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Valar Qringaomis

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Saturday, September 20, 2014

Links - 20th September 2014

Candlelight vigil for Roy Ngerng’s trial ordeal
Is he dead?

The King’s Singers: An Interview with David Hurley | The Oxford Culture Review - "We tend to approach music as just that - a piece of music that has been created to communicate something to the listener. Therefore we are most interested in finding the best way to connect with the audience through the music. We are less interested in being authentic in our performance, and we’re happy to adjust the music to fit our sound and line-up. We don’t ever offer our version as the definitive version. This was definitely the case with our recording of Thomas Tallis’s Spem in alium. We used multi-tracking recording techniques to layer up the 40 parts of Tallis’s masterpiece, more as an experiment than anything. However when we had sung the last notes we set up the recording desk to play the whole performance. The truth is that most recordings are full of edits, where different performances are stitched together to create the ‘perfect’ version. The techniques we used for this recording come from the world of studio pop recording, so it was interesting to see the technique used on a Renaissance piece. Generally in concert repertoire we subtly change the way we sing the different styles, almost without realising it."

Stanislav Petrov: The man who may have saved the world - "Thirty years ago, on 26 September 1983, the world was saved from potential nuclear disaster. In the early hours of the morning, the Soviet Union's early-warning systems detected an incoming missile strike from the United States. Computer readouts suggested several missiles had been launched. The protocol for the Soviet military would have been to retaliate with a nuclear attack of its own. But duty officer Stanislav Petrov - whose job it was to register apparent enemy missile launches - decided not to report them to his superiors, and instead dismissed them as a false alarm. This was a breach of his instructions, a dereliction of duty. The safe thing to do would have been to pass the responsibility on, to refer up. But his decision may have saved the world... Now, 30 years on, Mr Petrov thinks the odds were 50-50. He admits he was never absolutely sure that the alert was a false one. He says he was the only officer in his team who had received a civilian education. "My colleagues were all professional soldiers, they were taught to give and obey orders," he told us. So, he believes, if somebody else had been on shift, the alarm would have been raised."

The Problem with “Check your Privilege” - "“Check your privilege” is an arrogant phrase that really means “I know more than you. So shut up.” This only creates division among people and makes people feel guilty about things that they have no control over. I am not a man, but I should be allowed to voice an opinion on Selective Service and the male circumcision debate. We will never be able to overcome ugly racism and sexism if we refuse to engage in two-way discussions. The worst part about the concept of privilege is that it creates preconceived judgments about strangers. You cannot know someone’s full story by simply looking at their physical characteristics. As a woman, it would be presumptuous to conclude that a straight white male acquaintance has it easier than me, or is inherently privileged. Perhaps I should check my prejudice and acknowledge that I do not have enough personal information about this individual to make that claim. Perhaps he grew up poor? He has a learning disability? He is physically unattractive? He is battling a life threatening disease? We probably all know the old phrase about what happens when you assume, and what it makes out of you and me. Privilege puts people into groups, instead of seeing people as individuals. The concept tries to fit multidimensional people into neat little boxes. It doesn’t work that way... The concept of privilege is Eurocentric and becomes inconsistent when applied to different locations... I do not know what it is like to live as a gay man or a black woman. But here’s the thing: I will never know what it is like to be another individual. Period. No one on the face of the earth has lived a life identical to mine. The world would be a better place if we did not make arrogant assumptions about people based on superficial classifications"

Man Builds A Suit To Turn Himself Into A Human Fireworks Display, Lives - "Remember those crazy, fully functional Wolverine claws? That was him. Or the shoes that let their inventor walk on the ceiling? Those were his too. The wrist-worn flamethrows? Yep, him."

Amazon is killing my sex life - "I spent a half hour or more listening to him talk about his job. Since I am not in the tech industry, I don’t understand any of it. It was all job speak-the type of language ladder-climbers use; it was the kind of talk that shuts vaginas down cold... in the 25-44 age group, Seattle “has 119 single men for every 100 single women, slightly better than San Francisco at 121-but equal if you add in the impact from nearby Bellevue, which is an awful 144”... The gender disparity is bad enough in San Francisco that one company, The Dating Ring, has resorted to flying women into San Fran from other cities... You might think an abundance of men is a great thing, but as a wise woman once said, “The odds may be good, but the goods are odd”... They had money, but they were boring. They had a lot to say about their job, but their development as a complete human being seemed to be stunted. And they exhibited little to no interest in the other person at the table... “I often hear women say they either date A-holes or nerds-or if they’re really lucky, both in one”... I am a journalist, so I am very good at asking questions to get people to talk about themselves. But this was like squeezing blood from a stone... What was it about guys who work in tech that made them worse than lawyers or other white-collar industries? In a way they exhibit some of the same qualities of those professions-ego, arrogance, and unlimited amounts of cash. In San Francisco, said Violet, “There were a lot of men to date with disposable income who wanted to take women out. It’s just, it was so boring,” she said. “My dating life went from dating artists and writers and going on cheap but exciting dates, to men who thought the ability to buy someone an expensive meal made them interesting”... With the advent of programming as a mainstream career, the nerdy, awkward programmer who liked Game of Thrones before it was a TV show has been supplanted by cocky, arrogant guys who, in another life, would go into finance. It is bad enough that I’ve include a line on my OKCupid account: “NO: Brogrammers.”"

What Hannah Arendt understood about irony that David Foster Wallace didn’t - "Knott, a journalist and author living in Berlin, set out to explore how Arendt, a German Jew and one of the 20th century’s great political and moral thinkers, made sense of her times. As Knott puts it (in David Dollenmayer’s supple English translation), Arendt’s experiences in Nazi Germany forced her to deploy certain ways of thinking to find “escape routes from the dead ends of existing traditional conceptions of the world and the human being.” One of those intellectual tools was irony, or, as Knott also calls it, “laughter.”"

Penis size defence fails to work:Man guilty of sexual assault(Oh, those crazy Canucks) - "A 22-year-old student, who can't be identified, claimed his penis is too big to insert into an average vagina without special preparation or it causes bleeding and scarring. A urologist brought to court a plastic model that depicted the size of the member at a semi-relaxed state, which measured 8 1/2 inches long and 6 1/2 inches in girth"

Variation in Orgasm Occurrence by Sexual Orientation in a Sample of U.S. Singles - Garcia - 2014 - The Journal of Sexual Medicine - Wiley Online Library - "For men, mean occurrence rate of orgasm did not vary by sexual orientation: heterosexual men 85.5%, gay men 84.7%, bisexual men 77.6%... For women, however, mean occurrence rate of orgasm varied significantly by sexual orientation: heterosexual women 61.6%, lesbian women 74.7%, bisexual women 58.0%... Lesbian women had a significantly higher probability of orgasm than did either heterosexual or bisexual women (P < 0.05)." Nude Celebrity Photos Leak, World Peace Breaks Out - "Multiple sources confirmed there would be temporary cease-fires at conflict zones around the world in what is being dubbed a “humanitarian” move to allow soldiers and rebel groups to get to a computer and view the massive trove of nude celebrity photos that leaked online Sunday. The cease-fires between Israel and Gaza, Ukraine and Russia, and on the Korean peninsula and elsewhere are being hailed by activists as the first time prayers for world peace have finally been answered. Hopes for long-standing calm were soon dashed however, after ISIS militants resumed their fight against Syrian and Iraqi soldiers when they learned the leaked images had no goats among them."

Don't Be Silly, Hello Kitty Is a Cat - "In short, you cannot remove the cat element from Hello Kitty. So, it goes without saying that Hello Kitty is not a house cat like Tom from Tom and Jerry. Well, Mickey Mouse isn't a mouse like Jerry, either. He can drive a car. Over the years, he's had various jobs. He even has a pet-a dog named Pluto. But, Mickey Mouse is indeed a mouse, just like Hello Kitty is a cat."

The Hypocrisy in the Fappening Backlash - "'No matter how they did it, the flaccid-dicked trashcans who spread the hacked photos around are now under Apple scrutiny... First, I’m not sure using sexually demeaning language against those you accuse of a sexually demeaning act is a good strategy. I understand your feelings on what they did, I even agree with them, but I see no reason to stoop to their level. Secondly, and this is the big issue. This is a very different stance than the one Kate Knibbs took on the Anthony Weiner sexting scandal... Kate is blaming Weiner for his pics getting leaked to the public, but she is blaming Jennifer Lawrence’s hackers. I understand the difference between accidentally putting pictures in iCloud and sending them through twitter. Isn’t that really just the “she was asking for it” argument again though? I also get that Anthony Wiener was married and his wife was pregnant, would it be any less of a sexual assault if it happened to a woman who was cheating? Weiner was the butt of late night jokes and had to make a public apology, Jennifer Lawrence is just a victim. This does not of course make Jennifer Lawrence any less of a victim, she certainly is. I just find it interesting that this scandal was the one that outraged us... Kate Knibbs described Anthony Weiner as “lewd.” Maybe the real lesson of “the Fappening” is that we should rethink not just our attitude on sex scandals and hacking, but how we judge people."
Comment: "Were people outraged when Tiger Wood's private texts were released / sold to the media? Of course, not. He was a cheating bastard. Don Sterling being illegally recorded...

Answer to Has Apple or Google had a larger positive impact on humanity? - Quora - "Google has made a greater amount of knowledge available to a large segment of the global population. As a software engineer, PhD student, and all-around curious human being, I can't overstate the impact Google has had on my life.
Apple has made shinier toys appealing to our inner apes."

Answer to Ex-Muslims: How did it feel to leave Islam? - Quora - "The thing about Islam that really annoyed me the most was not Hijab, Polygamy or Terrorism. But when I learnt that we as Muslims are not encouraged to have many Non-Muslim friends or to put it in a proper way, "We should prefer Muslim friends over Non-Muslim ones"."
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