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More adventurous than the average bear

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Thursday, February 23, 2012

Links - 23rd February 2012

"Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength." - Eric Hoffer


What makes people worldwide happiest? Their partners - "South Africa reported the highest levels of domestic bliss, with 82 per cent of settled South Africans saying nothing could make them happier than their partner. Japanese and South Korean couples were at the other end of the scale. Nearly half said they would hesitate to say their partner was the single best thing in their lives, although they conceded that he or she was the source of at least some of their happiness. For many couples, about 38 per cent globally, the best thing about their relationship was the sex, according to the poll. This was especially true for Brazilians. Nearly 60 per cent said that nothing could make them happier than having a good sex life... Single Indonesians were the most preoccupied with finding a mate. Nearly 70 per cent said nothing could make them happier... even among couples who lived together, the poll found signs of restlessness with slightly more than a quarter of people in such relationships saying that finding someone else to be with would make them happiest of all"

Men who visit museums make the best dates

Is religion really under threat? - "When I once took part in a panel discussion with a Southern Baptist, one of the most conservative of denominations, he was as enthusiastic about secularism as I was... It is true that there is nothing fair or democratic about having unelected Anglican bishops in the House of Lords. There is no reason for religion to have a protected Thought for the Day slot in the middle of the national broadcaster's flagship news programme. A council meeting is no place for prayers. But all these anomalies exist because Britain has a history steeped in Christianity. Where tradition flies in the face of reason and justice, it should be dismantled. But when it merely teases it, it is often better to allow the passage to time to erode those anachronistic remnants than try to demolish them. Most people either quite like these weird inheritances or are indifferent to them. So when they are turned into totemic sites of battle, the general public looks on baffled... As long as [public and political institutions] operate without granting privilege to any particularly comprehensive world-view, secularism has nothing to say about how religious the rest of society and public discourse should be... we are often ham-fisted and heavy-handed. If secularism has come to be seen as the enemy of the religious when it should be its best friend, then we secularists must share at least some of the blame"

The changing face of Melanie Phillips - ""Delinquency among young West Indians is causing serious concern," her long, confidently reported article concluded. "[This] alienation cannot be blamed entirely on white society... Some of it seems to stem from their own family background." This was a risky conclusion for a journal read mainly by left-leaning professionals. Shortly afterwards, New Society published a letter from a Brixton probation officer denouncing the article as selective and sensational... "I've always worked in a moral framework," she begins. "The things that interest me are social reform, the capacity of individuals to improve themselves, and the abuse of power"... Phillips felt she was making a significant discovery about British liberals and leftwingers: "They were not liberal. They didn't want to make the better society that I wanted to make"... Even friends close enough to call her "Mel" recall lunches turned into ethical discussions because of a single casual remark"

Here's Why Your Relationship is Doomed, and Other Confessions of a Therapist - "For a lot of people, chaos is comfort... If victims are in enough fear, are tied-in enough financially, or have enough family or social pressure on them, the relationship can last a lifetime... I once saw a couple where the male had a prior conviction for aggravated assault, but his wife did not. She was the violent one in the relationship and would regularly attack him because she knew he would never hit her and that, if he did, the authorities would blame him as perpetrator and instigator due to his prior history. It changed the balance of power in the relationship and he became a man who did everything in his power to acquiesce her whether she was right or wrong... A professor of mine used to say that the best sex you'll ever have is in your head because no one person will be able to accommodate all of the fantasies and scenarios that you've conceived in your head over time... [Marriage] is an archaic institution designed to expire concurrent with a woman's childbearing years, just like in the olden days. The idea of two people changing together and—more importantly— accepting each others changes over a 50-year span is delusional unless that person is undeniably your best friend in the whole world. Ever... if you hold any secrets—past or current—from your partner, your relationship is doomed to fail. A relationship based on sex is doomed to fail. Good sex alone cannot carry a relationship. It is better to work well together than to fuck well together because once you stop working well together, the fucking takes a significant hit. When time, benevolence, mystery, and positive communication decrease within a relationship, the sex is sure to follow in direct proportion"

Do Pheromones Play a Role in Our Sex Lives? - "Odors given off by the breasts of breast-feeding women, for example, can render childless females downright randy"

Paris : meilleure ville étudiante au monde - "Il prend en compte 12 critères d'analyse répartis en cinq grandes familles: la qualité et la renommée internationale des universités, la mixité entre étudiants (rapport entre les nationaux et les étrangers), le cadre de vie (l'attractivité des diplômés auprès des employeurs français et internationaux et le niveau des frais d'inscriptions... La capitale française fait aussi la course en tête face à Londres sur les critères de la qualité de vie (91 points, soit un score identique à San Francisco ou à Adelaïde) et l'attractivité des formations aux yeux des employeurs (Paris s'arroge sur cet item 96 points et n'est dépassé que par Singapour, avec 100 points)"

Breaking: Indonesia Artist Attacked During Peaceful Protest Against Religious Violence

Evidence to Suggest that Copulatory Vocalizations in Women Are Not a Reflexive Consequence of Orgasm - "These data together clearly demonstrate a dissociation of the timing of women experiencing orgasm and making copulatory vocalisations and indicate that there is at least an element of these responses that are under conscious control, providing women with an opportunity to manipulate male behaviour to their advantage"

Singapore Among World’s Most Expensive Cities - Southeast Asia Real Time - WSJ - "The Southeast Asian city joins Tokyo, Osaka and Kobe as one of the world’s top ten most expensive cities, according to the Economist Intelligence Unit’s annual cost-of-living survey, increasingly proving that Asian cities are no longer just a cheaper outpost for expats and multinationals... Melbourne (No. 8, though at least it can claim it makes up for the cost in livability)... Singapore’s rise is notable, since less than a decade ago it was considered a cheap city by Western standards. Just last year, a kilo of bread would have cost US$2.86, according to the Economist’s data, but now costs US$3.19 – an 11% increase from the year before."
We've achieved the Swiss cost of living!

Vandalism at Maldives Museum Stirs Fears of Extremism - - "A half-dozen men stormed into the museum last Tuesday and ransacked a collection of coral and lime figures, including a six-faced coral statue and a 1 1/2-foot-wide representation of the Buddha’s head. Officials said the men attacked the figures because they believed they were idols and therefore illegal under Islamic and national laws. The vandalism was reminiscent of the Taliban’s demolition of the great carved Buddhas of Bamiyan in Afghanistan in early 2001, and it has raised fears here that extremists are gaining ground in the Maldives... Idols cannot be brought into the country... “The whole pre-Islamic history is gone”... the loss was particularly devastating because many of the country’s ancient artifacts, dispersed across the archipelago, had been lost or destroyed over the years by local people and rulers... the country’s laws specifically exempt ancient figures from the regulations governing idols. “This is our heritage, and it has to be protected for future generations”"
You cannot venerate (exploit) your heritage while freezing your present. Now we can only hope enough artefacts had been saved by the British during he Colonial period

Fried Chicken and Me: A Black History Month Expose - "A quick search on yelp will reveal a great snapshot of fast-food options that south-siders (approximately 40% of the city’s population) enjoy. There are approximately: 430 fried chicken options... 5 Starbucks (compared to 123 in communities north of the central business district). Yes, non-south siders...there is a place where Whole Foods and Trader Joes do not exist."
The South Side is a traditionally black place quarter of Chicago

Obama Fried Chicken Sign Offends Sharpton, African Americans - "Its sign shows a grinning caricature of President Obama’s head on a skinny version of Colonel Sanders’ body. Below it, written in Chinese, is the slogan: “We’re so cool, aren’t we?” “It’s insulting, offensive and plays to racial stereotypes,” the Rev. Al Sharpton told The Post."
I don't think the Chinese even *know* about the Fried Chicken association, they just slap Obama on stuff for marketing

Is Fried Chicken an Insult to African-Americans? - "Absent any context, when it seems that white people are drawing upon stereotypes to undermine a positive celebration, it's understandable that things might heat up... We should then celebrate fried chicken as a source of pride in the African-American experience. It was one of several festive foods not forced upon the slaves by the plantation master. After Emancipation, the Sunday fried chicken dinner became an important and enduring social tradition. African-American cooks garnered international acclaim for their fried chicken. In the late 1800s, many were purged from high-end restaurant and hotel kitchens in favor of French chefs, but were soon rehired because the French chefs couldn't make fried chicken nearly as well. The dish also sustained civil rights activists, including King, during their strategy sessions"

San Francisco's Top 10 Dim Sum Restaurants - "it's possible for a group of four or more to eat well for under $10 a person"
That's cheaper than Singapore...
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