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Valar Qringaomis

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Tuesday, July 07, 2015

Links - 7th July 2015

Muslim protest mob attacks tourists in Turkey over China's Ramadan ban - "Turkish nationalists shouting "Allahu Akbar" accidentally attacked the group of innnocent Korean tourists – after mistaking them for Chinese nationals during the demonstration... A popular Chinese restaurant in Istanbul also had its windows smashed by protesters who did not realise the chef was Muslim."

Servcorp Malaysia apologizes for 'confusing' wombat advert - "Servcorp Malaysia today, apologizes to Malaysians for the confusion that arose with the company’s official mascot, a wombat, which some mistook for a pig... “Servcorp would like to extend its sincerest apologies for any confusion caused due to the use of a wombat in a recent digital advertisement in Kuala Lumpur... “As an international business it is not Servcorp’s intention to offend any race nor religion and indeed, there have been no prior issues globally with the use of our mascot inclusive of Servcorp’s many Middle Eastern and Saudi Arabian offices,” based on the the company’s statement. Servcorp explained that the advertisement which was displayed on electronic billboards around the capital city had in fact been approved beforehand by the Dewan Bandaraya Kuala Lumpur (DBKL)... Images and videos of the misidentified wombat made rounds on social media networks such as Twitter and Facebook, as well as a number of blogs prompting Malaysians to presume that the advertisement was seditious in nature."
Apparently Muslims in the Middle East are not as easily confused as those in Malaysia

Informative Report:Issues on Homosexuality - "In an APA publication, The Psychological Bulletin, there appeared a 31-page article entitled "A Meta-Analytic Examination of Assumed Properties of Child Sexual Abuse Using College Students." The article, by three men from prestigious universities, was an analysis of 59 studies of childhood sexual abuse. The authors' argue that childhood sexual experiences are not necessarily harmful; they could even be quite positive. The idea that it "causes intense harm, regardless of gender," is not true. They allege that the "negative potential of CSA [childhood sexual abuse] for most individuals who have experienced it is overstated." ...is the most damaging form of CSA is a "well-ingrained prejudice . . . unsupported by research." The study's three authors publicly lament: "Classifying a behavior as abuse simply because it is generally viewed as immoral or defined as illegal is problematic. . . .""

A Meta-Analytic Examination of Assumed Properties of Child Sexual Abuse Using College Samples - "Many lay persons and professionals believe that child sexual abuse (CSA) causes intense harm, regardless of gender, pervasively in the general population. The authors examined this belief by reviewing 59 studies based on college samples. Meta-analyses revealed that students with CSA were, on average, slightly less well adjusted than controls. However, this poorer adjustment could not be attributed to CSA because family environment (FE) was consistently confounded with CSA, FE explained considerably more adjustment variance than CSA, and CSA-adjustment relations generally became nonsignificant when studies controlled for FE. Self-reported reactions to and effects from CSA indicated that negative effects were neither pervasive nor typically intense, and that men reacted much less negatively than women. The college data were completely consistent with data from national samples. Basic beliefs about CSA in the general population were not supported."

Pedophiles want same rights as homosexuals - "Using the same tactics used by “gay” rights activists, pedophiles have begun to seek similar status arguing their desire for children is a sexual orientation no different than heterosexual or homosexuals. Critics of the homosexual lifestyle have long claimed that once it became acceptable to identify homosexuality as simply an “alternative lifestyle” or sexual orientation, logically nothing would be off limits. “Gay” advocates have taken offense at such a position insisting this would never happen. However, psychiatrists are now beginning to advocate redefining pedophilia in the same way homosexuality was redefined several years ago."

The slippery slope of gay marriage has begun - "The federal court decision this month that struck down most of Utah’s anti-polygamy law as unconstitutional is yet another reminder that slippery-slope arguments, so frequently ridiculed, deserve more respect than they get. “Conservatives foresaw polygamy ruling,” was the headline in The Washington Times last week. It cited the “we-told-you-so” reactions of several longtime opponents of same-sex marriage, who have long argued that the radical transformation of marriage wouldn’t end with gay wedlock... polygamy has now been effectively decriminalized in Utah — a state admitted to the union on the condition that it forever ban the practice of polygamy... When the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled in 2003 that same-sex couples had a constitutional right to marry, the majority opinion dismissed such concerns. “Plaintiffs seek only to be married, not to undermine the institution of civil marriage,” Chief Justice Margaret Marshall wrote. “They do not attack the binary nature of marriage, the consanguinity provisions, or any of the other gate-keeping provisions of the marriage licensing law.” But ideas have consequences — often, unintended consequences. That is particularly true in a legal system that places so much emphasis on precedent and analogy. In 1989, as Massachusetts lawmakers were about to enact a law barring discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, the Boston Globe assured its readers that the bill wouldn’t legalize gay marriage or confer on same-sex couples the right to marriage-like civil unions. “Nor does passage of the bill put Massachusetts on a ‘slippery slope’ toward such rights.” Yet when the SJC ruled that same-sex couples could not be barred from marrying, as UCLA law professor Eugene Volokh has noted, “part of its reasoning rested on the Legislature’s decision to ban sexual orientation discrimination.” That slope was slippery, after all. This happens frequently in the law. The US Supreme Court ruled in the 1965 case of Griswold v. Connecticut that married couples had a constitutional right to privacy that encompassed the freedom to use contraceptives. During oral argument, Justice Hugo Black wondered whether the court’s logic could lead to “invalidat[ing] all laws that punish people for bringing about abortions.” The suggestion was dismissed, as slippery-slope arguments so often are, as groundless"

Adam4d.com - Who’s the bigot? - "Bigotry is 'stubborn and complete intolerance of any creed, belief, or opinion that differs from one's own.'"

The Chinese Want Their Art Back - NYTimes.comPerhaps the greatest enigma in Chinese art today is a little-reported crime wave in Europe that, since 2010, has targeted antiquities that were looted from the Old Summer Palace or from Beijing’s Forbidden City in the early 20th century"... “A certain type of Chinese collector would be far less shy about purchasing a knowingly stolen artwork than a Western collector would. Chinese collectors could purchase stolen Chinese art and still have the pride of display, perhaps with the rationale that, whether or not the object was stolen, it should be in China, and therefore the collector was somehow aiding its liberation.” As Paul Harris, a leading British dealer of Chinese art, wrote in a blog post in March: “The general feeling in intelligence circles is that this was ‘an ordered job’ carried out by local French professional criminals acting as agents for a third party. That third party is almost certainly abroad, well away from French jurisdiction and, according to one intelligence expert, ‘The smart money is on the artifacts being on the way to the People’s Republic of China.’ ”"

Why I Am Not a Humanist - "I do not believe that moral values are derived from human desires. I believe moral values are derived from desires, period. To focus on human desires and ignore all other desires in the universe is blatant speciesism."
Humanism is speciesism!

BioEdge: Peter Singer ‘disinvited’ from German philosophy festival - "NZZ: If you were standing in front of a burning house with 200 pigs and one child inside, and you could choose to save either the animals or the child, what would you do?
PS: At a certain point, the animals' suffering becomes so great that one should choose to save the animals over the child. Whether this point occurs at 200 or two million animals, I don't know. But one cannot let an infinite number of animals burn to save the life of one child…
NZZ: Would you go as far as to torture a baby if this were to bring about permanent happiness for the whole of mankind?
PS: This question is from Dostoevsky's "The brothers Karamazov"; Ivan poses it to his brother Alyosha. I may not be capable of doing it, as it is in my evolutionarily developed nature to protect children from harm. But it would be the right thing to do. Because if I didn't, thousands of children would be tortured in the future."
As a utilitarian who believes that sentience (with a central nervous system) is the necessary and sufficient reason to value animal life as much as human life, Singer is being hypocritical (if instrumentally prudent, knowing the uproar) in not committing to valuing 200 pigs over 1 human baby

Man arrested for pouring syrup on sidewalk

Lip Piercing Can Lead to Receding Gums

Tattoos and MRI Scans - Are You at Risk? - "Some MRI patients who have had tattoos that dated back far enough to have received ink that contained metal bits have reported slight discomfort to severe pain during an MRI scan."

Tight ties could damage eyesight - "In an article in the Journal of Ophthalmology, the researchers write: "A tight necktie can be considered a risk factor in men who prefer to wear tight neckties, men with thick necks, and white collar professionals.""

Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin to wed Singapore-based Elaine Andriejanssen in July - "Page Six, an entertainment website, had reported on Tuesday that Mr Saverin was going to marry Miss Singapore Universe 2009 Rachel Kum on the French Riviera on June 27. He had also apparently invested in Ms Kum's makeup company, Rachel K Cosmetics... The website later corrected its story, and quoted a spokesman for Mr Saverin as saying: "He has never dated Miss Singapore, and never invested in her company. He is not marrying her.""
So much for cosmetics...

Maple syrup urine disease

Why Asparagus Makes Your Urine Smell

Before Mating, the Female Giraffe Will First Urinate in the Male's Mouth - "This is known as the “Flehmen sequence”, where the male giraffe will approach the female and then rub against her backside until she pees. When/if she does, he’ll taste it to tell whether she’s in heat or not"

The world is not running out of resources after all, says new report - "“The No Breakfast Fallacy: Why the Club of Rome was wrong about us running out of resources” argues that outcries over resource availability from environmentalist groups are based on a misinterpretation of numbers and a misunderstanding of what mineral resources actually are. The monograph, written by Adam Smith Institute Senior Fellow and rare earths expert Tim Worstall, says that groups that have warned about the world running out of rare mineral resources, such as The Club of Rome, have been using the wrong sets of data, mistaking the exhaustion of mineral reserves for the exhaustion of mineral resources. Mineral reserves, the monograph explains, are simply the minerals that have been prepared for use for the next few decades; they are minerals that can be mined with current technology at current prices. Some reserves are going to run out in the near future, but this is a normal process. Every generation runs out of mineral reserves... The reserves for minerals used in fertilizers may exhaust in the next few hundred years, but the exhaustion of resources is not estimated to occur for 1,400 years for phosphate and 7,300 years for potassium. The report concludes that efforts to conserve and/or recycle mineral resources are wasteful and often end up being net harms to society, by diverting economic activity from more productive uses."

China bans 36 more anime, manga titles in continuing crackdown - "In April, the ministry released a list of 62 manga comics that were to be banned in the China, including the entire Sailor Moon series, 500 editions of Case Closed (originally Meitantei Conan) and 600 editions of the Naruto series."
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