"Malaysia Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad and the Sultan of Johor are seen in a blue Proton Saga... "When asked whether there is any tension with the sultan, Dr Mahathir said: “No, I don’t see anything because I went to see him and he drove me to the airport. I don’t want to comment on the sultans because if I say anything that is not good then it’s not nice because he is the sultan”"

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Friday, December 06, 2013

Links - 6th December 2013

Anime Festival Asia 2013: some thoughts on the Ryuko (Kill la Kill) cosplayer incident - "I did not attend, but read on Facebook that there was an ugly incident involving a cosplayer and an old lady. The old woman called the cops after seeing this cosplayer’s attire...
Musta: No, you never show the important parts. It’s not against the law.
Me: Underboob does not count?
Musta: Does cleavage count? Why is the bottom part of the breast more valued than the top part? Does this mean that we, the police, have to arrest everyone at the swimming pool?"
I wonder what would've happened if she'd called the police because she felt offended someone took her photo though

No one has actually proven that MSG is bad for you! - "Those that received MSG reported no more symptoms than those who received the placebo did"

The First Amendment Even Protects Speech That Offends Pot Prohibitionists - "The campaign's ads, which are displayed on the sides of buses and bus shelters in Portland's transit system, feature harmless-looking marijuana consumers who explain why they prefer pot to alcohol... An anti-drug group called 21 Reasons has asked the Greater Portland Transit District to take down the ads. "What we say and what we do is being watched by the kids in our communities," Jo Morrissey, a spokeswoman for the group, tells McClatchy, "and they look to us for clues on what’s acceptable and what’s normal and how they should act." Kevin Sabet, executive director of the prohibitionist group Project SAM, agrees that the Question 1 ads pose an intolerable risk to the youth of America. "We're witnessing the birth of Big Marijuana," he says, "and I really worry about the messages this advertising is going to be sending to kids, giving them the impression that marijuana is safe.""

JAMES FORSYTH: Clegg starts to melt as Dave turns up the energy price heat - "‘I would hate nothing more than to be a man.’ - War correspondent Christiane Amanpour, who believes many men are still unable to accept gender equality."
Image "Is this meant to be ironic or is it another case of gender inequality? #EverydaySexism"

The Republican Party Isn't Really the Anti-Science Party - "Republicans, conservatives, and the religious are no more uniquely “anti-science” than any other demographic or political group. It’s just that “anti-science” has been defined using a limited set of issues that make the right wing and religious look relatively worse... only a marginally higher percentage of Republicans reject evolution completely than do Democrats... It's not inherently anti-scientific to oppose cap and trade or carbon taxes. What most Republicans object to are policies that unilaterally make it more expensive in the United States to produce energy, grow food, and transport people and goods but are unlikely to make much long-term difference in the world’s climate... twice as many Democrats as Republicans believe in astrology, a pseudoscientific medieval farce. Left-wing ideologues also frequently espouse an irrational fear of nuclear power, genetic modification, and industrial and agricultural chemistry—even though all of these scientific breakthroughs have enriched lives, lengthened lifespans, and produced substantial economic growth over the last century... Nuclear power is the only energy source that can actually meet base-load power requirements for a cost competitive KW/h price with almost zero carbon emissions. One of the largest hurdles to nuclear energy is storage of byproduct waste, something Obama dealt a huge blow when he halted the development of Yucca Mountain for what the Government Accountability Office called strictly political reasons. Republicans in Congress have repeatedly supported moving forward with Yucca Mountain... The anti-GMO movement, largely a product of the political left, has reached levels of delusion, paranoia and anti-intellectualism worthy of Michele Bachmann and young-earth creationists... Even in the much-maligned “Tea Party-dominated” House of Representatives, the GOP budget proposals provided more funding for the NSF than those of the Senate Democrats for the current 2013 fiscal year... one result of caricaturing Republicans as the “bad guys” on science is that the science-advocacy community gives Obama and the Democratic Party a free pass on bad decisions that undermine long-term basic research... Obama denied a request to extend the operating life of the Tevatron—the nation’s most powerful particle accelerator and preeminent tool for high-energy physicists—a field of research that eventually led to revolutionary advances like MRI machines. The administration said there wasn't enough money to go around. Yet at the sametime, billions of stimulus dollars were being lost on failed investments in the alternative-energy sector... As Thomas Huxley said, “Science commits suicide when it adopts a creed.”"

Smart People Like Curly Fries and Other Information Facebook Knows About You - "Using likes, researchers at the Psychometrics Centre at the University of Cambridge were able to determine whether someone was black or white with 95 percent accuracy, Democrat or Republican with 85 percent accuracy, and whether someone smokes, uses drugs, or drinks alcohol in more than two thirds of cases. They were even able to predict, in some cases, whether a user's parents had gotten divorced."
Amused that if you "like" Jesus you're satisfied with life and if you "like" Science you're dissatisfied

Watch those dirty looks! France toughens sexual harassment laws - "Lascivious language and wandering eyes could get you up to three years in jail in France, according to a new sexual harassment bill. The legislation has been praised by feminist groups as a milestone for women’s rights."
How do you define "insistent looking"?

Dept. of Human Resources: The Talent Myth - "The management of Enron, in other words, did exactly what the consultants at McKinsey said that companies ought to do in order to succeed in the modern economy. It hired and rewarded the very best and the very brightest—and it is now in bankruptcy. The reasons for its collapse are complex, needless to say. But what if Enron failed not in spite of its talent mind-set but because of it? What if smart people are overrated?"

Is global consulting giant McKinsey evil? - "The most loathsome practices of U.S. corporations seem to have had their beginnings with consulting giant McKinsey & Co. From mass layoffs and outsourcing to runaway CEO pay — McKinsey wrote the white papers that sparked these trends, says Duff McDonald, author of newly released book, “The Firm: The Story of McKinsey and Its Secret Influence on American Business”... Over the years, McKinsey’s advice has been blamed for billions’ worth of missteps at companies from General Motors to General Electric. In 1980, it famously told AT&T that mobile phones had a limited future. It also pushed for the disastrous merger of AOL and Time Warner in 2001. And some of its former top executives have committed infamous white-collar crimes... “The remarkable thing I found that it hasn’t even affected their business,” said McDonald of the Rajaratnam scandal. “They still have those clients — even the ones whose information [Kumar] was selling”... Most McKinsey guys are what the firm itself calls “insecure overachievers,” McDonald said. “They do what they’re supposed to do. They are the Harvard MBA crowd with the perfect resume. They were probably class president in high school. They did everything right.” The only thing they seem to lack is their own abiding passion. They’re not out to build their own businesses or pursue their own ideas. They’re just plugging their big brains into someone else’s deal. “They like to think of themselves as risk-takers, but these are risk-averse people,” McDonald said. “They are actually very conservative people.”"

Singapore to get first retirement village - "This is the biggest piece of news I have heard this year"

19 Awesome Product Improvements That Will Make Your Life Better

Poor mental health among homosexuals caused by “lifestyle itself” or “discrimination”? - "“In his cross-cultural comparison of mental health in the Netherlands, Denmark and the U.S., Ross (1988) could find no significant differences between countries - i.e. the greater social hostility in the United States did not result in a higher level of psychiatric problems,” Dr. Whitehead points out. “Another good comparison country is New Zealand,” Dr. Whitehead observes, “which is much more tolerant of homosexuality than is the United States. Legislation giving the movement special legal rights is powerful, consistently enforced throughout the country, and virtually never challenged. Despite this broad level of social tolerance, suicide attempts were common in a New Zealand study and occurred at about the same rate as in the U.S.”"

Expert says media dangerously ignore mental illness in coverage of gay teen suicides - "what if the way we're talking about these suicides could actually be encouraging vulnerable young people to copycat the tragic behavior? That's what worries Ann Haas, research director for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. By putting forth bullying as a "cause" of suicide and ignoring underlying mental-health issues that are present in 90 percent of people who die by suicide, the national media may be "normalizing" suicide as a rational response to bullying. For youth already at risk, this could be a dangerous message... Suicides are complex, Haas says, and inadvertently portraying them as a rational response to a single incident or problem can lead already vulnerable people to identify with and copy the behavior. This makes for an unusually fine line between raising awareness about an issue and sensationalizing it."
90% of people who commit suicide ate bread in the last month. Therefore bread leads to suicide

Two men jailed for having commercial sex with underage prostitute - "District Judge Low Wee Ping called the minor “a victim”, and said the description "reflects more correctly" the girl's background, which he said was "usually" the case. He pointed out that there have been many similar cases in recent times. Judge Low said "some Singaporeans think that these offences are a private matter", but he added they forget that offenders like Ho and Shoh "have participated in the horrendous trade of trafficking a minor" for prostitution. He stressed that the courts must end such a trend, so that the criminals behind the trade "would no longer find it lucrative". Before his sentence was passed, Ho, who is plump and bespectacled, said he had asked about the girl's age. But Judge Low shot back: "You expect her to tell you the truth?" As for Shoh, the judge noted he did not ask nor check the girl's identity. During the hearing, the judge said Ho and Shoh are professionals and would have been aware that some of the minors have been forced into prostitution. For this, Ho was given 11 weeks' jail while Shoh was handed a 12-week jail term."
So... the moral of the story is that men need to be psychic. Or go for MILFs/Mature

The rejected poster for Thor

SHOCKING Facts About Our CPF in Singapore! (Part 1) - "So, our CPF is vastly inadequate for our retirements, even as we set aside the highest proportion of our incomes into CPF! This explains why that according to the latest Manulife Investor Sentiment Index, 69% of Singaporeans “expect to continue in full-time or part-time work during so-called retirement” – the highest in the region where an average of only 55% would expect to have to do so. According to the Asian Development Bank, “Pension experts generally recommend a replacement rate of 60%–75%, adjusted for longevity and inflation risks.” Thus Singapore’s replacement rate of 20% is “not providing an adequate retirement income for retirees”. But the question is, where then did our CPF monies go if we have accumulated so much money, but they are not coming back? This could be because around 75% of our CPF is trapped in housing"
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