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Wednesday, December 02, 2015

Links - 2nd December 2015

Is Special Education Racist? - The New York Times - "Critics claim that this high number — blacks are 1.4 times more likely to be placed in special education than other races and ethnicities combined — shows that black children are put into special education because schools are racially biased. But our new research suggests just the opposite... If well-intentioned but misguided advocates succeed in arbitrarily limiting placement in special education based on racial demographics, even more black children with disabilities will miss out on beneficial services. Black children face double jeopardy when it comes to succeeding in school. They are far more likely to be exposed to the gestational, environmental and economic risk factors that often result in disabilities. Yet black children are less likely to be told they have disabilities, and to be treated for them, than otherwise similar white children... The last thing we need is to compound these widespread disparities in disability diagnosis and treatment by making school officials reluctant to refer black children for special-education eligibility evaluations out of fear of being labeled racially biased."

The Relation Between Intelligence and Religiosity - "A meta-analysis of 63 studies showed a significant negative association between intelligence and religiosity. The association was stronger for college students and the general population than for participants younger than college age; it was also stronger for religious beliefs than religious behavior. For college students and the general population, means of weighted and unweighted correlations between intelligence and the strength of religious beliefs ranged from −.20 to −.25 (mean r = −.24). Three possible interpretations were discussed. First, intelligent people are less likely to conform and, thus, are more likely to resist religious dogma. Second, intelligent people tend to adopt an analytic (as opposed to intuitive) thinking style, which has been shown to undermine religious beliefs. Third, several functions of religiosity, including compensatory control, self-regulation, self-enhancement, and secure attachment, are also conferred by intelligence. Intelligent people may therefore have less need for religious beliefs and practices."

Ivy League Schools Are Overrated. Send Your Kids Elsewhere. - "Our system of elite education manufactures young people who are smart and talented and driven, yes, but also anxious, timid, and lost, with little intellectual curiosity and a stunted sense of purpose: trapped in a bubble of privilege, heading meekly in the same direction, great at what they’re doing but with no idea why they’re doing it... Look beneath the façade of seamless well-adjustment, and what you often find are toxic levels of fear, anxiety, and depression, of emptiness and aimlessness and isolation. A large-scale survey of college freshmen recently found that self-reports of emotional well-being have fallen to their lowest level in the study’s 25-year history... The irony is that elite students are told that they can be whatever they want, but most of them end up choosing to be one of a few very similar things. As of 2010, about a third of graduates went into financing or consulting at a number of top schools... Kids at schools like Stanford think that their environment is diverse if one comes from Missouri and another from Pakistan, or if one plays the cello and the other lacrosse. Never mind that all of their parents are doctors or bankers... the group that is most disadvantaged by our current admissions policies are working-class and rural whites... Kids at less prestigious schools are apt to be more interesting, more curious, more open, and far less entitled and competitive."

Peter Tatchell: The left and the anti-war movement have double standards when it comes to Hamas - "These abuses, which are part of a long-standing pattern of human rights violations, reveal Hamas's totalitarian agenda and are a portent of the Iranian-style theocratic tyranny they would impose on the Palestinian people if they ever secured absolute power. It is an antisemitic, misogynistic, homophobic, anti-trade union, authoritarian, clericalist movement... while progressive opinion is justifiably quick to condemn Israel, it is oddly silent when Palestinians are being persecuted by fellow Palestinians. Why the double standards? Hamas styles itself as a resistance movement. In fact, it is as much a repression movement and the victims of its repression are fellow Palestinians who don't toe the Hamas line. In the future, Hamas is potentially as much of a threat to Palestinian freedom as Israel is today... Another favourite left and liberal justification of Hamas is that it is less corrupt than its Palestinian rivals in Fatah and that it organises social programmes for the poor. You could say the same about the Nazis, compared to the indulgence and incompetence of some Weimar Republic leaders... Hamas's macho posturing mirrors that of the Israeli extreme right. It has a juvenile tit-for-tat, eye-for-an-eye war mentality"

Driver Says God Told Her ‘I’ll Take It From Here,’ So She Let Go Of Wheel; Promptly Runs Over Motorcyclist «

Schumann’s Death Linked to His Music - The New York Times - "Though Schumann, who died in 1856 at the age of 46, has received fewer diagnoses than Mozart, his case is messier, and the stakes are higher. Discussions of Mozart’s final illness are confined to the physical: infection, cardiovascular disease, kidney function and poisoning. They do not affect our view of his compositions, except for the Requiem, and then only in terms of the circumstances of its commissioning. For Mozart the medical and the musical remain separate. In Schumann’s case the usual diagnoses have included mental illnesses. Because associations between mental state and creativity are inevitable, stigmas and stereotypes attached to psychiatric illnesses have long influenced the interpretation of Schumann’s music."

Eye-Tracking Heatmaps - "They say the eyes tell all. Now thanks to eye-tracking technology we can tell they're saying, and the results point to fascinating differences between men and women and useful insights into advertising and design"

Romanian Andy Pascali arrived at holiday home to find it had disappeared - "At first they thought it was a joke, but when they turned up at the nearby village of Baldovinesti they found not only that there was no property where there should have been a three-bedroom building, but that a field of ready-to-harvest corn had been planted in its place."

Muslim double standards abound - "It is not the race or religion of the victim that counts, but the identity of their tormentor. As long as it’s an Arab army annihilating fellow Arabs or a Muslim military murdering fellow Muslims, too many Muslims simply shrug away our responsibility and say, “leave it to Allah” as the Qur’an supposedly commands. However, if the Muslim falls victim to the “kuffar” — meaning the Jew, Christian or Hindu — then many of our clerics take to the pulpit and deliver fiery, end-of-times lectures, using the tragedy as a reason to ignite hatred against the other, in most cases “The Jew”."

When Rhode Island accidentally legalized prostitution, rape decreased sharply - "The statewide incidence of gonorrhea among women declined by 39 percent, and the number of rapes reported to police in the state declined by 31 percent, according to the paper. The study by Baylor University's Scott Cunningham and Manisha Shah of the University of California, Los Angeles contributes to an impassioned, long-running debate about prostitution among advocates for women's rights. Their work appears to be the first quantitative evidence that removing criminal penalties for prostitutes can reduce violence against women and curtail sexually transmitted infections in society generally -- and dramatically so... The two economists found that more women entered prostitution, particularly white and Asian women, and that the price of their services fell. In addition to the lower rate of gonorrhea infections among women, Shah and Cunningham estimated that decriminalizing prostitution prevented 824 rapes that would have been otherwise reported to police -- and presumably many more that otherwise would not have been reported in any case. The decline in the number of rapes was so large that Cunningham and Shah felt obliged to examine their data with three separate statistical methods, but the effect persisted. The authors were eventually persuaded that their result was not a fluke... In practice, the distinction between criminals and victims is often unclear. Many prostitutes and their advocates dislike both labels. They object strenuously to the view that they are not in the industry through their own choice but through manipulation or coercion. "They have heard that, and they laugh at it," said Mike Kiselica, a Providence attorney who represented massage parlors and their prostitutes during decriminalization. "The frontline workers, the girls, they were free to move around, and would do so if one of the other places offered them a more attractive working environment or a better clientele," he said. He said that even though the law had changed, police continued to conduct extensive raids on his clients, often involving superior officers, social workers and Korean interpreters. Although the police confiscated ledgers, calendars and cell phones, they did not find evidence of involvement by organized crime, Kiselica said. To his knowledge, few if any of the arrests made during the period led to convictions on trafficking charges."

The War on Sex Workers - "Not all people who do sex work are women, but women disproportionately suffer the stigma, discrimination, and violence against sex workers. The result is a war on women that is nearly imperceptible, unless you are involved in the sex trade yourself. This war is spearheaded and defended largely by other women: a coalition of feminists, conservatives, and even some human rights activists who subject sex workers to poverty, violence, and imprisonment—all in the name of defending women’s rights... Some activists view calling the cops to “rescue” people from the sex trade as the model of a successful human rights intervention. They don’t count their victories by the number of people they help; they count them by arrests. These tactics are part of a rise in what Elizabeth Bern­stein calls “carceral feminism”; Harvard law professor Janet Halley calls it “governance feminism.” Feminists once offered a powerful critique of the criminal justice system, but that argument has faded as they have found power within it. Not surprisingly, they have found conservative allies along the way... These feminist-supported, headline-grabbing stunts subject young women to the humiliation of jail, legal procedures, and tracking through various law enforcement databases, sometimes for the rest of their lives. “It’s fascinating that women who claim to be feminists” are so willing to use the law in this way, says Ann Jordan. Supporting anti-prostitution enforcement requires them to call in the muscle of “all these institutions that have oppressed women forever,” she notes. “But they are willing to use the law to coerce a particular kind of behavior from women”... If we are going to call attacks on reproductive and sexual rights a “war on women,” then let’s talk about a war on women that has actual prisoners and a body count. It’s a war on the women engaged in sex work, waged by women who will not hesitate to use their opponents’ corpses as political props but refuse to listen to them while they are still alive and still here to fight"

23 Trends Guys Hate (But Women Love) - "Peplums
"Fake" Nails
Fold-Over Ankle Boots
Drop-Crotch Pants
Hair Bows"

Let’s Cool It in the Bedroom - - "Cooler bedrooms could subtly transform a person’s stores of brown fat — what has lately come to be thought of as “good fat” — and consequently alter energy expenditure and metabolic health, even into daylight hours.""

11 Psychological Tricks Restaurants Use To Make You Spend More Money - "7. They use expensive items to draw you to the cheaper items. According to Rapp, restaurants use extremely expensive foods as decoys. “You probably won’t buy it, but you’ll find something a little cheaper and it’ll look more reasonable,” he says."

Satiregram Makes Fun Of Everyone’s Instagram Habits

Predict weather with a cup of coffee

Coconut-based contraption makes your bike sound just like a horse
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