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Thursday, January 12, 2012

Links - 11th January 2012

"People see weakness in a woman and they want to help. They see weakness in a man and they want to stamp it out" - Norah Vincent, Self Made Man

Keywords: crush, instinct when women

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Lan Guage (Lahn Gwij) - "Wah Lan. Wah lan eh! Simi lan?! - Varying degrees of saying "What the ****""

Can high salary curb corruption? - "Most highly paid bosses head the most corrupt organisations, according to bribery survey"

Singapore University hacked - "The hackers alleged they were spurred on after an error message generated by probes of the website stated:"If you're trying to use the SQL error message to dig for juicy information, get lost.” "I made it my personal goal to get in and r*pe their sorry asses for the message," the hackers said."

Economics blogs: A less dismal debate | The Economist - "Forbes once called blogs “the prized platform of an online lynch mob spouting liberty but spewing lies, libel and invective”. Previous publishing revolutions, such as the advent of printing, prompted similar concerns about trivialisation and extremism. But whatever you think about the impact of blogging on political, scientific or religious debate, it is hard to argue that the internet has cheapened the global conversation about economics. On the contrary, it has improved it"

Shocked woman dies at own funeral after heart attack - "Started screaming as mourners gathered around coffin saying prayers for her soul"

Ex-SLA exec paid underage girl for sex, jailed 9 months - "Deputy Public Prosecutor Fu Qijing said the onus was on grown men to exercise caution and check the age of their sexual partners"
Subsection (4) of section 140 of the Women's Charter:: "Subject to subsection (5) and notwithstanding anything in section 79 of the Penal Code (Cap. 224), a reasonable mistake as to the age of a girl shall not be a defence to a charge of an offence under subsection (1)(i)". In other words, if she shows you a fake identity card, you still go to jail (unless you're under 21)

The Subjectivity of Wine - "Brochet invited 57 wine experts and asked them to give their impressions of what looked like two glasses of red and white wine. The wines were actually the same white wine, one of which had been tinted red with food coloring. But that didn't stop the experts from describing the "red" wine in language typically used to describe red wines... He took a middling Bordeaux and served it in two different bottles. One bottle was a fancy grand-cru. The other bottle was an ordinary vin du table. Despite the fact that they were actually being served the exact same wine, the experts gave the differently labeled bottles nearly opposite ratings"
The scam of wine!

5 Inspiring Religions That Worship Penises | Cracked.com - "At Min's temple, worshipers would rub the leaves of the Egyptian lettuce plant (Lactuca serriola), some varieties of which are tall, straight and round, and which would emit a milky white sap. Yep, they masturbated lettuce."
Unsurprisingly 2/5 are Japanese

Nonsense on stilts - "Life in Mexico must be an absolute living hell. Why else would millions of desperate Mexicans endure the following to try to reach those California fields?... Yet it turns out that if Mexico is a living hell, it is an extremely happy living hell. Robin Hanson recently cited research that shows Mexico is the second happiest country on Earth. I claim that Mexico is a country with very low utility, full of very happy people. Think of ‘happiness’ as “personality,” and think of ‘utility’ as “living conditions”... So what are the policy implications, should government officials try to maximize happiness or utility? I’m a utilitarian, so naturally I favor utility. Do you really want to defend a policy goal that implies there’s little point in clearing land mines from Cambodia, Afghanistan, and Iraq, because happiness always reverts to a set-point?... families without children should move next door to child molesters. Why? Because houses are much cheaper, indeed $14,340 cheaper if within 0.1 miles of a child molester in rural Virginia"

Freakonomics » Why Is “I Don’t Know” So Hard to Say? A New Freakonomics Radio Podcast - "I really have come to believe teaching MBAs that one of the most important things you learn as an MBA is how to pretend you know the answer to any question even though you have absolutely no idea what you’re talking about. And I’ve found it’s really one of the most destructive factors in business — is that everyone masquerades like they know the answer and no one will ever admit they don’t know the answer, and it makes it almost impossible to learn."

No One Who Lives In New York Is Really From New York - "In its first incarnation, which peaked during the 1840s, American Nativism had a distinctly anti-Irish character... they promulgated lurid propaganda about Catholics (their occult infant-sacrifice rituals and the like) that helped whipped up violent fury among the “native born” population. Througout the period, riots flared up across the Northeast, especially in New York (a recent fictionalization is the Martin Scorcese film, Gangs of New York); destruction of Catholic property and loss of life usually followed"
Perhaps this can tell us something about racial integration today

“This picture just makes me smile. Great photographs do not need to be serious, they just need to evoke emotion.” (LIFE)

Ask Veronica: Is it true black people can't get lice?

My Student, the 'Terrorist' - ""If we are engaged in a war against terror—and we most certainly are," FBI Assistant Director Mark J. Mershon publicly claimed, "then Syed Hashmi aided the enemy by supplying military gear to Al Qaeda." The government had caught a "quartermaster." Despite the sensationalism, the government had been forced to admit it was not actually accusing Hashmi of supplying military gear himself; "quartermastering" consisted of allowing an acquaintance with luggage to stay in his apartment. "Military gear" in the luggage amounted to raincoats, ponchos, and waterproof socks."
"In her numerous pleas on behalf of Syed Hashmi, Jeanne Theoharis curiously neglects to mention that in addition to helping furnish al-Qaida with waterproof socks, his material support thereof extended to violating the U.S. export ban on night vision equipment. Next time a coalition soldier gets killed in the dark, she and her amen corner can take pride in their small but significant facilitation of whitewashing the enablers of his assailants"

From the Mailbag | Regretsy - "Rather than have the violin returned to me, PayPal made the buyer DESTROY the violin in order to get his money back"

BBC chief: male musical tastes more 'intellectual' - "The head of popular music at the BBC, Lesley Douglas, has sparked controversy by suggesting that men "tend to be more interested in the intellectual side of music", while their female counterparts' relationship with the art form is one rooted in emotion."

Are economists selfish? A lit review - "There is a selection effect for economics majors, who are less likely to donate than other students, and that there is an indoctrination effect for non-majors but not for majors"

Does Apple service stolen phones? - "What happened instead turned out to be a case of instant karma, when Apple refused to help Barkley and ended up giving away a phone to the man who may have stolen Barkley’s, or bought it from the person who did"

25 Everyday Things You Never Knew Had Names - "13. Paresthesia. The pins and needles feeling you get when part of your body falls asleep. Bonus! This is known as obdormition."

Angry Belgians Are Taking Action Over Ikea’s Cheap Meatballs - "Restaurant owners in Belgium are so angry at the low prices in Ikea’s in-store cafeterias that they have begun sending homeless people to eat there"

Muslims and the Koran: In the beginning were the words | The Economist - "When it comes to parsing holy writ, there is one big difference between Islam and most other text-based faiths. Barring a brief interlude in the ninth and tenth centuries, and a few modern liberals, Muslims have mostly believed that the Koran is distinct from every other communication. As God’s final revelation to man, it belongs not to earthly, created things but to an eternal realm. That is a bigger claim than other faiths usually make for their holy writings. The Koran may be interpreted but from a believer’s viewpoint, nothing in it can be set aside... What can be debated in most Muslim countries differs hugely from what is discussed in the West... Egypt’s leading advocate of a liberal reading of the Koran—Nasr Abu Zayd, who died in 2010—was denounced as an apostate, forcibly divorced from his wife and had to spend his later life abroad... [in] several British campuses... scholars say they find it hard to get funding for work that threatens orthodoxy... if people expect Islam to change into something like liberal Christianity—treating scripture as a useful but fallible aid to belief—they are wrong. As Mustafa Akyol, a Turkish writer, says: “If you say the Koran is a human text, then you cease to be Muslim”"
Is this seditious?

Burned by Maria Ozawa - "Filipinos almost got a gift this Christmas when a supposed Facebook page by the Japan-based porn star Maria Ozawa reported that its owner would be or was already in the Philippines. Moreover, Ozawa had declared that she would be auditioning any willing male Filipinos this January 2012 for an upcoming porn film involving bukkake with her. Of course there was a great number of male Filipino fans who were more than willing. The likes on the FB page soon hit more than ten thousand and Twitter was almost roaring with Filipinos' joy over Ozawa's promised visit. Alas, the joy was short-lived as it was discovered that the FB page was fake"

I had sex with my grandmother regularly - "You were young, hot and horny, and could not control your raging hormones and sexual desires"
These are quite lame exculpatory factors

Citeology - Projects - Autodesk Research - "Citeology looks at the relationship between research publications through their use of citations... These citations are represented by the curved lines in the graphic, linking each paper to those that it referenced"

Linguistics: Babelicious! - "Expansion simplifies language... Big, spreading languages have fewer of these features. They have fewer case-markings on nouns. Verbs are less likely to vary with person, place, time and so forth. Mandarin, for example, has no obligatory past tense at all; an extra word can come after the verb to indicate it happened in the past, or this can be left to context. By contrast, Yagua, spoken in Peru, has an obligatory five-way distinction. Past-tense verbs must show whether the event happened a few hours ago, a day before, a week to a month ago, and so on. The number of speakers of each language correlated best with morphological complexity, better than the area the language is spread over or the number of neighbours... “simple” people with primitive technologies do not speak simple languages"
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