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Valar Qringaomis

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Friday, February 20, 2015

Links - 20th February 2015

Eating Alone in China - "For millennia, the most basic of Chinese meals have involved “three main dishes plus a soup,” a spread that only makes sense for a table of three people or more. It’s no wonder that a perennial staple of stir-frys—a merry medley of beef, chicken, pork and vegetables—is named “happy family”... “I’m watching this alone,” a commenter wrote wryly beneath the video of the summer waffle. “It relaxes me and loosens my heart.” To be alone isn’t always to be lonely. Sometimes, a strawberry waffle is all the companionship you need."

We should stop putting women in jail. For anything. - "The argument is actually quite straightforward: There are far fewer women in prison than men to start with — women make up just 7 percent of the prison population. This means that these women are disproportionately affected by a system designed for men. But could women’s prisons actually be eliminated in the United States, where the rate of women’s incarceration has risen by 646 percent in the past 30 years?"
Comments: "So basically, we should have 2 separate standards for genders when it comes to moral responsibility and punishment. So I guess sexism is a good thing when it helps women...."
"Do you suppose women might end up in prison less because people like the author keep on insisting they don't deserve to be punished? Because they are seen as duped accomplices instead of willing instigators? You do know women excel at "violence by proxy" right, while men prefer to fight their own battles? All of this is true. None of it is sexist, at least, according to feminists."
"On a similar note, statistics show there's far fewer white people in prison than colored people - so should we conclude that it would be a good idea to stop putting white people in jail, for anything?"
"Look few women go to prison. Fewer Whites going to prison was called racism. Is the fact that fewer women go sexism?"


China: Groom calls wedding off after the Bride arrived at the wedding looking 50 years older - "Apparently, 26-year-old Qing Kao deliberately attended her wedding looking like that, to prank her boyfriend. She wanted to see the groom’s reaction, and wanted to know if he would still love her when she is 70 years old. Guo Chien, the groom, did not find the prank funny at all, and started the heated shouting in public while shocked passersby looked on."
Comments: "before people screaming hate regarding gender equality and how China needs feminism, the guy (even though it seems he was yelling) was trying to tell her to calm down and not embarrass herself and have this discussion inside or another time, without all the people watching. HOWEVER she was screaming abuse at him (calling him a prick etc), then told him to "fuck off" which was the reason he threw his glasses on the ground and stormed off."
"Future prank: groom shows up in rags asking if she's still love him if he's poor."


etymology - Where does the phrase of "boredom punctuated by moments of terror" come from?

Victoria's Secret 'Perfect Body' Campaign Changes Slogan After Backlash
Comment: "Oh please. You do not view VS's product as "realism". It is all about fantasy and has always been as such. For women to get upset about a VS advertising campaign is about like men getting upset about an A&F one. And if you're finding yourself victimized by it... well, that's your choice. Sorry to seem brusque, but when has advertising *ever* been about reality?"
"Maybe they can add a couple of dudes in there too. Who's to say guys don't look sexy in lingerie?"
"It might be nice to see some models who are disabled, perhaps using wheelchairs or crutches, for example. People with disabilities are the biggest minority yet they are often not represented in media. Don't the ad agencies think people with disabilities buy underwear too?"
"You know if that happened people would cry foul and say the media was fetishizing disability."


Does Playing Hard to Get Make You Fall in Love?

Intelligence makes people think like economists: Evidence from the General Social Survey - "

Education is by far the strongest predictor of whether a non-economist will share the economic beliefs of the average economist. (Caplan, 2001) Is the effect of education as large as it seems? Or is education largely a proxy for cognitive ability? Using data from the General Social Survey (GSS), we show that the estimated effect of education sharply falls after controlling for intelligence. In fact, education is driven down to second place, and intelligence replaces it at the top of the list of variables that make people "think like economists." Thus, to a fair degree education is proxy for intelligence, though there are some areas—international economics in particular—where education still dominates. An important implication is that the political externalities of education may not be as large as they initially appear."

A Plan to Reboot Dating - "In her Atlantic article "Boys on the Side" (September 2012), Hanna Rosin argues that the social progress of women depends on the hook-up culture. Women in their 20s and 30s are, for the first time, more successful than their male peers. These alpha females not only outnumber men on college campuses, they have also overtaken men as the majority of the work force. This would not have been possible without sexual liberation, which has let women delay marriage and child-rearing to pursue their educational and career ambitions without worrying about the emotional burdens of a relationship. Women are better off in part because of the hook-up culture, the argument goes. But are they really?... ccording to a 2010 report by the American Council on Education, 57 percent of all undergraduates are female. Robert Epstein, a professor of psychology at Harvard and an expert in relationships, said in an interview with me that the more women there are on campus, the more prevalent the hook-up culture is: "You have a situation in which relationships are bound to fail and men keep switching off from one woman to the next," he told me. What motivation do men have to ask women out on a date when sex is so widely and easily available? The feminist sociologist Lisa Wade, based at Occidental College, who did a qualitative study of 44 of her freshman students (33 of them women), found that most of them were "overwhelmingly disappointed with the sex they were having in hook ups. This was true of both men and women, but was felt more intensely by women." College women today, as Wade points out, feel "disempowered instead of empowered by sexual encounters. They didn't feel like equals on the sexual playground, more like jungle gyms." According to a 2010 study by Carolyn Bradshaw of James Madison University, only 2 percent of women strongly prefer the hook-up culture to a dating culture. Miriam Grossman, author of the 2006 book Unprotected, reports that women long for emotional involvement with their partner twice as often as men following a hook up; 91 percent of women experience regret; 80 percent of women wish the hook-up hadn't happened; and 34 percent of women hope the hook-up develops into a relationship. NYU sociologist Paula England, whom Rosin cites, says that 66 percent of women and 58 percent of men want their hook up to develop into "something more." When it doesn't, problems arise. A 2010 psychology study out of Florida State University found that students who have casual sex experience more physical and mental health problems, defined as eating disorders, alcohol use, stress, depression, suicidal feelings, than those who are in committed long-term relationships. Put bluntly, the ethos of the culture is: "Hook up now; get therapy later," as one of my fellow students, writing in the campus newspaper her sophomore year, declared... "Women need to take some responsibility—they're allowing themselves to be used. It can lead to sexual assault." Hooking up, in fact, shares the defining feature of a sexual assault: using another person for your own sexual gratification, without any regard as to what that person wants or how he or she feels"

Grumpy cat makes owner £64 million - "Grumpy’s earnings have dwarfed those of many of Hollywood’s biggest names such as Gwyneth Paltrow who, according to Forbes magazine, earned just over £12 million last year. The cat is also outstripping the world’s top footballers including Christiano Ronaldo, whose total remuneration this year is estimated at £27.1 million. Grumpy’s permanent scowl is a result of her having been born with dwarfism and an underbite."

North Korea accuses US of developing Ebola virus - "The article, "Ebola virus much feared as biological weapon", claims that the US has done so for the purposes of generating profits from an Ebola vaccine as well as to weaken other countries for its own political gain"

How atheists became the most colossally smug and annoying people on the planet - "So, what’s gone wrong with atheism? The problem isn’t atheism itself, of course, which is just non-belief, a nothing, a lack of something. Rather it is the transformation of this nothing into an identity, into the basis of one’s outlook on life, which gives rise to today’s monumentally annoying atheism. The problem with today’s campaigning atheists is that they have turned their absence of belief in God into the be-all and end-all of their personality. Which is bizarre. Atheism merely signals what you don’t believe in, not what you do believe in. It’s a negative. And therefore, basing your entire worldview on it is bound to generate immense amounts of negativity. Where earlier generations of the Godless viewed their atheism as a pretty minor part of their personality, or at most as the starting point of their broader identity as socialists or humanists or whatever, today’s ostentatiously Godless folk constantly declare “I am an atheist!” as if that tells you everything you need to know about a person, when it doesn’t"

Sharia law or gay marriage critics would be branded ‘extremists’ under Tory plans, atheists and Christians warn - "The National Secular Society and the Christian institute – two organisations with often diametrically opposing interests – said they shared fears that the broad scope of extremism could represent a major threat to free speech... Simon Calvert, Deputy Director of the Christian Institute, said traditionalist evangelicals who criticise gay marriage or even argue that all religions are not the same could find themselves accused of extremism. “Anyone who expresses an opinion that isn’t regarded as totally compliant with the Equality Act could find themselves ranked alongside Anjem Choudary, Islamic state or Boko Haram,” he said. He added: “How many times a day do intellectually lazy political activists accuse their opponents of ‘spreading hatred’? “The left does it, the right does it, liberals do it, conservatives do it, it is routine"

'God' seen in photograph of clouds over Norfolk - but it could be Sean Connery or Karl Marx

Commonwealth Games Scottie dogs 'disrespectful to Muslims' - Telegraph - "Malaysian politicians and religious leaders have attacked the use of Scottie dogs during the Commonwealth Games opening ceremony, claiming it was disrespectful to Muslims"

Shorter men live longer, scientists find - Telegraph
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