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More adventurous than the average bear

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Monday, March 09, 2015

Links - 9th March 2015

Quokkas Are The Selfie Masters We All Want A Picture With

Did Grey Seals Mutilate Two Harbour Porpoises? - "there’s something oddly poetic about the otherwise grisly story. Whales and dolphins evolved from deer-like hoofed animals while seals, as I said, are carnivores that have taken to the sea. A seal eating a porpoise is a modern marine episode in a longstanding conflict between a group of (mostly) predators and a group of (mostly) prey."

Exclusive: Corrupt Apple Store Employees Come Forward Across America - "Computers were traded for plastic surgery, iPhones were smashed like party favors, and employees outright stole from the back room for their own pleasure. It was a den of misuse and abuse, all under the gleaming white aegis of Apple Retail. The perfection is a myth... One former employee who had opened retail stores across North America and Asia claimed "The corruption within Apple goes straight to the top. That is why I left, I couldnt tolerate it anymore. Under Mr. Cook, Apple is fracturing from the inside out." But there's probably a less theatrical explanation here. Apple Stores mint their own gold. They sell some of the most desirable expensive products in the history of desirable expensive products, without the pressure of commission. The stuff sells itself—and websites like ours sure help—and that's why Apple has the most profitable retail operation per square foot in the entire country. The stores make more money than Tiffany, which literally sells giant diamonds."

Diagnosing the Home Alone burglars' injuries: A professional weighs in

Singapore the ‘least positive’ country in the world: survey - "According to a Gallup poll released on Wednesday – the same poll that ranked countries with the most and least emotions – residents of Singapore are the least likely to feel positive alongside war torn countries such as Iraq and Armenia."

Male Strippers Stop an Armed Robbery With Their Bare Hands and Chests

Who Had Richer Parents, Doctors Or Artists? - "doctors, chief executives and police officers are doing much better than their parents in terms of income; designers, secretaries and waiters are doing worse"

Good guy with a gun myth: Guns increase the risk of homicide, accidents, suicide. - "for every 1 percent increase in gun ownership, there was a 1.1 percent increase in the firearm homicide rate and a 0.7 percent increase in the total homicide rate... the firearm ownership rate had no statistically significant impact on nonfirearm homicides, meaning there was no detectable substitution effect. That is, in the absence of guns, would-be criminals are not switching to knives or some other weapons to carry out homicide. These results are supported by a host of previous studies that illustrate that guns increase the rate of homicides. The evidence against firearm ownership becomes even stronger when suicides and accidents are included in the analysis—guns make both much more likely and more fatal... One might accept that firearms are dangerous and that they substantially elevate the risk of homicide, suicide, and fatal accidents, but still believe that policies regulating gun ownership are ineffective—criminals, after all, won’t follow them. However, another recent study from May of 2013 analyzed the impact of state firearm laws on firearm-related fatalities. It found that the most gun-restrictive states have significantly fewer firearm fatalities than the states with the least restrictive laws... Suppose a criminal has just broken into your house brandishing a firearm. You need to protect yourself and your family. Wouldn’t anyone feel safer owning a gun? This is the kind of narrative propagated by gun advocates in defense of firearm ownership. It preys on our fear. Yet, the annual per capita risk of death during a home invasion is 0.0000002, which, for all intents and purposes, is zero... Gun ownership doubled the risk of homicide and tripled the risk of suicide. This research is bolstered by a national survey that found that a gun in the home was far more likely to be used to threaten a family member or intimate partner than to be used in self-defense... despite the NRA’s mantra that there are millions of defensive gun uses every year, empirical data reveals that DGUs are actually extremely rare. Criminal uses of firearms far outnumber legal defensive uses. The evidence shows that there may be fewer than even 3,000 DGUs annually. In comparison, there are 30,000 gun deaths annually, and many more injuries and shattered lives. The costs of gun ownership unequivocally outweigh the benefits... FBI data reveal that about twice as many homicides result from arguments than from felonies, and gang violence is only a small contributor... the National Crime Victimization Survey found that people who used any weapon other than a gun for defense were less likely to be harmed than those who used a firearm"

When You Flip Through an IKEA Catalog, 75% of the 'Photography' You See is CGI

Flip-flopping politicians and judges: Survey of motivated reasoning and merits bias. - "we asked people whether President Bush acted rightly by using a loophole to make appointments in defiance of Senate opposition. Most Republicans said he did the right thing while most Democrats said he acted wrongly. We then put Obama’s name in for Bush with a different group of respondents and asked the same question. This time the vast majority of Republicans opposed the appointments while most Democrats said he did the right thing."

Iran's foreign minister summoned to parliament over walk with Kerry - "Speaking to reporters in Tehran last week, Zarif sought to justify the private walk with Kerry: "We had a serious earnest session and perhaps there was a need to pause a few minutes and resume in another form. These are quite normal in the world of diplomacy, especially since our hotel had no yard or garden and surrounding alleys were packed with curious journalists.""

Vandalism case: Teen guilty of theft, trespass - "Deputy Public Prosecutor Tang Shangjun told the court that Graaskov never took part in the spray-painting and backed out not because he realised his folly but because he knew he would miss the last bus home."
What sort of criminal needs to take the last bus home?!

Your behavior key to building a better society - "A tale goes like this: An old man lies on his back at a crossroads, waiting for someone whom he can blackmail. A young man walks up to him and says he is too poor for extortion. The old chap waves his hand, telling the young guy to leave him alone. Another man approaches the old man and says he is even poorer than the first and doesn't have enough money to even support himself. The old man gets up immediately and lets the young guy lie down in his place, saying, "your need to blackmail an upstart driving by in a fancy limousine is even greater than mine"... It seems the rationale is to use rampant abuse of power by officials to justify the misdeeds of ordinary people. In other words, people have no need to perform their duties as good citizens unless they have a government that is run by clean and honest officials."

Men who like spicier food are 'alpha males' with higher levels of testosterone, French report claims - Telegraph - "Scientists at the highly-respected University of Grenoble have published a report suggesting that regular consumption of chili peppers may raise levels of the hormone, which is believed to make men more adventurous, enterprising and sexually active... Unlike their British counterparts, relatively few have acquired a taste for hot curries. Many see chili as an assault on their taste buds that hinders enjoyment of the subtler, more delicate flavours of classic French cuisine."

Curry: why the British are moving on from Chicken Tikka Masala - Telegraph - "Curry made and adapted in Britain is now so good that it’s even becoming a major export. Ali relates an experience in Prague recently where he saw a Czech chef cooking curry with a Patak sauce, a brand founded in Britain. “Curry is served in five star hotels around the world,” he says, “and they’re not using recipes from India, they’re from [Britain].”"

Romantic red: red enhances men's attraction to women. - "In many nonhuman primates, the color red enhances males' attraction to females. In 5 experiments, the authors demonstrate a parallel effect in humans: Red, relative to other achromatic and chromatic colors, leads men to view women as more attractive and more sexually desirable. Men seem unaware of this red effect, and red does not influence women's perceptions of the attractiveness of other women, nor men's perceptions of women's overall likeability, kindness, or intelligence. The findings have clear practical implications for men and women in the mating game and, perhaps, for fashion consultants, product designers, and marketers. Furthermore, the findings document the value of extending research on signal coloration to humans and of considering color as something of a common language, both within and across species."

Has West's liberal left failed people of color? - "where one really feels that the left has lost track big time is in delineating racist speech and anti-Muslim prejudice from genuine criticism of ideologies like Islamism or fundamentalist Islam. This leads to inevitable silencing of voices of dissent, from Muslim community or otherwise. They sometimes end up stooping to such new lows that they even engage in implicit victim blaming, which is antithetical to the core values of progressive liberalism. And these very people ironically end up overlooking the diverse voices amongst people of color and just conveniently homogenize them instead. Makes one wonder if the whole thing smacks of a kind of elitist arrogance. The hypocrisy of some factions of left is so evident when they accuse the lack of attention to the horrendous atrocities committed Boko Haram by the western media. While western media is guilty of resorting to orientalist narratives and problematic portrayal of the ‘third world’, had the media publicized the atrocities committed by Boko Haram enough, would they have been spared of accusations of peddling Islamophobia?"

Vox got no threats for posting Charlie Hebdo cartoons, dozens for covering Islamophobia
If you take online threats seriously, you haven't been online long enough

Couple following their hearts in epic journey of love - "There are many ways to express love, but Ding Yizhou chose one that few would adopt: following a heart-shaped itinerary around China with his girlfriend, who uses a wheelchair."
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