When you can't live without bananas

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Friday, February 05, 2016

Links - 5th February 2016

Thai faces jail for insulting king’s dog: Lawyer - "Thanakorn Siripaiboon, 27, has been charged by police with lese majeste for a “satirical” Facebook post about the king and his dog... Thanakorn also faces lese majeste, sedition and computer crimes charges for clicking “like” on a doctored photo of the king and sharing it, plus an infographic on a growing corruption scandal engulfing the junta... Even the US ambassador faces a police investigation for royal defamation over a speech last month in which he expressed concern at the lengthy sentences."

Men Strip, "Finger" and Molest Bikini-Clad Girls at Water Park after Being Given Free Entry - "On 19/4, a water park in Hanoi, Vietnam called ‘Ho Tay’ opened for free admission... many other guys went home and updated their facebook status about their “achievements” at the water park like how many boobs they had grabbed or how many girls they’d molested on that day."

Europe has taken over the Holocaust - "Killing six million people is a moral stain on one's nation that surely ought to endure more than a couple of generations. But, on the other hand, almost everything else about the Germany of 60 years ago is gone - its great power status, its military machine, its aggressive nationalism, its need for lebens-raum. The past is another country, but rarely as foreign as the Third Reich. Why should Holocaust guilt be the only enforced link with an otherwise discarded heritage? "Enforced" is the operative word. If most Germans don't feel guilty about the Holocaust, there's no point pretending they do"

The Land without Muslims - "The official policy of Japan is not to give citizenship to Muslims who come to Japan, and even permits for permanent residency are given sparingly to Muslims... In contrast with what is happening in Europe, very few Japanese are drawn to Islam... The most interesting thing in Japan’s approach to Islam is the fact that the Japanese do not feel the need to apologize to Muslims for the negative way in which they relate to Islam"

The Big Apple: “We campaign in poetry, but when we’re elected we’re forced to govern in prose”

John Burgess's answer to Why didn't President Barack Obama close Guantanamo as he promised in his first presidential campaign? - Quora - "there's a continuity of US foreign policy from one Administration to another, one party to the next. There's a reason for that: practical solutions do not grow on ideological trees. Real problems have relatively few solutions and wishing doesn't change that. In fact, so many policies (foreign and domestic) that were followed by Bush are also being followed by Obama because those are the best available policies"

What Liberals Still Don’t Understand About Fox News - "The reliably liberal Frank Rich appreciates better than most Fox’s essential harmlessness. In a piece published last year in New York, he concluded that aside from infuriating liberals, Fox flexes little political power. The median age of a Fox viewer is 68, eight years older than the MSBNC and CNN median age, and its median age is rising. “Fox is in essence a retirement community,” Rich writes, and a small one at that!"

Monthly sex worker tests are ridiculous, health experts say - "Health and human rights experts said it was ridiculous to force sex workers to have monthly tests when they were at extremely low risk of contracting sexually transmitted infections. Three Australian studies have found that about one in every six men admit to having paid for sex at least once. Professor of Sexual Health at Melbourne University, Christopher Fairley, said research showed monthly testing was unnecessary and a waste of public health resources because sex workers have much lower rates of STIs than other people. This was backed by a recent study of patients at the Melbourne Sexual Health Centre which showed that of 2896 female sex workers tested for STIs over three years, only 3 per cent were positive. In contrast, the study found that 41 per cent of 4208 STIs diagnosed at the clinic over the three years were in men having sex with men. "You are at lower risk of catching an STI if you have sex with a sex worker than if you have sex with a member of the public""

BBC Radio 4 - From Our Own Correspondent Podcast, 60th Anniversary – Memorable Reports 1 - "That incredible stoicism is everywhere. In Irkutsk at least, people seem simply to accept that winter is harsh and this one especially so. It is without doubt the cruellest Siberian winter in living memory. Yet outdoors everything appears to function normally; even schools reopened as the temperature rose briefly to minus 25"

10 Inspirational Quotes You'd Never Guess Were Said By Horrible People

Rethinking Singapore’s housing policies - "A second and more fundamental objection to the use of housing as a form of retirement security is that it is highly regressive and inequitable. The people who benefit the most from housing as a form of social security are those who have the means to own more than a single property. The Government has a general aversion to inter-generational transfers through the fiscal system (of taxing the young to pay for the benefits of the old); this is why Singapore does not have the tax-financed pensions found in most developed countries. But the current approach of relying on house price appreciation to finance the retirement of the elderly is, de facto, a form of inter-generational transfers too, since it is always the next generation that has to bear the burden of rising house prices... if house prices increase more rapidly than wages over a sustained period, people may begin to view financial speculation or investing in property as a more reliable way of securing income gains than through their own labour. This would erode society’s work ethic, increase status competition and envy, and divert society’s resources from productive activities to less productive and potentially destabilising ones."

65 Rules For Being A Man According To Elevator Gossip at Goldman Sachs. - "55. If it’s got velvet ropes and lines, walk away unless you know someone."

A new study finds arranged marriages are happy.

Sex Assault: A Crime against the Young & Attractive? - "The main factors driving sexual assaults may be the attractiveness and vulnerability of young people of both genders, rather than negative attitudes toward women, a new study suggests. More than half of sexual assault victims in the study were under 20. The group at greatest risk of being assaulted was 15- to 19-year old females, and the most common age of all victims of rape (of both genders) was 15. Homosexual men were as likely as heterosexual men to commit sexual assault... adolescents' higher risk of sexual assaults could be explained by their attractiveness, their vulnerability, and their active social lives, which increase contact with potential offenders... Many scholars and activists believe that sexual assaults stem from hatred of women, patriarchy or the desire to control and dominate. But the researchers say that the similarity between the rates of assaults committed by gay and straight men suggests that attitudes toward women are not likely playing a strong role in sexual assaults... 10- to 14-year-old girls were at greater risk of rape than women in their 20s. In the study, 15-year-old girls were about nine times more likely to be raped than 35-year-old women, and 15-year-old boys were more likely to be victims than 40-year-old women... Older people and women rarely commit sex crimes, but when they do, they also attack young people"

Certain Self-Defense Actions Can Decrease Risk - "potential rape victims who resisted their attackers physically and verbally significantly reduced the probability that a rape would be completed and did not significantly increase the risk of serious injury... The most effective actions, according to victims, are attacking or struggling against their attacker, running away, and verbally warning the attacker... the only self-protective tactics that appear to increase the risk of injury significantly were those that are ambiguous and not forceful. These included stalling, cooperating and screaming from pain or fear. A separate study found that even when a rape was completed, women who used some form of resistance had better mental health outcomes than those who did not resist"

Food evolution - "At present, there are more than a thousand recipes from the caterers' menu database to choose from, and new dishes are introduced each month to update the menus... Although 2WO Tan no longer cooks for fellow servicemen and women, it still matters to him how satisfied they are with cookhouse meals. "Based on the feedback we get, we constantly look for ways to improve the taste of fresh rations," said 2WO Tan, who has dedicated 29 years of
his life to warming the hearts and tummies of soldiers with food... About five new dishes are added to the menus of the 24-hour field ration packs every three months, replacing unpopular ones, said HQ Supply Ration Warrant Master Sergeant (MSG) Mok Shao Wei. Added SFIM Assistant General Manager Tan Yan Ren, who works on the supply of field rations: "We review the menus quarterly and develop new recipes regularly to provide variety. So by the end of each year, you will find that more than half of the food items on the menus have been replaced... "dialogue sessions and surveys are conducted every quarter, where 100 servicemen are randomly selected to suggest improvements to the field rations menu"... On the outcome of the dialogue sessions, Mr Tan said: "The entrees used to be mostly rice-based. At present, these meals only constitute about 25 percent of the dishes offered, with pasta and noodles becoming the popular picks. It is a reflection of the taste profile of our soldiers nowadays." Fresh rations' menus are also discussed with selected soldiers when caterers propose monthly menus to each unit's F&B manager... when a unit has outfield training on a particular day, caterers are advised to avoid serving "heaty" food like curry chicken for lunch. Menu development also takes SAF-level activities into account. To prepare servicemen and women for the annual Army Half Marathon this year, the cookhouses served carbohydrate-loading meals four days prior to the event...
2010: The Weekend Meal, which has greater menu variety, was created for personnel on weekend duty."

Bomb Threat at DC GamerGate Meetup Shows There Are Bad Eggs on the Other Side - "A Washington, DC-area bar hosting a meetup for supporters of GamerGate was briefly evacuated Friday night after someone called in a bomb threat... While it’s not clear who specifically made the bomb threat, Twitter personality Arthur Chu—a celebrated Jeopardy! winner, Salon columnist, and vitriolic critic of GamerGate—personally spearheaded efforts to convince the bar, Local16, to cancel the event. He sent emails to Local16 management asserting that GamerGate was a “right wing hate group and harassment campaign that’s caused tremendous damage to my life.” Letting the meetup take place was akin to “letting anti-feminists gather to celebrate the harassment and intimidation of women in tech,” he claimed. I’m not sure how GamerGate has damaged Chu’s life—indeed, criticizing the movement has given Chu an impressive podium in his post-Jeopardy! career—but it seems hyperbolic (to say the very least) to brand the entire meetup as a right-wing, anti-women hate group. As Yiannopoulos pointed out in his write-up of the event, attendees included a lesbian video game designer—who currently relies on a cane and had some difficulty evacuating the after the bomb threat—and her fiancé. Presumably these are not the right-wing opponents of women in tech that Chu was talking about... Chu seems unable to separate the real abusers from the honest critics of his perspective, and plenty of other people on both sides of GamerGate have done the same. The mentality of “you either agree with me or you’re a Nazi,” is often on display. But threats of violence against another group are never okay, and that goes for militant GamerGate anti-feminists, scorched-earth social justice warriors, and everyone in between."

#GamerGate Event Evacuated After Multiple Bomb Threats - "The Society of Professional Journalist’s #GamerGate “#SPJ AirPlay” event in Miami, FL was evacuated today after repeated bomb threats. According to event organizer and moderator, Michael Koretzky, six bomb threats were directed at the event."
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