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Valar Qringaomis

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Sunday, February 02, 2014

Links - 2nd February 2014

Nun who gave birth in Italy 'unaware of pregnancy'
It wasn't a virgin birth

Superstition and politics - "In the book “Hard Truths,” Lee Kuan Yew brushes off the one about the eight-sided one-dollar coin: “People spin these yarns! It doesn’t bother me.” In fact, he declares he is not a believer in any of the stuff: “Utter rubbish! Utter rubbish! I’m a pragmatic, practical fellow. I do not believe in horoscopes. I do not believe in fengshui.” Incidentally, when the Monetary Authority of Singapore introduced the Singapore Third Series coins last year, the one-dollar coin, despite undergoing a re-design, still retained its octagonal frame. Strange that it should keep its unusual shape these past 30 years. The same goes for that road tax disc... last November, PM Lee Hsien Loong tweeted that he found a surprise visitor in the Istana in the form of a barn owl “which had flown into the building overnight, and perched itself comfortably high up out of reach”. In the native Cherokee culture, as well as many other Native American cultures, owls are a very bad omen. Soon afterward, Singapore’s first riot in 40 years broke out, ending the year on a bitter note. The riot also stole the thunder from the ruling PAP, which held a weekend convention to launch its new manifesto. The public interest was focused on the riot, not the PAP manifesto. On hindsight, we could see the owl as indeed a bad omen, or we could still dismiss it as plain coincidence."

Pastor tries atheism, loses jobs, gains $19,000 - "Mehta said he admired Bell’s pluck and sympathized with his plight. Though he had never spoken with the pastor, Mehta set up an online fundraiser for Bell on Tuesday. In just one day, nearly 900 people donated more than $19,000 to help “the pastor giving atheism a try.” “I think more than anything else, people appreciate that this guy is giving atheism a shot,” Mehta said. “I mean, he lost three jobs in the span of a week just for saying he was exploring it.” Bell said he knows Christians and agnostics who have contributed to his fundraiser as well, so it’s not an all-atheist effort. Still, he’s impressed that nonbelievers have flocked to help fund his experiment “It really validates that the (atheist) community is really all about the search for truth,” Bell said. “They know that I might not even end up as an atheist at the end of my search, but it doesn’t matter to them. It’s such a beautiful gesture.”"

LDS missionary dress code gets update - ""In an updated dress and grooming standards webpage, clothing for Elders now includes lighter colored suits and slacks," said Ruth Todd, spokeswoman for the church. The latest updates allow tan, khaki and lighter colored suits and slacks, as well as more tie options. Pictures on the site show missionaries in pink, light blue, and pastel-colored ties"

One Ad to rule them all. If Tolkien worked in advertising.

Fox's Gotham TV series is going to be Batman: The High School Years - "Were you hoping that Fox's Batman prequel TV series Gotham would be a tough crime procedural set on the mean streets of Gotham City? Or were you hoping it would be about teenaged Batman, The Joker, Catwoman, Riddler, and the Penguin all hanging out together? Because it's the latter. Sorry, I threw up in my mouth a little there"

Set up force to police cyber bullying - "I AM a victim of vicious attacks by a Facebook abuser, who has tarnished my name and reputation, and I hope Parliament will speed up the tabling of new laws to protect people against abusers on social media platforms... We have the police force to protect us from bullies. So why not set up a social media police force to protect us from cyber bullies?"

Measuring the Impact of Crack Cocaine - "We find that our measure of crack can explain much of the rise in Black youth homicides, as well as more moderate increases in a wide range of adverse birth outcomes for Blacks in the 1980s. Although our crack index remains high through the 1990s, the deleterious social impact of crack fades. One interpretation of this result is that changes over time in behavior, crack markets, and the crack using population mitigated the damaging impacts of crack. Our analysis suggests that the greatest social costs of crack have been associated with the prohibition-related violence, rather than drug use per se"
In other words, drugs are harmful more because they are illegal, than because they are intrinsically harmful

Heroic Measures - NYTimes.com - "In October 2012 I wrote about my father-in-law’s death from cancer in a British hospital. There, more routinely than in the United States, patients are offered the option of being unplugged from everything except pain killers and allowed to slip peacefully from life. His death seemed to me a humane and honorable alternative to the frantic medical trench warfare that often makes an expensive misery of death in America. Among doctors here, there is a growing appreciation of palliative care that favors the quality of the remaining life rather than endless “heroic measures” that may or may not prolong life but assure the final days are clamorous, tense and painful. (And they often leave survivors bankrupt)... One intriguing lung cancer study even suggests that patients given early palliative care instead of the most aggressive chemotherapy not only have a better quality of life, they actually live a bit longer."

Chuck Norris spoofs Jean-Claude Van Damme Volvo splits video on two airplanes - "Norris performs the splits in the same way Van Damme did, with arms crossed and a steely stare focused in front of him. But Norris, it's revealed as the camera pans out, is doing the gymnastic act on a pair of airplanes. And he's doing it with a triangle of paratroopers balanced on his cowboy hatted head."

Marks & Spencer tells Muslim staff they CAN refuse to serve customers buying alcohol or pork - "Customer Matt Syson wrote: 'If you have Christian workers who wish to refuse the sale of ladies' garments to male homosexuals or men's trousers to lesbians, I do hope you will stand by those workers' religious or personal beliefs. 'My family and I shall no longer purchase any goods from your company due to the implementation of this “one rule system” that creates further division and hatred within our communities'... Sainsbury's guidelines state there is no reason why staff who do not drink alcohol or eat pork for religious reasons cannot handle them. Tesco said it made no sense to put staff on a till if they refused to touch certain items for religious reasons. Asda said it would not deploy any Muslims on tills who objected to handling alcohol, while Morrisons, which is based in Bradford where there is a large Muslim community, said it would 'respect anyone's wishes not to handle products for religious or cultural reasons'"

'Sex Sent Me to the ER': 440-Pound Virgin Puts Girlfriend Through Wall, Threesome Turns Nasty (Exclusive Video)

Mumbai: Verdict on premarital sex sparks outrage - "The Delhi high court on Monday declared that premarital sex is “immoral” and “against the tenets of every religion”. This has sparked a debate among activists, religious leaders and the city’s youth."

Promise of marriage helps clear man of rape charges in India - "The promise of marriage has helped to clear a man of rape charges in India. His accuser claimed he had sex with her after promising to marry her. But he did not carry out his promise. The court verdict is seen as a setback for victims of sexual offences."

Indian court says pre-marital sex immoral - "In his ruling, Delhi Additional Sessions Judge Virender Bhat, added that a "grown-up, educated and office-going woman does so at her own peril" when she has pre-marital sex on the assurance of marriage with a man. The accused, a 29-year-old man from the northern Indian state of Punjab working with a multinational firm, was arrested in December last year after the woman had lodged a complaint of rape in May 2011. The judge said, "In my opinion, every act of sexual intercourse between two adults on the assurance of promise of marriage does not become rape, if the assurance or promise is not fulfilled later on by the boy"... In her complaint the woman said she had met the man on a chat forum on the internet in July 2006 and that the man had promised to marry her and had physical relations with her often. She alleged that the man had asked her to abort when she was pregnant with his child in 2008, saying he had family obligations to get his sisters married and would marry her later. However, he did not do so and instead harassed and humiliated her and her family, she alleged. The court, considering that the woman held a job with a reputed company and was residing alone in Bangalore, said she was, "intelligent enough to understand moral quality and consequences of her act”. The judge ruled out the woman’s testimony which included explicit e-mails and chat exchanges of physically and mentally "provoking her to have sex". "A promise to marry is totally different from the mental and physical provocation, as mentioned by the prosecution in her testimony""
Somehow, there's no outrage at the woman grossly abusing the legal system by filing a false accusation of rape, and this is a "setback" for sexual offences

McAfee relieved Intel has cleared his good name - Thank god, I am not associated with them any more - "McAfee appeared in a profanity-laced video attacking the quality of the software produced by the company he founded in the late 1980s. He said he was fed up with emails from customers who complain that it degrades the performance of their computers and is difficult to remove. Intel said at the time that these "ludicrous statements" had no basis in reality. Mind you, some people think Intel these days has no basis in reality, either."

▶ How To Uninstall McAfee Antivirus - YouTube - "How To Uninstall McAfee Antivirus - Featuring John McAfee himself"

Is high sex drive associated with increased sexual attraction to both sexes? It depends on whether you are male or female. - "Data from three studies assessing a total of 3,645 participants show that for most women, high sex drive is associated with increased sexual attraction to both men and women. For men, however, high sex drive is associated with increased sexual attraction to only one sex or the other, depending on the individual's sexual orientation. These results suggest that the correlates of sex drive and the organization of sexual orientation are different for women and men."
"Women with high sex drives are more likely to be attracted to both sexes, but that is nottrue for men" (Lippa, 2006)

How Sex Affects Intelligence, and Vice Versa - "You can make new cells with exercise, Prozac and sex. If you do mental training, you’ll keep alive more cells that you produced. And if you do both, now you have the best of both worlds—you’re making more cells and keeping more alive"

15 Classic Artworks That Are Way More Erotic Than You Remember (NSFW)

LEGO Ad From 1981 Should Be Required Reading For Everyone Who Makes, Buys Or Sells Toys - "Pay attention, 2014 Mad Men: This little girl is holding a LEGO set. The LEGOs are not pink or "made for girls." She isn't even wearing pink. The copy is about "younger children" who "build for fun." Not just "girls" who build. ALL KIDS. In an age when little girls and boys are treated as though they are two entirely different species by toy marketers, this 1981 ad for LEGO -- one of our favorite images ever -- issues an important reminder."
I'm sure their sales are much higher than in 1981, thanks in part to their targeted advertising
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