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Valar Qringaomis

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Monday, February 29, 2016

Links - 29th February 2016

Dr M says he's ready to share a prison cell with Anwar Ibrahim - "I’m prepared for the consequences as my concern is on the people and this country, and for this, I will continue to speak my mind even if it meant going to Sungai Buloh and sharing the same cell with Anwar... I am doing this for the future of this country and if you ask if I am prepared to go to jail, I will say if you stick your neck out, you must be prepared to get it chopped off,"

Baby born with Harry Potter scar - JK Rowling responds

Justice Department Seeks to Force Apple to Extract Data From About 12 Other iPhones - WSJ - "cases don’t involve terrorism charges, sources say... The Justice Department is pursuing court orders to make Apple Inc. help investigators extract data from iPhones in about a dozen undisclosed cases around the country, in disputes similar to the current battle over a terrorist’s locked phone, according to a newly-unsealed court document... Privacy advocates are likely to seize on the cases’ existence as proof the government aims to go far beyond what prosecutors have called the limited scope of the current public court fight over a locked iPhone used by one of the San Bernardino shooters."

More on Agrabah and political ignorance [updated with new information on Republican attitudes towards refugees from Agrabah] - "A survey conducted last week found that some 30 percent of Republicans and 19 percent of Democrats support bombing the fictional nation of Agrabah. This result did not paint Republican voters in a flattering light. In response, the Republican polling firm WPA Research included a question in one of its surveys which asked respondents whether they “support or oppose allowing refugees from Agrabah to be re-settled in the United States.” Predictably, 44% of Democratic respondents said they were in favor, while 27% were opposed (28% said they were “indifferent”)... political ignorance and irrationality is a serious problem across the political spectrum. Neither Team Red nor Team Blue has anything like a monopoly on ignorance. Partisans’ attempts to claim otherwise are yet another indication of the growing problem of partisan bias, which has made much of public opinion even more illogical than it would be otherwise... It is easy to find survey questions on which Democratic voters look worse than their GOP counterparts. For example, my book on political ignorance, I describe a 2007 survey found that some 35% of Democrats (compared to only 12% of Republicans) endorse the “truther” claim that the Bush administration knew about the 9/11 attack in advance, but deliberately let it happen anyway (see also this survey). The popularity of “trutherism” among many Democrats is an interesting parallel to the popularity of “birtherism” among many Republicans. A 2009 study by political scientists Neil Malhotra and Yotam Margalit found that 32% of Democrats then believed that “the Jews” deserve at least some substantial blame for the 2008 financial crisis, compared to 18% of Republicans who held that view"

George W. Bush's page the most edited on Wikipedia

Norway, Rape and Multi-culturalism - "In a 2001 debate about the culture of rape amongst Muslim immigrants in Norway, Wikan said that Norwegian women were ‘blind and naive’ towards non-Western immigrants;
“I will not blame the rapes on Norwegian women, but Norwegian women must understand that we live in a multicultural society and adapt themselves to it.”
“Norwegian women must take their share of responsibility for these rapes” (for example, by not inviting into their homes Muslim men with little knowledge of Norwegian culture).
This second point seems to be denying grown men the ability to make choices, conduct themselves sensibly and adjust to their new surroundings.
Unni Wikan is a complex and a contradictory figure prepared to go against the conventional wisdom in voicing what a substantial number of ordinary people quietly think about provocatively dressed women (see Jan 2011 Haven Refuge survey)."

Why you should try chocolate milk after a workout - "there is nothing magical about the cacao itself in chocolate milk; it’s the extra carbs — the sugars — that create the perfect potion"

Nude tribute to Manet's Olympia ends in cuffing - "A Luxembourg performance artist earned herself a cuffing over the weekend after she stripped off in front of Edouard Manet's Olympia at Paris's Musée d'Orsay. Deborah de Robertis treated art lovers visiting Splendour and Misery: Images of Prostitution 1850-1910 to a recreation of the celebrated work's reclining nude."

Powerball Lottery Winning Made Inevitable (If Not Easy) - "I like to recall the wisdom of statistician Michael Orkin, author of the book What Are the Odds? Chance in Everyday Life. Back in 2001 the Powerball jackpot had reached $295 million and the odds back then were better, only 175 million to one. Orkin told me, “if you have to drive 10 miles to buy a Powerball ticket, you’re 16 times more likely to get killed in a car crash on your way than you are to win.” So if you’re dead set on buying a lottery ticket, at least walk."

Olympias - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - "the families of her many victims stoned her to death with the approval of Cassander, who is also said to have denied to her body the rights of burial."

Why don't petrol prices fall as quickly as oil prices? - Telegraph - "The biggest chunk of the price of fuel is, you guessed it, tax. You pay 57.95p per litre on both petrol and diesel. That's not all. You also pay standard rate VAT at 20pc. So, even if the fuel was free, no charge was made for delivery and retailers didn't take a margin, it would still cost nearly 70p a litre to fill up, based on today's pump prices, all of which would go straight to the Treasury, according to the RAC... The cost of oil is only the second biggest element in the cost of fuel. And this can itself be broken down into several components. Here, again, tax plays a huge role... retailers often stand accused of passing price hikes on to customers quickly but delaying price falls. It's know as the "rocket and feather effect" - up like a rocket and down like a feather."

Sam Harris - Having some website issues... For the moment, you can... - "re: Nassim Taleb.
"I know many of you love this guy, and think he's a genius. I can assure you, none among you, are as impressed with his intelligence as he is. This guy is just insufferable. I've actually never witnessed a marriage of incompetence and confidence so fully and grotesquely consummated in the mind of a person with a public platform. This is the most arrogant person I have ever had the misfortune of meeting. When you meet him you quickly discover that he radiates a sense of grievance from his pores in a way that few people do. It's kind of like a preternatural force of negative charisma. He is a child in a man's body. And the mismatch between his estimation of himself and the quality of his utterances is so complete and so mortifying to witness in person that you just find you're jumping out of your skin.""

How to wash a very large dog

German Feminists Debate Cologne Attacks - SPIEGEL ONLINE - "Schwarzer: As soon as you opened your mouth and said the word woman, you were beaten down with the argument that you were betraying the class struggle. There are many poignant writings in which feminists first write pages about their class standpoint before getting to their actual issue. What was then known as class warfare is today called anti-racism. The threat of being accused of racism gave birth to false tolerance. Once, about 20 years ago, a police officer in Cologne told me, "Ms. Schwarzer, 70 to 80 percent of the rapists in Cologne are Turkish." I was very upset and said: "Then good God, why don't you bring the issue up?" Because only after you call a problem by name can you change it. And then he said, no way, that's not politically opportune. So you see, the police have long been extremely frustrated by these hush-ups. I think that's changing now, and that's a good thing... Groping, a trivializing word, isn't even a prosecutable offense yet."
You can grope women with impunity in Germany?!

Japan to remove swastikas from maps as tourists 'think they are Nazi symbols' - Telegraph

Otto Frederick Warmbier was 'drinking vodka' before being arrested by North Korea - "The University of Virginia student who was arrested in North Korea was reportedly up drinking vodka until 5am before he was dragged away by armed guards for 'activities against the state' at the airport... Warmbier had been shouted at by armed guards at the terminal before he was dragged away from the terminal. And after the panicked tour leader noticed Warmbier was missing on the plane, she eventually managed to reach him by phone. According to Darragh, Warmbier told her 'he didn't want to leave' and wanted to go to hospital because he had a headache. 'He hung up the phone and that was the last they heard of him.' He said a passenger sitting next to him on the plane told him that Warmbier had something to a guard before he was detained. But he added that the tour group was constantly told how minor things would be considered hostile attacks - for instance, if a book or magazine was folded in a way that would crease Kim Jong Un's face... Kasich says in his letter released Friday afternoon that North Korea arrests U.S. citizens for diplomatic negotiation motives or to antagonize the United States... The term 'hostile act' is a catch-all accusation that has been levelled at numerous foreigners in the past, covering a range of possible charges from espionage to illicit missionary work."

How did knights in armour go to the toilet?

Truth revealed behind petition to ban Oktoberfest 'because it offends Muslims' - "A petition by Muslims demanding the German beer festival Oktoberfest is banned because it 'insults Islam' is understood be a fake. The petition, which had been widely shared online and reported as fact by dozens of news websites, is titled 'Ban the Intolerant and Anti-Islamic event of Oktoberfest'. It was started by 'Morad Almuradi', said to be a Muslim living in Holland, and called on the city of Munich, Germany to cancel the traditional boozy event."

GeBIZ Invitation-to-Quote/ Tender doc: This is why modern slavery exists in S’pore - "In one of the documents, most likely an Invitation-to-Quote or Tender document, one of the “Important Notes” for the vendor putting in a quote or tender, is to be able to provide design work that allows the client to make “UNLIMITED CHANGES“"
Comments: "Those who are not in the design industry shouldn't even comment since they do not know what is really going on. I am in the design industry for more then 5 years and i can tell u, many a times, it is the design firms themselves allow clients to do unlimited major changes that gives the clients impression that unlimited MAJOR changes is their right. This is what the real industry is about. Pleasing the clients. Many small design firms here (majority of the design agencies are small) are doing that in order to keep their clients which are actually spoiling the market and making the designers slaves. Moreever, no one forces you to bid."
"interestingly my friend who has also had a stint in the design industry. has informed me that unlimited changes is the norm."


Feeding Babies Foods With Peanuts Appears To Prevent Allergies - "The researchers found that those who consumed the equivalent of about 4 heaping teaspoons of peanut butter each week, starting when they were between 4 and 11 months old, were about 80 percent less likely to develop a peanut allergy by their fifth birthday... Israeli kids are much less likely to have peanut allergies than are Jewish kids in Britain and the United States. "My Israeli colleagues and friends and young parents were telling me, 'Look, we give peanuts to these children very early. Not whole peanuts, but peanut snacks,' " Lack says."

An anonymous response to dangerous FOSS Codes of Conduct - "The sentiment behind a CoC is that there is no excuse for being an ass, which sounds great until you realize that only a select few people get to decide who's an ass. So when open source leaders want to stop you from doing free work they can pretend that its your fault for violating their code instead of admitting they never really wanted to include just anybody. They've managed to make exclusivity look inclusive, and it makes me crazy that so few people see that."

Boris Kogan's answer to Should Israel take in Syrian refugees? - Quora - "The Talmud tells us that he who is kind to the cruel will end up being cruel to the kind, and brings the example of King Saul, who started off by sparing Agag, the king of Amalek, and ended up by killing everyone in Nob, the city of Kohanim...The Syrians are our enemies, and have been since before we established the state. Every single time they've elected a government, it has been dedicated to our destruction. Every single Syrian popular movement and party, reflecting the attitude of the Syrian people, has condemned our national existence and announced that it would destroy us. It would be foolish, seeing that they are weak and vulnerable, to bring them in and strengthen their hand so as to make ourselves vulnerable to them."

Syrian refugees want to leave Uruguay - "Five families of Syrian refugees granted asylum in Uruguay last year protested outside the president's offices on Monday, demanding they be allowed to leave the South American country in search of better jobs, even back in the Middle East."
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