"Malaysia Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad and the Sultan of Johor are seen in a blue Proton Saga... "When asked whether there is any tension with the sultan, Dr Mahathir said: “No, I don’t see anything because I went to see him and he drove me to the airport. I don’t want to comment on the sultans because if I say anything that is not good then it’s not nice because he is the sultan”"

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Sunday, September 21, 2014

Links - 21st September 2014

Vera Vanwyngarden's answer to Why are Singaporean men unattractive to many Singaporean women such that the women would rather be unattached than to date them? - Quora - "what doesnt work for me for Singaporean men is that they are pretty mundane and somewhat all the same practical average joe. They all like almost the same genre of things, work in similar jobs or places and look similar as well. Of course not everyone is that typical white collar guy but what are the odds that you meet someone interesting and different?"

Muslim Hijab Linked To Less Negative Body Image Among Women - "Psychologists using a wider range of body image measures have found that British Muslim women who wear a hijab generally have more positive body image, are less reliant on media messages about beauty ideals, and place less importance on appearance than those who do not wear a hijab. These effects appear to be driven by use of a hijab specifically, rather than religiosity."
If women who wear hijabs have better body image, are women who don't cover up engaging in self-harm?

You’re Reacting to Celebgate Wrong - "“Turn off your iCloud account. Never put anything online!”
That’s goofy advice. Internet services are useful. They save us time and hassle. They keep all our gadgets and computers — calendars, address books, email — conveniently synchronized. Shut them off? OK, fine. And then never leave the house again, because you might get hit by lightning... If you’re anyone else — well, with all due respect to your ego, hackers probably have very little interest in your naked photos. So before you go ripping the Internet cables out of your walls, pause to consider the actual odds of anyone bothering to hack your photo accounts... each company — Apple, Google, whoever — needs some way to let you reset your password if you forget it. (A lot of people forget their passwords. A lot. And no wonder; nobody could possibly remember hundreds of different, complex, long, patternless passwords, like the security experts exhort us to create.)"

Malaysia lesbian couple arrested by religious officers in hotel raid - "The women, both students aged 20 and 21, were not initially suspected of breaching 'close proximity' laws but officers became wary when the women remained silent as they searched the room. When a sex toy was found, one of the women admitted they were a lesbian couple. On further questioning, she said they had not yet used the toy, which had just been removed from its packaging after recently being bought online. The women were arrested for lesbian sex under section 26 of the state’s Shariah law and taken to a police station for booking, then to the religious department's office for further action. They could face up to three months in jail, six cane strokes and a fine of RM5,000."

Dear The Real Singapore, ITE students selling sex on Facebook | The Real Singapore - "I have already made a police report because I am afraid my husband will get horny after being added by this group of ITE students and find them for sex."

Singapore Seen | Unfaithful Vivian Lee wants sex blogger Alvin Tan back after she slept with his best friend - "According to a report in The New Paper, Alvin said he confronted Vivian and his friend after he caught them having sex. “What did you expect me to do? Say ‘oops, I’m sorry’ and close the door? This is not cool... not honest”... Of her love for him, she said: “I’m not sexually exclusive to Alvin, but I’m emotionally exclusive to him.”

Kenyan HIV Positive Woman: 'I Infected 324 Men' - "The girl, 19, whose name is unknown, says she has set her target for at least 2,000 men acting in revenge after she was infected by a man at a party."
I like how they cleaned up her English

Ohio day care accused of running toddler fight club

Polar bears: Threatened species or political pawn? - "Biologist Mitchell Taylor has studied polar bears and advised governments for more than thirty years, living in the high Arctic for much of that time. “They’ve certainly been around through the last interglacial period,” says Taylor. “During that interglacial it was warmer than it is now: we had pine trees on Baffin Island, deciduous forests north of the Arctic Circle. Polar bears had to have survived that or we wouldn’t be seeing polar bears now,” he says. Taylor asserts that polar bear populations "don't appear to be declining" in any group that he is "aware of so far," and that the science of estimating polar bear numbers has never been precise. He says that many of the current estimates are based upon a lacking methodology, admitting that some of his previous work incorporated the allegedly faulty technique as well. Taylor says the problem lies in the way population estimates are extrapolated from samples. “When you don’t sample the whole area you underestimate survival, you underestimate population numbers, and in fact the culmination of those biases can result in a scientific estimate that suggests a decline when none exists.”"

Pregnant woman flees home over hubby’s fetish - "A pregnant woman has run away from home after being repeatedly forced by her husband to have sex with a Bangladeshi worker to satisfy his own sexual fetish."

Most Hated Asian Countries - Top Ten List - TheTopTens.com - "1. South Korea
2. China
3. North Korea
4. Pakistan
5. Russia
6. India
7. Syria
8. Afghanistan
9. Iran
10. Saudi Arabia"

Fatal stabbing of cabby: No grounds for death penalty, says judge - "Prosecutors had asked for the death penalty as a deterrent, arguing the offence was against a public transport worker and producing data on violence against cabbies in the past five years. Justice Lee agreed there had been a number of cases of taxi drivers being seriously hurt. "But there is no upward trend nor are the numbers high - the range of such offences varies from two a year to seven a year in the last five years." The judge said public transport workers spanned a wide range, from those who operated buses or trains with many passengers to taxis, which carried far fewer. Said the judge: "The degree of punishment imposed could correspond to the degree of danger posed to the public"... The judge also took issue with prosecutors for suggesting there was a high degree of premeditation and planning on Wang's part - "without stating this was in relation to the offence of robbery and not the murder". That "puzzling" submission "only had the unfortunate effect of causing the media reports of the case to be misreported", said Justice Lee."

Students question ‘affirmative consent’ bill designed to combat sexual assaults - "A pair of friends at Cal State Long Beach said the bill seemed well-intentioned, but questioned how practical it is when it comes to ensuring consent throughout sex with their partners. “I feel like their hearts are in the right place, but the implementation is a little too excessive,” said Henry Mu, a 24-year-old biology major. “Are there guidelines? Are we supposed to check every five minutes?” The remark drew laughter from his friend and fellow 49er, Sue Tang. “If you were to do that, it would definitely kill the vibe,” said Tang, 27... Critics of SB 967 say the “one-in-five” women statistic is dubious, and is used by legislators and universities to create a climate of fear on campus that ignores the rights of the accused. Samantha Harris, director of policy research at the Philadelphia-based nonprofit Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, said the statistic comes from a 2007 federally funded Campus Sexual Assault Study using broad definitions of sexual violence to inflate the prevalence of the problem. “Depending on their answers, they were classified as victims, regardless of whether they had identified themselves as victims,” Harris said. “If somebody replied as having sex when drunk then they would be classified as a victim. Sexual assault on campus is a serious issue, but you have to get those numbers right”... Other critics of SB 967 say the proposed law is too vague and doesn’t represent consensual sexual interaction in the real world. “To me, this bill turns most people into sexual assaulters”... He wondered if romantic partners would need to ask each other’s permission for a kiss or hug. Bader also said he was concerned about false accusations. “If someone can be nasty enough to rape, can someone be nasty enough to lie and say (the victim) verbally consented?” Bader said. “Are they going to pass a law saying don’t lie?” When asked how an innocent person is to prove he or she indeed received consent, Lowenthal said, “Your guess is as good as mine. I think it’s a legal issue. Like any legal issue, that goes to court.”

California lawmakers would require students to get a 'yes' before sex - "How does a person prove they receive consent "shy of having it videotaped"... the bill is inherently “reversing” the traditional presumption of innocence for those accused because the accused now have to prove they did get permission to be found not guilty -- at least in college disciplinary hearings... The bill, as currently written, puts the onus on getting consent from the "initiating" partner. That could also cause confusion. “That’s going to be a question – who initiated the sexual activity – it’s not always clear who initiated the sexual activity,” said Dan Subotnik, a professor of law at Touro University Law School who has written critically about affirmative consent laws."

No English Please, We're Foreigners - GaijinPot - "the only English sentence she knows is “I’m sorry, I am Russian. I don’t speak English.” My Russian friend speaks Japanese (close to) fluently. She works part-time at a Japanese company, has lived in Japan for a while, and studies Japanese every day. We make quite a pair when we go out together. Sitting at a cafe, strolling through Yoyogi Park, or shopping in Shimokitazawa – it’s like we’re carrying a big, plastic sign with the words “Talk to us in English” scrawled across... in the six months I’ve known her, this has happened twice. Someone will talk to us in English, she will reply in Japanese, and they will keep pressing English on her, assuming she is lying (after all, she’s white. All white people speak English, right?)"

75-Killer-Pikachu-Costume.jpg (JPEG Image, 480 × 500 pixels)

BMJ Blogs: Journal of Medical Ethics blog » Blog Archive » Why Is Infanticide Worse Than Abortion? - "John Harris has argued that we should strike down the thought that it is being born that makes the difference. As he once put it, “the geographical location of the developing human, whether it is inside the womb or not, is not the sort of thing that can make a moral difference”... The cheapest and easiest response to this challenge is to merely bang the table and assert the sheer obviousness of the difference that birth makes. As an example of this approach, Richard Nicholson once accused John Harris of indulging in “a philosopher’s mind game”. He continued, “He is wrong in saying there is no moral change that occurs in the process of birth. That is a change that is recognised in the law. Most parents would recognise their views about their newborn baby are considerably different than their views about the foetus in the mother a day earlier.” All this, one feels, may be true; but it is hardly intellectually satisfying. Just because most parents would feel differently, it doesn’t in itself follow that they are justified in changing their feelings this way. It’s weak to counter an argument that puts forward reasons by merely appealing to force of numbers – pointing out that most people judge the same way you do... This is something that is extremely difficult to do within the confines of analytic philosophy. For such articulation of the phenomenology of our fundamental moral commitments, literature is far more powerful. I’ll conclude this post with a bit from Tolstoy’s Anna Karenin, which perhaps provides some of this vision. Levin is struck by wonder at the birth of his son"
Basically: "We can't justify our moral intuitions (i.e. prejudices) so we shall just wave our hands and appeal to emotion"
Comment: "Banging the table with Tolstoy is still banging the table, even if it makes a louder thump... what puts a practice so far beyond the pale that it is not just a serious moral wrong to do it, but a serious moral wrong to advocate it and a serious moral wrong to facilitate the advocacy of it?"
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