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More adventurous than the average bear

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Tuesday, February 02, 2016

Links - 2nd February 2016

This Is What Sugar Does To Your Brain - "We know that too much sugar is bad for our waistlines and our heart health, but now there's mounting evidence that high levels of sugar consumption can also have a negative effect on brain health -- from cognitive function to psychological wellbeing"

How Much Does A Bowl Of Ajisen Ramen Really Cost? - "if a bowl of ramen is sold at $12, the cost of the ingredients used would be about $2, or about 16.6% of the sales price... While the cost of ingredient for the noodle may only be 16.6% of sales price, the cost incurred by the company for selling and distribution of the noodle is almost 71% of total sales. In other words, even though the ingredients in your ramen costs only $2 to purchase, about $8.50 is required to actually cook and serve the ramen to you at the air-conditioned restaurant... Ajisen Ramen makes a profit of about $1 for every bowl of $12 noodle that they sell."

M’sia Democratic Action Party seen as anti-Malay, anti-Islam, says survey - "A survey conducted by the Selangor state government’s Darul Ehsan Institute (IDE) between Nov 13 and 15 last year, involving 1,716 Malay respondents in the state, found that almost two-thirds or 72 per cent agreed that DAP was a racist party and that it was only looking after the interests of the Chinese community."
Being against Malay supremacy is racist

Goodbye Vasectomy, Hello Sperm Switch: Men Can Turn Fertility On And Off With New ‘Sperm Switch’ Invention

New Bathroom Rule: It's Worse Than We Thought - "The rule states that it is illegal to ask someone who is confused about their gender to use a separate facility for the benefit of women and children who might be uncomfortable. However, once a man begins to undress in the women’s locker room a person who “expresses concern or discomfort…should be directed to a separate or gender-neutral facility.” So, all you women who are uncomfortable with the naked guy over there, “Please come with me and leave him alone”... It is illegal to ask “unwelcome personal questions about an individual’s sexual orientation, gender expression or gender identity, or transgender status.” The commission provides no guidance to the public about how they are supposed to know which questions are unwelcome before they ask them. It is also illegal for a business to deliberately “misuse” someone’s preferred pronoun. If a man believes he is a woman, but you refer to him as a “he” anyway, he can sue you... If you believe a rule of this kind would never be exploited by people with bad intentions, simply search for Jason Pomares, Norwood Smith Burnes, or Taylor Buehler on the search engine of your choice. Burnes exposed himself to children in a Walmart restroom in 2010 while Pomares dressed as a woman and snuck into a Macy’s bathroom to videotape women in 2013. Buehler wore a bra and wig and slipped into a bathroom and locker room in 2012 to watch women at Everett Community College. All three men were arrested. In addition, Christopher Hambrook sexually assaulted multiple women in a Toronto women’s shelter while “identifying” as a woman."

Should you throw away food if a fly lands on it? - "'While there is little doubt that flies can carry bacteria, viruses and parasites from waste to our food, a single touchdown is unlikely to trigger a chain reaction leading to illness for the average healthy person.'... Dr Webb said flies in the city are typically more hygienic than those in the country who frequently come in contact with dead animals and animal waste... Recent research has found that flies are fussier than we might think and avoid certain rotten fruits . The insects have dedicated brain circuits that can pick up toxic moulds that might be harmful to the insects"

PayPal, Square and big banking's war on the sex industry - "Monday a federal appeals court ruled that pressuring credit card companies like Visa and Mastercard to stop doing business with speech-protected websites violates their First Amendment rights. Specifically ones that feature content from sex workers. And in June, the FDIC clarified that it's against the rules for businesses like PayPal, Chase and Square to refuse business or close accounts based on "high risk" assessments related to human sexuality. But it may not be enough to stop what's become an entrenched pattern of systematic discrimination by payment processors -- one that disproportionately denies financial opportunities for women... a federal judge strengthened First Amendment protections for websites by ruling speech can be irreparably harmed by withdrawal of payment processing... Ultimately the fact of the matter is, while keeping corporate mitts off free speech is everyone's business, sex is becoming a woman's business."

‘Frivolous’ $20 Billion Lawsuit Provides Theory on Why Comcast Employs Sharpton Despite Low Ratings - "A black-advocacy group filed a $20 billion lawsuit against Comcast and Time Warner Cable, accusing the two cable giants of racial discrimination... The lawsuit takes issue with Comcast only carrying one channel that is entirely black-owned. Other channels claiming to serve the black community are called “window dressing” that are “white-owned businesses.” Comcast pushed back against the claims. “We are proud of our outstanding record supporting and fostering diverse programming, including programming from African-American–owned and –controlled cable channels. We currently carry more than 100 networks geared toward diverse audiences, including multiple networks owned or controlled by minorities,” the company said in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter."
Comment: "I can’t be the only one to see irony in a racially exclusive group sueing another group for not being diverse enough."

Livermore: Sikh families claim discrimination at Boomers go-kart track - "Two Bay Area families claim they were barred from riding go-karts at a popular Livermore track last summer because of their head attire, and one of them, a Muslim family, filed a discrimination complaint Tuesday with the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing... The one-page complaint alleges Abdo bought tickets to the ride on Aug. 8 and waited in line for several minutes with his son and two daughters -- one of whom wore a headscarf. When it was their turn to ride, an employee told Abdo that his daughter was not allowed to ride the go-karts because any head gear was not permitted on the ride. When Abdo asked to speak to a manager, the manager told him, "I am sorry, but for safety reasons, this is our company policy," the complaint reads... the park created the rule because headwear and neckwear are a possible chocking hazard and a hazard to other drivers: "Around the world, people have died when hajabs, scarves and other lengthy headwear or neckwear became entangled into a go-kart's wheels or engine causing violent neck breaks and crushed windpipes. In one horrific accident ... a woman was literally decapitated when her hijab was snagged around her neck and she crashed into a wall.""
Can you sue if you insist on wearing headgear on and get injured? Can you sue if someone wears headgear and the accident injures you?

Answer to Where do the rudest tourists come from? - Quora - "5. If it's a group of guys, they will make passes at any girl/guy they see, even worse for local girls/guys, because they will act like they deserve some "vacation fun" from any girl/guy they are even mildly decent to. Also, their friends are also putting a lot of pressure on them to have sex, because more often than not they have a "scorecard" they are keeping, and the winner gets bragging rights.
6. If they are girls, they are likely to be on a serious attention seeking mission. They will flirt with everyone, even exchange numbers with some people. BUT do not make the mistake of investing any time into liking her. By all means, be polite if she flirts with you. But if you try to flirt back, send a message or two, propose hanging out again, you will be discussed amongst them as "that guy/girl I met yesterday who is turning out to be kinda creepy." They are on vacation with the sole purpose of stroking their egos. The more attention they get, the better. Trying to pursue the normal course of interaction with them is futile. Enjoy the moment if they speak to you. But know that out of sight, out of mind. No matter what connection you think you have made, its all in your head"

Former intel chief: WH worried over re-elect 'narrative' - "President Barack Obama's former top military intelligence official said Tuesday that the White House ignored reports prefacing the rise of ISIS in 2011 and 2012 because they did not fit its re-election "narrative"... Obama was served poorly by a small circle of advisers who were worried about his re-election prospects at the time. The story they needed to tell, he said, was that pulling troops from Iraq would not leave the region vulnerable to the rise of a radical Islamic group like ISIS... Obama has been criticized by opponents for referring to ISIS as the "JV squad" and apparently underestimating the group's threat. The Pentagon's inspector general is investigating complaints that top intelligence officials manipulated reports to make the threat of ISIS look minimal."

Obama's counterterrorism policy facing mounting criticism - "With al-Qaida and the Islamic State group enjoying safe havens across parts of Yemen, Syria and Iraq, and with terror attacks on the rise worldwide, doubts are growing about the effectiveness and sustainability of the administration's "light footprint" strategy against global extremist movements. A template predicated on training local forces and bombing terrorists from the air is actually making the situation worse, some say. Many are arguing for deeper U.S. involvement, if not with regular ground troops, then at least with elite advisers and commandos taking more risks in more places. "What they are doing now is making it more likely that there will be a bigger, more disastrous catastrophe for the United States," said David Sedney, who resigned in 2013 as deputy assistant secretary of defense for Afghanistan and Pakistan... Former Army deputy chief Lt. Gen. Richard Zahner says the Obama administration's policy of "benign neglect" toward strife-torn Yemen and Syria has ensured the existence of terrorist safe havens there for both al-Qaida and Islamic State militants... Timothy Hoyt, a professor of counterterrorism studies at the Naval War College, agreed. Terrorist attacks against the U.S. and its allies have been far less lethal than past campaigns in Britain by the Irish Republican Army, he said, "which suggests that some elements of our counterterrorism strategy are working." It's "absurd," he said, to blame U.S. policy for an uptick in sectarian violence across a Middle East convulsed by political upheaval. Drone strikes have clearly made it harder for terrorists to plan complex attacks, he said. While the strikes create international backlash, he added, there is no evidence they are a driving force in the growth of terror networks... The Wahishi operation underscored a little-understood trend of the drone war: Most "high value targets" have been killed in what are known as signature strikes, in which a missile is aimed at a group of militants whose identities aren't confirmed until after they're dead"

How Chinese Tourists Usurped the Ugly Americans - "At the Louvre in Paris, there's a sign for that warns people not to defecate and urinate on the premises. It's only in Chinese... Hong Kong Airlines, as CNN reported in April, had to teach their cabin crew kung fu in order to deal with drunken passengers flying to and from mainland China."

Why Obama Hasn’t Closed Guantanamo Bay—and Probably Never Will - "The President’s other option is to defy the transfer ban, as his former attorneys advised. But their argument is weak. “There’s very little to be said for” the argument, according to Marty Lederman, Obama’s former Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Justice Department Office of Legal Counsel, the Office that will advise the President on the legality of any such move. Lederman notes that a constitutional override argument “would present the same dangers, and threaten to establish the same troubling precedents, as when President Bush claimed the constitutional authority to disregard laws” related to national security — an authority, of course, that President Obama once vehemently disclaimed... Support for closing Guantanamo peaked in President’s Obama’s first year, and most Americans now oppose transferring the dangerous detainees to the United States. A provocative defiance of a law that embodies the popular will on an issue of national security by a late-term President whose seriousness in that context has been questioned lately would be unpopular and controversial. Congress would go ballistic. The issue would not go away in the next administration, as Republicans and many Democrats would try to reverse the President’s move. President Obama would thus be doing his successor no favors. He or she, and the presidency, would suffer dealing with the fallout. Candidate Clinton might be hurt by the fallout sooner if the President puts in motion the Guantanamo closure before the election, which he almost certainly will need to do... President Obama’s long equivocation on this issue implies that he understands these consequences. His least bad option, it seems, is to appear to want very much to close Guantanamo (which he does), and to talk and act as if he is doing all he can, but to capitulate in the end"

One in 20 prisoners of Gypsy, Romany or Traveller background, says HMIP - "One in 20 inmates – or 5% – told Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Prisons (HMIP) that they considered themselves to be Gypsy, Romany or Traveller in 2012-13, compared with 4% the previous year. Based on the most recent prison population figures from the Ministry of Justice, 5% would equate to just over 4,200 inmates and is similar to the total number of women in prisons. The proportion is even higher in secure training centres (STCs), which hold young people between 12 and 18 years old, with 12% considering themselves Gypsy, Romany or Traveller. In Medway STC in Kent, this figure was 22%. In the 2011 census just 0.1% of people –about 58,000 – identified themselves as "Gypsy or Irish Traveller""
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