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Valar Qringaomis

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Thursday, November 05, 2015

Links - 5th November 2015

Twitter Language Use Reflects Psychological Differences between Democrats and Republicans - "the language used by liberals emphasizes their perception of uniqueness, contains more swear words, more anxiety-related words and more feeling-related words than conservatives’ language. Conversely, we predicted that the language of conservatives emphasizes group membership and contains more references to achievement and religion than liberals’ language... Democrat followers tend to use 1st person singular pronouns more often than Republican followers, which we interpret as their greater desire for emphasizing uniqueness. Democrats also tend to use words expressing anxiety and feelings. Conversely, the language of Republican followers highlights their group identity, relatively infrequent usage of swear words and religiosity. Our findings corroborate those indicating political differences in the agreeableness component of the Big Five, the in-group foundation in the Moral Foundations Theory and the self-direction and conformity values in the Basic Personal Vales model. These results suggest that language used on Twitter does, indeed, reflect individual differences between liberals and conservatives."

FFN - Fédération française de naturisme - Questions and answers - " Quelle est la différence entre le nudisme et le naturisme ?
Le nudisme, c’est tout simplement le fait de ne pas porter de vêtements ou de se baigner nu. Le naturisme va plus loin que le nudisme puisqu’il relève d’une certaine approche comportementale. Les naturistes se veulent près de la nature et recherchent un style de vie sain, un environnement naturel et préservé."

The Origin of English Surnames - "The surname Chambers comes from the same source, a man who looked after the king's or a noble's private chambers. The name Spencer comes from a man who dispensed stores. Other officials were the parker who looked after the game park and the warriner who looked after rabbit warrens. From him we get the surname Warner. The reeve was an important official in a Medieval village. Bailey is a corruption of bailiff, another important official. Dempster is derived from deemester, an old English word for a judge. Two other court officials were the summoner, who brought the prisoner before the judge and the beadle. At a feast people dipped their finger in water between courses and they dried them with towels provided by a napier. (Although some people think this surname may come from the Scottish 'nae peer'). The marshall was responsible for seating arrangements. A kitchener washed up. The surname Parsons was given to a parsons servant. There were also people who looked after certain things e.g. the hayward and the woodward. Coward is derived from cowherd. There was also a hog-ward who gave us the surname Hoggart. A stot was a young ox and the man who looked after him was called a stot herd, which has become the surname Stoddard. The surnames Yates and Yateman are corruptions of gates and gate man i.e. gatekeeper. A burgess was a well off man who had certain rights in the borough where he lived... The ending 'cock' meant young man. So we have Hitchcock (Hitch was a pet name for Richard). We also have Wilcock... Somebody who lived by the walls of a town might be given the surname Walls. If they lived on the edge of the town or village they might be given the surname Townsend. Or if they lived by towers they might get the surname Towers. The origin of the surnames Orchard and Pond are obvious... Many English surnames are derived from nicknames People who were arrogant might be called king, prince, bishop or abbot. (Although surnames like Bishop and Abbot may have come about because somebody worked for a bishop or an abbot. They may also have been children of clergymen)."

Indian tea tastes success in China - "Tea is one of the seven key necessities for any Chinese - wood, rice, oil, salt, soy sauce and vinegar being the other six."

Difference between Chinese and Indian Tea - Blog - Vintage Tea Company - "hile all teas in China come from the Camellia Sinensis variety, the majority of Indian teas come from the Camellia Assamica variety. The Camellia Assamica is characterized by its shorter life but considerably greater robustness to weather and altitude as well as considerably higher yields. As a result of the much higher yields, Indian tea production for most of the 20th century significantly exceeded Chinese tea production (although this has now reversed as a result of China dedicating more farmland to the mass production of tea). This factor also means that there is less variability in the taste of the tea leaf which comes from the various regions of India (although there are huge differences in production methods across India). The downside of the Camellia Assamica tree variety, however, is that the leaves have a much stronger and less complex flavor. Nevertheless, many people appreciate the more distinct taste of Indian teas than the more subtle taste of Chinese teas."

The Triumph of the Yell - "When people in power know that what they say will be scrutinized for weaknesses and probably distorted, they become more guarded. As an acquaintance recently explained about himself, public figures who once gave long, free-wheeling press conferences now limit themselves to reading brief statements. When less information gets communicated, opposition does not lead to truth. Opposition also limits information when only those who are adept at verbal sparring take part in public discourse, and those who cannot handle it, or do not like it, decline to participate. This winnowing process is evident in graduate schools, where many talented students drop out because what they expected to be a community of intellectual inquiry turned out to be a ritual game of attack and counterattack... This is the most dangerous aspect of modeling intellectual interchange as a fight: it contributes to an atmosphere of animosity that spreads like a fever. In a society where people express their anger by shooting, the result of demonizing those with whom we disagree can be truly demonic... when opposition becomes the overwhelming avenue of inquiry, when the lust for opposition exalts extreme views and obscures complexity, when our eagerness to find weaknesses blinds us to strengths, when the atmosphere of animosity precludes respect and poisons our relations with one another, then the culture of critique is stifling us. If we could move beyond it, we would move closer to the truth"

Across the Globe, a Growing Disillusionment With Democracy - The New York Times - "Consider a recent study by the political scientists Martin Gilens and Benjamin I. Page, who analyzed who has been most successful in determining policy making in the United States over the past 30 years. It found that economic elites and narrow interest groups were very influential, while the views of ordinary citizens and mass-based interest groups had virtually no impact. “When the preferences of economic elites and the stands of organized interest groups are controlled for,” Mr. Gilens and Mr. Page write, “the preferences of the average American appear to have only a minuscule, near-zero, statistically nonsignificant impact upon public policy.” Their takeaway: “In the United States, the majority does not rule.”"

Skyrocketing prices of an anti-parasitic drug – the facts? - "the net effect of this price increase is pretty close to negligible. The total market is tiny. Most high risk patients without huge economic resources are protected from these prices. Finally, there are lower cost and better drugs available to patients. The pricing behavior of Turing is unsupportable, that’s clear. The effect on needy patients, however, is small."

BBC Radio 4 - From Our Own Correspondent, The Best Nightclub in Africa - "[On Ukraine] Under an imposing statue of Lenin, the people of Donetsk appear to celebrate with gusto. There were red flags, Soviet songs and even some pictures of Stalin - a man who starved millions of Ukrainians to death in the 1930s. I confess, it was a baffling sight, testifying, perhaps, to the amnesiac effect of World War II, and decades of subsequent propaganda which disappeared for a bit after the collapse of Communism, but is now back with a vengeance"

BBC Radio 4 - From Our Own Correspondent, Europe's Migration Turmoil - "I sat down recently with the leader of the Czech Republic's newest political movement, something called Bloc against Islam... [He] has managed to garner 150,000 likes for a Facebook page called 'We don't want Islam in the Czech Republic', a country with a Muslim population of less than 0.1%. He's now considering political office. One thing he said in our 30 minute interview stayed with me. 'You know, we so looked up to you in Western Europe after the fall of Communism', he told me. 'Then we started traveling. We went to London, to Paris, to Berlin and we saw the mosques and the headscarfs. And we were - disappointed. This wasn't the Europe we imagined.' So the Continent faces a showdown between East and West"

BBC Radio 4 - From Our Own Correspondent, Dreams Deferred, Hope On Hold - "The railway staff are not in the least concerned if a train is running 7 or 8 hours late... the casual attitude of railway staff is an example of the well-known Indian attitude to life known as Dugar (sp?). Which means: why worry, everything will come out alright in the end. Once I was told that a train I was waiting for at a big junction was indefinitely delayed. Does that mean it's lost, I asked the official in the inquiry office, sarcastically. If you choose to say so, came back the disinterested reply. When I lost my cool, the official looked at me with contempt and said, you foreigners don't understand India. This is the land of Dugar. There was another train. It was lost, and now we found it. So you can take it... 'We're stll running the railways like you used to'. And the same goes for most of the activities of the government of India. There is one difference between the railways of the Raj and the railways of today. In the Raj, there were no politics. Today, politics are all-pervasive, and with them comes corruption...
[On China] We booked a stay in the oddly named 'Koala Youth Hostel', even though none of us was exactly in the first flush of youth. Throughout Asia, beds can be terribly hard, almost like sleeping on a plank, but at youth hostels, because they're mostly dealing with foreigners, the beds tend to be softer"
Is it ethnocentric to expect trains to be on time? It's okay, wanting high economic growth is ethnocentric too

Witold Chrab's answer to Why do tourists (especially from the West) visit India, when all they do is complain? - Quora - "no one wastes their time going somewhere and spending lots of money somewhere with the plan to criticize and hate that place. What would be the point of that? In fact, people tend to have an increasingly positive and defensive attitude for their choices - in this case, traveling India - the more money, time, and effort they spend on something...
Their expectations were not met. People had high hopes, spend a lot of time and money to get to India, and these hopes and expectations were not fulfilled. They arrived with a positive attitude and left with a negative attitude. India fell short for them. India is one of these countries where people are promised a lot, but often delivered very little. Customer service is terrible. The service industry runs the gamut from absolutely terrible and scammy to excellent. Plenty of people end up with legitimately poor experiences. Trying to make your way through the maze of tours and scammers in Agra sours the experience...
some Indians who have this attitude take things very personally and extrapolate simple statements into something that is not there. I generally loved my trip to India. I hope to go back. But that doesn't mean that everything I say or write about India looks like some kind of public relations advertisement. I saw both good and bad - and I mention both good and bad.

60% of financial services expats want to stay in Singapore for good: survey - "Expats are keen to stay because of attractive pay rates. Average salaries in the financial services sector top $138,000 per annum, while management consultants can earn almost $123,000 on average."
Apparently the salaries are on the low end

BBC Radio 4 - Time Noodles - "He feels that there are more and more people who want to become rakugo performers. I personally think it's because of the economic recession. It seems more popular choice for young people these days... There were many more who were against simply to perform rakugo in English because it would ruin the tradition and a lot of them said that rakugo is such a traditional performing art. It could never be understood by foreigners. And why would you even trying to introduce it? So they were not quite happy with what I was doing. I think it was 2002. I had a call from rakugo association and they needed to talk to me. Basically they wanted me to stop... Sanyutei Ryuraku... performs in English, French, German and Italian... Sanyutei Ryuraku doesn't actually speak any of those languages. He has just memorised enough to perform...
'Is it harder to make Japanese audience laugh than foreign audiences?'
'That's why I go abroad'...
I ask any Japanese people: ok, can you tell a Japanese joke. And nobody ever comes up with one"
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