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More adventurous than the average bear

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Friday, January 31, 2014

Links - 31st January 2014

Court orders Craiglist sperm donor to pay child support - "A judge has ruled that a Kansas man who answered a lesbian couple’s Craigslist ad seeking a sperm donation is responsible for paying child support for the baby he helped conceive... despite William Marotta having signed a contract with the couple stating he was under no obligation to support the child financially over the course of its lifetime, he is the child’s legal father. As a result, he would be required to pay child support. The issue, according to Judge Mattivi, was that the parties involved failed to go through all of the necessary steps required for a legal sperm donation—specifically, using a licensed physician for the artificial insemination procedure.

Diana Crețu's answer to Chess: Is it racist that white gets the chance to make the first move instead of black in a game of chess? - Quora - "If you want to hear some of the really bad stuff, take me for example: I never use black toothpaste, I always write on white paper, and I went as far as to not consume milk unless it was perfectly white (one time, there was an unidentified black thing floating in my milk, and I scooped it out! If that's not racism, I don't know what is).
Additionally, I would also like to point out a very worrying issue: the Quora website is using SO much more white than black... that's why people keep writing and writing and writing here, to diminish the racism by occupying the white space with black characters... chess is nothing compared to pool. Anything that happens on the table is dictated by the white ball, the black ball is always avoided and is the last to be played, not to mention that the only way it can move is by being hit by lighter colored balls. Seriously, this game should be banned"

Pope Francis’ peace doves attacked at Vatican - "Two white doves that were released by children standing alongside Pope Francis as a peace gesture have been attacked by other birds. As tens of thousands of people watched in St. Peter's Square on Sunday, a seagull and a large black crow swept down on the doves right after they were set free from an open window of the Apostolic Palace."

Altered Images: Malaysian printer blacks out pigs' faces - "The black marks were the work of Malaysian printing firm KHL, which blotted out the faces in a story about farming in the United States,according to the Malay Mail. A representative said it was their policy to obscure pigs because Malaysia was "a Muslim country"... In 2005 the children's film Babe was banned from cinemas because of its subject matter, and the similarity of the title to the Malay word for pig - "babi". Complaints from viewers saw the ban overturned, however, and it appeared on television the following year"
Malaysia Boleh!

No law against pig images, Home Ministry says - "local guidelines stipulate that beer advertisements in international magazines printed in Malaysia should not be printed alongside an article or a picture of a Malaysian leader, or an article on Malay culture...
Last year, satellite television provider Astro added a disclaimer saying “This programme portrays depiction of religious figures and represents views other than Muslims’. Viewer discretion is advised.” to a documentary on Pope Francis, the head of the Catholic Church worldwide, leading to public complaint... such precautions are not without reason. English-language newspaper The Star, for instance, ran into trouble with the Home Ministry in 2011 when it featured non-halal eateries within a supplement that carried the words “Ramadan Delights” on its cover."

Anton Casey who ridiculed poor in Singapore on Facebook left Crossinvest Asia moved to Perth Australia - "The former colony is home to about 50,000 British expats. Many are hired by multinational banks on lucrative packages and are notorious for ‘Hoorah Henry’ antics. A senior British banker, who has lived in Singapore for 15 years, said: ‘Casey is a pillock but unfortunately there are plenty of idiots like him with too much money and attitude. ‘The public mood is very ugly. All the major banks have given informal warnings to their expat staff to cut back on the champagne and partying until this all blows over.’"

Penang Umno threatens ‘May 13’ retaliation over PKR’s kangkung flash mob - "Angry that Lee, a PKR assemblyman, had insulted Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak by stuffing kangkung into an effigy resembling the leader, the mob took to the streets chanting "Allahu Akbar" and "Hidup Melayu" (Long live the Malays) as they marched about 1km towards the Sunway Carnival Mall with banners. One banner read "Because of DAP's leaders mouth, May 13, 1969 happened... Want some more?" Other banners had messages like "Insulting the PM is like insulting the Malays", "Penang Malays survive by eating kangkung", "ABCD - Asal Bukan Cina DAP" and "DAP is the enemy of Islam"... State Umno secretary Datuk Musa Sheikh Fadzir warned Lee and Pakatan Rakyat not to play with fire by undermining their leaders, Islam, the police and other Malay institutions. "If we lose our patience, please don't blame us"... He said pictures of the flash mob had been circulated as far as the Middle East where nations have respect for Najib, causing damage to his image. Shabudin reminded Lee that the Malay rulers were the symbols of Islam and the prime minister is the number one Malay leader in the country. "The way PR tries to ridicule and undermine our leaders will threaten the status of Islam and Malay institutions," he said. On a less serious note, he joked: "You also take kangkung together with 'yong tao foo'. You eat more (kangkung) than us so you actually benefit more (when the price comes down)"... The group gathered at a busy traffic junction in flash mob fashion with an effigy of Najib and posters criticising his kangkung remark. The participants of the flash mob also stuffed kangkung into the effigy's mouth while singing a modified version of the popular children's song Lenggang-Lenggang Kangkung."
Malaysia Boleh!

Not the first time: Anton Casey previously insulted taxi driver - "I hope that Singaporeans will not attack or flame his family because of his actions. We, Singaporeans, can be bigger than that."
Apparently we can attack or flame him and it's okay

Why the Ladies moan (and it's not good news for Men) - "In a previous post I dared suggest* that women watched porn. Several people warned me of the imminent troll-storm, and true to their predictions, I was inundated with claims that I was a misogynist, supporting 'shoddy' science, and endorsing the male status-quo. All of which was rubbish, and based on the fact that 'women' and 'porn' appeared in the same sentence. Oh no, women are sexual beings? Think of the children!**. The lead author of the paper I cited showed up and made a few comments. The trolls fled. ...Then I won an award for the post... I encourage criticisms, and will endeavour to respond to all - particularly if I need to back up a claim, or defend a statement - but more importantly, I encourage suggestions of hypothesis that support or falsify their claims. Simply exclaiming the Evo Psych is quackery and has nothing to offer legitimate science is intellectually lazy."
Or, indeed, exclaiming that it reinforces gender stereotypes or 1960s sex roles

Evolutionary Battle of the Sexes Drives Human Height - "For women looking to pass on their genes, it pays to be short. For men, tall is the ideal. The result? An evolutionary tug-of-war in which neither gender reaches their perfect height... traits that harm one sex but not the other may not be "weeded out" by natural selection, Stulp said. "This may even hold for health-related traits, such that genetic underpinnings beneficial to the health of one sex may increase the susceptibility to disease in the other sex"... wide hips are good for women in childbirth, but not ideal for locomotion in men. Perhaps facial masculinity is another example, Stulp said: A macho-faced guy is likely to do well with the ladies, but his sisters who inherit the same traits aren't likely to be as attractive to potential male mates. "I think it is important to recognize that evolutionary processes occur in contemporary human populations," Stulp said. "Evolution did not stop at the industrial revolution.""

Mom's Genes May Explain Why Women Outlive Men - "Ordinarily, natural selection helps keep harmful mutations to a minimum by ensuring they're not passed down to offspring. But if a mitochondrial DNA mutation is dangerous only to males and doesn't harm females, there's nothing to stop mom from passing it to her daughters and sons... There is speculation that women outlive men because men are generally bigger risk-takers or perhaps because testosterone, a hormone men have more of, has deleterious effects on life span, he said. But insects don't have testosterone or a tendency to drive too fast while not wearing a seatbelt, making them a good place to start looking for genetic underpinnings to the gender gap."

Commission denies blocking access to BBC’s ‘kangkung’ article - "The Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) has denied it had blocked access to a BBC report on Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s “kangkung” remark... There were also complaints from netizens that YouTube videos mocking and ridiculing Najib and his wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor had also been blocked."

Video shows what a REAL Viking sword fight would have looked like - "many of the moves we see in the movies don't make sense when you're talking about practical swordsmanship. Big sweeping overhead sword swings and nifty spin moves might look cool on camera, but in a real fight they're likely to get you killed. You also don't attack your enemy head-on, because (in Viking fighting, at least) that makes it much easier to block your blow with a shield. Instead, you work with side steps until you've gotten around your opponent's defense."

The Red Cross bans Christmas - "Christmas has been banned by the Red Cross from its 430 fund-raising shops. Staff have been ordered to take down decorations and to remove any other signs of the Christian festival because they could offend Moslems. The charity's politically-correct move triggered an avalanche of criticism and mockery last night - from Christians and Moslems... Yesterday officials at the charity's London HQ confirmed that Christmas is barred from the 430 shops which contributed more than £20million to its income last year. 'The Red Cross is a neutral organisation and we don't want to be aligned with any political party or particular philosophy,' a spokesman said. 'We don't want to be seen as a Christian or Islamic or Jewish organisation because that might compromise our ability to work in conflict situations around the world.' He added: 'In shops people can put up decorations like tinsel or snow which are seasonal. But the guidance is that things representative of Christmas cannot be shown'... Rod Thomas, a Plymouth vicar and spokesman for the Reform evangelical grouping in the Church of England, said: 'People who hold seriously to their faith are respected by people of other faiths. They should start calling themselves the Red Splodge. All their efforts will only succeed in alienating most people.' Major Charles Heyman, editor of Jane's World Armies, said: 'There is really nothing to hurt the Red Cross in Christmas, is there? Would the Red Crescent stop its staff observing Ramadan?'... The charity's umbrella body, the Swiss-based International Red Cross, has also had politically-correct doubts about its famous symbol. But efforts to find an alternative were abandoned in the face of protest and ridicule five years ago."

Cafe fan banned in case smell of bacon offends Muslims

Teachers drop the Holocaust to avoid offending Muslims - "Schools are dropping the Holocaust from history lessons to avoid offending Muslim pupils, a Government backed study has revealed. It found some teachers are reluctant to cover the atrocity for fear of upsetting students whose beliefs include Holocaust denial. There is also resistance to tackling the 11th century Crusades - where Christians fought Muslim armies for control of Jerusalem - because lessons often contradict what is taught in local mosques. The findings have prompted claims that some schools are using history 'as a vehicle for promoting political correctness'... A third school found itself 'strongly challenged by some Christian parents for their treatment of the Arab-Israeli conflict-and the history of the state of Israel that did not accord with the teachings of their denomination'."
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