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Tuesday, January 01, 2013

Links - 1st January 2013

"Meetings are indispensable when you don't want to do anything." - John Kenneth Galbraith


“You can resign and go to SBS,” the drivers were told - ""The MOM takes the workers' actions very seriously," said yet another spokesperson. >From my adumbration above of the events that unfolded, not over five days, I remind you, but over almost six months, MOM only took their actions seriously when they had the potential to challenge the government in a very public way. When the workers were content to carry their concerns through Mr Foo’s ‘due process’, the government, the corporation and the trade union simply ignored them. For Mr Foo and General Tan to now pretend that they did not follow ‘due process’ is, at the very least, disingenuous... Let us turn then to how the government does in fact deal with dispute? It locks people up as it did this week. It deports them or refuses to allow them back in, as Dr Ang Swee Chai found, or revokes their citizenship if that is possible, and Tan Wah Piow found this to his cost. It tortures people. It bankrupts people or silences them through the threat of defamation suits. It writes threatening letters as Ng Eng Hen did last week. It fabricates evidence – as Dr Vasoo did twenty years ago – to deprive people of their living... It is not a culture of equals. It is a culture of supplicant and benefactor. The polity that the PAP has habituated us to is one where our just deserts can only come from a Cabinet in a good mood or facing a General Election... What, fundamentally, does a trade union do? It does not exist to manage supermarkets and chalets, good though these amenities are in themselves... make no mistake about it, our government will have on hesitation in dealing with us in the same way it has dealt with the Chinese bus drivers. None whatsoever. Do not rest content that the PAP carries a torch for the Singaporean worker; it does not... These Chinese workers, by doing what we have been cowed from doing ourselves so long, have in fact widened the democratic space for us. And in time to come, when we are less afraid to think for ourselves, we will come to thank them."

The kitty washing machine - YouTube

Gabriel Seah's answer to Les Miserables (2012 film): How important was it that the actors in Les Miserable were filmed singing live instead of lip-synching? - Quora - "- The actors do some lines speaking rather than sung
- They shout a lot (e.g. "Confrontation")
- They don't always hit the pitch of their notes exactly
- They vary the timing and duration of their notes. It's especially jarring when it's out of sync with the orchestral accompaniment
- They are sometimes breathless so they cannot hold notes for very long
- They can be hoarse (from fatigue or crying) so their singing is not very clear (e.g. "Valjean's Soliloquy")"

Wheel of Lunch
Find a place to eat X miles from you (where X is a user-chosen variable)

Neuro-linguistic programming - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - "Reviews of empirical research on NLP say that NLP contains numerous factual errors, and has failed to produce reliable results for the claims for effectiveness made by NLP's originators and proponents. According to Devilly, NLP is no longer as prevalent as it was in the 1970s and 1980s. Criticisms go beyond the lack of empirical evidence for effectiveness; critics say that NLP exhibits pseudoscientific characteristics, title, concepts and terminology. NLP is used as an example of pseudoscience for facilitating the teaching of scientific literacy at the professional and university level. NLP also appears on peer reviewed expert-consensus based lists of discredited interventions. In research designed to identify the "quack factor" in modern mental health practice, Norcross et al. (2006) list NLP as possibly or probably discredited for treatment of behavioural problems. In research on ineffective addiction treatments, Norcross et al. (2010) list NLP in the top ten most discredited interventions, and Glasner-Edwards and Rawson (2010) list NLP as "certainly discredited""

Charm And Rigor — Richard Morgan - "Many states continue to frame laws so that men cannot be raped -- and women cannot be rapists -- unless the victims are sodomized... In 1988, the Journal of Sex Research published a study of nearly 1,000 college students. Its most surprising finding was that far more men than women reported having suffered unwanted intercourse -- 62.7 percent to 46.3 percent. A 2001 study of 285 women at a private midwestern university identified 52 as sexually "coercive" - - based on self-reported admissions of verbal manipulations, and insistent, deceptive, or threatening (including physically) behavior. Of those women, 30 reported "becoming so sexually aroused that they felt it was useless to stop even though the partner did not want to have sex"... 51 percent of college-age women polled admitted they had once taken advantage of a man who was drunk or high. "If we were applying the same standards as we apply to men," says Anderson, "these women would be talked about as date-rapists.""
It seems women raping men may not be as rare as the feminists claim; sexual coercion seems more common practised by women than men

Economics Letters - Physical appearance and wages: Do blondes have more fun? - "Using U.S. panel data, we find that blonde women receive large wage premiums."

Perth people 'more racist' than others - "Of the 850 people surveyed in Perth, more than 14 per cent said they were prejudiced against other cultures, compared with a national average of about 12 per cent."

British Frozen Dinners Beat TV Chefs' Recipes for Nutrition

Telecommuters Work Longer Hours Than Office-Goers - "the proportion of people who work remotely remained unchanged from the mid-’90s to the mid-2000s the most recent data available. Second, those who do telecommute are more likely to work overtime, an additional 5 to 7 hours on top of the standard 40."

What does the WDF_VIOLATION BSoD Error Mean? - "WDF_VIOLATION was very rare before Windows 8, but has cropped up a bunch since people have begun installing it. It’s appearing most often when syncing files from your iPhone or iPod to iTunes. Though the problem was more frequent in iTunes 10, it’s still cropping up in iTunes 11.
This is happening because you have a combination of three things: Windows 8, the driver that comes with your device, and the driver included with iTunes. The combination of all three of these is causing the crash."

Running too far, too fast, and too long speeds progress 'to finish line of life' - "Vigorous exercise is good for health, but only if it's limited to a maximum daily dose of between 30 and 50 minutes... The idea that more and more high intensity exercise, such as marathons, can only do you good, is a myth say the US cardiologists, and the evidence shows that it's likely to more harm than good to your heart."
The editorial in Heart is titled "Run for your life … at a comfortable speed and not too far" and talks about ‘Phidippides cardiomyopathy’ and "We are not so much born to run as born to walk"

Woman Sued for Rescue Effort in Car Crash - "No good deed goes unpunished, or so goes the saying. Such was the case with Lisa Torti, who is being sued for pulling a now-paralyzed friend from the wreckage of a Los Angeles car accident in 2004. The victim's lawyers claim the Good Samaritan bumbled the rescue and caused injury by yanking her friend "like a rag doll" to safety. But Torti -- now a 30-year-old interior designer from Las Vegas -- said she thought she had seen smoke and feared the car would explode... The California Supreme Court ruled this week that Van Horn may sue Torti for allegedly causing her friend's paralysis. The case -- the first of its kind -- challenges the state's liability shield law that protects people who give emergency assistance"

Rescuers suing woman they saved from crash - "The lawsuit claims that Tanner operated her vehicle "intentionally and/or recklessly and/or negligently," resulting in the vehicle crashing and catching on fire. It claims that Kelley and Kinkaid received "severe bodily injuries" as a result of Tanner's actions and that "all or some of these injuries are permanent in nature resulting in permanent disability"... Apparently, good samaritans who sue those they rescue isn't uncommon, according to Stan Darling, a professor at Capital University Law School. "The precedent is clear: danger invites rescue...and if you've acted recklessly or negligently and someone gets hurt rescuing you, you could be in trouble""

Japanese robotics expert creates incredible transforming RC car

Have 'quota system' to allocate new BTO flats to singles - "In a worst-case scenario, a brain drain of talented Singaporean singles emigrating to greener pastures might result if this group perceives themselves as being alienated from the mainstream"

Yes, Randi Zuckerberg, Please Lecture Us About 'Human Decency' - "Yes, Randi Zuckerberg, speak to us about human decency. Because a photo that you posted on Facebook got shared on the Internet.

How awful this must have been for you! How... invasive. What a violation. How terrible that someone might take something that belongs to you and use it in ways that you had not anticipated, and for which you had not given explicit permission! What kind of world are we living in when just because you post something on a website someone else can just take your stuff and do things with it? Oh wait."

Date King - "Horny but repressed, Emo Girl reads books by Virgina Wolf (sic) and Ayn Rand. She owns at least two black plastic thick-framed spectacles, has a cat named Socrates, and has once blogged about her experiences while backpacking through a village in Thailand"

Foreign worker policies through lens of economics - "The argument that Singaporeans should be paid more because they have more needs or face higher costs is also misguided. Wages should reflect the marginal productivity of the worker, not his needs. If wages are based on needs, workers would be justified in demanding a wage increase from their employer for having more children... In the short run, the only way to assure Singaporeans of wage increases is to continue tightening our foreign worker policies. The reduction in the supply of cheap foreign labour would raise wages, particularly in those sectors which have been more reliant on cheap foreign workers. But there is a price for this. Rising wages would translate into rising prices - unless productivity, or output per worker, increases at a faster rate... Akerlof and Kranton also found that in organisations where employees had a strong identification with the organisation, the pay needed to induce higher effort (and higher productivity) was lower than that for organisations with low worker identification. The worker's identification with the employer in turn derives from his sense of being fairly treated and remunerated. The economics of identity challenges standard notions of cost savings. Encouraging companies to "invest in identity" and job satisfaction among employees may raise business costs in the short run but reaps benefits for our economy in the long run"

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