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Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Links - 14th February 2012

"Life's a tough proposition, and the first hundred years are the hardest." - Wilson Mizner

***

Unemployed in China: A response to “Go East, Young Man” ~ Lost Laowai China Blog - "My other friend graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Chinese language and literature in 2008. He moved to Beijing and taught English, then copy-edited, then freelance translated, for a total of three years. It was a charmed life for sure, but the aimlessness of translating and copy-editing spurred him to return to America to start a career"

When did the middle finger become offensive? - "male squirrel monkeys of South America are known to gesture with the erect penis"

You Can’t Copyright Porn, Harassed BitTorrent Defendant Insists - "“Article 1, Section 8, Clause 8 of the United States Constitution, known as the Copyright Clause, empowers the United States Congress: ‘To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries,” the lawsuit details, adding: “Early Circuit law in California held that obscene works did not promote the progress of science and the useful arts, and thus cannot be protected by copyright.” The lawsuit goes on to state that Hard Drive’s work does not fulfill the above criteria and in fact depicts obscene and criminal acts"

Do Today's Women Have Too Many Choices? - "Journalism professor Barbara Kelley noticed a surprising trend among her women students: they were bright, successful, highly motivated—and terribly confused. Raised with great expectations by parents who told them they could do anything, they worked hard, earned top grades, polished their résumés, began impressive careers, then collapsed in metaphysical uncertainty, anxious and overwhelmed"

9GAG - Awesome cosplay

Placebo Effect Regularly Beats Pharmaceutical Drugs - "Potter found there were tremendous differences in the results of drug trials, based on things like the size and color of the pills, and even where in the world the trial was located. For example, blue tranquilizer pills have better effects than red pills, even with the same stuff inside. This is the case in all but Italian men, which with whom the color blue is associated with their national football team. And Valium often beats the placebo in France and Belgium, but regularly fails in the U.S. Other research has found that patients do better with a caring doctor who takes time with them, compared to a non-caring doctor who doesn't bother with communication, even if they are both given the same placebo"

Canal+ "The Bear" by BETC Paris - YouTube

Why French Parents Are Superior - "They assume that even good parents aren't at the constant service of their children, and that there is no need to feel guilty about this. "For me, the evenings are for the parents," one Parisian mother told me. "My daughter can be with us if she wants, but it's adult time." French parents want their kids to be stimulated, but not all the time. While some American toddlers are getting Mandarin tutors and preliteracy training, French kids are—by design—toddling around by themselves."

Peter Berkowitz: Sex Smears and the Rule of Law at Yale - "Universities may not use a "beyond a reasonable doubt" standard, characteristic of the criminal law, or even the intermediate standard of "clear and convincing evidence." They must instead adopt the lowest of standards, or in the OCR's words, "a preponderance of the evidence" (which translates as more likely than not to be guilty). In addition, the OCR letter "strongly discourages" cross-examination of the accuser... The Patrick Witt case, which is not atypical, reflects more than the decline of due process on campus. It also exhibits a failure of liberal education... If Yale and other institutions across the country were fulfilling their promise to educate students, then their faculties would teach that riding roughshod over due process shows ignorance of or contempt for the rule of law"

Man swallows dentures during sex and dies

Which majors have the highest unemployment rates?
Amusingly, "practical" majors like Engineering and Architecture are in the top 9

White - "Non-white people are associated in various ways with the dirt that comes out of the body, notably in the repeated racist perception that they smell (but also, notably in the British context that their food smells, that they eat dirty foods – offal, dogs, snakes –and that they slaughter it in direct and bloody forms). Obsessive control of faeces and identification of them as the nadir of human dirt both characterise Western culture: to be white is to be well potty-trained"

A ROAD THAT'S AN EXHIBITION - "The fewer road signs there were in social settings, the safer those places would be. (Motorways were another matter.) When car drivers use their own intelligence, and interact with others who are sharing the same space, they slow down, and there are fewer accidents"

9GAG - Japan - Where underwear defines your sex

Committee's solution to attacks on female politicians: 'just get on with it' - ""Have you all finished whingeing?" Janet Street-Porter shouted at the rest of the panel of female politicians and leading journalists. "What you lot have to get your heads around is that we're our own worst enemies. That you get the press you deserve. And that this stuff you hate, is bought by other women"... Lady Gillian Shephard, a former secretary of state for the environment, transport and the regions, berated speakers who had dared to admit being upset and intimidated by things the media wrote about them and other women."One really should not get hung up on the stuff you read about yourself in the papers or be enticed into victimhood," she snapped. "Women today are, I have to say it, inclined towards victimhood. [When I was younger] I didn't know about feminism, I just thought I would get on with it." Columnist Anne McElvoy, one-time parliamentary sketch writer for the Evening Standard and public policy editor at the Economist, agreed. "Just put your cleavage away if you don't want it commented on""
When women tell you what you don't want to hear because it doesn't fit your feminist agenda, just ignore them

Our So-Called Rape Culture - "While I do not read every news item nor do I watch every talking head on cable news, I honestly cannot remember ever hearing anyone excuse a man for raping a woman in my lifetime. Ever. Not in the United States. Not once. Not ever. Our culture portrays rape as one of the most heinous crimes that can be perpetrated against women and girls. Meanwhile, no one ever discusses adult male rape victims... No one laughs at acts of domestic violence against women and girls in media and television, well, not if they want to keep their jobs. Yet, commercial after commercial, talk show after talk show and sitcom after sitcom portray men and boys as objects of cultural ridicule. Violence against men in television and film is a common punchline... Many feminists argue that female false rape accusers should not be punished for their crimes, lies and the destruction of the lives of innocent men lest a legitimate rape victim be dissuaded from coming forward. Up until very recently, news outlets wouldn’t even disclose the names of false accusers in order to protect them... On a personal level, I don’t live in fear of men. Do you?... I don’t want to live in fear of 50% of the world’s population. It’s irrational, it’s paranoid and it’s unhealthy. The pervasive fear of men in our culture is unfounded; in fact, it’s an absurd hysteria that’s a by-product of calculated political theater and feminism, which has become an ideology of hate. Unfortunately, there are certain groups that profit from perpetuating the fear of all things male, so it persists... Male predators go to jail; female predators go to counseling... A 2000 meta-analysis found that women are slightly more likely to commit physical aggression... Two-thirds to three-quarters of aggression in relationships is bi-directional (i.e., both partners are aggressors). However, in the minority of relationships with one-sided aggression, women are two times more likely to be the aggressor"

Case #1: Shakesville vs. Penny Arcade and “Rape Culture” - "Surely death jokes, death being a far more final, injurious, and universal human experience, would’ve been outlawed long ago under such an argument. Thankfully the “death culture” is alive, well, and hilarious... People who would like to convert their personal sensitivities into moral absolutes that all of society must share are, as far as I’m concerned, the real danger to a vibrant, respectful, and free culture, as they use shame as a weapon to limit people’s freedom of expression. Veterans of the flap over videogame violence in the wake of the Columbine shootings would be right to draw a comparison between the “rape culturists” complaining about the effect of rape jokes, and bible-thumpers who believed videogames were converting us into sociopaths. As with “rape culture,” the data didn’t support the bible-thumpers"

My nights at the harem - "NYU dropout bares royal pleasure palace"

Umberto Eco: 'It's culture, not war, that cements European - "The university exchange programme Erasmus is barely mentioned in the business sections of newspapers, yet Erasmus has created the first generation of young Europeans. I call it a sexual revolution: a young Catalan man meets a Flemish girl – they fall in love, they get married and they become European, as do their children. The Erasmus idea should be compulsory – not just for students, but also for taxi drivers, plumbers and other workers. By this, I mean they need to spend time in other countries within the European Union; they should integrate."

Giant trans-dimensional humanoids take over hotel swimming pool - Boing Boing

Paulo Coelho calls on readers to pirate books

When gay is a choice - "Lisa Diamond, a psychology professor at the University of Utah, spent over a decade tracking sexual identity changes in a group of 100 women for her book “Sexual Fluidity: Understanding Women’s Love and Desire.” She wrote, “Women’s sexuality is fundamentally more fluid than men’s, permitting greater variability in its development and expression over the life course.” Based on her research, she describes three main ways that sexual fluidity is expressed: “nonexclusivity in attractions” (i.e., the capacity to find all genders sexually attractive), “changes in attractions” (i.e., suddenly becoming romantically involved with a woman after a lifetime dating men) and the capacity to become attracted to ‘the person and not the gender’” (i.e., a partner’s sex is irrelevant)... there’s a strong political argument to be made against taking an unwavering “born this way” stance. Marta Meana, a clinical psychologist at the University of Nevada Las Vegas who has researched sexual fluidity, believes “it is a devil’s bargain to argue for acceptance on the basis of biology,” she explains. “The ‘I can’t help it’ argument retains the idea that something is amiss. The truly progressive stance is that all people should be treated with respect, dignity and equality regardless of the mechanisms that led them to prefer having consensual sex with one group over another, at any point in time”"
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