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More adventurous than the average bear

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Monday, May 05, 2014

Links - 5th May 2014

Watching 3D movies can lead to visual and motion sickness - "Younger viewers incurred higher immersion but also greater visual and motion sickness symptoms in 3D viewing"

Missing MH370: Fishermen find life raft with the word 'Boarding' off Port Dickson -- but maritime officials lose it - ""We managed to tie it to our boat as we feared it would sink due to the damages," said the 40-year-old. The fishermen then handed over the raft into MMEA's custody when the agency's boat arrived. However, a Kuala Linggi MMEA spokesman said the raft sunk into the sea while they were trying to bring the raft onboard. "
Malaysia Boleh!

A Thousand Worms Merge Into a Living Tower – Phenomena: Not Exactly Rocket Science - "Such teamwork! Such togetherness! Such low odds of ever appearing on a motivational poster!"

Pug decides to take on police dog in the middle of stand-off

Robbers Cave Experiment / Realistic Conflict Theory - "At first, this prejudice was only verbally expressed, such as taunting or name-calling. As the competition wore on, this expression took a more direct route. The Eagles burned the Rattler's flag. Then the next day, the Rattler's ransacked The Eagle's cabin, overturned beds, and stole private property. The groups became so aggressive with each other that the researchers had to physically separate them. During the subsequent two-day cooling off period, the boys listed features of the two groups. The boys tended to characterize their own in-group in very favorable terms, and the other out-group in very unfavorable terms. Keep in mind that the participants in this study were well-adjusted boys, not street gang members. This study clearly shows that conflict between groups can trigger prejudice attitudes and discriminatory behavior. This experiment confirmed Sherif's realistic conflict theory."
Animosity between groups is more than blue eyes/brown eyes

Fictional TV politicians 'add to public cynicism' - "The "cynical" depiction of fictional politicians in television dramas such as House of Cards add to the public's scepticism towards Parliament, a professor has claimed. Steven Fielding, a professor of political history at the University of Nottingham, told the Today programme that the public are influenced by such portrayals as the majority admit to knowing "very little" about the inner workings of politics."
Media influence goes all ways!

No Laptops, No Wi-Fi: How One Cafe Fired Up Sales - "When owner Jodi Whalen first opened four years ago, she initially offered free Wi-Fi to customers. Students like Colt flocked to the business and started typing away — and staying. All day. "We saw a lot of customers come in, look for a table, not be able to find one and leave," Whalen says. "It was money flowing out the door for us." That's why Whalen decided there'd be no more screens. It was a gradual move. She started by shutting down the Wi-Fi two years ago. Then, the cafe banned screens during lunch. "A lot of people were disappointed," Whalen says. "But we actually saw our sales increase.""

We Worry About Trace Amounts Of BPA While Playing Russian Roulette With Dietary Supplements - "Despite the efforts of a minor cottage industry cranking out these results, the most rigorous studies suggest that BPA is not a hazard even to infants at the levels encountered in daily life. BPA and the other threats mentioned above could be called “theoretical hazards.” That is, they have been linked to some health outcome in some animal experiment or in observational epidemiologic studies, but the evidence is weak and inconsistent. They might well pose a hazard if the exposure were higher... Cohen points to the cluster of cases of severe hepatitis and liver failure that occurred in Hawaii last year as only the latest proof of the potential for harm from dietary supplements... low-level environmental hazards tend to involve chemicals or radiation, which are invisible, undetectable, and beyond our control. For this reason they understandably inspire anxiety. In contrast, supplements are widely promoted to convey a message of youth, vigor, and health, emphasizing that they are “natural.” The advertising uses familiar and positive imagery to distract consumers from the central issues involving risk."

50 Shades of Grey or Contemporary Christian Music Lyrics? A Quiz | H . A - "many CCM songs appeared to be sexy romance songs where the “you” was just capitalized so it suddenly was about Jesus rather than a hot piece of man-flesh. And some CCM bands — Skillet, most of all — have lyrics that are so spiritually kinky, even actual kinksters might blush."

Crimea referendum sees 123 percent turnout in Sevastopol - "Where did the extra 88,675 votes come from? “Infants, schoolchildren, and, I suspect, the dead”"

Crimea Referendum: 34 Percent, Not 97 Percent, Says Former Russian Government Adviser - "Illarionov shows support for joining Russia has varied between 23 and 41 percent since 2011, and concludes that “[a]t a minimum, two-thirds of the Crimea did not vote for the joining of Crimea to Putin’s Russia.”"

Analysis: Why Russia's Crimea move fails legal test - "The autonomous Crimean territory may indeed be legally entitled to argue for a change in its status. However, according to international precedent, it cannot simply secede unilaterally, even if that wish is supported by the local population in a referendum. Instead, it would need to engage in genuine discussion about a possible separation with the central authorities in Kiev. Alternatives, such as enhanced autonomy, would need to be explored. International practice generally seeks to accommodate separatist demands within the existing territorial boundaries. Moreover, international law does not recognise a divorce at gunpoint. Crimea cannot proceed with a possible secession or even incorporation into Russia while Moscow holds sway on the ground. In this way the situation differs from Nato's armed action in Kosovo in 1999. The Kosovo Albanians were exposed to extreme repression and subsequently forced expulsion by Serb forces. Nato intervened for genuine humanitarian purposes. It did not occupy the territory in consequence of its humanitarian intervention. Instead, the UN administered Kosovo for some eight years, creating a neutral environment in which its future could be addressed. Kosovo did eventually gain independence, based on the settlement proposed by UN mediator Martti Ahtisaari."

Wage Theft Across the Board - - "In the days ahead, a settlement is expected in the antitrust lawsuit pitting 64,613 software engineers against Google, Apple, Intel and Adobe. The engineers say they lost up to $3 billion in wages from 2005-9, when the companies colluded in a scheme not to solicit one another’s employees. The collusion, according to the engineers, kept their pay lower than it would have been had the companies actually competed for talent."
Calling this "theft" is like calling contraception infanticide

Parasitic redwood tree attracts international attention; pits trainlovers against treehuggers. - "This underachieving tree possesses two rare attributes. First, it has albino DNA, which means many of its needles contain no chlorophyll. It is estimated there are fewer than 1,000 albino redwoods in existence. Second, it is a chimera, which means it also has normal DNA, so it has albino and normal foliage on the same branch. Supporters of the tree claim there are only six of these on earth. We’ll get to its parasitic nature shortly. But what about the trainlovers? They want to chop the tree down to make room for an environmental hoax called the SMART train... Even if every car were jammed full, this taxpayer-supported train will take less than 3% of the traffic off 101. SMART also estimates 23% farebox recovery, which means that 77% of every ticket will be paid for by taxpayers who don’t ride it."

House Hippo - YouTube

The American Middle Class Is No Longer the World’s Richest - - "After-tax middle-class incomes in Canada — substantially behind in 2000 — now appear to be higher than in the United States. The poor in much of Europe earn more than poor Americans."

Being White in Philly - "Dennis, 26, teaches math in a Kensington school. His first year there, fresh out of college, one of his students, an unruly eighth grader, got into a fight with a girl. Dennis told him to stop, he got into Dennis’s face, and in the heat of the moment Dennis called the student, an African-American, “boy.” The student went home and told his stepfather. The stepfather demanded a meeting with the principal and Dennis, and accused Dennis of being racist; the principal defended his teacher. Dennis apologized, knowing how loaded the term “boy” was and regretting that he’d used it, though he was thinking, Why would I be teaching in an inner-city school if I’m a racist? The stepfather calmed down, and that would have been the end of it, except for one thing: The student’s behavior got worse. Because now he knew that no one at the school could do anything, no matter how badly he behaved... Each time I hold the door a little too long for a person of color, I laugh at myself, both for being so self-consciously courteous and for knowing that I’m measuring the thank-you’s. A friend who walks to his car parked on Front Street downtown early each morning has a similar running joke with himself. As he walks, my friend says hello and makes eye contact with whoever crosses his path. If the person is white, he’s bestowing a tiny bump of friendliness. If the person is black, it’s friendliness and a bit more: He’s doing something positive for race relations. On one level, such self-consciousness and hypersensitivity can be seen as progress when it comes to race, a sign of how much attitudes have shifted for the better, a symbol of our desire for things to be better. And yet, lately I’ve come to fear that the opposite might also be true: that our carefulness is, in fact, at the heart of the problem... In so many quarters, simply discussing race is seen as racist. And so white people are stuck, dishonest by default, as we take a pass on the state of this city’s largely black inner city and settle for politely opening doors at Wawa, before we slip back to our own lives."

FLY Entertainment - Elizabeth Lazan - "Race: Eurasian-Chinese/Italian/English"

'Men Buy, Women Shop': The Sexes Have Different Priorities When Walking Down the Aisles » Knowledge@Wharton - "In a study titled, “Men Buy, Women Shop,” researchers at Wharton’s Jay H. Baker Retail Initiative and the Verde Group, a Toronto consulting firm, found that women react more strongly than men to personal interaction with sales associates. Men are more likely to respond to more utilitarian aspects of the experience — such as the availability of parking, whether the item they came for is in stock, and the length of the checkout line... According to Wharton marketing professor Stephen J. Hoch, shopping behavior mirrors gender differences throughout many aspects of life. “Women think of shopping in an inter-personal, human fashion and men treat it as more instrumental. It’s a job to get done”... Retailers can use the study findings to tailor services to build sales, she said. “In a highly competitive market, where people are price-sensitive and there are tons of choices, if you can get one more strategy up your sleeve that gives you that edge, then why not?” she asks. “If we treat men and women differently, then we are going to be more successful.” Erin Armendinger, managing director of the Baker initiative, puts it this way: “Men and women are simply different,” she says. “It’s important for retailers to remember it’s not only what they’re purchasing, but how they’re doing it.”"
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