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Valar Qringaomis

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Monday, April 28, 2014

Links - 28th April 2014

French cafe offers discounts to polite customers - "A sign outside the establishment states:
"Un café - €7 [£5.90]
"Un café s'il vous plaît - €4.25
"Bonjour, un café, s'il vous plaît - €1.40.""

Allah can't be substituted with Tuhan in Bible translation - "Both the terms Allah and Tuhan are used in the Malay Bible. Following the precedent set by Arab Christians, Allah is used to translate el/elohim and Tuhan (or TUHAN in caps) is used to translate Yahweh (YHWH). The two words are sometimes paired together as Yahweh-Elohim in 372 places in the Old Testament (14 times in Genesis 2-3; 4 times in Exodus; 8 times in Joshua; 7 times in 2 Samuel; 22 times in Chronicles; 12 times in Psalms; 32 times in Isaiah; 16 times in Jeremiah and 210 times in Ezekiel etc.). More importantly, the word Tuhan is also applied to Jesus Christ in the New Testament. Thus we read of the LORD Jesus as Tuhan Yesus (The word LORD was used to translate the word kurios 8,400 times in the Septuagint, the Greek version of the Old Testament."

China's internet vigilantes and the 'human flesh search engine' - "The internet vigilantes were wrong, Yin insists. He tried to defend himself to anyone who would listen, explaining he wasn't guilty of spitting on anyone. But as soon as Yin hung up with one angry caller, his phone would ring again. And again. And thousands of times again... "All of my private information was made public. My ID card number, name, phone number, address, even my mother-in-law's phone number was dug out and posted online," Yin remembers. "I even received phone calls blackmailing me, threatening to burn my house down if I didn't pay them 200,000 RMB [$33,000; £20,000]"... But at the highest levels, it seems the government is taking notice. Last month, Liu Zhengrong, a top Communist official in charge of China's internet surveillance, said the government believed the human flesh search engine was "illegal and immoral". His caution was soon echoed in China's major state media outlets - a signal, Chinese lawyers say, that flesh-searching tactics won't be tolerated in the courts. Legislation might soon follow... In 2009, Zhang Zetian was an ordinary high school student. One day, as she was leaving class, a friend snapped a photo of her with a Chinese milk tea drink in her hand, backpack slung over one shoulder. Zhang's photo was then posted on, a popular social networking site. Complete strangers then forwarded the photo hundreds of thousands of times, proclaiming the "Milk Tea Girl" to be "adorable!" and "fresh faced!"... Years later, Zhang remains an internet celebrity. Photos of her doe-eyed face are in regular circulation. When she was admitted into Tsinghua, one of China's top universities, her profile rose again. Sitting in a cafe near her campus, Zhang seems embarrassed by her unlikely rise to celebrity status. "No matter where I go, people attempt to take secret photos of me," she says. People follow her with cameraphones on campus and sometimes in class. Admirers have even tried to break into her university dormitory."

Why Oreos Are As Addictive As Cocaine To Your Brain - "“Our research supports the theory that high-fat/high-sugar foods stimulate the brain in the same way that drugs do,” Schroeder said. “It may explain why some people can’t resist these foods despite the fact that they know they are bad for them.”"

Another reason why men like curves - "It is already known that curvaceous women live longer and that men find them more attractive but the new research suggests that they are also cleverer."

IEPlus: Skandia International poll: the price of happiness is $162,000 - "The research, conducted across 13 territories, found that the highest levels of aspired income were quoted by individuals living in Dubai who would need more than a quarter of a million US dollars to feel happy - or $276,150 to be precise. The next highest financial aspirations were recorded in Singapore and Hong Kong, where the levels of desired annual income are as high as $227,563 and $197,702 respectively. Generally, respondents from Europe feel that much less is required to keep them satisfied"

Our Feel-Good War on Breast Cancer - - "mammography’s impact is decidedly mixed: it does reduce, by a small percentage, the number of women who are told they have late-stage cancer, but it is far more likely to result in overdiagnosis and unnecessary treatment, including surgery, weeks of radiation and potentially toxic drugs. And yet, mammography remains an unquestioned pillar of the pink-ribbon awareness movement... “mammograms save lives.” But how many lives, exactly, are being “saved,” under what circumstances and at what cost? Raising the public profile of breast cancer, a disease once spoken of only in whispers, was at one time critically important, as was emphasizing the benefits of screening. But there are unintended consequences to ever-greater “awareness” — and they, too, affect women’s health... After years of bombardment by early-detection campaigns (consider: “If you haven’t had a mammogram, you need more than your breasts examined”), women, surveys showed, seemed to think screening didn’t just find breast cancer but actually prevented it... According to a survey of randomized clinical trials involving 600,000 women around the world, for every 2,000 women screened annually over 10 years, one life is prolonged but 10 healthy women are given diagnoses of breast cancer and unnecessarily treated, often with therapies that themselves have life-threatening side effects... There is so much ‘awareness’ about breast cancer in the U.S. I’ve called it breast-cancer overawareness... Despite the fact that Komen trademarked the phrase “for the cure,” only 16 percent of the $472 million raised in 2011, the most recent year for which financial reports are available, went toward research... Before the pink ribbon, awareness as an end in itself was not the default goal for health-related causes. Now you’d be hard-pressed to find a major illness without a logo, a wearable ornament and a roster of consumer-product tie-ins... “These campaigns all have a similar superficiality in terms of the response they require from the public,” said Samantha King, associate professor of kinesiology and health at Queen’s University in Ontario and author of"Pink Ribbons, Inc.” “They’re divorced from any critique of health care policy or the politics of funding biomedical research. They reinforce a single-issue competitive model of fund-raising. And they whitewash illness: we’re made ‘aware’ of a disease yet totally removed from the challenging and often devastating realities of its sufferers”... Wearing a bracelet, sporting a ribbon, running a race or buying a pink blender expresses our hopes, and that feels good, even virtuous. But making a difference is more complicated than that... all that well-meaning awareness has ultimately made women less conscious of the facts: obscuring the limits of screening, conflating risk with disease, compromising our decisions about health care, celebrating “cancer survivors” who may have never required treating. And ultimately, it has come at the expense of those whose lives are most at risk"
More benefits of "awareness"

Jungle Warfare: A Basic Field Manual for Christians in Sales: Christopher Cunningham: Books - "“Paul admonished all of us to ‘fight the good fight.’ In Jungle Warfare, Christopher Cunningham tells us how to not only fight but how to actually win. This book is recommended reading for Christians in the arena of sales.” —Tim Lee, Evangelist, Marine Sergeant from the jungles of Vietnam,"

Pay gap: Why female doctors earn less than male doctors -- and why it's good - "The answer, they speculate, is that women are choosing lower-paying jobs on purpose because they offer greater flexibility in hours and are generally more family-friendly. The researchers acknowledge they don't have the data to prove that this is the case, but the data they do have is consistent with this theory. If so, they say, that would be a victory for women (and even men.) Studies show that many doctors are burned out and would rather take jobs that allow them to have a good quality of life. Now -- thanks in large part to the growing ranks of female doctors -- such jobs are available. They just come with lower salaries."

Gender Gaps in Performance: Evidencefrom Young Lawyers - "Unlike most high-skilled professions, the legal profession has widely used objective methods to measure and reward lawyers’ productivity: the number of hours billed to clients and the amount of new client revenue generated. We find clear evidence of a gender gap in annual performance with respect to both measures. Male lawyers bill ten-percent more hours and bring in more than twice the new client revenue compared with female lawyers. We demonstrate that the differential impact across genders in the presence of young children and differences in aspirations to become a law-firm partner account for a large share of the difference in performance. These performance gaps have important consequences for gender gaps in earnings. While individual and firm characteristics explain up to 50 percent of the earnings gap, the inclusion of performance measures explains a substantial share of the remainder"

Salary, Gender and the Social Cost of Haggling - "Another study quizzed graduating master's degree students who had received job offers about whether they had simply accepted the offered starting salary or had tried to negotiate for more. Four times as many men -- 51 percent of the men vs. 12.5 percent of the women -- said they had pushed for a better deal. Not surprisingly, those who negotiated tended to be rewarded -- they got 7.4 percent more, on average -- compared with those who did not negotiate... The traditional explanation for the gender differences that Babcock found is that men are simply more aggressive than women, perhaps because of a combination of genetics and upbringing. The solution to gender disparities, this school of thought suggests, is to train women to be more assertive and to ask for more. However, a new set of experiments by Babcock and Hannah Riley Bowles, who studies the psychology of organizations at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, offers an entirely different explanation... Both men and women were more likely to subtly penalize women who asked for more -- the perception was that women who asked for more were "less nice""

The Mystery of the Bible’s Phantom Camels | - "Last week, archaeologists Erez Ben-Yosef and Lidar Sapir-Hen of Tel Aviv University released a new study that dates the arrival of the domesticated camel in the eastern Mediterranean region to the 10th century B.C. at the earliest, based on radioactive-carbon techniques. Abraham and the patriarchs, however, lived at least six centuries before then. The New York Times, in a story about the finding today, announced, “There are too many camels in the Bible, out of time and out of place … these anachronisms are telling evidence that the Bible was written or edited long after the events it narrates and is not always reliable as verifiable history.” Behold, a mystery: the Case of the Bible’s Phantom Camels... The new study again raises the age-old question of biblical accuracy. The phantom camel is just one of many historically jumbled references in the Bible. The Book of Genesis claims the Philistines, the traditional enemy of the Israelites, lived during Abraham’s time. But historians date the Philistines’ arrival to the eastern Mediterranean at about 1200 B.C., 400 years after Abraham was supposed to have lived... These anachronisms and historical inaccuracies, however, do not trouble biblical scholars. People in biblical times understood and wrote about their past differently from people in the modern, post-Enlightenment world. “We expect history to provide an accurate narrative of real events,” Carol Meyers explains. “The biblical authors, composers, writers used their creative imaginations to shape their stories, and they were not interested in what actually happened, they were interested in what you could learn from telling about the past”... The study is going to ruffle the feathers of people who believe in biblical inerrancy, a doctrine popular among evangelical and other right-orthodoxy movements that says every word in the Bible is literally true. Liberal Judaism and Christianity, says Carol Meyers, often contribute to the problem when they do not look at the complexity of how ancient narratives were formed"
Probable fundamentalist explanation: 'camels' in the Bible refers to a similar animal (which we have no proof existed)
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