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Valar Qringaomis

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Saturday, February 06, 2016

Links - 6th February 2016

"Alcohol is like love. The first kiss is magic, the second is intimate, the third is routine. After that you take the girl's clothes off." - Raymond Chandler

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The racial tensions behind Sweden’s idyllic facade - "I’m three times screwed in Swedish society: I’m black, Muslim and Somali"

Trader is fined £300 by council for using black bin bags instead of grey - "the company that supplies the sacks had run out of them, so staff at Charli, a designer fashion store, were forced to use normal black bags instead. To their horror, Haringey council officials patrolling the area spotted the four bags left outside the store and imposed a £75 fine for each. Shop owner Sangita Ibrahim, 47, said: "The shop was really busy and they came in like the Gestapo. "Staff were told they would face criminal prosecution and receive a criminal record for the bags. I felt like I was going to be frogmarched away"... the shop asked the council several times for the correct bags before resorting to using the black ones. "We repeatedly asked for a delivery of bags but it never came, so we had to use ordinary black bags""

Chris Gayle: Cricketer fined in 'sexism' row - "it's a comment that has cost cricket star Chris Gayle dearly, after his club fined him $AUD10,000 ($7,100) for his remarks to Australian Network Ten reporter Mel McLaughlin live on national television. After she congratulated the West Indian on smashing a 15-ball 41 for the Melbourne Renegades in a Monday Big Bash League match against the Hobart Hurricanes, Gayle complimented McLaughlin's eyes, propositioned her for a post-match drink and laughingly told her: "Don't blush, baby"... Australian hockey international Georgie Parker also suggested the situation would be different if the gender roles had been reversed... Gayle told a media scrum at Melbourne airport that the incident had been blown out of proportion. "There wasn't anything meant to be disrespectful or offensive to Mel. If she felt that way, I'm really sorry for that. There wasn't any harm meant in that particular way. It was a simple joke. The game was going on. Entertainment, things get out of proportion but these things happen.""
Ahh... priorities

The Joys of Watching a Bridge Shave the Tops Off Trucks - WSJ - "More than 100 vehicles have crashed into a low bridge in Durham, N.C., since 2008. Jürgen Henn tracks it all on his website, 11foot8.com"

S'pore tour group stranded up to 3 1/2 days - "During the ordeal which stretched to 31/2 days for 11 of the travellers, some of them spent two nights at two airports, slept in near-freezing temperatures and went without food and water for 10 hours... Recruitment manager Lin Yaohui, who was part of the tour group, told Wanbao that the situation was "a mess" and airline staff and ground crew "did not care" about their plight... They received food and drinks only at 8pm, after the tour guide begged the airport ground crew to help them, he said. There were no water coolers or vending machines at the airport, added Mr Lin, so his 68-year-old mother took medication for her heart condition using tap water from the toilet. He said that the temperature at the airport that night was 3 deg C to 4 deg C and the entire tour group slept on ice-cold metal benches or on the floor... elderly tourists and young children in the group had to sleep on cold, hard floors in winter with no access to food, water or their own luggage, as they were "forced to check them in by Turkish Airlines". Ms Oh also claimed that she was sexually harassed by a cleaner at the Ataturk Airport toilet. The man allegedly stood blocking her only way out with "one hand doing the money sign and the other hand fondling his crotch". She managed to escape when another man distracted him."

Kyrgyzstan detains Briton for 'horse penis' delicacy comparison - "A Briton working at a gold mine in Kyrgyzstan has been detained and faces up to five years in jail for comparing a local delicacy to a horse penis, according to authorities. Police detained Michael McFeat, an employee of the Toronto-based CenterraGold, after he posted the comment on Facebook, which caused a temporary strike at the mine... McFeat wrote that his Kyrgyz colleagues were queueing for their “special delicacy, the horse’s penis” during holiday celebrations, referring to a traditional horse sausage known as chuchuk. He now faces racial hatred charges, which can result in between three to five years in prison under Kyrgyz law."
This is why you get hardship allowance for working in third world countries

Meet the lawyer taking on Uber and the rest of the on-demand economy - "Liss-Riordan, 45, has spent her entire legal career going after employers for allegedly short-changing their employees. She specializes in worker misclassification lawsuits—the illegal practice of companies who classify their workers as independent contractors, rather than normal employees, in order to avoid paying them benefits they’re owed under federal law. She’s filed class-action lawsuits on behalf of truck drivers, waiters, delivery men, cable installers, call center workers, and exotic dancers. FedEx andStarbucks are among companies that have paid out millions of dollars for misclassifying workers and misallocating workers’ tips, respectively, as a result of suits she’s filed."

Diet debate: Is breakfast a waste of time? - "Studies repeatedly show that skipping breakfast is more common in people who are overweight or obese. But this could be a dangerous trap - when the number of ice cream sales goes up so does the number of people getting sunburn. It doesn't mean ice-cream is causing sunburn...The few clinical trials that have actively altered people's eating habits also showed no impact on waistlines."

Crab in da Bag gets a 2-star review on Facebook, reacts passive-aggressively to win customer back - "You know this is going to go viral when it involves watching CCTV footage to count number of mussels a customer has eaten. Also, we are not sure how appropriate it is for a business to put it out on a public platform that a customer has mutual friends with the business-owner, and also to highlight the customer’s employer."

The little car you can drive in France without a licence - "You can simply go shopping for a VSP a voiture sans permis - a small two-seater car that anyone aged 14 or over can take out on the road with as little as four hours' experience behind the wheel, sometimes not even that."

Netherlands: Let's talk about sex - "A liberal attitude towards sex education appears to be paying off for the people of the Netherlands. The country has the lowest rate of teenage pregnancy in Europe. Dutch children are taught about sex from a young age, but opt to have sex at a later age than their European counterparts."

A White Terrorist Is A 'Troubled Loner,' But Unarmed Black Teens Are 'Thugs'
The "evidence" presented in this story that "the media" call blacks thugs: Reverend Jesse Lee Peterson (who's black) calling Trayvon Matin a thug, the Baltimore rioters being called thugs by the Governor, Mayor, City Council President and Barack Obama (who's black), a former DEA agent on CNN calling Michael Brown a thug. Presumably "the media" is supposed to censor their guests, or they're racist.

MAS stewardess wept for having to serve alcohol, says mufti - "Perlis Mufti Mohd Asri Zainul Abidin said a Malaysia Airlines stewardess had wept in front of him as she complained about having to serve alcohol and not being allowed to wear the headscarf... "She is only trying to support her children and this is not the first time I hear of such complaints," said Asri in a Facebook posting last night. Asri said he sympathised with the woman and said it was unbecoming for the national air carrier of a majority Muslim country to prevent its air stewardess from wearing the headscarf and serve alcohol... a Muslim stewardess should also not be made to serve alcohol or better off, for MAS not to serve alcohol at all."
I foresee more record shattering losses at MAS

Hong Kong politicians call for Beijing to answer over bookseller's 'abduction' - "Politicians in Hong Kong are demanding answers from Beijing over the mysterious disappearance of a group of booksellers who specialised in tabloid-style exposés about China's communist leaders."
One Country, One System

Ginsberg's theorem - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - "Ginsberg's theorem is a parody of the laws of thermodynamics in terms of a person playing a game...
The "theorem" is given as a restatement of the first, second, and third laws of thermodynamics:
You can't win. (restatement of first law of thermodynamics)
You can't break even. (restatement of second law of thermodynamics)
You can't even get out of the game. (restatement of third law of thermodynamics)"

Mother Kills 9-Year-Old Son For Having Small Penis In Indonesia - "An Indonesian woman drowned her nine-year-old son in the bath, claiming she was worried that his "small penis" would affect his prospects for the future... her son had had a small penis prior to being circumcised, but that it appeared to shrink further after the operation"

Eggplant vs. Aubergine - "What we call zucchini, they call courgette. Our snow pea is their mangetout. What we know as squash, they know as marrow. And what we call eggplant, they call aubergine, which to many ears sounds much more elegant."

Erdogan cites Hitler’s Germany as example of effective presidential system - "Erdogan has already jailed a number of his political opponents and journalists who are critical of him. On New Year’s Eve, political opponent Feyzi Isbasaran was sentenced to nearly three years in jail for posting tweets deemed insulting to the Turkish president. Isbasaran is a former member of Erdogan’s own AKP party. Meanwhile, opposition MP Eren Erdem, from the Republican People's Party (CHP), was accused of “treason” for telling RT that Islamic State had obtained sarin gas supplies via Turkey. He also alleged that Ankara had done nothing to stop the flow, despite having all the evidence at their disposal... He has also unleashed a harsh crackdown on Kurds in the southeast of the country, who have had week-long curfews imposed on them."

Germany has defaulted on its debts, too - "Germany's own strong position was possible only because it has escaped its debts in the past... Albrecht Ritschl, an economic historian, has calculated that Germany had truly been exceptional when it came to escaping its debts. "Germany is king when it comes to debt," Ritschl told Der Spiegel in 2011. "Calculated based on the amount of losses compared to economic performance, Germany was the biggest debt transgressor of the 20th century"... Germany defaulted on its debts during the 1930s, and the German states that predated a unified Germany defaulted at least three times in the 19th century. Modern-day Germany, the economic powerhouse of Europe, is a product of all these defaults."

In Iceland, ‘respect the elves – or else’ - "half of the population entertains the possibility that a parallel community of elves, dwarves and ghosts might exist – a statistic repeated in tourist brochures since a landmark 1975 survey... Speak to Icelandic construction workers and they’ll repeat the history of mishaps that have befallen those who failed to heed elven warnings. These are so numerous that even non-believers would rather play it safe than risk incurring the wrath of the huldufólk... “They’re a symbol for everything that was simple and straightforward in the good old days,” she says. “They were originally figures of magical wealth and prosperity, when Iceland was terribly poor. For rural farmers, starving in their turf-houses, the elves embodied the dream of a richer, more comfy world, a parallel community enjoying palatial homes and fine food.” But now they serve the opposite role. The huldufólk are forever clothed in 19th-century peasant costume, an image of parsimony in the days before our era of reckless excess."

Egyptian golden jackal is actually a grey wolf scientists discover in DNA test

How thousands of Icelanders suddenly started worshiping the Norse gods again - "“We see the stories as poetic metaphors and a manifestation of the forces of nature and human psychology”... The people of Iceland were never sold on Jesus. “From the time of Iceland’s formal adoption of Christianity as the official state religion in the year 1,000 C.E., Iceland has never been a fanatically Christian country nor particularly orthodox in its Christianity,” wrote scholar Michael Strmiska of SUNY Orange. “A strong case can be made that the acceptance of Christianity was motivated more by economic and political considerations than authentic Christian fervor. … Good political and economic relations with Christian Europe depended on at least a semblance of Christian conversion, and so this semblance was achieved.”"
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