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More adventurous than the average bear

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Monday, October 13, 2014

Links - 13th October 2014

Watch Former Violinist Naomi Elishuv Play Mozart While Undergoing Brain Surgery At Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center In Israel - "Under a local anesthetic, Elishuv was awake during surgery but felt no pain while surgeons poked and prodded her brain. She was asked to play her instrument while doctors searched for the affected area. When they did locate the site of the tremors, Elishuv’s playing began to improve. Fried’s team inserted an electrode with four leads through a tiny hole drilled into her skull. “When we turned on the electric current, we saw the tremor melt away,” Fried said, “and Naomi continued to play the violin beautifully. This is the first time ever that I have performed brain surgery on a person who played the violin during the operation. We enjoyed the private concert of a talented and noble performer. I hope now she will be able to perform before a larger audience.”"

Sex education in Poland faces legal challenge - "Anybody teaching sex education in Poland could face up to two years behind bars under draft legislation proposed by anti-paedophile campaigners. Backed by a petition boasting some 250,000 signatures, supporters of the proposal argue that sex education in school can promote sexual behaviour in minors and undermine their morality."

Can U.S. border guards turn me away for saying I've smoked pot? - "“If you admit you’ve smoked marijuana or plan to, you can be banned permanently – there’s no due process, no right to a trial and it’s not appealable,” says Mark Belanger, a Vancouver lawyer who works on border issues. “Anything drug-related is typically a crime involving moral turpitude. Those are magic words and you’ll be banned from entering the United States.” So, you don’t need to have a drug conviction to be turned away for drug crimes under Section 212 of the U.S. Immigration and Nationality Act. A couple of puffs could be enough. All it takes is an admission that you’ve knowingly used an illegal drug, either because you’ve answered an officer’s question or you’ve been chatty and volunteered the information. You won’t go to jail, but you will get told to turn your car around and head back to Canada."

Nude Jennifer Lawrence photos: why don't naked pictures of men get leaked? - "Today, in what may be the most overblown deployment of intelligence personnel in human history, the FBI has launched a “manhunt” to find the hacker – when presumably its time might be better spent trying to find the perpetrators behind the beheading of American journalist James Foley or other Westerners fighting as IS jihadists. Which begs the question: would the same hysterical response have ensued if the leaked pictures were of men? Interestingly, there appears to be only one bloke on the list: Dave Franco, a hunky American actor who appeared in 21 Jump Street and is popular with teens (Google him, although it might take you a while to find him). Even in the case of these images, Franco appears to be little more than an insignificant co-star. The fact that 100 of the 101 targets are women firstly proves the bleeding obvious: most hackers are bored, hormonal, time-rich young men. Also, plenty of men out there can be tempted to pay hard moolah for celebrity images... Nude male celebrity images just don't carry the same financial clout. It might also be true to say there's a lot less male material to hack and steal in the first place. It would appear to be the case that men are largely less selfie-obsessed than women, and that we mostly don’t take pictures of our appendages, anxious that they are smaller and uglier than we’d perhaps like. And if we do take selifes “down there”, we probably make sure you can’t tell it’s us in the photos... men, you'd have to conclude, have it easier than women in this regard. Dave Franco will probably find that this is the best thing that could have happened to him as far as his film career goes. But that's not to say the effect on Ms Lawrence and co is necessarily as devastating as Lena Dunham would have you believe. Let's be brutally honest: none of this hacking hoo-hah will do her career any real harm whatsoever."

Women, stop moaning about childbirth. Men can deal with pain, too - "“I gave birth. FOUR TIMES!” says my wife whenever she wants to win an argument... It is a trope of all sitcoms, Hollywood films, marital rows and Mr Muscle adverts, that men are wimps, while women are superhuman towers of strength. If men had to go through the agony of giving birth, my wife argues, the human race would die out. But this just isn’t true. A study, undertaken by the University of Malaga, published recently in The Journal of Pain, found there was little or no differences between the sexes when it came to the ability to cope with pain... This is the latest in a long line of studies that suggest women are very much the weaker sex when it comes to pain. Or certainly no more macho than men."

Why I no longer hold doors open for women - "I will remind her of Doris Lessing's despair when she was in a class of nine- and 10-year olds (the same age as our daughter) where the teacher was blaming the incidence of war on the innately violent nature of men. Lessing wrote: "You could see the little girls, fat with complacency and conceit while the little boys sat there crumpled, apologising for their existence, thinking this was going to be the pattern of their lives." I don't want this to be the picture of my daughter's schooling. Or any other part of their upbringing."

Do men really think women look better without any make-up? - "I didn’t realise until quite late in life that some women don’t just wear make-up, they wear a full-on disguise – the sort you might adopt if you were evading capture. At university one of new flatmates came downstairs late one night and I thought we were being burgled... half of women admit to doing their make-up at least four times a day and a whopping 67 per cent only go bare-faced twice a month.

Google Chrome is to blame for a massive increase in online ad blocking

Mother who entered Singapore illegally to look for son given 10 weeks' jail - "The 30-year-old woman - whose name and nationality cannot be revealed to protect the identity of the boy - entered the country to take back her two-year-old son, of whom she had custody over as ruled by the English Court in January. However, she entered the country illegally via a vessel from Langkawi because her husband had previously made police reports against her and she was afraid of being arrested on arrival. She pleaded guilty to illegal entry into Singapore last Thursday... The woman had contracted Child Abduction Recovery International in June this year. Whittington then contacted Wilson, and met him five days before the plan to take the boy was carried out. Deputy Public Prosecutor Ailene Chou said Whittington had entered Singapore to conduct reconnaissance, such as the layout of the grandparents' residence and their daily routine. He also researched the vessel route from Langkawi to Singapore, and found out that Raffles Marina Club had an armed guard only during the club's operating hours between 9am and 5pm. He also prepared supplies for the vessel, including a passport and diapers for the boy."
So Child Abduction Recovery International abducts children

xkcd: Citogenesis - "Where Citations Come From: Through a convoluted process, a user's brain generates facts. These are typed into Wikipedia.
A rushed writer checks Wikipedia for a summary of their subject.
Surprised readers check Wikipedia, see the claim, and flag it for review. A passing editor finds the piece and adds it as a citation.
Now that other writers have a real source, they repeat the fact. "

Ten things we have learnt about Africa - "Belief in witchcraft is also common - about 40%; a similar percentage also visit traditional healers to cure sickness. Belief in witchcraft is highest in Tanzania with 93% - this is the country where witchdoctors say that magic potions are more effective if they contain body parts of people with albinism. Ethiopia had the lowest levels of belief in witchcraft - at just 17%. Belief that juju or sacred objects can prevent bad things happening was generally lower - between 20 and 30%. In Senegal, however, 75% thought such things worked - far higher than in Tanzania (49%). It may come as a surprise to learn that South Africa had the highest number of people - 52% - saying they took part in ceremonies of traditional religions, or honoured or celebrated their ancestors."
So much for "stereotypes"

Thomas Heathfield: British banker quits job to become South African WITCH DOCTOR - "Mr Heathfield was given tribal name Gogo Mndawe by villagers near the town of Komatipoort, in Mpumalanga province. The novice was banned from all contact with friends and family before his graduation ceremony on Sunday, attended by his parents Ally and Brian Heathfield who had travelled from the family home in England... Mr Heathfield had to learn enough of the local Swazi language, which is spoken in northern South Africa, to understand orders given to him at his final exam. He learned how to put himself into a spiritual trace through a ritual dance called kuhlehla every day at 2.30am. He had to find a goat bladder and other dissected body parts hidden half a mile from where the villagers were gathered... More than 50 per cent of South Africans use traditional healing – which involves the use of herbs, bones and chants – including many educated professionals. His mother said she had enjoyed her holiday in South Africa."

Nudist group also stripped in durian orchard, police say - "A video clip of the first event, where about 18 people were filmed participating in events like body painting and outdoor activities on a secluded beach in the nude at the Penang National Park, went viral recently leading to a huge uproar. The event is believed to be held on May 31 this year at a secluded beach in Teluk Kampi at the park in Teluk Bahang here. Abdul Rahim said two participants of the event have turned themselves in. "A 40-year-old who's a Malaysian and a 30-year-old Singaporean had given their statements at the Southwest district police headquarters on Wednesday," he said. He said the police is still looking for 11 others who took part in the event. Seven out of 18 who took part in the event were Malaysians. The others were four Singaporeans, two Myanmar nationals and one each from the Philippines and India. The case is being investigated under Section 509 of the Penal Code for gestures intended to insult the modesty of a person which carries a jail sentence of up to five years or fine or both upon conviction."
Malaysia Boleh!

Why interns don’t deserve pay - "They present their campaign as a blast against The Man, but the intern uprising is motored more by a nauseating sense of entitlement and capacity for self-pity than by any of the workplace-improving ideals of yesteryear. It speaks volumes about the parlous state of modern history teaching that these interns so liberally refer to themselves as ‘slaves’. Anyone who had been taught properly about the Roman era, or about black slavery in early America, or about the Holocaust, would know that there’s rather more to being a slave than being asked by a gruff boss to buy him a hazelnut latte... The demand that internships become paid positions is an extension of modern youth’s corrosive belief that everything they do should be instantly rewarded. This is a generation which thinks its every endeavour deserves a pat on the back... Terrifyingly, we’ve nurtured youngsters who measure the value of their every action by how speedily they’re rewarded for it. Like performing seals. The whole point of an internship is that it isn’t a job — it’s an opportunity. So it makes perfect sense that there’s no pay packet at the end of the week."
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