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Valar Qringaomis

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Friday, March 27, 2015

Links - 27th March 2015

So You Want to Earn a Ph.D. in Economics: How Long Do You Think it Will Take? - "students supported by fellowships, and those holding a prior masters degree finish faster. Americans, those who take jobs before completing their degree, and those with children take longer. Kids slow the progress of women, but not men. The only difference among fields is more time required for industrial organization and international economics. There is no difference in time-to-degree between men and women, married and single students, older and younger students, and those enrolled in larger or smaller Ph.D. programs."

Former employee suing Costco for religious discrimination, happened at Sunset Park location - "when he refused to work with pork, the major retailer sent him outside to gather carts. "Just because you have a different belief, that doesn't give anybody the right to treat you different," said Jean Camara, suing Costco. That's why Jean Camara says he's doing what he's doing, suing Costco for religious employment discrimination. The devout Muslim says he was working as a cashier's assistant at the Costco in Sunset Park Brooklyn in September of 2012 when pork came across the conveyor belt. It's against his religious beliefs to touch either pork or alcohol. Camara says after telling his managers this, they transferred him outside collecting the shopping carts. Camara says they never told him why he was reassigned... Camara says he asked his managers if he could work in the electronics department, but his requests were repeatedly denied. He ended up filing a human rights complaint against the company. 16 days later, he was fired for insubordinate conduct. "We all share different beliefs so we all should be treated equally no matter what belief we have," Camara said. "It's not OK to discriminate against someone for their religion. It isn't OK. It isn't OK to treat them differently others because of what they believe in. I think that everyone is entitled to the same treatment. I think that's what this case is about," Henry said."

Neil deGrasse Tyson loses it in a discussion about science - "It shows Tyson losing it in a science discussion with Brian Greene, Richard Dawkins, Lawrence Krauss, Tracy Day, Ira Flatow, and Bill Nye. The discussion was at an Arizona State University panel on “The Storytelling of Science” (you can see the full discussion here), where Tyson reacted rather violently when Krauss suggested that manned space exploration is driven mainly by the spirit of adventure rather than a search for scientific answers. I happen to agree with that, since the answers are about just as easily obtained with unmanned ventures. In fact, I think that when John F. Kennedy first announced, in an address to Congress in 1961, that the country would try to send people to the Moon by the end of the decade (a prediction that proved correct), he explicitly referred to adventure—and also alluded to a race with the Russians. Speaking at Rice University in 1962, Kennedy famously said this: “We choose to to to the Moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard.” Shades of Edmund Hillary! But he’s right, for that speech kindled the American spirit, making it seem as if every American were participating in a marvelous adventure. Tyson, promising to keep silent while Krauss speaks, can’t contain himself, and blurts out a stentorian stream of incoherence, asserting that manned space exploration was never driven by either exploration, science, or curiosity. Rather, Tyson claims, it was driven by the search for immortality (?) and for wealth. I don’t get that at all. When the Large Hadron Collider is mentioned, Tyson leaps from his chair and has to be restrained by Bill Nye... while applauding Tyson’s contributions to science education, I don’t share my readers’ enthusiasm for him. I dislike his weasel-words approach to admitting his nonbelief, and underneath his veneer of cordiality there seems to be a stream of anger. And of course there was the incident of Tyson withdrawing David Albert’s invitation to an American Museum of Natural History debate on the origins of the universe. Give me Carl Sagan any day."

Fallout from student anti-semitism at UCLA - "Can you imagine a member of any other minority group who would receive this kind of treatment in a liberal American university? Even a Muslim—a member of a group said to be a target of “Islamophobia”—would never be interrogated this way. Can you imagine a student group rejecting a Muslim because she had “divided loyalties,” or a black student because she “was black, belonged to black student groups and thus had ‘divided loyalties’? Only Jews receive this kind of treatment by students—and it’s because of the overweening hatred of Israel (which devolves upon Jewish students) among many college students. Until recently, anti-Semitism on campus was not much discussed, even though in America hate crimes against Jews are 5-6 times more frequent than against Muslims (twofold if you weight the data by population size), and they occur fairly often on campus. There are two reasons. First, people have the impression that anti-Semitism simply isn’t a going view in the U.S., and so ignore it. Second, anti-Semitism is now folded into a more socially acceptable view: anti-Zionism... It’s remarkable to me how restrained (but firm) the reaction of Jewish people was... no Muslim, Mormon, gay, or black student would have been challenged about their “objectivity”. That issue is reserved for Jews."

Restaurants Currently Offering Shark Fin Soup
Chinese restaurants to dine at in the US!

In Mumbai, Eating That Steak Could Cost 5 Years in Jail - "The government of the state of Maharashtra this week banned possession of beef and its byproducts and the slaughtering of cows, bulls and bullocks. The prohibition marks a victory for hard-line Hindu groups that have sought to protect an animal their religion considers holy... “The real battle of prohibition today will not be against alcohol; it will be against meat,” Viswanathan said. “Many landlords won’t rent a house if you eat meat. That is also a way of throwing Muslims out”... some Mumbai restaurants do serve beef and others offer it off the menu. “If I show beef on the menu, lots of people may not enter,” said P.K. Krishnan, who runs a restaurant specializing in south Indian-cuisine in the Mahim working-class neighborhood. Yet he sells as much as 12 kilograms (26 pounds) of beef daily, mostly in a spicy chili-fry dish popular in Kerala state... “This is the cheapest source of protein” among meat products, said Mohammad Ali Qureshi, president of the Bombay Suburban Beef Dealers Association. “For a poor man, one kilo of beef is enough to provide two meals for his family. All are looking at it from the religious angle and not the economic angle.” India exports $4 billion of beef annually, almost all of it from buffalo"

Indonesia delivers effective birth control pill for men - ""It's 99% effective," says Bambang Prajogo, the research project's lead scientist. He heads a team comprised of researchers from the government's National Family Planning Coordination Board and Airlangga University, one of Indonesia's top colleges... The pill weakens enzymes in sperm that allow them to squirm into a woman's ovum. Unlike female birth control pills, it doesn't tinker with hormones, which causes so many unpleasant side effects... overall, researchers haven't seen anything that remotely rivals the zits, nausea, sporadic bleeding and other effects many women endure on hormone-based birth control pills."

Temple plans non-Chinese loos - "One of northern Thailand's most famous temples plans to build separate toilets for Thais and other non-Chinese tourists, officials confirmed on Saturday. Wat Rong Khun, better known as the White Temple, in Chiang Rai will add the new toilets as a solution to complaints about the lack of bathroom etiquette by Chinese tourists, temple officials told DPA. Previously, the temple had banned Chinese tourists altogether after Chinese tour groups had left the toilets in a state of disrepair. "They had defecated on the floor, urinated on the walls outside and left sanitary pads on the wall of the bathrooms," said an official who requested anonymity. The temple's designer, Chalermchai Kositpipat, said in a television interview that it was "impossible" for other tourists to use the bathrooms after the Chinese tours, so he would build new ones."

Whole egg consumption improves lipoprotein profiles and insulin sensitivity to a greater extent than yolk-free egg substitute in individuals with metabolic syndrome.

72-year-old woman hit by TASER admits wrong, still gets $40K settlement - "A 72-year-old Texas woman who was Tasered during a traffic stop when she dared a deputy constable to use the stun gun said Tuesday that if she got pulled over again she would say nothing... Winkfein was stopped for driving 60 mph in a 45-mph zone near Austin. A dashboard camera in the deputy constable's car shows the 4-foot-11 Winkfein getting out of her truck, arguing with the officer and swearing at him... The incident is being reviewed by prosecutors. An internal investigation found no violations by the deputy constable. Winkfein this month accepted a $40,000 settlement offer from Travis County. County Judge Sam Biscoe said defending a lawsuit would have cost much more."

Daughter pays for parents' good deed - "Zhou Songying moved to her new house on December 9. It is the third time that Zhou's family had to move in the past six years, just to stay away from neighbors' "harsh words and judgmental stares", according to thepaper.cn. Zhou's parents signed up for body donation in 2002, becoming the first donor couple in Suzhou, East China's Jiangsu province. Zhou helped donate her father's body when he died on 2006. "Neighbors and relatives questioned me if I didn't have enough money to afford a decent burial for my father," Zhou said, adding some even asked her to "return the body"... "They said I was not a filial daughter because I sold out my parents' bodies," Zhou said. In China, many still believe in the tradition that bodies should remain intact after death. Zhou said when she signed up for body donation at Suzhou Medical School the same year as her parents did, the receptionist seemed to be shocked and asked her whether she had thought it through because Zhou was 37 then... "We were often verbally abused and some said we were ominous," said Shao Peiying, vice director of body donation with Suzhou Red Cross."

Hindu God Appears Next to Halal Sign on Water Bottle Label; Muslim Group in Malaysia Outraged - "Bottlers Chuan Sin Sdn Bhd placed the image of Lord Murugan, a Hindu deity, next to a “halal” logo on its labels. Chuan Sin Sdn Bhd produces mineral water under the Cactus and Spritzer brands in their factory in Perak. Now, Muslim Consumers Association of Malaysia (PPIM) is demanding that authorities punish the bottler... Sheikh Abdul Kareem, PPIM head of monitoring and financial services, claimed that the practice violated the Trade Descriptions Act, which states that no religious symbols may be used on the label or packaging of a product. “This action is a disgrace to the religion of the constitution, which is Islam,” said Sheikh Abdul. “We urge the Home Ministry to take action and tell them to respect that.” “If they sell it without using the halal logo, it won’t be a problem but when you have both, it will definitely cause confusion among the Muslim community,” Sheikh Abdul added."
Why are Malaysian Muslims so easily confused? Isn't the Halal symbol a religious symbol?
Moral of the story - don't bother making anything Halal
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