"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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Friday, November 14, 2014

Links - 14th November 2014

Don’t blame homophobia on colonialism, cultural relativists. - "There’s more at stake here than a debate over cultural relativism. The African presidents who have signed extreme anti-gay bills into law have played upon colonialist guilt, castigating gay rights as a neocolonial attack. They claim that that LGBT tolerance is a “Western” innovation being foisted upon their countries in violation of “traditional African values.” These euphemisms are devilishly effective, painting basic gay rights as a Western swindle by lumping them into the same category as other colonialist humiliations. And they inject patriotic pride into measures like Uganda’s “kill the gays” law, turning support for such odious bills into a symbolic severing of the colonialist shackles. When we absolve developing countries for their homophobic laws and mores based on the calamities of colonialism, we risk playing right into this narrative. The merit of gay rights transcends cultural boundaries and historical fault lines; when we inject colonialism into the equation, it makes LGBT equality seem like a Western fad instead of a universal human right"

AMARE denounces woman’s forthcoming MRT antics, man’s inaction - "Local advocacy group AMARE (Association of Men for Action and Reaction) has denounced the antics of a woman on the MRT who was caught on camera being too forthcoming with the man sitting beside her. The woman, in the three-minute long video, repeatedly groped and tried to kiss the man, who she most likely did not know personally... They have also denounced the antics of the man who was being harassed. Bayday said: “This man obviously is asking for it. He could have just stood up and walked away and not subject himself to the unwanted advances of the woman.” “But he just sat there and took it. He deserves it.”"

AMARE petitions to stop violence against men’s wallets - "Local advocacy group AMARE (Association of Men for Action and Reaction) is circulating a petition to put an end to violence against men’s wallets. This after many shopping centres in the Orchard Road strip have put up Christmas decorations in the middle of November, signalling it is wallet-raping time."

Israeli MP proposes banning Islamic prayer call - "Mr Ilatov suggested that freedom of religious worship was trumped by the right to peace and quiet. "Freedom of religion and worship is a universal freedom to which everyone is entitled in every democratic state, and of course in Israel," he told Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper. "This does not mean that additional rights can be trampled, such as the right to conduct a normal daily routine that includes peaceful and uninterrupted sleep during the night.""
Is Singapore Islamophobic?

Al-Qaeda Declares War on China, Too
Unlike liberal democracies, China does not play nice. Good luck.

Forest Service Warns People to Stop Taking Selfies With Bears

Prisoner's Dilemma In Real Life - "As for the difference between student and prisoner behavior, you'd expect that a prison population might be more jaded and distrustful, and therefore more likely to defect. The results went exactly the other way for the simultaneous game, only 37% of students cooperate. Inmates cooperated 56% of the time."

Tinder, the Fast-Growing Dating App, Taps an Age-Old Truth - NYTimes.com - "“Research shows when people are evaluating photos of others, they are trying to access compatibility on not just a physical level, but a social level,” said Jessica Carbino, Tinder’s in-house dating and relationship expert. “They are trying to understand, ‘Do I have things in common with this person?’”... She discovered that Tinder users decoded an array of subtle and not-so-subtle traits before deciding which way to swipe. For example, the style of clothing, the pucker of the lips and even the posture, Ms. Carbino said, tell us a lot about their social circle, if they like to party and their level of confidence."

Eleven countries studied, one inescapable conclusion – the drug laws don’t work - "The UK government’s comparison of international drug laws, published on Wednesday, represents the first official recognition since the 1971 Misuse of Drugs Act that there is no direct link between being “tough on drugs” and tackling the problem... “We did not in our fact-finding observe any obvious relationship between the toughness of a country’s enforcement against drug possession, and levels of drug use in that country,” it says. “The Czech Republic and Portugal have similar approaches to possession, where possession of small amounts of any drug does not lead to criminal proceedings, but while levels of drug use in Portugal appear to be relatively low, reported levels of cannabis use in the Czech Republic are among the highest in Europe."

Plants Know They Are Being Eaten - "Vegetarians and vegans pay heed: New research shows plants know when they're being eaten. And they don't like it."

Enid Blyton – not as good as she used to be - "Not only have Jo, Bessie and Fanny been renamed Joe, Beth and Frannie, and cousin Dick cousin Rick (I hadn’t remembered there was a Dick and a Fanny in the Faraway Tree as well as the Famous Five – how odd), but Dame Slap is also no longer Dame Slap! She’s now Dame Snap, which makes little sense. And she doesn’t slap any more; instead, she scolds. There’s no way in the world I think children should be slapped, but nor do I think they should be locked in cages, à la Hansel and Gretel, forced to sleep in a cupboard under the stairs, à la Harry Potter, and I’m not even going to get into Goodnight, Mister Tom. It’s a story. Dame Slap was a good character; Dame Snap, not so much... the stories are all a bit dire and repetitive. Naughty visiting child does something silly, perhaps even something as bad as wearing a smart dress to a party. (“You’ve got bad manners, and you don’t do what you’re told, and people don’t like you,” Connie is told.) Ends up trapped or in trouble in a land at the top of the tree. Good children, who like helping their mother in the garden and wearing scruffy clothes, rescue them. Repeat."

Have Jedi created a new 'religion'? - "An ideas festival at Cambridge University this weekend will look at how new "religious movements", such as Jediism, the Indigo Children and Wicca, have expanded online. And in the case of Jedi, how they have developed ever-more complex doctrines and scriptures. What might have started as an intellectual exercise by fans adding to the movies and filling in the gaps, has become an attempt to build a coherent religious code. Beth Singler, a researcher in the Divinity Faculty of Cambridge University, estimates that there are about 2,000 people in the UK who are "very genuine" about being Jedi. That's roughly the same number as the Church of Scientology... The Jedi belief system is a patchwork quilt of Taoism, Buddhism, Catholicism and Samurai, says Singler. Often the ideas offer a simple dualism of good and evil, light and dark... 'Jedi wisdom appears to display all the worst aspects of pick-and-mix spirituality and tea-towel philosophy. It's not that the teachings are all false but without the anchoring of a systematic and deep world view they become platitudes... many of Yoda's teachings are positive thinking with a gnomic slant, or bland calls for interstellar peace'"

Jedi church founder thrown out of Tesco for refusing to remove his hood left 'emotionally humiliated' - "A Tesco spokesperson said: 'He hasn't been banned. Jedis are very welcome to shop in our stores although we would ask them to remove their hoods. 'Obi-Wan Kenobi, Yoda and Luke Skywalker all appeared hoodless without ever going over to the Dark Side and we are only aware of the Emperor as one who never removed his hood. 'If Jedi walk around our stores with their hoods on, they'll miss lots of special offers.'"

Singapore’s obsession with “tsap” | The Hexacoto - "Many of Singapore’s many iconic dishes: bak chor mee (minced meat noodles), chilli crab, Hokkien prawn mee, to name a few, tend to have a commonality — more often than not, they all have “tsap” (汁) or sauce/gravy in them. No matter Malay, Indian, or Chinese, Singapore dishes are sauce-heavy and gravy-generous. Singapore’s love for sauces and gravy doesn’t stop at local dishes, but extends its saucy reach to foreign cuisines localised in the country. It is hardly ever talked about, but even in “tsap” can we tease out what it means for a dish to be “truly Singaporean”."

Man revives woman with AED, branded a “pervert” for removing her clothes to apply electrode pads
No good deed goes unpunished

The Laborers Who Keep Dick Pics and Beheadings Out of Your Facebook Feed

This is what happens when you give McDonald's to organic food "experts" - "see the experts verdict about how much better this organic food is than McDonald's"

NHS staff banned from drinking tea or coffee on the job because it looks like they're not working hard enough

Leonardo Moran's answer to How do people describe Che Guevara? - Quora - "When the rebels entered Havana at the close of 1958, Che set up headquarters in the old fortress of La Cabaña. For five months he oversaw daily summary trials and consequent executions by firing squad. He enjoyed his work. Batista's army had by then become Fidel's army; Batista's police were now Fidel's police. As Che's work proceeded apace, papa dodged pursuers and evaded capture. Had he been less able with his wits and with his fists, Che himself would have fired the coup de grace."

President Barack Obama a Homophobic Bigot? - "not too long ago, President Obama was quite vocal about his opposition to gay marriage, yet I don’t remember a single person calling him a bigot or homophobic."

Barack Obama Is a Homophobe - "I guess views about gay marriage only matter if you're in a beauty pageant and not in the White House. Or maybe these "personalities" hold different standards for blonde girls than they do for black dudes — meaning, they lower the bar for Obama — which seems to me, slightly bigoted. But I'm probably wrong. Fact is, people like Rancic and Perez are heroes. They know it's far tougher to beat up on a white Christian chick than go after the most popular president since Morgan Freeman in "Deep Impact." And if you disagree with me, then you sir are worse than Hitler."
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