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Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Links - 26th September 2012

"When a man comes to me for advice, I find out the kind of advice he wants, and I give it to him." - John Billings (Henry Wheeler Shaw)


“New atheists” are privileged racist homophobic imperialists | Butterflies and Wheels - "who says Greta Christina (since she’s the example Scofield chose to illustrate that claim) belongs to a privileged group? Who, in particular, says she does so more than Be Scofield? He has some forms of privilege that she doesn’t have. Why does he get to italicize from their own social location by way of rebuking Greta, as if she loomed over him like the lord of the manor? Why is her reason more tainted by privilege than his? I don’t know; I suspect he’s just posturing."

Bees 'could deter vandals' at Greenfield heritage park

Your Facebook personality is genuine (study)

Storming the Sand Castle | BioWare Blog - "If there’s any criticism I would level, it’s that many fanfiction writers insulate themselves in the safe cocoon of an appreciative audience so that they never receive the criticism required to grow. There’s no harm in that; not everyone needs to grow as a writer– but those who do find that criticism, somewhere, can turn into pretty fantastic writers... They laden their prose with words they fancy because they think it makes their writing more poetic. It doesn’t. It makes your prose heavy, and while there might be some readers who appreciate that, it won’t make you a better writer. Be sparing with your language, and realize there isn’t a sentence so clever it shouldn’t be cut if it doesn’t assist your purpose– which is telling a story"

Mass hysteria in upstate New York: Why Lori Brownell and 13 other teenage girls are showing Tourette’s-like symptoms. - "Victims are often accused of faking it, but more often they are suffering real physical symptoms that are psychological in origin. The phenomenon has been observed for centuries, with the blame shifting to whatever specific anxieties are culturally pervasive at the time. But one theme has remained consistent: The victims are overwhelmingly female... Victims of mass hysteria are so often female that gender imbalance is one clue doctors use to differentiate hysteria from poisoning"

IKEA stores, a wonderland for Chinese freeloaders - "Taking a nap, freeloading on air-conditioning, sipping free coffee, and organizing a speed dating event…It seems that quite a number of Chinese go to IKEA stores for anything but furniture shopping... Last year, IKEA Shanghai experienced a coffee crisis. It told its customers that 30 yuan (US$4.6) spent on a membership card can guarantee them countless free refills of coffee in the cafeteria. The promotion became a near disaster: each Tuesday and Thursday, hundreds of members of a matchmaking club at their middle age and beyond came from all over the city and took up seats for five or six hours while meeting their dates. Each one of them got free coffee from an organizer who flashed her own IKEA membership card to the staff at the cafeteria and then generously extended her privilege to everyone in the club. Bags of creamer, sugar and disposable cups ran out in half an hour"

Bernhard Schlink: being German is a huge burden - ""Germans have a melancholic, a pessimistic streak, which cultural historians trace back to the thirty years' war [a series of wars between 1618 and 1648 that devastated much of Europe including large parts of Germany]. There are these beautiful comparisons of German, English and French soldiers' war songs, and the English and French ones, they're all about hope and victory, and the German soldiers' songs are all about losing comrades, or imminent death. This pessimism I think leads people to ask now: 'Have we had it too good?'""

Singapore and Hong Kong men are the most promiscuous in Asia - "Singapore and Hong Kong men are the most promiscuous in Asia, with an average of 16 bed partners in their lifetime, according to a worldwide survey carried out by condom producer Durex. For women, Malaysian women are the most promiscuous in Asia with some 39 percent confessing that they cheated on their partners in the poll, which covered 29,000 women in 36 countries. The Malaysian women came third behind Ghana (62 per cent) and Thailand (59 per cent). In fourth and fifth place were Russia (33 per cent) and Singapore (19 per cent) respectively."

Condom highly sought after as gift for Chinese New Year - "many young men are out making a living by themselves and are reunited with their wives or girlfriends only during the New Year. Condoms that are rarely used throughout the year now sell like hot cakes for people’s quality time."

Material greed of Chinese women turns Chinese men off; Western women become popular - "[He] has found himself more attracted to the traits of the Western female character. He thinks that these women are more independent, straight-forward and less coddled than Chinese women. Being outspoken is what they especially appeal to Li Lei. “If they have something they want, they will tell you directly”... Tony had two relationships with Chinese women, but was angered by having to find out why his girlfriend had mood swing. As a result, he made up his mind two years ago that women from North America or Europe suit him better. Part of the reason why they now prefer Western women is an increasing number of Chinese women are materialist"

Diva - My S'pore boyfriends were not driven, boring dependent, childish - "After she broke up with her Singaporean boyfriend two years ago, Miss Ang had enough of local men. Her ex had called her materialistic after she told him that being content with a future salary of $3,000 a month was not good enough for her. “So I decided I wanted someone different,” Miss Ang said. The 21-year-old set her sights on Caucasian men, and 10 months after she broke up, she got her wish. She met her current German boyfriend, 25, at the smoking area outside a Clarke Quay pub. He approached her and started a conversation. “Normally, Singaporean men would not be so bold,” she said... [She] spoke with a Western accent... “I love my boyfriend because he is very reserved and simple”... “I also want to have beautiful children who are mixed blood, to create diversity in the family”"

Self-confessed ex-SPG: Local men are sensible, responsible gentlemen - ""When I was an SPG, I wanted to explore and thinking these Caucasian men were more adventurous and intelligent -- my thoughts fooled me. I was disappointed dating a few of the most inglorious and ignorant men I've ever met. They always think they are way smarter and able to outsmart me. But when I outsmart them in turn, they feel threatened and hate the feeling of losing to an Asian woman. Thus, they begin to turn nasty... I would describe local men as researchers, humans curious about their planet. When they don't know something, they are eager to learn more about it. They research and gain more knowledge about it unlike Caucasian men, who tend to think they know it all... most of them don't really care how you look, it's just how you sleep with them"

The Sexual Double Standard - "A more lighthearted approach to a sexual double standard was taken in a study done in Texas examining country music lyrics. All of the songs used were sung by female artists. Interestingly, these researchers found that female singers excused infidelity from married women but not married men... A later study by Marks and Fraley investigated why recent empirical results seems to support the lack of a sexual double standard while anecdotal evidence still strongly supports it’s existence. Their findings suggested that the confirmation bias (a tendency to search for information that confirms already held precepts) sustains belief in the sexual double standard (2006: 25)."

YouTube video shows Indian beer thief hiding 20-pound case under skirt - What's On Tianjin

Tapioca pearls in bubble tea contain carcinogens: German study

Virginity cream sparks Indian sex debate - "An Indian company has launched what it claims is the country's first vagina tightening cream, saying it will make women feel "like a virgin" again. The company says it is about empowering women... Ancient India has always been celebrated for its openness and lack of hypocrisy, for its modernity and inclusive attitude; but in one aspect, it has remained rigid: the need for women to be virgins... she has even heard stories of companies which work at night, such as call centres, finding their toilets full of condoms which they cannot flush down, as some couples find it hard to find a place to be alone"

Why top sport stars might have 'more time' on the ball - "an individual's perception of time does seem to slow as they prepare to make a physical action"

Eating less fails to extend monkey lives - "monkeys eating 30 per cent less than control animals did not have longer lives. Dieting monkeys also died from age-related diseases just as often as controls. The results not only conflict with findings from worms, flies, rats and mice, but also with those of a very similar study of rhesus monkeys at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, published in 2009."

Cost of staging NDP: $115, spent in 10 years
I'm sure this doesn't assume paying NSFs at market rates

No go for cycling lanes - "On average, 18 cyclists died every year from 2008 to 2011, Parliamentary Secretary for Transport Muhammad Faishal Ibrahim said in Parliament on Monday. Half of the cyclists involved in fatal and injury accidents were partly at fault... Those who don't observe the highway code are also a menace. Cyclists sometimes ride two-abreast in a single lane, blocking vehicles whose drivers end up waiting behind them, said avid cyclist Stephen Choy, 47. Some cyclists in housing estates also ride on pedestrian paths "thinking they have the right of way and then expect drivers to give way at zebra crossings""
""I am really angry. I have seen so many cyclists disobey traffic rules, yet cyclists are always the angels and motorists are the culprits," said the Tampines resident. "We are not against cyclists but they must obey the rules. Motorists are the poor scapegoats.""

How the contraceptive pill messes with women's minds: Rage, despair, low sex drive... - " the Pill affects women’s choice in men. The study showed women taking it tend to choose reliable, caring and steady men, rather than adventurous, dashing and dangerous types... Using a medically respected questionnaire, researchers found Pill takers had an average depression rating of 17.6 compared to 9.8 in non-users... A study of more than 1,000 women at Germany’s University of Heidelberg found the Pill dramatically reduces levels of desire and arousal during sex."
How ironic that it reduces desire
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