"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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Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Links - 21st April 2015

Flak from gay groups sees IKEA relook tie-up with pastor
Ikea operating in a country that criminalises gay sex is contrary to its diversity policy. I demand that Ikea withdraw from Singapore! Ikea must also fire all its employees who don't support gay marriage
Friend: "Eh ok, he is a bigot lah. But he never use this magic show to promote his anti-LGBT message right? Then why the pro-LGBT groups come and kpkb?
Means what? Anti-LGBT people got no right to make a living? Now you see why they accuse you of having an agenda?
Tsk... damn angry leh, why you all make me have to say these things in support of this guy I don't like...
So what's next? Are these groups going to picket the chai peng stalls that sell food to Lawrence Khong? Boycott the public toilet he uses? Protest against LTA for letting him use the roads!"

Political extremists may be less susceptible to common cognitive bias - "People who were ideologically more extreme and who reported more extreme attitudes on specific political issues produced estimates that were farther away from the anchors, suggesting greater resistance to the anchor bias. A second experiment confirmed these findings and revealed a potential mediating factor: belief superiority. People who were more extreme in ideology and political attitudes also reported stronger support for the idea that their beliefs were superior to those of others. And people who reported greater belief superiority, in turn, produced estimates that were farther from the anchor. Importantly, the results couldn't be explained by participants' level of education or their so-called need for "cognitive closure"... While previous work has often found personality and cognitive differences between liberals and conservatives, this new research shows a consistent effect of political extremity."

Is frequent mouthwash use linked to oral cancer? - "The association was only significant when looking at very frequent use (three times a day)... it is unclear whether it is mouthwash itself (the alcohol content) or the reasons it is being used, such as poor oral hygiene, that are responsible for the association."

Colosseum in Rome bans the use of selfie sticks - "Selfie sticks have been banned at the Palace of Versailles in Paris, the National Gallery in London and the Colosseum in Rome."

‘Frozen’ dethrones Barbie as top toy for girls this holiday

Hadaka Matsuri: Thousands of men in loincloths take part in annual NAKED festival in Japan where they fiercely battle for a pair of blessed batons
You're not naked if you're in a loincloth

Women Gain Ground in China. Or Do They? - China Real Time Report - WSJ - "On this year’s Women’s Day, a host of Chinese media outlets are trumpeting a new study that finds China’s businesses rank the highest in the world for employing women in senior management roles. The proportion of women in senior management in China has climbed to 51% this year, up from 25% in 2012 and outpacing the global average of 21%, according to the study, produced by the Beijing arm of accounting firm Grant Thornton. In a survey of 200 businesses in China, 94% of them employed women in senior roles, the study said. The survey’s findings would seem to represent great news for women in a country with a long history of entrenched patriarchy – except they conflict significantly with other studies that show Chinese women have actually been losing ground in the labor force, politics and society... State-controlled media and economic restructuring have actually added pressure for women to settle down at home, said Leta Hong Fincher, a doctoral candidate at Tsinghua University in Beijing who studies gender and wealth equality in China. She cites the legacy of the restructuring of China’s massive state-owned companies in previous decades, which that led to millions of job cuts that took a hefty toll on employed women. In a 2010 survey of women’s social status in China by the All-China Women’s Federation, the Chinese government’s women’s advocacy organization, 61.6% of men and 54.6% of women said that “men belong in public life and women belong at home,” an increase of 7.7 and 4.4 percentage points respectively from 2000."

‘Micromanaging’ Obama may struggle to find new defence chief - "Like his immediate predecessors at the Pentagon, Robert Gates and Leon Panetta, Mr Hagel chafed at the way a small cadre of Obama loyalists centralised power in the White House. When Mr Obama backed off a threat to bomb Syria last year, he made the decision on a walk with his chief of staff, Denis McDonough. Mr Hagel was told of the decision later... "Chuck was frustrated with aspects of the administration’s national security policy and decision-making process," Republican Senator John McCain said on Monday. "His predecessors have spoken about the excessive micromanagement they faced from the White House and how that made it more difficult to do their jobs successfully. Chuck’s situation was no different"... Mr Gates, who was Mr Obama’s first defence secretary after serving in the same capacity under Mr Bush, said recently he saw politics in the White House’s effort to keep the Pentagon on a short leash. He advised field commanders that if "you get a call from the White House, you tell them to go to hell and call me""

An estate for the operas - "The street names nearer to New Upper Changi Road are those related to the Malay Operas, bearing names such as Jalan Terang Bulan, Terang Bulan Avenue (translated: bright moon), Jalan Bintang Tiga (translated: three stars) and Jalan Bangsawan (a term for Malay Opera). Terang Bulan is adopted from a famous song during the late 19th century in the French occupied territories in the Indian Ocean. In 1901, it was presented as the Perak State Anthem during installation ceremony of King Edward VII. In 1920s, an Indonesian Bangsawan made the first debut of the song while performing in Singapore (source: Wikipedia). Jalan Bintang Tiga is likely named after the Malay Bangsawan and movie production entitled “Jula Juli Bintang Tiga”. Further inside Opera Estate, there are streets named after Italian operas, such as Rienzi, Ernani, Norma, Tosca, Aida. English opera is represented by Dido, a Baroque-style opera. Metropole could be referring to New York-based Metropolitian opera house, famous for its operas and plays."

Exploring the longitudinal relationships between the use of grammar in text messaging and performance on grammatical tasks - "Research has demonstrated that use of texting slang (textisms) when text messaging does not appear to impact negatively on children's literacy outcomes and may even benefit children's spelling attainment. However, less attention has been paid to the impact of text messaging on the development of children's and young people's understanding of grammar. This study therefore examined the interrelationships between children's and young adults’ tendency to make grammatical violations when texting and their performance on formal assessments of spoken and written grammatical understanding, orthographic processing and spelling ability over the course of 1 year. Zero-order correlations showed patterns consistent with previous research on textism use and spelling, and there was no evidence of any negative associations between the development of the children's performance on the grammar tasks and their use of grammatical violations when texting. Adults’ tendency to use ungrammatical word forms (‘does you’) was positively related to performance on the test of written grammar. Grammatical violations were found to be positively associated with growth in spelling for secondary school children. However, not all forms of violation were observed to be consistently used in samples of text messages taken 12 months apart or were characteristic of typical text messages. The need to differentiate between genuine errors and deliberate violation of rules is discussed, as are the educational implications of these findings."

The Swedish Model Criminalising the Purchase of Sex Is Dangerous: The European Parliament Should Have Rejected It - "The Swedish model has meant for sex workers who are mothers, they are at risk of losing custody of their children as by selling sex they are deemed unfit parents. This happened to Petite Jasmine and custody of her children was given to the father, a man known to be violent, who had threatened and stalked her. She was given no protection by the Swedish authorities. Then, in 2013, he murdered her. The Swedish model is social cleansing, something Sweden has history of undertaking. It must not be done in this country or in any country... The priority for police must be building trusting relationships with people in prostitution as it is in Merseyside, but this is impossible when clients are criminalised under the Swedish model. Merseyside has astonishingly high conviction rates for violent offenders targeting sex workers, which makes all of society safer... Women being able to work together in well-lit areas on-street and a small number of women being able to work from premises together should be decriminalised as research shows whether on-street or off-street, women are more at risk of rape and other violence when they are on their own and isolated. The two women who were recently murdered in London were working alone: Mariana Popa who was working on-street, and in an area where a police crackdown on street prostitution was being enforced, and Maria Duque-Tunjano who was working alone in a flat. Under decriminalisation they might still be alive because they would have been able to work with other women for safety. Decriminalisation also means sex trafficking victims do not need to fear arrest and being charged. Jes Richardson, a sex trafficking survivor, was not able to turn to police for this reason, and it was a sex worker who helped her escape. She is another woman formerly in the sex trade who is advocating for decriminalisation... Sex workers are often well placed to identify and assist sex trafficking victims and essential in ensuring this and developing it further are good relationships between the police and sex workers. I stand with 560 NGOs and civil society organisations and 86 academics and researchers who also object to the Swedish model and urge EU member states not to criminalise the purchase of sex when reassessing their prostitution laws."

Bare Reality | 100 women, their breasts, their stories - "100 women bravely share un-airbrushed photographs of their breasts alongside honest, courageous, powerful and humorous stories about their breasts and their lives. Women from all walks of life took part, aged from 19 to 101, sized AAA to K, from Buddhist nun to burlesque dancer"

We Need to Talk About Women Who Regret Motherhood - "Like so many new mothers, she felt shell shocked by the utter exhaustion, the dependency of this tiny creature, her inability to automatically soothe him or solve his problems effortlessly, as if she should've been designed to do it. She cried a lot. She missed her old life. Everyone said it would get better, but it didn't."

Amal Alamuddin now Amal Clooney: that ok? - "far more women do change their names than don't: As much as 86% of women, according to a 2011 survey conducted by TheKnot.com, take on their husband's surname after marriage... some may look to women like Amal to retain their name post-marriage is, of course, reflective of an unfair burden placed on women who reach certain levels of success, or notoriety, to please everyone and be the spokeswomen for an entire gender ever-aiming to assert itself as equal to men. By that logic, it's not Amal's name change that should be viewed as anti-feminist but her willingness to get married at all. Who needs men, right?... Amal Alamuddin Clooney has proved herself to be her own woman, and a strong, independent, accomplished one at that, no matter how the name reads on her business card -- or, for that matter, her own paycheck. How much more do we want from her as a model of female empowerment?"

Obesity and Risky Sexual Behavior Are Linked in Young Women - "overweight mothers between the ages of 14 and 25 are nearly 80 percent more likely to have an STI than their peers who were not overweight and 64 percent more likely to engage in risky sexual behavior. Meanwhile, the study found that young mothers who are classified as obese, rather than just overweight, are less likely to have STIs than their normal weight peers"
Is this why men like BBW?
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