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Friday, April 13, 2012

Links - 13th April 2012

Poor and Muslim? Jewish? Soup Kitchen Is Not for You. - New York Times - "With steaming bowls of the fragrant broth soon passing through the crowd, Odile Bonnivard, a short-haired secretary turned far-right firebrand, climbed atop a dark sedan with a megaphone in hand and led the crowd in a raucous chant: "We are all pig eaters! We are all pig eaters!"... At first, she said, the group used pork simply because it was an inexpensive traditional ingredient for hearty French soup. But after the political significance of serving pork dawned on them and others, it quickly became the focus of their work. Made with smoked bacon, pigs' ears, pigs' feet and pigs' tails together with assorted vegetables and sausages, the soup is meant to make a political statement: "Help our own before others"... "Other communities don't hesitate to help their own, so why can't we?" she asked, noting that Europe's Islamic charities serve halal food to disadvantaged Muslims and that its Jewish charities operate kosher soup kitchens... This being France, most soup kitchens provide the downtrodden with a complete French dinner, including cheese and dessert. Ms. Bonnivard's group even throws in a glass of red wine with every meal. "The only condition required for dining with us: eat pork""

Racial and religious offence: Why censorship doesn’t cut it - "First, it is interesting that in almost all cases, state action was instigated by complaints from members of the public. This is quite unlike political censorship, where action is initiated by the government... In a string of cases involving racial and religious offence, however, it’s the netizens who tend to demand action, sometimes acting like a lynch mob. Second, it is striking that in many cases, the offensive messages were spread further by those reporting the offence... the people demanding government action, as if the offensive words were explosive, were also those who helped to spread them. It is like helping to spread a fire while calling for the fire brigade... their act of spreading the offensive content must mean that they did not actually believe that the expression was really that dangerous in the sense of prompting violence through reprisal attacks or riots... Those most likely to complain against any expression are the least tolerant members of each religious or ethnic community. Very quickly, therefore, the most dogmatic and extreme spokesmen set the tone for the rest of society... Usually, what looks like spontaneous and visceral reactions to offensive speech – angry demonstrations and so on – are orchestrated by activists who spot a political advantage in an outpouring of anger... There is also overwhelming evidence internationally that the effect of outlawing blasphemy – which many well-meaning Singaporeans might intuitively feel is a good idea – backfires by allowing religious majorities to persecute religious minorities"

ElectNext | Home - "It's time to take the guess work out of voting. Answer the questions about the issues that matter the most to you and we'll match you with the candidates that share your values. The more questions you answer the more accurate we can be."
My top match was Obama - at 54%

Reddit is fun pulled from Google Play - here's why it probably happened - "That's how the Internet works -- it thrives on controversy and only works well when not all the facts are known."

Michael Bay Signs $50M Deal To Fuck Up 'ThunderCats' | The Onion - "In the end, the studio decided only Bay could be relied upon to deliver a 220-minute cinematic clusterfuck with enough tedious performances, overblown cinematography, and CGI explosions to make even the most casual fan want to scratch their eyes out."

Poly student pleas with female coursemates to "wear more clothes" - "He said he had worked hard to enter the institution and he needed to concentrate on his studies without being distracted by girls... He also complained that the girls "loved to show off their cleavage and long legs". "It's okay if they are ugly. But they are all very pretty!" he wrote"

Michael Bay's Rejected "The Dark Knight" Script (Parody) - "RACHEL stretches against the open hood. The camera zooms in on her naked torso. It luxuriates on her toned stomach. Up it goes. Then down. Then up again. Slowly...slowly... Now counter-clockwise... She leans into the engine, exposing her breasts, covered in perspiration. The camera zooms in and out on them, emphatically, a number of times"

Singapore world's 5th-biggest arms importer

Justices Reject Patents for Medical Tests Relying on Drug Dosages - NYTimes.com - "Just before the argument in the case in December, Prometheus told the court that it had been bought by Nestlé in July. Justice Breyer’s wife owned stock in Nestlé, and that would have required his disqualification. She sold the stock on the morning of the argument, allowing Justice Breyer to sit and to write the court’s opinion in the case"

A Big Bach Download: The Complete Organ Works for Free

Vietnamese female undergraduate assaulted two Singaporean men on board Tiger Airway flight - "The young lady in her 20s was reportedly unhappy that one of the men kicked her seat accidentally from behind and stood up to scold them, after which she raised her fist to punch their chests, scratch their faces and even used a luggage bag to smash their heads. The two poor Singaporean men are 37 year old Cai De Guang and his friend Yang De Ji. It is not known if a police report was made over the incident"
Maybe the girl made a police report against the men saying they molested her

Man ordered to return $874k in wife's 'pay' - "A former company boss has been ordered by the court to return $873,959 to the firm, this being what his wife earned in her 17 years there - as a marketing executive who never showed up for work... Justice Steven Chong, in his 60-page judgment grounds, also rubbished Madam Lim's claims that she worked from 1992 to 2009 behind the locked doors of her husband's office, unseen by anyone, and that she also worked on weekends... Mr Yong retorted by alleging that Mr Loh had likewise put his own wife and even his mistress on Panweld's payroll. Mr Yong, defended by lawyers Singa Retnam and R. Nirmala, alleged that it was part of an agreement with Mr Loh to pay his wife... At this point, Mr Loh said through his lawyer Foo Maw Shen that he was prepared to refund the sums paid to his wife and mistress if the court ordered it. Justice Chong held that the court was not the correct forum to make such an order. In finding Madam Lim's testimony 'unsatisfactory and wholly unreliable', the judge noted that she claimed to have run surveys of the the price of goods sold by competitors but was unable to produce survey reports. When asked to name some of Panweld's competitors in relation to her claim that her job involved 'market research' into how these competitors priced their goods, she named Singapore Airlines. 'It seems to me she was merely repeating names, which she had memorised without understanding their significance,' said Justice Chong... the two directors had accused each other of putting various members of their families on the company payroll when 'none of them was ever truthfully employed in the strict sense of the word'. 'This case gives new meaning to the phrase 'family-run business''"

Jonas M Luster's answer to Restaurants: When is it a good idea for a restaurant to change its name? - Quora - "A decade ago my boss fell in love with a woman and, on a whim, changed his restaurant's name to her. They dated for six months then he found her in bed with his fry cook and in one split second lost a girlfriend, a fry cook, and a reason to name his restaurant after her. So we struggled to rename again and we lost a lot of clientele and goodwill over this."

The World’s Strangest Delicacies | Simonseeks - "Goat Head - Eaten in Southern Africa"

the pothole gardener | A guerrilla gardening blog…

Australia's pricey prices - "Why are we paying two, three and even fourteen times more for everyday items than the rest of the world? From cars to books, movies tickets, CDs, fruit and vegetables, to houses and parking - Australians are paying way over the mark... The price of Australia's most popular grocery item – bananas – was affected last year when Cyclone Yasi obliterated much of the country's crop, and prices started going bananas. They went up to just under $14 a kilo. At the same time New Zealand, the UK, France and the United States were all paying less than $2.50. “A report was done in 2006 that recommended we open the market, but nothing's been done, and I think this is because the Australian banana growers are really fiercely against it,” Gill said... “We've got a lower population, we've got more expensive transport costs, and we've got higher base wages, and our retailers have to pay higher rents,” she said. We've got even more to whine about when it comes to beer. In the UK they pay half what we do. And who would have thought Pitt St Mall is more exclusive than the Champs-Élysées?... At just under $35 an hour, it is cheaper to park in London and even New York. And while you're there, you're better off looking for a car as well... The Government regulations covering bookstores is also costing us. “We don't import books, so every book has to be published and printed in Australia," Gill said"
The bananas thing is indicative of agricultural protectionism in general

New and improved parks — now with no nature - "This move toward highly controlled spaces is also a reaction to the bad old days, not so long ago, when city parks were the realm of junkies and muggers"

About Jeff Haden | BlackBird Media - "With my extensive manufacturing, process improvement, leadership, management, etc experience it only made sense to become... a ghostwriter... I've ghostwritten almost forty books released by traditional publishers. Four hit #1 on Amazon's Business & Investing bestseller list. And I ghostwrite magazine articles, e-books, reports, white papers, web copy, newsletters, blogs... While I typically ghostwrite real estate, management, process improvement, finance, and investment books, I've written books on subjects as diverse as breastfeeding, hydroponics, horticulture, magic (I can explain the tricks but don't have the dexterity to pull them off), and even personal finance for um, exotic entertainers. (Don't ask. But it did sell really well.)"
Another example of how Experience is Overrated
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