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More adventurous than the average bear

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Saturday, January 25, 2014

Links - 25th January 2014

6 in 10 young S'poreans look to go abroad to fulfil dreams - "Their top reasons for considering going overseas include the high cost of living here, having more opportunities and a slower pace of life overseas... The survey also polled young people on their hopes for Singapore. They listed three priorities: An affordable place to live in, a society that defines success beyond academic and material achievements and a more fulfilling pace of life, which could include having a slower pace of life."
Funny, no one asked for higher GDP growth

Najib hits back at kangkung critics - "Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said he used kangkung (water spinach) to explain the principle of supply and demand because it was a popular vegetable. "I like to eat kangkung, you all like to eat kangkung. As such, I gave an example which everybody eats. If I use quail as an example, only certain people eat it," he said. "The example should not be ridiculed by anybody because I gave the example on the principle of supply and demand which decide the prices of some of the food commodities which are not subject to price controls," he said."

Why Jezebel's 'Bounty' For Unretouched Lena Dunham Images Is Seriously Misguided - "in an effort to shame Vogue editors for the photoshopping job, Jezebel has gone one step further -- by placing a "bounty" on Dunham's original, undoctored photos. You know, the fat ones... Just because Dunham is a young feminist who speaks confidently about her "real body" does not mean we get to qualify her statements with an inappropriate cash prize. By hoping to publicize Dunham's original Vogue photos, Jezebel may end up shaming the actress more than the magazine whose photoshopping practices they hope to expose. And it's safe to say Dunham is actually quite proud of her Vogue spread. Doesn't she have a right to be? If Dunham wanted to release such photos, wouldn't she do so herself? Or at the very least call upon Vogue to do so?"
Comment: "Jezebel and Gawker (of which both are from the same company of course) consists of a bunch of snooty booty, glib and immature authors who will delete your post and ban you if you dare contest an issue. Even if others are snarky and down right profane towards certain folks / celebrities, they get a long as they go along with the Gawker/Jezebel logic."

Aerie's Unretouched Ads 'Challenge Supermodel Standards' For Young Women
If I were a young woman, Aerie's un-PSed ads would depress me even more - now I can't tell myself they aren't real

An End to Arrogant Atheism - "If we ever want to truly reach the general public with our message of skepticism, scientific inquiry and a conviction about the importance of basic civil rights and liberties, we need to recognize that you can respectfully disagree, but you can't respectfully ridicule"

Study: Heavy Drinking Harmful To Men’s Brains But Not So Much Those Of Women

'Before And After' Weight Loss Exposed - "Mel, an Australian personal trainer and owner of MelVFitness, was fed up with misleading "Before and After" pictures used to sell fitness programs and diet pills. Inspired by a similar project by personal trainer Andrew Dixon, Mel decided to make her own transformation in under 15 minutes (via Gawker). All it took was better posture, some tanning lotion, and black bathing suit bottoms"

Alan Wilzig Introduced 'Wolf Of Wall Street' Jordan Belfort To Wife Nadine - "Wilzig, now 48, wasn’t happy with the "nerdy" portrayal of himself in Martin Scorsese's movie based on actual events, and he took to Facebook to explain how the moment really happened. In the Dec.24 status update, Wilzig is most peeved that Scorsese left out the fact that he was driving a red Ferrari Testarossa at the time. He also offers a $1,000 charity donation to the "first person to take a photo of that scene" because he and his new wife "have no babysitter so I can't for at least 2 days.""

Joshua Brown 'Wolf Of Wall Street' - "I’ve known ten or twelve guys who worked at the Lake Success headquarters of Stratton during its heyday; all the stories are true and there’s very little embellishment in the movie. It all happened and then some. I’ve been hearing these stories for fifteen years... The great irony that’s not discussed is that Belfort, had he done Wall Street brokerage the legitimate way beginning in the late 1980′s, would probably have become a billionaire by now. I could picture him running a hedge fund of funds business or being a brokerage CEO and just selling the shit out of it while other people did all the real work. He could have been a major player legitimately if he wasn’t in such a rush... 100% of teenage boys who see this movie are going to want to grow up to be Jordan. I’m sure Scorsese didn’t set out to accomplish that but it’s inescapable. Oliver Stone didn’t think he was inventing Gordon Gekko to be the role model for a million young would-be finance guys, but that’s exactly what happened. Don’t think Belfort and Danny Porush (on whom Jonah’s character Donny Azoff is said to be based) didn’t have serious Gekko envy, that was the blueprint. Gekko’s like Billy the Kidd in that regard. He’s still quoted, revered and even emulated in every corner of the business world"

What Muslims should actually be angry about - The Commentator - ""There are many things that should offend those who are seemingly shocked by benign and ignorable mockery of religion. These include:
- The systematic destruction of Islam’s heritage in the holy cities of Mecca and Medina. Since the Saudi royal family conquered the Hijaz region, mausoleums, mosques, grave yards, and other significant buildings connected to the history of Islam and the Prophet Muhammad and his companions have been bulldozed to make way for motorways, shopping centres and five star hotels.
- The fact that the Tehreek-e-Taliban (TTP) in Pakistan continue to blow up girls’ schools and violently attack young teenage girls for wanting to attend them.
- The systematic persecution of Ahmedis, Shias, Christians, Hindus, and other minorities in Pakistan who, if not being accused of blasphemy, are being hunted down by thugs claiming to be inspired by Islam.
- The destruction and vandalism visited upon the ancient city of Timbukto. Since the al-Qaeda affiliated Ansar al Dine took over the city, mosques have been attacked, mausoleums raided, and other holy sites destroyed, including tombs of great saints.
- The systematic and widespread practise of female genital mutilation (FGM) that Muslim clerics in North and East Africa defend and promote. A practise that is vile, disgusting, inhumane, and recognised as such around the world.
- The hysterical anti-Semitism that emanates from pulpits all over the Middle East. A form of bigotry that is largely accepted and rarely goes challenged.
- The destruction of Buddist temples and Christian churches in Indonesia that has increased since Islamist parties have begun to make gains in South East Asia.
- The destruction of the Bamiyan statues in Afghanistan by the Taliban, statues that stood for hundreds of years and held great significance for Buddhists around the world.
These are the grievances that should inspire protests and anger but alas they are ignored in favour of ones that can be attributed to the evil West and Israel, however fictitious and spurious the linkages... Gravitation towards a grievance and victimhood culture is the easy option because it doesn’t compel Muslims to ask the difficult questions such as why we preside over some of the most corrupt, unequal, sexist, dysfunctional, and authoritarian societies on earth... Unfortunately, many Western leftists also encourage this defeatist and self-deprecating trend in the vain hope that it supports their cause. The primary victims of this phenomenon are Muslims themselves who are left dis-empowered and undermine their own agency by placing all responsibility elsewhere. The winners are Islamists and Jihadists who continue to wage war against art, culture, women, and vulnerable minorities, safe in the knowledge that most Muslims are distracted by their obsession with the next Danish cartoon or American YouTube clip. It is not easy to initiate rational conversation in such a context – ask those who have tried."

Taxi driver forces man to pay with kebab - "When the taxi arrived at the destination, however, the customer let it be known that he was fresh out of cash. He asked the driver if he could run into his home to get his bank card. The driver responded by saying he wanted the man's kebab meal as a deposit. Further negotiations ensued about how exactly the man should pay for his taxi ride. In the end, the taxi driver took the food with him and drove away, reported local media. The stunned customer then reported the driver to police for theft. Police have since dropped the case after the customer changed his mind"

Fake signs in London underground

Who knew? Men enjoy shopping, but many don't like strip clubs: poll - "About half of men in the United States enjoy shopping for clothes, many don't like going to strip clubs and it is typical for males under the age of 44 to have sexted someone... men believed it is normal to say "I love you" frequently and that they have cried in the past month. "There are some things about manhood as it existed in previous generations that are still more or less the same, particularly the interest and emphasis on sports and the excitement that men get from watching and playing sports"... Shedding tears is normal, as is using moisturizer, hair products and sexting, depending on a man's age... Having sex more than twice a week over the age of 45 is not normal, the poll showed, as is not having sex at all for males under that age. Twenty-six percent of African American men said they had a manicure in the last six months or longer, compared to 7 percent of Caucasians and 10 percent of the general male population. Men over 60 also were twice as likely to think of themselves as normal as men under 30."

Drinking, sex, eating: Why don't we tell the truth in surveys? - ""We do have an anxiety about trusting sex research generally, partly because of worries over talking about sex but recently more because of the misuse of the survey tool as an advertising device. It is hardly surprising, she says, that journalists and the public don't trust sex research: "What they see shared in mainstream media is not the careful and more balanced work undertaken in social and health research. "As sex stories on relationships advice in media are pinned on 'statistics', then this allows the dodgy PR polls to be used to tell us how we should be having sex and set up ideas about what is normal.""

People lie on surveys and focus groups, often unwittingly - "Usability participants also have a tendency to say "I'm being stupid" when those of us on the other side of the one-way glass are screaming "No you're not, the software is broken!" That's an interesting contrast—in some cases, pleading ignorance is a defense. In other cases, pleading mastery is. At the end of the day, you must ignore what the user said and base any conclusions on what they did"

How to use dice to stop people from lying on surveys - "Another way to get at the truth is to make people that they sometimes have to tell a lie. A toss of the dice allows people to confess things on surveys that they otherwise wouldn't. When South Africa wanted to conduct a survey about whether or not farmers had killed leopards (an illegal practice), the surveyors brought along a die. If the farmer tossed the die and got a one, they had to respond "yes" to the surveyor's question. If they got a six, they had to say "no." The rest of the time, they were asked to answer honestly. The die was hidden from the person who was conducting the survey, so they never knew what number the farmer was responding to."
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