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Thursday, March 07, 2013

Links - 7th March 2013

"People with insufficient personalities adore cats. These people love being ignored." - Henry Morgan

***

Singapore is Boring (There, I said it.) - "I usually don’t believe in a place being “boring”. I’m more likely to blame the person being bored than their location. But I’m making an exception. Singapore is boring... So what do Singaporeans like about it? Aside from it being “home” where friends and family are, I’m not sure. I just read a blog post called, “Stuff I like about Singapore”, which you can find by googling “Stuff I Like About Singapore | Stuff Singaporeans Like” I don’t want to link it, cause a pingpack, and make the author mad, because she looks like a very nice girl. Her entire list consists of McDonald’s, air conditioning, the airport, the subway and hawker food. And somehow proves my point."

Affirmative Dissatisfaction - "Perhaps affirmative action is meant to help those who have historically been discriminated against. It would be hard to overlook women and Jews when considering historical punching bags. However, women and Jews are indeed overlooked in the affirmative action policies of most schools. Perhaps affirmative action attempts to help those groups heavily correlated with lower incomes. One of the strongest correlations with lower incomes is held by those with lower centers of gravity. As if short people didn’t have it bad enough: being refused at roller coasters, being unable to stand in the shallow end of pools, and now, being denied affirmative action. At least they don’t have to stand in the back for pictures. Finally, what about intellect? Perhaps our universities are in dire need of diversity of intelligence. Counter to most stereotypes, ugliness is highly correlated with poor intellectual performance by traditional measures, though I don’t know how many qualified applicants will be willing to put that down on their application. Race-based affirmative action attempts to target these groups: the discriminated against, the poor, and those with unique experiences and intellectual merits. However, affirmative action is fundamentally flawed because it uses race instead of targeting these groups themselves... Helping those with primarily low academic qualifications into primarily academic institutions makes as much sense as helping the visually impaired become pilots. How would you feel if you were assured before going into surgery that your surgeon was the beneficiary of affirmative action in medical school?... As Supreme Justice Clarence Thomas argued, employers will likely regard a minority candidate with greater skepticism if their alma mater engaged in affirmative action. This wouldn’t be racism—it would be simple logic—and that is what makes it all the more nefarious"

Wes Anderson's "Star Wars: Episode VII" Audition Tape

Gangnam Style: We need more foreign language pop songs. - "Thanks to After the Fire’s English version of "Der Kommissar" we know the song is about druggy underground folk, but we lose the swagger of Falco’s staccato German from the original. Others, from France’s Edith Piaf to Germany’s Rammstein, have had no problem attracting audiences who have no idea of what they’re singing about. With Piaf’s doleful delivery, do you need to know French to know the story of “Mon Dieu” is a sad one?... Are some languages more musical than others? It’s entirely subjective, of course, but linguistic phonetician Doug Honorof says languages with a lot of vowels have an advantage"

Team Coco Video FAQ @ TeamCoco.com - "I live outside the USA -- why can I watch some clips on TeamCoco.com, but not others?
It's those pesky legal restrictions again; they limit how many clips per day can be available in certain countries. On TeamCoco.com, look for the availability indicators immediately below the video player on the left side...
Yeah, we know, those limitations are intensely annoying! If you're in Canada, your best bet is to watch CONAN on CTV.ca. If you're in Australia, Ireland, or another country where Team Coco clips are blocked, your best bet is to burn an entertainment lawyer in effigy."

The Physics Of: Clown Cars

Boy, 3, fined £1,500 for weeing in garden

Man arrested for flashing breast implants

vintage everyday: Old Colour Photos of Japan in 1886 by Adolfo Farsari

Racists Stereotypes in school textbooks during the 1980s - "The textbooks “went to considerable lengths to portray the life and work of Mohammed the Malay hotel porter, Cik Alimah the Malay domestic worker, Ahmad the Malay street sweeper, Encik Samad, another Malay street sweeper, and by contrast, Mrs Li and Miss Li the Chinese school teachers” (165) “It also taught children to expect that Malays and Indians would work predominately in relatively menial jobs. Thus we see the Sikh policeman (Mr Singh), the Indian hawker stall holder, and the Indian and the Malay zookeepers (Muthu, Maniam and Hassan). On the other hand we see rather more uplifting images of Chinese characters, such as the civic-minded Chinese leader on the housing estate (Mr. Lin) and the Chinese doctor” (165)."
According to MCCY, "In 1980, only 7.2% of Malays wereholding administrative and managerial,professional, and technical related jobs." In the same year, 16% of Malay GCE O Level Students obtained 5 O Level Passes, versus 34% for Indians and 44% for Chinese.
Would people complain if all drug addicts, criminals and generally negative characters were Chinese?


Mythbusters: Does God Exist? - YouTube

Growth not just a question of finance, say experts - "Finance drives growth, but too much of a good thing sucks the lifeblood, brains and brilliant ideas from an economy, according to “startling” findings at the Bank for International Settlements. And advanced economies are overweight and even obese with financial services. “Finance, literally bids rocket scientists away from the satellite industry,” BIS economists warned, saying that it competes for people with high qualifications as well as for buildings and equipment. “The result is that people who might have become scientists, who in another age dreamt of curing cancer or flying to Mars, today dream of becoming hedge fund managers”... “with finance you can have too much of a good thing,” they said. “At low levels, an increase in the size of the financial sector accelerates growth of productivity.” But “there comes a point - one that many advanced economies passed long ago - where more banking and more credit are associated with lower growth.” Their analysis showed that when private credit grew to a point greater than gross domestic product, “it becomes a drag on productivity growth“. Also, when the financial sector accounted for more than 3.5% of total employment, further development of finance tended to damage economic growth. The two economists, writing in a personal capacity, have even come up with a cut-off or turning point at which the size of the financial sector does more harm than good: when the number of people in finance exceeds 3.9% of all people in employment... The economists came up with a second “quite striking” discovery: “The faster the financial sector grows, the slower the economy as a whole grows.”"

"MythBusters" cannonball rips through house, van

Attitudes toward Sex Are Changing - "Only 12 percent held the traditional double standard where they’d look down on promiscuous women but not men. And 13 percent said they’d lose respect for men and not women... The trend seems to be driven by women. Fifty-four percent of the women subjects judged genders equally, but only 35 percent of males did"
Not only does the so-called sexual double standard (SDS) not exist right now (if it ever did), the double standard is *against* men, not women. Not that people will be convinced...

How illicit sex can save a marriage - "Sometime they can ruin marriages, but if you take the view that most of them blow over and a good marriage is still a good marriage, we should be a bit more laid back about them like the French, Italians and Spanish"

'Street Fighter x Mega Man' released for free - "Singaporean fan Seow Zong Hui had approached Capcom reps with his Street Fighter x Mega Man game, and staff at the video game company soon realized that the project not only was of extremely high quality, but could coincide with the 25th anniversaries of both series."

Argentine woman marries twin sister's killer - "The father was disconsolate. "For me, they are both dead. Johana is with God and Edith with the devil," said Mr Valentin Casas."

The Oatmeal Sucks, Even if Buzzfeed Was Wrong - "the subject matter for Oatmeal comics is even less interesting than the subject matter for those spammy infographics. His most popular comics (one of which is the atheism comic he cited as an reflecting an "unpopular opinion") mostly concern animals, grammar mistakes, and minor annoyances relating to the tech world (printers, Apple products, customer service, working from home — topics that have gone uncovered by comedians for too long). One is quite literally an internet-style infauxgraphic: "15 Things Worth Knowing About Coffee."

The Infauxgraphic Epidemic - "there’s a strong groundswell of designers taking it upon themselves to create data visualizations that at first blush appear to be legitimate but upon further review simply reveal nothing more than the designer’s desire to impress you with their ability to create splashy graphics that include data in some way. I recently spoke up on a lengthy Flickr comment thread on an image posted by another designer who is fed up with the noise being produced in the name of infographics, and it’s on this thread that I posited the term “infauxgraphics” to describe the latest spate of work that purports to display data in a meaningful way but eschews the key points of data visualization."

A grim reminder that children are often... - Up With Chris - " From 2008 to 2009, the number of preschool-aged children killed by guns was nearly double the number of law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty"

Cards Against Humanity - "Unlike most of the party games you've played before, Cards Against Humanity is as despicable and awkward as you and your friends.
The game is simple. Each round, one player asks a question from a Black Card, and everyone else answers with their funniest White Card."

Dear Prudence: My wife doesn’t want sex, so I visit prostitutes. - "Young couples with mismatched libidos, please consider this testimony of how physical frustration can kill affection. What a terrible dynamic you two have always had, with your wife constantly swatting you away like a mosquito. But you went ahead and married someone who you knew wouldn’t meet your sexual needs. From her perspective she probably feels you’re pretty lucky"
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