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Monday, February 04, 2013

Links - 4th February 2013

Obama's victory won't transform America - "those achievements fell measurably short of candidate Obama's aspirations, and were matched by precious few other initiatives that met the expectations arising from the 2008 campaign. This time around a chastened Obama notably failed to offer a grand vision for the American future and instead contented himself with delegitimizing Mitt Romney and dwelling for the most part on small-bore issues... over the arc of American history only a handful of presidents can be said to have effected truly lasting transformational change -- Lincoln, FDR, Lyndon Johnson and perhaps Ronald Reagan make the short list, but few others do, and that's no accident. Americans may yearn for strong leadership, but in their stubborn contrariness they do not want truly powerful leaders. They may want effective government, but they apparently like divided government even more, when neither party simultaneously controls House, Senate, and presidency -- the situation we've been saddled with for 31 of the last 43 years... in the last analysis we have no one to blame but ourselves, and our inherited political system -- and we have no plausible reason to expect anything substantially different in Obama's second term"

Snap Bird helps find old tweets and messages by going where Twitter Search can’t: months back - "Snap Bird is an easy as pie way to search your Twitter history beyond the 10 days that Twitter Search allots you. It also allows you to search only within your friends tweets, within your DM’s and within any user’s favorites"

She became a prostitute for a cause - "she became a "prostitute" to highlight the plight of sex workers and the issue of safe sex... "Since I wasn't charging a fee, I didn't have to worry about being charged for prostitution."

Star Wars | Disney | Lucasfilm - "Disney said there would be a new series of Star Wars feature films as part of the deal, with the first movie expected in 2015. The last Star Wars picture was Revenge of the Sith in 2005, and Lucas has in the past denied any plans for more...From a fan's perspective, critics said there was sure to be at least some excitement at the prospect of episode seven in the saga of Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader. "Do I want to see more Star Wars movies? Not really, but they're not making these movies for me. There's a whole new generation of Star Wars fans, and they worship the prequels like folks my age worshipped the original trilogy," the film writer "Mr. Beaks" said on the well-regarded industry site Ain't It Cool News."
"now that you have the full picture you have to admit that while worshipping the first trilogy was puzzling, worshiping the prequels is just downright dumbfounding."

Amazon’s $23,698,655.93 book about flies

Why Women Can’t Do Pull-Ups - "exercise researchers from the University of Dayton found 17 normal-weight women who could not do a single overhand pull-up. Three days a week for three months, the women focused on exercises that would strengthen the biceps and the latissimus dorsi... By the end of the training program, the women had increased their upper-body strength by 36 percent and lowered their body fat by 2 percent. But on test day, the researchers were stunned when only 4 of the 17 women succeeded in performing a single pull-up. “We honestly thought we could get everyone to do one,” said Paul Vanderburgh, a professor of exercise physiology and associate provost and dean at the University of Dayton, and an author of the study... some men struggle, too, particularly those who are taller or bigger generally or have long arms. This is related to an interesting phenomenon: if you compare a smaller athlete to an athlete who has the same exact build but is 30 percent bigger, the bigger athlete will be only about 20 percent stronger, even though he has to carry about 30 percent more weight."

You Can’t Be a Feminist If You Won’t Do Pull-Ups - "Feminist chick: “Why is it called the ultimate MAN challenge? What, can I not do it? Do you have to have a (male genitalia) to do this?”... She wouldn’t do it. She wouldn’t even try. Instead she started speculating about what century the person who named this challenge must be living in... The people who complain about stereotypes are generally the ones who reinforce them. Those of us who are breaking the stereotype are too busy breaking the stereotypes to care about them. We need to save our energy for more important things"

Japanese Restaurant Serves ‘Giant-Sized Sushi’

Uproar in US over Disney's first 'Latina princess' - "Sofia's skin is snow white and her eyes blue. Could she really represent Latin America?... "If you're going to promote this to the public, and Latinos in particular, do us a favor and make it a real Latina," he told Fox News Latino. Enter a crowd of irate Latino bloggers who insisted that fair skin and blue eyes are no bar to membership of their community -- after all, Latin America is a genetically diverse place. "My son is Latino, and I have dark hair and dark eyes, but he is blonde and blue eyed. And he is Latino and will get upset if someone suggests otherwise," webuser Mandy Verdugo wrote on the troubled princess's Facebook wall. "Just because she doesn't conform to some people's standards of what Latino is doesn't make her not Latina. It's rather insulting"... Some recalled that the blonde Hollywood actress Cameron Diaz, for instance, has Cuban roots"

Twitter / AshleyJudd: Which Romney would be president? ... - "Rock-Solid Romney Stands Firm On Abortion"

What happens to Japanese porn stars after they retire? - "“Many girls enter the AV industry each year, but not necessarily all for the same reasons,” Nakamura comments. “Some do it entirely for the money, while others are just comfortable with the idea of having sex in front of people and see it as any easy job. It just works for them.” The Japanese AV industry reportedly sees an astounding 6,000 newcomers each year. But surely the risk of being seen on a video would be enough to dissuade any self-respecting young woman from doing such a thing? “With the huge number of girls working in the industry, cases of AV actresses being recognised while going about their daily lives are quite rare,” says Nakamura, adding “there are plenty of cases of former AV girls who are now happily married and enjoying normal lives”... “A lot of girls find themselves unable to return to regular jobs after working as an AV model,” explains Nakamura. “They have worked in an often lucrative business, some for many years, so to go back to a standard job for a much smaller salary is not easy. Around two thirds of retired AV models end up in the sex industry, working in hostess bars or even working as prostitutes in ‘soap-land’ bath houses.”"

Hong Kong Loves Weird English Names - "Devil. Whale. Chlorophyll, Violante, Treacle -- you name it, Hong Kong probably has someone who goes by it. The former British colony is obsessed with weird English names... In 2005, the author of HKSAR Blog concluded that the names of 2.5 percent of 5,707 lawyers were unusual, uncommon, or unique... As for the unconventional names, he said they initially arose in part due to an "incomplete knowledge" of the English language. Hong Kongers might have not appreciated the connotation of the name Kinky, for example. Februar might have been a misspelling or the result of someone over-generalizing the use of the names of the months like April, May or June, or both... Hong Kongers tend to shop around for a unique name and sometimes take inspiration from sports brands or luxury labels, for example, Chanel and Rolex, he said. HKSAR Blog's author said substitution, deletion and the insertion of single letters appeared to be common patterns, which "may indicate a level of 'creation' or 'creativity.'" First names with the -son suffix are common, too. Examples from the lawyers' list include Samuelson, Winson, Philson and Garson. Many English names mimic the sound of Chinese given names. A solicitor called Tse Kar-son, for example, has Carson as his English name. Singer Lee Hak-kan's English name is Hacken. Another singer, Chan Yik-shun, is called Eason"

7 arrested for setting off improvised explosive devices - "the group, aged between 22 and 26, were found to be using improvised devices that were constructed using sparklers"
And here I thought we had a terrorism problem...

Spammer believes WOW users are sad lonely men

Why Japanese girls are a better catch than Japanese men - "Japanese women ranked as one of the most popular in the world, while Japanese men have ranked very close to the bottom in popularity... One factor she feels that contributes to the popularity of Japanese women is that they tend to be dainty in appearance and are very fashion conscious. Even the average Japanese girl is likely to look stylish by global standards or at least cute in their own way. Another important factor is that Japanese women are used to going out of their way to be helpful and pleasant to men. (Although Japanese men may not entirely agree)... Japanese men are used to being treated well by Japanese women, spoiled in a way, and simply unaccustomed to doing certain things for women. This could very well make them unpopular with foreign women"

Fundamental attribution error - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - "In social psychology, the fundamental attribution error (also known as correspondence bias or attribution effect) describes the tendency to over-value dispositional or personality-based explanations for the observed behaviors of others while under-valuing situational explanations for those behaviors. The fundamental attribution error is most visible when people explain the behavior of others. It does not explain interpretations of one's own behavior—where situational factors are often taken into consideration. This discrepancy is called the actor–observer bias. As a simple example, if Alice saw Bob trip over a rock and fall, Alice might consider Bob to be clumsy or careless (dispositional). If Alice tripped over the same rock herself, she would be more likely to blame the placement of the rock (situational)."

Grandmother 'stabs her boyfriend for cheating at a game of Monopoly' - "This was one game of Monopoly where the player went directly to jail."

Can your boss fire you for your political beliefs? - "The irony is that one can make (and many have made) the case that people like Michael Italie shouldn't be permitted to hold jobs in government, where at least in theory they have the power to subvert the U.S. system. Yet it is in government where Italie would be protected. In the private sector, where Italie is entirely harmless, he enjoys no protection at all."
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