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Saturday, February 08, 2014

Links - 8th February 2014

No, Women Don’t Make Less Money Than Men - "These and other differences in employment preferences and work-family choices have been widely studied in recent years and are now documented in a mountain of solid empirical research. By now the President and his staff must be aware that the wage gap statistic has been demolished. This is not the first time the Washington Post has alerted the White House to the error. Why continue to use it? One possibility is that they have been taken in by the apologetics of groups like the National Organization for Women and the American Association of University Women. In its 2007 Behind the Pay Gap report, the AAUW admits that most of the gap in earnings is explained by choices. But this admission is qualified: “Women’s personal choices are similarly fraught with inequities,” says the AAUW. It speaks of women being “pigeonholed” into “pink-collar” jobs in health and education. According to NOW, powerful sexist stereotypes “steer” women and men “toward different education, training, and career paths.” Have these groups noticed that American women are now among the most educated, autonomous, opportunity-rich women in history? Why not respect their choices? For the past few decades, untold millions of state and federal dollars have been devoted to recruiting young women into engineering and computer technology. It hasn’t worked. The percent of degrees awarded to women in fields like computer science and engineering has either stagnated or significantly decreased since 2000... All evidence suggests that though young women have the talent for engineering and computer science, their interest tends to lie elsewhere. To say that these women remain helplessly in thrall to sexist stereotypes, and manipulated into life choices by forces beyond their control, is divorced from reality—and demeaning to boot. If a woman wants to be a teacher rather than a miner, or a veterinarian rather than a petroleum engineer, more power to her. The White House should stop using women’s choices to construct a false claim about social inequality that is poisoning our gender debates. And if the President is truly persuaded that statistical pay disparities indicate invidious discrimination, then he should address the wage gap in his own backyard. Female staff at the White House earn 88 cents on the dollar compared to men. Is there a White House war on women?"
Perhaps 'patriarchy' has become worse since 2000

▶ Ramen Noodle Bath - YouTube

The Chinese New Year according to the BBC - The People's Funny Pictures Blog - Quora

78. Excel Tips - Why Is My Excel File So Big ? | - "There is a way to separate out each object in your file, and examine it's contribution to the overall file size... SaveAs Web page
Sort descending by the file size
The largest ojects will be named, and at the top"

Privatised rail has meant 'higher fares, older trains and bigger taxpayers' bill' - "Researchers said the five largest private train companies received almost £3bn in taxpayer support between 2007 and 2011. This allowed them to make operating profits of £504m, over 90% of which was paid out in dividends to shareholders, the TUC said. In contrast, they argue that the east coast mainline, which is currently state-run, is reinvesting profits into the railway. The report said the average age of trains had risen by two years since rail privatisation and carriage space had not increased to match the growth in passenger numbers. The majority of new rail investment had been financed by Network Rail via taxpayer funding or government-underwritten borrowing. Private sector investment in new technology, such as the Pendolino tilting trains, had been underwritten by the state"

艾未粉果 Ai Wei Fans' Nudity

What to make of Ai Wei Wei’s “Gangnam Style”? - "There are two clear signs that Ai Wei Wei’s Gangnam Style is meant to challenge Chinese authorities. About a minute into the video, Ai Wei Wei pulls out a pair of handcuffs and spins them, which is hard not to read this as a comment on the Chinese government’s tendency to arrest and detain the artist for any number of arbitrary reasons. And his version is titled “Grass Mud Horse Style”, a reference to Chinese censorship that’s immediately understandable to viewers in the know. “Grass mud horse” – “cao ni ma” – is a homonym for a rude and graphic Chinese insult, one of the many terms censored on the Chinese internet. Chinese netizens subvert automated censorship, using homonyms, and “cao ni ma” was introduced into the lexicon by an activist who created a viral video where children sang a rousing song about the victory of the grass mud horse over the evil “river crab”, another homonym animal that symbolizes the Chinese censors. But if the video is a commentary on Chinese censorship, why is it so… lame?... Subversive defiance, or an attempt to stay relevant? Or just some harmless fun? As Freud once said, sometimes a grown man doing a horsie dance is just a grown man doing a horsie dance."

Social Media Street Art: Censorship, China’s Political Memes and the Cute Cat Theory - "with Chinese political memes, the cute cats are the activist message."

Why Some People Become 30-Year-Old Virgins - "The longer you wait to have sex, the less likely you are to actually do it... More than one in eight (about 12%) of the 18-year-olds who failed to initiate sexual activity remained virgins into their 20s... "Among those individuals who reported no sexual experience as adults, only half of both males and females reported never having experience a sexual attraction to either sex. These results were consistent with prior research indicating that asexuality and sexual inexperience are not one and the same"... 50% of of sexually inexperienced 18-year-olds gained some experience between the ages of 19 and 21... Of the remaining virgins, only 5% gained sexual experience between 27 and 30 combined. Approximately 3% of participants in the survey reported never having sex at all... Many reasons cause people stay virgins, but the main factors "may have been [inability] to attract sexual partners or ... little interest in sexual involvement," the authors write. In other words, they can't get any or don't want any. Lower cognitive performance, obesity, lower alcohol use, lower parental educational levels, and lack of sexual attraction may have contributed to individuals' sexual inexperience... Late onset of puberty, however, only affected males. Non-Hispanic Asian males were also more likely to have sexual inexperience after age 18 than white male respondents. "Across the board, Asian males tend to be among those who are less sexually active and have fewer partners. There are different sets of values, different motivations for the future and thoughts about how sexual experience may or may not affect achievements down the road""

Prevalence and Predictors of Sexual Inexperience in Adulthood - "Males also had lower odds of initiating sexual activity after age 18 if they were non-Hispanic Asian, reported later than average pubertal development, or were rated as physically unattractive (aORs = 0.6–0.7). Females who were overweight, had lower cognitive performance, or reported frequent religious attendance had lower odds of sexual experience (aORs = 0.7–0.8) while those who were rated by the interviewers as very attractive or whose parents had lower educational attainment had higher odds of sexual experience (aORs = 1.4–1.8)."

Fighting Back In India - Bollywood Films - ELLE
I found this quite ridiculous because the men in the ad weren't staring offensively. However a friend who lives in India says that they don't look this innocuously but leer (and some other women point out that it happens in Little India too)

Catalog Reveals NSA Has Back Doors for Numerous Devices - "The list reads like a mail-order catalog, one from which other NSA employees can order technologies from the ANT division for tapping their targets' data. The catalog even lists the prices for these electronic break-in tools, with costs ranging from free to $250,000."

Breast Implants Improve Sexual Satisfaction In Women, But Why? - "“When we have exerted a great effort, spent a great deal of money and effort and time on something, we tend to justify that effort,” she told HealthDay. “Our good feeling is increased because of the effort, not the thing itself … Feminine heterosexuality is very much about our sense of whether or not we are pleasing our partner, and here we have 45 women who have spent a great deal of money to that purpose. If these breasts are now pleasing to their male partners, then they are likely to feel more sexually attractive.” On that point, Dr. Reath also agreed, saying that a lot of his patients who come in for follow-ups tend to tell him their partners “are having a lot of fun.” “Why not?” he said. “It’s an important part of life.” Roberts believes the study would have done a better job at assessing the overall happiness with the breast implants if the researchers had also looked into other issues, such as their ability to breastfeed or their comfort while jogging. A recent study looked into breastfeeding among women with implants and found that women who breastfed after an implantation weren’t likely to experience sagging — news that may be comforting, and improve their overall happiness"

My Eyes Are Up Here: The Nature of the Objectifying Gaze Toward Women - "participants focused on women’s chests and waists more and faces less when they were appearance-focused (vs. personality-focused). Moreover, we found that this effect was particularly pronounced for women with high (vs. average and low) ideal body shapes in line with hypotheses. Finally, compared to female participants, male participants showed an increased tendency to initially exhibit the objectifying gaze and they regarded women with high (vs. average and low) ideal body shapes more positively, regardless of whether they were appearance-focused or personality-focused"

Clean desk or messy desk? Both have benefits, study finds - "Do you prefer to work at a tidy desk with everything arranged just so? Congratulations - you're probably a healthy eater, generous with your cash, and good at following rules. But if you've got a cluttered desk piled with magazines, Post-its and paperwork, take heart - you might be a creative thinker and an idea machine."

Female Marines Not Required To Do 1 Pull-Up - "Females in the Marine Corps currently are not required to do even a single pull-up, and a deadline mandating that by Jan. 1, 2014, they be able to do at least 3 pull-ups as part of their training has been delayed for at least a year, the Corps quietly announced on social media... Currently, “women aren’t able to make the minimum standard of three pull-ups,” Marine spokesman Capt. Eric Flanagan told Fifty-five percent of female recruits tested at the end of boot camp were unable to do three pull-ups (1 percent of male recruits also failed). Marine officers told NPR off-the-record that, given the three-pull-ups rule, they were afraid of losing “not only new recruits, but also current female Marines who can’t pass the test... Pull-ups have been used to test Marines’ upper body strength for over 40 years. The ability to pull-up one’s own body weight over a bar shows the upper body strength that, in combat, is needed to lift fallen comrades, pull one’s self over a wall, and carry heavy munitions. Combat Marines also carry a pack that weighs around 90 pounds, with gunners carrying an additional 50 or 60 pounds. Women in the Marine Corps will be allowed into ground combat in 2016. The delay in meeting men’s physical standards has raised questions about “whether women have the physical strength to handle ground combat,” reported NPR. “‘If you can’t pull yourself up, have the decency to pull yourself out,’ Ralph Peters, a retired Army officer and military historian, told “‘The military, despite all the post-modern technology, is still essentially physical.’”"
More "male privilege"

Dutch beat French and Swiss to top Oxfam’s new global food table - "The Netherlands is No. 1 in the world for having the most plentiful, nutritious, healthy and affordable diet, beating France and Switzerland into second place. Chad is last in 125th spot behind Ethiopia and Angola"
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