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Meesa gonna kill you!

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Thursday, August 09, 2012

Links - 9th August 2012

(this post has had its timestamp altered so it will display above [and so be on the frontpage at the same time as] a later post)

Conservatives Are Happier, and Extremists Are Happiest of All - NYTimes.com - "So conservatives are ignorant, and ignorance is bliss, right? Not so fast, according to a study from the University of Florida psychologists Barry Schlenker and John Chambers and the University of Toronto psychologist Bonnie Le in the Journal of Research in Personality. These scholars note that liberals define fairness and an improved society in terms of greater economic equality. Liberals then condemn the happiness of conservatives, because conservatives are relatively untroubled by a problem that, it turns out, their political counterparts defined. Imagine the opposite. Say liberals were the happy ones. Conservatives might charge that it is only because liberals are unperturbed by the social welfare state’s monstrous threat to economic liberty. Liberals would justifiably dismiss this argument as solipsistic and silly... People at the extremes are happier than political moderates... What explains this odd pattern? One possibility is that extremists have the whole world figured out, and sorted into good guys and bad guys. They have the security of knowing what’s wrong, and whom to fight. They are the happy warriors"
Self-righteousness feels good

Why I prefer the London Tube to MRT - "Have you ever been greeted the moment you entered a train station? I have. In fact, it happened everyday when I took the Victoria Line from Vauxhall. I have no idea what his job scope entails, but there was always an employee of London Underground, a man, just standing by the gates wishing us good morning with a smile. It’s probably his job as someone who handles general enquiries or to help passengers who need directions. But I’m pretty sure they don’t pay him to smile. And then there was the time I was rushing to take the last train after a late party at a friend’s place. An underground employee by Leytonstone’s station entrance saw me running in and immediately shouted to ask where I was heading. “Kennington!” I shouted back without breaking stride. “Keep running, I’ll hold the train!” So I did. And the last train was there waiting for me as I reached the platform. I got on. I only wished I could thank the man who held the train for me. Of course, this is not to say that no local train driver or MRT employee has ever done those kind deeds I experienced in London. I’m sure some do so on their own initiative. But I’ve taken the MRT almost every other day since the 1990s. I’ve only lived in London for 10 months. And I tell you there is a marked difference in experience. Don’t take my word for it. You have to take the Tube for yourself, and wait for it to break down, which shouldn’t be too long"

Entire family contracts STD from a Shanghai hotel - "Luxury suites at high-end hotels are often where illegal sexual services take place, said the director. The bedsheets Li and his family slept upon may have had traces of the bodily fluids of infected persons."

Hospitals 'letting patients die to save money’ - "Last year The Daily Telegraph reported that the numbers being put on the pathway had doubled in just two years, with tens of thousands of patients now involved. But up to half of families are not being informed of clinicians’ decision to put a relative on the pathway"

Fifty Shades of Grey is bad for bondage - "Having read the three novels in one sitting, I very much doubt it is the sex that did it. I found it boring, repetitive, and leads women to aspire to undesirable – and frankly unattainable – goals, such as simultaneous orgasm, which occurs between the protagonists most of the time. But, most annoyingly, the story demonises BDSM – the term for the erotic style comprising bondage, domination, and sado-masochism – and those who enjoy it... Frankly, in BDSM terms, Grey is a lightweight. He eschews many fairly standard interests, although he is an expert at the "mind-fuck". Even novices, however, would know that his use of cable ties is a very bad idea (to avoid nerve-damage and scarring, soft, thick rope is de rigueur)... Ten years ago, I carried out an extensive psychological study of people in the BDSM community – the largest empirical study ever done at the time – to examine their psychological attributes and determine if there was any justification for the notion, commonly held, even within my field, that they were all psychologically disturbed. After giving each of the 132 participants four hours of psychological tests, as well as a face-to-face interview, I found that, in fact, the group was generally not mentally unhealthy"

Supertree Dining Now Serving - "“A garden is for everybody, so the dining destination within a garden has to cater to everyone too,” says Mr Vincent Tan, Managing Director of Select Group. Which is why at Gardens By The Bay’s Supertree Dining, you can find five very different dining concepts that will satisfy a diverse group of visitors (anyone from the tourist to the senior citizen) who are going to visit this new attraction... Chicken Rice $18.80 ++"
One group that's not satisfied: the poor

Magic Needs To Be Mysterious and Unpredictable In Games - "The best games are those wherein the mechanics and the narrative (and all the various other elements) work together in harmony to construct a coherent and consistent whole. Many games miss the opportunity to reinforce the strangeness of the magic in their lore by using tired and bland mechanics, but a little extra effort can allow magic to remain mysterious, dangerous, and interesting"

Do More Expensive Wines Taste Better - "individuals on average enjoy more expensive wines slightly less. For individuals with wine training, however, we find indications of a positive relationship between price and enjoyment... both the prices of wines and wine recommendations by experts may be poor guides for non-expert wine consumers."

Capitol Hill reporter chases Rep. David Dreier, boldly goes where no woman has gone before - "there are some thresholds even most journos won’t cross in pursuit of a story — like the bathroom door"

Five guys take same photo for 30 years - "Every five years for the past three decades, John Wardlaw, John Dickson, Mark Rumer, Dallas Burney and John Molony have been meeting at the California lake and taking the same photo."

First Soy-free Tofu Launched | The Healthy Vegetarian News
Wut; It must be damn sad to be a vegan allergic to tofu

Five Men Agree To Stand Directly Under An Exploding Nuclear Bomb - "It was shot by the U.S. Air Force (at the behest of Col. Arthur B. "Barney" Oldfield, public information officer for the Continental Air Defense Command in Colorado Springs) to demonstrate the relative safety of a low-grade nuclear exchange in the atmosphere"

Garden country - " I started to count Singapore’s ways: its orderliness, its predictability, its cleanliness, the all-round safety it offers, and the visible effort it exerts to create diversity under regulated circumstances. When I was younger, these were the same contrived qualities I associated with dead places... I was struck to see, on this last visit, street posters urging Singaporeans to perform simple acts of kindness for others in their daily lives. I thought it was a poignant testimony to the limits of social engineering... [In Gardens by the Bay] as we followed the winding steel platform, and posed and took photos, I wondered what was lacking. I realized it was the experience of stillness and solitude that true mountains alone can give"

When There Was Nothing Left to Do, I Fed Her Ice Cream - "So at the end, when there was nothing else I could do, I sat by her bedside and fed her Hoodsie Cups, half chocolate, half vanilla. After all her other pleasures—even reading— abandoned her, this one remained"

Dear Prudie: Is drunken sex with my husband a form of abuse? - " even a married couple who have had sex hundreds of times can enjoy that alcohol might ignite a delightful, spontaneous encounter. Your approach, however, seems to be to treat your sex life as if it is subject to regulatory review by the Department of Health and Human Services. Your prim, punctilious, punitive style has me admiring your put-upon husband’s ability to even get it up, given the possibility he’ll be accused of rape—or turn himself in for it!—if one of you fails a breathalyzer test. Living in terror that expressing one’s perfectly normal sexual desire could end one’s marriage, and freedom, is itself a form of abuse. Stop acting like a parody of a gender-studies course catalog and start acting like a loving wife. If you can’t, then give the poor sap a divorce"
Another way feminism can screw up your life

Beyond Meat: Fake chicken that tastes so real it will freak you out. - "Beyond Meat’s faux chicken will change how you feel about eating ersatz animal products"

Not Even God Can Stop Teens from Having Sex: Do Evangelicals Finally Realize This? - "in the evangelical mind, premarital sex is bad, but abortion is worse"

Abstinence-Only Sex Ed Teaches Teens that Sluts Are Like Dirty Glasses Full of Chewed Up Food

10 Nude Scenes to Make You Cringe!

Overtly 'girly' scientists alienate potential students - "Betz and Sekaquaptewa recruited 142 girls aged 11 to 13 and showed them mocked-up magazine articles about three female university students who were either described as doing well in science, engineering, technology or mathematics (STEM), or as rising stars in unspecified fields. The three also either displayed overtly feminine characteristics or gender-neutral traits. Oddly, the researchers found that girls who read about the feminine science students decreased their self-rated interest in maths ability and short-term expectations of success. Worse still, girls who already disliked science were especially demotivated by the feminine scientists. Sekaquaptewa says this was probably because they saw simultaneous success in both domains as totally unattainable."
One reason to think that initiatives grounded in identity politics might fail

Wizards & Warriors Camp Highlights - YouTube

15 styles of Distorted Thinking - "Heaven's Reward Fallacy: You expect all your sacrifice and self-denial to pay off, as if there were someone keeping score. You feel better when the reward doesn't come"

Don Cheadle is Captain Planet
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