"Malaysia Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad and the Sultan of Johor are seen in a blue Proton Saga... "When asked whether there is any tension with the sultan, Dr Mahathir said: “No, I don’t see anything because I went to see him and he drove me to the airport. I don’t want to comment on the sultans because if I say anything that is not good then it’s not nice because he is the sultan”"

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Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Links - 11th July 2012

In Israel, racial profiling doesn't warrant debate, or apologies - "To Israelis, the practice of picking people out based on racial stereotypes is so self-evident, there isn't even a Hebrew term for it... Of course, they could subject everyone to these inspections, but that would mean we couldn't progress quickly and smoothly from check-in to duty-free, and of course since it would mean hiring hundreds more security agents, ticket prices would go up... Every month or so, the Israeli media publishes the case of an Arab-Israeli who missed a flight because of the security checks, and of course all of us have privately heard horror stories of visitors who were put through hell... Racial profiling seems to work. Since the 1972 Lod Airport massacre, in which 26 people were murdered, there have been no successful attacks on Israeli air-traffic and almost all the attempts that did take place were carried out on foreign soil"

Kickstarter abuse: $20k for a game made for free in RPG Maker - "there's a huge surplus of college kids whose dream jobs are to go develop games and are willing to eat shit to do so"

Mary J. Blige Burger King commercial pulled after race backlash - "In the ad - which premiered this week - the Grammy winner sings soulfully about chicken snack wraps, leading some in the African American community branding it as stereotypical... The spokeswoman also noted that other celebrities, including Salma Hayek, David Beckham and Jay Leno are also advertising the snack wraps"
Diversity and race blindness mean we cannot put black people in the vicinity of fried chicken

Shy Hong Kongers urged to have more sex - ""People say Hong Kongers have the least amount of sexual knowledge in the world. One of the reasons is they have no place to have sex"... Hong Kong couples are content with having sex less than twice a week, according to a 2011 survey published by City University's Community College. More than half of the women questioned in the Hong Kong survey admitted feigning illness or tiredness to avoid sex when they were not in the mood... This compares with the top rate of more than three times per week in Greece, more than twice in India and less than once per week in Japan, according to British condom manufacturer Durex, whose 2008 survey found Hong Kongers ranked third lowest in the world in sexual confidence... A similar Durex survey released last year also showed a decline in sexual activity in China. Thirty-nine percent of respondents said they were sexually inactive, a 15-percentage point increase from 2006. The problem is worse for heterosexual women than for men in Hong Kong due to cultural issues tied to status and wealth, and social expectations about the role of women, said Dr Petula Ho, a sexologist from the University of Hong Kong. Making matters worse for women, they vastly outnumber men in Hong Kong. There is less than one man for every 1.2 women between the ages of 20 and 39, according to official figures from last year. "Straight women in Hong Kong are in poverty in terms of sex. They have few sexual possibilities and options. Even if you're a male truck driver, you can find a woman in rural China," Ho said."

A Scarier Web | Krank.ie - "When a tweet calling a councilor a “cunt” could land you in jail or making fun of the appearance of someone on TV can lose you your job, what kind of web are we using?... Who gets to decide what is trolling and what isn’t?... Last night, a man who works (worked?) for Hill+Knowlton Strategies, a communications company, posted a very stupid tweet regarding The Guardian TV critic Grace Dent... Dent responded simply “you’ll bear the brunt of your idiocy at 10am tomorrow morning when you’re unemployed. Good luck.” Reading her own timeline on the social network shows that Dent can certainly dish out mean spirited comments, but obviously cannot take them... the high fiving and backslapping for Dent and co is rather sickening and echoes back to the NotW closure and the weird pleasure the “liberal” Guardian fans took in jeering at people losing their jobs... 'the law tends towards the side of the ‘liberals’. The liberal/left view seems to be – ‘you can do or say what you like, unless I don’t agree with it’!'"
Addendum: "It smacks of arrogance and sheer pretentiousness that she thinks that she is above any form of abuse, that she is happy to use her perceived position of authority and abuse it. Being a Z-list TV celebrity does not make you immune to acting human. Everybody slips up, everybody says something they regret. It takes a human to slip up, it takes a man to apologise. Grace Dent is acting on a moral high, despite being no stranger to knee jerk judgemental tweets... When someone screws up and they apologise the worst thing you can do is throw their apology back in their face. Calling for them to be fired is beyond the pale. It suggests to everyone else that you think that you are holier than thou. Mufadal Juwaji is no an internet troll, he’s just young and stupid. We all were. Except, of course, Saint Dent."

Texting Is for Boys: Warn Your Daughters to Just Say No! - "Superior verbal skills give girls the home court advantage on the relationship front, yet they yield to the monosyllabic communication of texting, which boys love... Both sexes bond through language, but the brains of boys are not as attuned to language as those of girls. Girls are biologically superior at communication. Science confirms this"
Comments: "We can use this article as an example of how to marginalize and insult while at the same time say little of importance"
"The author's conception of my 'reluctance' to talk, (being biologically predisposed to inferiority and all), implies that I WANT to talk, I'm just incapable of doing so, whereas I would suggest my reluctance is a choice to avoid the mental and emotional fatigue of talking with people who value quantity of words over quality"
"Seriously? You're just saying that talking a lot is the same as communicating effectively. Well, how long did you spend making your point, and in that time has a single commenter been influenced? I wouldn't call that spectacular communication skills."
"This is the kind of nonsense that leads people to mistrust psychologists in general. You never hear a biologist or physicist say something as inane as "Science confirms this"--they give studies. And if you're going to make divisive statements, you really need to cite your sources."
I doubt this would even have been allowed on the Huffington Post (and she'd have been slammed even more) if she had written: "Boys are biologically superior at [whatever]. Science confirms this

A Blind Spot in the Gender Debate - "What makes everyone think women have a natural ability to communicate? I mean, if women are supposed to be better communicators than men, why don't we ever communicate?... she'll insist that not only is she a good communicator, but that her boyfriend is a bad listener. Actually, though, he's just a bad mind-reader because when he asks for clarification, he'll be listening intently as she declares, `If I have to explain it, never mind.' It's a double-whammy. First, she'll withhold conversation. Then she'll withhold sex. And if she has to explain it, never mind. You see, women feel that the best relationships are those that require the least amount of communication. A man should be able to tell what we mean, not by just what we say, but by our tone alone. Like if I say, `I'm so upset,' that means I've chipped a fingernail. But if I say, `I'm so upset,' obviously, my mother just called. I mean, who can't tell the difference. And if I have to explain it, never mind... The best-seller `He's Just Not That Into You" told women that men who don't communicate just aren't that into us. But since there's no companion book for men called "She's Just Not That Into You Unless You have ESP," the innately challenged male can get into trouble"

You can't overdose on homeopathic remedies; Why won't homeopathy skeptics drink their own medicine? - "Teaching the so-called "skeptics" about how homeopathic medicine really works is a bit like trying to convince flat Earthers that the planet is really spherical. These skeptics, you see, approach homeopathy as if it were a drug (because that's all they really know)... homeopathy isn't a chemical. It's a resonance... [skeptics]'ve all convinced themselves that electrons are -- get this -- tiny "particles" flying around atomic nuclei and tremendous speeds which just happen to stay in their little orbits like little perpetual motion machines (which they say are impossible), until all of a sudden, these electron "particles" inexplicably leap to a higher or lower orbit without occupying the space in-between those orbits at any moment. Yep, magic teleporting particles! That's the "scientific" explanation of these folks. No wonder so many of them are magicians: Believing their explanations requires that you believe in particle magic!... Even the skeptics know that homeopathy is inherently safer than their own medicines. No wonder they keep attacking it: If people found out about safe medicine, where would all of Big Pharma's repeat business come from?"
Homeopathy requires you to believe electrons don't have orbits? I like the comments: "This is so tremendously stupid that the onion news should just copy and paste this without editing."

Vengeance Destroys Faces, and Souls, in Cambodia - New York Times - "In the past two years, there has been a horrific surge in acid attacks in Cambodia, most of them carried out -- in contrast to places like Bangladesh -- by wives against the lovers of their husbands. One local human rights group, Licadho, recorded 20 such attacks last year in a sort of imitative mass hysteria."

Taking “Cloud Computing” Too Literally - "Mr. Gupta has taken the name of “cloud” computing too literally, believing that data actually resides in the clouds that bring rain and can be adversely affected when precipitation occurs. He expressed his concern about how this can cause problems with the UID (Universal Identification Number, similar to Social Security Number in the US) that the Indian government is planning to introduce soon... After his comments were greeted with widespread incredulity and derision, Mr. Gupta tried to do some damage control by asserting he had been misinterpreted; what he was actually trying to talk about was the practice of “cloud seeding” or creating artificial rain. However, this defense sounds hollow when you look at the subtitled video"

Oscar voters' demographics less diverse than those of moviegoing public - "academy voters are markedly less diverse than the public, and even more monolithic than many in the film industry may suspect. Oscar voters are nearly 94 percent Caucasian and 77 percent male, the Times found. Blacks are about 2 percent of the academy, and Latinos are less than 2 percent. Oscar voters have a median age of 62, the study showed. People younger than 50 constitute just 14 percent of the membership... membership is generally for life, and hundreds of academy voters haven't worked on a movie in decades. Some are people who have left the movie business entirely but continue to vote on the Oscars ----- including a nun, a bookstore owner and a retired Peace Corps recruiter. Their votes count the same as ballots cast by the likes of Julia Roberts, George Clooney and Leonardo DiCaprio... about the academy's race, sex and age breakdown: Some members see it simply as a mirror of hiring patterns in Hollywood, while others say it reflects the group's mission to recognize achievement rather than promote diversity... Academy leaders including President Tom Sherak and Chief Executive Dawn Hudson said they have been trying to diversify the membership but that change is difficult because the film industry is not very diverse, and slow because the academy has limited membership growth since 2004... Asked about the diversity of Oscar presenters, Sherak said he did not instruct this year's show producers to include more minorities. "Producers produce the show, end of subject," he said. Past hosts have included African Americans Chris Rock and Whoopi Goldberg, and Eddie Murphy was initially slated to host this year's broadcast. Age and gender have also prompted questions. Sony Pictures executives said last year that they believed their film "The Social Network" lost the best picture race to "The King's Speech" because older Oscar voters didn't relate to the Facebook story. This year, some believe the 9/11 drama "Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close" made the best picture list because it appealed to middle-aged men... Sherak and other academy officials said they're eager for more applications from women and minorities, and more involvement from those who are already members"
Everyone is looking at this as due to race/gender problem when it makes more sense to look at it through the lens of age (even if one ignored the merit angle)
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