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More adventurous than the average bear

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Friday, May 02, 2014

Links - 2nd May 2014

"The truth springs from arguments amongst friends." - David Hume


Etching - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - "The phrase "Want to come up and see my etchings?" is a romantic euphemism by which a person entices someone to come back to their place with an offer to look at something artistic, but with ulterior motives. The phrase is a corruption of some phrases in a novel by Horatio Alger, Jr. called The Erie Train Boy, which was first published in 1891. Alger was an immensely popular author in the 19th century—especially with young people—and his books were widely quoted. In CHAPTER XXII of the book, a woman writes to her boyfriend "I have a new collection of etchings that I want to show you. Won't you name an evening when you will call, as I want to be certain to be at home when you really do come." The boyfriend then writes back "I shall no doubt find pleasure in examining the etchings which you hold out as an inducement to call""

Dilbert comic strip for 08/06/2005 from the official Dilbert comic strips archive. - "I believe in karma. That means I can do bad things to people all day long and I assume they deserve it."

Denmark's ritual slaughter ban says more about human hypocrisy than animal welfare - "It seems to me obvious that the slaughter of animals at the end of their lives is of far less ethical importance than the way they are treated beforehand. The cruelties of factory farming extend over an animal's whole lifetime whereas the cruelty of ritual slaughter lasts minutes at most. To complain about the halal slaughter of battery chickens or factory farmed veal is a truly monstrous absurdity. In a Danish context this is particularly obvious. The pig farming industry there, whose products are devoured by almost everyone in Europe who isn't an observant Jew of Muslim, is a monstrous engine of quotidian suffering, despite the pre-slaughter stunning. The new agriculture minister, Dan Jørgensen, has pointed out that 25,000 piglets a day die in Danish factory farms – they never even make it to the slaughterhouse; that half of the sows have open sores and 95% have their tails docked, a cruel (and under EU regulations, illegal) practice that is needed to stop them chewing and biting one another's tails in their concrete sheds... There are two further ironies about the Danish case. The first is that the country was last week the focus of international indignation for slaughtering a giraffe, entirely humanely, and then using its corpse first to teach biology and then to feed lions, who must have had a treat. It is impossible to fault any of this behaviour on utilitarian grounds, or even, I think, on humane ones if we are going to have zoos at all. Certainly Marius the unhappy giraffe lived a short life infinitely better and more interesting than any of the six million pigs born and slaughtered in Denmark every year."

Would Conscription Put the Brakes on War? - - ""Conscription hadn’t dissuaded Harry Truman from intervening in Korea in 1950 or stopped Johnson from plunging into Vietnam in 1965"... whatever "extreme emergencies" prompted deployment in Cuba, World War I, Korea, and Vietnam, a consistent anti-interventionist easily finds as much fault in the wars before 9/11 as in the decade following... Rather than reinstating the draft, a less drastic proposal exists, one more consistent with human rights, more conducive to peace, and more respectful of those on the front lines: a truly voluntary military. Today, unlike most any other U.S. institution, the armed forces practice indentured servitude: Employees agree to a term of service and face imprisonment or even execution should they quit. We do not consider it a "voluntary" job if a warehouse or factory forcibly prevents workers from quitting at will. Those who wish to honor the humanity of America’s soldiers should agitate not for conscription but for the freedom to resign. The remaining soldiers would be there by choice, and if they continued fighting unjust, counterproductive wars, it would be harder to regard them as victims of bad leadership and an apathetic populace."

Canadian man who poked holes in condoms to impregnate girlfriend loses appeal - "In its unanimous ruling, the Supreme Court said Hutchinson deprived the woman of her ability to consent to sex."

The real reasons we do not have a male birth control pill - "Many of these voices support the idea of a male pill citing fairness and the desire that men carry more of the contraceptive burden. The most energetic and pernicious, however, come from a hoard of columnists writing “from a woman’s perspective” who oppose the idea of a male pill. The timbre of the commentary ranges from the condescending to the appallingly bigoted. In January of 2010 HLN’s Joy Behar discussed research developments with, of all people, Ashley Dupre, Eliot Spitzer’s over-priced sidekick. Along with discussing the “G Spot” with the supposedly renowned expert on male fertility issues, they also “covered” the inability to trust a man when he says he is on the pill, the “fragile male ego” that we hear so much about and how rendering one’s self infertile might just be too much for a man’s pride to take. Also predictably plugged was the idea that men simply do not possess the intelligence to realize we can get an sexually transmitted disease without the use of a condom... the real reason that so many women and woman’s advocacy groups demonstrate a fierce resistance to the male pill. That reason is not that they are afraid that we will lie or forget. Rather, it is the fear that we will actually use it. It is the fear that men will seize reproductive control"

Boston upskirt "Peeping Tom" wins voyeurism court case - "A ruling by Justice Margot Botsford at Boston's Supreme Judicial Court in Massachusetts states that filming or photographing a person who is nude or partly nude without their knowledge is against the law – but that does not apply to people who are fully clothed."

Europe's night trains hit the buffers - "the new high-speed services using French TGVs and Spanish AVEs, while numerous, are little consolation: rather than spending eight of the 11 hours it took the Talgo to get from Paris to Barcelona asleep and having a full day in both cities, we’ll be awake for most of the daytime journey, wishing we were already there. There is an inexorable logic to the disappearance of night trains. They are costly to run (instead of 80 seats, a sleeper carriage offers only 30 beds); they are limited to one trip every 24 hours; and numerous staff need to be paid for long, unsocial shifts (the Talgos even had a very talented on-board chef). Low-cost airlines have taken a chunk out of the market, too. Add to this prohibitive access fees for international services in Europe, and the future looks dark"

banzaipanda comments on Doctors/nurses/redditors, what has been your most gory, disgusting or worst medical experience? - "Unbeknownst to us, the infection had actually tunneled nearly a foot into her abdomen, creating a vast cavern full of pus, rotten tissue, and fecal matter that had seeped outside of her colon. This godforsaken mixture came rocketing out of that little incision like we were recreating the funeral scene from Jane Austen's "Mafia!"... The patient kept seizing against the ventilator (not uncommon in surgery), and with every muscle contraction, she shot more of this brackish gray-brown fluid out onto the floor until, within minutes, it was seeping into the other nurse's shoes"
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