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Thursday, May 07, 2015

Links - 7th May 2015

Why a long night's sleep may be bad for you - "Prof Shawn Youngstedt of Arizona State University carried out a small study involving 14 young adults, persuading them to spend two hours more in bed per night for three weeks. They reported back that they suffered from "increases in depressed mood" as Youngstedt puts it, and also "increases in inflammation" - specifically, higher levels in the blood of a protein called IL-6, which is connected with inflammation. The participants in the study also complained about soreness and back pain. This makes Youngstedt wonder whether the problem with long sleep is the prolonged inactivity that goes with it."

A photographic guide to the world’s embalmed leaders

Study reveals sexual appeal of war heroes - "Women are more attracted to war heroes than regular soldiers or men who display heroic traits in other fields, such as in sports or natural disaster work, according to new research from the University of Southampton and partners in Europe. The findings also suggest that men did not find heroism to be a sexually attractive trait in women... Women were more likely to find a soldier attractive, and were more inclined to date him, if he had been awarded a medal for bravery in combat. Interestingly, whether or not a non-decorated soldier had seen combat in a warzone or remained in the UK did not have a statistically significant effect on his attractiveness. Displays of heroism in other fields, such as in sports or in business, also had no effect on how likely women were to find them attractive... The experiments supplement a historical analysis undertaken by the research team, which looked at numbers of children fathered by US Medal of Honor recipients in World War II compared to the numbers of children fathered by regular veterans. The analysis shows Medal of Honor recipients had an average of 3.18 children, while regular veterans averaged 2.72 children, suggesting decorated war heroes sired more offspring than other veterans."

Race Baiting And Ferguson - "The first report deals in depth with the shooting of Michael Brown by Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson. The report recommended that the case against him be closed. The second DOJ report contained a scathing indictment of the sad state of affairs within the entire criminal justice system of Ferguson. The combined effect of these two reports is likely to make matters worse in Ferguson by combining the back-handed exoneration of Darren Wilson with the unstinting condemnation of the City of Ferguson... why pick on Ferguson after Wilson was exonerated? It would be one thing to argue that the illegal killing of Michael Brown stemmed from a corrupt and racist culture inside that department. But once it is established that Wilson was fully justified in acting as he did, it is impossible to explain how the culture and norms of the police could have contributed to any illegal act. Indeed, the only plausible inference cuts the opposite way. The ability of Wilson to handle himself well under extreme pressure reflects approvingly on his conduct and on the ethos of the Ferguson Police Department."

Does Cadbury chocolate taste different in different countries? - "In a test conducted by BBC Newsround, British and American children tasted the two types of Cadbury chocolate. Surprisingly, most of the American children preferred the British-made Cadbury chocolate, while most of the British children liked the US-made version better."

White students asked to leave anti-racism event at Ryerson

Op-Ed: I Sexually Identify As An A-10 Thunderbolt - "I was 12 years old when I realized that I’m not really a man at heart, but rather a 19 foot, 10.5 inch long gatling gun strapped onto a 24,959 pound airframe. All my life has been a lie but I’m setting that right today. I was designed to kill Soviet tanks. From now on, call me “Warthog.” That’s my real name."

Did a Student's Non-PC Views on Rape Statistics Get Him Banned from Class? Maybe, Maybe Not. - "Savery is known for being an ardent defender of free speech, which makes his apparent decision to remove True from class all the more baffling. While Reed College is a private institution not bound to follow the First Amendment or extend free speech rights to its students, this certainly seems like another incident where feelings-protection trumped open dialogue and violated the ethos of the law. If students can't debate cultural issues and facts in a classroom discussion, what kind of education are they getting?... Savery declined comment to BuzzFeed, but I was able to reach him via email. He confirmed that he was a "strong believer in the First Amendment," and maintained that the student's views were not the issue. "He was not banned because of what he said but because of a series of disruptive behaviors," Savery told Reason. I also reached True via email, and asked him whether he had been rowdy or disruptive in class. He responded by making a bizarre request. This was his email back to me:
Before I interview with you, you must agree to make "nigger" be the first word in your article.
I declined this ultimatum, and he declined to answer my questions. Needless to say, I've grown a lot more skeptical of True's side of the story. If I find out anything more that backs up either person's assertions about what happened, I'll update this story."

In search of honor - "I find this idea more persuasive than the oft-heard one that the white knight is performing in search of sex. Too many times, I've seen men go into white knight mode on behalf of a woman they don't even know, don't intend to approach, and clearly have no expectation of ever meeting, let alone having sex with. And one thing I've noticed is that the white knight's behavior is always about him and how he sees himself, not about the woman he is defending. So, the idea that white-knighting is just a warped and misplaced sense of honor does make sense, if one accepts the idea that honor is a man's gift to himself."

John Major as political fashion icon: How a boring grey suit become shorthand for constancy, security and tradition

Jharkhand cops take prisoner to redlight area in Bengal, caught in raid - "The prisoner, identified as Baiju Yadav, returned to the prison on Friday night and told authorities that he was “forcibly” taken to the red light area, jail sources said.The four police personnel, who are said to have been drunk at the time of the raid, are in custody of Asansol police."

Thai model who ranted about Chinese tourists at Jeju airport under attack - "The Thai model who last week recorded a video in which she ranted about the behavior of Chinese tourists has since seen her Facebook page overrun by people insulting her in both Chinese and English.... Hong Kong publication Passion Times speculates that those lashing out at the model are angry Chinese who have somehow circumvented Chinese internet restrictions, wumao commentators hired by the Chinese government to shape public opinion, and Blue Ribbon supporters in Hong Kong. Most of the comments follow a general theme, accusing Duangjai of being transgender, having gone through plastic surgery, or insulting Thailand for being a poor and degenerate country"
At least that proves her point

The Curse of Lee Kuan Yew - "From Ukraine to Kyrgyzstan I heard revolutionary thinkers and leaders similarly point to Lee Kuan Yew as an alternative to the EU’s path. Not only the revolutionaries but the counter-revolutionaries too began citing Lee Kuan Yew as their master-mentor. While working as an analyst at the European Council on Foreign Relations in London, from 2010-2012, I frequently attended briefings by visiting Ukrainian diplomats who would justify Yanukovych’s practices by pointing to the success of Singapore. No country in Eastern Europe fell in love with Lee Kuan Yew quite as much as Russia, as I discovered while I was researching my book Fragile Empire in 2011-2012. I was frequently told by both Kremlin insiders in Moscow and regional governors that Lee Kuan Yew was the inspiration of Russia’s deepening authoritarianism... Thanks to the myth of Singapore, Kremlin elites came to believe—for the first time since the 1980s–that there could be a third way between Western liberal democracy, especially following the path of the European Union, and despotic authoritarian rule. This has turned out to be a bitter illusion during Putin’s third term as president. The cult of Lee Kuan Yew helped to keep the liberals in thrall to Putin when they had the power to halt his slide into expansionist nationalism. Many of those very those same advisers and politicians who once lauded the Singapore option can now be heard darkly muttering about Putin’s creeping dictatorship at think-tank conferences across Europe."

Putting Singapore’s GDP in perspective - "In 1959, when the PAP first took power in Singapore, Singapore’s GDP per capita (US$2186) in constant 1990 USD (hence adjusted for inflation and PPP) was second only to Hong Kong’s (US$3027) and Japan (US$3554) in East Asia. In this respect, Singapore was already ahead of all the countries in East Asia including China and Taiwan, and South Korea... These figures are a far cry from the nominal US$500 GDP per capita in 1959 often cited by PAP supporters which ignores both PPP and inflation adjustment. Fast forward to 2008, Singapore’s GDP per capita has overtaken Japan (which was mired for a decade and has yet to recover) but still trails Hong Kong. Secondly, it is misleading to use GDP per capita when comparing between countries because Singapore only comprises of a single city whereas larger nations have rural areas and smaller towns... Singapore’s GMP per capita PPP when measured against other cities worldwide ranks only at 53rd out of 100 (many other cities above belong to the same country), whilst not a bad showing is far from its spectacular perch of 9th ranking if one considers ranking by country only. This is certainly nothing to crow about. Lastly, GDP (per capita) suffers from the fatal flaw as a economic indicator because it does not subtract profits earned in Singapore but which is remitted back to foreign shareholders and foreign investors. It also ignores incomes sent back by Singaporean corporations overseas. A more appropriate measure would be gross national product (GNP), which measures national income and profits held by Singaporean firms and residents (citizens + PRs) only. The latest figures for 2009, show that Singapore’s GNP for that year was S$182.536 bn, compared to its GDP of S$265.057bn. In other words, total income and profits for 2009 earned by Singapore residents and firms is only a mere 69% of GDP; the remaining 31% is repatriated overseas. How does this compare to other countries? Expressing GNP as a proportion of GDP and ranking all the countries worldwide shows that Singapore is ranked only at 32nd place"

Why North Korean Defectors Keep Returning Home

Statutory rape victim forced to pay child support - "Feit said if the roles were reversed and the woman was the victim, the scenario would be unthinkable. "The idea that a woman would have to send money to a man who raped her is absolutely off-the-charts ridiculous," he said. "It wouldn't be tolerated, and it shouldn't be tolerated."
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