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Valar Qringaomis

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Sunday, October 12, 2014

Links - 12th October 2014

ISIS Clothing For Sale As Indonesian Retailers Cash In On Iraq Crisis [PHOTOS] - "Mostly based in Indonesia, the retailers have set up shop on Facebook to hawk their wares. Kaos Islamic State of Iraq and Sham, a Bandung, Indonesia-based outlet, sells black T-shirts featuring the phrase “We Are All ISIS” with a gun similar to an AK-47 and Arabic text above. The shirts, along with other variants of ISIS clothing, sell for around $7 on retailer’s Facebook page. Also in Indonesia, Rezji.com, the self-proclaimed “ultimate clothing brand for [the] Islamic movement,” urges Muslims to “support” ISIS by buying polo shirts with an ISIS badge emblazoned on the left side of the chest. The “100% Super Cotton” shirts go for about 80,000 rupiahs ($6.67) plus a “bonus inside” that ships with an order. For 50,000 rupiahs ($4.17), the online retailer sells ISIS figurines clad in all-black clothing and clutching a rifle. Similar figures show figures in traditional Muslim garb wearing a shirt with the Palestinian flag on it. Orders come with a “bonus sticker.” Kavkaz (Caucasian) Struggle Wear, also based in Bandung, publicized its “Jihad Series” of T-shirts, which show keffiyeh-draped men clutching a rifle with the words “Jihad is our choice” written below... Other Hamas hoodies featuring the Al-Qassam Brigades, the Palestinian group’s military arm, are sold out. The website also features "anti-Zionist" T-shirts, including one showing a sword going through the skull of a skeleton wearing a Jewish star headband (also sold out.)"

LIZ JONES: Worry about real crime, not a fantasy Game Of Thrones 'rape' - "The director – conscious of the furore surrounding what female commentators on the blogosphere have been saying is clearly a rape scene, which means they are going to boycott the series – has defended it by describing the act as ‘consensual’. Of course, this means there have been calls for his head. But I’m afraid, in this instance, I have to side with the oppressor. The woman barely screams. There is no weapon. The two have a history (viz, the incestuous, if dead, offspring). Because you know what? Rape with no violence, and little resistance, is in no way comparable to what the Russians did to the inhabitants of Berlin. A little faux resistance does not a crime make. My feeling is that women should stop being so pathetic. We cannot have everything our own way: equal pay, year-long maternity leave, seats given up on the Tube, while on the other hand we get in a stew over a fictional bit of nonsense where a woman struggles, tossing her long blonde hair, before getting down and dirty and sighing with pleasure. I mean, even Carrie Bradshaw does exactly this in the elevator with Mr Big before the two embark on their extramarital affair."

Mike Rowe - Mike Rowe's Photos - "I mean no disrespect to the 500 or so individuals who have publicly challenged me to participate. And God knows, I’m in near constant need of a cold shower. But as a guy who has represented some rather large, profitable companies while running a non-profit foundation, I’ve got some opinions on the subject of persuasion, especially as it applies to fundraising. And I’ve been struggling with how to share those thoughts in a way that will not make me look like a douche-bag... According to the experts, 50% to 70% of all the money collected as a result of the Ice Bucket Challenge will directly impact future contributions to other charities in an equal and opposite way. In other words, if The ALS Association collects a $100 million - as it’s on track to do - other charities competing for the same dollars will collect between $50 and $70 million LESS. Thus, the largest donations do not necessarily go to those charities that serve the most people or do the best research - they go to those that who market themselves in the most effective way... a foundation accustomed to working for decades on a million dollars or so in annual donations, will now have to manage a $75 million jackpot. That worries me, as it should anyone who has ever studied the fate of lottery winners. That’s not their fault, but it doesn’t change the situation, and I’m not inclined to challenge more people to send more money to coffers that are already overflowing... Jill did several difficult things. She vowed to walk, at a time when walking wasn’t so easy. She committed her time, her energy, and her passion to a cause that mattered deeply to her. And most importantly, she made the whole thing personal. That made me want to help her. Not just because she's my friend - but because she was helping herself. The Ice Bucket Challenge is different. Here, people I’ve never met give me 24 hours to either write a check to a charity I’m not familiar with, or dump a bucket of cold water over my head. Tell me honestly - if that precise challenge arrived to you privately, via the US Mail, what would you do with it? You’d throw it in the trash, right? But a public challenge is not so easy to ignore. Online, everyone is watching. Your friends. Your co-workers. Your clients. Maybe even your boss"

Ban for Horlicks and noodle ads - "The Horlicks advert said the malt drink had been tested on pupils at a boarding school, and included a voiceover saying, "Children have become taller, stronger and sharper. The Horlicks challenge - now proven. See for yourself." GlaxoSmithKline, maker of Horlicks, said the version of the product sold in Bangladesh was fortified and its health claims were supported by clinical studies done by the National Institute of Nutrition in India. Horlicks sold in the UK, however, is not fortified and GSK said there was no intention of advertising it as such here. Nestle made a similar point about its Maggi Noodles which in Bangladesh are also fortified. In the advert, a mother explained to her child: "Maggi is the best because it has essential protein and calcium that help to build strong muscles and bones.""
Ahh.. consumer protection laws!

Lebanon official urges punishment for ISIS flag burning - "Lebanon's Minister of Justice [official website] on Saturday called for the "sternest punishments" to the individuals in Beirut who burned the flags of the militant groups the Islamic State of Iraq (ISIS) and the Al-Nusra Front. It isreported [Asharq Al-Awsat report] that Minister Ashraf Rifi issued a highly criticized statement which has urged the Lebanon state prosecutor to bring justice to the individuals who participated in the flag burning activities at Sassine Square in Beriut. Minister Rifi claims that the flag burner's actions were condemning and insulting to the faith of Islam because inscribed on the ISIS flag is the Muslim Shahada which is a declaration of faith. Rifi stated in regards to the inscriptions on the ISIS flag, “[t]here is no god but God and Muhammad is his Prophet, which has nothing to do with ISIS and its terrorist approach." Under Lebanese law, it is illegal to defame religious symbols which in turn may incite sectarian conflict. Pictures of the individuals burning the militant groups flags on Saturday were discovered on Facebook and revealed that the actions were a response to the recent beheading of member of the Lebanese armed forces by ISIS."
Priorities!

The Worse the Economy Gets, Longer People Live: Orszag - "These cross-state data are consistent with historical patterns that economists Douglas Miller, Marianne Page, Ann Stevens and Mateusz Filipski have found. Their research shows that a one-percentage-point increase in a state’s unemployment rate is associated with a 0.5 percent reduction in the state’s mortality rate. During the Great Depression, too, life expectancy rose, according to research by Jose Tapia Granados and Ana Diez Roux of the University of Michigan. As they conclude, “The evolution of population health during the years 1920-1940 confirms the counter-intuitive hypothesis that, as in other historical periods and market economies, population health tends to evolve better during recessions than in expansions.” How could this be? In a series of important papers, Christopher Ruhm, an economist at the University of Virginia, has explored the reasons. It appears that while suicide rates rise during downturns, other types of fatalities, such as from motor-vehicle accidents, fall more. The surprising findings apply even to heart attacks... when there is less economic activity, hazards such as air pollution and traffic congestion are less severe. Smoking and obesity also tend to decline, Ruhm has found."

The Western stars of Chinese adverts - "Steven Weathers isn't a doctor, but he has played one on TV - in China. He has also played an engineer, a pirate and the man who watched a pretty girl go by. China is newly wealthy, and consumers have been on a shopping spree. That means plenty of TV ads and an unexpected opportunity for foreigners in China to become the stars of those commercials. Weathers, an American, was teaching literature and advertising in Shanghai when he answered his first casting call. He thought he might make a little pocket money, but TV work came pouring in. He has a look casting agents in China are hungry for - tall, fair-skinned and blue-eyed. Almost immediately, he noticed a trend: "Early on, most of those roles were for the foreign expert," he says. "So I always had the lab coat, always had glasses on, in the laboratory or on the design floor." Even when Weathers was cast in a long underwear commercial, he was still the foreign expert: "I thought, 'Am I going to be in the underwear?' And they said, 'No, no, you're the scientist who came up with the fabric.'""

Saving Net Neutrality the BitTorrent Way - "Klinker says Internet providers should pay people who, like him, voluntarily renounce bandwidth hogging, just like electricity companies encourage people to use more power in off-peak hours. "This would relieve pressure on the network, yield a better experience for users and would be worth real money to the ISPs," he argues. "Additionally, there would be no unnatural pressure for the ISP to deliberately degrade the base service in order to manufacture demand for the priority service, as some have suggested might happen"... If we truly want a neutral Internet in which all traffic is created equal, we should be happy to pay for our actual usage. That would be fair, and providers would not need to create fast or slow lanes. If, on the other hand, we want the convenience of a fixed payment, net neutrality is no more than a meaningless fetish."
Subscribed speed is a proxy for usage

Editor's note: Our withdrawn review "Blood cotton" | The Economist - "In our review of “The Half Has Never Been Told: Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism” by Edward Baptist, we said: “Mr Baptist has not written an objective history of slavery. Almost all the blacks in his book are victims, almost all the whites villains.” There has been widespread criticism of this, and rightly so. Slavery was an evil system, in which the great majority of victims were blacks, and the great majority of whites involved in slavery were willing participants and beneficiaries of that evil. We regret having published this and apologise for having done so. We have therefore withdrawn the review, but in the interests of transparency the text remains available only on this special page and appears below."
There're some things you just can't say...

North Korea 'backs Scottish independence' - "North Korea is rich in natural resources and we like the taste of Scotch whisky, so we can be beneficial to each other"

Medical Cannabis Laws and Opioid Analgesic Overdose Mortality in the United States, 1999-2010. - "Medical cannabis laws are associated with significantly lower state-level opioid overdose mortality rates"

Taking public transit to work may keep you fitter: study

Kick Your Smoking Habit With...Magic Mushrooms? - "the rate of nicotine abstinence for the study’s participants stood at 80 percent after six months, a markedly higher rate than typical success rates in smoking cessation trials. Varenicline, typically considered the drug most effective in curbing a smoking habit, has demonstrated only a 35 percent success rate after six months. Nicotine replacement and behavioral therapy alone, by contrast, usually have a success rate of less than 30 percent. Researchers note that the benefits last even after participants came down from the mind-altering drug."
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