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More adventurous than the average bear

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Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Links - 17th March 2015

S’porean women angry that feminists are angry over Ritz Carlton high heels discount promotion | New Nation - "One angry non-feminist, Hen Ai, said: “I dug out my 10-inch heels just for next Tuesday. I was hoping to get a 100% discount and eat free. 10% off per inch and 10 times 10 is 100, right?” Her friend, Bo Lui, said angry feminists are ruining it for everyone: “This angry feminist who write the letter must be very free and must be quite rich too.” “Not everyone has $72 to blow away. She may not be able to wear heels but she shouldn’t stop those of us who can from enjoying the promotion. Now I’ll never be able to eat at the Ritz. It’s my greatest regret in life,” she said as she burst into tears. “Is she going to complain about Ladies’ Night being sexist next…?” Unfortunately she was unable to complete her sentence as she was slapped and reminded of the duo’s plans for the evening."

Sun set: Now Kingston University bans sale of 'The Sun' on campus due to Page 3 - "anti-abortion campaigners were banned from campus at the same time, after a "pro-choice" motion, proposed by Francesca Manning, was passed. This move came after a pro-life organisation had been permitted to attend the University’s Freshers' Fayre this year."
Freedom of speech means only saying what is right

'I don't debate with Israelis': George Galloway accused of racism after walking out of Middle East debate at Oxford - "A posting on Mr Galloway's Facebook page said: "I refused this evening at Oxford University to debate with an Israeli, a supporter of the apartheid state of Israel. The reason is simple: no recognition, no normalisation. Just boycott, divestment and sanctions, until the apartheid state is defeated. I never debate with Israelis nor speak to their media. If they want to speak about Palestine – the address is the PLO." The moderator of the debate, Michael Baldwin, a 3rd year reading Philosophy, Politics and Economics, said: "I was disappointed that a possibly fruitful discussion was prematurely ended by Mr Galloway’s refusal to debate someone just because of their nationality.""

Winamp 2 Has Been Immortalized in HTML5 For Your Pleasure

Why free speech is fundamental - "How did the monstrous regimes of the 20th century gain and hold power? The answer is that groups of armed fanatics silenced their critics and adversaries. (The 1933 election that gave the Nazis a plurality was preceded by years of intimidation, murder, and violent mayhem.) And once in power, the totalitarians criminalized any criticism of the regime. This is also true of the less genocidal but still brutal regimes of today, such as those in China, Russia, African strongman states, and much of the Islamic world. Why do dictators brook no dissent? One can imagine autocrats who feathered their nests and jailed or killed only those who directly attempted to usurp their privileges, while allowing their powerless subjects to complain all they want. There’s a good reason dictatorships don’t work that way. The immiserated subjects of a tyrannical regime are not deluded that they are happy, and if tens of millions of disaffected citizens act together, no regime has the brute force to resist them. The reason that citizens don’t resist their overlords en masse is that they lack common knowledge — the awareness that everyone shares their knowledge and knows they share it. People will expose themselves to the risk of reprisal by a despotic regime only if they know that others are exposing themselves to that risk at the same time. "

Passive Resistance - "The passive voice has long been dismissed as a hallmark of turgid prose. “Many a tame sentence,” wrote Strunk and White in The Elements of Style, “can be made lively and emphatic by substituting a transitive in the active voice for some such perfunctory expression as there is, or could be heard.” George Orwell, in “Politics and the English Language,” agreed: among the “tricks by means of which the work of prose construction is habitually dodged” is that “the passive voice is wherever possible used in preference to the active.” But did you notice something about these advisories? They use the passive to bad-mouth the passive. This hypocrisy reminds us that prohibition is bad policy. No construction could have survived for millennia if it did not serve a purpose."

Why Academics' Writing Stinks - "I suffer the daily experience of being baffled by articles in my field, my subfield, even my sub-sub-subfield. The methods section of an experimental paper explains, "Participants read assertions whose veracity was either affirmed or denied by the subsequent presentation of an assessment word." After some detective work, I determined that it meant, "Participants read sentences, each followed by the word true or false." The original academese was not as concise, accurate, or scientific as the plain English translation. So why did my colleague feel compelled to pile up the polysyllables?... Most academic writing... is a blend of two styles. The first is practical style, in which the writer’s goal is to satisfy a reader’s need for a particular kind of information, and the form of the communication falls into a fixed template, such as the five-paragraph student essay or the standardized structure of a scientific article. The second is a style that Thomas and Turner call self-conscious, relativistic, ironic, or postmodern, in which "the writer’s chief, if unstated, concern is to escape being convicted of philosophical naïveté about his own enterprise... Self-conscious writers are also apt to kvetch about how what they’re about to do is so terribly difficult and complicated and controversial... In the classic style, the writer credits the reader with enough intelligence to realize that many concepts aren’t easy to define, and that many controversies aren’t easy to resolve. She is there to see what the writer will do about it... Writers use hedges in the vain hope that it will get them off the hook, or at least allow them to plead guilty to a lesser charge, should a critic ever try to prove them wrong. A classic writer, in contrast, counts on the common sense and ordinary charity of his readers, just as in everyday conversation we know when a speaker means in general or all else being equal. If someone tells you that Liz wants to move out of Seattle because it’s a rainy city, you don’t interpret him as claiming that it rains there 24 hours a day, seven days a week, just because he didn’t qualify his statement with relatively rainy or somewhat rainy. Any adversary who is intellectually unscrupulous enough to give the least charitable reading to an unhedged statement will find an opening to attack the writer in a thicket of hedged ones anyway... Many of the most stylish writers who cross over to a general audience are scientists (together with some philosophers who are fans of science), while the perennial winners of the Bad Writing Contest are professors of English"
Sadly, lots of people - even outside Academia (e.g. on Quora) - will attack people for unhedged statements that can be misinterpreted without using common sense

Drunk sex on campus: Universities are struggling to determine when intoxicated sex becomes sexual assault. - "Last month, two ex–Vanderbilt University football players attempted to claim that they should not be held responsible for raping an unconscious woman because they were too drunk to know what they were doing at the time. They were convicted of four counts of aggravated rape each. Good. Being drunk is not an excuse for raping another person. “If you’re blackout drunk, and you harm someone, does that make it less bad? Are you less culpable? No,” says Laura Dunn, founder and executive director of SurvJustice, a nonprofit that advocates for sexual assault survivors. “You don’t get an accidental rape for free”... Sokolow argues that the onus being put on men is not about gender bias, but about anatomy. His report says that “courts operate on the presumption that if a man is able to engage in and complete the act of sexual intercourse, he is not incapacitated.” Or as Dunn put it: “People who are truly incapacitated can’t get erections.” That’s an assumption that dates back to Shakespeare, but it’s not backed up by modern science. “It’s true that orgasm is impaired in both sexes” when people drink, says Dr. George Koob, director of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. “With even tiny levels of alcohol,” sexual response “slows down, and delays, and sometimes goes completely.” But Koob also cautioned that there’s no absolute line past which all men are incapable of having an erection and that a total loss of sexual function is less likely for young men, the ones who are implicated in most campus sexual assault disputes... The colleges that outlaw sex between students who are simply “drunk” or “intoxicated” are setting an impossible standard that pathologizes many normal, healthy, consensual sexual encounters"
If you're incapable of consenting to sex when drunk, how can you rape when drunk?!
The moral of the story seems to be that men should not get drunk, since if they have sex when drunk they're responsible for their actions Ironically this is a flip side of how some people that if a woman is drunk, it's not rape.

NSFW!Kink & Perversion To The Next Level…TOSHIO SAEKI, Godfather Of Japanese Erotica

24 differences between locals and tourists in Paris - "1. Tourists think the accordion players in the metro are cute and quintessentially European; locals sigh and change metro cars.
6. Guess who is wearing the beret and the striped shirt? Yes, that’s a tourist with the jauntily tied scarf, too.
12. Tourists wear wedding dresses and tuxedos to pose for pictures in front of the Eiffel Tower or the Arc de Triomphe. A lot of locals don’t even get married; they just end up being PACS-ed and, if they do have a ceremony, it is usually outside Paris.
13. Tourists buy locks to put on the Pont des Arts. Locals know that the locks are a safety hazard and that the city cuts off this symbol of eternal love regularly.
15. Tourists wear shirts that say ‘I heart Paris.’ Parisians have bumper stickers that say ‘I heart nothing, I’m Parisian.’
17. Tourists want to go to Disneyland Paris, while a lot of locals venture out to Parc Asterix.
18. Tourists would laugh at you if you said you were going to see the Statue of Liberty in Paris (“Wrong city!”) while locals know that there is indeed a mini Statue of Liberty in Paris.
23. Tourists want to eat “real” French food at restaurants in Paris. Parisians are basically obsessed with sushi.
24. Tourists are in Paris in August. Parisians are everywhere but Paris in August."

Public holiday entitlement varies greatly around the world - "Finland has the most generous provision of public holidays (15) in Europe, followed by Spain (14) whereas Hungary, UK and the Netherlands, have the fewest (8)... Latin America is home to the highest and lowest public holiday provision of any of the countries surveyed. Colombia has the most generous number of public holidays (18) while Mexico has the lowest (7). Argentina and Chile have 15 public holidays with Brazil offering 12... Employees in India (along with Colombia) have the highest public holiday provision worldwide (18). Australia and New Zealand both dictate fewer public holidays than the region’s average with 9 and 11, respectively. Thailand and South Korea offer 16 public holidays followed by Japan (15), Indonesia, Malaysia and Philippines (14). Pakistan (13) is followed by Hong Kong and Taiwan (12). Vietnam (10) has the lowest number of public holidays in the region below China and Singapore (11)."
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