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Sunday, March 22, 2015

Links - 22nd March 2015

On the Red Carpet, a Revolt Builds Over the Pageantry - - "the critique raises the question of whether there is complicity in the red carpet’s predictable shallowness. “If the actresses are fed up with the questions,” Ms. Cosgrave said, “why are they obeying the publicists lining them up to answer them?”"

How many muscles does it take to smile? - "While nobody could possibly tell you with accuracy exactly how many muscles you use when you smile (43? 17? 26?), it's possible to tell you the minimum number of muscles that are used in the most insincere, subtle, restrained, mouth-only smile or frown. If we analyze a smile that only raises the corners of the lips and the upper lip (the smile you give when you bump into your former boss in the grocery store, perhaps), then there are five muscle pairs (or 10 total muscles) that accomplish this. Two muscle pairs primarily raise the upper lip, while three other muscle pairs are tasked mainly with raising the corners of the mouth. If we reduce a frown only to the lowering of the corners of the mouth along with a slight downward pouting of the lower lip, we're dealing with only three muscle pairs (one pair to drop the lower lip, and two pairs to lower the corners). Counted individually (as you might count your biceps to be two different muscles, instead of one muscle pair), we reach a tally that very well may turn our understanding of the universe completely on end: 10 muscles to smile, and six muscles to frown. But before you abandon your smile for a look of mild disappointment in order to conserve energy, consider that we can reduce both a smile and a frown even further, so that each is produced merely by raising or lowering the corners of the mouth into a robotic expression. In this case, we have a tie: two muscle pairs (for a total of four) to "smile," and the same number to "frown.""

Winter swimming improves general well-being. - "In the beginning, there were no significant differences in the mood states and subjective feelings between the swimmers and the controls. The swimmers had more diseases (about 50%) diagnosed by a physician. Tension, fatigue, memory and mood negative state points in the swimmers significantly decreased with the duration of the swimming period. After four months, the swimmers felt themselves to be more energetic, active and brisk than the controls. Vigour-activity scores were significantly greater (p < 0.05). All swimmers who suffered from rheumatism, fibromyalgia, or asthma, reported that winter swimming had relieved pains." Body Integrity Identity Disorder has made Chloe Jennings-White, 58, disown her legs- "A Cambridge University educated research scientist is so desperate to live the life of a wheelchair-bound person she is prepared to pay a doctor help her become disabled. Since childhood, Chloe Jennings-White has made several attempts at injuring herself so she can finally climb into her own wheelchair. In 2010 she even found a doctor overseas willing to help her become disabled by cutting her sciatic and femoral nerves, but she could not afford the £16,000 costs... Some experts believe it is caused by a neurological fault, in which the brain's mapping system cannot see a certain body part... Chloe first realised she was different at the age of four, after visiting her Aunt Olive, who was using leg braces after a bike accident. 'I wanted them too,' she said. 'I wondered why I wasn't born needing them and felt something was wrong with me because I didn't have them'... Now, as an adult, Chloe enjoys the excitement of downhill skiing and the possibility she might fall and suffer serious leg fractures... She researched the braces online and came across BIID for the first time. She discovered there were others like her. 'It was a huge relief,' she said. 'I wasn't a freak - there were hundreds of others like me'... Chloe believes it is important to raise awareness about the condition and now writes for the BIID support group Transabled."
If it's okay to want to be a different gender, why not to be disabled?

Page 3 models lead backlash against 'comfy shoe-wearing, no bra-wearing, man-haters' - Telegraph - "Page 3 girls have led the backlash against The Sun's decision to end its topless tradition, claiming the move has been "dictated by comfy shoe-wearing, no bra-wearing, man-haters". Model Rhian Sugden, 28, criticised at the move, suggesting it was "only a matter of time" before everything they did was dictated by such people. Former glamour model Jodie Marsh insisted that "telling girls they shouldn't do Page 3 is not being a feminist". She said she "loved" posing for Page 3 and that it made her feel powerful and earned her good money. "Women should empower and encourage other women," she wrote on Twitter. "For that is the only way to truly be 'equal' and have rights..." She said campaigners should focus on more important issues that affect women, such as female genital mutilation... "Everybody still wants Page 3, apart from the feminists who are fighting an argument I just don't agree with. "If you meet any Page 3 girl who has gone on to pose for the Sun, we are all very strong-minded women that have made our own choice and feel very happy with what we are doing. "We certainly don't feel like we have been victimised."

DNA testing could reveal identity of Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa - "Some have argued the painting is a self-portrait of the artist, or one of his favourite male lovers in disguise, the evidence they say is the fact Da Vinci kept it with him until his death in Amboise, France in 1519. The most curious theories have been provided by medical experts turned Renaissance art sleuths. One theory was that the Mona Lisa's mouth is clamped firmly shut because she was undergoing mercury treatment for syphilis which turned her teeth black. An American dentist has claimed that the tight-lipped expression was typical of people who have lost their front teeth, while a Danish doctor was convinced she suffered from congenital palsy which affected the left side of her face and this is why her hands are overly large."

K-pop’s next big thing? - "Next up is six-member group G-Friend. Photos and a pre-debut greetings clip were posted on Source Entertainment’s official Facebook page, featuring the girls waving and smiling while clad in clean white tees and tennis skirts. Short for “girlfriend,” the name signifies the group’s aims to appeal to boys as sweet girlfriends and to girls as chummy pals. The members’ average age is 17, possibly making it the youngest girl group in the K-pop scene"

Time to banish Boko - "in April 2014, when Boko Haram kidnapped hundreds of schoolgirls from Chibok in north-eastern Nigeria, the biggest activity was not to mobilise security forces, but to go on Twitter with a #BringBackOurGirls hashtag... In a series of attacks in the town of Baga, which lasted from Jan 3 to Jan 7, the militants killed an estimated 2,000 people and destroyed the homes of tens of thousands. The main reaction of the Nigerian government has been to deny the extent of the fatalities, claiming that it may just be in the hundreds. Which isn’t as comforting as they seem to think it is... You can’t blame the colonial legacy forever, yet it is surely horrific that in 2015, the world’s powers can turn a blind eye to such chaos, suffering and evil.
If the world's powers intervene, many people will just claim it's because of oil

Jews From France Find Future in Montreal - "“I hear and I know of young couples moving to Quebec,” said Serge Cwajgenbaum, the Lyon, France-born secretary general of the European Jewish Congress. “The reason is not necessarily related to the rise of anti-Semitism, but it’s more to find a proper future, in terms of good work, good salaries and a cheaper way of life.” There are some 90,000 Jews in the Montreal metropolitan area."

Homosexuality may help us bond - "They found that heterosexual women who have higher levels of progesterone are more likely to be open to the idea of engaging in sexual behaviour with other women. Similarly, when heterosexual men are subtly reminded of the importance of having male friends and allies, they report more positive attitudes toward engaging in sexual behaviour with other men. This pattern is particularly dramatic in men who have high levels of progesterone."

27% of French Youth Support ISIS | CNS News - "A survey done by ICM research, found that nearly 16% of French citizens have a favorable view of ISIS. To add some context to that number, French president Francois Hollande currently has an approval rating of 18%. That 16% is even higher than the 13% in Gaza who were found to view ISIS favorably, in a similar poll. Scarier still, more than a quarter (27%) of French citizens between the ages of 18 and 24 were found to sympathize with ISIS."

The Father of Electric Christmas Tree Lights - "Now at Christmastime, Johnson prepared to make some history of his own. For centuries—according to some folklore all the way back to the 1500s when Protestant reformer Martin Luther wished to replicate the wintertime sight of stars twinkling among the evergreens—people had used wax candles to illuminate their Christmas trees. The candles may have been beautiful, but they were obviously a huge fire hazard. Every year as year the holiday approached, without fail newspapers printed tragic stories about Christmas trees accidentally catching fire and houses burning to the ground, sometimes with deadly consequences."

For Cajuns, Santa Arrives Via `gator - "When Glen Verret Jr., 3, is asked how Santa will arrive at his house he answers in a single word: ``Alligator.``"

Jean-Baptiste Lully Biography - Childhood, Life &Timeline - "In 8 January 1687, Lully was conducting a ‘Te Deum’ in celebration of Louis XIV's recent recovery from illness. He was beating time by banging a long staff (a precursor to the bâton) against the floor, which was a common practice in those days. In the process, he struck his own toes badly which led to a critical abscess. The wound degenerated to become gangrenous and, because Lully was reluctant to get his toe amputated, the gangrene proved to be fatal. He succumbed to it on the 22nd of March"

How Chinese genetics is like Chinese food - "The Han Chinese are genetically diverse, due to geographic scale of range, hybridization with other populations, and possibly local adaptation."

Male Escorts - hanoiescort's JimdoPage! - "I usually fuck a girl for about 50 min before i bust a nut ...I then relax for 15-20min, eat a power bar or turkey sandwitch before I resume fucking for another 40-60 min.. If I really like fucking the girl I sleep over for 2-3 hours before I fuck for another 20-30min. This does not include 20 min of cunilingus."
"I wouldn't want to fuck for that long anymore. That's too much work. When I was young I used to do that shit, but no mas. I do 20 minutes, take a break, then another 10-15 mins and I'm done. Whether I fuck for 1 or 2 hours, I still get the same end result, so I take the option with less work, so I can move on with my day."
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