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Valar Qringaomis

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Saturday, May 23, 2015

Links - 23rd May 2015

More Than 50% of College Students Felt Suicidal - "A comprehensive study of suicidal thinking among college students found more than half of the 26,000 surveyed had suicidal thoughts at some point during their lifetime. The web-based survey conducted in spring 2006 used separate samples of undergraduate and graduate students from 70 colleges and universities across the country. Of the 15,010 undergraduates, average age 22: 55 percent had ever thought of suicide"
Maybe this just shows that considering suicide in and of itself isn't so unusual

Amos Yee charged under the Protection from Harassment Act - "According to section 298, it is an offence to insult someone else with the intention of wounding the religious feelings of that person, meaning if I tell you in the face that I do not think it’s physically possible for Jesus Christ to walk on water and the Bible is a silly pack of lies, and you’re offended by the remark, it means that your ‘religious feelings’ have been hurt, and I’m liable to get charged under the Penal Code although I’m merely presenting an argument based on current scientific knowledge... Has FHM been charged for depicting Jesus with a shotgun?... The more intriguing charge, however, is the one under the protection from harassment act. My idea of harassment is an obsessed fan stalking me outside my doorstep, and sending death threats to my spouse out of jealousy. The victim of the act here is, specifically, ME. Who, exactly, was Amos Yee ‘harassing’? Did he send his link to specific people and force them to watch it? Was he causing trouble to a dead man by loitering around his casket threatening to jump on it? Did he go up to the Lee family and prance around with a party hat and a trumpet going ‘Hooray your dad is dead!’? If the harassment charge is equivalent to ‘insulting’ a fellow human because you have the ‘intention’ of doing so and it causes them ‘distress’, then we’ll have to round up a whole bunch of attention-seeking netizens and bloggers who so much as declare that a minister’s wife looks like a sack of shit, or influencers attacking other influencers with obscenities or death threats. Hell, I’ll charge the Pizza Hut guy for calling me a pink fat person because he hurt my feelings and I can’t sleep because I’m crying all night long. Amos’ parents have been called ‘useless’ by Facebookers because they can’t control their kid. Maybe they should take action against such unfair accusations as well."

College guide bans 'lady' and 'history' as offensive words - Telegraph - "A COLLEGE has banned the use of more than 40 "offensive" words and phrases, including "normal couple" and "slaving over a hot stove", under equal opportunities rules that staff and students must follow. Stockport College, Greater Manchester, has also outlawed "taking the mickey", "history" and "lady", claiming that they are no longer appropriate in a new century. Among the groups that college officials claim could be offended by words on the proscribed list are women, homosexuals and ethnic minorities. A policy document entitled Equal Opportunities - Policy into Practice also says students should not risk upsetting mentally ill people through the use of words such as "mad", "manic" and "crazy". The expression "slaving over a hot stove" is ruled to be inappropriate because it "minimises the horror and oppression of the slave trade"... Nick Seaton, chairman of the Campaign for Real Education, condemned the guidelines. "It is amazing that academics are still indulging in this sort of nonsense. It is political correctness of the worst kind," he said. "They should be concentrating on teaching their students, instead of trying to ban words which any ordinary person would regard as an everyday part of the English language." The row comes days after a Job Centre in Walsall refused to accept an advert in which an employer said he was seeking a "hard-working" recruit. Jonathan Stevenson, the centre's manager, claimed that the phrase could offend the disabled, but was forced to accept the advert after David Blunkett, the Education and Employment Secretary, intervened to halt what his aides described as "insulting nonsense"... The expression "taking the mickey" is described as "anti-Irish", while the use of "normal couple" is questioned, with the guidelines asking: "How do you define normal?" "Lady" and "gentleman" are said to have "class implications". "History", "postman" and "chairman" are all deemed to be sexist. The list also bans the words "queer" and "cripple", except where gay and disabled people have "reclaimed" them. References to "the blind" or "the deaf" are banned, with "visually-impaired" or "hearing-impaired" recommended as alternatives"

Malaysian universities could be like Oxford soon, says Idris Jusoh - "Second Education Minister Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh says that Malaysian universities are not far from becoming world-class institutions like the University of Oxford, since they have already attracted over 135,000 international students... Bukit Bendera MP Zairil Khir Johari added that the majority of international students in Malaysia are from countries with universities inferior to ours, such as Iraq, Iran, Yemen, Nigeria and Bangladesh"

IKEA Transgender Ad Upsets LGBT, Trans Communities - "A “disrespectful” IKEA transgender ad has sparked outrage among LGBT and transgender communities after it aired in Thailand, with many feeling the spot reinforces negative and harmful stereotypes. The IKEA transgender ad aired late last month and early this month, and the premise — put forth by a retailer that was one of the first to embrace the LGBT community in advertising — uses humor about a trans person in the closet as the main joke."
Moral of the story: ignore the LGBT and Trans Communities since whatever you do they will get upset anyway

Cannibalism in the news: What does human flesh taste like? - "In his 1931 book Jungle Ways, American adventurer and journalist William Buehler Seabrook provided the world’s most detailed written description of the taste of human flesh. Seabrook noted that, in raw form, human meat looks like beef, but slightly less red, with pale yellow fat. When roasted, the meat turned grayish, as would lamb or veal, and smelled like cooked beef. As for the taste, Seabrook wrote, “It was so nearly like good, fully developed veal that I think no person with a palate of ordinary, normal sensitiveness could distinguish it from veal.”"

More Than Half of Medical Advice on ‘Dr. Oz’ Lacks Proof or Contradicts Best Available Science: Study

ALERT: A Canadian Guy Has Created A "Poutine Tornado"

Bomoh rapes bride-to-be instead of restoring her virginity - "A bride-to-be was so worried that her fiancé would reject her if he found out she was not a virgin that she sought a bomoh’s help to fix her hymen. However, the 53-year-old bomoh decided to take advantage of her naivety instead. He made the 22-year-old woman send explicit videos of herself to him and forced himself on her as part of the “healing ritual”... “She claimed the bomoh had put a spell on her by holding her hand, which made her feel naughty”"

Management of the transgender adolescent. - "Most children aged 5 to 12 years diagnosed as having GID do not persist in having GID as adolescents; rather, most become homosexual or bisexual adolescents and adults."
More on: Studies and Reports: Transgender Children | Sex matters.

Transgender kids: Have we gone too far? - "Gender confusion is often temporary. About three-quarters of little kids who have issues with their gender – boys who want to be princesses, girls who throw their dresses in the garbage – will be comfortable with it by adolescence, according to Dr. Zucker. (Many of them will grow up to be gay or bi.) Gender confusion can also be a handy label for whatever ails a child (or her family). That’s why Dr. Zucker takes a watch-and-wait approach. He even advises parents of princessy six-year-olds to say, “You’re not a girl. You’re a boy.” And in the hotly politicized world of gender politics, that makes him, in many people’s eyes, a dangerous reactionary... social norms have dramatically changed. It is now fashionable to embrace your diverse child. Parents who encourage their kids to change gender “are socially rewarded as wonderful and accepting”... Disturbingly, data on long-term outcomes for transgender kids are scarce. No one is tracking the evidence on puberty-blocking intervention either. “We are doing major interventions and we have shockingly little idea what the outcomes are,” Ms. Dreger says. You get the sense that what we have is not so much a rational approach to a psychosocial issue as a radical ideological experiment. Here’s more unwelcome news from Ms. Dreger. A child’s gender issue may merely be a symptom of other family problems. “The dirty little secret is that many of these families have big dysfunctional issues. When you get the clinicians over a beer, they’ll tell you the truth. A lot of the parents aren’t well in terms of their mental health. They think that once the child transitions, all their problems will magically go away, but that’s not really where the stress is located.” Clinicians won’t say these things publicly, she says, because they don’t want to sound as if they’re blaming gender problems on screwed-up families."

Empowering Versus Objectifying: How Power Matters - "when a male creator chooses to put a female character in a sexualized costume, pose, or situation, they have all the power over that character, so unless they make it clear that their character is the one with the power in the situation, the character is being objectified."
Fictional characters can't consent. Comics are rape.
Comment: "Sooo.. if a male artist creates a sexy female character, he has to provide evidence that the character would want this? What about female artists, do they have to do the same? Or this only a problem with male artists? Cause this sounds like male artists + sexy female character = bad. Female artist +sexy female character = good."
"Can we get a trigger warning when something is so fucking stupid that it'll give you PTSD?"

Anthropology No More

Anthropology No More

"on the one hand, exotic technologies often co-opt pre-industrial cultures long-term. On the other hand, to purposefully withhold from those cultures things like computers, shotguns, and yes, measles vaccines, is to consign them to the status of performers who, to their own detriment, fulfill some perverse fantasy of the well-to-do...

Postmodernism was a fad invented largely by a coterie of French literati in the late 1960s. It subsequently degenerated into social ideology and found its way into other disciplines, notably philosophy, cultural studies, and, finally, anthropology. It was an ideology that privileged flourish over substance, sentiment over reason, and politics over principles. It had a long-standing love/hate relationship with science—quantitative studies are conspicuously absent from Human No More—and an equally stubborn hate/hate relationship with anything perceived to be of Western origin. Postmodernism reveled in sweeping pronouncements (e.g. “We are human no more”), so long as those pronouncements were couched in the pretentious postmodern idiom, whose vagueness served as a bulwark against refutation. When Whitehead writes that humans are part of larger “systems” (what does that mean so far?) that include “spirits,” is he seriously asserting that supernatural beings exist, or only that people believe in them? If it’s the former, then Whitehead is mistaken. If it’s the latter, he is making a claim no one would think of disputing...

The traces of the postmodern turn show up everywhere in Human No More. There are the obligatory homages to Derrida, Latour, Butler, and other gods of the postmodern pantheon, even when those gods have nothing relevant to say about the topic at hand. There is the compulsive use of scare quotes to qualify any word that might be construed as referring to some objectively real truth, as in “real”, “truth,” and, of course, “human”... lumping together the plight of middle-class devotees of World of Warcraft (Chapter 7) and the plight of homeless crack addicts of Sao Paolo (Chapter 11) is not a particularly progressive social view. For good measure, there is the occasional postmodern gimmick of bracketing of morphemes in paren(theses) for no particular reason (75, 89, 199).

Worst of all, Human Nor More is rife with examples of the pernicious postmodern addiction to sentences that don’t mean anything. Alemán adds nothing to her ethnography of the Waiwai when she concludes: “The somatic endurance requirements disappear only to be replaced by other requirements. In these subjective engagements, the field begins to shape-shift” (154). This is followed by puerile innuendo, yet another hallmark of the postmodern turn. Quoting Whitehead, Alemán writes that “such inadequate coverings as the fig leaf of scientific observation will now not be enough to hide the bulge of anthropological desire” (154)...

Ironically, the heirs to Chagnon’s sociobiology—Richard Dawkins, Steven Pinker, Sarah Hrdy and others—have far outpaced postmodern anthropologists in explaining what human nature is like...

Anthropology is not at a critical intellectual juncture, as Whitehead claims. That juncture is more than a decade in the past. The decision anthropology now faces is whether to backtrack and find some genuinely fruitful approach to studying humanity, or else continue down this postmodern/posthuman path, which we already know is a cul-de-sac. As for Homo sapiens, we, like anthropology, face serious threats to our long-term survival. We will know when the posthuman era is upon us not because we have read Human No More, because we won’t be around to read any books at all."

Friday, May 22, 2015

Links - 22nd May 2015

Ayaan Hirsi Ali: Enlightened intolerance | The Economist - "while the Netherlands has long been renowned for, or even defined by, its religious tolerance, the Dutch variety of tolerance is not the same as the American one. For example, I’ve repeatedly encountered non-religious Dutch who see no difference between a religion and a belief or opinion, and feel that religions therefore don’t deserve any kind of special consideration, be it in terms of schooling, of exemptions from public rules and duties, or of conversational deference or respect. That view may be shared in certain emphatically atheist quarters in America, but it seems much more widespread in the Netherlands"

Brandeis Caves In To The 'No Platform For Our Opponents!' Crowd - "Some have pointed out that Brandeis is hypocritical in its treatment of Ayaan Hirsi Ali. In the past, it has honored people who have said controversial things that might just as well be regarded as offensive as her statements. George Mason University law professor David Bernstein points out on Volokh Conspiracy that Brandeis gave an honorary degree to playwrite Tony Kushner, despite his highly derogatory remarks about American Jews who disagree with him. Bernstein writes, “Apparently, while expressing hostility to Islam conflicts with Brandeis’ ‘core values,’ engaging in vile insults against American Jews who support Israel does not”... More important than any specific bit of knowledge students might pick up in college are the rules for civilized argument. Students should learn that when people disagree with you, the proper response is to examine both your position and their reasons for opposing it. If you then see some factual or logical error in your position, you change it; if you see an error in the argument against you, you make the best counter-argument you can. That is how we move toward truth, or at least keep disputes from boiling over into violence. Unfortunately, on many college campuses, students instead learn that when others disagree with them, it’s acceptable to stage protests, to shout down perceived enemies, or to keep them from speaking at all."

No sex please, just cutesy flirting and strawberries for China's online hostesses - "Ms Xiao Yue’s speciality is to sajiao — a very Chinese type of flirting characterised by the woman acting in a cutesy childlike manner and speaking in a whiny voice. She puts on little dance mime routines one minute, seductively eats strawberries the next."

Gold bugs cry a single golden tear when they see this chart - Quartz - "Pity the poor—and increasingly poorer—gold bugs. This bow-tie clad class of investors tends to see every economic data point as auguring a hyperinflation that never quite seems to materialize. In fact, right now we have quite the opposite... Credit Suisse analysts note that the long-term, inflation-adjusted average price for an ounce of gold is somewhere above $400. And that’s a very long way down from roughly $1,200 where gold is currently trading."

KNN MY MAID COOKED MY PET KOI FISH!

Sarah Silverman Admits She Made Up a Wage-Gap Story, Then Calls Critics Maniacs - "
Comedian Sarah Silverman admitted that a story she told about wage discrimination (in which she even went so far as to call out a specific employer by name) was a lie — and then said people who might consider her lie a reason to question the movement she was supporting were “maniacs”... Notice that the only thing she explicitly said she regrets is not trying harder to not get caught...
Silverman ended her statement by saying that people who might see an advocate having lied about a movement as a reason to question that movement’s message — something I’d consider a normal response — were “maniacs.”"

Taiwan woman honors husband by inviting strippers to his funeral
But they're clothed...

David Nicholls: Browsing bookshops then buying online is a 'genteel form of shoplifting' - "“I felt an all too familiar sadness, usually accompanied by guilt because while you’re sorry the shop has gone, you’re also vaguely aware that you hadn’t bought anything there for a while”

Fellow Liberals, Please Stop Claiming Jesus Accepts LGBT People - "There's a troubling trend in liberal America: the desire to marginalize right-wing Christians by claiming they don't understand their own religion. While this is true in a number of respects, it doesn't change the fact that they're right about something: Paul condemns queer folks. And there isn't a shred of evidence that Jesus was a fan either, assuming he existed. I'm all for dismissing opinions that are damaging and harmful. But we can't do so by being openly insincere and insecure in the process... if we bother arguing that the Bible supports us, we're conceding its validity as a moral text. And once we free ourselves from its shackles, fundamentalists can just use it to abuse the next minority group unfortunate enough to stumble across their path. The key point is that it absolutely does not matter what the Bible says about LGBTs or any other grouping of people. We don't even need to spend time denouncing the Bible's abhorrent stances on everything from slavery to rape, because it just isn't important. The Bible is an epic historical text that traces the way a large group of religious people understand their general genealogy and evolution of identity... Ethical perspectives evolve over time and shouldn't be bound by the musings of ancient writers who had absolutely no imagining of our contemporary world... Feigning respect for someone else's sacred text as a moral guidebook doesn't just reinforce bad ideas, it's not even effective"

Repatriation Blues: Expats Struggle With the Dark Side of Coming Home - Expat - WSJ - "Many repatriated expats find it hard to connect to friends again at home. Ms. Hattaway says that expat life draws people together: “You’re in a circle or tribe with other expats. But back home, you’re only one in a sea of people. Some of them have never left, some don’t have passports. And you look like everyone else,” she says... The Rev. Ken MacHarg, who served as a pastor in six countries around the world, says that he tells people that moving overseas will “mess you up for the rest of your life. You’re constantly torn between those places, and you’re a changed person.”"

QLRS - Criticism : Indecent Exposure | Vol. 13 No. 3 Jul 2014 - "Without putting too fine a point on it, I suppose there might be an audience that enjoys being moralised to, or perhaps that believes it is already on the right moral high horse. How many issues can a writer cram into one novel? Let's do a count: there's the racism issue, the elitism issue, the capitalism issue, the Christian issue, the teenage intimacy issue, the rape issue, the bullying issue, the misogynist issue and, for good measure, both the gay and lesbian issues. Chia Thye Poh is namechecked, along with Vincent Cheng and the Marxist conspiracy (by one of the novel's teenagers, no less). Tan clearly disapproves of many of the positions taken up by her characters on these issues and wishes to satirise them, but if it is possible to stereotype characters, it's as easily possible to stereotype issues, and the upshot is that many of these come across as so dull ("And then, of course, the newspaper cuttings…") as to be not worth attention. Overall, this makes the novel feel like an attempt to assert left-wing liberal credentials for the sake of being left-wing and liberal, not because of having anything urgent or original to say. "Sometimes people are their own worst enemies", says one of the civil servants in an especially bad set piece. Indeed: this has gone beyond preaching to the converted to the point of preaching to inadvertently unconvert the converted — it made this Guardian reader feel a little queasy, only stopping from reaching for a copy of the Times of London by wondering if the novel is quintessentially Singaporean because of that Singaporean inability to get the chip off the shoulder. I don't take joy in looking through smouldering wreckage, but I have felt the urgency to file this report because Singapore literature will never get where it wants to be unless the community — publishers, editors, critics, readers and, yes, writers — keeps raising rather than lowering the bar. To this end, the epigraph from Doris Lessing situated at the start of the novel is spot on: "what's terrible is to pretend that the second-rate is first-rate". Let's not be terrible."

The Real Reason Catholic Priests Can't Have Sex
Basically it's expensive: you must care for children

How To Dress Like A Leader In Any Work Environment - "If you’re not sure which level is most appropriate for your work environment, the basic rule of thumb is “the more you deal with a client’s money, the more traditional and conservative you should be dressed”... If you’re a member of the board or meeting with a member of the board, boardroom attire is most appropriate — regardless of the size of the company."

Three Chopsticks - "Apparently, though, a dish that is reminiscent of what’s found in Singapore serves only to make overseas Singaporeans long for the real article. Culinarily, they are among the most homesick people I have ever met... According to the Seetohs, when Patricia’s father was on his deathbed he whispered something that made his family gather closer, thinking that he had some final instructions or blessings to impart. What he was saying turned out to be “laksa.” They brought him a bowl of it."

Someone took a candid photo of a fight in Ukranian Parliament that is as well-composed as the best renaissance art - Imgur

This Week in 'Nation' History: Susan Sontag on the Avant-Garde, Communism and the Left - "'Imagine, if you will, someone who read only the Reader’s Digest between 1950 and 1970, and someone in the same period who read only The Nation or the New Statesman. Which reader would have been better informed about the realities of Communism? The answer, I think, should give us pause. Can it be that our enemies were right?'
She argued that the American left had blinded itself to the crimes committed by Soviet Russia by falsely positing differences between communism and fascism that, regrettably (in her view), did not exist. As most recently evidenced by the events in Poland but also much earlier, communism was, Sontag alleged, “fascism with a human face.” That this would be a relatively uncontroversial thing for someone—even someone on the left—to say today is a testament to how flat our historical thinking has become. The intellectual climate of 1982—Reagan and Thatcher ruled, and it was still several years before glasnost and perestroika—meant that Sontag’s comments created a firestorm"

Game Hunter Ian Gibson Trampled To Death By Elephant
The comments are disgusting. I suspect a lot of anti hunting sentiment is just disguised rich people bashing

Sheryl Sandberg tells Salon: I was wrong about women - "You know, I give advice to young women. I say “pick a partner.” If that partner is female you are in good shape because you are likely to split up things very evenly; the data’s very strong that same-sex couples split responsibilities much more evenly. If you are a female and your partner is likely to be male, this is something to really pay attention to. I say in the book, date the bad boys, date the crazy boys, but do not marry them. Marry the boys who are going to change half of the diapers."
If that partner is female there is also a higher risk of domestic violence.
Comments: "Remember back in the good old days? When feminism was opposed to "Sleep with the sl*ts, but do not marry them. Marry the virgins who will raise your children."
"The message is- Sleep with the bad boys and reject the good men. Then after you become less attractive try to trick the good men into financially supporting you." (aka “Alpha Fux, Beta Bux”)


A Voice for Men: "This advice is even more valuable to men. "Be bad, be cool, be commitment-phobic, be crazy. You'll get all kinds of easy sex with young, attractive women. When they want to 'settle down' dump them promptly, date their younger hotter counterparts, and let some chump jump on the greande." Thanks Sheryl! You're the best!"
Addendum: Original quote from book: "When looking for a life partner, my advice to women is date all of them: the bad boys, the cool boys, the commitment-phobic boys, the crazy boys. But do not marry them. The things that make the bad boys sexy do not make them good husbands. When it comes time to settle down, find someone who wants an equal partner. Someone who thinks women should be smart, opinionated and ambitious. Someone who values fairness and expects or, even better, wants to do his share in the home. These men exist and, trust me, over time, nothing is sexier."

Old Age and Telling the Truth

VE Day special | Podcast | History Extra:

Steve Humphries on interviewing WWII veterans:

"Nobody in all the interviews I've done has said, "I won't or can't answer that question".

I think they really want to lay it down. They want to tell the truth as a matter of record. And I think there's something about very old age which makes people want to tell the truth. They don't mind breaking taboos, they just want to get it out there.

They want to tell it how it was before they go."

Friendzone Memes


"Friendzone Level +99"


"i finally found a boy worth keeping, and he was disguised as my best friend the whole time! :)"


"My hands rubbed her foot gently, my fingers tenderly alternating pressure on her arches; she lets out a soft moan. My gaze slowly moved up her supple legs and glanced over her breasts; finally our eyes locked. Her lips parted in a wicked grin and she said 'That feels great, who needs a boyfriend when I've got a best friend like you!" - An excerpt from my next upcoming novel "50 Shades of Friend Zone""


"Friendzone 69"


Mario


"Girlfriend" vs "Girl friend"


KFC


Text:

"I'm so deep in the friendzone that I've met her boyfriend's parents."


Garwin Kim Sing's answer to What are some of the best "friendzoned" memes? - Quora

"I had a 3 yr friendship with a woman who was really attractive but way beyond my reach. But she was happy enough to be in my company and I in hers, such that we would spend most weekends going to the local football matches together. One day my French friend called me up to go out to movies, and I had to beg off because I was going to the football the next day. So with natural blokeish curiosity, he asked me who I was going to the football with. Not wanting to give the wrong impression that we were an item, I said "Errrrr, Jean-Michelle, what do you call in French a girl who's a friend but not your girlfriend?". His reply: "A waste of time".


More: What are some of the best "friendzoned" memes? - Quora

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Links - 21st May 2015

Islamic conference keynote speaker says September 11 not unjust | The Australian - "Malaysian cleric Hussain Yee, who has also claimed a “group of Jews” was “having a party when they heard that the Twin Towers had been burned”, was announced late last night as the headline act at the Islamic Research and Educational Academy’s Islamic “peace” conference, to be held at the Melbourne Convention Centre.

Sweden’s Multicultural Center Expert on Islamophobia Joins ISIS

Japanese turn sex doll into dental-training robot - "That model even incorporated the concept of being female simply so junior dentists could learn not to accidentally fondle her breasts. We kid you not."

Women’s groups: Cancel law charging women with rape! - "representatives of women’s organizations unanimously opposed it. According to attorney Ruth Eldar of the Noga Center of the Ono Academic College, men will take advantage of the legislation to defend themselves against rape charges by accusing the women of raping them."
So the feminists are afraid of... false rape accusations
Feminists: fighting for gender equality always


Guns, sex and arrogance: I hated everything about America — until I moved here - "I had developed an exaggerated notion about the closeness of family ties in India, believing that in the West, families were detached and broken because of high divorce rates and pressure for children to leave the family home at 18. But traveling the world, I saw loving families of every race and color. In Amsterdam, I saw old men cycling with their grandchildren to school. In Germany, I saw three generations of a family enjoying a vacation. Stepping out of my country broadened my worldview and pushed my cultural horizons... I started off as an Indian, but I have become a global citizen."
Sounds like Singaporeans who keep bashing "The West" (i.e. America)

A sweet walk down memory lane... - "Another disappointment came from the Chabot First Frost wine (Gold) I bought at a Duty Free Shop (DFS) at Changi Airport in Singapore in 2010. The shop assistant, Jennie Tan, told me it was a rare French ice wine more decent than that of Canada’s Inniskilin ice wines that she referred to as “overly sweet”. This and the unusual varietal from which it was made, Petit Manseng, prompted me to buy. However, I later realized it was not an ice wine but a mere sweet white wine and I felt cheated. Its subdued flavors of honey, orange, spiciness and dry jute bag paled in comparison to the bold, brilliant flavors of Inniskilin ice wines."
I got cheated too. Bah.

Former RGS student claims she was bullied, sues school
Wut.

Three foreign tourists arrested for molestation in Japan after thinking it was normal behavior - "there have been three separate incidents of foreign visitors overstepping their bounds. In one instance a suspect was caught trying to capture images up women’s skirts while riding an escalator. Then in another case a Chinese tourist was reportedly caught grabbing a woman’s buttocks inside an adult goods shop. And then we have the case of a man arrested for lifting the skirt of a woman while riding the train. This last incident appears influenced by a scene from the classic 1993 AV Nurse Monogatari staring Miki Mayuzumi…or maybe something else. I don’t know because I don’t watch the stuff. Reports claim that one foreign suspect confessed to police, saying, “Watching Japanese adult videos, I thought the people here were open about sex. I thought molesters were everywhere.”"

Why the artificial insemination of turkeys is a feminist issue
Wait till they learn about grafting and plants...

It’s halal, no question about it - "it was kind of her to assure us that the food catered on that day was halal. That verbal assurance is good enough for me, but not my wife and understandably so, since this friend of ours does not have many Muslim friends. Having been told who the caterer was, she called them to get reassurance that the food was halal and queried whether wine was used for the steak. I told her that what she had done violates a basic principle of halal and haram (the lawful and the prohibited) in Islamic jurisprudence, and that is not to investigate when something is already known and accepted as halal. By doing so, we risk creating doubts about the food we eat. And doubts are one of the main enemies in Islamic jurisprudence, the source of many evils and anti-social behaviour among Muslims. One of the principles of halal and haram is that one should not pry into the origins of something which has been commonly accepted as halal. The same principle applies to many other things. When a host shows us the qiblah (the direction Muslims turn to during prayer) in his house, we do not click the compass app on our smartphone just to make sure... toilets in mosques and other institutions operating under the Islamic banner would be a far cry from their present filthy non-halal state, if only these groups were able to see halalness beyond pork in food... A Muslim can eat from any plate, even it was used to serve pork. Imam Nawawi, the 12th-century Islamic scholar whose writings form a major part of the Shafii school of thought, which is followed by Muslims in this country, said a simple wash suffices, and there is no need to do the silly act of purifying the plate seven times, as many have been led to believe. In Islam, being doubtful is considered a disease... our Islamic authorities seem to be working based on the premise that all things are prohibited unless it is explicitly stated to be halal. And so we see products with halal logos on their labels, when the Quranic way would require that only non-halal products are identified. There will be no end once we start classifying things as halal. What guarantee is there that the water we drink, from pipes which span hundreds of kilometres before they reach our homes, is halal? God forbid that a DNA test finds pork in our water!"

Pigs can't fly - Qantas bans pork on in-flight menu to respect Islam

What’s next? Halal tampons and condoms? - "Wow, even toilet paper is certified halal nowadays! What’s next? Halal tampons and condoms?... I remember going to a Halal Expo a couple of years ago. I was pretty interested in one of the booths at the expo, promoting real estate. “Halal Homes.” I was amused and had to ask the consultant at the booth what it meant to have a halal home. “A housing area which is built on halal land, using quality products and situated in a good location, far from haram activities such as factories producing haram goods and pig farms” – that’s more or less how he described it to me. According to him, a halal certificate will be issued to the house buyers to certify the home is halal... Islamic banking treats lenders who instead of becoming creditors, become partners who invest their money in return for profit sharing and risk sharing in the business. Pretty smart, eh? If humans can twist and turn things around in religion to certify something prohibited as acceptable, what weight does a halal certificate carry? Take GST for example. A couple of weeks ago, Deputy Finance Minister Ahmad Maslan said the National Fatwa Committee had on October 2014 declared that GST was halal and encouraged in Islam... Funny though, while we look for halal restaurants and halal food, we often forgo the aspect of cleanliness in our makan places. Have you seen how dirty some of the roadside nasi campur and mamak stalls are? But people especially Muslims do not seem to have an issue with that. Have we forgotten cleanliness is highly recommended in Islam? Or are we closing one eye to that as well?... Thanks to us who are so easily brainwashed with anything marked Islamic, I wouldn’t be surprised if we end up having halal hospitals and halal schools one day.
Writer’s Note:
Have you ever wondered why halal products are a bit pricy compared to those without halal certification?"

CATHAY CINEMAS NO LONGER SERVE HALAL CERTIFIED SNACKS FROM 1 APRIL 2015 - "I am disgusted to find out that Cathay Cinema is not longer going to be Halal certified from 1 April 2015... "For those who dont understand the [Cathay's email] reply.. " Hi there, we wish to tell you we are no longer interested in appeasing the muslim community by providing halal food. As the muslim community is small, it doesnt make a difference. We will gain more profit by introducing non-halal food items. Then again, those who are stupid enough will still buy our no pork no lard food products. Either way, we stil win".""
Isn't profit why businesses go Halal anyway?

Export Facebook Group Members ( IDs and Names ) To excel

70 army personnel found involved with ISIS: Malaysian parliament told

Survey Says: Women Are for Life - "Most commentary and news articles on these two events have parroted the popular yet unsubstantiated narrative that women are largely supportive of the abortion agenda—widespread, open-access abortion policies with little or no restriction. Yet polling data fail to support this narrative... Ironically, it turns out that women are much more supportive of the fictitious “war on women” than men. This seems counterintuitive, at least to those immersed in radical feminist politics. However, when one considers how abortion on demand alters the fundamental sexual dynamics between men and women, it starts to make sense."
If women support the "war on women", is it still a war on women?

Physicians want Dr Oz gone from Columbia medical faculty - "The New York Ivy League school responded yesterday (April 16), issuing a statement to The Associated Press (AP) saying only that the school “is committed to the principle of academic freedom and to upholding faculty members’ freedom of expression for statements they make in public discussion”."
If Dr Oz has tenure and doctors want him removed, does that mean they don't respect academic freedom and tenure?

Is your degree worth it?: It depends what you study, not where | The Economist - "An arts degree from the Maryland Institute College of Art had a hefty 20-year net negative return of $92,000, for example."

Report: Faculty Prefer Women for Tenure-Track STEM Positions - "tenure-track faculty in engineering, economics, biology and psychology fields generally favored hiring female candidates over otherwise identical male candidates by a 2-to-1 margin"
Preferential treatment is equality. War is peace. Freedom is slavery

Getting caned for asking the wrong questions

On education in Singapore in the past:

"In primary school, during maths classes when I asked why do we need to learn fractions, I was sent to the principal's office for caning.

In secondary chemistry class, when we were learning about atoms, and I asked about what made up the protons & electrons, I was told that they're the smallest particles ever. I persisted and asked if it was possible that we simply do not know what makes up protons & electrons, I was sent out of the class for disrupting the class.

When I looked at naked flames during chemistry class and asked what state that was, I was told it was gaseous. I disagreed and said that that can't be right. I found myself outside the class again.

During commerce class, when we were discussing barter trades, and I asked why we couldn't revert back to barter trade, I was told not to ask silly questions.

I can give you thousands of examples that got me sent out of the class &/or caning almost on a daily basis.

But that was the past, I heard that educators today have been taught to encourage discussions in class."

GDP and the Disadvantages of GINI

Forum - Sixty Second Idea to Improve the World: A world without GDP 07 Apr 2015

Archaeologist and Historian Ian Morris:

"Getting rid of GDP altogether probably isn't a very good idea.

I was talking about the GINI coefficient earlier.

Hunter-gatherer societies have these very low GINI scores. They're very equal. But that's because everybody is equally miserably poor.

By one calculation... Economist Angus Maddison calculated the average hunter-gatherer throughout history had lived on the equivalent [of] about a dollar and ten cents in modern US terms per day.

Now, that's not very much.

In modern times of course the average daily income is much much higher but distributed much less equally. Not many people want to go back and be hunter-gatherers.

So I think, yeah, the different indices: they're all telling us slightly different things. I would say rather than saying: "What's the best one", we should be saying, "How many of these different things do we have to couple together to actually get a decent picture?"

Losing their religion: The hidden crisis of faith among Britain’s young Muslims

Losing their religion: The hidden crisis of faith among Britain’s young Muslims

"“If someone found out where I lived,” he explains, “they could burn my house down.”

Why should such an understated figure, someone who describes himself as a “nobody”, speak as if he’s in a witness protection programme? The answer is that six years ago he decided to declare that he no longer accepted the fundamental tenets of Islam...

In an era in which British Islamic extremists travel thousands of miles to kill those they deem unbelievers, an apostate’s concern for his or her security at home is perhaps understandable...

As Simon Cottee, author of a new book The Apostates: When Muslims Leave Islam, says: “In the western context, the biggest risk ex-Muslims face is not the baying mob, but the loneliness and isolation of ostracism from loved ones. It is stigma and rejection that causes so many ex-Muslims to conceal their apostasy.”

Like the gay liberation movement of a previous generation, Muslim apostates have to fight for the right to be recognised while knowing that recognition brings shame, rejection, intimidation and, very often, family expulsion...

He kept his reservations to himself when he returned to live in Leicester, where an arranged marriage awaited him. “She was very religious from a religious family,” he says, still pained by the memory. But he couldn’t go through with it. “I wasn’t going to lie and carry on with a marriage knowing that I didn’t believe in God.”

His decision went down very badly. His family would have forgiven him, though, as long as he remained a Muslim. That’s all they really asked. And it was the one thing he couldn’t do...

He confessed his atheism to his horrified family. One of his brothers reminded him that the penalty sharia law stipulates for apostasy is capital punishment...

He was ousted from the family. He was disowned...

Although it is fraught with human drama – existential crisis, philosophical doubt, family rupture, violent threats, communal expulsion, depression, and all manner of other problems – the apostate’s journey elicits remarkably little media interest or civic concern. According to Cottee, there is not “a single sociological study… on the issue of apostasy from Islam”...

In this sense the struggle of ex-Muslims is markedly different from that of early gay rights campaigners. Where gays and lesbians could draw support from other progressive movements, ex-Muslims are further marginalised by what Cottee calls “the contested status of Islam” in western societies.

To raise the subject of apostasy is to risk demonising an embattled minority. Some will see it, almost by definition, as Islamophobic or even racist...

Vali has seen his mother just once for a few minutes four years ago. “She didn’t want to touch me,” he says. “She thought her God would be angry with her if she treated me kindly”...

“The majority of ex-Muslims I interviewed said they were profoundly lonely and isolated, and they related this directly to their apostasy and the secrecy and shame attached to it”...

“It’s more difficult for women,” says Nasreen. “You’re much more visible as a woman. You’re conditioned to behave in a certain way with a headscarf. I mean, you’re not going to go to a pub with a headscarf, are you? You’re not going to stay out late with a headscarf. It’s a form of control”...

“I felt empowered as a teenager. It was this kind of pseudo-intellectualism. Spiritual religion gets a bit boring as a kid, so I liked the idea of politics too. It felt like a social movement and I was excited by that.”

It was immediately after 9/11 and she turned up at school demanding to wear a long black dress instead of the school uniform. “I said if you don’t let me, you’re breaching my freedom of expression as a Muslim, and they accepted it.”

She loved the sense of rebellion her pronounced Muslim identity conferred. That was largely the extent of the politics. When she looked at Islamic countries, she didn’t care about human rights atrocities. “There were women wearing scarves, that was what was important”...

“I’ve had bouts of clinical depression,” Nasreen says. “The thing is, Islam teaches you to grow up with low self-esteem and lack of self-identity. Without the collective, you’re lost”...

She blames the ghettoisation of multiculturalism and identity politics for this shift, the tendency to view individuals as members of separate cultural blocks. Or as Namazie puts it: “The problem with multiculturalism – not as a lived experience but as a social policy that divides and segregates communities – is that the “Muslim community” is seen to be homogenous. Therefore dissenters and freethinkers are deemed invisible because the ‘authentic’ Muslim is veiled, pro-sharia and pro-Islamist.”

One success of the Islamist movement in Britain has been to define the cultural identity primarily in terms of religion.

“We went from a Bengali to a Muslim community. It’s almost as if we’re suffering a second colonisation, the Arabisation of Asian cultures. Even my brother wears long Arab dresses.” As a consequence, she thinks Muslims have been encouraged to police other Muslims.

“I’ll give you a couple of examples,” she says. “The other day I ordered some food online – pork buns – and afterwards a guy called me up from the company and he said ‘Nasreen, do you know it’s not halal?’ I said yes, I’m not a Muslim, but afterwards I wish I’d said ‘Who are you to police what I’m eating? How dare you call me up to remind me.’ But that’s how people think: you’re a Muslim, you’ve got a Muslim name.”

She took a degree in anthropology at the University of London. “And I started to do my dissertation on ex-Muslim identity. My supervisor was this Muslim guy and he told me that it was rubbish, there’s no academic purpose to it.”

She had to complain to get another supervisor, who was very supportive, and, undaunted, continued with the research. “I succeeded in completing an original piece of empirical research on the ex-Muslim reality,” she says. “I even went on to achieve a special award for this very dissertation. I felt quite vindicated by that.”

Nevertheless, she detects a strong reluctance at universities to confront the concerted efforts by Islamist groups to lay claim to Muslim students. Not only are Islamic societies often run by extremists, with groups like the Islamic Education and Research Academy seeking to impose gender segregation, but the terms of academic discourse tend to endorse their brand of grievance politics.

“Go to your average sociology class,” says Nasreen, “and it’s very much about making Muslims victims of Islamophobia – a terminology I disagree with. It’s anti-Muslim bigotry. I dislike Islam – that’s OK, it’s an ideology, but I don’t dislike Muslims. They are two different things”...

Shams, who seems remarkably self-possessed for his young age, agrees that there are particular gender issues that afflict disillusioned Muslims. To this end he has tried to link up with feminist societies at universities. “But there’s a real problem in this country,” he says. “People don’t want to touch anything to do with leaving Islam. Especially in universities, where the politics are insane.”

He has a point. In recent times the National Union of Students have refused to condemn Isis on the grounds that this would justify Islamophobia. Shams believes that this kind of gesture and the NUS decision last month to lobby alongside Cage, the militant Islamic prisoners pressure group, undermines the position of dissenting Muslims. “What it does is to say to reformists and secularists, you’re not really Muslims”...

“One ex-Muslim I know went to get therapy from a white female therapist and in the end she referred him to a Muslim support network.”

Too often, he believes, non-Muslims are unable or unwilling to see beyond the religious identity of Muslims. They are increasingly trained to understand religious needs but are frequently flummoxed by those who reject those needs.

“If you’re a secular or atheist Jew,” says Shams, “no one is going to say you’re not allowed to say anything about your community. Of course you are. But with Muslims it’s different – white people think you’re not really Muslim. That’s exasperating.”

It certainly seems perverse that while there is no taboo on the discussion of Islamic radicalisation, the mention of Islamic apostates still occasions widespread discomfort. We can publicly accept that there are Muslims that are so estranged from western society that they prefer to live as fundamentalists, but have far more trouble recognising that there are Muslims who are so estranged from their religion that they prefer to live as freethinkers.

Nasreen, Vali and Shams all agreed that it will only be by bringing greater attention to Muslim apostates in British society that their predicament will improve. It would also help, they say, if they could rely on the progressive support that was once the right of freethinkers in this country.

“Attitudes need to change,” says Cottee. “There has to be a greater openness around the whole issue. And the demonisation of apostates as ‘sell outs’ and ‘native informants’, which can be heard among both liberal-leftists and reactionary Muslims, needs to stop. People leave Islam. They have reasons for this, good, bad or whatever. It is a human right to change your mind. Deal with it.”"

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Links - 20th May 2015

Boycott Israel - "Rohingya muslims are the victims of state-sponsored discrimination in predominantly zionist buddhist Myanmar, oh Buddha!"
Amused that Myanmar is "Zionist Buddhist", Maybe "Zionist" is just a synonym for "evil"

Cherry blossoms focus of three-nation tug-of-war over origins | The Japan Times - "A perennial debate over the birthplace of the cherry blossom has taken a fresh turn as a Chinese industry group claims the Asian giant is the tree’s true home, rather than Japan or South Korea."

Luxury In North Korea: The Handheld Device Taking the Country By Storm - "Enter the Chinese note-tel, or ‘notel’, the ‘notebook’ and ‘television’ multi-media-player handheld, combined. It’s kind of the eight-track tape of today. First—and still—manufactured in China, the $50 items were initially illegal in North Korea, which instantly spawned a huge smuggling effort to the tune of thousands a week. The things play DVDs, can receive a television signal, and can accept USB sticks and SD cards. They’re cheap. They’ve essentially become the Radio Free Korea for the country. In an attempt to get with the curve, the North Korean government recently legalized them. Naturally, they’re supposed to be tuned to state channels."

Need to Recover from a Workout? Fast Food Is Just as Effective as Supplements

The surprising but curiously logical differences between male and female serial killers - "Although female serial killers, like unhappy families, are each horrifying in their own way, Harrison found some striking similarities among her subjects. Most of them came from fairly mundane backgrounds, their primary weapon was poison, and nearly all of them killed people they knew, often their own family members. By comparison, most victims of male serial killers are unknown to their murderer. “Female serial killers gather and male serial killers hunt,” Harrison said. “That was very interesting to me, as an evolutionary psychologist, that it reflects kind of ancestral tendencies.” Harrison also saw evidence of evolutionary influences in what drove women to kill. While most murders by male serial killers tend to involve sex in some way — a 1995 study found that male serial killings are characterized by a desire for domination, control, humiliation and sadistic sexual violence — women are more likely to kill for money or power. “It struck me that women would kill for resources, which was their primary drive in the ancestral environment, and men kill for sex,” she said... unwillingness to believe the idea of a woman serial killer may allow murderers to get away with their crimes — on average, female serial killers are able to evade arrest for twice as long as men are. Their victims pay for that extra time."

Gamers confess the worst things they've done in The Sims

Debunking The Economical Rice Myth - "Apparently, you can manipulate the person serving into giving you a larger portion. It seems simple enough to execute right? You just had to request for “more rice” instead of “add rice”, order the meat dishes instead of the vegetables next and then act really restless and indecisive, much like your MP during the Meet-the-MP session."

Niacin, 'Fountain Of Life,' May Help Us Live Longer; Researchers Link Nutrient To Longer Lifespan In Roundworm Experiment - "oxidative stress may have an effect similar to that of exercise. In a previous study, the team identified a correlation between the health benefits of endurance sport and the presence of free radicals. The findings also suggested that antioxidants restricted these health benefits by neutralizing the oxidative stress. "Niacin tricks the body into believing that it is exercising -- even when this is not the case," Ristow explained. These compounds are known as exercise mimetics."

Former teacher sentenced to a year in prison for hugging, kissing student

Why Our Children Don’t Think There Are Moral Facts - NYTimes.com - "What would you say if you found out that our public schools were teaching children that it is not true that it’s wrong to kill people for fun or cheat on tests? Would you be surprised? I was. As a philosopher, I already knew that many college-aged students don’t believe in moral facts. While there are no national surveys quantifying this phenomenon, philosophy professors with whom I have spoken suggest that the overwhelming majority of college freshmen in their classrooms view moral claims as mere opinions that are not true or are true only relative to a culture."

A Stanford Medical School Student Was Arrested for Poisoning Her Classmates' Water Bottles - "She added that she was not conscious of specifically choosing which water bottles to taint. But despite the presence of men and caucasian women in the lab, all of her victims were Asian women"

It Doesn’t Matter How Much Time Parents Spend With Their Kids - "the amount of time spent with kids “did not matter”—and in some cases could even harm children... there’s another factor that predicted success more reliably than any amount of time spent with kids—social resources like “income and a mother’s educational level.”"
Omitted variable bias! How can one not look at the twin studies?

Hyper-parenting is negatively associated with physical activity among 7–12year olds - "Outdoor play, active transportation, and organized sport did not differ across helicopter parenting groups. Children in the low little emperor group had higher (P < 0.005) outdoor play and active transportation scores than children in the average, above average, and high groups (exception: high group for outdoor play). Children in the low tiger mom and concerted cultivation groups had higher (P < 0.005) outdoor play, active transportation, and organized sport scores than children in the average, above average, and high groups (exceptions: average and high tiger mom groups for organized sport)."
 

A 23-Year-Old Gay-Marriage Opponent Explains Herself - "An opponent of gay marriage, she takes exception to the people who've likened her to an anti-black racist...
There are lots of sins that exist, and in fact, everyone in the whole world has sinned. When either side of the gay marriage debate focuses only on homosexuality, they miss the bigger picture. I hope that non-Christians understand that the reason we Christians openly voice our opposition to sin is that our desire to be forgiven of our own sins is the reason we became Christians in the first place. We see sin as something that separates us from God, and we see Jesus as the one who took the punishment for our sins and saved us. We can't be silent about that; we must tell other people. We can't explain who Jesus is and why His death is so important without also explaining what sin is. Everyone sins. Everyone has an innate desire to sin, unfortunately. Some people's innate desire is for homosexuality... I don't want to give the impression that it's only gay people who must learn to control their desires, and straight people are okay. I'm sorry for all the times that Christians have given that impression. Like I said before, I see gay people as people. They are just people who sin in a different way than I do."

FDNY drops physical test requirement amid low female hiring rate - "The move by first-year Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro, which allows probies to fail components of the Functional Skills Training test but still graduate from the Fire Academy, comes amid criticism of the department’s low hiring rate of women. “It’s a lowering of the standards across the board,” said one former FDNY official familiar with training protocol. “What needs to matter is how well you perform the tasks of firefighting,” he added. “The question is when you’re 270 pounds and you’re on the fourth floor and someone comes through that window — can they pick you up and drag you out or not?”"
Affirmative Action kills

Colleges depend on Greek life. That’s why it’s so hard to control. - "A major part of how colleges market themselves is as a social experience — and on many campuses, fraternities and sororities are key to providing that experience."

Remembering Smorgy’s: Australia's Best Worst Restaurant Ever

Men Beating Women and Vice Versa, Chinese Netizen Reactions

Personal details of world leaders accidentally revealed by G20 organisers - "Disclosure of the data breach is likely to embarrass the Australian government after controversial mandatory data retention laws were passed last week. The passage of the laws – which require telecommunications companies to store certain types of phone and web data for two years – has been marked by concerns about the adequacy of privacy safeguards by companies and government agencies that will handle the data. The Greens senator Sarah Hanson-Young said: “Only last week the government was calling on the Australian people to trust them with their online data, and now we find out they have disclosed the details of our world leaders."

Street preacher quoting from the Bible fined for calling homosexuality an 'abomination' - "A street preacher who quoted from the Bible has been fined for using “threatening” language. Mike Overd, 50 and a former paratrooper, quoted from Leviticus on Taunton high street to state that homosexuality is an “abomination”. He was fined £200 and ordered to pay £1,200 in costs and compensation by Judge Shamin Qureshi, sitting at Bristol Crown Court. The judge said Overd “knew full well the power of words to hurt” and claimed he could have used other less offensive parts of the Bible to quote from on the issue of homosexuality... He was convicted under section five of the Public Order Act, which bans an individual from “using threatening (or abusive) words or behaviour”... Libby Towell, a spokeswoman for the Christian Legal Centre, who represented Overd, said: “The judge is effectively censoring the Bible and saying that certain verses aren't fit for public consumption.” Terry Sanderson, the National Secular Society president, said: “Whilst we all want to encourage public civility, there is a higher principle at stake."

Gag me, handcuff me... just don't arrest me

Gag me, handcuff me... just don't arrest me

Police in Holland who thought they were foiling a kidnapping discovered instead they had blundered into an elaborate sex game.

The 21-year-old blonde who was bundled into a van in the town of Brunssum at the weekend was seen by passers-by handcuffed, blindfolded, gagged and staggering on high heels in fishnet stockings.

At least four people called police after seeing three men manhandle the struggling woman into the back of a van.

One witness said: "It screeched up next to her on the pavement as she was walking along and one guy just jumped out on her, held her down and bound and gagged her. She was struggling and screaming."

Police dispatched a helicopter, motorbikes and squad cars - 22 officers in all - and tracked the van to the city of Heerlen, about 30 kilometres away. A dramatic chase ended in a police roadblock and the men were ordered to lie face down at gunpoint on the road.

Two of them were only half-dressed and police feared the woman had been raped in the back of the van.

But when they untied the woman and took her gag off she screamed: "You stupid bastards! I've been trying to set this up for months! And now you've ruined it just when it was getting interesting!"

The three male occupants, aged 36, 39 and 58 and all from Heerlen, were freed.

"We ascertained no crime was committed because this was a sexual fantasy that the 'victim' set up and was a willing participant in," a police spokesman said.

"We advised her next time to arrange to be kidnapped in her own home."

Monday, May 18, 2015

Links - 18th May 2015

Childhood Self-Control Linked to Enhanced Job Prospects Throughout Life

Stalk Everyone You Know With Crystal's Eerily Accurate App - "Crystal says that I am “friendly, casual, and extremely perceptive, “connecting the dots” more quickly than others but occasionally rambling in conversation.” I ramble, it’s true. How the hell does it know this, though?"

Swedish Foreign Minister: Sharia - Islamic law has nothing to do with Islam

Why being 'overweight' means you live longer: The way scientists twist the facts - "I have been studying medical research for many years, and the single most outstanding thing I have learned is that many medical "facts" are simply not true. Let's take as an example the health risks of drinking alcohol. If you are a man, it has virtually become gospel that drinking more than 21 units of alcohol a week is damaging to your health. But where did the evidence to support this well-known "fact" come from? The answer may surprise you. According to Richard Smith, a former editor of the British Medical Journal, the level for safe drinking was "plucked out of the air"... Despite the fact that study after study has demonstrated quite clearly that "overweight" people live the longest, no one can bring themselves to say: "Sorry, we were wrong. A BMI between 25 and 29 is the healthiest weight of all. For those of you between 20 and 25, I say, eat more, become healthier." Who would dare say such a thing? Not anyone with tenure at a leading university, that's for sure. In truth, this discussion should not quite stop here. For even when we get into those with a BMI greater than 30, those who truly are defined as "obese", the health dangers are greatly overestimated, mainly because of the widespread use of what I call the statistical "clumping game". Obesity researchers are world-leading experts at the clumping game. In most studies, the entire population is divided ("clumped") into four groups: underweight, normal weight, overweight and obese – obese being defined as a BMI of 30 and above. That means those with a BMI of 31 are clumped together as part of a group which includes those with a BMI of 50 – and above. What does this tell us about the health problems of having a BMI of 31? Well, absolutely nothing. There is no doubt that becoming heavier and heavier must, at some point, damage your health and reduce your life expectancy. Where is this point? Well, it is certainly not anywhere between 25 and 30, and it could be even higher. Indeed, I have seen research on Italian women showing that a BMI of 33 was associated with the longest life expectancy. In other studies, where obesity was actually further sub-divided, those with a BMI between 30 and 35 lived longer than those of so-called "normal" weight."

Sweden’s “Feminist Foreign Policy” Ends w/Apology to Saudi Arabia - "So much for the feminist foreign policy. Instead it’s best to stick to fake feminism, like attacking the United States or Israel. No need to mention Muslim abuses of women. That’s just Islamophobic."

Sweden's Foreign Minister Reviled as an Enemy of the Prophet - ""It makes no difference what she says. In Islam, it is for Muslims to determine whether or not one has criticized their religion." — Johannes J.G. Jansen, author and historian of Islam... the OIC's reaction implies that almost the entire Muslim world, including Shia Muslim states and countries in Southeast Asia, have now turned their backs on Sweden. Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have already recalled their ambassadors from Sweden... Evidently, Sweden's Foreign Minister was unaware that by criticizing Islamic sharia customs, such as flogging a blogger a thousand times and the ill-treatment of women, she was, in fact, seen as turning against Islam itself."

Gawker: The internet bully - "The art behind Gawker’s ridicule is that they make fun of people and media sites without being overtly cruel. While BuzzFeed seems to be their favorite punching bag, The New York Times enjoys a steady stream of bashing, and Gawker writers openly hate direct competitor Vice. Gawker is now long-established, and its snark is often smart, but it still postures like it’s the underdog, a pose that works since its enormous audience essentially looks like better-informed redditors."

The science of farce - "Before Muslims, certain Hindu and Christian theologians had already laid claim to the practice of claiming that their respective Holy Books held metaphoric prophecies of scientifically proven phenomenon. They began doing so between the 18th and 19th centuries, whereas Muslims got into the act only in the 20th century. Johannes Heinrich’s ‘Scientific vindication of Christianity (1887)’ is one example, while Mohan Roy’s ‘Vedic Physics: Scientific Origin of Hinduism’ is another way of observing how this thought has actually evolved from the fantastical claims of the followers of other faiths... As quasi-secular/progressive ideas in Muslim countries began to wither in the event of the Islamic Revolution in Iran (1979), and the eruption of jihad in Afghanistan, the idea behind Islamic science being the celebration of the achievements of ancient and modern Muslim scientists was gradually replaced by unsubstantiated and fancy convolutions being defined as science. So, it was only natural that Pakistan’s military dictator, General Ziaul Haq, heavily influenced and financed by the Saudis, would be the man to green light a seminar of Muslim ‘scientists’ who met in Islamabad in 1986 to unveil the wonders of Islamic science where so-called learned men actually set about discussing things like how to generate energy and electricity from djinns, how to calculate the ‘speed of heaven’, etc."

10 sex lessons I wish I learned when I was younger

Anal sex: Science’s last taboo - "In an incredibly short period of time, anal sex has become a common part of Americans’ sex lives. As of the 1990s, only about one-quarter to one-third of young women and men in the U.S. had tried anal sex at least once. Less than 20 years later, my research team’s 2009 National Survey of Sexual Health and Behavior found that as many as 40-45 percent of women and men in some age groups had tried anal sex"

The problem with fellatio - Salon.com - "oral sex represents part of “the sexual revolution of the twenty-first century” and that both sex educators and the safe sex industry have a lot of catching up to do. According to researcher Brea Malacad, “Both intercourse and oral sex were associated with mostly positive emotions overall, which suggests that most young women are engaging in these activities because they enjoy them. Based on the results of my study, there is a percentage of women (just over 30 percent) who feel powerful when performing fellatio. Apparently some women find it empowering and believe that it can wield a lot of power”... After surveying 477 American college students, the Institute found that “the majority of respondents indicated that penile-vaginal intercourse and penile-anal intercourse constitute sex (98 percent and 78 percent, respectively), but only about 20 percent believed the same was true of oral-genital contact. The proportion classifying oral-genital contact as sex in 2007 was about half that in 1991. This difference was consistent for both sexes and for both giving and receiving oral-genital stimulation. Responses did not vary by respondents’ sexual experience or demographic characteristics.”"

Why do so many straight women prefer penetration to oral sex? - "many of the women who have sex with men and prefer penetration felt that oral sex requires a greater level of vulnerability, and that to receive pleasure without giving it in return is uncomfortable. As Scarcella puts it in her analysis of the responses, “straight women are very uncomfortable with the idea of receiving sexual pleasure without giving it at the same time.”

I never should have followed my dreams - "I’d believed that resigning at 42 was the acknowledgment of unrealized potential. Now I thought it was the delusional move of a man child who’d missed out on the party."

The "Food Babe" Blogger Is Full of Shit - "Reading Hari's site, it's rare to come across a single scientific fact. Between her egregious abuse of the word "toxin" anytime there's a chemical she can't pronounce and asserting that everyone who disagrees with her is a paid shill, it's hard to pinpoint her biggest sin... If I told you that a chemical that's used as a disinfectant, used in industrial laboratory for hydrolysis reactions, and can create a nasty chemical burn is also a common ingredient in salad dressing, would you panic? Be suspicious that the industries were poisoning your children? Think it might cause cancer? Sign a petition to have it removed? What if I told you I was talking about vinegar, otherwise known as acetic acid? This is Hari's business. She takes innocuous ingredients and makes you afraid of them by pulling them out of context... There's a group on Facebook called " Banned By Food Babe" that boasts nearly 6,000 members. Reasons for being banned include "I asked for her qualifications" and "I pointed out that water was a chemical." Some members of the page were former fans of hers who were banned when they asked questions of clarification. Any dissent couldn't possibly have merit within the ranks of the Food Babe Army. And when Hari's been questioned about silencing critics by news outlets? She consistently says that she won't be silenced by people who are haters and shills, racist or sexist... The difference between organic and conventional? For a product that's no healthier, organic is more expensive and they give Hari a commission"

'Casanova' exposed after car crash brings 17 girlfriends to his hospital bedside

Islam’s rise to become world’s biggest religion - "Its adherents would claim that a lot of people are embracing Islam, claiming its attraction as further proof of its divinity. This is however hardly the truth. The reason Islam is growing so fast, according to Pew, is only because of the young age and high fertility rate of Muslims. On average, a Muslim woman has three children, well above the level typically needed to maintain a stable population... While over 12.6 million are expected to convert into Islam, 9.4 million will also be leaving Islam by 2050... Even advocating for freedom to choose and to leave Islam will see you threatened by the mob with death, as PKR MP Nurul Izzah Anwar can attest to... According to Minister in charge of religious affairs Jamil Khir Baharom last year, the Shariah courts only approved 135 out of 686 applications by Muslims seeking to change their religious status between 2000 and 2010. Most of these applications, however, are by those who had converted into Islam, mostly because of marriage, since in Malaysia it is mandated for you to convert just to marry a Muslim. When the marriage falls apart, it is only natural for the convert to return to his original religion."

Cranberry juice drinks have more sugar than Coca Cola - Telegraph

Poachers Hunt Endangered African Animals – This Woman Hunts Poachers

If homophobia were a conversation about food... (FTFY)

Homophobic Person: My favorite food is pizza!

Homosexual Person: Cool! My favorite food is cat!

Bisexual Person: I like both!

Pansexual Person: Hey guys, I don't have a favorite! I'll pretty much eat what tastes good to me.

Asexual Person: I like the way food looks and smells more than the way it tastes.

Homophobic Person: whAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU DISGUSTING PEOPLE WHY DO YOU EAT CAT?!?! WE SHOULD MAKE IT ILLEGAL TO EAT CATS YOU'RE SICK YOU'RE GOING TO HELL.

(Fixed from: I Am Creative. I Matter. — If homophobia were a conversation about food...)

Why S'porean 'uncles' in their 40s date university 'SYTs' half their age

Why S'porean 'uncles' in their 40s date university 'SYTs' half their age

""I first laid eyes on Samantha* at a pub several months ago. She was celebrating her 20th birthday with her friends, and I was instantly captivated by the way she laughed, as though she didn't have a care in the world...

"Ever since I was in my 30s, I have preferred dating younger women as I am young at heart. I've had around eight relationships that lasted several months and have had many more flings...

"We were friends for about three months before we started getting physical. The first time we had sex, it was lovely.

"Even though Samantha had not had sex before, she seemed to be in tune with my body. She knew what to do and where to touch me. It was a special night for us both.

"What I love most about Samantha is that she's fun - and funny. She makes me laugh, which is something that most women I've dated find hard to do.

"She has a light-hearted and somewhat naive view about life, which I find attractive. She doesn't complain about anything. When I'm not with her, I miss her terribly...

"She prefers men who are a bit mature, anyway, because she says guys her age don't know how to treat women...

"The best part about my relationship with Samantha is that I can be myself. She accepts me for who I am and is not demanding. Perhaps that has something to do with her age, but it could also be due to the fact that I'm young at heart. She doesn't take life too seriously and always comes up with the best ideas for spending time together...

"She's spontaneous, adventurous, and excited and enthusiastic about life - her youthful energy is very infectious. These are the main reasons why I've stayed with her...

"Samantha's mum is only a few years older than I am, but she's pretty open-minded and doesn't mind me seeing her daughter...

"When I'm with her, I feel like I'm in my carefree 20s again. She makes me feel alive, like I can do and be anything. It's something I haven't felt in a long, long time"...

"When I first met Tanya* 11 months ago at the gym, I wasn't sure I wanted to date her because she was only 21. I was physically attracted to her, but being 46, I didn't think we would have much in common. I was so wrong...

"We are in love but haven't had sex because she's not ready for it - and that's fine with me; we make out and are intimate in other ways. It's definitely not a fling as we have been together for almost a year and we have feelings for each other.

"What I love most about Tanya is that she's not eager to get married. After my divorce three years ago, I dated a couple of women in their 30s, but all they could talk about from day one was getting hitched.

"They would pressure me for a commitment and would always demand to know the status of our relationship. They weren't interested in getting to know me or building the relationship with me, and I found that quite unsettling.

"Tanya is different. She's in her final year at university so she doesn't really have time to think about marriage. And after she graduates, she will be busy looking for a job. She's got a life of her own and isn't too dependent on me.

"Her life doesn't revolve around me. She's not with me because she needs me, but because she wants me - I find that so attractive. She is my youngest girlfriend - I've never dated anyone this young before...

"My parents and friends also don't approve of my dating 'jailbait'. So it's probably a good thing that Tanya and I are not rushing into anything too serious yet...

"My best friend - a woman in her late 30s - doesn't like Tanya because she thinks she is a gold-digger.

"She doesn't treat Tanya very well when we're out together as a group. For example, she ignores Tanya or talks to her as if she is a child.

"Sometimes, she hints that Tanya should look for someone her own age. I feel my friend is just jealous because Tanya is so much younger.

"Nevertheless, my friends acknowledge that they have never seen me happier. As for Tanya's friends, well, they seem quite shy around me, but I think I get along with them for the most part.

"They seem impressed that I have a house and a car, and my own company.

"Of course, there are issues we face due to our huge age difference. For instance, she likes to go clubbing with her friends, but I'm not into partying.

"She makes fun of me when I refuse to join her and her friends at the club - she calls me 'old man' and 'fuddy-duddy' - and that hurts my feelings.

"On the other hand, I make jibes at her taste in music - she likes K-pop bands and teenage boy bands, which I find annoying. Sometimes she plays that kind of music when she's at my place, and I have to beg her to turn it off ."
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