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Monday, March 04, 2013

Links - 4th March 2013

Gustav Klimt’s “The Kiss” has been reproduced on a devastated building in Syria by artist Tammam Azzam.

Law Schools’ Applications Fall as Costs Rise and Jobs Are Cut - - "within nine months of graduation in 2011, only 55 percent of those who finished law school found full-time jobs that required passage of the bar exam. “Students are doing the math,” said Michelle J. Anderson, dean of the City University of New York School of Law. “Most law schools are too expensive, the debt coming out is too high and the prospect of attaining a six-figure-income job is limited.”"

Characteristics and behaviour of our 1.8 million foreign population | Support Site for The Unemployed & Underemployed (mirrored at HWZ, on CNA) - "6. Caucusians
Population: 100, 000 (from all over)
Personality: Friendly, pleasant
Favourite hangout: Clarke Quay...
Bad habit: Tend to be seen as aloof and detached. May look down on the local people here due to their enhanced job scope and pay scale. Men may also flirt around with our local gals with some boasting that they could freely get into bed with them...
Social integration: Men tend to mix better with our local women who flock to them...
Citizenship: Not many ang moh will want to become citizens as many just want to work and have fun here. They also dislike our country’s strict laws and gum-free society. Probably less than 1% of them will want to become citizens here but they remain our local gals’ perfect dream for a potential husband.
Latest bugbear: None so far though their exclusive lifestyle may draw envy from the local population. With a local colonist white supremacy mindset, many whites are well respected here though their brash mannerism – especially when they are drinking – may draw some criticism from the locals. They also need to be more careful when befriending our local gals in the pubs as there are many fights occurring because of this."
The best way of getting revenge is to flirt back - with their women!

Window washers dress up as comic book characters to fight grime at children's hospital

Singapore restaurant crunch – probably a good thing - "So we hear the Restaurant Association of Singapore prophesying doom for the industry and pain for Singapore if the FW tap is tightened. Maybe they are just trying to preempt the reaction to a price increase. Perhaps I am being sensitive, but what chilled me was how the RAS statement read almost like a veiled threat against their customers and the government...
“Singapore’s F&B reputation will be affected”
I’m just going to call their bluff here and say that they’re trying to scare us. If our F&B industry is built on the premise of undervalued labour and the concomitant lackadaisical service that we have been experiencing to date, then perhaps that reputation is deserved. I for one would rather make an effort to do it right than to do it cheap and plenty. I wouldn’t equate “cheap and plenty” with “vibrant” either... With slower growth in out foreign labour force, I hope to see companies (and staff) taking a long-term view of their HR. Retain and train workers, pay them well, encourage stability and familiarity. Mutual respect between employer and employee will contribute more to productivity than some fancy robot wok-frying machine"

Asians taking pictures of Asians taking pictures of food - "It’s no secret the only thing Asians love more than eating their food is taking pictures of them and sharing them in every format imaginable. I’m not sure at what point my Facebook timeline turned into a food emporium, but it’s here... Earlier this year, I started “The Greatest Foodie Album Of All-Time” on a vacation I went on and proceeded to take pictures of empty plates of what I ate, captioned by the location and what I ordered. This was me, in my brilliantly confident self hiding behind a computer screen, expressing some abstract statement about food."

The $900,000 Singapore child - "we worked out the expected costs of bringing up a child in Singapore for a mid- to upper-income family. My estimate is about $600,000 in real dollars per child for a one-child family, and about $500,000 per child for a two-child family to raise a child. The lower figure is due to some economies of scale... families spend more on private tuition than on university fees... The hard-nosed question that needs to be asked is: "Is your child worth an annual retirement income stream of $20,000?"... each child is expected to cost the nation about $900,000 - $500,000 in family funds and $400,000 in state funds... every new cohort that is born is expected to cost about $36 billion or about 11 per cent of gross domestic product or about $11,000 per Singaporean every year. This is far more than the GDP per capita of Laos and about the same as Thailand. If the Laotians and Thais had our cost structure, they would not be able to afford any children. WHY is it so costly to raise a child in Singapore? In the US, it costs about $360,000 to raise a child in a one-child US family, excluding university costs. This is about $140,000 less than the equivalent Singaporean situation. One reason for the difference appears to be the costs of Singapore's parallel education system, which is not prevalent in the US - the expected costs of private tuition, which represents the single largest expenditure for many parents... Based on HES2007 and GDP breakdown data, the private tuition industry was already a $1.2 billion industry or about 17 per cent of the Ministry of Education's budget in 2007. Extrapolating to today, the private tuition industry is probably worth more than $1.6 billion annually... As a society, we need to reverse the growth of private tuition quickly. The MOE and every school should be measured on how many hours of private tuition students consume and given incentives to reduce consumption"

Worst Movie Death Scene Ever! - YouTube

Sokushinbutsu - Wikipedia - "Sokushinbutsu (即身仏) were Buddhist monks or priests who caused their own deaths in a way that resulted in their mummification"

US tax rules sour life for Americans living abroad - "An estimated four to seven million Americans live outside the country, ranging from US military personnel, diplomats and others on temporary assignments, to so-called "accidental" Americans who happened to be born in the United States to foreign parents and dual citizens who may have lived most or all of their lives abroad. According to observers, most of these people don't owe any taxes to the United States, but they still have to go through the process of filing complex IRS returns each year. "Over the past 10 years, I have paid more to tax preparers than I have in tax," John said, insisting his decision to give up his US passport had nothing to do with the amount of tax he was being asked to pay, but rather the filing burden and fear of penalties if he messed up. The United States is the only country in the world besides Eritrea that taxes based on citizenship rather than on residence or the source of revenue... In addition to making it difficult for Americans to simply open bank accounts abroad, the US tax rules also trip up US citizens' attempts to do business in other countries... he knew people who had lost their jobs because companies didn't want to put up with the hassel and cost of employing an American"

The Nation's Female Freshmen Lack Computer Confidence, UCLA Study Reveals - "although female freshmen have significantly closed the gender gap in computer use, there exists an overwhelming difference in confidence of skill levels between male and female students. Findings also disclosed that women students are less likely than men to engage in Internet chat rooms, go online for other reasons or activities, or devote as much time to playing computer games... Although women have almost pulled even with men in computer use -- 77.8 percent of women and 79.5 percent of men report frequent computer use in 2000 (see Figure 1) – a new survey question regarding computer skill levels reveals a much lower confidence level in female freshmen. When asked to compare themselves with same-age peers, women are only half as likely as men are to rate their computer skills as "above average" or within the "top 10 percent" (23.2 percent versus 46.4 percent). The gap in self-confidence may contribute to the fact that men are five times more likely to pursue careers in computer programming (9.3 percent of men, versus 1.8 percent of women). While the gender gap in computer confidence has always favored men, the gap among the 2000 freshmen is the largest in the history of the survey... Freshman opposition to the death penalty rose sharply, with 31.2 percent agreeing that "The death penalty should be abolished"... this figure is considerably lower than the 60.2 percent of freshmen who agreed with the statement in 1971, the last six years have shown a reversal in trend for this item, which hit an all time low point of 21.2 percent in 1994 (see Figure 6)."
At least in 2000, the stereotype that women were worse with computers than men was true (and getting more valid over time). Sadly the 2011 and 2012 reports don't report this data anymore (possibly that's why they removed it)

A Letter from Kim Jong-un - "For decades, North Korea was threatened by hostile foes with nuclear weapons. With our safety constantly at risk from violent intruders, we asked: How can we possibly defend ourselves? In the immortal words of my dad, the glorious Kim Jong-il: “The only thing that stops a bad guy with a nuke is a good guy with a nuke”... now I understand what Dad, in his genius, instinctively knew: that the world will not be truly safe until every nation has nuclear weapons"

Scientists support breaking wind on the airplane - "flatulent fliers should release during flights because holding it in causes bloating, indigestion and heartburn"

Green Ranger Game of Thrones

Pont de Singe A Bridge Suspended by Helium

Calvin and Hobbes Creatively Placed Into Real Photographs

Dutchmen in horsemeat scandal also sold 'halal' horse: report - "Jan F. is the director of a Cyprus-based meat trading company called Draap Trading, which various British and Dutch news reports on Wednesday fingered as a suspected link between Romanian abattoirs and a French supplier. "Draap" is the Dutch word for "horse" (paard) spelt backwards"

Owning Teddy Bears Does Not Reflect Immaturity - "“there was no association of adult toy animal ownership with emotion regulation and maturity”

Are plant-based diets environmentally friendly? - "Growing fruit and vegetables does not produce as much greenhouse gas as raising cattle or livestock, the study confirms, but people who eat a primarily plant-based diet make up for that by eating more of those foods. “When you eat healthy, you have to eat a lot of food that has a low content of energy. You have to eat a lot of fruits and vegetables”... the “highest-quality” diets in health terms - those high in fruit, vegetables and fish - were linked to about as much, if not more, greenhouse gas emissions as low-quality diets that were high in sweets and salts"

Common Cooking Mistakes: Cooking Tips and Questions Answered - "21. You don’t shock vegetables when they’ve reached the desired texture.
22. You put all the salt in the marinade or breading.
47. Your Pudding Looks Like Porridge"
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