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Monday, January 02, 2012

Links - 2nd January 2011

"It takes only one drink to get me drunk. The trouble is, I can't remember if it's the thirteenth or the fourteenth." - George Burns

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One Free Korea » North Koreas’ Largest Concentration Camps on Google Earth

Gender equality leads to more sex for everyone: study - "In countries ranked higher in gender equality, there was more casual sex, more sex partners per capita, younger ages for first sexual experience and greater tolerance of premarital sex... When women lack opportunities, they “hold out” on sex to drive up the price, prompting men to commit to a lifetime of support – a.k.a. marriage – to get sex. “It's a notoriously unromantic theory,” he acknowledges... men who triumph in the bedroom are likely to flounder in other areas of life, Dr. Regnerus continues, referencing Freud. “Civilization is built on blocked, redirected and channeled sexual impulse, because men will work for sex. Today's young men, however, seldom have to”"

The Man Who Wore a Maxi Pad and Changed the World - "Indian inventor Arunachalam Muruganantham, who lost his wife, friends, and, well, almost everything in his quest to build a better sanitary napkin by wearing one himself—along with a goat blood-filled bladder"
Addendum: This article provides more details, including how he was called a pervert and that "88% of women in India resort to using dirty rags, newspapers, dried leaves, and even ashes during their periods, because they just can’t afford sanitary napkins"

French police looking for armed croissant robber

A Photo That Encapsulates the Horror of Egypt's Crackdown - " The taboo of violence against unarmed women is unusually strong in the Arab world. But to watch three soldiers beat a defenseless woman with batons, their fists, and for one extraordinarily cruel soldier with his boot, is not even the most provocative part. For these men to pull her black abaya above her head and expose her midriff and chest is, for Egypt, a profound and sexually charged humiliation. And there is a certain awful irony of using that abaya, a symbol of modesty and piety, to cover her face and drag her on the street that, though probably not intentional, will not be lost on Egyptian eyes"
Reinstalling dictatorship ... 99% complete ███████████████████████████░ ; At least this answers a question: "what do they wear under their abayas?"

Why Does Asian Food Taste So Different From Western Food? - "After analyzing 56,498 recipes the answer is in the way they pair 381 ingredients... Western cuisines have a tendency to pair ingredients that share many of the same flavor compounds. East Asian cuisines, however, do precisely the contrary, avoiding ingredients that share the same flavor compounds"

WiFi opponents fight to rid schools of wireless Internet - "Palmer and other parents believe that WiFi exposure can lead to an array of health symptoms including headaches, nausea and heart conditions... “This is the problem. These activists are good at intimidating,” said Michelson, who measures and researches radio-frequency energy. “They have a deep-seated belief that it must be true. It becomes a matter of faith, not fact.”"

Drone-Ethics Briefing: What a Leading Robot Expert Told the CIA - "Some critics have worried that UAV operators--controlling drones from half a world away--could become detached and less caring about killing, given the distance, and this may lead to more unjustified strikes and collateral damage. But other reports seem to indicate an opposite effect: These controllers have an intimate view of their targets by video streaming, following them for hours and days, and they can also see the aftermath of a strike, which may include strewn body parts of nearby children. So there's a real risk of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) with these operators... Let's say we were able to create a robot that targets only combatants and that leaves no collateral damage--an armed robot with a perfectly accurate targeting system. Well, oddly enough, this may violate a rule by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), which bans weapons that cause more than 25% field mortality and 5% hospital mortality... If a soldier could resist pain through robotics or genetic engineering or drugs, are we still prohibited from torturing that person?"

Did the CIA Really Use Fake Vaccinations to Get bin Laden? - "Around the world this will touch the very deepest sources of mistrust, fear, and hatred of the big, technological United States. We will (in this narrative) lie to people about basic questions of family health; we will prey on parents' concern for their children to lure them into situations where we can take samples of their tissues and fluids; we will say one thing and do another -- under white medical-technician jackets and a humanitarian guise. We will suggest that no aspect of our international presence is immune to penetration by spies"

The Star Wars Holiday Special - "“I said: ‘You’ve chosen to build a story around these characters who don’t speak. The only sound they make is like fat people having an orgasm,’” the 250-plus-pound Vilanch recalls. “In fact, I told Lucas he could just leave a tape recorder in my bedroom and I’d be happy to do all the looping and Foley work for him”"

Police arrest man accused of light saber assault at Toys R Us - "The attacker used his light saber to deflect two Taser blasts."

Swiss Government Declares Downloading for Personal Use Legal - "Despite the industry’s claims that downloading undermines their business, this study shows that the effect of unauthorized downloading on the industry’s bottom line is negligible. One key finding of the study is that downloaders spend as much if not more to acquire content legally as those who do not download"

A lesson from Hitch: When rudeness is called for - "There is a time for politeness and there is a time when you are obliged to be rude, as rude as you have to be to stop such pollution of young minds in its tracks with a quick, unignorable shock... We have all heard, endlessly, about how angry and rude the new atheists are. Take a good hard look at their work, at the books and talks by Hitchens, Dawkins and Harris, and you will find that they are more civil, less sneering, less given to name-calling than such religious apologists as Terry Eagleton or Alvin Plantinga or Leon Wieseltier. It is just that many people are shocked to see religious institutions, ideas, and spokespeople challenged as intensely as we expect banks, big pharma, and the oil industry to be challenged... [Hitchens] only did it when rudeness was well deserved--which is actually quite often when religion is the topic. Most spokespeople for religion expect to be treated not just with respect but with a special deference that is supposedly their due because the cause they champion is so righteous"

University allows student lovers to co-shower - "A bathhouse in a university in Northwest China's Shaanxi province has been criticized for its audacious policy that allows student lovers to shower together in private rooms"

Mountain Dew Ingredient May Reduce Fertility, Make You Flame-Proof - "Any normal level of consumption of BVO would not cause any health problems - except the risk of diabetes and obesity from drinking that much sugar water"

Poly student placed on probation for taking upskirt picture - "Lim admitted to them he had taken a picture of her underwear. However, he was able to delete it."
Only in Chinese kids' morality stories does honesty get you off scott free

Man gropes cop in cemetery - "While talking to the officer, Jagadiswaran, a Malaysian, moved closer to him. He told the officer that he was there "to have fun". Then, he suddenly raised his hand and stroked the officer's chest and private parts. That was when the undercover cop identified himself and, with the help of his colleagues, arrested the man. Jagadiswaran was charged with behaving in an indecent manner in a public place"
Knol mischievously cites this as an example of the enforcement of 377A, but casual reflection will reveal that this is nonsense, since he was fined instead of the jail term 377A calls for. Indeed, mixed-gender couples also get hit for "indecent behaviour"

Uber Blog » Uberdata: How prostitution and alcohol make Uber better - "One crime, beyond all the rest, had a specifically BIG peak on a specific day. Prostitution. On Wednesday nights... someone pointed out to me that Social Security and welfare checks arrive on the second, third, and fourth Wednesdays of each month... It turns out that there are significantly more prostitution crimes on the second Wednesday of each month compared to the first (p < 0.01)" In the Wake of Protest: One Woman's Attempt to Unionize Amazon - "I often wondered if what Bezos really figured out was that if you gave freaks a home, they would give you everything they had-their best ideas, their longest days, and their rights on the job. And that's what they did"

Yahoo! files defence and counterclaim against SPH - "Yahoo! Southeast Asia has today filed its defence against Singapore Press Holdings (SPH), denying all allegations of wrongful copyright infringement by SPH. In a press statement, Yahoo! Southeast Asia said it is also counterclaiming that its contents were "reproduced without authorisation" on SPH's "self-described citizen journalism" website STOMP"

obvilogic - Boston Bars and Beethoven - "As Purley Baker, president of the powerful Anti-Saloon League put it, Germans were "a race of people who eat like gluttons and drink like swine"... Governor William L. Harding of Iowa declared speaking Ger­man in public or on the telephone unlawful. German books were burned in Wisconsin, playing Beethoven in public was banned in Boston, and throughout the country foodstuffs and street names of German origin were denatured by benign Anglo-Saxonisms. Nearly ninety years before french fries became freedom fries during the Iraq War, sauerkraut became liberty cabbage... Stripped, bound with an American flag, dragged barefoot and stum­bling through the streets, Prager was eventually lynched to the lusty cheers of five hundred patriots. A trial of the mob's leaders followed, in which the defendants wore red, white, and blue ribbons to court, and the defense counsel called their deed 'patriotic murder.' The jury took twenty-five minutes to return a verdict of not guilty"

The Right (and Wrong) Way to Die When You Fall Into Lava

Giving to those who beg does more harm than good - "Giving to people who beg is not a benign act. It can have fatal consequences... Many people asking for your money are caught up in a desperate cycle of begging from the public, ‘scoring’ drugs from a dealer and then taking these drugs. There are many services seeking to help people sleeping rough. Please work with them, not against them"
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