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Sunday, April 20, 2014

Links - 20th April 2014

Freescale loss in Malaysia tragedy leads to travel policy questions - "Some United States companies sending employees to the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi worried too much about terrorism and not enough about more mundane risks like street crime and medical emergencies, he said. “You also have to realise that this type of tragedy, as horrific it is, is very infrequent,” Mr Horner said of the Malaysian airliner loss. “This is not something that occurs with any great frequency.”"

A Short Essay on Why Thought Catalog Sucks | One Day, I'll Move Out. - "Oh my Lord, if I have to read, see or hear about another “Why Your 20s are the Worst” article, I will blow chunks. All over the place... SNAP THE FUCK OUT OF IT. Your 20s were not forged in the fires of Mordor. Chances are, your life is pretty awesome. Chances are, while it’s not your dream job, you are employed, and you are paying off your debt albeit slowly. And, chances are, you have the opportunity to live at home until you choose to A) move out of state, B) marry someone, C) die from alcohol and steak-and-cheese sub poisoning, or D) all of the above. There are far worse things in life, people. For instance, living in Russia. Or not having clean water. Or a bed to sleep on let alone a roof over your head. OR A TOILET. And/or dogs stealing what food you do have if your kind soul didn’t already give said food to said dogs. (See also Russia.) And worst of all, no friends to encourage you to dream big, or hand you a glass of wine and a bowl of guac and tell you they love you anyway when you are a fucking mess, or to reminisce about the good ole’ days when you built illegal slip-and-slides all over campus and had zero worries in the world"

Animals Sucking at Jumping

Teacher from Forest Heights Middle School in Little Rock, Arkansas, in the United States, accidentally shows students sex tape featuring her and fiancé

Man Goes to a 'Magic, the Gathering' Tournament, Takes a Selfie with Every Single Exposed Buttcrack

Ignoring pain can lead to problems, hasten death for elderly
"Pain is weakness leaving the body"
"What doesn't kill me makes me stronger"

Plastic ring prevents pregnancy and HIV

This Exhibit is Temporarily Awesome | Museums Askew - "This object has been temporarily removed as we revise its facial expression, which was deemed zoologically improbable and/or terrifying to small children"

SAPVoice: Solving Traffic Congestion - "In “The Fundamental Law of Road Congestion: Evidence from U.S. Cities,” researchers show any increased capacity from additional roads is temporary. Traffic increases to fill the added capacity... Because roadways have natural levels of congestion to which they always return, mass transit projects do not reduce traffic... The authors conclude that the most effective approach is to charge a fee for cars to travel on roads during peak congestion hours"
"Adding lanes to solve traffic congestion is like loosening your belt to solve obesity." - Glen Hemistra (as they spell it online)/Glen Hiemstra (as it seems to be spelled)

The Germans Play Monopoly - Existential Comics

Public Toilet in Japan Accidentally Exposes Your Most Private Moments

Oversexed, overpaid and over here - "Conditions were harsh in Britain in the early 1940s and there was also an undercurrent of unease that was conveyed by the phrase, especially amongst British men, who resented the attraction of GIs, with their ready supply of nylons and cigarettes, amongst British women. The artist Beryl Cook, who was a young woman at the time confirmed this in an interview to the BBC in the late 1970s. I can't find the transcript of the interview, but from memory it was words to the effect of, 'food was scarce, but we supplemented our income by a little impromptu whoring with the GIs - we all did it'. Many of these liaisons were love matches rather than merely commercial transactions though, as the thousands of marriages between US servicemen and British women (the GI brides) is evidence of. The line was also used in Australia, in much the same context. "

Criminal Law and the Moral Panic on Campus Rape - "the Newsweek article describes this situation entirely from the accusers perspective, uncritically repeating a Department of Justice report claiming that "college women are four times more likely to be sexually assaulted than the rest of the population" and "95% of rapes on campus will never be reported." But, actually, it's worse than that: the article by Katie J.M. Baker also cherry-picks the evidence from that report. According to Baker, "victims told the DoJ there were several reasons not to involve law enforcement officials, including fear of being treated with hostility by the police and 'anticipation that the police would not believe the incident was serious enough and/or would not want to be bothered with the incident.'" Yet the 2000 article at the link shows that these were not the leading reasons women gave for not reporting the alleged rapes: "The common answers included that the incident was not serious enough to report and that it was not clear that a crime was committed." Among the women the 2000 survey classified as victims of completed rape, 49 percent did not regard the incident as a rape; 46 percent did. If this looks like deliberate bias rather than sloppy one-sidedness, perhaps that's because it is. Several Twitter users have brought attention to the fact that Baker came over to Newsweek from, a leading website in the radical feminist blogosphere... The infographic Baker touted, which purports to illustrate the tiny percentage of rapists who are convicted and jailed and the even tinier percentage of accused men who are innocent, is based on such shoddy data that even radical feminist blogger Amanda Marcotte has criticized it as inaccurate"

Tiffany Jenkins: Obsession with rape ‘a moral panic’ - "There is a moment in Nirbhaya, Yael Farber’s harrowing new play about rape, on show at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, based on the true story of a 23-year-old woman who was gang raped in New Delhi last year and who later died from her injuries, that made me uncomfortable... the different members of the cast stood tall with their arms raised, looked directly at the audience, and said: “We will be silent no more.” It was a powerful statement, but if I am truthful my first thought was: are we still silent about rape?... I am sure it’s therapeutic for the participants, but what about for those of us watching? “Women are raped for entertainment” suggests Alan Bissett in his show when he describes pornography. Isn’t there something that is similarly voyeuristic in our interest in the horror of sexual violence? What are we really saying about women and men when we stage these stories again and again? Because we are retelling these stories, again and again... Women are raped and abused, we are constantly told, they cannot recover. And what about men? They are all rapists, wife beaters, or about to commit an act placed on a continuum of sexual violence, even if it’s just a leer or a threatening line. This picture has become the dominant narrative, a little like the paedophile trope... If the men are not touching up girls, they are killing young boys. And no-one is surprised. We are creating a two-dimensional narrative of nasty men and vulnerable women that is limited when it comes to drama which needs and benefits from nuance, some light to offset the darkness or even, shockingly, a happy relationship. Although in Nirbhaya there is poetry in parts of the writing, the message is black and white: Indian men rape Indian women, it seems to say. Is that right? What’s more, ironically, in the process, the individual stories are lost in well-intentioned propaganda."

Moral panic for fun & profit - "A burglar robs your house because he wants what is in the house and is more concerned with his satisfaction than he is in your security and peace of mind. He will steal your car for the same reason and with the same lack of remorse. In the same manner, the rapist rapes because he or she wants sex. There is nothing surprising about it. There are no political motives. The tiger is not raping because he wants to repress the tigress or because he wants to stifle her political ideology. He is raping because he desires to have sex. The college student that first asks a girl on a date then tries to sway her with sweet talk and pleasant verbal coercion while touching and fondling until rejected and only then resorts to more coercive tactics is not repressing the girl out of hatred or a desire to control her. He is behaving that way because he wants sex. But let us not forget that we are playing the role of villains, so we need to twist this around. We will do this by taking the natural crime out of rape and claim it is an act of control, not sex. This technique works marvelously, as now when anyone points out the obvious fact that rape is rooted in our biology we can scream “You are a rape apologist. Rape culture!”... We will scour various sources for rape figures. When those figures do not add up to enough to convince people, we twist them around, we add different figures together to reach higher numbers... We throw the words ‘Rape culture’ like rice at a wedding. The meme spreads, panic ensues. Women everywhere are gripped in a viral moral panic. “What do we do?” they ask “Rape is everywhere around us!”... Of course if you report to the police that your car was stolen and during the course of the investigation he learns that you left the keys in the ignition while you ran into the store, the officer is going to tell you that you had it coming. But as we the hypothetical evil villains have convinced both the officer and the hapless citizen that rape is not like other crimes, he will not even think of taking the woman’s dress, behavior, or location into consideration."

Oxford graduate leaves City job to retrain as plumber - "An Oxford arts graduate has joined the ranks of highly-educated young people abandoning their careers in the City to pursue a life of manual trade as a plumber. The promise of a good salary, flexible hours and job security is tempting a growing number of graduates to train as plumbers, who can now earn more than £100,000 a year. The Telegraph last week found that many white-collar professionals, including an accountant and a computer consultant, were attending classes in how to fix taps and stop leaks. There is a shortage of qualified plumbers, which is why earnings within the industry are so high: up to £50 an hour. Last year the Construction Industry Training Board announced that by 2005 the nation would face a shortfall of 29,000 trained workers. City workers, who are experiencing a wave of redundancies with thousands losing their jobs, are also attracted by the lack of stress"

AdNews: ASB throws out complaints car ad reduces men to the same level as animals - "The ad watchdog has thrown out complaints a TV spot from car manufacturer Great Wall Australia animalises and demeans males. The ad depicts a man literally “in the dog house” after a fight with his wife as he has purchased an expensive four-wheel drive when he could have bought one from Great Wall for less than $24,000. The man in the ad is shown crouched in a dog kennel, sparking complaints to the Advertising Standards Bureau (ASB) that the ad “shows a male as being at the same level as an animal” and “would create outrage” if the protagonist were female... The manufacturer of Great Wall, Ateco Automotive Pty Ltd, argued the ad was all in “light-hearted humour” and does not “vilify or demean the male gender”... The ASB wrote: “the advertisement did not depict material that discriminated against or vilified any person or section of society”."

Do Artists and Musicians Live Longer Lives? - "Writers and musicians born in the Low Countries—Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg—between 1700 and 1850 had a life expectancy comparable to that of their society’s most elite strata... This effect was not found among visual artists, perhaps because of toxic elements found in the paints of the era. But that group turned things around over the next half-century, with painters and sculptors born between 1850 and 1899 having a similar life expectancy to members of the elite class. While somewhat inconsistent and subject to caveats, the findings are “in line with observed favorable effects of practicing arts on health in the short term”"
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