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Valar Qringaomis

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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Links - 30th July 2014

“Mistresses are like books; if you pore upon them too much, they doze you and make you unfit for company; but if used discreetly, you are the fitter for conversation by em.” - William Wycherley

***

Israel warns Gazans to flee as air campaign intensifies - "Israel on Wednesday warned 100,000 Gazans to leave their homes as the military intensified its nine-day air campaign, after Hamas snubbed an Egyptian ceasefire effort the day before... “In spite of the ceasefire, Hamas and other terror organizations continued to fire rockets, therefore it is the intention of the IDF to carry out aerial strikes against terror sites and operatives in Shuja’iya and Zeitoun,” the leaflets read. “A high volume of rocket fire at Israel has originated in this area.” “For your own safety, you are requested to vacate from your residence immediately and head towards Gaza City by Wednesday morning, July 16, 2014, at 08:00 AM. The IDF does not want to harm you, and your families. The evacuation is for your own safety. You should not return to the premises until further notice. Whoever disregards these instructions and fails to evacuate immediately, endangers their own lives, as well as those of their families”... However, residents of Shuja’iya and Zeitoun were not evacuating their homes, in spite of the Israeli ultimatum issued, Palestinian sources in the Gaza Strip told The Times of Israel. Only a small number of Palestinian residents in the eastern neighborhoods of Gaza City left since the army messages were issued... As on Sunday, Hamas urged residents to ignore the warnings, dismissing it as “psychological warfare”. “There is no need to worry about these (warnings), or deal with them. Do not respond to them in any way,” a Hamas interior ministry statement said. “This is part of the psychological war, intended to disrupt the domestic front.”"
Naturally, they ignored the Jewish lies and stayed there to get killed

Tokyo artist arrested for distributing her vagina via 3D printer

Answer to Feminism: Would feminists prefer a meritocratic or a half-male-half-female system? - Quora - "The only way you can have equal opportunities is by forcefully transferring opportunities and restricting people. Sexism or reverse sexism are the same thing. Both operate by trying to put out fire with more fire. I don't think politicians and bureaucrats should be in the business of engineering a society... What right does one person have to force or "entice" Yemini men to stay at home? And that too with tax-payers money?... In many developed countries, the number of female voters often outnumbers male voters. Yet they elect mostly men. Should such democratic voting be stopped in order to enforce some idea that people must vote around 50-50 men:women ? And why do these "quotas" have to be so one-sided? In Sweden, till a few years back, only men were forced to potentially get killed or maimed on the battlefield. Not to mention unequal laws when it comes to sexual crimes. The laws are definitely slanted against men in this case. Yet I have never heard a movement to forcefully conscript females only or to make rape laws friendlier to men(like asking women to show proof of consent as well), so that the male rape reporting rate is nearly as same as for women."

New Zealand High Court backs schoolboy who refused to cut his hair - "Lucan Battison, 16 from Hastings, was suspended from St John's College on May 22 after ignoring requests from the school to cut his hair, which it said failed to meet the school's requirements of "off the collar and out of the eyes". The Year 12 student headed to the High Court in Wellington on Monday for a judicial review to dispute the suspension claiming that the school's hair policy was unclear... Justice Collins noted Lucan had naturally curly hair, which didn't endanger Lucan or others. "The sole issue is the length of Lucan's hair. Lucan is willing to wear his hair tied back in a neat bun. When he does this his hair is above his ears, off his collar and out of his eyes." St John's College principal Paul Melloy suspended Lucan because he refused to comply with his request that he cut his hair despite Lucan offering to tie it back in a bun."

Israel: Soldiers’ Punishment for Using Boy as ‘Human Shield’ Inadequate | Human Rights Watch - "While the Israeli military has convicted and disciplined several soldiers, Hamas authorities in Gaza have not taken any credible steps whatsoever to investigate its own troops or members of other Palestinian armed groups for alleged war crimes and serious human rights abuses during the conflict, including deliberately launching hundreds of rockets at Israeli population centers and extrajudicially executing alleged Palestinian collaborators."

Report: Hamas proposes 10-year cease-fire in return for conditions being met - "Hamas's conditions were the release of re-arrested Palestinian prisoners who were let go in the Schalit deal, the opening of Gaza-Israel border crossings in order to allow citizens and goods to pass through, and international supervision of the Gazan seaport in place of the current Israeli blockade... On Tuesday, Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said that the Islamist group had not received an official cease-fire proposal, and he repeated its position that demands it has made must be met before it lays down its weapons. Hamas's armed wing, the Kassam Brigades, rejected the reported text of the truce deal, saying: "Our battle with the enemy continues and will increase in ferocity and intensity.""
Using the promise of a ceasefire as a bargaining chip in negotiations... well played

Why Religious Hysteria Must Not Be Placated: S Rajaratnam on the banning of The Last Temptation of Christ - "“racial and religious cohesiveness” can best be ensured in Singapore by enforcing, as a matter of law, what on the basis of Mr Koo’s own analysis is the triumph of the hysterical over the sane -- Christian and non-Christian. I would have thought the best way of ensuring racial and religious harmony would be by compelling the hysterical minority to “empathise” with the sane majority. This is what Western Christian and even non-Christian countries with also a multiplicity of religions and races have had the courage to do in the face of the baying of the hysterical over this book. And as far as I know, no religious wars have erupted as a result of the courageous stand. On the contrary, placating religious hysteria is the surest way of encouraging religious intolerance and, therefore, of religious civil wars."
Funny. I thought Singapore's approach to these matters was to take a very serious view of them and crack down hard on anyone offending minorities

Mitrokhin’s KGB archive opens to public - "having grown disillusioned with the brutal oppression of the Soviet regime, he was taking secret handwritten notes of the material and smuggling them out of the building each evening. In 1992, following the collapse of the Soviet Union, he, his family and his archive were exfiltrated by the UK’s Secret Intelligence Service. Now, more than twenty years after his defection to the UK, Mitrokhin’s files are being opened by the Churchill Archives Centre, where they sit alongside the personal papers of Winston Churchill and Margaret Thatcher."

$700k windfall: Russian man outwits bank with hand-written credit contract - "Disappointed by the terms of the unsolicited offer for a credit card from Tinkoff Credit Systems in 2008, a 42-year-old Dmitry Agarkov from the city of Voronezh decided to hand write his own credits terms. The trick was that Agarkov simply scanned the bank’s document and ‘amended’ the small print with his own terms. He opted for a 0 percent interest rate and no fees, adding that the customer "is not obliged to pay any fees and charges imposed by bank tariffs." The bank, however, didn’t read ‘the amendments’, as it signed and certified the document, as well as sent the man a credit card. Under the agreement, the bank OK'd to provide unlimited credit, according to Agarkov’s lawyer Dmitry Mikhalevich talking to Kommersant daily... Agarkov also changed the URL of the site where the terms and conditions were published and hedged against the bank’s breaking of the agreement. For each unilateral change in the terms provided in the agreement, the bank would be asked to pay the customer (Agarkov) 3 million rubles ($91,000), or a cancelation fee of 6 million rubles ($182,000)... "They signed the documents without looking. They said what usually their borrowers say in court: 'We have not read it,'” says Mikhalevich"

Chinese company names line of sunglasses after Helen Keller (and they insist they knew she was blind) - "The baffling decision may seem like the result of cultural confusion, an example of an Asian firm picking a random English phrase to appear hip. However, since Keller's story is taught in many Chinese schools, it is unlikely that no one at the company understood who she was. So it seems they must have taken a deliberate decision to exploit her positive image for their business."

Feminist group slams LEGO line for girls as 'dangerous' because they have breasts and only go to beauty salons - "The organisation are also unimpressed with the pastimes the ‘LadyFigs’ are lumbered with – getting their nails done, baking and relaxing in hot tubs – in comparison to LEGO men who built spaceships, tackle crime and even fight off alien invasions... While only 10 per cent of children playing LEGO last year were girls now that figure has risen to 25 per cent."
Despite feminists' best efforts, little girls see themselves differently from little boys (and don't value traditionally female activities)
Comments: "My 10 year old daughter has breasts and loves to go into beauty salons with her mother. Does that make her "insulting, condescending and dangerous"?
Feminists should take a valium and calm down.""
"The very first Lego Friends set my daughter got was the INVENTOR'S WORKSHOP (looks like a little science lab)- how is that gender stereotyped or hypersexualized? Last month I gave my daughter the bake shop set because she wants to own her own sweets shop when she grows up; how is a little girl owning her own business so offensive to this group? Because that's exactly what this toy represents for her: her future dreams. My daughter played with her brother's Lego sets all the time, but was always wishing for something a bit more girly. She was thrilled when these sets came out. She still plays with her brother's Legos, and *gasp*, her brothers play with her Legos! (but we all know that would be acceptable to this group; having boys play with girly toys) To me, Lego has become a more balanced company by offering something for everyone. Thank you for this article, it reminds me I want to contact Lego and let them know how much my family loves the Lego Friends collection."
"it is apparent that the past sets have been boy centric. Most girls aren't interested in Aliens, Sea Monsters, and Ninjas. These sets are a great starting point for girls to get into Lego. This article and the feminist group have failed to mention that other available sets include a Tree House, Inventor Workshop, and Car set. But most importantly Legos are not about building what is on the box. It's about building anything you want."


The World's 17 Best Print Campaigns of 2013-14 | Adweek - "Client: CVV / Emotional Support Hotline
Agency: Leo Burnett Tailor Made, São Paulo, Brazil
Gold Lion Campaign
This campaign took suicide notes and rearranged the words to make them mean the opposite. The tagline is: "Inside every suicide is someone who wants to live"...
Client: Rothammer
Agency: Prolam Y&R Santiago, Chile
Gold Lion Campaign
"When love is born, a friend dies," said these guy-friendly beer ads, showing mates mourning buddies who've fallen for girls and have less time for drinking."
Similarly: Inside everyone who wants to live is someone who wants to die
Why are ads for non-English speaking countries in English?


The Fetish of Staring at Iran’s Women - NYTimes.com - "A visitor from Mars or a senior editor from New York might have been forgiven for imagining Iran as a strange land devoid of men, where fundamentalist chador-clad harridans vie for space with heathen babes guzzling cappuccinos... Professional photographers and artists, encouraged by Western curators and seeking fast-track careers, are creating a new wave of homegrown neo-Orientalism. A favorite reworking of an old cliché is the thin, beautiful young woman reclining while smoking a hookah, dancing, or otherwise at leisure in her private spaces. Ingres could sue for plagiarism. In a country where the word feminism is pejorative, there is no inkling that the values of both fundamentalism and Western consumerism are two sides of the same coin — the female body as an icon defining Iranian culture... Many Iranian women still fight for tangible legal equalities; supported by many of our menfolk, we often pay dearly in that effort, whether we wear the chador or the manteau. Showing the world our designer handbags or bra straps does not signify what we have achieved or strive for. Maybe it’s time for the world to stop measuring Iran through the bodies of its women. Maybe we should be careful that, in an effort to repossess our image from the grasp of a strict ideology, we don’t slip into a mindless production of new stereotypes."

Hamas 'Gives Gazans Guidelines For Reporting Israeli Attacks on Social Media' - "The guidelines aim to make sure that coverage of the military action by Israel in the Gaza Strip is controlled and avoids damaging Hamas' image, or leaking information that would be valuable to the Israeli Army... It is reported that the social media guidelines, published on the Hamas Interior Ministry's social media pages, instructs social media users to always refer to Gazans and Palestinians killed during the fighting as "innocent", the Israeli action as a "cruel attack", and to use the narrative of lives vs the narrative of blood to "humanise the Palestinian suffering" in conversations with Westerners. People posting on Facebook should avoid posting pictures of videos of rocket launches or masked fighters with weapons – to prevent the page being closed down by moderators, it adds."

Who’s Right and Wrong in the Middle East? - NYTimes.com - "A starting point is to put away the good vs. evil narrative and recognize this as the aching story of two peoples — each with legitimate grievances — colliding with each other. Just because the underlying conflict is between two peoples who each have plenty of right, that’s not to say that there are no villains. Hamas is violent, not only toward Israel, but toward its own people, and, in contrast to Israel, it doesn’t seem to try to minimize civilian casualties — its own or Israel’s. Hamas is not as corrupt as the Palestinian Authority, but it is far more repressive, and my impression from my visits to Gaza is that it’s also unpopular at home. Hamas sometimes seems to have more support on certain college campuses in America or Europe than within Gaza. Meanwhile, the Israeli right undermines the best partner for peace Israel has had, President Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority, and Israel’s settlements are a gift to Palestinian extremism. These days, in both Gaza and Jerusalem, hawks are in charge, and they empower each other... Israel responded to aggression by invading Lebanon in 1982 and 2006, and Gaza in 2008; each time, hawks cheered. Yet each invasion in retrospect accomplished at best temporary military gains while killing large numbers of innocents; they didn’t solve any problems. Likewise, Palestinian militancy has accomplished nothing but increasing the misery of the Palestinian people. If Palestinians instead turned more to hugeGandhi-style nonviolence resistance campaigns, the resulting videos would reverberate around the world and Palestine would achieve statehood and freedom. Some Palestinians understand this and are trying this strategy, but too many define nonviolence to include rock-throwing. No, that doesn’t cut it... For Israel, this is a chance to use diplomacy to achieve what gunpowder won’t: the marginalization of Hamas"

Health concerns for Flight Attendants - "We found deaths from illnesses caused by human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) were 16 times higher among the male flight attendants in our study compared to men from the general population. A total of 112 male flight attendants died of HIV-related illnesses. We anticipated 7 based on estimates from the general population. Other studies have also noted higher risk of dying of HIV-related illnesses among male flight attendants."

Georgina Lee - "Dear friends,
Happened in holland road. Please do not enter lift with any stranger."
If there's a video of an old Indian woman robbing someone I shall caption it "please do not enter lift with any old Indian women"

Answer to Men: What are some of the ways men feel discriminated against, that women are oblivious to? - Quora - "A lot of girls say they support LGBT people, but not if it's their boyfriend."

Cat feces could contain the cure for cancer: report - "Scientists are studying Toxoplasma gondii, a parasite common in cat feces, for the development of a cancer vaccine."

Encyclopedia of American Loons: #453: Mark Armitage - "Armitage has also written the book “Jesus is like my Scanning Electron Microscope” and given it his very own five-star review on Amazon."

Video: Underwear bomber 'wore same pants for two weeks' - "Asked by his interviewer whether the bomb's fuse had become "damp" from two weeks of wear, Mr Pistole said: "Let's say it was degraded. We're getting kind of personal now.""

Israel Calls Out UNRWA Over Shelling Claims - "UNRWA has made headlines in recent days after it was discovered that Hamas stored rockets in its schools in Gaza. UNRWA found the rockets in one of its vacant schools a week ago. It found a second batch in a vacant school on Tuesday, but said in a statement that because staff were withdrawn quickly, they were "unable to confirm the precise number." In both cases UNRWA said it "informed the relevant parties," but did not identify who had been contacted. It was later reported that rather than destroying the rockets, UNRWA workers called Hamas to come remove them. While UNRWA confirmed the existence of rockets in one of its schools last week, the organization refused an Israeli request to provide a picture of the weapons. A picture could have helped Israel show that Hamas uses civilian institutions to store weapons and launch attacks. On Wednesday, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon expressed alarmover the finding of the rockets and directed the world body to deploy experts to deal with the situation"

Gaza and Israel: The Road to War, Paved by the West - NYTimes.com - "the key issues of paying Gaza’s civil servants and opening the border with Egypt were left to fester. The new government’s ostensible supporters, especially the United States and Europe, could have pushed Egypt to ease border restrictions, thereby demonstrating to Gazans that Hamas rule had been the cause of their isolation and impoverishment. But they did not. Instead, after Hamas transferred authority to a government of pro-Western technocrats, life in Gaza became worse."

DeCal : Critical Sex Studies and Pornography - "No prior experience with pornography or critical theories is needed, as Critical Sex Studies and Pornography will be a safe space to learn, share, and experience."
How can any class dealing with pornography be "safe"?

Why your rigid ‘born this way’ stance won’t cure homophobia - "In her new book “Straight Expectations,” radical feminist writer and campaigner Julie Bindel has recently and very publicly claimed that she’s not convinced by the scientific argument that sexual orientation is innate and she feels she chose to be lesbian. She received a vitriolic response from the gay community on social media, with comments calling her “stupid,” “confused,” and “an awful human being.” One reader comment on Pink News stated that “Julie Bindell’s [sic] suggestion that being gay is a choice is downright offensive to me!”... nobody questions the biological basis of sex and race and yet sexism and racism continue to exist. She also questions whether the notion of choice necessarily lends itself more to the idea of a “cure” than the notion of a “gay gene” or fetal hormone theories. After all, the Nazis were interested in research on the biological basis of homosexuality in order to eradicate it... Even if the biological basis of sexual orientation were proved beyond all doubt, those who subscribe to heterosexist religious ideologies which view non-heterosexuality as morally inferior could argue that while we cannot choose who we are sexually attracted to, we can choose whether to act upon those sexual desires. The “born this way” argument cannot dodge the question of morality; science can never replace the need for thorough and tight moral argument. Either same-sex relationships are of equal moral value to heterosexual relationships or they are not. We should be proudly proclaiming that they are — not attacking those in our own community who experience or make sense of their sexuality differently than we as individuals might choose (yes, choose) to do."

The benefit that became an incentive to divorce - "Many commentators predicted that the Working Families Tax Credit would increase the number of children raised by single mothers. If you make raising a child outside of any partnership financially more attractive than raising one within the confines of marriage or cohabitation, they argued, then more women will choose single motherhood. Still, hard evidence to prove it has been lacking – until now. The prestigious Journal of Economics has published "The Effect of In-Work Benefit Reform in Britain on Couples: Theory and Evidence". It is a technical paper, with the usual quota of equations and graphs so beloved of economists, but its collection and analysis of the data is very thorough and its conclusion is very clear: the introduction of the Working Families Tax Credit has increased the divorce or separation rate by a staggering 160 per cent among women married to or living with a partner who either does not work, or who earns very little because he works part-time."
Despite what liberals think, people do respond to incentives - even for non-economic decisions

First dengue vaccine 'shows promise'

Yo-yo dieter Michael Hebranko loses 65 stone... then piles them back on again
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