"Malaysia Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad and the Sultan of Johor are seen in a blue Proton Saga... "When asked whether there is any tension with the sultan, Dr Mahathir said: “No, I don’t see anything because I went to see him and he drove me to the airport. I don’t want to comment on the sultans because if I say anything that is not good then it’s not nice because he is the sultan”"

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Thursday, July 30, 2015

Links - 30th July 2015

Standing at Attention: Women in the Singaporean Armed Forces | Peatix - "The armed forces have traditionally been stereotyped with some of the following images: camouflage, top-down sergeant-corporate relations, guns and men with cropped hair. Despite the occasional women on posters and promotional videos, there is little overall coverage of life in the armed forces as a female. In salute to Singaporean women’s service, Singapore Committee for UN Women will be holding a panel with amazing female servicewomen. Join us as they share their experiences and narratives having paved their way in the Singaporean armed forces. The recognition of these inspirational women and their success in traditionally male dominated fields is a step to combat gender stereotypes and end structural violence as part of our Help Anna campaign."
Amused that "structural violence" can be ended by celebrating violence. I guess anything is alright to combat stereotypes

Florida Man Arrested for Having Sex with an Alligator - "Police responded after a man out of a nature hike happened to walk by Darwin’s house and saw Darwin having sex with the alligator in his backyard. The witness heard Darwin say, “next time you try to kill a man, you best get the job done. Now you’re my bitch forever.” “It was the damn strangest thing I’ve ever seen,” the witness told police. “The gator didn’t even move. It was like it didn’t give a s**t that man was having sex with it”...
Excerpt from Darwin’s police statement:
The gator tried to eat me and this was revenge, pure and simple. I don’t have no sexual attraction to gators, but I wanted to teach this bitch a lesson. I could have just killed her, but that would have been too easy. She was getting what she deserved.
Darwin also told police he had planned to chop off the alligator’s tail and pull her teeth as part of his revenge scheme and had even considered performing noise torture on the reptile by playing what Darwin described as “nigger music” over and over."
Why do people like to waste taxpayers' money and report these cases to the police?

Who's Happier: Europeans or Americans? - "Americans really do love to work, it seems, while Europeans are much happier if they skip burning the midnight oil in favor of leisure. That's according to a new study finding longer work hours make Europeans unhappy while Americans get a very slight (albeit not statistically significant) bliss boost from the extra grind... as income increases, so does a person’s overall satisfaction with life. However, that money lift didn't mean more moment-to-moment enjoyment of those days, which instead depended more on social and physical factors, such as whether a person smoked or spent the day alone."

Why social mobility could be bad for your health - Telegraph - "We find that the psychologically successful adolescents, those with high self-control, have cells that are biologically old, relative to their chronological age"

The social mobility myth - "It is probable that both those unquestioned political assumptions—that social mobility has stalled and that education is the answer—are mistaken. In an important recent study, the doyen of social mobility, John Goldthorpe, a professor at Nuffield College, Oxford, has argued that these are both half-truths at best, and myths at worst. Goldthorpe argues that “no decline in mobility, either absolute or relative, occurred in the late 20th century.” The rate of relative social mobility, which measures the chances of a given person escaping their class origins, have not changed for a century. In his 2012 paper, “Understanding—and misunderstanding—social mobility in Britain,” Goldthorpe points out that John Braine is still the best analyst of what has really happened: social mobility in Britain has been a case of more room being found at the top... If Britain creates more professional jobs then more people will be able to make a class journey during their lives. Relative social mobility, however, has a major political deficiency. No politician will make an appeal to the electorate based on the desire that the children of the middle class should do less well than they do now. However, in order for relative social mobility to be possible, downward movement is critical. What Gore Vidal said about friendship is also true of social mobility: “it is not enough to succeed. Others must fail”... The truth is that politicians will probably continue to talk about the easy version of social mobility, in which everyone rises but nobody falls."

Why Japan Is Still Not Sorry Enough - "A lot of people died in Indonesia, Vietnam, and elsewhere, too. But Southeast Asians have been generally willing to forgive the Japanese. And the Japanese were in Taiwan even longer than in Korea, but anti-Japanese attitudes there are weak or non-existent. To my mind, the key difference is how modern nationalism was created in those countries. Chinese and Korean nationalism is in many ways defined itself against Japan. In contrast, the national identity of most Southeast Asian countries was defined in opposition to their old colonial masters. In Indonesia, the focus was the Dutch, in Malaysia it was the British, and in the Philippines it was the United States. Taiwan is also instructive here, since the pro-democratic movement focused its resentment against domination by mainland China, first under the Nationalists and more recently against the PRC."

Artist Paints Canvases With Her Own Menstrual Blood - ""It's short fast and hard, you know?" Lani Beloso says about her period. She's a gorgeous 42-year-old with a license in nuclear medicine and a condition called menorrhagia: her periods are 3x heavier than normal, and horribly painful... She wasn't making a statement-she was just wanted to make the pain worth something."

The most efficient government in the world has been announced... and it's Qatar - "It is an autocracy where women are discriminated against, migrant workers are exploited and free speech is curtailed. But according to the World Economic Forum (WEF), Qatar is a model of efficient government... WEF researchers used data taken from the group’s most recent Global Competitiveness Report. Measures such as wasteful spending, the burden of regulation on business and the transparency of policymaking were considered to calculate the overall efficiency of each country’s rulers... Dr David Roberts, an expert in Gulf international relations and security at King’s College London who lived in Qatar for more than four years, said the country’s strong showing in the table was “hard to fathom” even if its questionable human rights record was set aside. “I don’t know what they were trying to measure, but in no meaningful sense have they derived a sensible conclusion that Qatar is the most efficient government in the world. I don’t care how solid their methodology is, most people who work in Qatar would not recognise this study’s findings.” He added that when he lived in Qatar he dealt with government officials who suffered from a “general lack of capability” and were “plagued” with bureaucracy. “I’m not one of these people who puts the boot into Qatar – it’s just a young state which doesn’t have the right procedures in place.”"
Malaysia was #8, so

Taiwanese Guy's Russian Girlfriend Encourages Single Chinese Men - chinaSMACK - "Owing to a severe gender imbalance in Russia, over 10 million Russian girls can’t find men to marry, so international marriages are extremely trendy amongst Russian girls and furthermore, Russian girls’ demands in a perfect man (shown at the end) aren’t high either. So guys who can’t find girls, what are you waiting for? Go find a Russian girl, both pretty and strong, able to catch thieves and beat up hooligans, no need to fear others bullying you ever again!"

Does Pornography Consumption Increase Participation in Friends with Benefits Relationships?

Sushi shop in Tokyo has no name, passes savings on to you with 10-yen sushi! - "In Yoyogi, Tokyo, there stands an unnamed sushi shop which sells impressively crafted sushi at rock-bottom prices. It’s a fairly new restaurant, known to locals as “The Sushi Shop With No Name” or “That Sushi Shop That Still Doesn’t Have A Name.” To us, it became known as “The Place That Serves Yellowtail Sushi For Only 10 Yen (US$0.08) A Piece!” Granted, that’s not the catchiest of names, especially with the conversion to US dollars, but it’s definitely enticing."

Darrell Francis's answer to Why is Sweden so feminist? - Quora - "When I studied in Sweden, I read a paper called Feminist Geography and the Rural Idyll. Being an undergrad at the time, I had never spent much time thinking about gender issues and the title just seemed ridiculous. I would joke about Sweden being so feminist they even discussed in geography class. However, I always remember this paper because, to me as an outsider, it actually explained quite a bit about Swedish culture and gender relations... historically Sweden had been a very poor country. During a time when agriculture was the primary source of income, Swedish soil was poor and its winters were long. The paucity of the land meant there was little surplus, so there was relatively little division of labor. Peasant communities couldn't afford to tie women to housework, they had to be out in field with the men producing food. Since the women where in the fields during the day, little housework was done, so women and men would do housework together when they returned home in the evening. In areas where food was more abundant, they could afford to have just the men work in the fields while the women did housework. This created a patriarchal system wherein the men brought back the food and money the family needed to survive while women managed the household. Whereas in Sweden, since women and men worked together, the relationship was much more egalitarian... the lack of a food surplus meant that there were very few wealth landowners. This is important because when people own property, they want to find ways to protect their property and one of ways of doing that in the past was through marriages. Marriages were used to secure alliances and inheritance. Women essentially became commodities, bargaining chips used to secure property or gain more property. The low productivity of Swedish land meant that ownership of agricultural land was organized much differently"

The Surprising Countries With More Women in Corporate Leadership Than the U.S.—Or Even Scandinavia - "The irony is that “highly-developed” countries that have also implemented corporate gender quotas perform similarly to the Nordic countries. Spain (22 percent), Germany (14 percent), and Switzerland (13 percent) have some of the lowest proportions of women in senior management roles in the world, despite their own domestic policies addressing this issue."
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