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Valar Qringaomis

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Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Links - 15th July 2015

Yes, we have spoken to Cardboard Uncles and Aunties. - "Looking at the comments of the past 24 hours, some referred to my team through our friends, one would have thought that we had committed atrocities and transgressions of the worst nature... It is not long after we realised that the collectors are reflecting the same sentiments as some of our previous interviewees... This is the moment when we realised that this community has diverse needs, each collector have their story to tell and implementing a blanket “solution” to problems we perceived to exist, would truly be an ostentatious form of “wayang”... These are our main findings:
1. Most cardboard collectors do it for the money (no doubts about it).
2. Minority does it for otherreasons – form of leisure/exercise, recycling (small but exists).
3. Most hold another job (in orderto earn enough/have other sources of income security, depending on how you seeit).
4. Most are financially able tosupport themselves/deny the need for assistance (again, depending on how you see it).
5. Most are supported/offeredsupport by their families, including a few who do not want their families to know,as they do not approve.
6. Cardboard collectors are facing competition from younger foreigners...
It was all worth it though, and especially heartwarming when the collectors start recognising you and initiate the morning greetings"
Not only can the subaltern not speak, but people don't believe him when he does

Why is Vladimir Putin always late? - "Putin’s tardiness is legendary, with journalists working in the Kremlin pool detailing regular waits of several hours as meetings rarely start on time. His lateness varies from leader to leader, and in Putin’s terms, an hour’s wait is a sign of respect. He was 50 minutes late for his first meeting with Pope Francis in 2013. Ukraine’s ousted president Viktor Yanukovych, however, was once kept waiting for four hours, while European leaders regularly report a wait of an hour or more... Given that Putin manages to make it on time to televised press conferences and set-piece events, the general assumption is that his tardiness when meeting with Russian and international politicians is a calibrated psychological policy. But being late is something Putin has done for a long time. His former wife Lyudmila Putina once recounted how his lateness to their first dates reduced her to tears. “I was never late, but Vladimir Vladimirovich always was. An hour and a half was normal. I remember standing around in the metro. The first 15 minutes of lateness are OK, half an hour also fine. But when an hour goes by and he’s still not there, you start crying.”

Getting naked on a mountain in Malaysia isn't half as offensive as what we let foreigners do in Britain - Telegraph - "Now, as a general rule, I think it’s a good idea not to do things that might get you arrested in foreign countries. I am not someone who generally has much sympathy for people who travel to another country, knowingly break the law, and then cry “foul” and wave their British passports around like a get-out-of-jail-free card. It isn’t. You do the crime, you do the time, whether it is smuggling drugs or, in this case, public nudity. But can we please get a sense of perspective here? The only reason anyone is offended by the prank is because the pictures were posted on Facebook by one of the group. No one else saw them strip off except their park ranger guide, who later reported it to police, and all the many millions of Malaysians who appear to have spent many hours searching Facebook for the offending photographs so they could be offended by them... What if Miss Hawkins had holidayed in Haiti and now stood accused of using voodoo to kill innocent Haitians – would we have to respect local cultures and beliefs then?... The only place where that rule doesn’t apply is in Britain, when anyone and everyone can travel to our country and be allowed to do and say whatever they want, even if it directly conflicts with the values and beliefs of most Britons. That is what we call “freedom”. Despite the blatant contradiction with our values of gender equality and inclusion, for instance, it is legal for a Muslim woman to cover her face with a burkha or niqab"

Judge says 'cultural context' should be considered when investigating allegations of parental child abuse - "A High Court judge has enraged child protection experts after saying that “cultural context” should be taken into account when investigating allegations of parental child abuse. Mrs Justice Pauffley said that within “many communities newly arrived” in Britain, children were “slapped and hit” for misbehaviour in a way which “at first excites the interest of child protection professionals.” Speaking about a particular case involving a boy who claimed he had been hit with a belt by his father, she said “proper allowance must be made” for the fact the family came from another culture - in this case, India... It is not illegal for a parent to hit their child as long as the smack amounts to “reasonable punishment”. Unreasonable punishment is classed as a smack that leaves a mark on the child, or the use of an implement to hit the child, such as a belt or cane."

Can You Make It Through This Post Without Saying WTF

An Hero | Know Your Meme - "Following Mitchell’s suicide, his friends and classmates created a Myspace memorial to him. As is the case with a typical seventh-grader’s Myspace, the comments contained grammatical errors; which unfortunately, trolls tend to exploit. One comment stood out in particular:
“He was such an hero, to take it all away. We miss him so, That you should know, And we honor him this day. He was an hero, to take that shot, to leave us all behind. God do we wish we could take it back, And now he’s on our minds. Mitchell was an hero, to leave us feeling like this, Our minds are rubber, our joints don’t work, Our tears fall into abyss. He was an hero, to take that shot, In life it wasn’t his task, He shouldn’t have had to go that way, before an decade’d past. Now he sits there in my heart, this hero of mine, Always there to make me smile, Make me feel just fine. He had courage,that boy did, courage in his heart. To take that shot, To end his pain, To tear us all apart. But in the end, he died in courage. Lacking, nevermore, He died a hero, Mitchell did, And we’ll love him forevermore. We love you like an brother. We miss you so much. We will always love you, kid. Rest In Peace Mitch. ~Lila”"
The suicide of a seventh-grader for unknown reasons is a heroic act?

Batman Begins: Why Christopher Nolan's origin story is the series' best - "Nolan and David S Goyer's screenplay shrewdly highlights the fact that Bruce Wayne has two masks, not one: the playboy douche is as crucial to maintaining his double life as the bat, and as destructive to his relationships. His apparent rich slacker lifestyle alienates childhood sweetheart Rachel Dawes (Katie Holmes), while Alfred (Michael Caine) increasingly worries that he's getting lost inside the bat persona."

There's A Link Between Cat Ownership And Schizophrenia - "researchers theorize that the parasite Toxoplasma gondii (T. gondii), which is found in cats and can be passed on to humans, could play some role in the development of the mental illness"

Death to All Juice | Know Your Meme - "On December 28th, 2008, New Jersey high school student Carlos Almonte attended a protest held outside of the Israeli embassy in New York against the bombing of the Gaza region. While protesting, he held up a picket sign that read “Death To All (Zionist) Juice.”"

Turkey Rebukes Erdogan - WSJ - "This is good news for the political life of Turkey because it shows an electorate alert to stop what has been Mr. Erdogan’s creeping authoritarianism. As Prime Minister from 2003-2014, he harassed opponents in business, the media, the military and even the courts. If he were able to coalesce more power into a dominant Presidency, he could rule like aVladimir Putin with Islamist characteristics."
The limits of a "mildly Islamist" government...

Phoenix nations - "Critical mass; plausible borders; sympathy abroad; a story; a diaspora; fragile overlords: where might these conditions next be met? Russia, itself an internal empire, could yet disintegrate. So, under the strain of democratisation, might China, perhaps opening a path to statehood for Tibet and the Uighurs, persecuted Muslims. Another realignment of the Middle East seems inevitable. If Syria falls apart, speculates Mr Ishak, the Assyrian, some of his scattered brethren might come back. In the very long term, there is always hope."

Tunisia hotel attack: Locals form 'human shield' to protect hotel from gunman Seifeddine Rezgui

And the Pulitzer goes to… a computer - "Quill quickly learned to frame stories to suit its audience. If the readers were the supporters of a particular baseball team, it gave the match report from that team’s vantage. Likewise, if it is creating two company reports based on the same data, the machine can produce a positive emphasis for clients and a must-try-harder tone for employees. It has learned the art of spin. Much of that comes from analysis of narrative arcs, of basic plotlines. Like any decent hack, the machine is coming to learn that there are only five or six compelling tales available: back from the brink, outrageous fortune, sudden catastrophe and so on"

Somali brutally raped 12-year-old girl – sentenced to 180 hours of community service - "The court concluded that it is beyond reasonable doubt that he raped the girl vaginally, showered her face / head with blows and held a hand in front of her mouth. Nonetheless Mohamud was sentenced to a measly 180 hours of community service with probation because he had “some trouble with anxiety and sleeping” and was allegedly** 17 years of age at the time."

Cover up to ‘respect’ Muslims, Mufti tells non-Muslims in dress code rows - Non-Muslims should dress more “appropriately” in public places out of “respect” for Muslims who will sin upon seeing people, including non-Muslims, who do not cover their “aurat”, Perak Mufti Tan Sri Harussani Zakaria said amid the controversy surrounding conservative dress codes enforced at government departments... Harussani said Malaysians should be more open to the idea of non-Muslims dressing “appropriately” as Malaysia is seen as an “Islamic role model country”."
"Do Muslims respect non-Muslims?

What Makes the Expat Lifestyle So Addictive? - Expat - WSJ - "the moment people become expats, they enter a whole new state of mind. “It’s like becoming a Switzerland, neutral – politically and emotionally – and experiencing a culture without having to be involved with the internal affairs”... Abroad, they feel free, independent, adventurous, curious, valued for their skills and self-aware. “As an expat, I have the ability to live in a foreign country and just be left alone to do,” says Mr. Middagh. In other words, a distilled sense of oneself in relationship to the world is the real expat “drug.” But this isn’t toxic, most expats argue. It’s a fantastic way of experiencing life."

24-Hour Mamak Stalls May Soon Cease To Exist, As Government Blames Them For Social Ills - "“Malaysia is perhaps the only country in the world where one can find eateries and restaurants open 24 hours,” he explained. “But it’s different here due to the presence of many who require the services of this industry, such as tourists, foreign migrants and so on. The leeway has contributed to social ills. “There are concerns that the young spend too much idle time in such places and get involved in unhealthy activities,” he elaborated further."
Malaysia Boleh!

Marina Mahathir: Malaysia undergoing ‘Arab colonialism’ - "“Kaftans are easy to wear. But what happened to our tradition, culture, everything? It’s lost,” she lamented, pointing out that Malay women below 50 generally do not know how to tie the ‘baju kurung’ skirt so that it falls into pleats and makes it easier to walk in. The eldest child of former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said Islam’s biggest problem in Malaysia is the fear of knowledge of the religion itself. “Islam has a very strong intellectual history, but there’s no intellect at all in the way Islam is taught here. We’re taught rituals; we’re not taught about the great thinkers and differences between them,” she said. “When you read the history of Islam when it first came down, it was about doing away with tribalism... but you now have this thing where you’re wanting to go to a tribe, or else, the other tribes, even though all are officially Muslim, are not allowed,” she added. The Sunni denomination is the prevalent ideology in Malaysia and any other Islamic schools of thought, including Shia, are considered deviant. Marina also criticised the authorities for “inventing new enemies all the time”"
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