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Valar Qringaomis

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Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Links - 28th July 2015

Singapore Seen | Brave guy stands up to old man who shouted at and threatened teen who wore offensive shirt on train - "the T-shirt said: "I'm F--king Special”
In an email to Stomp she wrote:
"A teen was being insulted by a man because of what his T-shirt said. "It was not a good day for everyone due to the MRT breakdown and the train was very packed. "Suddenly, a man in blue shirt came in the train shouted and threatened teen asking if he wanted to fight." She added that the teen just kept quiet and did not respond to the man. From the video she sent in, the aggressive man even threatened to throw the teen out of the train when it reached Ang Mo Kio MRT station."

Why many rape victims don’t fight or yell - "In the midst of sexual assault, the brain’s fear circuitry dominates. The prefrontal cortex can be severely impaired, and all that’s left may be reflexes and habits."
Comment: "It's one thing to describe freezing in reaction to a physical assault; it's another thing to describe freezing in reaction to a date with whom you've been making out, making naturally progressive moves to home base, so to speak... Equating verbal pressure with sexual assault, or calling drunk sex sexual assault makes it ridiculous"

Women trained to resist sexual assault far less likely to be raped: study - "One year later, those who took the EAAA had experienced 46 per cent fewer completed rapes (5.2 per cent versus 9.8 per cent) and 63 per cent fewer attempted rapes (3.4 per cent versus 9.3 per cent) than the control group."

How Ironic: America's Rent-Controlled Cities Are Its Least Affordable - "There are multiple factors for why these cities are expensive, including other regulations that mirror rent control’s arbitrariness. They all have zoning regulations that limit the housing supply, even as demand remains high. And the housing that is built undergoes lengthy approval processes, placing costs on developers that get passed down onto consumers. But a lot of it is because of rent controls that cause market distortions... “Before rent stabilization arrived on the scene in 1969, New York built 35,000 dwellings a year on average. In the early seventies, the rate dropped to 20,000 a year, and a decade later, to 10,000”... In San Francisco, a combination of rent control and strict eviction laws force many landlords to accommodate long-time tenants who pay well below market rate, leaving little revenue available to cover expenses. This has caused landlords to abandon an estimated 31,000 units—or one-twelfth of the city’s stock"

I’m Gay, And I Oppose Same-Sex Marriage - "The big secret in the LGBT community is that there are a significant number of gays and lesbians who oppose same-sex marriage, and an even larger number who are ambivalent. You don’t hear us speak out because gay rights activists (most of whom are straight) have a history of viciously stamping out any trace of individualism within the gay community. I asked to publish this article under a pseudonym, not because I fear harassment from Christian conservatives, but because I know this article will make me a target of the Gaystapo."

How Big are Psychological Sex Differences? - "evolutionary psychologists expect the sex who has lower levels of obligatory parental investment (in humans, males) to be higher in “sociosexuality” (i.e., willingness to engage in sex without heavy commitment). Human sex differences in sociosexuality have been demonstrated as culturally universal in a study of 48 nations (Schmitt, 2005) and again in a study of 53 nations (Lippa, 2008), with both studies finding the exact same size of worldwide sex differences with men being higher than women, d = +0.74. This is larger than any of the sex differences in the recent study by Zell et al. (2015), but it was not considered and has not been subjected to a “meta-analysis” as it is a largely uncontentious empirical finding (see also here). Sexual diversity associated with sociosexuality is just one example of the dozens of psychological sex differences expected from theories within evolutionary psychology. Ellis (2011a, 2011b) used his evolutionary neuroandrogenic theory as a guide to examine psychological sex differences and amassed evidence of 65 apparently universal sex differences. These sex differences were shown to be universal across cultures, with not a single replication failure across 10 studies (probably too tough a criterion leading to an under-reporting of actual psychological sex differences). Using evolutionary theory to guide researchers how to look for sex differences versus when to expect no differences (i.e., domains where ancestral men and women have not faced different adaptive problems) yields a very different conclusion from the atheoretical view that men and women are largely indistinguishable overall."

Pursuing 'efficiency' in the public sector: why privatisation is not necessarily the answer - "Public services are provided mainly in areas where standard competitive market conditions do not apply. For example, distributional outcomes are often important: public services are generally thought best to follow need rather than willingness or capacity to pay (like justice or disability services), and minimum service levels are often desired even if they are high cost (like services to rural and remote communities). Outsourcing also creates a “principal-agent” situation, which is where an individual or organisation (an agent) is carrying out work on behalf of someone else (the principal), and where there is a tendency for the work to produce outputs that are suited to the needs of the agent rather than the principal. Furthermore, many fields of public activity involve networks and scale efficiencies (roads, statistical collection, meteorology services, and so on) and these are most efficiently delivered as single public systems. A review of 129 reports and case studies undertaken by Graeme Hodge found that outsourcing works well in some cases and badly in others. And it is worth noting that many studies that found benefits did not take into account the broader economic and social costs of outsourcing. For example, outsourcing frequently results in significant job cuts, and the welfare costs of increased unemployment may exceed any savings... Public and private hospitals show similar efficiency levels once their different roles are taken into account. Public and private schools show similar levels of attainment once the demographic profile of the students is factored in."

Fly fighter jets - Be a fighter pilot for a day - "Flying fighter jets is not an impossible dream anymore. You can be a fighter pilot for a day, flying Russian fighters in Russia, L39 Albatros in France or in the USA, as well as other military aircrafts around the world. Fighter jets are amazing machines, capable of getting you to the edge of space, to break the sound barrier and to get you feel up to 7Gs."

Jiaozi, Gyoza, Mandu … histoire de raviolis asiatiques - "Le Jiaozi ne devrait pas être confondu avec le wonton : le Jiaozi, en forme de demi-lune, a une peau plus épaisse et plus caoutchouteuse. Il est habituellement mangé « nature » avec un mélange sauce soja-vinaigre. Les wontons ont une peau plus mince, plus transparente et sont habituellement servis en bouillon... D’un premier coup d’œil, le Gyoza pourrait être confondu avec le Jiaozi, son homologue chinois. Toute la différence est dans le goût et la texture de la pâte. Les Gyoza sont généralement plus riches en ail et plus discrets au niveau des épices, notamment le sel. La pâte du Gyoza est également plus fine et moins caoutchouteuse."

Do Strong Religious Beliefs Stifle Innovation? - Real Time Economics - WSJ - "Countries that are intensely religious are typically less innovative than those that aren’t... The relationship broadly holds up when the authors make adjustments for differences in gross domestic product, rates of higher education, population and other variables. So it’s not simply a matter of more religious countries being poorer or having fewer resources... “We focus on one key determinant of growth–science and innovation–but religion also ties into many others: general literacy, thrift, social norms, civil peace or strife, etc.,” the paper said. “Moreover, our model highlights how conflicts between new scientific knowledge and prevailing religious beliefs can lead not only to repression of the former or erosion of the latter, but also to their coexistence.” One last note: The authors focus on traditional religion but also suggest that any overly rigid ideology can impede science. As an example, they cite the Soviet Union from the 1930s through the 1960s, when “Inquisition-like methods (forced denunciations, imprisonments, executions) were used to repress ‘bourgeois’ scientific knowledge and methodology in evolutionary biology and agronomy, with adverse spillovers onto many other areas.”"

FGM: Vaginal piercing to be recorded as female genital mutilation - Telegraph - "Women with vaginal piercings will now be classed as victims of female genital mutilation (FGM), under new NHS rules. FGM is an illegal practice where women and girls’ genitalia are cut or mutilated in the name of tradition, religion and culture. But now any woman whose clitoris or labia has been pierced – even if it was entirely her own decision - will be seen as an act of FGM... A home affairs select committee released a report that said: “We cannot tell communities in Sierra Leone and Somalia to stop a practice which is freely permitted on Harley Street.” The MPs want a 2003 FGM law to be changed so that it specifically outlaws cosmetic surgery such as labiaplasty - where a woman's labia are trimmed for aesthetic purposes - as "a criminal offence"."
Women, like children, cannot make decisions about their own bodies

When bread has race - "Recently, a Facebook group has urged Malaysian bread lovers to add race and politics to their list of preferences. Started around a month ago, the online campaign called for a boycott of Gardenia bread because it is allegedly owned by a “crony company”... Datuk Marimuthu Nadeson of Federation of Malaysian Consumers Association (Fomca) says he is stunned that food has been politicised so. “If even bread can be equated to race and politics, I don't know which God will help us,” he says... After the race riots of May 13, 1969, non-Malays boycotted durians as they were associated with the Malays"

Non-Muslims Carried Out More than 90% of All Terrorist Attacks on U.S. Soil

Sung patriotically for 32 years - "His Malay lyrics were so simple that anyone over the age of five, unless mentally retarded, had no difficulty singing the anthem. All Singaporean children of kindergarten age have not only had no difficulty memorising the words but have for decades sung it every morning with "strong feelings and emotion"."
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