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Valar Qringaomis

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Friday, August 21, 2015

Links - 21st August 2015

Bishan Gay Judgment - "Public Prosecutor v Cheng Hoe Huat
[2015] SGDC 188...
The Accused, aged 52 years, claimed trial to the charge that on 13.11.2013, at about 3.20 p.m., in the male toilet on the first floor of Bishan Junction 8 Shopping Centre (“Junction 8”), used criminal force on the Victim, a 12 years old male, knowing this would outrage his modesty, by touching the tip of his penis and tickling it 3 times. This was an offence punishable under section 354(2) of the Penal Code, Cap 224... In 2013, the Victim and his friends were Primary 6 school students at a Madrasah. They would often go to Junction 8 after school lessons ended. At Junction 8, the Accused was always seated outside Coffee Bean. The Victim and his 4 friends testified that the Accused would always wave, greet and chat with them. Hence, they thought he was a kind and friendly “old uncle”. The Accused however claimed that he could not recognise them because he met and talked to many students...
At different stages of this case, he gave various reasons for his presence at the said shopping centre:
- he was doing a highly secretive project which involved conducting a survey on penises of different races for a secretive international organisation;
- to speak to students about sex education taught in their schools as he intended to submit his recommendations to the Ministry of Education to improve the teaching of sex education; and
- to read the Bible, newspapers and write journals...
I also considered the fear caused to the young Victim as he and the Accused were locked inside the toilet cubicle. The Accused’s actions must, inevitably, have eroded to some degree the trust and respect that the Victim normally held for elderly persons. His depraved, immoral acts will leave their marks on the young and vulnerable Victim forever. I also felt that the Accused was indeed very bold to perpetuate his criminal act in a public toilet in a shopping centre, a place which could be accessed by any male person."
Is it better to molest people in private? If it were in private wouldn't the space being restricted/private be used as an aggravating factor?

The disturbing difference between black and white Barbies - "Johnson found that the African-American version of the doll retailed for almost twice as much as its white counterpart... Target isn’t the only retailer to have a difference in the price between light- and dark-skinned dolls. At Toys-R-Us, the same African-American doll was on sale for four dollars less than its white counterpart. Wal-Mart’s website also listed an African-American Barbie for $11.87 while its Caucasian version cost $9.88, CNBC found"
Maybe an algorithm made Black Barbie more expensive because it was more in demand. Is it also insulting for Black Barbie to be cheaper than White ones? The market (and computer algorithms) are racist!

Genetic 'Adam & Eve' Chromosome Study Traces All Men To Man Who Lived 135,000 Years Ago - "These primeval people aren't parallel to the biblical Adam and Eve. They weren't the first modern humans on the planet, but instead just the two out of thousands of people alive at the time with unbroken male or female lineages that continue on today. The rest of the human genome contains tiny snippets of DNA from many other ancestors — they just don't show up in mitochondrial or Y-chromosome DNA, Hammer said. (For instance, if an ancient woman had only sons, then her mitochondrial DNA would disappear, even though the son would pass on a quarter of her DNA via the rest of his genome.)"

33 year old Singaporean, drawing $7k sgd a month cannot find gf anybody can help? - - "33 year old
IT manager
$7k sgd a month
Stay with parents
Saves 50% of salary
Has gone on numerous dates but cannot find suitable life partner to settle down with
Gf criteria:
Can cook
Can do housework
Wants to have at least 3 children
Must exercise regularly to stay in shape
Must be able to hold intellectual conversations
Must save at least 30% of her salary
Must treat his parents well
Must not demand a car
Cannot take taxi too often
Must dress decently but be stylish and classy
Eyes cannot be smaller than his
Must be more talkative than him because he does not talk much
His friends must approve of her"

Extreme Metal Music and Anger Processing - "The claim that listening to extreme music causes anger, and expressions of anger such as aggression and delinquency have yet to be substantiated using controlled experimental methods... extreme music did not make angry participants angrier; rather, it appeared to match their physiological arousal and result in an increase in positive emotions. Listening to extreme music may represent a healthy way of processing anger for these listeners."

Why Russians Don't Get Depressed - "While American brooders showed extremely high levels of depressive symptomatology (as measured by the Beck Depression Inventory, or BDI), Russian brooders were actually less likely to be depressed than non-brooders. This suggests that brooding, or ruminative self-reflection, has extremely different psychiatric outcomes depending on the culture. While rumination makes Americans depressed, it actually seems to provide an emotional buffer for Russians."
Paper: "The Impact of Culture on Adaptive Versus Maladaptive Self-Reflection"

Do Women Prefer Men with Masculine Faces? Not Always. - "A new study by Isabel M. Scott and her colleagues (2014) looked at women’s (and men’s) face preferences across a dozen cultures and their findings have been promoted in several media outlets... with some claiming their new findings seriously challenge evolutionary explanations of women’s sexual desires. In particular, the new findings have been portrayed as refuting the idea that women within high pathogen cultures report more desire for masculine faces... The breadth of the samples in Scott et al. (2014) study is remarkable. However, the sizeof most samples was extremely small (understandably so, given the difficulty in securing access to these remote populations), with women’s effective sample sizes including 5 Fijian women, 11 Aka women, and 13 Cree women, for instance. For many of their samples, such samples sizes are probably too small (lack enough statistical power) to reveal true empirical associations, if any exist, across sex, temporal context, facial dimorphism, and culture... Here are 3 findings that have not received as much media attention as the presumably anti-evolutionary psychology findings:
2) Scott et al. (2014) found UK, Kadazan, and Canadian women also expressed more intense preferences for masculine faces when evaluating men as short-term mates, as predicted from dualistic mating strategy perspectives... Overall, the male findings generally supported evolutionary psychology predictions concerning femininity-related facial mate preferences of men... By the way, for critics of evolutionary psychology, it may be worth noting that studies of non-WEIRD samples are much more typical among evolutionary psychologists than other types of psychologists"

Is Evolutionary Psychology WEIRD or NORMAL? - "Joe Henrich and colleagues’ paper, The weirdest people in the world, argued that psychology draws too much on WEIRD (Western, Educated, Industrialized, Rich, and Democratic) samples... I surveyed the 2012 volume of the top journal in social psychology, TheJournal of Personality and Social Psychology (JPSP) and the official journal of the Human Behavior and Evolution Society, Evolution and Human Behavior (E&HB). (And by “I surveyed” of course I mean that other people did all the work. Hat tip: Fatima Aboul-Seoud and Molly Elson.) For each empirical paper, we scored whether the samples used were exclusively WEIRD, both WEIRD and non-WEIRD, or exclusively non-WEIRD. The results are in the Figure below. Roughly 96% of the papers in JPSP, designed to “make sense of the bizarre and baffling diversity of human behavior,” came from WEIRD samples. This figure was 65% for E&HB. (A chi square on these values is hugely significant)... adding evolution to psychology makes the science less WEIRD, and more NORMAL (Non-Weird Organisms Resembling Mankind’s Ancestral Lifestyle"

SMRT's contingency plans need fixing - "Visitors do not always take the train during peak periods. And if you are a tourist, your perception of time is slightly different. You look at the country which you are visiting through somewhat rose-tinted glasses... When then Communications Minister Mah Bow Tan promised Singaporeans in 1995 that they would have a world-class land transport system, it set expectations fairly high... But trains are packed during peak hours everywhere in the world, right? Tokyo is infamous for having station staff shove commuters into already crowded carriages. I asked a Japanese government official whom I met recently whether people were happy with how crowded the trains were in Tokyo. He said no But the trains were extremely reliable and speedy. You could set your watch to train arrivals (for that matter, bus arrivals) in Tokyo. Disruptions caused by mechanical faults are almost unheard of (although there are delays caused by people who kill themselves by jumping onto the track). The high reliability helps Tokyo-ites bear with the crowdedness better... The MRT lines here are mostly less than 30 years old. The Tokyo subway is 88 years old, New York's is 111 and London's is around 150. And the network here is comparatively short, too. So, it is understandable that people are peeved about the rate of breakdowns here, when our system is an infant compared with those in cities like London, New York, Tokyo and Paris. At this point, it is interesting (and somewhat infuriating) to hear the popular official lines for breakdowns. When a line is new, we are told teething problems are to blame. When a line is barely 30 years old, we are told it is is ageing. These excuses don't exactly fly with Singaporeans, who are reasonably well educated and well travelled. Not when lacklustre maintenance has been found to be the cause of many breakdowns. And not especially when the alternative to public transport is so costly, and beyond the reach of most households... Going by how the July 7 incident was handled, it was a shoddy effort. For a breakdown of that scale, all bus rides should be free of charge - regardless of whether commuters were directly affected by the incident. Much of the evening's confusion and delays arose because commuters did not know which buses were free and which were not. Train fares on unaffected lines should also be waived. Likewise, fares on affected lines that are finally fixed and running again... People affected by the unprecedented breakdown formed long queues to get their refund. This also contributed to the congestion and to the overall confusion. Modern fare systems elsewhere in the world have a so-called "white list" feature, where a refund is automatically given the next time a stored value card is used. This is not only infinitely more efficient than queueing for something that is rightfully yours in the first place, but it also ensures that every affected commuter gets a refund. This is not rocket science."

Male circumcision leads to a bad sex life - "If a man is circumcised, he faces an increased risk of experiencing delayed orgasm, and his female partner has an increased risk of not feeling sexually fulfilled. This is the clear-cut conclusion of a new Danish research article, which has received international attention... “Circumcised men are three times as likely to experience a frequent inability to reach an orgasm”... “It appears that women with circumcised men are twice as likely to be sexually frustrated. They experience a three-fold risk of frequent difficulties in achieving orgasm, and an eight-fold risk of feeling pain during intercourse – also known as dyspareunia.” There appears to be a very simple reason why circumcised men and their partners are having problems with their sex lives. The circumcised man develops a thin layer of hard skin on his penis head, which decreases the sensitivity. This means that in order to reach an orgasm, he needs to work harder at it, and that can lead to a painful experience for the woman."

'Fitness' foods may cause consumers to eat more, exercise less - ""Unless a food was forbidden by their diet, branding the product as 'fit' increased consumption for those trying to watch their weight," write authors Joerg Koenigstorfer (Technische Universität München) and Hans Baumgartner (Pennsylvania State University). "To make matters worse, these eaters also reduced their physical activity, apparently seeing the 'fit' food as a substitute for exercise."

Go ahead quote me - "The more I thought I was special, the lonelier I grew.''
ACTRESS GIANNA JUN on why she has cast aside her image of mystery"

Trafficking laws used to prosecute other offences - study - "Ireland is using anti-trafficking laws to prosecute crimes unrelated to trafficking, a US state department report has found... it “continued to prosecute a high number of non-trafficking crimes as trafficking cases, including child molestation cases.” It said potential victims of forced labour in cannabis production were prosecuted and imprisoned for crimes they may have been forced to commit... the Irish law that banned trafficking conflated possession or creation of child pornography with human trafficking, which meant law enforcement statistics were “unreliable”.
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