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More adventurous than the average bear

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Monday, June 10, 2013

Links - 10th June 2013

"The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten." - Anonymous


Race The Dead - Singapore First 5k Zombie Obstacle Run

Dutch Question St. Nick's Sidekick - "Sinterklaas, the Dutch inspiration for Santa Claus, does things differently. He travels to the Netherlands by boat, not by flying reindeer. He lives in Spain, not the North Pole. He is white-bearded, but not necessarily fat or jolly. Perhaps of greatest importance to his clients, Sinterklaas always delivers three weeks early--on the eve of St. Nicholas, which this year is Sunday. These are among the many Christmas traditions here, but much more remarkable is that Sinterklaas is always accompanied by one or more dark-complexioned helpers known as Zwarte Piet, or Black Peter. Black Peter has for centuries terrified Dutch children as the ultimate boogeyman of nightmares and parental threats. He is Sinterklaas's dark alter ego, his enforcer and his bagman. If you have been a good child, Black Peter will give you goodies from his bag. If you have been a naughty child, Black Peter will put you in his sack and take you away--to Spain!... "People say, 'Why Black Peter?' I say, 'Why not Black Peter?' " said Marvin Tuur, 31, a bartender born in Suriname, the former Dutch colony in South America where the population is almost entirely black-skinned. Tuur said the Sinterklaas-Black Peter tradition is still very strong in Suriname. "A White Peter wouldn't work," he said. "What's scary about that?"

Miss Korea contestants reveal faces without makeup to prove NO plastic surgery used - "Just a few days ago when the photos of Miss Korea contestants stir controversy over the internet because of their similar look. And plastic surgery has been blamed for creating look-alike candidates. Soon after the 20 contestants who dress in normal attire and wear light makeup prove us that they are not the products of plastic surgery...but makeup and Photoshop"

Meguro Parasitological Museum in Tokyo, Japan - "this veritable parasite safari will probably encourage you to cut back on your sushi intake. Although there isn't much English signage, you'll still get a kick out of the rows of formaldehyde-preserved critters, which are labelled with their Latin names (don't miss the 8.8m-long tapeworm!)"

Historical hipsters: Shakespeare and Elizabeth I get makeovers from modern artists

Can Singapore's hawker food heritage survive? - ""We have this culinary prejudice where we are willing to pay S$20 for a pasta carbonara but will complain when the price of a plate of Hokkien Mee [fried noodles] increases from S$3 to S$3.50. So we do need to place our own Singaporean heritage and hawker culture on a higher level." In other words, if Singaporeans want to continue eating the street food they love in the future, they may need to put their money where their mouth is - either by paying more, or changing their perceptions of the hawker industry."

Perfect Ice Cream Sandwich - How To - YouTube

Ten Types of Shitty Coworkers and How to Not Murder Them
11. The Passive-Aggressive sort who rages about everyone else

Sex-for-grades trial: Judge has harsh words for Tey - "Tey had also "played the lead role" in the two sexual encounters he had with Ms Ko, he said, and his "callousness" was evident as he had asked Ms Ko to "get rid of the baby", while claiming he had no money to pay for the abortion. As he caused her to lose her virginity and took a life through an abortion, Tey deserved a harsher sentence of three months each for those charges than the prosecution's suggestion of six to eight weeks per charge, he said. "The scourge of corruption, which causes untold misery and human suffering, must not be allowed to take root in our tertiary institutions," said the judge."
Apparently abortion and deflowering virgins are crimes in Singapore

Day of week of procedure and 30 day mortality for elective surgery: retrospective analysis of hospital episode statistics - "The adjusted odds of death were 44% and 82% higher, respectively, if the procedures were carried out on Friday (odds ratio 1.44, 95% confidence interval 1.39 to 1.50) or a weekend (1.82, 1.71 to 1.94) compared with Monday."

Why does France insist school pupils master philosophy? - "The purpose of the philosophy Bac is not to understand the history of human thought but to leap into the stream that is the actuality of human thought... one of the effects of having such an ideas-based vision of society, and elevating ideas to such heights, is that people actually start believing in them, and then maybe they start thinking the ideas are worth fighting for, or perhaps dying for, or perhaps even killing for. And then what? A few days ago, for example, a man shot himself dead in Notre Dame cathedral... In his last blog post he quoted Heidegger saying the last second of a man's life had as much significance as all that went before. Here was a man, arguably, who fell so in love with his own ideas that he decided to take his life. How very French."

1: Mos Espa | A Photographer Rediscovers The Crumbling Remains Of Tatooine

TV time 'does not breed badly behaved children' - "Spending hours watching TV or playing computer games each day does not harm young children's social development, say experts. The Medical Research Council (MRC) team who studied more than 11,000 primary school pupils says it is wrong to link bad behaviour to TV viewing. Although researchers found a small correlation between the two, they say other influences, such as parenting styles, most probably explain the link. But they still say "limit screen time". This cautionary advice is because spending lots of time in front of the TV every day might reduce how much time a child spends doing other important activities such as playing with friends and doing homework, they say."

Japanese Vending Machines "Used Panties" - YouTube - "Here is a quick vid of the vending machine corner not too far from my friends' apartments. Including the porno vending machines and one stocked with used panties. These are not fake!"
Despite noisy denials, they are real!

Classical music calms 'rowdy' Paris commuters - ""From now on, when our employees identify a group of young people that gives the impression of creating trouble, they can play classical music. Imagine, it works! Subjecting these persons to tunes they are not familiar with has the added benefit of making them flee," the statement added"

Are Associations Attitudes? - "I’d like to discuss the IAT (implicit association test) today; specifically, I’d like to address the matter of how well the racial IAT correlates (or rather, fails to correlate) with other measures of racial prejudice, and how we ought to interpret that result... Unfortunately, many psychological researchers and laypeople alike have taken a unwarranted conceptual leap: they assume that these differential association strengths imply implicit racist attitudes. This assumption happens to meet with an unfortunate snag, however, which is that these implicit associations tend to have very weak to no correlations with explicit measures of racial prejudice (even if the measures themselves, like the Modern Racism Scale, are of questionable validity to begin with). Indeed, as reviewed by Arkes & Tetlock (2004), whereas the vast majority of undergraduates tested manifest exceedingly low levels of “modern racism”, almost all of them display a stronger association between white faces and positivity. Faced with this lack of correlation, many people have gone on to make a second assumption to account for this lack, that assumption being that the implicit measure is able to tap some “truer” prejudiced attitude that the explicit measures are not as able to tease out... quicker associations between whites and positive concepts are capable of being generated by merely being aware of racial stereotypes, irrespective of whether one endorses them on any level, conscious or not. Indeed, even African American subjects were found to manifest pro-white biases in these tests. One could take those results as indicative of black subjects being implicit racist against their own ethnic group, though it would seem to make more sense to interpret those results in terms of the black subjects being aware of the stereotypes they did not endorse... the results of the IAT do not test whether there is a negative association towards any one group; just whether one group is rated more positively than another. While whites might have a stronger association with positive concepts than blacks, it does not follow that blacks have a negative association overall, nor that whites have a particularly positive one either. Both groups could be held in high or low regard overall, with one being slightly favored. In much the same way, I might enjoy eating both pizza and turkey sandwiches, but I would tend to enjoy eating pizza more. Since the IAT does not track whether these response time differentials are due to hostility, these results do not automatically seem to apply well to most definitions of prejudice. Finally, the authors make the (perhaps politically incorrect) point that noticing behavioral differences between groups – racial or otherwise – and altering behavior accordingly is not, de facto, evidence of an irrational racial biases; it could well represent the proper use of Bayesian inference, passing correspondence benchmarks for rational behavior... a final point worth considering is that this test measures the automaticity of activation; not necessarily the pattern of activation which will eventually obtain. While my immediate reaction towards a brownie within the first 200 milliseconds might be “eat that”, that doesn’t mean that I will eventually end up eating said brownie, nor would it make me implicitly opposed toward the idea of dieting. It would seem that, in spite of these implicit associations, society as a whole has been getting less overtly racist. The need for researchers to dig this deep to try and study racism could be taken as heartening, given that we, “now attempt to gauge prejudice not by what people do, or by what people say, but rather by millisecs of response facilitation of inhibition in implicit association paradigms”"
Even African Americans are racist!

Why Are They Called “Spoilers”? - "a hardcore Star Wars fan would probably not have enjoyed someone leaving the theater in 1980 blurting out that Darth Vader was Luke’s father; by comparison, someone who didn’t know anything about Star Wars probably wouldn’t have cared. In other words, the subjects likely have absolutely no emotional attachment to the stories they were reading and, as such, the information they were being given was not exactly a spoiler. If the authors weren’t studying what people would typically consider aversive spoilers in the first place, then their conclusions about spoilers more generally are misplaced. One of the other issues, as I hinted at before, is that the stories themselves were all rather short. It would take no more than a few minutes to read even the longest of them. This lack of investment of time could cause a major issue for the study"
Addendum: This is about the story which showed that spoilers increase enjoyment
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