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Thursday, February 14, 2013

Links - 14th February 2013

Sustainability certification sought to satisfy Asia's appetite for WA shark fins - "the plan has "astounded" green groups who say exporting fins will undermine the worldwide campaign against shark finning and become a "global embarrassment" that undermines the Barnett Government's green credentials... WA already exports about 30 tonnes of shark fin a year to Asia at $10-$20 a kilogram. But prices could jump to as much as $100 a kilo with sustainable certification... Conservation Council marine co-ordinator Tim Nichol said the move would "torpedo the campaign against shark finning, one of the cruellest and most wasteful fishing practices in the world"... "Demand for shark-fin soup underpins a criminal trade, almost as big as the drug trade, that is decimating shark populations around the world"... certified shark fin would not encourage the illegal trade because it could be "traced from the restaurant right back to the boat"... "I totally agree with a ban on shark fins where they take the fin and throw the shark away. But that doesn't happen in WA," Mr Adams said. Most of the shark meat is sold locally through fish and chip shops."
The hysteria against sustainable shark's fin reveals that they aren't really concerned about sharks

Spanish fleet position on the removal of shark fins on board - "The public consultation process currently underway is based on a completely mistaken, incorrect premise. It takes for granted that “finning” exists in the EU, a practice that involves cutting the fins off sharks and throwing the carcass into the sea. There is no finning in the EU, unlike what happens with some Asian longliner fleets, with ACP artisanal fleets and even with New Zealand fleets. Cepesca rejects the practice of finning outright. Current controls, already in place for both EU and third country ports where the Spanish surface longliner fleet operates have demonstrated that this fleet is not finning. Indeed, the economic productivity of this fishery for our surface longliner fleet precisely lies in marketing all the parts that can be used from sharks. The economic fraction from the sale of fins for a surface longliner vessel accounts for approximately 45 to 50% of the total deriving from shark fishing, while between 50% and 55% is derived from marketing carcasses. Obviously, the simple approach of throwing part of this economic yield into the sea is completely absurd and lacks any logical justification for an economic activity on which many people depend. In addition to this, the advancement of research in this area shows the great diversity of products that can be obtained from different parts of the shark: cartilage, meat, skin, etc., these being high quality products"

American or European? Board game styles you should know - "Risk... exemplifies the American style by being a luck-dependent highly competitive game with military themes... Puerto Rico exemplifies the European style of board game by being luck-independent with maximum player-inclusion and an economic theme."

Two polyglots speak a dozen languages in a mall in Ohio: Benny and Moses level up! - YouTube

French demand Crown Jewels from the Queen for 1499 murder of Edward Plantagenet - "Recalling 25-year-old Edward's 'unfair and horrible death' at the hands of henchmen working for Henry VII, England's first Tudor king, the city believes it is owed an apology – and 513 years' worth of compensation. This would amount to billions in today's currency, but Angers is prepared to accept the coronation jewels to cover it all. The petition, which has already been signed by hundreds of so-called Angevins, as well as sympathisers around France and other parts of the world, is directed at the Queen... A spokesman for Angers council admitted that the petition had 'little chance of success' but said the 'crime' against the Angevin monarchs was worth highlighting. He encouraged British people to visit Angers, which has medieval buildings including a magnificent castle which recall the glory days of the Plantagenets."

Terry Eagleton: The liberal supremacists - "there is a fundamental conflict between liberals and leftists. Liberalism holds that the state should tolerate any opinion that does not seek to undermine that very tolerance. It is an ironic kind of politics. As Tony Blair warned: "Our tolerance is part of what makes Britain Britain. So conform to it, or don't come here." Whether this is comically self-contradictory or properly paradoxical depends on your view of the liberal state. That state is not too bothered about what you believe, as long as it does not thwart the right of others to their beliefs. A more cynical view is that advanced capitalism is inherently faithless; as long as you pay your taxes and refrain from beating up police officers... There is an irony or paradox built into liberal thought: you must be properly intolerant of assaults on tolerance. But this irony is in perpetual danger of getting out of hand"

Double Standard: NYT Sides with Muslims, but "Piss Christ" Foes Were Compared to Nazis | NewsBusters - "TimesWatch also sees an “uncomfortable parallel” -- one between the Times' sympathetic stance toward tax-funded art offensive to Christians, and its hypocritical failure to defend newspaper cartoons offensive to Muslims."

Exporting health to Singapore - "PHYSIOTHERAPY IS one area where Irish graduates have found particular success, and there are about 100 speech therapists, occupational therapists and physiotherapists working in Singapore... 'There were 37 in my class and nine came to Singapore'... the pay is around the same in Singapore, possibly a little less, but the cost of living is still a bit cheaper so it evens out. The main reason so many people are coming to Singapore to work as healthcare professionals is the fact that there are few opportunities at home"

Plan to return chessmen to Scotland is ‘nonsense’, says minister - "THE UK government has knocked back Alex Salmond’s attempt to repatriate the Lewis Chessmen, deriding his plan as “nonsense”. The First Minister wants the artefacts to be taken from the British Museum and put on display in Scotland... “Mr Salmond’s clarion call is all about creating conflict, not culture. It’s an ounce of policy mixed with a pound of posturing because museums and galleries in the 21st century do not have static collections. “They lend and borrow. They acquire. Imagine how the National Gallery in Edinburgh would be with nothing but Scottish pictures on the wall.” The minister said the pieces had been made in Norway and were probably on their way to Ireland when they got lost in the Western Isles. She added that the pieces were made of walrus ivory, which was not indigenous to Scotland, and had been loaned to museums all over the world, including to places in Scotland, by the British Museum. “It seems to me that they’ve been doing a pretty good job promoting the importance of Europe in medieval culture – and Scotland’s place in it – without any help from those who would round them up into a single, static place,” the minister said.""
"It’s not hard to imagine someone overseas wanting the glorious mummies and antiquities in the National Museum in Edinburgh sent back to Egypt, or the Burrell’s Impressionist paintings repatriated to France. And maybe we could redress the balance still further. How about slapping in a claim for the pink granite of the Albert Memorial in London to be stripped out and ‘sent home’ to Mull? It’s a lot of nonsense, isn’t it?"

Bra Size Linked To Breast Cancer Risk

“Paisura”, Japan’s New Bag Strap/Boob Fetish Goes Mainstream, Gets Dedicated Photo Books - "While most Japanese women are still shy of showing off their cleavage, however, their breasts are becoming more and more noticeable as the straps of their bags cutting across the middle of their chests and pulling their clothes tight. Whether it’s an intentional act or not, publications dedicated entirely to photos of girls with bag straps lodged between their breasts have suddenly arrived both online and in bookstores across the nation, prompting the creation of an entirely new word- paisura."

Can vegans stomach the unpalatable truth about quinoa? - "Quinoa was, in marketing speak, the "miracle grain of the Andes", a healthy, right-on, ethical addition to the meat avoider's larder (no dead animals, just a crop that doesn't feel pain). Consequently, the price shot up – it has tripled since 2006 – with more rarified black, red and "royal" types commanding particularly handsome premiums. But there is an unpalatable truth to face for those of us with a bag of quinoa in the larder. The appetite of countries such as ours for this grain has pushed up prices to such an extent that poorer people in Peru and Bolivia, for whom it was once a nourishing staple food, can no longer afford to eat it. Imported junk food is cheaper. In Lima, quinoa now costs more than chicken. Outside the cities, and fuelled by overseas demand, the pressure is on to turn land that once produced a portfolio of diverse crops into quinoa monoculture... Soya, a foodstuff beloved of the vegan lobby as an alternative to dairy products, is another problematic import, one that drives environmental destruction [see footnote]. Embarrassingly, for those who portray it as a progressive alternative to planet-destroying meat, soya production is now one of the two main causes of deforestation in South America, along with cattle ranching" Epic win reply to forum letter "Does lingerie ad show women in right light?" - "The wattage of the lighting used in the photography of the model in question is probably about 2,000 watts and is usually sufficient for this sort of photography. In short, the shot is well lit and the subject is in focus... Are there any decency guidelines for public advertisements to adhere to? In my opinion, it is a decent shot because the image is not blurred nor out-of-focus. Ms Leong also mentions the ad being "strategically located". I believe, more to the point, the model's arms were strategically located, or the ad would cause accidents."

NOW do you believe us? Two men experience simulated labour pain for TV show but give up after just two hours (lucky they don't have to do it for real)!
As someone pointed out, they are actors doing it for TV

Out-of-wedlock births on the rise worldwide - "the USA and the U.K. are similar because they have more solo parenting by mothers. "The relationships of the parents are much less stable in the U.S. than a lot of other countries," she says. "In Europe, where there are high levels of childbearing outside of marriage, when childbearing is not happening in marriage, it's happening in cohabitation. Cohabitations are reasonably stable.""
Single parenthood seems to be an Anglo disease

Why Ad Blocking is devastating to the sites you love | Ars Technica - "Imagine running a restaurant where 40% of the people who came and ate didn't pay. In a way, that's what ad blocking is doing to us... People talk about how annoying advertisments are, but I'll tell you what: it's a lot more annoying and frustrating to have to cut staff and cut benefits because a huge portion of readers block ads. Yet I've seen that happen at dozens of great sites over the last few years, Ars included"

'Les Miserables' soundtrack released! Download and purchase - "There are not words enough to give my praise to Anne Hathaway. “I Dreamed a Dream” is an emotionally charged, heart-breakingly sad and defeated anthem of a woman’s personal suffering. She has reclaimed the song from the white-washed and emotionless performances of the like of Susan Boyle (no offence to Miss Boyle, I also enjoy her rendition) and has restored it to its proper place as the crowning moment in a woman’s personal hell"
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