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Friday, May 11, 2012

Links - 11th May 2012

Kony 2012 Cover the Night fails to move from the internet to the streets - "The Kony 2012 Cover the Night campaign woke up to awkward questions on Saturday after activists failed to blanket cities with posters of the wanted Ugandan warlord, Joseph Kony. The movement's phenomenal success in mobilising young people online, following last month's launch of a 29-minute documentary which went viral, flopped in trying to turn that into real world actions... "What happened to all the fuss about Kony?" said one typical tweet. "Kony is so last month," said another." AWARENESS!

Kony 2012: Invisible Children prepares Cover the Night stunt amid criticism - ""This Invisible Children campaign hurts. It's offensive," says Victor Ochen, founder and director of the African Youth Initiative Network (Ayinet) that works to rehabilitate victims of violence perpetrated by Joseph Kony's Lord's Resistance Army (LRA). "The people who have suffered at the hands of Kony don't want to promote him or make him famous. They want to rebuild their lives"... "We get the feeling that Invisible Children care more about their videos than about victims"... "This is a day when communities are trying to heal broken hearts, but Invisible Children want to plaster Kony's face everywhere," he continued. "People in the affected areas find it very difficult when an organisation encourages people to wear T-shirts bearing Kony's face. How do you think Americans would have reacted if people in another country wore Osama Bin Laden T-shirts? All of this just confirms to us that they do not care about the victims and ignore their suffering"... "They also don't seem to recognise that the more Kony feels threatened, the more he's dangerous. This campaign will only worsen their violent acts"... The implication is that the abduction rate has increased since the video was released... "Victims have appealed for Invisible Children to cancel Cover the Night, but they refused... last week at Gulu [where one person died during unrest following a screening of Kony 2012 and its sequel]. We do not want to endanger anyone""

Monogamy 'safer' than polygamy - ""Our goal was to understand why monogamous marriage has become standard in most developed nations in recent centuries, when most recorded cultures have practiced polygaymy. The emergence of monogamous marriage is also puzzling for some as the very people who most benefit from polygymy - wealthy, powerful men - were best positioned to reject it"... the study represents the most comprehensive study of polygamy and the institution of marriage. It found significantly higher levels of rape, kidnapping, murder, assault, robbery and fraud in polygymous cultures found in Asia and Africa. Prof Henrichs said that these crimes are caused primarily by pools of unmarried men, which result when other men take multiple wives... A more egalitarian distribution of women results in less male competition and social problems, he says, and by shifting male efforts from seeking wives to paternal investment, institutionalised monogamy increases long-term planning, economic productivity, savings and child investments. "

Legalize polygamy: study - "Sayd Mumtaz Ali, president of the Canadian Society of Muslims, said last year that he opposes same-sex marriage, but said if it is legalized in Canada, polygamists would be within their rights to challenge for their choice of family life to be legalized... Chief author of the report Martha Bailey told The Canadian Press that criminalizing polygamy serves no good purpose. "Why criminalize the behaviour?" she said. "We don't criminalize adultery""

Facebook photo ends up on porn, dating sites - "another friend told her that the photo had also popped up on a dating site called sgGirls.com... Ms Rahim, 32, has filed two police reports - one about the porn site and the other about the dating site"

The future of hawker food in singapore on Twitpic

Chicken Soup: The Miracle Prescription for Winter Illness - "The first modern landmark study on chicken soup was published in the medical journal Chest in 1978 and stated simply that the steam in chicken soup was more effective in clearing up congestion than plain cold or hot water... Rennard discovered that chicken soup acts as an anti-inflammatory by keeping a check on inflammatory white blood cells, called neutrophils. Neutrophils migrate to the bronchial tubes, causing inflammation. These guys hang out, wreaking havoc on one's system, forcing their victim to cough and hack their way into utter misery"

A look at the kind of thinking that determines how religious we are - "Analytical thinking can be harmful to religious faith... People who are highly intuitive tend to be more religious. Intuitive thinking helps people recognize the difference between the body and the mind, imagine life after death and discern purposes in the universe... Most people don't recognize there is a key difference between the "irrational" and the "non-rational," Kierkegaard taught. The "irrational" describes that which is illogical and unreason-able. The "non-rational," on the other hand, refers to intuition; the sphere of the imagination, emotions and the arts... [we have] low levels of religious belief in Scandinavian countries with generous social-welfare programs... people who are adept at "reading the minds of others" are more inclined to be religious. People who can psychologically intuit what another per-son might be feeling, Gervais theorizes, seem to be inclined to do the same in regard to what they consider a personal transcendent reality"

Can an Algorithm Write a Better News Story Than a Human Reporter?

Stop the Google Drive Terms of Service Bogeyman hunt - "If you didn't have the context from above, that sounds pretty scary, right?... The first bunch of verbs ("host, store, reproduce, modify, create derivative works") all cover the process of making your content useful. If Google can't host or store your content, it disappears, which is of no help to you. If Google can't reproduce your content, it would be impossible to have the syncing across devices that makes Google Drive, Music, or Photos useful. Modifying and derivative works covers anything from auto-correct in a document to translations or fixing the color of a photograph.  Then, the last few pieces ("communicate, publish, publicly perform, publicly display and distribute") covers being able to share your content, but only if the requirements are met from the Privacy Policy above. This means that Google can post your photos, videos or docs to Google+, but only if you say so (or for some odd reason a judge says so.) The same goes for e-mail, or even sharing a link.  Knowing all of that, what exactly is the problem? The problem is that people want to find fault without due cause"
Do people READ the actual TOS before spreading FUD?

Thinking can undermine religious faith, study finds - "Scientists have revealed one of the reasons why some folks are less religious than others: They think more analytically, rather than going with their gut. And thinking analytically can cause religious belief to wane — for skeptics and true believers alike."

Revealed: How Twitter’s secret offer for Instagram made Facebook pay $1B - "Zuckerberg, we’re told, lives in perpetual anxiety, preoccupied by the fear of Facebook losing its place, terrified that youngsters will get their social networking fix from other services. That fear served as the catalyst behind his decision to buy Instagram and keep it out of the hands of a cross-town competitor. This type of paranoia is relatively normal at Silicon Valley’s largest technology companies. “These huge West Coast companies, peopled mostly by kids who cannot believe their good luck, commonly turn paranoid and think everyone is out to get them,” veteran columnist and broadcaster John Dvorak told VentureBeat. “Microsoft was the worst but not the first. Apple acts this way with Android, and Google has been paranoid for a few years.”"

Woman kills man by squeezing his testicles over parking dispute

STOMP - Singapore Seen - Nude photoshoot on St John's Island may land model and photographer in trouble - "Mr Vijay added that it is possible that the photographer has committed an offence under the Penal Code. Section 292 of the Penal Code states that whoever "distributes, transmits by electronic means, publicly exhibits or in any manner puts into circulation... any obscene book, pamphlet, paper, drawing, painting, representation or figure, or any other obscene object" shall be punished with up to three months' jail and/or a fine. The lawyer said: "In Singapore, nudity is considered obscene because we are a conservative society." Another lawyer, Steven Lam, thinks nude photography is illegal under the Undesirable Publications Act."
Elizabeth Choy had a nude photoshoot. Too bad she's dead so we can't prosecute under the Undesirable Publications Act

Police investigates man for making false report - "Acting Commander of Bedok Police Division, Superintendent of Police Jarrod Pereira commended his officers' promptness and skilful interview in investigating the credibility of the report. He also warned that police would take stern actions against anyone giving false information, as these irresponsible actions utilise police resources which could be used better in crime fighting."
The definition of crime fighting in Singapore seems suspect

Diary of a Grumpy Spinster: Everybody loves Walker (not!) - "Before Frodo got drunker than drunk, he initiated a conversation about the underage sex scandal which had implicated 48 SG men so far. Frodo again boasted that these men are stupid to pay for sex when it is so easy to get one from SG girls. Frodo has never paid for sex because he could easily get it for free. He boasted that he slept with 100 women every year and was so easy to charm SG women with his looks and height"

Stress driving S’poreans to have sex with underage girls - "[Sin Chew] daily quoted psychologist Dr Yang Jia Le as saying it was not difficult for men younger than 30 to befriend and pick up underage girls at nightclubs but this is not the case with older men. “Therefore, they (the older men) need another solution to fulfil their needs.""

Waiter, There’s a Bug in my Frappuccino - "Vegans are feeling threatened(?) by the revelation that Starbucks Soy Frappuccinos contain insect juice. Specifically, cochineal insect extract used as a reddish food coloring... The alternative to using cochineal is mostly Red 40, which is made from coal tar... Cochineal has been used by humans for hundreds of years, and provides an important source of cash for a lot of rural Central and South American people. There is some evidence the culture and sale of cochineal leads to more independence and higher female literacy in Mexico. It's entirely consistent with Starbucks' policy to sustainably source their products to use a natural product like cochineal. There is a change.org petition condemming Starbucks for using insect dyes; I'm tempted to start one to praise them for it!... The reality is that anytime you eat processed food–including coffee and chocolate–you ARE eating insects. They may not be on the label, but parts of them are in there... I applaud Starbucks for choosing a sustainable, low-impact food-coloring source!"
"Sustainability" really means "hippie stuff I like"
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