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Meesa gonna kill you!

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Thursday, May 22, 2014

Links - 22nd May 2014

Accounting Quality Effects of imposing Gender Quotas on Boards of Directors - "This paper studies the consequences on accounting quality of imposing gender quotas on boards of directors. We use a Norwegian law from 2003 requiring that 40 percent of directors be women as a unique setting to test whether the imposition of board members affects firms’ monitoring. The Gender Quota was an exogenous shock for Norwegian firms, and they were heterogeneously affected by this quota. We test the effects of the quota on the monitoring role of the board of directors, estimating differences in the level of earnings management on firms. We find that firms undertaking greater board changes to fulfill the 2003 quota are more likely to record abnormal levels of the accrual component of earnings after the passage of the law. We conclude that quotas may lead to boards with lower monitoring capabilities that, in turn, are less able to constrain earnings management."
Gender quotas: hurting corporate governance
Keywords: accounting irregularities

The Changing of the Boards: The Impact on Firm Valuation of Mandated Female Board Representation - "In 2003, a new law required that 40 percent of Norwegian firms’ directors be women – at the time only nine percent of directors were women. We use the pre-quota cross-sectional variation in female board representation to instrument for exogenous changes to corporate boards following the quota. We find that the constraint imposed by the quota caused a significant drop in the stock price at the announcement of the law and a large decline in Tobin’s Q over the following years, consistent with the idea that firms choose boards to maximize value. The quota led to younger and less experienced boards, increases in leverage and acquisitions, and deterioration in operating performance, consistent with less capable boards."
Gender quotas: hurting corporate performance

A Female Style in Corporate Leadership? Evidence from Quotas - "This paper studies the impact of gender quotas for corporate board seats on corporate decisions. We examine the introduction of Norway’s 2006 quota, comparing affected firms to other Nordic companies, public and private, that were unaffected by the rule. We find that affected firms undertook fewer workforce reductions than comparison firms, increasing relative labor costs and employment levels and reducing short-term profits. The effects are strongest among firms without female board members beforehand and are present even for boards with older and more experienced members afterward. The boards appear to be affecting corporate strategy in part by selecting likeminded executives."

iTunes 11.2 and Podcasts App 2.1 ... - Ars Technica OpenForum - "I had synced podcasts on my iPhone and a couple of iPods to iTunes using a smart playlist that limited it to EXACTLY the episodes that I wanted. I could even set up smart playlists for specific topics and have the search criteria filter it to matching topics, like say I wanted all the podcasts I'd downloaded on New York, for an upcoming trip. Now the smart playlists are showing all these OLD episodes which I've listened to or deleted right after it downloaded. What is RETARDED is that they show old episodes which don't show in the regular Podcasts view of iTunes. I've deleted these old episodes, because I don't want them syncing to the devices, but they may be hidden in another view, either My Podcasts or Unplayed. The list view count is down from something like 2030 to 1753 since I've upgraded. Why the fuck can't they live well enough alone. They keep making it worse every time out and now, apparently they want you to manage podcasts independently on each iOS device, apart from what's on iTunes."
Each new iTunes version has some new shit to make life more difficult

"You Gave the Right of Suffrage to the Negro - Why Not Give It to Us?" - "I copy below from one of Lincoln's letters, which is published in the Complete Works of Abraham Lincoln, Volume XI, page 130, in which letter he takes up the question of the contemplated reconstruction of the Confederate States. Referring to those who had been in rebellion against the United States Government, be said: "I cannot see if universal amnesty is granted, how under the circumstances I can avoid exacting in return universal suffrage, or at least suffrage ON THE BASIS OF INTELLIGENCE AND MILITARY SERVICE." Referring to the colored man he said: "I am clear and decided as to what course I shall pursue in the premises, regarding it a religious duty as the Nation's guardian of these (colored) people WHO HAVE so heroically vindicated their manhood on the battle field, where in assisting to save the life of the Republic, THEY HAVE DEMONSTRATED IN BLOOD THEIR RIGHT TO THE BALLOT, which is but the humane protection of the flag they have so fearlessly defended." By carefully reading Lincoln's letter, a part of which is quoted above, it will be seen that he said in substance that he could not grant suffrage without exacting military service in return, thus establishing the fact that all those who have the right of suffrage are subject to MILITARY SERVICE, which is the same principle carried out with aliens who pay taxes but cannot be drafted as soldiers, because they do not have the suffrage. This makes it plain that those who do not have the suffrage are not under obligation to go to war or to enforce our laws, but those who do have the suffrage arc under obligation to go to war if necessary and to help enforce the laws of this country. Lincoln strengthened this doctrine by only proposing in the above letter to give suffrage to those negroes who had served in the United States Army. He proposed to give it to those colored men "who have so heroically vindicated their manhood on the battle field." He also confirmed this doctrine during his first Presidential term by saying that United States soldiers, including thousands of foreigners in the field bearing arms and offering their lives in battle for the defense of this Republic, many of whom had not been naturalized, were entitled to the right of suffrage and should be allowed to vote on the battle fields, thus thoroughly establishing the doctrine that the right of suffrage can only be obtained by being willing and able to defend this government in time of war and by enforcing the laws in time of peace."

Where is the Ice Hotel in Iceland? / Icehotel Iceland - "We are sorry to inform you that there is no Ice Hotel in Iceland. The original Icehotel is in Lappland, Sweden. Nevertheless, Iceland is a fantastic destination for winter vacation. Visit a Viking Winter Wonderland with hot springs, glaciers, waterfalls, volcanoes, fjords and Northern Lights"

Chinese spies at Sydney University - "China is building large covert informant networks inside Australia's leading universities, prompting Australia to strengthen its counter-intelligence capabilities. Chinese intelligence officials have confirmed to Fairfax Media that they are building networks to monitor the ethnic Chinese community to protect Beijing's "core interests". Much of the monitoring work takes place in higher education institutions, including Sydney University and Melbourne University, where more than 90,000 students from mainland China are potentially exposed to ideas and activities not readily available at home. Fairfax has interviewed lecturers and Chinese-born students who have suffered repercussions because of comments they made in Australian classrooms which were reported through Chinese intelligence channels... Such informant networks are driving the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation to increase its capabilities. ''They have more resources in Sydney University than we do,'' an Australian official said. ''No question.''"

MSG and gluten intolerance: Is the nocebo effect to blame? - "I told my companions at a large banquet that the kitchen had promised to avoid using MSG. Everyone thanked me and happily ate their meal, dish after poisoned dish. An hour later? Two hours later? The next day? Nothing... yet foreigners living in China routinely complained of reactions to their food that included headaches, chest pain, and shortness of breath. Was there something about my presence that conferred temporary resistance to MSG? Or could it be that MSG sensitivity was only in their heads?... Double-blinded studies failed to turn up evidence of a clinical condition. MSG, many people noted, appears in everything from sushi to Doritos. Journalists performed experiments similar to mine, their results echoing the consensus of professional scientists: In the overwhelming majority of cases, MSG sensitivity is a psychological phenomenon. Despite this thorough debunking, a surprisingly large number of people—generally those who lived through the epidemic—still insist they are sensitive to MSG. Google around and you’ll turn up scores of alarmist websites, which tend to combine outdated research with anecdotal, indignant rebuttals of the current scientific wisdom: “How dare you suggest my MSG sensitivity is only in my head?"... Occasionally, as with vaccines and climate change denial, alarmism veers into paranoia, yielding accusations that a shadowy East Asian cabal is paying off scientists and journalists to regurgitate their propaganda... two-thirds of people who think they are gluten intolerant really aren’t. In light of this, the even-handed Sanghavi suggested that “patients convinced they have gluten intolerance might do well to also accept that their self-diagnosis may be wrong.” Predictably, the comment thread exploded with rebuttals: defensive anecdotes, doctrinal pronouncements about the evils of gluten, and accusations of corporate malfeasance, all of which bear a striking resemblance in tone and content to the rhetoric of anti-MSG advocates. For many, the truth of physiological gluten intolerance has now acquired a quasi-religious status... Suggesting that gluten intolerance might have a psychological basis threatens a similarly foundational belief, namely that we are rational beings, competent interpreters of reality immune to mass hysteria and self-deception... Under oath, eyewitnesses constantly forget crucial details and replace them with their own fabrications. They aren’t liars—they’re just human... Food historian Ian Mosby has explained the “success” of Chinese restaurant syndrome by connecting it to racialized discourse that drew on a vision of Chinese cooking as bizarre or extreme. In the case of gluten intolerance, it doesn’t take much to come up with a plausible confirmation bias. Only nine years ago, 1 in every 11 Americans was on a low-carb diet. In a country terrified of weight gain and recently obsessed with the Atkins diet, gluten makes a great villain... food aversions often turn into a way of life. Like religion, avoiding gluten requires personal sacrifice. Gluten intolerance creates communities, which, like religious communities, share stories of suffering and redemption, and share meals made special by the presence of a food taboo. It’s no wonder people take offense at the suggestion that gluten intolerance could be psychological—after all, who wants to have built their way of life on a “mere” trick of the mind?... Many basic claims of nutrition science are unintuitive and sometimes don’t stand up to repeated research. (Salt? Cholesterol? Vitamins? Alcohol? Coffee?)"

Male rape in America: A new study reveals that men are sexually assaulted almost as often as women. - "gender norms are shaking loose in a way that allows men to identify themselves—if the survey is sensitive and specific enough—as vulnerable. A recent analysis of BJS data, for example, turned up that 46 percent of male victims reported a female perpetrator... The final outrage in Stemple and Meyer’s paper involves inmates, who aren’t counted in the general statistics at all... Those surveys turned up the opposite of what we generally think is true. Women were more likely to be abused by fellow female inmates, and men by guards, and many of those guards were female. For example, of juveniles reporting staff sexual misconduct, 89 percent were boys reporting abuse by a female staff member. In total, inmates reported an astronomical 900,000 incidents of sexual abuse."

How gay Americans can best help gay Africans. - "So far, advocates for change have mostly worked to raise awareness of abuses and apply political pressure on governments that have passed or are considering anti-gay laws. Some of this pressure has come in the form of Western governments threatening to withdraw aid, or actually withdrawing it. Rather than helping, this tends to make things worse for sexual minorities on the continent, who are blamed for the cuts, according to Tabengwa and many other African human-rights activists... The U.S. LGBTQ movement started to gain traction only in the late 1960s, at a time when vast social and cultural changes had already shaken long-held prejudices and challenged conventional sexual morality. These cultural changes are what made the coming-out movement thinkable, and it was the expanding number of out LGBTQ people that eventually changed the political landscape. Without the cracks in the cultural conservatism that pre-dated the ’60s, there would have been much less room for tolerance... If what’s needed is to change African hearts and minds, we must shift our approach away from a scolding, punitive, paternalistic one and reach instead for something more engaged, more connected to actual Africans, and more focused on the communities where the necessary cultural shifts must happen"
It's a lot easier to be outraged and offended at homophobes than to try to engage them
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