"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, January 23, 2015

Links - 23rd January 2015

Grand Theft Auto fans push for ban on the Bible - "We tend to believe that our values are the right ones for everybody. Many people's definition of "liberal" seems to be "say and do whatever you like, as long as I don't find it repulsive." Just as many people's definition of "freedom" is, in fact, "free to think and do only those things of which I approve." And so it is that a great battle of values has emerged in Australia. The country's Kmart and Target stores have decided to ban "Grand Theft Auto V.""

Bali-time Part I – What does ‘rubber time’ mean? - "According to recent research by American social psychologist Robert Levine (See his fascinating book A Geography of Time), Indonesia ranks as one of the most relaxed countries in the world with regard to time (second only to Mexico). Bali, indeed, is no exception."

Living in America will drive you insane — literally - "at some point in their lives, 46% of Americans met the criteria established by the American Psychiatric Association for at least one mental illness. In 1998, Martin Seligman, then president of the American Psychological Association, spoke to the National Press Club about an American depression epidemic: “We discovered two astonishing things about the rate of depression across the century. The first was there is now between ten and twenty times as much of it as there was fifty years ago. And the second is that it has become a young person’s problem. When I first started working in depression thirty years ago. . . the average age of which the first onset of depression occurred was 29.5. . . .Now the average age is between 14 and 15.” In 2011, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that antidepressant use in the United States has increased nearly 400% in the last two decades, making antidepressants the most frequently used class of medications by Americans ages 18-44 years. By 2008, 23% of women ages 40–59 years were taking antidepressants... Even within mainstream psychiatry, few continue to argue that the increase in mental illness is due to previous under-diagnosis of mental disorders. The most common explanations for the mental illness epidemic include recent over-diagnosis of psychiatric disorders, diagnoses expansionism, and psychiatry’s pathologizing normal behavior... Even more remarkable than former chair of the DSM-4 taskforce, Allen Frances, jumping on the DSM-trashing bandwagon has been the harsh critique of DSM-5 by Thomas Insel, director of the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). Insel recently announced that the DSM’s diagnostic categories lack validity, and that “NIMH will be re-orienting its research away from DSM categories”... Whitaker argues that the adverse effects of psychiatric medications are the primary cause of the epidemic. He reports that these drugs, for many patients, cause episodic and moderate emotional and behavioral problems to become severe, chronic and disabling ones... those labeled with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) do worst in environments that are boring, repetitive, and externally controlled; and that ADHD-labeled children are indistinguishable from “normals” when they have chosen their learning activities and are interested in them. Thus, the standard classroom could not be more imperfectly designed to meet the learning needs of young people who are labeled with ADHD."
What If People Treated Physical Illness the way Americans Treat Mental Illness?

The latest UK dining hotspot: Prison

Geoffrey Gaines's answer to What do people think about the recently viral cat call, harassment video shot in New York? - Quora - "there is also some misunderstanding here, most of it is cultural. In most cases I'm certain there is no intent to make her uncomfortable, and not even indifference to it. To them it is an acknowledgment and an invitation to parlay, to someone that they don't think is frightened, and don't think of as powerless. A Rosie Perez might cut them in half, but they are willing to play. In some places guys know that a woman shouldn't be walking alone. The two that walk beside her are positioning themselves between her and the street, making her look accompanied and protected from the exposure from the street. These guys know women who expect this sort of protective stance, they have been taught to do it. They walked with her until she was through the trouble zone."

Should You Worry About Wheat? - "Wouldn’t it be great if there was a single villain behind the chronic health problems plaguing us, and if all it took to reverse them was to stop eating wheat?... Wheat is a staple in most parts of the world, and there’s little or no correlation between regional intakes (as a proportion of daily calories) and rates of obesity. Per capita wheat consumption in the U.S. has actually dropped since 2000, but there’s no sign that that is slowing the expansion of our waistlines. In fact, a century ago Americans ate much more wheat than we do today, and very few were obese (granted, diets and lifestyles differed in many ways then). In any case, the obesity epidemic certainly can’t be attributed to any single factor."

Hay Festival 2011: Professor risks political storm over Muslim 'inbreeding’ - "Prof Steve Jones, one of Britain’s most eminent scientists, has warned that the level of inbreeding among the nation’s Muslims is endangering the health of future generations... “Bradford is very inbred. There is a huge amount of cousins marrying each other there.” Research in Bradford has found that babies born to Pakistani women are twice as likely to die in their first year as babies born to white mothers, with genetic problems linked to inbreeding identified as a “significant” cause. Studies have found that within the city, more than 70 per cent of marriages are between relations, with more than half involving first cousins. Separate studies have found that while British Pakistanis make up three per cent of all births, they account for one in three British children born with genetic illnesses"

The Vietnamese Embassy in Australia - Consular - "- We have the honour to announce that the following websites are not legitimate:
http://vietnam-embassy.org, http://myvietnamvisa.com, http://vietnamvisacorp.com, http://vietnam-visa.com, http://visavietnam.gov.vn, http://vietnamvisa.gov.vn, http://visatovietnam.gov.vn, http://vietnam-visa.gov.vn
- The Consular Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Viet Nam has recently received many feedbacks from foreign nationals on the visa online service provided by above-mentioned websites.
- The Embassy holds no responsibility for any visa application for Viet Nam provided by these services."
How do you get a .gov.vn domain name if you're not legitimate?

Answer to Do girls feel uncomfortable in short dresses/mini skirts? If yes why do they wear them - Quora - "I can testify that people, both men and women but particularly men, are friendlier and more attentive and just overall nicer when you wear a skirt, regardless of its length."

Comments on "Stereotype Inaccuracy: A Belief Impervious to Data" | Psychology Today - "individual researchers can do quite a lot to limit their own tendencies toward political bias. There are plenty of liberal researchers in my field who do terrific work, even in politicized areas. Here are some simple things any researcher can do to limit bias:
* avoid double standards
* avoid snarl terms
* avoid cherrypicking data and studies
* be transparent in methods and data analysis
* seek input and collaborations with those who, regardless of their personal politics, have generated scholarship that contests the dominant narratives in one's field (which, in the social sciences, are usually liberal narratives)."

Why Do Some Guys Prefer Small Breasts? Here’s Every Scientific Theory - "Researchers in New Zealand who conducted a 2009 eye-tracking study expected to discover that men would spend more time looking at larger-than-average boobs than smaller-than-average. However, they were shocked to discover that “variations in breast size had no significant effect on eye-tracking measures,” including “number of fixations and dwell times.” Additionally, the researchers note, the majority of men consider other qualities as more important to “female attractiveness” than breast size itself. As Michael Castleman writes in Psychology Today, “[M]any men insisted that when they fell in love, they fell in love with the women’s breasts, whatever their size.”"

Moscow advert featuring breasts causes 500 accidents in a DAY - "In all cases of accidents, the car owners will receive compensation costs from us that aren’t covered by their insurance"

Emergency airlift puts fries back on the menu at McDonald’s in Japan - "McDonald’s has said an emergency airlift of French fries to Japan has eased the nationwide shortage that forced the chain to ration them at more than 3,000 restaurants across the country. From 5 January, medium and large-sized fries will be back on the menu, almost three weeks after the fast-food giant restricted customers to small portions due to import delays. Labour disputes on the US west coast are curbing exports of fries, leaving Japanese restaurants scrambling to secure fresh supplies."

Life Under the Victimocracy - "Victimocrats are narcissistically infuriated by the suffering of others. Many tyrannies applied the whip and the lash, the prison cell and the gulag, but they at least left those they abused in possession of their suffering. The Victimocracy denies its victims even their suffering. Victimocrats reject the humanity of their victims as thinking and feeling beings with the same needs and boundaries as themselves. The Victimocracy rations empathy. Empathy is the election of its system. The biggest victim wins and his suffering licenses his abuses. The bigger the victim, the bigger the abuses he is entitled to commit. If the empathy flows the wrong way, then power shifts and the entire system collapses. To take over a society, the Victimocrats must control its education and entertainment to structure its empathy flow their way. Victimocrats must appear weak to gain power. They must always seem beleaguered, under siege, abused and threatened from a thousand different directions. They must be made to seem underdogs. Even if a Victimocrat sits in the White House, unilaterally dispensing with the lives and fortunes of a nation with phone and pen, he must remain a vulnerable victim of a terrible history of racism. The Victimocrat must always be seen as a weak victim in need of rescue from those he oppresses. Never able to argue a thing on its merits, the Victimocrats shift the debate to the moral high ground of their own oppression. It is impossible to disagree with them without somehow invoking stereotypes, flashbacks and the return of the white male patriarchy riding back into town on the last thing you said. The Victimocrats are always in need of rescuing. No matter how much power they have, someone is always abusing them. And once that happens people of good will are called upon to condemn the abuse and to reinforce their power structure of the oppressed oppressor and the oppressive oppressed. Victimocrats don’t win arguments. They convince others that they are entitled to avoid the argument. In the Victimocracy the illusion of weakness is power. The weak are entitled to disproportionate power to protect themselves from the rest of us. The weaker they are, the more power they need. And the more power they get, the weaker they grow until we live under a tyranny of the absolutely powerless who wield absolute power."
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