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More adventurous than the average bear

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Saturday, April 07, 2012

Links - 7th April 2012

Forging Stronger Social Connections for a Longer Life - - "Those with close social ties and unhealthful lifestyles actually lived longer than those with poor social ties but more health-promoting habits. Of course, those who lived healthfully and had strong social ties lived the longest."

Miss Universe Disqualifies Transgender Contestant - "Denis Davila, the national director of Miss Universe Canada, told CTV, “she was dishonest.” Talackova was disqualified after she admitted her birth gender last week. “We have to have the facts straight. There is no discrimination here at all,” Davila said. “You can look at it the way she wants to look at it, but we all have to follow the same rules”... A petition has been started on asking Miss Universe Canada to “reverse the unfair disqualification of Jenna Talackova.” The petition currently has more than 20,000 signatures... “@JennaTalackova should NOT have been disqualified from @MissUniverse! Beautiful is beautiful. Down with discrimination,” one fan tweeted"
They discriminate against women who've been married or pregnant before, and those who are not of "good health and moral character" but no one seems to kick up a fuss about that

Popcorn Packs Antioxidants, Study Finds

Passport to Dreams Old & New: All the Lights of the Kingdom: Part One - "One of my favorite things about the Magic Kingdom is her - wait for it - lighting fixtures"

How to Rob a Bank: Thousands of Internal Bank Thefts Go Unprosecuted Each Year - "FBI agents and fraud analysts say law enforcement does not have the resources to prosecute what they consider "small time" thefts. Many FBI field offices and U.S. judicial districts consider cases of $100,000 or less to be generally unworthy of prosecution"

Copyright Monopoly Lobby Sues Reputable Professor For Saying They’re A Monopoly

Too much, too little sleep linked to heart woes: Study - "People who sleep less than six hours per night or more than eight are more likely to suffer heart problems than people who sleep between six and eight hours"

Pachyrhizus erosus - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Just as Chinese Barley isn't Barley, Chinese Turnip (bangkwang) isn't Turnip


Worst Album Covers of All Time

‘The Righteous Mind,’ by Jonathan Haidt - - "All the fools, foils and villains of intellectual history are recast as heroes... E. O. Wilson, the ecologist who was branded a fascist for stressing the biological origins of human behavior, has been vindicated by the study of moral emotions. Even Glaucon, the cynic in Plato’s “Republic” who told Socrates that people would behave ethically only if they thought they were being watched, was “the guy who got it right”... Is it wrong to have sex with a dead chicken? How about with your sister? Is it O.K. to defecate in a urinal? If your dog dies, why not eat it? Under interrogation, most subjects in psychology experiments agree these things are wrong. But none can explain why... if you want to change people’s minds, Haidt concludes, don’t appeal to their reason. Appeal to reason’s boss: the underlying moral intuitions whose conclusions reason defends... This is Haidt’s startling message to the left: When it comes to morality, conservatives are more broad-minded than liberals. They serve a more varied diet... if voters like Republican messages, there’s something in Republican messages worth liking. He chides psychologists who try to “explain away” conservatism, treating it as a pathology. Conservatism thrives because it fits how people think, and that’s what validates it. Workers who vote Republican aren’t fools. In Haidt’s words, they’re “voting for their moral interests.”"

The Splintered Mind: The Phenomenology of Being a Jerk - "First: an implicit or explicit sense that you are an "important" person... Second: an implicit or explicit sense that you are surrounded by idiots... Thinking of other people as idiots plays into jerkhood in two ways: The devaluing of others' perspectives is partly constitutive of jerkhood. And perhaps less obviously, it provides a handy rationalization of why others aren't participating in your jerkish behavior"

Official: Islamist radicals detained in French sweep planned to kidnap Jewish magistrate - "Preliminary charges are being filed against the members of the banned group, Forsane Alizza, on Tuesday for criminal association with a terrorist enterprise"
BBC: "Shortly after [Forsane Alizza] was banned by the government, Mr Achamlane said that if Islamophobia continued to intensify it might be necessary to respond with violence."

10 Reasons Naked Mole Rats Will Inherit the Earth - "Cancer has never been observed in a naked mole rat, a fact that researchers think may have something to do with a tumor suppressor gene that codes for a protein named p16Ink4a... it would be a pretty handy biological asset in a (potentially nuclear-induced) post-apocalyptic scenario... The skin of a naked mole rat cannot detect pain — even from an acid burn"

World's quietest room absorbs all sound - "Reports claim a person can soon experience hallucinations due to the 'disturbing' silence. Also, 45 minutes is the LONGEST anyone's been able to sit in the room... This room has been measured at -9 decibels"

Korean man killed girlfriend with octopus for insurance claim - YouTube

Paul Ryan’s Radical Budget : The New Yorker - "There’s very little the federal government has done over the past hundred and fifty years, apart from fighting wars, that the House Republicans approve of. In that sense, the Ryan plan is not about fiscal responsibility. It’s about pushing a very particular, and very ideological, view of the proper relationship between government and society"

Chocolate & Red Meat Can Be Bad for Your Science: Why Many Nutrition Studies Are All Wrong - "When I first wrote about the questionable nature of observational epidemiology in Science back in 1995, “Epidemiology Faces Its Limits”, I noted that very few epidemiologists would ever take seriously an association smaller than a 3- or 4-fold increase in risk. (Not that they believed it was a causal relationship; only that they thought it was worth studying.) These Harvard people are discussing and getting an extraordinary amount of media attention over a 0.2-fold increased risk. So how can we explain this tiny association between the risk of eating a lot of red and processed meat—the 1/100th-the-size-of-the-lung-cancer-cigarette effect—compared to eating virtually none?... The answer ultimately is that we do experiments... we must rack our brains to figure out if there are other causal explanations for this association beside the meat-eating one... as we move from the bottom quintile of meat-eaters (those who are effectively vegetarians) to the top quintile of meat-eaters, we see an increase in virtually every accepted unhealthy behavior (smoking, drinking, sedentary behavior), and we also see an increase in markers for unhealthy behaviors (high BMI, high blood pressure, etc)... “So faithfully taking the placebo cuts the death rate by a factor of two”"

Temasek Polytechnic to Adorn New School Uniforms - "The male TP school uniform is made up of a short-sleeved shirt and three-quarter shorts bearing the iconic red and white colours of Temasek Polytechnic, balancing the formality of academic and skillful pursuit with the energy of youthful disposition. The female TP school uniform is a one piece pinafore also bearing the red & white colours of TP, designed to show elegance and drive, 2 key characteristics of our female students. While the implementation for this is still in its early stages, we will have an announcement coming in early April to explain to students how they will receive the uniform"
So they will dictate to the students how they will receive it

Do We Need Yale? | the kent ridge common - "Yale faculty members critiquing the venture also default upon essentialized representations of Singapore and tend to obsess about the legality of homosexuality in this country"
But so do gay activists...

Government should stand up for Singaporeans - "Foreigners belittling us, calling us names, making snide, rude and derogatory remarks about us. And never once has any government official stood up for us and chastised these people. The chastisement which PM Lee referred to
above, with regards to Sun Xu, was done by Singaporeans themselves. No government MP or for that matter, neither any opposition MP, stood up for us. All kept quiet."

The (Totally) Phantom Menace - YouTube - "Some say there is a fight scene at the end of "The Phantom Menace"..."
"I can laugh as much as anyone at how busted the lightsaber battles of The Phantom Menace were."

Bootstrapped Startup Saves Over $100K By Dropping IE - "Supporting variants of IE can easily increase design work by 30% to 100%, but complex features can easily double (or even triple) development time"

Some couples get married after short courtship - "Having had a bad experience of a cheating boyfriend, she was won over by Mr Chan's honesty... Marriage has made her a better person, she adds. 'I used to be impatient and wanted to win every argument. That would push my husband to become very angry too. I have since learnt to back down when he is angry and he does not flare up that much anymore'"
If not cheating is the bar, I'm sure a lot of people can cross it

Dis-moi pour qui tu votes, je connaîtrai ta vie sexuelle – Metro - "Les sympathisants de l'UMP déclarent avoir eu 7 partenaires en moyenne dans leur vie, contre 9 chez les sympathisants de gauche et 10 chez ceux d'extrême droite (8 pour l'ensemble des Français). Ces derniers prendraient donc très au sérieux leur désir patriotique de repeupler la France... les valeurs de partage de la gauche ne sont pas seulement une légende : Ils sont en effet plus nombreux (6% et même 9% au Front de gauche) à déclarer avoir vécu une "expérience échangiste" que ceux de droite (4%)"

Terrafugia Transition gets 35 mpg highway, 20 mpg flyway [w/video] - "Yes, it looks like the dream of the practical flying car is finally coming true"
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