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More adventurous than the average bear

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Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Links - 20th May 2015

Boycott Israel - "Rohingya muslims are the victims of state-sponsored discrimination in predominantly zionist buddhist Myanmar, oh Buddha!"
Amused that Myanmar is "Zionist Buddhist", Maybe "Zionist" is just a synonym for "evil"

Cherry blossoms focus of three-nation tug-of-war over origins | The Japan Times - "A perennial debate over the birthplace of the cherry blossom has taken a fresh turn as a Chinese industry group claims the Asian giant is the tree’s true home, rather than Japan or South Korea."

Luxury In North Korea: The Handheld Device Taking the Country By Storm - "Enter the Chinese note-tel, or ‘notel’, the ‘notebook’ and ‘television’ multi-media-player handheld, combined. It’s kind of the eight-track tape of today. First—and still—manufactured in China, the $50 items were initially illegal in North Korea, which instantly spawned a huge smuggling effort to the tune of thousands a week. The things play DVDs, can receive a television signal, and can accept USB sticks and SD cards. They’re cheap. They’ve essentially become the Radio Free Korea for the country. In an attempt to get with the curve, the North Korean government recently legalized them. Naturally, they’re supposed to be tuned to state channels."

Need to Recover from a Workout? Fast Food Is Just as Effective as Supplements

The surprising but curiously logical differences between male and female serial killers - "Although female serial killers, like unhappy families, are each horrifying in their own way, Harrison found some striking similarities among her subjects. Most of them came from fairly mundane backgrounds, their primary weapon was poison, and nearly all of them killed people they knew, often their own family members. By comparison, most victims of male serial killers are unknown to their murderer. “Female serial killers gather and male serial killers hunt,” Harrison said. “That was very interesting to me, as an evolutionary psychologist, that it reflects kind of ancestral tendencies.” Harrison also saw evidence of evolutionary influences in what drove women to kill. While most murders by male serial killers tend to involve sex in some way — a 1995 study found that male serial killings are characterized by a desire for domination, control, humiliation and sadistic sexual violence — women are more likely to kill for money or power. “It struck me that women would kill for resources, which was their primary drive in the ancestral environment, and men kill for sex,” she said... unwillingness to believe the idea of a woman serial killer may allow murderers to get away with their crimes — on average, female serial killers are able to evade arrest for twice as long as men are. Their victims pay for that extra time."

Gamers confess the worst things they've done in The Sims

Debunking The Economical Rice Myth - "Apparently, you can manipulate the person serving into giving you a larger portion. It seems simple enough to execute right? You just had to request for “more rice” instead of “add rice”, order the meat dishes instead of the vegetables next and then act really restless and indecisive, much like your MP during the Meet-the-MP session."

Niacin, 'Fountain Of Life,' May Help Us Live Longer; Researchers Link Nutrient To Longer Lifespan In Roundworm Experiment - "oxidative stress may have an effect similar to that of exercise. In a previous study, the team identified a correlation between the health benefits of endurance sport and the presence of free radicals. The findings also suggested that antioxidants restricted these health benefits by neutralizing the oxidative stress. "Niacin tricks the body into believing that it is exercising -- even when this is not the case," Ristow explained. These compounds are known as exercise mimetics."

Former teacher sentenced to a year in prison for hugging, kissing student

Why Our Children Don’t Think There Are Moral Facts - - "What would you say if you found out that our public schools were teaching children that it is not true that it’s wrong to kill people for fun or cheat on tests? Would you be surprised? I was. As a philosopher, I already knew that many college-aged students don’t believe in moral facts. While there are no national surveys quantifying this phenomenon, philosophy professors with whom I have spoken suggest that the overwhelming majority of college freshmen in their classrooms view moral claims as mere opinions that are not true or are true only relative to a culture."

A Stanford Medical School Student Was Arrested for Poisoning Her Classmates' Water Bottles - "She added that she was not conscious of specifically choosing which water bottles to taint. But despite the presence of men and caucasian women in the lab, all of her victims were Asian women"

It Doesn’t Matter How Much Time Parents Spend With Their Kids - "the amount of time spent with kids “did not matter”—and in some cases could even harm children... there’s another factor that predicted success more reliably than any amount of time spent with kids—social resources like “income and a mother’s educational level.”"
Omitted variable bias! How can one not look at the twin studies?

Hyper-parenting is negatively associated with physical activity among 7–12year olds - "Outdoor play, active transportation, and organized sport did not differ across helicopter parenting groups. Children in the low little emperor group had higher (P < 0.005) outdoor play and active transportation scores than children in the average, above average, and high groups (exception: high group for outdoor play). Children in the low tiger mom and concerted cultivation groups had higher (P < 0.005) outdoor play, active transportation, and organized sport scores than children in the average, above average, and high groups (exceptions: average and high tiger mom groups for organized sport)."

A 23-Year-Old Gay-Marriage Opponent Explains Herself - "An opponent of gay marriage, she takes exception to the people who've likened her to an anti-black racist...
There are lots of sins that exist, and in fact, everyone in the whole world has sinned. When either side of the gay marriage debate focuses only on homosexuality, they miss the bigger picture. I hope that non-Christians understand that the reason we Christians openly voice our opposition to sin is that our desire to be forgiven of our own sins is the reason we became Christians in the first place. We see sin as something that separates us from God, and we see Jesus as the one who took the punishment for our sins and saved us. We can't be silent about that; we must tell other people. We can't explain who Jesus is and why His death is so important without also explaining what sin is. Everyone sins. Everyone has an innate desire to sin, unfortunately. Some people's innate desire is for homosexuality... I don't want to give the impression that it's only gay people who must learn to control their desires, and straight people are okay. I'm sorry for all the times that Christians have given that impression. Like I said before, I see gay people as people. They are just people who sin in a different way than I do."

FDNY drops physical test requirement amid low female hiring rate - "The move by first-year Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro, which allows probies to fail components of the Functional Skills Training test but still graduate from the Fire Academy, comes amid criticism of the department’s low hiring rate of women. “It’s a lowering of the standards across the board,” said one former FDNY official familiar with training protocol. “What needs to matter is how well you perform the tasks of firefighting,” he added. “The question is when you’re 270 pounds and you’re on the fourth floor and someone comes through that window — can they pick you up and drag you out or not?”"
Affirmative Action kills

Colleges depend on Greek life. That’s why it’s so hard to control. - "A major part of how colleges market themselves is as a social experience — and on many campuses, fraternities and sororities are key to providing that experience."

Remembering Smorgy’s: Australia's Best Worst Restaurant Ever

Men Beating Women and Vice Versa, Chinese Netizen Reactions

Personal details of world leaders accidentally revealed by G20 organisers - "Disclosure of the data breach is likely to embarrass the Australian government after controversial mandatory data retention laws were passed last week. The passage of the laws – which require telecommunications companies to store certain types of phone and web data for two years – has been marked by concerns about the adequacy of privacy safeguards by companies and government agencies that will handle the data. The Greens senator Sarah Hanson-Young said: “Only last week the government was calling on the Australian people to trust them with their online data, and now we find out they have disclosed the details of our world leaders."

Street preacher quoting from the Bible fined for calling homosexuality an 'abomination' - "A street preacher who quoted from the Bible has been fined for using “threatening” language. Mike Overd, 50 and a former paratrooper, quoted from Leviticus on Taunton high street to state that homosexuality is an “abomination”. He was fined £200 and ordered to pay £1,200 in costs and compensation by Judge Shamin Qureshi, sitting at Bristol Crown Court. The judge said Overd “knew full well the power of words to hurt” and claimed he could have used other less offensive parts of the Bible to quote from on the issue of homosexuality... He was convicted under section five of the Public Order Act, which bans an individual from “using threatening (or abusive) words or behaviour”... Libby Towell, a spokeswoman for the Christian Legal Centre, who represented Overd, said: “The judge is effectively censoring the Bible and saying that certain verses aren't fit for public consumption.” Terry Sanderson, the National Secular Society president, said: “Whilst we all want to encourage public civility, there is a higher principle at stake."

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