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More adventurous than the average bear

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Thursday, July 05, 2012

Links - 5th July 202

"I not only use all the brains that I have, but all that I can borrow." - Woodrow Wilson


Kickstriker - "Kickstriker is a fundraising platform for activists, engineers and others working to resolve global conflicts. We believe that crowdfunding holds the potential to address many conflicts around the globe by allowing those who care to directly support potential solutions. These solutions might take the form of military action, supplying equipment and arms to those in need or the development of new military technologies with immediate applications in the field. Rather than waiting for national governments, coalitions and international bodies like the UN, NATO, EU and AU to decide to address a conflict--a process that can take years of deliberation--Kickstriker users are funding solutions that can be on the ground in weeks... Following the massive success of Invisible Children's "Kony 2012" campaign, we found ourselves excited about the potential that crowdsourcing held for addressing global conflicts. We were equally disappointed when that campaign unraveled, amid a backlash and public scandal. While "Kony 2012" succeeded at raising awareness and connecting potential activists with an issue, it ultimately failed due to suspicions regarding the role that Invisible Children played as a middleman. Kickstriker is our attempt to cut out the middleman in online activism, allowing funders to directly support the causes they care about"

Working Late Takes a Toll on Your Brain - "people who work more than 55 hours a week score lower on vocabulary and reasoning tests than people who work normal 40-hour weeks... “the difference in aspects of cognitive functioning between employees working long hours and those working normal hours is similar in magnitude to that of smoking, a risk factor for dementia which has been found to affect cognition”"

Mila Kunis | The Talks - "There is no such thing as perfection. What I consider beautiful, most likely you don’t. That doesn’t mean that I am right and you are wrong, it’s just a difference of opinion."

People OK with murdering Assange - the full list - "The CIA You Know Who They Are "If legal attacks on Assange fail, he'll simply be assassinated by the CIA." -Paul Craig Roberts" Time for me to attribute every evil I can think of to the CIA so they will be accused of advocating for those things...

Yoga laughter club 'annoys neighbours' - "A Mumbai court has ordered a laughter yoga club to stop waking their neighbours at 6am every morning. The High Court agreed with complainant Vinayak Shirsat, 78, who complained the club's antics amounted to "aural aggression"... "It's true that laughter is contagious, but if 30 people laugh every day in your window and you wake up to the sound of this cacophony you do not start laughing""

How to pose like a fashion blogger. - "I had to do this one solo, but it works better with friends (I don’t have any of them). It’s really easy though – just try to look as if you’re having the best fucking time ever. Like someone just gave you a sandcastle made of cocaine. It also works if you pretend you’ve just heard someone say something MEGA funny – ‘Wait, you mean she actually told you she’s a size EIGHT?!’"

A ban on bangers: Hundreds of school pupils denied pork because of 'religious reasons' - "Pork, which is not eaten by devout Jews or Muslims, has been banned by councils across the country to satisfy the needs of staff and pupils who are not allowed contact with it. However, it is thought many schools do not serve halal or kosher meat, so Jewish and Muslim children would not be able to eat it anyway. The decision has been criticised by MPs who have said the ban will cause unnecessary resentment among pupils and religious leaders who said they never asked for a ban in the first place... Stewart Houston, chief executive of the National Pig Association said the decision by schools was disappointing and added that sausages and roast pork were a staple of British diets."

Book Review - 'Bright-Sided - How the Relentless Promotion of Positive Thinking Has Undermined America,' by Barbara Ehrenreich - Review - - "What started as a 19th-century response to dour Calvinism has, over the years, turned equally oppressive... In a growing number of American churches, confessions of poverty or distress amount to heresy. America’s can-do optimism has hardened into a suffocating culture of positivity that bears little relation to genuine hope or happiness... Lance Armstrong was quoted as saying that “cancer was the best thing that ever happened to me”... In seminars, employees are led in mass chants that would make Chairman Mao proud: “I feel healthy, I feel happy, I feel terrific!”"

People will never forget your shame - "Ms Chu Mei-feng is the former Taipei city councillor who fell from grace in December 2001 after she was secretly filmed having sex with her married lover, Mr Tseng Chung-ming... She says she has no concrete career plans. “For most of my life, I’ve been interested in power and climbing up the ladder of success,” says Ms Chu. “I didn’t know that being a ‘xiao nu ren’ (docile woman in Mandarin, literally means ‘little woman’) can be such a bliss.” She says: “It feels so wonderful to be able to leave everything to my husband. He is the decision maker in our family. “That kind of feeling is just too beautiful.”"

Sex matters more than brains - "Nora, who owns a supercar and a luxury car, adds: “Seriously, show me an ugly, successful sales executive and I’d line up 20 gorgeous and more successful women just with a snap of a finger. “And before your readers whack me, they should ask themselves, how often have they seen a cute guy or girl and gone, ‘Okay, what he or she is selling, I’m buying’.” She was not always so cynical or liberal. Nora claims that when she started out as a marketing executive in an advertising firm at 20, she was “all young, innocent and stupid”. The business administration graduate says: “I’d dress up in three-piece suits and fully cover my body when I went for sales pitches. “I thought that if I used my brains tosell, it would impress potential clients.” But Nora gradually concluded that “it was never going to be the case”, considering that most decision-makers are men... Four months after she first had sex with her marketing director in exchange for a premium clientele list, Nora was promoted to head of her team. A year later, she was offered the position of senior associate... She adds: “Sex is a convenient tool of exchange. I’d use it when necessary. Not everyone is into sex. For such clients, I showcase my natural talent – intelligence and wit.” Nora quickly adds, as if to underscore her intelligence: “By the way, I’ve acquired two postgraduate degrees, one in economics and the other in business.” It is also not a big deal whether the client is married or even if the client is a woman. Nora claims: “I had a brief fling with a lesbian client and she took me to my position here today.”"

Supersizing Supercenters? The Impact of Wal-Mart Supercenters on Body Mass Index and Obesity - "An additional Supercenter per 100,000 residents increases average BMI by 0.24 units and the obesity rate by 2.3 percentage points. These results imply that the proliferation of Walmart Supercenters explains 10.5% of the rise in obesity since the late 1980s, but the resulting increase in medical expenditures offsets only a small portion of consumers’ savings from shopping at Supercenters"

Why "Good Jobs" Are Good for Retailers - "Highly successful retail chains—such as Quik­Trip convenience stores, Mercadona and Trader Joe’s supermarkets, and Costco wholesale clubs—not only invest heavily in store employees but also have the lowest prices in their industries, solid financial performance, and better customer service than their competitors. They have demonstrated that, even in the lowest-price segment of retail, bad jobs are not a cost-driven necessity but a choice. And they have proven that the key to breaking the trade-off is a combination of investment in the workforce and operational practices that benefit employees, customers, and the company."

Croatia/Ireland - Topless Croatian fan faces rap over celebrations
The photo is disappointing; a better one

Gang kidnaps wrong guy - "IT was a case of mistaken identity for a businessman who was abducted and tortured for three hours... “They tortured me with a welding iron and beat me with rotan and sticks”"
Malaysia: where even the criminals cannot make it

Fashion victims: why do glossy magazines keep glamorising violence? - "They speak of a world that is ugly, that still fetishises male domination even in its sickest forms, and there's no avoiding the fact that... At various times in history, women have bound their feet and breasts to constrict their growth, crushed their internal organs with whale-boned corsetry, poisoned their skin with lead-based make up, ruined their feet with agonising and impractical shoes. The self-aware tone of women's fashion magazines goes some way towards trying to justify this attitude. How many times have you seen some impractical yet "must-have" piece accompanied by the words "we know it's ridiculous, but we want it anyway!" Oh, women. Aren't we silly and fluffy and frivolous? We just can't help wanting what's bad for us."
The paradox is that the demand side of fashion is driven by... women

Fear of Job Loss May Be Worse Than Loss Itself

Sex and the five factor model of personality - "Agreeableness was the most consistent predictor of sexual behavior for both males and females. Across gender, openness predicted sexual attitudes and knowledge, and neuroticism was the strongest predictor of sexual adjustment. A number of sex differences were also noted. For example, social dominance predicted nonvirginity status and lifetime number of partners for males but not females. By contrast, self-ratings of attractiveness were strongly associated with nonvirginity status in females but not males. Ethnicity (Asian status) was a strong predictor of most dimensions of sexuality in females only... Men with sexually liberal attitudes tended to be unconscientious, extraverted and disagreeable; women with sexually liberal attitudes tended to be nonneurotic and disagreeable. Disagreeable men and women were more likely to have had sexual intercourse and with a greater number of partners than agreeable men and women. Nonvirgins of both sexes were more likely to be calculating, stubborn and arrogant in their interpersonal behavior than virgins. Neuroticism predicted sexual inexperience in males only; timid, unassertive, anxious men were less sexually experienced than emotionally stable men. Disorganized, selfish, and easily distracted men and women were more sexually promiscuous than conscientious, agreeable, introverted individuals. Consistently, ethnicity was predictive of sexual experience and attitudes for females only; Asian females reported considerably less sexual experience and more conservative sexual attitudes than Caucasian women."
I found this when trying to answer the question "Are white girls more likely to be "crazy" and demanding than other types of girls?"

Promiscuous Men And Agreeable Women Most Successful Daters - "people who fit their gender stereotypes—men who don't commit and women who are warm and trustworthy—are better able to judge their own attractiveness. Why? Researchers say that those who conform to such stereotypes get more practice in the field"
Going against stereotypes can be bad for your health
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