky little motherfucker near the foundations of my beliefs to blow everything else I believe up, and not only is that fucking terrifying, it's completely possible. Shit."
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