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Saturday, March 16, 2013

Links - 16th March 2013

Genetic factors predisposing to homosexuality may increase mating success in heterosexuals - "psychologically masculine females and feminine men are (a) more likely to be nonheterosexual but (b), when heterosexual, have more opposite-sex sexual partners. With statistical modelling of the twin data, we show that both these relationships are partly due to pleiotropic genetic influences common to each trait. We also find a trend for heterosexuals with a nonheterosexual twin to have more opposite-sex partners than do heterosexual twin pairs."

Peter singing Eye of the Tiger - YouTube

The Day The Earth Stopped Masturbating -- 2012 -- Trailer HD - YouTube - "When masturbation is made illegal, everyone is faced with a choice: Come or Die (english subtitles available)
Quand la masturbation devient illégale, chacun est confronté à un choix : Jouir ou mourir."

Juries? It's time they went the way of the ducking stool - "Mostly juries get it right, we are told, but then, mostly, so do magistrates and judges... A majority of criminal cases now depend heavily on technical knowledge of DNA evidence or of financial law. Conscientious jurors are bound to research such matters. That is why court houses are full of people gazing at their little screens. If lawyers do not like this, they had better get used to it. To think they can keep jurors ignorantly dependent on what lawyers tell them in court is archaic. Either jurors are, as lawyers like to claim, the embodiment of wisdom and judgment, in which case they can tell good evidence from bad, or they are dumb, in which case they should not be in court at all. The jury lobby cannot have it both ways, just to sustain a tidy little earner."

The Lecturer Has No Clothes - NYTimes.com - "As always, a spirit of competition hovers in the locker room — a game is being played. I haven’t figured out the rules, or the ultimate goal, but I’m pretty certain the main action is to carry on as many arguments as possible without acknowledging the fact that everyone is naked."

Disarmed Europe will face the world alone - FT.com - "In the 1970s, Mogens Glistrup, a prominent Danish politician, became famous for suggesting that his country replace its armed forces with a recorded message saying “we surrender” in Russian. Glistrup is no longer with us but his approach to defence seems to be gaining ground. Europe’s ability to use military force is dwindling fast, and with it the power of Europeans to defend their interests around the world... In 1990 Britain had 27 submarines (excluding those that carry ballistic missiles) and France had 17. The two countries now have seven and six respectively. And yet Britain and France are commonly regarded as the only two European countries that still take defence seriously... about 75 per cent of Belgian military spending now goes on personnel – causing one critic to call the Belgian military “an unusually well-armed pension fund”. None of this might matter much if the US was still willing to step in whenever the Europeans fell short. In fact, America is losing patience with Europe’s inability to act on its own... The US is fed up with a situation in which America alone now accounts for about three-quarters of Nato defence spending. One day, perhaps soon, the Europeans may wake up and find that the US military is simply not there to deal with whatever threat is lapping at the frontiers of Europe... Yet you do not have to look very far beyond Europe’s borders to see an array of potential threats massing over the next decade. The Middle East is in turmoil and thousands are dying in Syria, threatening the stability of the whole region. Iran’s nuclear programme could well lead to confrontation and threaten European energy supplies. Russian military spending is rising. And growing tensions between China and its neighbours could one day menace the freedom of navigation on which European trade depends. The risk is that Europeans may suddenly find that they need armed forces, after all – only to discover that they are not there any more."

Vamps and Tramps. - "A book by Paglia is a lot like sex itself: When it's good, it's very, very good. And when it's bad, it's still pretty good... feminism doesn't know how to account for men who feel they're under women's spell because of feminism's consuming focus on women as victims... "What feminists denounce as woman's humiliating total accessibility in porn is actually her elevation to high priestess of a pagan paradise garden....Modern middle-class women cannot bear the thought that their hard-won professional achievements can be outweighed in an instant by a young hussy flashing a little tits and ass. But the gods have given her power... The limitations of Paglia's analysis show up most colorfully in her objection to lesbians who use dildos"

Islam and alcohol: Tipsy taboo | The Economist - "IT IS Ramadan, Islam’s holy month of fasting. But even now Suleiman, a Muslim hotel worker in the Turkish town of Antakya, sees no reason not to drink alcohol, widely considered by Muslim believers to be forbidden by the Koran and the Hadith, the sayings of the Prophet Muhammad. “The Koran bans getting drunk, but a beer or two doesn’t hurt,” Suleiman says. “This is a matter between me and Allah.” Centuries ago many of his co-religionists would have agreed (although not on the need for moderation)... Debauched nights in the courts of caliphates were enshrined in the khamriyaat, or odes to wine, by Abu Nuwas, an eighth-century poet. That has long since changed. Nobody knows exactly when Islamic scholars decided that booze was sinful... some put the total at 5% of those identifying themselves as Muslim... in Pakistan “drinks can be ordered to the door quicker than pizza”... In some Muslim circles drinking is about status"

Why aren't Japanese dating and mating? - "In such an apparent and blatantly sexual society, why is nobody breeding?... parties where women pay to attend in order to find a suitably rich and respectable husband [are not uncommon]... This pressure and stigma about remaining single pushes people into marriages they are not necessarily happy with. I spoke to one Japanese woman who commented: “I didn’t really like him at first,” with reference to the first few years of her marriage. Instead of looking for a person with whom they’d be entirely satisfied to spend the rest of their lives, people are just glad to be taken off the proverbial shelf. I asked some 24-year-old Japanese males what they consider to be most important when dating the opposite sex. The response came back: “She has to be nice.” Nice? Nice is the word they refuse to let you use after Key Stage 1 primary school education because it’s absolute bollocks. Everyone is “nice”—but using it as the basis for marriage? Nice is not a spark, and there lays a crucial fault in the Japanese mating system. People are so keen to get coupled up that a spark does not seem to need to exist here... the sex industry provides a means for men to enjoy the company of women without having to fork out on the wining and dining required by a future potential spouse. It’s a case of satisfaction in half the time, for half the price... Around a table of Japanese citizens of mixed gender, sex does not exist. It is rarely mentioned, and certainly never with reference to oneself. This sense of secrecy extends even to the love hotels, where you cover your license plate, pay through a machine, and leave through a back door onto a quiet street. When sex is required to be kept a secret, it is regarded with connotations of negativity. And when something is viewed negatively, it tends to be considered taboo... For the Japanese, the approach of a stranger is an act of almost biblical transgression. Where big, open rooms in Western bars and pubs are designed with communication in mind, Japanese izakayas are sectioned off into private rooms"

American teacher’s spin on Japan’s racism riles Net nationalists - "the Net uyoku put Dezaki in their cross hairs, sending him death threats and hounding his employers, previous employers and even the local politicians who oversee his employers... He really got his students’ attention when he talked about discrimination between Japanese groups. People from Okinawa, where Dezaki happened to be teaching, are sometimes looked down upon by other Japanese, he pointed out, and in the past have been treated as second-class citizens. Isn’t that discrimination?"

Girl Talk: What I Learned At An Orgy - "I noticed my surroundings – breasts bigger than mine, butts rounder than mine, stomachs toner than mine, and genitals balder than mine. These weren’t supermodels or porn stars, but they all had raw, real, beautiful features, and my hairy, flat-chested figure couldn’t compete. I ignored that voice of insecurity at first... Jared loves bushes. To him, hair conveys a mature brand of female sexuality that bald vulvas don’t. I always knew, abstractly, that some people prefer hairy to hairless genitalia, but this exchange stood out because no one had ever complimented me on my bush before. It’s seen as an acceptable choice, but not an overtly sexy one. Hearing that a stranger — who had no incentive to lie to me about his turn-ons — was actually excited about my hair was delightful news... People are attracted to different types of bodies, and if you’re at a large party, you’re bound to find someone who finds you attractive. In fact, you’re bound to find someone who is turned on by the very parts of yourself that you view as imperfections"

What Makes Korean Men So Appealing [Arirang Today] - YouTube - "Thanks to hallyu more Japanese women are becoming interested in Korean men. These men have flung off their authority and have armed themselves with sweetness. Arirang Today will meet Japanese women who have fallen in love with Korean men and listen to their story... 'they're more interested in Korean men because they expect them to be like the male characters they saw in those TV dramas'"

Physicist's proposal study uses science to prove why girlfriend should say yes - "The study - which began the first day the pair met - examined the couple's attraction over an extended period of time, locations and circumstances in order to evaluate their compatibility for marriage."

Smartphones, Foolish Security Choices - "People with smartphones could be smarter in their security practices. One smartphone user in every four, according to security firm AVG Technologies, stores intimate photos on a smartphone or tablet, a practice that makes a lost or stolen device a potential privacy problem."

GENDER DIFFERENCES IN COMPETITION: EVIDENCE FROM A MATRILINEAL AND A PATRIARCHAL SOCIETY - "We use a controlled experiment to explore whether there are gender differences in selecting into competitive environments across two distinct societies: the Maasai in Tanzania and the Khasi in India. One unique aspect of these societies is that the Maasai represent a textbook example of a patriarchal society, whereas the Khasi are matrilineal. Similar to the extant evidence drawn from experiments executed in Western cultures, Maasai men opt to compete at roughly twice the rate as Maasai women. Interestingly, this result is reversed among the Khasi, where women choose the competitive environment more often than Khasi men, and even choose to compete weakly more often than Maasai men. These results provide insights into the underpinnings of the factors hypothesized to be determinants of the observed gender differences in selecting into competitive environments"
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