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Sunday, October 27, 2013

Links - 27th October 2013

Caring About Connections: Gender and Computing - "While most of the male students describe an early and persistent magnetic attraction between themselves and computers, women much more frequently link their computer science interest to a larger societal framework. Nearly half of the women we’ve interviewed attach their interest in computer science to other arenas, such as medicine, education, space exploration and the arts. For many of these women, while interest in computing is strong, they are concerned that their study of computer science not require a myopic focus on the machine, or detach them from people and other concerns"
A more important reason than discrimination why there're fewer women in computing

Man Shot in Quarrel Over Kant's Philosophy - "Many Russians like to discuss philosophy and history, often over a drink, but such discussions rarely end in shootings."
By Singaporeans logic, we should criminalise philosophical discussions

What Arranged Marriages Taught Me About Love - "I remember the first time I found out that one of my friends had an arranged marriage... I was stunned. I had spoken to them many times before, and always noticed how much they seemed to enjoy one another's company. In fact, if someone had asked me to name the married couples I knew who seemed most in love, they would have been near the top of the list... they saw a marriage as being about so much more than the bride and groom alone... They hoped for the same exciting feelings that American culture calls "love," but they didn't see those emotions as definitive of the concept. They saw love as an action, one that's rooted in mutual self-giving and self-sacrifice"

rediff.com :'Arranged marriages can teach us a great deal' - "Secret # 1, she notes, is that your husband doesn't have to be your best friend. "That is why you've had a best girl friend, all along," she says. Another secret for a successful relationship: It doesn't matter if he doesn't dance. "Common interests are less important than shared values,' she asserts. And remember, she says, sexual chemistry is not always organic. "Attraction can be created," she adds, "if you know how to unlock your passion"... as a society when it comes to love, we rarely think ahead. As a general rule, we are not trained to think about how feelings will change or evolve three or 30 years into the future. We are not taught to consider what we might expect and want from our partners and relationships, after the initial flush of infatuation wears away or as we age or have children. This is one of the reasons that arranged marriages are such a valuable model: they have evolved specifically with these questions and concerns in mind... Women in arranged marriages have a real understanding of the idea that husbands are life partners and not lifesavers... if we're in a relationship, we become resentful when our real life partners can't live up to the fantasy man in our head!"

Are Pickup Artists Contributing to Rape Culture? - "Much of the language around surrounds the idea that women put up “token resistance,” encouraging PUAs to not take resistance and requests to stop seriously"
Here's a better headline: "Are women contributing to rape culture?"

Why Some Women Consent to Unwanted Sex With a Dating Partner: Insights from Attachment Theory - "anxiously attached women were the most willing to consent to unwanted sex, and they often cited fears that their partner would lose interest in them as reasons for their compliance. Contrary to hypotheses, avoidantly attached women were not the least willing to consent to unwanted sex. They often reported passively complying with a partner's sexual request in order to fulfill relationship obligations"

Roman gladiators were fat vegetarians - 05/04/2004 - ""Tests performed on bits of bone taken from the skeletons of some 70 gladiators buried at Ephesus seem to prove that they ate mainly barley, beans and dried fruit," said Dr Karl Grossschmidt, who took part in the study by the Austrian Archaeological Institute. "This diet, which has been mentioned in the oral history, is rather sad but it gave the gladiators a lot of strength even if it made them fat," said Grossschmidt who is a member of the University of Vienna's Institute of Histology and Embryology... A balanced diet of meat and vegetables leaves equal amounts of zinc and strontium in the cells, while a mainly vegetarian diet would leave high levels of strontium and little zinc, Grossschmidt said... "The bone density is particularly high in samples taken from the feet, which would suggest that the gladiators fought with their bare feet in sand," Kanz said. He believed that because some gladiators fought with little more than their bare hands, they could have "cultivated layers of fat to protect their vital organs from the cutting blows of their opponents""

Mixed marriages in China a labour of love - ""From the first time I started to love a Chinese man, hiding became part of my life," says American Jocelyn Eickenburg. She had moved to Shanghai in 2003 to be with her now-husband Jun Yu. "In the past, students had been expelled for dating or marrying foreigners. We didn't know what would happen if the university administration found out, so we told no-one he was living off-campus with me," she says. A foreign woman with a Chinese man is a rare pairing. Within her small expat community the social isolation was almost immediate. She felt alienated by her girlfriends, who would openly express their distaste for Chinese men... Jun's parents married in 1971 during Mao Zedong's Cultural Revolution (1966-76), when China was closed to the world. It was a time when public displays of affection were punished and any discussion of sex was considered Western spiritual pollution... "For me to date and marry a Western woman was rebellious in a sense," says Jun, recalling that his father had cautioned him that foreigners could be friends but never lovers or wives... Jun is known as "the legend" amongst his peers as they generally regard having a Western wife as a "status symbol", he says. But when it comes to cross-cultural marriage, far more Chinese women date or marry Western men than the other way around. One of China's most famous scholars of sex, Li Yinhe, says one possibility is that Chinese men lack confidence. Mr Burger agrees saying: "Men are engrained with a cultural imprint and are brought up to believe that they are the head of the household, they have the power. "It is very intimidating approaching a Western woman, who has a perceived higher level of education, more money or earning power, and greater sexual experience"... "In the West, Asian women are portrayed as exotic beauties; a librarian in public but kinky in the bedroom. In China, the Western fantasy meets reality"... in general Chinese women have become far more aggressive when it comes to dating, something she attributes to social pressure and the fear of being labelled a "left-over woman" at 27... The West captured the imagination of Yong Zhi as a young girl growing up in Beijing. She "dreamed of travelling abroad". An "addiction" to Western novels inspired her to study English Literature at the prestigious Jilin University in north-east China... Yong met her husband David within two months of arriving in the UK to study at the University of Liverpool. She is celebrating 16 years of marriage. She says she knows of educated, good-looking women who go to certain bars in the hope of meeting a Western man to marry. "They have an image in their head and want to live 'the dream'.""

2 in 5 S'pore workers asked to do things unrelated to job scope - "21 per cent of respondents said the requests were downright absurd... Men are more likely than women to report taking on tasks outside their job description. Workers from SME companies indicted the highest incidences of non-work-related requests. Bosses in the construction industry are more likely to ask their subordinates to run personal errands. This is followed by manufacturing and services industries...
'Worker was asked to dress up as batman for a meeting with a client'
'Worker was asked to find a girlfriend for his boss's son'
'Worker was asked by her boss to find a dog that does not bark'
'Female worker was asked to go on a date with the boss's son'
'Worker was asked to book a hotel room using his own name and credit card then lie to the boss's wife when she called the office'"yo

Darius Cheung's answer to Singapore: Why is Ayer Rajah Expressway abbreviated to AYE (instead of ARE)? - Quora - "So I actually asked Land Transport Authority, not expecting them to entertain such a Bo Liao (frivolous) question. It's good to know someone in the government actually has a sense of humour too."

Speed cameras blamed for rise in number of women fined - "The number of women drivers convicted of speeding has risen steeply, possibly because speed cameras are not as lenient as some male police officers. Convictions of women are up by almost a quarter over the past five years, while successful prosecutions against men have dropped by 14%"
This is called "male privilege"

New Black Panthers Move Next to Whites-Only Town - The Daily Currant

Financial Pundit Explains How the Bible Helps Him Invest - "Sean uses the teachings of King Solomon, Jesus of Nazareth, and the Apostle Paul to show how anyone can get out of debt . . . make sound investments . . . and morally build substantial wealth."

Obama Unveils New American Flag - The Daily Currant - "The brand new American flag features a green and red color scheme, meant to symbolize Islam and Socialism, respectively. The red portion sports a Soviet hammer and sickle and six French fleur-de-lys, representing the six "important states" of California, New York, Illinois, Massachusetts, Vermont, and Hawaii. The green section features the phrase "People's Republic of America'" written in Arabic. Just above the script is a marijuana leaf celebrating America's drug culture."

Police: Pa. woman cited nonexistent twin in theft

Vivienne Chen: So, He Likes You Because You're Asian - "Long before the White Man set foot in China, having light skin was a sign of wealth and status, as it meant you didn't spend long hours toiling in the sun. Remember, Asian cultures are the ones that mass market skin-lightening creams, where people often geteyelid surgery to make their eyes bigger, i.e. less Asian. Ever noticed how anime characters are googly-eyed, outrageously buxom/muscular, with wild colored hair -- as in, everything Asian people are normally not? The messy body-image politics of our native cultures, combined with the even messier sexual politics of interracial dating, are constantly conspiring against us Asian American females. The sooner we admit this and treat it with some good humor, the sooner we can stop flipping tables every time our new date has a few too many Asian girls on his Facebook friends list... "To be desired is to be fetishized... this idea that I want someone to desire me but not objectify me with their desires is absurd. It's like saying I only want to date someone who is not attracted to people that look like me.Here's the thing, you already are a fetish. You are your lover's kink, exist within their circle of desire, starting with gender, and getting more specific from there.""
The quote is a good argument against the 'evil' of objectification and objectifying
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