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Valar Qringaomis

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Saturday, June 07, 2014

Links - 7th June 2014

Al Nelson's answer to Sexism: What are some common forms of sexism that men face? - Quora - "In the bad, old days there were fewer women in colleges than men and that was not good. Lately, that situation has reversed and it has long term implicaitons for our economy... As the only "non-minority" minority, men qualify for far fewer aid and assistance programs or incentives. Again, we're expected to be stronger, handle things on our own and tough it out.
This reminds me of two life-changers in my own experiences:
1. As a very poor high school senior with good grades and top 2% scores on the SAT, the counselor wished me "luck in the fast food industry" because there were "no scholarship dollars for broke white guys". So, I was never able to go to college.
2. After a calamity rendered me destitute, homeless and seriously ill, I visited the local goverment aid office and discovered, as a 21 years old male, I was eligible for a one-time-only food assistance payment of $8.11. I nearly died that year. Had I been a female, I could have qualified for housing assistance, food and medical care."

At Colleges, Women Are Leaving Men in the Dust - NYTimes.com - "Professors interviewed on several campuses say that in their experience men seem to cluster in a disproportionate share at both ends of the spectrum — students who are the most brilliantly creative, and students who cannot keep up...In the 1990's, even as women poured into college at a higher rate than men, attention focused largely on their troubles, especially after the 1992 report "How Schools Shortchange Girls" from the American Association of University Women... "The idea that girls could be ahead is so shocking that they think it must be a crisis for boys," Ms. Mead said. "I'm troubled by this tone of crisis""
This is in keeping with the "men have greater variance" theory which got Lawrence Summers fired
The idea that boys could be ahead is so shocking that feminists think it must be a crisis for girls


Cory Doctorow: Collective Action - "If patent trolls manage to make derivatives traders look good by comparison, then copyright trolls make even the patent trolls look upstanding. One German firm specifically targeted members of the clergy, staff at Arabic embassies, and cops, on the grounds that these people would be especially vulnerable and so likely to pay with a minimum of fuss. Finally, there are the out-and-out copyfraudsters, companies who claim to hold copyrights they don’t own – sometimes copyrights that expired decades ago, though that doesn’t stop them from threatening people who use ‘‘their’’ copyrights without paying for a license. The best example of this is probably ‘‘Happy Birthday’’, which Warner/Chappell claims to own a copyright over. Anyone who researches the matter – as plenty of credible scholars have – will tell you that ‘‘Happy Birthday’’ wasn’t written when Warner says it was, that its copyright wasn’t renewed when they say it was, and that in any event, the renewal wasn’t correct – and that there is absolutely no question that ‘‘Happy Birthday’’ is in the public domain. None. And yet, people pay for it. Millions... Why has Warner gotten away with its theft of ‘‘Happy Birthday’’ for so long? Because the interests of all the people who pay the license fee are diffused, and Warner’s interests are concentrated... Imagine a Kickstarter-style service for a new kind of class-action lawsuit: the class-action defense."

A Scientific Look At Why You Hate Hawaiian Shirts - "The authors, interpreting the mess of documents in front of them--and there is a stunning amount of scholarly research on various cultural aspects of Hawaiian shirts, if you want to fall down a Google Scholar pit today--clustered feelings on the shirts into three groups: them versus us (tourists wear the shirts, and are ridiculed for it), different versus same (they're a symbol of casual living and working, breaking conformity), and culture versus commerce (the shirt is romanticized as a symbol of true Hawaiian culture). All of which leads to this table, gorgeously, improbably titled "Table 1. Paradigmatic Structure of Iconic Meanings Attributed to the Hawaiian Shirt"... , the shirt was banned for employees of City, State and Federal offices and from banks and corporate offices on grounds that its appearance would induce sloppy work habits." By the 1950s, during a tourism boom, the shirt continued its association with tourists, along with all of the "characteristics typically attributed to the tourist, such as being fat, badly dressed, and unattractive became associated with the shirt." Later, a "petition to the State Legislature generated by the local garment industry (along with a gift of two Hawaiian shirts to each legislator) ultimately resulted in a Legislative resolution that promoted Hawaiian shirts as appropriate business wear on the last day of the workweek." On the Islands, that became "Aloha Friday"; elsewhere, it was "Casual Friday.""

A golden opportunity, squandered - "Golden Rice offers the potential to make contributions to human health and welfare as historic as those made by the discovery and distribution of the Salk polio vaccine. With wide use, it could save hundreds of thousands of lives a year and enhance the quality of life for millions more. But one aspect of this shining story is tarnished. Intransigent opposition by anti-science, anti-technology activists – Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth and a few other radical groups – has provided already risk-averse regulators political ‘cover’ to adopt an overly precautionary approach that has stalled approvals... In spite of its vast potential to benefit humanity – and negligible likelihood of harm to human health or the environment – a decade after its creation Golden Rice remains hung up in regulatory red tape with no end in sight... It should be noted that the commonly cultivated and consumed varieties of rice – all of which have been developed with conventional techniques – are the product of wide crosses and, therefore, are ‘transgenic’ by any reasonable scientific definition"

Autism occurs more often in families of physicists, engineers, and mathematicians

Diabetes Can Be Cured by Drugs That Mimic Gene Mutation

Fifteen toyboys in a year at the age of 60 - "we older women are often better in bed. We are less inhibited, more experienced. As my wannabe toyboy put it: ‘Older women know what men want in bed, but they also know what they want.’ Younger women, by contrast, are often only after one thing. The C-word. Commitment. After three dates, according to one young man, it’s endless text messages, pestering phone calls, adoring pictures posted on Facebook and relentless pressure — when all the boy wants, as he put it, is a ‘quick sh**’. There’s no danger an older woman would want him to meet her parents the next morning (they’re more likely already dead). And as for commitment, Ms Mature is glad her young lover leaves before morning, as she has her own routine and is probably on duty to take the grandkids to school. For young men, then, older women are the best option, usually because they are the least complicated option."

Techies flock to Mission Control, S.F. members-only sex club - "San Francisco State University adjunct instructor Michael Shannon had been the dungeon master a few weeks earlier when some attendees were talking about how they would use consumer electronics cords in sex play. "If you've never tied (someone) up with an Ethernet cable," Shannon once said, "you're not geeky enough."

Bucking convention is routine for her - "TALES of brutal murder, sex crimes and missing children seem incongruous alongside the rational realm of fund management. But the two worlds collide in Allianz Global Investors (AllianzGI) chief executive Elizabeth Corley, whose working day is immersed in the often frenetic world of money management. Her free time, however, is consumed by a passion - writing crime novels... Corley does not believe there is a proverbial glass ceiling reining in women in the workplace, even though statistics have shown consistently that women lag behind men in salary and are in the minority in top jobs... "I don't think it's a glass ceiling. I think there are practical problems," she says. In AllianzGI's Asia operations, 55 per cent of the staff are women. In Singapore, the proportion is 50 per cent. In management level, at vice-president position and above, 47 per cent are women. "The issue is that when the career is asking the most of you, that is when you are wanting to start a family. The second stage when the career asks the most of you is when you may be looking after elderly parents or relatives. "Both those things fall heavily on women. It's a practical problem of how do you engage in a career conversation with very talented women that says that the choice between your corporate and personal family is not an either/or situation.""

Egypt army criticized for claim of a device that cures AIDS - "According to the army, devices called C-Fast and I-Fast detect hepatitis C and the virus that causes AIDS through the use of electromagnetic waves. A patent filing with the World Intellectual Property Organization has already been made by the Egyptian Defense Ministry for C-Fast. The army also identified a device that treats both viruses, as well as psoriasis, called Complete Cure Device. The research, however, has not been published in any international medical papers or approved by global entities... The announcement was seen by many as an army attempt to win further political support in a country that has one of the world's highest hepatitis C infection rates."

Malam Baranda: Nigeria man asked goat's permission for sex - "The 20-year-old is said to have been caught having sex with the goat ten times because they ‘satisfied his demand’. He said he took goats into the forest near his home to ‘avoid embarrassment’ and did not know it was an offence to have sex with them."

Beard transplants latest fad for Brooklyn's hip young men - "Young men wearing pork-pie hats, knitted snoods and stylishly drab clothing are crowding doctors' waiting rooms in a burgeoning trend: Brooklyn hipsters seeking beard transplants... New York's coolest go as far away as Florida to undergo the one-day transformation without raising suspicion... Some smooth-faced young men ask for bushy beards, others are looking for a chic square of hair under the lower lip, known as a soul patch"

Russian snowboarder's iPhone crashes from photos of naked women after he puts number on helmet - "He turned the brightness of the screen to full blast and focused on one particular girl in what can only be described as the tightest dress in human history. And where was she from? "Russia," he said. "Yesterday, some guys from USA and Canada sent (text messages). Some girls sent me photos. But Russian girls: The best!""
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