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Friday, December 12, 2014

Links - 12th December 2014

In bid to shore up Malay land reserves, Johor MB says will next seize non-Malays’ land - "Even as the size of Malay reserve lands in Johor increases, the state Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Khaled Nordin said these lands will also be seized from non-Malay owners."
Malaysia Boleh!

Where Men See White, Women See Ecru - "Neuroscientists have discovered that women are better at distinguishing among subtle distinctions in color, while men appear more sensitive to objects moving across their field of vision... women proved slightly better at discriminating among subtle gradations in the middle of the color spectrum, where yellow and green reside. They detected tiny differences between yellows that looked the same to men. The researchers also found that men require a slightly longer wavelength to see the same hue as women; an object that women experience as orange will look slightly more yellowish to men, while green will look more blue-green to men. This last part doesn’t confer an advantage on either sex, but it does demonstrate, Abramov says, that “the nervous system that deals with color cannot be wired in the exact same way in males as in females.” He believes the answer lies in testosterone and other androgens. Evidence from animal studies suggests that male sex hormones can alter development in the visual cortex."

Muslims Discovered the Americas, Claims Turkish President - "It is becoming increasingly painful to write about Turkey these days. Every week, there is a controversial incident or statement from Turkey that is difficult to explain to the American public... Many articles from the international media mocked Erdogan's statement, but the Turkish president refused to recant it. Instead, he insisted that domestic critics who questioned his claim lack a sense of self worth. "These people have never believed that Muslims could achieve such a thing. They are also the people who do not believe that their ancestors [Ottomans] carried warships over land [during the conquest of Istanbul]. This is a matter of a lack of self-confidence"... Turkey behaves more like a Middle Eastern country -- not a European one -- with every passing day, and this makes it tough for her Western friends to support Ankara. The Turkish government's strong ties with the Muslim factions and its divergence from Western politics (despite its NATO membership) has alienated Turkey from the Western world. The Western frustration with Erdogan is obvious. In private meetings, Westerners often use words like "hubris" and "narcissism" when they speak about Erdogan, while many question Turkey's allegiance to its Western allies... In their desperation to support Erdogan so wholeheartedly, the American leaders turned a blind eye to who Erdogan really is and gave far too much credit to Turkey's Islamist government. In the end, "moderate Islam" satisfied neither the Muslims nor the Americans"

Dr Matt Taylor’s shirt made me cry, too – with rage at his abusers - "I watched that clip of Dr Taylor’s apology – at the moment of his supreme professional triumph – and I felt the red mist come down. It was like something from the show trials of Stalin, or from the sobbing testimony of the enemies of Kim Il-sung, before they were taken away and shot. It was like a scene from Mao’s cultural revolution when weeping intellectuals were forced to confess their crimes against the people. Why was he forced into this humiliation? Because he was subjected to an unrelenting tweetstorm of abuse. He was bombarded across the internet with a hurtling dustcloud of hate, orchestrated by lobby groups and politically correct media organisations. And so I want, naturally, to defend this blameless man. And as for all those who have monstered him and convicted him in the kangaroo court of the web – they should all be ashamed of themselves. Yes, I suppose some might say that his Hawaii shirt was a bit garish, a bit of an eyeful. But the man is not a priest, for heaven’s sake. He is a space scientist with a fine collection of tattoos, and if you are an extrovert space scientist, that is the kind of shirt that you are allowed to wear. As for the design of the garment, I have studied it as closely as the photos will allow, and I can’t see what all the fuss is about. I suppose there are women with long flowing hair and a certain amount of décolletage. But let’s not mince our words: there are no nipples; there are no buttocks; there is not even an exposed midriff, as far as I can see. It’s the hypocrisy of it all that irritates me. Here is Kim Kardashian – a heroine and idol to some members of my family – deciding to bust out all over the place, and good for her. No one seeks to engulf her in a tweetstorm of rage. But why is she held to be noble and pure, while Dr Taylor is attacked for being vulgar and tasteless? I think his critics should go to the National Gallery and look at the Rokeby Venus by Velázquez. Or look at the stuff by Rubens. Are we saying that these glorious images should be torn from the walls? What are we all – a bunch of Islamist maniacs who think any representation of the human form is an offence against God? This is the 21st century, for goodness’ sake. And if you ask yourself why so few have come to the defence of the scientist, the answer is that no one dares. No one wants to take on the rage of the web – by which people use social media to externalise their own resentments and anxieties, often anonymously and with far more vehemence than they really intend. No one wants to dissent – and no wonder our politics sometimes feels so sterilised and homogenised. There must be room in our world for eccentricity, even if it offends the prudes, and room for the vague other-worldliness that often goes with genius. Dr Taylor deserves the applause of our country, and those who bash him should hang their own heads and apologise"

A sharp instrument must be used when M'sian state implements hudud law, says faith healer - "“Whether the authorities use a machete, sword or even a guillotine, the fundamental law is that the instrument must be sharp,” he told The Star, adding that the offender should be conscious when the punishment is meted out so that he will feel remorse for committing the offence."

There Are Very Few 'Uncommon' Sexual Fantasies - "The researchers found that only two sexual fantasies (bestiality and pedophilia) were statistically rare (where 2.3 percent or less of respondents included it as a fantasy) and nine were considered statistically unusual (15.9 percent or less). Urinating on one’s partner and wearing clothing associated with the opposite sex were among those considered unusual. At the opposite end of the spectrum, there were five fantasies—wanting to feel romantic emotions during sex, oral sex, having sex in an unusual or romantic place, and having a special atmosphere—considered typical (more than 84 percent of the responses). The remaining 39 were common (more than 50 percent of the responses), meaning 44 out of the 55 sexual fantasies were experienced by at least half the people polled. These included dominance and submission, as well as bondage, group sex, and anal sex. The study authors noted that calling a sexual fantasy “unusual” might not be correct anymore given how common the majority of them were."

Journal of Interpersonal Violence: Study suggests attackers choose victims based on the way they walk. - "“Don’t be a victim.” That’s a phrase you’ll hear a lot if you take a crime-prevention class, or if you befriend J.J. Bittenbinder. Basically, it means that there are steps you can take to reduce the likelihood that you’ll be mugged, assaulted, or otherwise attacked. Don’t wave wads of cash around like you’re in Brewster’s Millions. Don’t space out on the subway. Walk with a purpose. That last one is particularly important, because according to a new study from the Journal of Interpersonal Violence, some criminals are very good at sensing weakness based on the way you walk"
Victim blaming!

Ferguson Cop Had 'Serious Facial Injury,' Source Tells ABC News

WSJ's Riley Unloads On Obama, Sharpton, Media Over Ferguson - "“The black crime rate in 1960 was lower than it is today,” he said. “Was there less racism or less poverty than in 1960? This is about black behavior. It needs to be addressed head-on. It’s about attitudes toward the criminal justice system in these neighborhoods, where young black men have no sense of what it means to be a male or what it means to be black.” “And he needs to talk about that head-on,” Riley repeated, “not dismiss it as a product of poverty or racism, which is a dodge.” The WSJ editor also took aim at black civil rights leaders and the media campaign they’ve created. “There’s this false narrative being pushed out there by folks like Michael Eric Dyson and [Al] Sharpton and the rest of the hustlers,” he said, “[and it's] that black men live in fear of being shot by cops in those neighborhoods. That too is nonsense.” “I know something about growing up black and male in the inner city,” Riley explained, “and it’s not that hard to avoid getting shot by a cop. They pull you over, you answer their questions. you’re on your way.” “The real difficulty is not getting shot by other black people, if you are a young black man in these neighborhoods!” Riley continued. “And again, that is something we need to talk about more! Cops are not the problem.”"

What does it say about America when African-American parents in 2014 need to tell their boys how to respond to police when out and about in order to come home safe and alive? - Quora - "I don't understand where the presumption comes from that it's any different for whites. My parents taught me how to behave in an exchange with the police, and my decisions to abide by the lessons I have been taught are something I have no reason to question."
"Parents of all races, of children of all races (they don't always correlate), should talk to their children about police. For most parents and children this is not a difficult issue."
"Whenever this issue comes up, I think about a black student I had in a criminal justice class at a state college in West Virginia. He was born and raised in Washington, D.C. I asked him after class one day, "Have you been harassed or mistreated by the DC police?" He replied, "No. I've never been stopped by the police." He was a quiet young man, a good student, and always respectful without being obsequious. I appreciate that he may be an anomaly, but I suspect his lack of bad experiences with the police have a lot to do with his demeanor and conduct. Claims of being harassed by the police are not limited to racial or ethnic minorities... I don't deny that racial profiling occurs, but I think that many of these stops are brought on by people who say, "...I wasn't doing a damn thing," when in fact they were doing something they weren't supposed to be doing. Avoiding adverse contacts with the police often involve no more than what most of us learned in kindergarten"
"there are about 40 million African Americans alive and well in America. To the best knowledge anybody has, an average of 96 are killed by police each year. Fewer African Americans of any age are killed by police than Americans are killed in car crashes with deer. The FBI reports 3.4 million arrests of African Americans per year. Do the math. Does it sound like anyone has done a logical risk assessment here?"
"If you rob a convenience store, don't assault the police afterwards, possibly fracturing their skull."

Artist sets up an arts grant for other artists - "Dancer-choreographer Eng Kai Er has recently set up No Star Arts Grant and she is offering S$1,000 a month — out of her own salary — to fund art projects in all genres, “including (but) not limited to fine art, visual art, dance, music, circus, theatre, film and literature.” According to the grant’s Tumblr site, applicants should be able to explain why the proposed works are “important FOR THEMSELVES (and not for “the community” or “the nation”)”. Eng will be leaning towards projects that are overlooked by other funding sources such as those with “LGBT themes, sexual themes, political art (and) other marginalised type(s) of work”... Of course, there are other conceptual layers to this project beyond being an experiment in and exploring the idea of arts philanthropy, not least of which has to do with Eng’s background as an scholar who is, as the website says, “bonded to an organisation that cannot be named, under a scholarship programme that also cannot be named”. It continues: “Eng Kai Er is not interested in her bonded employment at all, but has to serve her bond or pay, as of 30 September 2014, around $741657.37 in order to quit her job. Since she understands the pain of having a paid job that is not aligned with her interests, she wishes to change the world by having more instances of paid jobs aligned with people’s interests, and No Star Arts Grant is her own small way of doing that.”"
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