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More adventurous than the average bear

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Monday, November 03, 2014

Links - 3rd November 2014

Video games as research tools: The Space Fortress game - "From 1983 through 1986, several laboratories investigated the role of practice in skill acquisition in a joint project called theLearning Strategies Program. The principal research tool for this project was a video game calledSpace Fortress"

Robert Williams's answer to What are some pranks that don't hurt anyone? - Quora - "One day we just saw him looking really carefully at the tin, and he said "it's like every day there's just more cookies...""

Female monkey using her 'charms' to become top banana at Oita zoo - AJW by The Asahi Shimbun - "Zoo workers who have observed the monkeys said Mirusa's influence arises from the skillful way she gets on the good side of high-ranking male monkeys. She has been found frequently cleaning the fur and grooming the more powerful males, and she has also been observed taking provocative poses toward group bosses. When she is on the verge of losing a fight to a male monkey, Mirusa will scream and call a high-ranking male primate to her rescue."
Ahh... Patriarchy!

The Perks of Herpes - "In a world full of infinite partner choices, herpes had narrowed mine to the understanding, the open minded, the risk takers. I am now confined to partners who think my awesomeness eclipses my cellular flaw — so instead of killing my love life, herpes has weirdly deepened it. Maybe this isn’t such a bad thing to be stuck with forever, I thought as I found the entrance to the train, stepped aboard, and headed home, alone."
Maybe she should get HIV too

Walking is the superfood of fitness, experts say - "Researchers say emerging evidence suggests that combined physical activity and inactivity may be more important for chronic disease risk than physical activity alone. “Actively sedentary is a new category of people who are fit for one hour but sitting around the rest of the day," Bowman said. “You can’t offset 10 hours of stillness with one hour of exercise.” Last year researchers at the University of Texas School of Public Health asked 218 marathoners and half marathoners to report their training and sitting times. Median training time was 6.5 hours per week. Median total sitting time was eight to 10.75 hours per day, suggesting that recreational distance runners are simultaneously highly sedentary and highly active. Leslie Sansone, creator of the “Walk at Home: Mix & Match Walk Blasters” DVD, said too many people believe that spending grueling hours at the gym is the only way to fitness. “There’s this “Biggest Loser” idea out there that if you’re not throwing up and crying you’re not getting fit,” she said, referring to the popular television weight-loss show."

A Paradox of Integration - - "FROM 2010 to 2013, I spent time on a historically white South African college campus to write its post-apartheid history. As I worked, I discovered what appeared to me to be a peculiar paradox: As black students’ access to the school had grown, so had their dissatisfaction with it... He was shocked by the way his new campus, the University of Cape Town, another formerly all-white school, had retained an institutional character molded by the ideology of white supremacy. The portraits at the four corners of the graduation hall depicted white men. Several prominently displayed artworks showed blacks naked, sometimes with their genitals hanging out. The professoriate remained overwhelmingly white. The curriculum was still dominated by Western thinkers... “People are fine with racial difference as long as there’s no culture conflict,” Imraan Coovadia, a creative-writing professor at the University of Cape Town, pointed out to me. In the ’80s, the historically white universities’ first black students expected the institutions to be alien — “unfamiliar territory,” as Mr. Mangcu put it. But as more black students came, their cultural expectations changed. “I want my university to say to me, ‘Black man, be proud,’ ” Mr. Mahapa, the student-council representative, told me. The contrast between the increasingly diverse student body and the homogeneous, Western institutional culture became more and more unsettling. The more black students there were on a campus, the more they felt empowered to speak up. “Together, we all have more courage,” Mr. Mahapa said.
The joys of integration

Lovesick Chinese woman, 26, dumped by boyfriend spends entire week in KFC - "Depressed Tan Shen, 26, from Chengdu, in China’s southwest Sichuan Province, decided she needed some fried comfort food to get over her ex. She stopped off at a KFC near a train station by her home, but ended up staying for a whole week because she ‘needed time to think’. Tan even phoned in sick to work to stay at the KFC, with her break-up clearly hitting her very hard... 'When we asked her if she was ok, she said she was and just needed time to think. 'And then asked for another box of chicken wings with extra large fries'... Waitress Jiang Li Lung said: 'I guess we kind of miss her. It certainly made work more interesting.'"

Gamer Gate Harassment - "Showing the often overlooked other side of this argument. If you have any evidence of SJW's attacking you for your opinion, then let me know... "maybe it's time to castrate these #gamergate degenerates""

Child-porn sentencing questioned - "Possessing child porn is vastly different from distributing or producing it, Graham said in an interview last week. “The purveyors or producers of these images deserve the most severe punishment we can give them. My concern is the people who end up possessing it.” Richard Bistline, a Knox County man, is to be in federal court on Wednesday to be sentenced for the third time for child-porn possession. His case thrust Graham into the spotlight in 2010 after the judge sentenced Bistline, of Mount Vernon, to one day in prison, 30 days of home confinement and 10 years of probation. The recommended sentence under federal guidelines was five to six years... A 2013 U.S. Sentencing Commission report on federal child-porn guidelines noted that many of the sentencing enhancements designed to further punish the worst possessors now apply to most offenders... “Most stakeholders in the federal criminal-justice system consider the nonproduction, child-pornography-sentencing scheme to be seriously outmoded,” the report says. Steve Nolder, a lawyer who directed the federal public-defender offices in Columbus, Cincinnati and Dayton until last year, said the guidelines need to be changed. “They’re the direct result of the political winds blowing out of Congress,” with legislators having increased the punishment for child-porn offenses within the guidelines in recent years, he said... What everyone wants to know, he said, is whether those who view child pornography have a greater tendency to molest children. “The psychology of that is in its infancy, but right now, the data says no,” Nolder said."

Why do men prefer nice women?: Responsiveness and desire - "Men who interacted with a responsive female individual perceived her as more feminine and as more sexually attractive than did men in the unresponsive condition. Women are more cautious than men when interpreting a stranger's expressions of responsiveness, and their perceptions of the stranger, which were seemingly unaffected by perceived responsiveness, may reflect conflicting trends among different women. "Some women, for example, may interpret responsiveness negatively and feel uncomfortable about a new acquaintance who seems to want to be close. Such feelings may impair sexual attraction to this responsive stranger. Other women may perceive a responsive stranger as warm and caring and therefore as a desirable long-term partner," Dr. Birnbaum elaborates... whether a responsive partner will be seen as sexually desirable or not depends on the context and meaning assign to responsiveness. In early dating, the meaning of responsiveness is likely shaped by gender-specific expectations. Women did not perceive a responsive man as less masculine, but even so, women did not find a responsive man as more attractive. The study helps to explain why men find responsive women sexually attractive, but does not reveal the mechanism that underlies women's desire for new acquaintanceships. "We still do not know why women are less sexually attracted to responsive strangers; it may not necessarily have to do with 'being nice.' Women may perceive a responsive stranger as less desirable for different reasons," Prof. Birnbaum cautions. "Women may perceive this person as inappropriately nice and manipulative (i.e., trying to obtain sexual favors) or eager to please, perhaps even as desperate, and therefore less sexually appealing. Alternatively, women may perceive a responsive man as vulnerable and less dominant. Regardless of the reasons, perhaps men should slow down if their goal is to instill sexual desire.""

Neil deGrasse Tyson compares entrepreneurs to cavemen - "Speaking at the MIRCon security conference in Washington last week, deGrasse Tyson got what feels a bit personal when he rather strongly implied that instead of improving society, app-builders had sent us on a path that if continued, would return us to our troglodytic past. “Society has bigger problems than what can be solved with your next app. [Problems] in transportation, and energy and health. And these are huge sectors of society and they are solved by innovations in these fields,” Tyson said. “Without it we might as well just proceed back into the cave, because that’s where we’re headed.”"
Comment: "I respect Tyson, but somebody had to pay tax so that the space programs can even exist. Entrepreneurs are taxpayers. Pragmatism..."

Foxconn workers went on strike last week, but not for the reason you think - "They wanted to work longerhours. Foxconn wasn’t giving them enough overtime."

How Fruits Have Evolved Over Time - "If someone handed you a peach 6,000 years ago, you might be surprised: the sour, grape-sized lump you'd be holding would hardly resemble the plump, juicy fruit we enjoy today. Throughout the 12,000 years or so since humans first developed agriculture, the foods we eat have undergone drastic transformations. Farmers have found ways to select for different traits when breeding plants, turning out generations of larger, sweeter, and juicier crops... Kennedy writes, "I set out to find the least natural fruit in existence, and decided it was probably the modern watermelon.In 5,000 years, the watermelon has expanded from its original six varieties to a staggering 1,200 different kinds. Modern watermelons are available in a handful of different colors and shapes, and can be bought conveniently seedless. Originally native to a small region of southern Africa, the watermelon is now grown in countries around the world. Modern watermelons are about 100 times heavier than their ancient predecessors and much sweeter. ""
Genetic engineering!

Etihad Airways offers free Flying Nannies on board long-haul flights
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