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Valar Qringaomis

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Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Links - 28th October 2014

WATCH: CNN asks, 'Does Hamas use human shields?' - "KAYE: Another of the group's political leader said this about their tactics during a 2008 battle between Israel and Gaza.
FATHI HAMAD, FMR. HAMAS INTERIOR MINISTER: They have formed human shields of the women, the children, the elderly, and the Mujahideen in order to challenge the Zionist bombing machine...
Listen to what a spokesman for Hamas said on AL Aqsa TV in July.
MUSHIR AL-MASRI, HAMAS SPOKESPERSON: Stay in your homes as we promised you and do not comply with the war of rumors and psychological warfare the Zionist enemy is waging on you.
KAYE: The IDF released this video of Israeli military firing a warning shot. Then moments later, civilians emerge on the rooftop acting according to the IDF as human shields.
In Gaza, believing Hamas' word could mean the difference between life and death."

Why Freud Still Matters, When He Was Wrong About Almost Everything - "Freud’s legacy has transcended science, with his ideas permeating deep into Western culture. Rarely does a day go by where we don’t find ourselves uttering a term drawn from his work: Mommy and daddy issues. Arrested development. Death wishes. Freudian slips. Phallic symbols. Anal retentiveness. Defense mechanisms. Cathartic release. And on and on and on."

How (Not) To React to Anti-Feminist Women | The Vagenda - "I began to feel if we were being too shouty, too quiet, too victimising, too forceful then we have already started to fail and I hated it. On the ‘Women Against Feminism’ blog I can see posts by people saying that have received hate messages from ‘feminazis’. There is so much about that sentence that is sad. All I can think as I scroll through the fast accumulating likes and posts is: how the fuck how did this happen? I feel like I’m spinning on the spot, arms outspread, looking at my fellow feminists and asking – seriously guys, where the hell were we? Then I remembered where I was. Back at the party. “I am not a feminist.” After this calm, totally genuine admission from this woman I went on what can only be politely described as a tirade. Pummeling with facts and figures, trying to convince her that she was wrong, that she was mistaken, that she just didn’t understand what feminism was. Slowly as I began to tire and my face melted from determination to utter disbelief, hers hardened in quiet confidence that she had just been proven right. That we feminists were all the same. Shouty, elitist and actually a little bit mean. Men haters and blamers, women victimisers and blamers. I pawed at her with words, desperately trying to persuade her she most definitely was a feminist because (here comes my moment of glory) “you’re a woman, how could you not be?” Ugh. She got up and walked away and on reflection I would probably have done the same. What an epic fail. People shouldn’t feel they have to tip toe around feminism for fear of angering the beast. In order for feminism to be truly powerful it needs to be accessible and engaging, to everyone, and at the moment it’s just not, not yet"

Wine tasting is bullshit. Here's why. - "In 2001, researcher Frédéric Brochet invited 54 wine experts to give their opinions on what were ostensibly two glasses of different wine: one red, and one white. In actuality, the two wines were identical, with one exception: the "red" wine had been dyed with food coloring. The experts described the "red" wine in language typically reserved for characterizing reds. They called it "jammy," for example, and noted the flavors imparted by its "crushed red fruit." Not one of the 54 experts surveyed noticed that it was, in fact a white wine... he served wine experts a run-of-the-mill Bordeaux in two different bottles:
One bottle bore the label of a fancy grand cru, the other of an ordinary vin de table. Although they were being served the exact same wine, the experts gave the bottles nearly opposite descriptions. The grand cru was summarized as being “agreeable,” “woody,” “complex,” “balanced,” and “rounded,” while the most popular adjectives for the vin de table included “weak,” “short,” “light,” “flat,” and “faulty”... In 1996, research published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology concluded that wine experts cannot reliably identify more than three or four of a wine's flavor components. Most wine critics routinely report tasting six or more...
In 2008, a survey comprising more than 6,000 blind tastings found a positive correlation between price and enjoyment – for individuals with wine training. In other words: if you're a wine expert, there's a chance you'll enjoy expensive wines more than cheaper ones... among amateur wine drinkers (which, let's face it, you are), the survey found the opposite, i.e. a negative correlation between price and happiness, “suggesting that individuals on average enjoy more expensive wines slightly less.” This lead the researchers to conclude that "both the prices of wines and wine recommendations by experts may be poor guides for non-expert wine consumers.""

Just how 'gay' is anal play, really? - "In 2012, one-year before what is called a “watershed moment” for LGBTQ folks in America by many due a burst in progress, Esquire magazine asked 500 men another question: “During foreplay, what’s the one thing that you want more of from your current partner?” Blowjobs, apparently on the wane, were mentioned by 46% of the men surveyed; “a little rough play” sat at 6%. And rim jobs – or, to the unfamiliar, the act of having your anus stimulated orally – came in at 14%, which is quite surprising because straight men and their own behinds are rarely talked about in the same breath ... unless they’re used in the same breath as a homophobic slur."

‘Gone Girl’ misogyny claims reflect an attitude that is the enemy of art - "Given my choice between allowing portrayals of women who are sexually manipulative, erotically aggressive, fearless in a deranged kind of way, completely true to their own temperament, desperately vital, or the alternative – wallowing in feminist propaganda and succumbing to the niceness plague – I’ll take the former. If Gone Girl is sending the wrong message about women, then Emma Bovary should have gone to medical school instead of cheating on her husband, Anna Karenina should have been a train engineer rather than throwing herself on the tracks, and Eve Harrington should have waited her turn. The idea that every portrait of a woman should be an ideal woman, meant to stand for all of womanhood, is an enemy of art – not to mention wickedly delicious Joan Crawford and Bette Davis movies. Art is meant to explore all the unattractive inner realities as well as to recommend glittering ideals. It is not meant to provide uplift or confirm people’s prior ideological assumptions. Art says “Think” not “You’re right”."

Horrifying: Teen Kills Mother, Has Sex With Corpse to 'Lose Virginity'

Feminist hysteria is causing the infantilization of women - "Dunham told NPR that the phrase “too much information” — “TMI” for short — is a sexist phrase that “trivializes female experiences”... TMI is just the latest word or phrase being flagged as sexist. In 2012, the Women’s Media Center created a list of more than 100 words and phrases that are harmful to women, including “aggressive” and “complain.” Singer Beyonce and Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg added a new word to that list in March — “bossy.” Suddenly women were told they were being marginalized if they were called bossy, even though some men are called far worse (far too colorful to mention here)... Women are even being told flat-out that they aren’t making their own decisions but are following a path set for them by a patriarchy. When challenged on the wage gap, a common response from those pushing this myth is that the only reason women choose less lucrative, more flexible careers such as teaching and nursing is because society pushes them toward those jobs. As if no strong woman would willingly choose a path that defies the feminist vision. Add this all up and you have today’s “thought leaders” telling women they need to be spoken to gently, need the government to guard them from harsh words and uncomfortable topics, that their setbacks are always someone else’s fault and that they aren’t in control of their own lives."

Let's repeal reality - "There's plenty to resent about nature. Why do only women get pregnant and give birth? Some men would like the chance, and some women would gladly change roles. Why are men bigger? Why are some people unattractive and others boring? That doesn't seem fair. And why must we die? These mortality assignments are a terrible form of oppression. If we declared ourselves "death neutral," would that make it so?"

Bacon: Why America's Favorite Food Mania Happened - "For years, fast-food outlets had been offering extra-lean burgers and sandwiches. At the same time, they were responding to the increased liability from food poisoning lawsuits (especially after the deadly 1993 E. coli outbreak at Jack in the Box) by cooking all their burgers to well done. Lean hamburgers tended to taste like dry cardboard. “Remember when McDonald’s came out with the McLean? Well, that was a flop. It was a burger that had zero flavor,” says Leathers. “Now, if they were to put bacon on that, it would have been a huge success.” Adding a single slice of bacon to those sandwiches not only improved the taste and mouthfeel by multiples, but bacon’s low cost meant that they could be sold at a premium, tacking a healthy profit margin—Leathers estimates 50 percent to 60 percent—onto burgers."

Tipton Laffin Few pub ignores its own anti-drugs message - growing cannabis in the ladies' toilet

New research on plant intelligence may forever change how you think about plants - "The new research, he says, is in a field called plant neurobiology — which is something of a misnomer, because even scientists in the field don't argue that plants have neurons or brains. "They have analagous structures," Pollan explains. "They have ways of taking all the sensory data they gather in their everyday lives ... integrate it and then behave in an appropriate way in response. And they do this without brains, which, in a way, is what's incredible about it, because we automatically assume you need a brain to process information." And we assume you need ears to hear. But researchers, says Pollan, have played a recording of a caterpillar munching on a leaf to plants — and the plants react. They begin to secrete defensive chemicals — even though the plant isn't really threatened, Pollan says. "It is somehow hearing what is, to it, a terrifying sound of a caterpillar munching on its leaves." Pollan says plants have all the same senses as humans, and then some. In addition to hearing, taste, for example, they can sense gravity, the presence of water, or even feel that an obstruction is in the way of its roots, before coming into contact with it. Plant roots will shift direction, he says, to avoid obstacles. So what about pain? Do plants feel? Pollan says they do respond to anesthetics. "You can put a plant out with a human anesthetic. ... And not only that, plants produce their own compounds that are anesthetic to us.""

Glut of postdoc researchers stirs a quiet crisis in science - "The life of the humble biomedical postdoctoral researcher was never easy: toiling in obscurity in a low-paying scientific apprenticeship that can stretch more than a decade. The long hours were worth it for the expected reward — the chance to launch an independent laboratory and do science that could expand human understanding of biology and disease. But in recent years, the postdoc position has become less a stepping stone and more of a holding tank. Some of the smartest people in Boston are caught up in an all-but-invisible crisis, mired in a biomedical underclass as federal funding for research has leveled off, leaving the supply of well-trained scientists outstripping demand."

Sperm-Producing Cells Coaxed to Produce Insulin - "Researchers have been able to prod human cells that normally produce sperm to make insulin instead and, after transplanting them, the cells briefly cured mice with type 1 diabetes."
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