"Malaysia Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad and the Sultan of Johor are seen in a blue Proton Saga... "When asked whether there is any tension with the sultan, Dr Mahathir said: “No, I don’t see anything because I went to see him and he drove me to the airport. I don’t want to comment on the sultans because if I say anything that is not good then it’s not nice because he is the sultan”"

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Monday, April 20, 2015

Links - 20th April 2015

PBS cans technical virgin - "Yesterday, the PBS Kids Sprout network canned Melanie Martinez, host of “The Good Night Show,” after discovering that she had talked about anal sex in a series of parodies of pro-virginity public service announcements several years ago... what about Chris Rock? A big hit in “Madagascar”! Remember his old routine about the dying Make-a-Wish Foundation kid who says, “I want some big titties in my face! It’s my last wish!” Rock is also the guy who famously said that a father’s most important job is to keep his daughter “off the [stripper's] pole.” This may come as a shock, but did you know the guy who played Donkey in “Shrek” was once a stand-up comedian who did a routine in which he told Bill Cosby to “have a Coke and a smile and shut the fuck up, Jello-pudding-eating motherfucker”?"
cf. People who call for Ikea to dissociate itself from Lawrence Khong's magic show because he is "homophobic"

Singaporeans in Australia Packing Up for Home - A Singaporean In Australia - "Many were deeply affected by the recent passing of their nation's founding father Lee Kuan Yew and a full week of national mourning both on the streets and on social media. In a bizarre fashion, they had decided to put their professed love for their country on social media into action and are returning to Singapore in doves!"

Minimum Wage Mythbusters - "Myth: Increasing the minimum wage is bad for the economy.
Not true: Since 1938, the federal minimum wage has been increased 22 times. For more than 75 years, real GDP per capita has steadily increased, even when the minimum wage has been raised."
Amusingly the Department of Labor "Minimum Wage Mythbusters" sounds like a partisan hack job rather than being a level-headed factsheet

Twin Lessons: Have More Kids. Pay Less Attention to Them. - Ideas Market - WSJ - "Twin researchers rarely offer parenting advice. But much practical guidance is implicit in the science. The most prominent conclusion of twin research is that practically everything—health, intelligence, happiness, success, personality, values, interests—is partly genetic. The evidence is straightforward: Identical twins are more similar than fraternal twins in almost every way—even when the twins are separated at birth. But twin research has another far more amazing lesson: With a few exceptions, the effect of parenting on adult outcomes ranges from small to zero. Parents change kids in many ways; the catch is that the changes fade out as kids grow up. By adulthood, identical twins aren’t slightly more similar than fraternal twins; they’re much more similar. And when identical twins are raised apart, they’re often just as similar as they are when they’re raised together. Once I became a dad, I noticed that parents around me had a different take on the power of nurture. I saw them turning parenthood into a chore... High-strung parenting isn’t dangerous, but it does make being a parent a lot more work and less fun than it has to be... The key point to keep in mind is that twin research focuses on vaguely normal families in the First World. It doesn’t claim that kids would do equally well if they were raised by wolves or abandoned in Haiti. But look on the bright side: If you are a vaguely normal family in the First World, the science of nature and nurture shows that you can lighten up a lot without hurting your kids. Serenity Parenting changed our lives. We used the Ferber method—let the kid cry for 10 minutes, briefly comfort him, repeat—to get our twins to sleep through the night. We enrolled them in an activity or two, but they spent a lot more time watching cartoons while we relaxed. Our family specialized in activities that were literally “fun for the whole family”: reading books together, playing dodgeball in the basement, going to the pool for a swim... Yet eventually I noticed that twin research had another, far less obvious lesson for parents: Have more kids"

Affirmative Action And The Mockery Of Jewish Tradition - "Students of Jewish descent made up 7 percent of the Harvard freshman class in 1900, 10 percent in 1909, 15 percent in 1915, and 21.5 percent in 1922. They were disproportionately successful academically, far outperforming their Gentile classmates in, among other things, degrees with distinction. Jews came to be viewed as a threat to the existing order of the American elite, and so the top schools in the country set explicit and secret quotas for the number of Jews they would allow in—generally in the realm of 5–15 percent. Such quotas were justified on several grounds. One Harvard official admitted to “the disinclination, whether justified or not, on the part of non-Jewish students to be thrown into contact with so large a proportion of Jewish undergraduates.” A. Lawrence Lowell, Harvard’s president, cited the apparently much more benign goal of racial harmony as the impetus behind the quotas. “The anti-Semitic feeling among the students is increasing and it grows in proportion to the increase in the number of Jews,” he wrote to a Jewish lawyer and Harvard alumnus. “When?.?.?.?the number of Jews was small, the race antagonism was small also. Any such race feeling among the students tends to prevent the personal intimacies on which we must rely to soften anti-Semitic feeling. If every college in the country would take a limited proportion of Jews, I suspect we should go a long way toward eliminating race feeling among the students, and, as these students passed out into the world, eliminating it in the community... By diversity, the ADL means not intellectual diversity but purely racial diversity. And the conflation of racial and intellectual diversity is a telling constant in both briefs. The Union for Reform Judaism even uses the Talmud to support its position on affirmative action, quoting from Berakhot 58a on the website of its lobbying group, the Religious Action Center: “If one sees a great crowd, one should thank God for not having made them all of one mind. For just as each person’s face is different from another, so is each person’s mind different from any other mind.” This is specious. The rabbis of the Talmud were praising intellectual diversity (and for good reason!), but the policy here is racial diversity—and the rabbis are being used as a prop to support it. For the quotation to work as an argument for racial preferences, one must assume that skin color begets ideas... Racial preferences now exist as part and parcel of a higher-education system that too often promotes a fascination with identity politics over a true inquiry into what is just”

Do Men Find Very Skinny Women Attractive? - "many women seem to believe that men find super-skinny women like fashion models especially attractive. In study after study, women consistently underestimate the amount of body fat that men prefer. When asked to predict the figure that men will find most attractive, women consistently choose a skinnier figure than the men actually prefer. The figures women think men prefer are more like fashion models than Playmates. (For what it's worth, men also misjudge women's preferences for male muscle and genital size.) The figures that the men actually prefer are also much closer to the women's own figures than the skinnier ones women believe that men like. This misreading of men's desires may encourage some women to mistakenly think they would be more attractive to men if they weighed less... one possibility is that production costs and marketing strategies combine to create a demand for less curvy models. In addition, it may be that male fashion designers are more likely to prefer boyish figures. Whatever the reasons may be, the differences in the models featured in Vogue and Playboy reveal that men and women don't currently agree on the most attractive female body shape. Which viewpoint is more likely to reflect the healthiest option for women? Over evolutionary history, men's genetic contributions to the next generation depended on their ability to make subtle and accurate assessments about which women would make the best moms. In contrast, women got no reproductive payoff from any ability to make similar assessments about other women's bodies. Hence, odd as it may seem, men's unconscious preferences are more likely to tell us about what has been healthy for women"

Obesity does not equal unhappiness: Study tracks relationship between weight, life satisfaction, and where you live. - "obese men and women who live in U.S. counties with high levels of obesity are much happier than obese men and women who live in slenderer areas. Nor do people of “normal weight” enjoy much of an affective advantage in neighborhoods with more flesh per capita. “This illustrates the importance of looking like the people around you when it comes to satisfaction with life,” explains co-author Philip Pendergast... If you are both heavyset and heavyhearted, it is more likely due to your neighbors being jerks (possibly because their blood sugar is low from living off celery like baleful rabbits)."
Being thin is oppressive to fat people! And apparently if you're thin you must be nasty to fat people

Mainstream media defies govt, keeps Lee Kuan Yew’s hospitalisation secret for 17 days only | New Nation - "The mainstream media has proven that it has a backbone and will not be subjected to the Singapore government’s beck and call as it broke its silence by reporting the news of Lee Kuan Yew’s hospitalisation. This after the various mainstream media in Singapore simultaneously reported on Feb. 21, 2015, that the ex-prime minister was in hospital since Feb. 5, effectively demonstrating that they had been keeping this news secret for 17 days. Singaporeans from all walks of life applauded the mainstream media for sticking to their guns and defying government orders of keeping the ex-prime minister’s real state of health under tight wraps, in the event any news construed to be negative might cause property prices to fall and the economy, in general, to unravel... Jin Hum Ji, a reporter from Singapore Press Holdings, said: “Turns out I was wrong. The Straits Times and Channel News Asia sure knows how to get the story out fast and while it is still hot.” “If you ask me, 17 days is way too soon, because we need to bear in mind that the mainstream media is expected to report that Lee Kuan Yew will live forever.” “This is definitely a win for press freedom. I’m sure such a practice will help boost Singapore’s ranking in the Press Freedom Index next year.”"

Why are white people expats when the rest of us are immigrants?
Of course, this is from The Guardian
Comment: "What a contrived article all entered around two erroneous assumptions.
1. The definition of expat holds the literal meaning of its Latin root.
2. All expats are white. And British.
To deal with the first point. The Wikipedia quote continues as follows "In common usage, the term is often used in the context of professionals or skilled workers sent abroad by their companies,[1] rather than for all 'immigrants' or 'migrant workers'. The differentiation found in common usage usually comes down to socio-economic factors, so skilled professionals working in another country are described as expatriates, whereas a manual labourer who has moved to another country to earn more money might be labelled an 'immigrant' or 'migrant worker'"
Which is plain disingenuous of the author.
Secondly, expats are not all white, or for that matter all western. But they are all well-off. And usually intend to return home to a similar standard of living.
There could have been an interesting article as "expat" is a loaded term and a product of colonialism so at one point expats were white. And the majority continue to be which is a product of global inequalities. And all sorts of other considered arguments.
But it is an ignorant rant based on twisted assumptions that ultimately looks foolish. Which is a shame as there are real issues to discuss."

12 Disney Princesses As Lukewarm Bowls Of Water - "Disney Princesses can be funny, brave, and endearing. But did you know they could also be containers full of H2O?"

Law firm director boasts about giving “damn good” fellatio - "RollOnFriday’s favourite Singaporean law firm TSMP Law has been left red-faced after one of its managing directors took to Facebook to boast about how good she is at giving blowjobs.. Stefanie Yuen, who is married to her co-managing director, Thoi Shen Yi, unwittingly shared her prowess at oral sex with the entire world... Stefanie told RollOnFriday that it was an irreverent comment made in a closed private circle of friends, which has been taken out of context. She added, “obviously it sucks that a tongue-in-cheek comment has been blown out of proportion”"
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