"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, September 10, 2015

Links -- 10th September 2015

GE2015: Voters concerned about future, weighing options very carefully, says ESM Goh - "A "very strong team" is needed, as every minister has strengths and weaknesses, he added. The exception, he said, was founding prime minister Lee Kuan Yew, who "was all strength and no weakness"."
Let's beatify him already

Muslim Woman Offended by One Word on Restaurant’s Sign. Owners Take It Down. And the Word Was… - "after Sneakers Bistro & Cafe kicked in for “Operation Bloom” at the bottom of the Winooski Circle, the restaurant put a bright yellow sign on a lamp post telling drivers to “Yield for Bacon” at Sneakers."

Japanese north–south gradient in IQ predicts differences in stature, skin color, income, and homicide rate - "Regional differences in IQ are estimated for 47 prefectures of Japan. IQ scores obtained from official achievement tests show a gradient from north to south. Latitudes correlate with height, IQ, and skin color at r = 0.70, 0.44, 0.47, respectively. IQ also correlates with height (0.52), skin color (0.42), income (0.51) after correction, less homicide rate (− 0.60), and less divorce (− 0.69) but not with fertility infant mortali'ty. The lower IQ in southern Japanese islands could be attributable to warmer climates with less cognitive demand for more than fifteen hundred years."
If they're all the same race, it means he can't be accused of racism, right?

Temperature, skin color, per capita income, and IQ: An international perspective - "Our findings provide strong support for the observation of Lynn and of Rushton that persons in colder climates tend to have higher IQs. These findings could also be viewed as congruent with, although not providing unequivocal evidence for, the contention that higher intelligence evolves in colder climates. The finding of higher IQ in Eurasians than Africans could also be viewed as congruent with the position of Diamond (1997) that knowledge and resources are transmitted more readily on the Eurasian west–east axis."

Gene Expression: Validity of national skin color-IQ - "The criticisms by Hunt & Sternberg are based largely on a misreading of Templer & Arikawa's methods, particularly the method for deriving national skin color values. A paper published in 2000 by Jablonski & Chaplin ("The evolution of human skin coloration") can more directly address these criticisms. Jablonski & Chaplin published a table of skin color reflectance values from many old world populations (Table 6, also see the appendix). I very crudely averaged values from the same country to make a new measure of national skin color. This measure of national skin color correlates with the skin color index of Templer & Arikawa at r=-.91 (the negative is not important here). The reflectance measure of skin color correlates with national IQ at r=.87. The school achievement measure of Lynn et al. correlates r=-.79 with the skin color index of Templer & Arikawa and r=.75 with the skin color reflectance values crudely averaged from Jablonski & Chaplin. Thus, the skin color values derived by Templer & Arikawa are well validated by an external data source and the national IQ-skin color relationship is found to be robust across two measures of national IQ and two measures of national skin color... Latitude (and hence colder climate) is associated with IQ not only cross-nationally (.67) but within the US as well. AE found a correlation of .70 between his measure of state IQ and the latitude of the most populous city in each of the 50 states. Furthermore intelligence is associated with latitude equally for both US whites and blacks (.52 and .51)."

Political storm over a teacup - "High Court witnesses are not usually treated to warm beverages, and certainly not served by uniformed attendants. "It shocked the lawyers I spoke to that the judge should allow such a thing," says Stuart Littlemore, an Australian QC who observed the trial for the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ). "It's not trivial, because it was a symptom of the court's deference." In his report for the ICJ, published after Mr Goh won his case last week, Mr Littlemore wrote: "He came to court as an ordinary citizen, not as Prime Minister, but it was impossible to escape the impression that the judge treated Mr Goh as a litigant of higher status than he was entitled to"... In his report for the ICJ, Mr Littlemore, himself a defamation expert, is scathing. The judge "betrayed an almost total ignorance" of the technicalities of defamation law. Moreover, he did the work of Mr Goh's lawyers for them, constructing an argument against Mr Jeyaretnam which they did not present, and against which he had no opportunity to defend himself. He was ordered to pay "aggravated damages" because Mr Carman's questions were held "to denigrate the Prime Minister and the way he governs Singapore". "The most troubling aspect," wrote Mr Littlemore, "is the judge's undue deference"... During his cross-examination of the Prime Minister, as he was sipping his hot water, Mr Carman referred to the "climate of fear" in Singapore. The judge interrupted, swiftly: "I will not allow questions on that subject.""

How startups such as Dropbox, Airbnb, Groupon and others acquired their first users. - "Quora and reddit solved the "empty site = no users / no users = empty site" problem in similar ways. The founders of both services spent the first months filling them with content themselves. On Quora, the founders simply answered and asked lots of questions under their own profiles. But the reddit approach was a bit more interesting. Instead of just using their own accounts, the founders would create fake users to make it look like there were multiple people submitting links. Their 'submit link' form featured a third slot: "Username". According to Steve Huffman, reddit cofounder, it took several months until they didn’t have to submit content themselves to fill up the front page. They also focused on keeping everybody in the same place in the beginning. reddit had no subreddits, and Quora was mostly focused on technology. Instead of having users spread out, everyone was in the same place- making the community feel bigger than it was."

Robin Stienberg - Mobile Uploads - "Seasons BISTRO closes its doors today and all staff had been laid off suddenly at 5pm. Due to lack of support in Advertising dollars, quality, and innovation. Can't blame on the Chefs, nor all the media outlets. Paid Advertising is the key. Many today even blame its the rent, but that is really a lame excuse. The reason is because every businessman would have calculated all its risks and it is also common sense if money is to be spend or not. So how can one blame its the rent? The real result is good customer service, second the wow factor, third great experience, and very importantly - Advertising. Others will argue that its also about location. That is possible, but there are cases where location is not an issue depending on the kind of concept and quality you provide."
Finally I find out what happened to Seasons Bistro

School children as young as 8 told they would be labelled 'racist' for missing school trip - Telegraph - "Around 100 pupils across four years were expected to take part in the course - which would have involved them being shown Islamic artefacts... Refusal to allow your child to attend this trip will result in a Racial Discrimination note being attached to your child's education record, which will remain on this file throughout their school career"

Online extortion by stranger after engaging with social escort company - "“I paid by credit card and was told by a lady on the other line to go to the certain hotel room and wait. I paid for the hotel room and went to the room to wait. Never did I realized the action of giving up my information would cause me such trouble and distress later on.” wrote Paul. He was shocked when the lady who turned up at the hotel room, is not the girl whom he picked, and the lady was also of a different race. “Well, even if it’s misrepresentation, it’s too late for me to regret because I have paid for the hotel room. I thought that was about it, and the bad service ends that day but I was wrong.” lamented Paul. A few weeks later after the deal, Paul received an email from a stranger. The person claims that he or she knows that Paul has a family and that there is evidence on the person’s hand that Paul engaged a prostitute few weeks earlier. The stranger went on to threaten Paul that his sexual adventure would be exposed to his wife unless he pays $5000 for their discreet services. Infuriated for being extorted by an unknown stranger, Paul stormed to the social escort company. After several rounds of confrontation with the social escort company, the company finally admitted that they had sold his personal data to a data dealer. They had no way of tracing who had his information and could do nothing to help Paul in his predicament."

Carly Fiorina Emerges as a G.O.P. Weapon Against ‘War on Women’ Charge - NYTimes.com - "Mrs. Fiorina once said her experience proved the glass ceiling was obsolete, and she has defined feminism as “a left-leaning political ideology” that pits “women against men” and is “used as a political weapon to win elections.” In the interview, Mrs. Fiorina said, “As a woman I am insulted when I hear somebody talk about ‘women’s issues,’ ” adding, “Every issue is a women’s issue.”... Her gender provided a shield from what many Republicans assumed would be repercussions against a man attacking Mrs. Clinton so early and often."

Qi Yuwu, who witnessed birth of his child with Joanne Peh, says it won't affect their sex life - "He does not think seeing up-close the birth of his child will affect his relations with Peh, saying matter-of-factly: "I've heard how some fathers view the delivery process and it affects their sex life aversely."

The Authenticity Trap - "In the armchair anthropologist game, Americans are the undisputed champs. The sheer conviction and depth of expertise in Mexican cuisine that these critics demonstrate is nothing short of impressive and intimidating. I was born and raised in Mexico and have lived in the United States for most of my adult life. I’ve worked in kitchens for many years, serving Mexican, American, and other kinds of food, but I would hardly call myself an authority on the authenticity of Mexican cooking, despite having been raised with it and devoting much of my culinary career to it. Yet armchair anthropologists exhibit no such uncertainty. These self-appointed authorities wield the stamp of authenticity fearlessly when it comes to a restaurant’s handmade tortillas, cheap prices, colorful ambiance, and quaintness of the family who owns it. Little is said about the food’s taste. It’s the handmade tortilla that is seen as the pinnacle of Mexican culinary achievement, and a rustic quality is emphasized above all. Clearly, Mexican food in the United States has an image problem, not a taste problem... Why is the American taco-eating public more concerned with the pedigree of their tortillas than the average Mexican? This is perhaps the core of the authenticity debate... For three generations, the women of my family have decided to leave the tortilla making to the experts: the machines... How sad is it to operate in a market where food cannot be sold on taste alone but relies on the merit of the tales told? Eventually, my authentic Mexican food became about spinning tales — not cooking, and not the way I wanted to make a living or the way I wanted to portray the food I grew up with... The Mexican food of today tastes different from the food of 10 or 20 years ago and undoubtedly is different from the food of “old Mexico.” Why would I, or anyone else, rustic tortilla press in hand, actively push for the backward evolution of food, all in the name of authenticity and tradition?"

The biggest mistakes people make when choosing a life partner - "Society has it all wrong and gives us terrible advice
Society encourages us to stay uneducated and let romance be our guide... If a business owner took society’s dating advice for her business, she’d probably fail, and if she succeeded, it would be partially due to good luck—and that’s how society wants us to approach dating."

It turns out parenthood is worse than divorce, unemployment — even the death of a partner - "having a child can have a pretty strong negative impact on a person's happiness, according to a new study published in the journal Demography. In fact, on average, the effect of a new baby on a person's life in the first year is devastatingly bad — worse than divorce, worse than unemployment and worse even than the death of a partner... The study's goal was to try to gain insights into a longstanding contradiction in fertility in many developed countries between how many children people say they want and how many they actually have. In Germany, most couples say in surveys that they want two children. Yet the birthrate in the country has remained stubbornly low — 1.5 children per woman — for 40 years... most couples in their study started out pretty happy when they set out to have their first child. In the year prior to the birth, their life satisfaction ticked up even more, perhaps due to the pregnancy and anticipation of the baby... The consequence of the negative experiences was that many of the parents stopped having children after their first. The data showed the larger the loss in well-being, the lower the likelihood of a second baby. The effect was especially strong in mothers and fathers who are older than age 30 and with higher education. Surprisingly, gender was not a factor."

Man leaves 20-year-old daughter to drown at Dubai beach rather than allow rescuers to touch her - "Afraid that it would dishonour her if she were to be touched by "strange men", a man left his daughter to drown at a beach in Dubai rather than allow lifeguards to stage a rescue... "He was a tall and strong man, and started pulling and preventing the rescue men and got violent with them." The man's daughter drowned, with Lt Col Burqibah pointing out that the delay in saving her probably cost her life. The man was subsequently arrested by the police for barring the rescue team from doing their job."
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