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More adventurous than the average bear

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Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Links - 25th June 2014

PM Lee: You can work beyond 65, downgrade your flat and pay higher CPF Life premiums | The Real Singapore
Comment: "So basically work till you die, sell your apartment for a cheaper one to get more money and then use that money to pay the higher CPF installments and live on while we raise the CPF mininum amount one more time in 2015. Nice!!"

The Science Of Why Bacon Smells So Damn Good - "the amazing aroma stems from 150 organic compounds. As heat is applied, sugars, amino acids, and fat in the meat undergo Maillard reactions, and creates the molecules used in their aroma. While many of these compounds smell amazing on their own, they are a force to be reckoned with when they are smelled in concert."

Upworthy Generator - Instantly create Upworthy-style articles
Choice ones: "You Will Dig Your Fingernails Into Your Desk When You See What An Actress Wrote."
"Try Not To Weep When You Listen To This One Verb."
"What Happens When One Angry Woman Doesn't Worry About What Anyone Thinks."
"I'll Never Look At This Bullied NBA Coach The Same Way Again."
"Before You Say America's Disparity In Income Is All Bad, Listen To This Battlecry From A Veteran."

Why Are Upworthy Headlines Suddenly Everywhere? - "They make an emotional promise. They usually have two phrases. They paint their political proposition as obvious, as beyond debate. They’re headlines in the Upworthy style, and they seem to have colonized every news source... Founded in March of last year, its headline style was so obvious that the New York Times could parody it by July... Clickbait has been around for years. Through ridiculousness, sexiness, or just by withholding critical information from a reader, it tantalizes people in such a way that they can’t help but see what’s on the other side—tallying, crucially, a page view (and then maybe a Facebook like) for the clickbaiteer."

TV News & Upworthy Are Transforming Us All Into Dumb, Ill-Informed, Simple-Minded Sheep - "That's the evolving state of modern journalism, folks: race, sex, religion, superficial political analysis, and disaster stories, all slathered in a veneer of outrage. Notice what's missing: Regular coverage of federal legislation, scientific developments, substantive corruption pieces, real debates that go beyond name-calling, stories on foreign wars (we are still in Afghanistan, right?), structural racial and gender disparities... the list goes on and on."

11 titillating minutes with Ashley Madison renders me impressed - "e27: In your interview with Today Online, you mentioned that infidelity has societal benefits. What are these benefits that you spoke of?
Biderman: It’s pretty rare to meet a married couple who says “Sex is the priority,” that “Sex is number one”. That’s not to say they want life to celibacy. That is important to them, but it’s not the most important. So why would you ask someone who’s maybe struggling with monogamy to give up all the other things I just mentioned? The child rearing, the economics, the homes, the extended family, in exchange for a new sexual … That doesn’t make any sense. What most people in affairs are seeking is to have their cake and eat it too. They want to stay married. They want to keep that foundation going, but they want to break the monogamy. Ultimately, we have to stand back as a society and ask, “What’s the value of marriage?” There’s primarily the raising of kids together in that marriage. That is incredibly valuable because the data around the room is uniform. Kids raised by single parents don’t have as much access to higher education. Get into more trouble with the law. Have more issues around drug and alcohol use. If we want to prevent those real societal issues, we have to find a way to keep marriages together. By forcing monogamy down their throats, we’re doing the exact opposite...
When you create prohibitions like this, it only backfires. That’s why … prohibitions around alcohol and different things. Even more so when it comes to human sexuality, you can’t have these prohibitions. Think about it. Right now, there are places on Earth where if a woman has an affair, they will put her to death. You know what, sadly, people still have affairs in those places. Because it’s asking you to not have food to eat, or water to drink. It’s that much of a biological drive. So women risk their lives to have affairs, so do you really think that this ban will accomplish… will stop a single affair from happening in Singapore? I doubt it...
The most successful affair is being never discovered, and the kids will much rather have their both parents together even if one is unfaithful than have them break up."

Behind the Scenes Pictures of a NSFW Playboy Photoshoot are so Awkward (NSFW)

As a Christian this just blew my mind... - 9GAG

Tikhon Jelvis's answer to Offensiveness: Why do some people seem to be looking for things to be offended by? - Quora - " some people—a definite minority—actually are looking to be offended. They want to make a specific point, a loudpublic statement. They're looking for something symbolic to push their views or agenda. They do it because, unfortunately, it's a reasonably effective strategy... Among other things, this is also a good signalling mechanism for showing which group you belong to as well as your level of loyalty. Decrying Harry Potter definitely served as a handy way to both signify your religion to outsiders and demonstrate the strength of your faith to insiders... Since I can't generally draw a reasonable, objective line between most things I do and do not find offensive, I've generally decided to err on the side of letting things go. This is very similar to how I generally don't reprimand people for annoying habits (making noise, cracking knuckles) even if they're distracting me from work. It would just put others off without gaining me much, especially because I can ignore or work around it. It's part of my general preference for fewer rules (including social ones), simpler manners, less formality, less social hierarchy... etc. So I, at least, have definitely tried to move towards accepting uncomfortable humor, beliefs, statements and such without assuming malice or trying to stop it. I wouldn't want people to be afraid of making me uncomfortable, especially because many of the things that domake me uncomfortable are just products of my own internal quirks and upbringing (like, again, my general antipathy towards anything even mildly religious). Ultimately, it all comes down to consistency. When I find myself acting inconsistently on something, like what constitutes "offensive" or how I should react to it, I try to fix that. It just seems that my way of making things consistent turns out to be the opposite of many people I know."

Wrong to call Malaysia a moderate Muslim country, NGOs tell Obama - "It would be inaccurate to describe Malaysia as a “moderate Muslim country” despite repeated attempts by the country’s leaders to project such an image, civil society groups told US president Barack Obama during his visit. In an “intimate and candid” meeting with Obama on Sunday, 10 local non-governmental organisation (NGO) leaders said they had highlighted that there were still a slew of issues affecting the country, which included extremism and the worrying process of Islamisation that was “tearing at the fabric of Malaysian society”. “If you look at the issues that are affecting us, both from an ethnic religious perspective, as well as a human rights and respect for rule of law. We cannot be described as moderate,” Bar Council president Christopher Leong told Astro AWANI today... Leong said that Malaysia constantly faced “widespread and institutionalised ethnic and religious unfair discrimination”, citing the cases of minority Muslim sects, Syiah and Ahmadis, being persecuted, and the seizure of Bibles and holy books by the Home Ministry... “I found it very interesting and ironic that president Obama began his visit with us on Sunday with the national mosque, and had toured National Mosque with imam Tan Sri Syaikh Ismail Muhammad, who is reported to have said that he found it endearing and kind of President Obama’s efforts to use Bahasa Malaysia. And President Obama in the course of conversation also said InsyaAllah (God willing) and terima kasih (thank you). It is ironic that the imam finds that endearing and kind, when Malaysian non-Muslims who say that in almost all states would face prosecution.""

Rise of strict Islam exposes tensions in Malaysia - "Muslim women without headscarves are a common sight on the streets of the Malaysian capital, Kuala Lumpur. But engaging them in a discussion about the hijab is difficult. Norhayati Kaprawi is a Malaysian activist whose recent documentary Aku Siapa (Who Am I) deals with the issue of how women in Malaysia should dress. She found some women unwilling to show their faces in her film - not on religious grounds, but because they feared reprisals. This is a damning reflection on Malaysia's Muslim society, says Ms Norhayati. "It's full of fear. If you don't follow the mainstream you will be lynched"... Islamic officials in Selangor state entered a Methodist church without a warrant in early August, breaking up a fundraising dinner. They recorded the details of several Muslims who attended the function... "This action sets a dangerous precedent and makes a mockery of the sanctity and inviolability of all religious places in our beloved country," said the Malaysian Consultative Council of Buddhism, Christianity, Hindusim, Sikhism and Taoism in a statement."

‘Moderate Muslim’ invented by ‘enemies of Islam’, claims Isma leader - "The concept of “moderate Muslim” was invented by “enemies of Islam” aiming to undermine and exert control over the Muslim world, a leader of Islamist group Ikatan Muslimin Malaysia (Isma) claimed today. Suriani Sudi, the deputy chief of the group’s women’s wing, urged Muslims to be uncompromising when defending their religion. Suriani, also a lecturer at Kolej Universiti Islam Antarabangsa Selangor, said it is unfair to label Muslims who are simply defending their religion as “extremists.” “The word ‘moderate’ has been made a weapon where anybody who opposes the moderates will be labelled conservative, extremist and extreme,” Suriani said in an article carried by Isma’s website. “It is as if among the Muslims, it is the Moderate Muslims who are right, true, moderate, non-extreme, modern, up-to-date, and parallel with human rights”... Suriani alleged that despite his modest demeanour, the Prophet Muhammad had acted uncompromisingly in order to defend the rights of Muslims... Earlier this month, Isma claimed that the influx of Chinese migrants into the country had been “a mistake” which must be rectified, but stopped short of saying how this could be achieved. According to Isma president Abdullah Zaik Abd Rahman, ethnic Chinese are considered trespassers on Malay land, and had been brought by British colonialists to oppress Malays... Suriani also suggested that there is nothing wrong with defending one’s race as it had served well Muslim civilisations of the past... The article followed a defence by Isma deputy president Aminuddin Yahaya, who said that the recent racial and religious tensions were sparked by “chauvinist” non-Malays and non-Muslims who claim that Malaysia is a secular country where they are marginalised. According to Aminuddin, Malays are the most tolerant race in the world and have been accommodating even as non-Malays entered the country and transformed its racial makeup. That tolerance has not been reciprocated by other races, he added."
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