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More adventurous than the average bear

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Thursday, July 23, 2015

Links - 23rd July 2015

Capons: Are Chickens Without Their Testes a Forgotten Delicacy or Disturbing Luxury? - "hormonal changes caused by caponization allow more fat to build up both below the skin and within muscle, capons come with the promise of a substantial amount of buttery, tender meat. So why are they gone? It comes down to fact that the method to make a capon a capon is still the same as it was when Beuoys wrote – a process that may be an unfairly forgotten piece of agriculture, or simply a means to a somewhat disturbing luxury good... farming capons depends upon a highly-trained, well-paid specialists — not the sort of assembly-line labor and mechanization on which the modern poultry industry runs. When Keough graduated from high school in the 1960’s, he could charge $75 an hour for his services, he says. “If I did it now, I might get rich,” he adds, wistfully. “But I spent it all. Girls…”... The flavor was unusually rich and complex, distinct from any chicken or turkey I’d had before, and the texture both moist and firm. After years of bland chickens and dried-out holiday turkeys, a taste of capon made me wish George Beuoy’s vision of the Capon of Tomorrow had come to pass."

White lady gets naked with african natives - YouTube
Comments: "I respect the hell out of white people. I do not care what anyone says. White people are very spiritual and very curious about everything. We blacks would probably be too embarrassed to take off our clothes in front of the cameras, but white people are willing to try to fit in to learn things."
"I find white tit censorship a bit racialist, ain't it?"

Include having kids in defining success in life - "I Love Children (ILC) could not agree more with Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong's views on Singapore's key challenges in the next 50 years at the Ho Rih Hwa Leadership in Asia lecture, organised by the Singapore Management University ("PM paints stark reality of challenges in 3 critical areas"; last Wednesday)."
Naturally this pissed some people off. No matter how you define success, someone will be excluded. And if everyone is successful, what does success even mean?

Online boast of not paying S&CC, police refers case to MND - "On 30 March, a resident who apparently lives in Aljunied GRC posted online that he owes the town council of his estate “4+ months” worth of service and conservancy charges. Mr KY Seetoh [posted] on a pro-People’s Action Party (PAP) Facebook page... It is against the law to refuse to pay one’s bills, including service and conservancy charges... He had also apparently posted some rather vulgar and obscene comments about activist Han Hui Hui in the past."

Moscow Takes Ukraine, Beijing Takes Mongolia? - "But now that Putin has opened up Pandora’s Box, what if China decided to annex territory it had long lost? Mongolia is one such large area of territory, ruled by the Manchurians during the Qing Dynasty. Following the collapse of the Qing Dynasty, the Mongols established the Temporary Government of Khalkha in November 1911, and in December, Mongolia declared independence from the Qing Dynasty, ending 220 years of Manchurian rule. Eventually Mongolia came under Soviet influence, becoming a Soviet satellite newly proclaimed as the Mongolian People’s Republic in 1924. When the Soviet Union threatened to further seize parts of Inner Mongolia from China in 1945, China chose to set aside its claims and back a referendum on Outer Mongolia’s independence. The referendum, which took place in October 1945, resulted in 100 percent of the electorate voting for independence."
Why doesn't China unilaterally declare Mongolia part of China and invade?

China claims territories of 23 countries, but only has borders with 14 - "The total area of China’s claims on other countries exceeds the size of modern China itself, but Beijing refuses to budge on its claims. Many are based on unsubstantiated (outside China) and unprecedented “historical precedents” dating back centuries."

The woman who has failed her driving test 771 times - "The office estimates she has spent more than 4 million won £1,600 in exam fees."

Working hours: Get a life | The Economist - "it seems that more productive—and, consequently, better-paid—workers put in less time at the office. The graph below shows the relationship between productivity (GDP per hour worked) and annual working hours. The Greeks are some of the most hardworking in the OECD, putting in over 2,000 hours a year on average. Germans, on the other hand, are comparative slackers, working about 1,400 hours each year. But German productivity is about 70% higher."
In Singapore, "Productivity" doesn't mean productivity, but total output

Choose your cutlery carefully: what you eat with changes how food tastes - "id you know, for example, that foods taste blander in noisy environments? Or that we perceive sweet popcorn as saltier if we eat it from a colored bowl? Or that the weight of the dish food is served in can alter how tasty and expensive we think it is?"

Warning: this article could radically alter the way you eat - "If we are given heavy cutlery, we will enjoy food more (for example, yoghurt will be perceived as creamier), think it is of higher quality and be willing to part with more cash for it. Even sounds in restaurants can up the takings: classical music makes diners come over all discerning and choose the most expensive menu options, while loud music increases soft drink sales... red plates are the path to reduced food intake. They think it’s something to do with there being less contrast between the food and plate. Blue lighting has also been shown to discourage overeating. You could argue that these tactics are akin to covering your food in unpalatable amounts of salt. Who wants a plate full of unappetising food? We eat 35% more when with one other person, 75% more with three others and twice as much when there are seven or more diners. Variety also encourages overeating. A bowl of mixed M&Ms will go down quicker than a bowl of just one colour... Spence easily tricked wine experts into reviewing a white wine with red food colouring as a red wine. Adding insult to injury, the 54-strong panel had already reviewed the wine in its original white form, using white-wine terms such as honey, lemon, lychee and straw (whereas the red version evoked chicory, coal, prune, chocolate and tobacco)."

On the psychological impact of food colour - "Expertise has been shown to modulate the psychological impact of food colouring on flavour perception. Some of the most impressive studies have come from the world of wine... Parr et al. conducted a follow-up in New Zealand in which they tested both experts (including professional wine taster and wine makers) and ‘social’ drinkers. The descriptions of the aroma of a Chardonnay wine given by the experts when it had been artificially coloured red were more accurate when the wine was served in an opaque glass than when served in a clear glass. Interestingly, this colour-induced biasing of flavour judgments occurred despite the fact that the experts had been explicitly instructed to rate each of the wines that they had been given to taste while ignoring any colour cues. Such results therefore suggest that the crossmodal effect of vision is not under cognitive control. Ironically, the social drinkers in Parr et al.’s study turned out to be so bad at reliably identifying the aromas present in the wine that it was difficult to discern any pattern in the data when an inappropriate wine colour was added. "

Melody on the menu: how a sprinkle of Mozart might give your meal zing - "“We have found that people can experience 15% more pleasure if music matches the wine,” he said. “It is an exciting area: how soundscapes come together with taste to make the whole experience more enjoyable … It’s a kind of digital seasoning”... Spence is confident of his findings and cites a study in which Tchaikovsky’s String Quartet No 1 in D Major turned out to be a very good match for Château Margaux 2004. Mozart’s Flute Quartet in D Major, meanwhile, was found to be the ideal adornment for Pouilly-Fumé –with drinkers enjoying their wine more when “paired” music was played more than in periods of silence... “We tested the four best wine experts in the Alicante region and fooled them all by colouring white wine red,” says Spence. “As experts, they are more likely to be fooled because the colour gives them expectations – of what they know about that colour. Likewise, chefs are more likely to be fooled than ordinary people by changing the sound of food because they use sound to judge freshness more than ordinary people do.”"

Why we’re so scared of GMOs, according to someone who has studied them since the start - "When Chipotle announced earlier this year that it would no longer serve food made with genetically modified organisms due to safety concerns, customers rejoiced. But there was one big problem: Just as more Americans grow wary of GMOs, the scientific community is moving in the opposite direction. There is now near unanimity among scientists that GMOs are safe to eat. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the World Health Organization and the American Medical Association have all said that GMOs are fine for consumption... it’s not necessarily that people have a strong, innate aversion to GMOs, per se, so much as that they have a negative reaction to something that seems like an additive or unusual... We actually tested this with a label on apples that said “this label is ripened using ethylene,” which is a very commonly used and safe process. But people were as averse to those apples as they were to GMOs, simply because they didn’t know what ethylene was... I have seen salt labeled as non-GMO, when salt, by definition, cannot be genetically modified, since it’s a mineral and doesn’t contain DNA... people might also just realize that most of the cheese they eat is made with enzymes that are genetically engineered. Diabetics, after all, use insulin that is made from a genetically engineered bacteria or yeast... people are less likely to believe in GMO crops if they’re made by big companies"

Goodbye Sweden | THE SWEDEN REPORT - "Today, it’s as if the inmates are running the asylum. The politicians are participating in a chicken race of “goodness” where everybody tries to one-up each other in caring for the citizens of OTHER countries while Swedish retirees, school children, handicapped and other vulnerable categories of people are thorougly ignored. Violence is exploding. Jihadist Trojan horses are flowTing through the porous border along with the tens of thousands ID-less refugees. "

Freakonomics » What You Don’t Know About Online Dating: A New Freakonomics Radio Podcast - "I wanted to see if there was a lower limit to how awful a person could be before men would stop messaging her on an online dating site... one thing I wanted to make clear is that she’s not just a bad person, she wants to ruin your life. So under the section “what I am really good at” the only thing she lists is “convincing people I’m pregnant”... AaronCarterFan did very well. In the first 24 hours she got 150 messages... AaronCarterFan’s one redeeming quality is that she is very good looking. I asked my friend Rae Johnston, who is an Australian-based model and actress, if I could raid her Facebook photos and she very kindly said yes. And so Aaron Carter fan is stunningly good-looking... Women are in general a little bit more attracted to lawyers, doctors, men in the military and firefighters, which I’d always heard was a stereotype, but apparently it turns out to be at least a little bit true... looks matter a lot, but it turns out that weight doesn’t matter that much independent of looks. So an overweight person who is otherwise medium attractive will do almost as well as a medium attractive person who is not overweight... The Internet has turned matching upside down. It used to be that you would find compatibility first and then learn more about someone else’s attributes. And now you see all the attributes and then you learn about compatibility later. For an economist it’s very seductive to believe that more information makes these things work better"
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