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Sunday, January 08, 2012

Links - 8th January 2012

"There are a terrible lot of lies going around the world, and the worst of it is half of them are true." - Sir Winston Churchill

***

Should you give money to beggars? - "The more you give to beggars, the harder beggars will try. This leads to what economists call "rent exhaustion," which again limits the net gain to beggars."

Faecal transplants used to cure Clostridium difficile - "Transplanting faecal matter from one person to another - the thought might turn your stomach, but it could be lifesaving. Some doctors are using the procedure to repopulate the gut with healthy bacteria, which can become unbalanced in some diseases."

UK intern spends 2 weeks as a foreign worker

Study explains why we enjoy others' misfortune - "We feel the other person deserves the misfortune, and that it makes us feel good about ourselves... those with who were assessed with low self-esteem at the start of the project were more likely to be threatened by the overachieving student and to experience schadenfreude. However, the researchers found that regardless of self-esteem, those who felt more threatened by this student also felt more schadenfreude"

eBossWatch - Rate Your Bad Boss, Avoid Sexual Harassment and Bullying - "If you are a job seeker or if you are thinking about making a career change, check with eBossWatch to make sure that you won't end up working for a bad boss in a hostile work environment. eBossWatch gives you an inside look at what it's really like to work with bosses from across the country. Search for your potential boss or employer and see how others have rated that boss"

25 of the Weirdest Adult Sites You Will Ever See
I thought Post-op Tranny Porn was pretty mainstream nowadays, especially compared to the rest

Girl Tells Santa She Wants Dad Home From Iraq, Doesn't Know Santa is Dad - YouTube

SG couple filmed having sex in public! - "A very short while later, the boy got the girl to sit on his lap, and the duo began to move up and down in a rythmic manner."
I'm wondering if there're translation issues

Carnivorous Plant Feasts on Bat Dung

Fail: Virginity Rates of Chemistry Undergraduates - "Chemistry majors are tied for 1st with the mathematicians for their lack of sexual hedonism, but the major take-home message is computer science majors are a bunch of liars"

Dipping bread in olive oil - General Chowhounding Topics - Chowhound - "This is very American, not at all common practice in Italy"
"Whether Italians dip bread in olive oil is just a matter of history. If you read Julius Caesar's "The Gallic Wars", you'll find that he is appalled that the Gauls (modern day French and Belgians) use butter on bread rather than the more civilized olive oil. To him, a meal of bread, cheese, olives and oil was as good as it gets - he was definitely not an epicure."
"in Portugal, only the poor eat their bread with olive oil because they can't afford butter"


Pankaj Mishra reviews ‘Civilisation’ by Niall Ferguson · LRB 3 November 2011 - "Not content with libelling me, Mishra also systematically misrepresents my new book, falsely alleging a whole series of omissions... Mishra says I don’t mention the genocidal policies pursued by the Belgian rulers of the Congo: in fact, they are referred to twice... Mishra also writes, gratuitously, that I am ‘immune to … humour and irony’. This is clearly his problem, not mine... The London Review of Books is notorious for its left-leaning politics. I do not expect to find warm affection in its pages. Much of what I write is simply too threatening to the ideological biases of your coterie. Nevertheless, this journal used, once, to have a reputation for intellectual integrity and serious scholarship. Pankaj Mishra’s libellous and dishonest article brings the LRB as well as himself into grave disrepute... Now that he stands corrected, Mishra responds that ‘[Ferguson] now unearths a footnote’ citing ‘two obscure Chinese scholars’. I find this extraordinary in two respects. First, the reference needed no ‘unearthing’. It was there, in the source notes and bibliography, for him and other readers to see. Second, David Daokui Li is hardly an ‘obscure scholar’. He is one of China’s leading economists... To say that Professor Li’s curriculum vitae is more impressive than Pankaj Mishra’s would be an understatement"
Even if it were not obviously a disgusting hack job, it is telling when more than half of a "book review" is not even about the book itself. Meanwhile the best that Pankaj Mishra can come up with is alleging that Ferguson's observing that North America would not have its current level of civilization without European colonization justifies the conquest of Native Americans

1980 Star Wars Empire Strikes Back Underoos Underwear Commercial - YouTube

Pakistan maintains top slot in Google search for ‘sex’ - "Pakistan maintained the number one position, followed by India and Vietnam. Islamabad featured in the top 10 cities worldwide to search the word ‘sex’ in September and December 2011. Provincial capital Lahore also featured in the top 10 cities for the months of January, March, April, May, June, July, September, October, November and December 2011. The months of February and August (Ramazan) were the only two months in 2011 that did not feature any cities from Pakistan in the global ranking"

Jürgen Habermas: Notes on a post-secular society - "The party of the multiculturalists appeals to the protection of collective identities and accuses the other side of representing a "fundamentalism of the Enlightenment", whereas the secularists insist on the uncompromising inclusion of minorities in the existing political framework and accuse their opponents of a "multiculturalist betrayal" of the core values of the Enlightenment... Pascal Bruckner rejects cultural rights because these would give rise to parallel societies – to "small, self-isolated social groups, each of which adheres to a different norm."(21) Bruckner condemns multiculturalism roundly as an "anti-racist racism", though his attack at best applies to those ultra-minded multiculturalists who advocate the introduction of collective cultural rights. Such protection for entire cultural groups would in fact curtail the right of their individual members to choose a way of life of their own. Thus the conflicting parties both pretend to fight for the same purpose, a liberal society that allows autonomous citizens to coexist in a civilized manner. And yet they are at loggerheads in a Kulturkampf that resurfaces at every new political occasion... Were secular citizens to encounter their fellow citizens with the reservation that the latter, because of their religious mindset, are not to be taken seriously as modern contemporaries, they would revert to the level of a mere modus vivendi - and would thus relinquish the very basis of mutual recognition which is constitutive for shared citizenship"

Why I Advocate For Casual Sex - "When we do not get caught up in how highly our partner regards us because we want a relationship to continue, we are less likely to censor ourselves and can experience a level of intimacy, perhaps not attainable in a relationship complicated by long-term concerns. Engaging in a casual sexual experiences can also help us decide what we need at various points in our lives. What does become clear is that whether we believe that a being single or married will bring us fulfillment, sexual compatibility should be a high priority. Many of my patients have met their long-term partners after having a casual sexual experience with them"

Je t'aime, Paris ! on Vimeo - "J'aime Paris parce que je connais pas New York"

Why Israel is a latke-free zone - "According to Marks, the trade union was instrumental in making the doughnut, rather than the latke, the national Chanucah food. They seized on the tradition of Chanucah doughnuts and encouraged bakeries across the country to sell them. “Most people won’t make them at home and they can generate weeks of work for bakers, people transporting them, and sellers”"

BBC’s choice of a panda for a December woman 2011 sparks a scandal - "Unsurprisingly the feminists were insulted by the fact that all of the individuals featured on the men’s page were people and included those with real achievements, like News of the World journalist Paul McMullan, who exposed the infamous phone-hacking scandal, or the prospective Republic presidential nominee Herman Cain... "When you do faces of the year it's not like Time faces of the year. They've picked slightly offbeat people. It's not David Attenborough or Barack Obama," said the journalist. The BBC representatives also stressed that it was not the first time when animals or animal cartoon characters had been chosen for the annual lists of headline-makers. “In 2009, Benson the Carp, a much-caught giant fish, was August's entry on the male list and last year Peppa the Pig was on the female list for April [2010]," said the BBC"
"would you rather Pippa Middleton or Anders Breivik representing your gender?"
"There are more victims of this year's male list, which incidentally also features a mass murderer and two public figures who (largely) made the headlines by being accused of sexual assault."
"I despair that people have nothing better to do than get outraged about crap like this."
"at least the BBC also provided a list of men of the year, unlike the Guardian."
"this article makes no implication as to being awarded to the highest achieving women of the year. it is an article about which women were in the papers most over 2011."


Le franponais.fr - "Quand les Japonais parlent français comme une vache espagnole..."
Il existe aussi le franponais, comme le franglais !

Nobel Prize has a gender imbalance - "Since 1901, 85 men and 15 women have won, including this year’s trio. To correct the 110-year imbalance, the Norwegians would do well to disqualify men from consideration, at least for a half century"
In return, we should disqualify men from prison
Addendum: Comments: "I say give the Peace prize to a CEO of a big Pharma company. For sure, Pfizer saved more lives last year than the U.N. did - or ever does."
"I am so tired of people painting women as victims, then doing them violence when, for some odd reason, they don't toe the ideological line. The real non-violent position is to let women be who they are, and let women like Albright and Clinton get things done in the real world while you sit home and write about them with impunity."

Why Do You Slash Bread? - "The steam gets trapped and you can get big air-pockets in your bread."

How to make the most of a shared meal: plan the last bite first - "If you are sharing a meal with a companion, how best to make sure you get your favourite mouthfuls? Ethiopian Dinner is a game in which two players take turns eating morsels from a common plate. Each morsel comes with a pair of utility values measuring its tastiness to the two players. Kohler and Chandrasekaharan discovered a good strategy -- a subgame perfect equilibrium, to be exact -- for this game. We give a new visual proof of their result. The players arrive at the equilibrium by figuring out their last move first and working backward. We conclude that it's never too early to start thinking about dessert"

Chinese Magical Hard-Drive - "A broken 500Gb USB-drive that he had bought in a Chinese store across the river... The whole service center was rolling on the floor laughing. This was not the first time someone has brought a disk like that. And the previous drives were also bought in China... It's a 128-MB flash-drive. Working in a "looped" mode - when it runs out of space, it starts overwriting from the beginning. My friend said they're still trying to figure out how did the Chinese do that. Because the drive reports "correct" file sizes and disk-capacity"
Ahh, China. Land of cheats and swindlers. The "victim blaming" in the comments is also amusing
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