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Valar Qringaomis

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Monday, May 19, 2014

Links - 19th May 2014

Fuck No Misconceptions - "i fucking hate tumblr so much seriously
you guys are always like “i want equality!” except gay people are better than straight people and women are better than men and poc are better than white people and trans people are better than cis people
if you claim you want equality, but put someone down because they’re privileged, that doesn’t make you an advocate for equality, it makes you an asshole"
"You know I don’t understand this whole “We minorities are underprivileged every single day of our lives!” Like what? Where in America do you live that that is an every day thing? I’m Latina, female, pansexual, and on anxiety meds and you know what? In this whole week and the week before I have no felt “underprivileged” not once!
You know what? Being a woman I get helped out a lot for no reason other than the fact that I’m a woman. For example I was at the airport not too long ago coming back from Thailand. I was grabbing my bags from the conveyor belt and one of them was getting away from me. I was so weak (because I had been sick for weeks) that I couldn’t pick it up. A nice gentleman picked it up for me and put it on my cart. I saw many men helping out women with their bags, but not once did I see a single man getting any help at all with their bags.
In short, stop trying to make up shit and realize that good things do happen to you and sometimes it’s solely because you’re a female."

A Point of View: Sex and the French - "Whenever a French man of state has sex with someone not his wife, people call me up and ask why he did it. When I say people do, I really mean journalists (a sub-species whose personhood is sometimes in doubt) and I suppose I really mean newspaper editors and radio producers (a still more dubious class). But they do call, and they do ask. This is simply because I lived in France for some years and have written a lot about life there, and the false assumption is made that I am intimately expert on all its corners, including those obscure from my view. This is a version of the popular journalist's "fallacy of omniscience by proximity". I'm sure that anyone who ever wrote from Korea gets similar calls: "You lived there, right? You must have often seen out-of-favour relatives being eaten alive by ravenous dogs? Can't you tell our listeners something about it?"... Far from wanting to keep sex in the private sphere, the puritans can't wait to drag it out in public. Puritans are the least buttoned-up people in the world. They can't wait to pin a scarlet A for adultery on someone's clothing, or hold a public humiliation ritual... "What is it with these people?" the Brit journalists keep saying, speaking of the French ones. "Why do they refuse to invade the privacy of someone they've never met, or hang around all night to grab a few illicit pictures, causing immense pain to some stranger's wife and children, in order to obsess over a sexual affair of a kind they wish they were having themselves? And they call themselves journalists!... I think that one of the ways the French table civilises us is that it asks us both to indulge our hungers and to control them, at the same time. We do not gorge. We wait until everyone is seated. We consider the company even as we eye the dishes. The point of great French dining is not that we should simply sit down and celebrate our appetites, but that we have to transform our hungers into civilised desires. Learning which fork to use means learning when not to. Self-righteousness about other people's appetites is uncivilised. But not being able to control your own when the social occasion demands it is very bad manners. And that is one more thing I learned in France."

Be The Mayor - Welcome - "Waging an ongoing battle for the foursquare mayorship of your favorite venue?
Check here to see how you match up."

When Will I Be Mayor - "Have you ever wanted to become the mayor fo your favorite venue on foursquare? We can help make that dream, a reality. We search your foursquare? history to find out how many more times you need to check in get that coveted Mayorship. We even monitor venues that you are close, and send you weekly updates on your progress!"

Mathematical beauty activates same brain region as great art or music

'Startling Russian Fiction' Used to Justify Actions in Ukraine, U.S. Says - ""As Russia spins a false narrative to justify its illegal actions in Ukraine, the world has not seen such startling Russian fiction since Dostoyevsky wrote: 'The formula "two plus two equals five" is not without its attractions,'" the State Department said Wednesday in an online statement, referring to a quote from Fyodor Dostoyevsky's novella "Notes from the Underground," published in 1864... "Putin's press conference reveals that we may have reached the weird moment when the dictator believes his own propaganda""

Short people are more prone to paranoia, study suggests - "researchers found that decreasing a person's height in a virtual experiment made them feel poorly about themselves, mistrustful, and more fearful that others were trying to hurt them... the women were more likely to think that they were being stared at and that other passengers in the train car had bad intentions towards them or were attempting to provoke them."
Maybe this is part of why women have poorer self-esteem and are more risk-averse

Are tall people smarter than short people? Research finds ‘moderate’ genetic connection between height, IQ - "Higher IQ scores and being taller than average are both associated with better health, according to previous research cited in the study. Short people are thought to be at higher risk for cardiovascular disease, while higher IQ is linked to lower overall mortality risk and a lower risk of heart disease, stroke and suicide. Study results don't always favor tall people, though. Other research has foundthat taller women are at increased risk for cancer after menopause, and studies on soldiers and athletes have found shorter individuals live longer on average than their taller peers."
Meanwhile IQ is supposedly rubbish

China Wants Jimmy Kimmel to Apologize… For a Third Time - "ABC has already issued two public apologies over a racially insensitive Jimmy Kimmel Live sketch in which a child suggested the U.S. “kill everyone in China” to solve its debt problem in an unscripted moment, but that didn’t stop a Chinese official from demanding Monday that the network say sorry again — and this time, “with a sincere attitude.” “ABC should face up to its mistake, and respond with a sincere attitude to the reasonable demands by Chinese people in America, and prevent a similar incident from occurring again,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said at a news conference, according to the Hollywood Reporter."
Meanwhile they keep demanding that Japan apologises for World War II. If Kimmel must apologise thrice (at least), Japan will never be able to apologise enough

Getting in on the act: How the porn industry intends to reinvent itself - "the Porn Weekender experience. For their money, they are provided with accommodation, taken on set for two days to see how films are made, and are allowed to direct the actors and create scenarios that they would like to see filmed, tell the performers what to wear, what to do, and so on. They can also request which models they'd like to take part and they can use their own cameras to film and photograph as much as they want. At all times, the models can veto any request they find distasteful... The oddest thing about the business plan, however, is that if the customers provide a health certificate proving they are free from Hepatitis B and C, HIV (I and II), syphilis, gonorrhoea and chlamydia, and they successfully perform with a consenting model for two 15-minute scenes… they are actually paid for their efforts; €200 for the men, €400 for the women. "I've been inundated with requests from men, women and couples – straight and lesbian – inquiring about taking part in a scene," says Steve. "The couples usually want to try a threesome with a girl, and so did the one lesbian couple who enquired. Very few actually take that line of enquiry further. Most feel being on site and directing the models is interactive enough. "It is overwhelmingly men who want to see if they have what it takes to be a porn star. The reality is that they probably haven't. It is generally accepted in the industry that only one in 300 men can actually perform for the length of time required, with all the stopping and starting, under the lights and in view of other people." Steve has had dozens of enquiries from men wanting to take part in a film during the six months that Porn Weekender has been up and running; only three have turned up to the set – and none was able to perform. "We are prepared to pay them for two reasons – first, having them pay us or the models for sex would be prostitution, and we don't do that. Second, finding a man who can do this is so rare that it would actually be an event. I'm not kidding, the guys that can do this, get 'wood' on demand and for hours on end, they're freaks of nature"... There is a cycle of responses that goes: anticipation, embarrassment, shock, amazement, desire, loss of desire, acute senses of time and hunger, before moving on to boredom. A typical scene might involve a girl finding a toy under a pillow and playing with it; another girl catches her at it, joins in… cue hunger, boredom etc. The reason for this is that it all appears so clinical; the focused and specific nature of the acting is so surprisingly professional that it leaves no room for thoughts of the erotic... "I enjoy the lifestyle and the travel and meeting people, but you don't enjoy the sex. At least 90 per cent of the orgasms you have are faked; there is too much to concentrate on – the director, the camera angles and so on – that you just can't concentrate on enjoying yourself." All the actresses are so convincing in their expressions of coital bliss, that when Bianca says this, the eyes of every man in the room become glazed as they re-evaluate their sexual experiences one by one and become increasingly glum"

Aware objects tying NSmen benefits to public goods, - "Associate Professor Daniel Goh, a sociologist at the National University of Singapore, pointed out that while Aware's position was that no group should be specially privileged, they did not challenge certain groups of people, like single mothers, with access to some of these benefits. MP Alex Yam, who sits on the Government Parliamentary Committee for Defence and Foreign Affairs agreed. He cited how the recently announced Pioneer Generation Package would provide health care benefits for those above 65. This was also a "fundamental benefit", he pointed out... When asked about this allegation, Ms Lim retorted: "The Pioneer Generation Package is different. It was not an entitlement, but a kind of compensation for what they had lost out earlier." MP Ellen Lee, the deputy chairman of the same GPC, said that the reality is that some NSmen do need help for the sacrifices that they have gone through to serve the nation, be it in their studies or careers."
Is AWARE against free education for Malays too?

Sultan of Brunei unveils strict sharia penal code - "67-year-old Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah – one of the world's wealthiest men – said in his decree that the move was "a must" under Islam, dismissing "never-ending theories" that sharia punishments were cruel in comments clearly aimed at detractors. "Theory states that Allah's law is cruel and unfair but Allah himself has said that his law is indeed fair," he said. The initial phase beginning on Thursday introduces fines or jail terms for offences ranging from indecent behaviour, failure to attend Friday prayers, and out-of-wedlock pregnancies. A second phase covering crimes such as theft and robbery is to be implemented later this year, involving more stringent penalties such as severing of limbs and flogging. Late next year, punishments such as death by stoning for offences including sodomy and adultery will be introduced... The sultan first proposed the sharia penal code in 1990s, and in recent years has increasingly warned of rising crime and pernicious outside influences including the internet. He has called Islam a "firewall" against globalisation. He announced the implementation plans in October. Brunei is the first country in east or south-east Asia to introduce a sharia penal code on a national level. Situated on Borneo island, which it shares with Malaysia and Indonesia, the small state already practised a relatively conservative form of Islam compared with its Muslim-majority neighbours, banning the sale of alcohol and restricting other religions. Muslim ethnic Malays, who make up about 70% of the population, are broadly supportive of the move by their revered father-figure."
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