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Tuesday, March 01, 2016

Links - 1st March 2016

YourClassical from American Public Media - "The modern French composer Olivier Messiaen played the piano part in one of the strangest premiere performances of the 20th century on today’s date in 1941. As the composer put it: “My Quartet for the End of Time was conceived and written during my captivity as a prisoner of war and received its world premiere at Stalag 8a in Görlitz, Silesia”... Pasquier reports that the performance was a great success, and led to the release of Messiaen and his three colleagues, as the Germans assumed—wrongly, it turns out—that the four musicians must have all been non-combatants"

Antievolution Legislation Shows Descent with Modification - "legislators make slight alterations in bills either from their own state or other states in the hopes that this time the particular wording will get the bill passed. “With the phylogenetic analysis we can tell when do these steps happen and how influential are they on future antievolution legislation…so it’s worth alerting people to the fact that these bills exist and alerting people to how these strategies change through time.”"

The Reason There is No "Nobel Prize for Mathematics" Had Nothing to Do With Any Wife/Mistress of Alfred Nobel - "Myth: The reason there is no Nobel Price for Mathematics is because Alfred Nobel’s fiancée wife had an affair with a mathematician... Nobel wasn’t very interested in the subject and didn’t grasp the practical benefits to the world of advanced mathematics. The Nobel Prizes were created as awards for people who made the greatest contributions to mankind in subjects that interested Nobel. So it would seem Nobel just didn’t see the benefit in providing one for mathematics, a subject he didn’t care for anyways"

Marry up and stay home - "Graduate women are not necessarily career-oriented, even if they welcome interesting jobs and good salaries in the period before they marry and have children. As well as providing training for better jobs, colleges and universities give access to superior marriage markets... studies in Britain and the United States show that educational qualifications have a small impact on women's sex-role attitudes and interest in a career. The majority of women hold ambivalent attitudes on the relative importance of career versus family life... In Britain, the proportion of marriages in which the husband is significantly better educated than his wife doubled between 1950 and 2000, while the proportion of marriages with equally educated spouses halved in the same period. Similar trends are found across Europe, Australia and the US. Only in Germany has the proportion of women marrying up the educational ladder declined over the past century... Although we live in a century of constant and accelerating change, the social sciences have not been very successful in theorising social change"

Choosing to be different - "couples who believe in the symmetrical family type are almost twice as likely to be divorced or separated (13%) as those who prefer some differentiation of roles (7%).22 This concurs with previous findings from the National Child Development Survey showing that role- differentiated marriages are generally happier and less prone to divorce. Further confirmation emerged from a more recent study by Professor Susan MacRae of Oxford Brookes University which reported that mothers returning to full-time work soon after having a baby are much more likely to end up divorced than those who stay at home or work part-time... Hakim finds some inconsistency in women’s views about equality. Only one-third of those wives who believe in the symmetrical dual-earning model of family life actually regard their jobs as central to their identity... Hakim’s findings largely concur with a 1999 survey conducted by the Cabinet Office Women’s Unit. Called Listening to Women, its results showed that most women see themselves as having jobs, not careers, and that their family and child care commitments come first. The women interviewed said they want choice, and when they are not working, they want motherhood to be valued and respected. As many as one-third believe that home and children are a woman’s main focus in life. This was probably not the message that the Women’s Unit had been looking for. The findings were not publicised"

Hong Kong’s best kept secrets: real flowers that will last for three years | South China Morning Post - "By withdrawing the natural nutrients and injecting a solution containing glycerol, dye and other chemicals, flowers and plants can hold their shape and colour for years without any water or sunlight."

Dead Swedish refugee worker Alexandra Mezher's mum says Sweden is no longer safe - "The mother of a Swedish woman allegedly stabbed to death by an asylum seeker last night declared her country was 'not safe' any more... Officers in Molndal say they have had to ignore lesser offences such as drug-dealing because they are so overrun by migrant crime, with gang fights and violent assaults. And in capital Stockholm police this week warned that the capital's main train station was 'overrun' by gangs of Moroccan street children 'stealing and groping girls'. Swedish police revealed they have sent plain-clothes officers to monitor swimming baths in Stockholm after increased reports of sexual harassment of girls and women. Last night it was also claimed police had been forced to flee after being attacked by a mob of asylum seekers as they tried to relocate a ten-year-old boy amid allegations he had been 'raped repeatedly' at a refugee centre. The country – with a population of 9.8million – took in more than 160,000 asylum seekers in 2015, with 35,369 of them unaccompanied minors... Miss Mezher's mother, 42, said: 'We left Lebanon to escape the civil war, the violence and the danger. We came to Sweden where it was safe, to start our family. But it is not safe any more. 'And I just want to know why… why Alexandra? She wanted to help them, but they did this. I just want answers'... She blamed Swedish politicians for a dramatic rise in immigration in Molndal, a suburb of Gothenburg, where a population of 60,000 has grown by 8,000 migrants in less than a year – 4,000 of whom are unaccompanied children... Lofven admitted that many people are fearful of attacks similar to the killing of Miss Mezher, because 'Sweden receives so many children and youths arriving alone'."

'Child' migrant who killed asylum centre worker is an adult, Swedish migration rules - Telegraph - "It will add to growing suspicions that a large portion of the 35,000 unaccompanied refugee minors who claimed asylum in the country last year have lied about their age, claiming to be under-18 in order to take advantage of more generous asylum rules... According to official figures obtained by SvD newspaper, police have been called out to no fewer than 559 registered assaults, 450 fights, 194 cases of violent threats, 58 fires, two bomb threats, nine robberies and four rapes, all involving recently arrived asylum seekers."

Analysis: New Hampshire - Revolution against status quo under way - "Revolution against the status quo appears well under way on both sides of the aisle – amounting to greater polarization of the American electorate."

Chopsticks: What the ‘big bit’ on the end is really for - "She shared a picture of her snapping the chunky bit off the end of the disposable sticks and using it as a nifty stand. The clever trick ensures your eating tools don’t pick up nasty germs which could be lurking on the table."

Students Say Burlesque Show Violated Their Safe Space - "If I told you a provocative burlesque show at Northwestern University was being restructured in response to student complaints, you would probably assume a handful of whiny, sex-averse conservatives had complained. But no—the event has infuriated left-leaning students who insist that it isn’t going to be inclusive enough... not getting a part in a school production—a fairly typical life experience—now counts as a microaggression... It’s not exactly clear which diversity boxes the directors’ failed to check off, though the Northwestern’s story suggests to me that at least some students merely read the names of the chosen solo performers and assumed they weren’t diverse... Recall what happened last semester at Colorado College, when the screening of a pro-gay film was protested, not by social conservatives, but by the campus’s LGBT+ group, because it didn’t feature a sufficient number of transgender characters. For these students, perfect is truly the enemy of good."

Cologne Carnival: 22 reports of sex assaults despite heavy police presence - "Cologne police reported 22 sexual assaults on the opening night of the city’s annual carnival, an increase in attacks on last year’s event. Of the offences reported at the Women’s Carnival Day, two were described as serious, with a woman believed to have been raped on her way home from the event, Deutsche Welle reported. The other serious incident saw a female news reporter at the carnival being groped live on air."

In the Safe Spaces on Campus, No Jews Allowed - "When Arielle Mokhtarzadeh and Ben Rosenberg arrived at University of California, Berkeley on November 6 to attend the annual Students of Color Conference, they had no way of knowing that they would be leaving as victims of anti-Semitism. The University of California Student Association’s “oldest and largest conference,” the Students of Color Conference (SOCC) has maintained a reputation for 27 years as being a “safe space” where students of color, as well as white progressive allies, can address and discuss issues of structural and cultural inequality on college campuses... Rachel Beyda, was temporarily denied a student government leadership position based solely on her Jewish identity, an event that made news nationwide. Throughout the year, they saw the school’s pro-Palestinian group, Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), issue criticism of Israel that overstepped into anti-Semitic rhetoric and hate. The campus was supposed to be their new home, their new safe space—so why didn’t they feel that way?... the campus progressives who were fighting for justice on college campuses for students of color weren’t only ignoring anti-Semitism and attacks on Jewish identity—they were sometimes the ones perpetuating it... 58.2 percent of hate crimes motivated by religious bias were targeted at Jews. Jews make up 2.2 percent of the American population, so the FBI’s statistics make it clear that Jews are the most disproportionately attacked religious group in America
Anti-racism means hating Jews, together with white people

This is not Casualty – in real life CPR is brutal and usually fails - "In the unlikely event of a palliative patient actually surviving CPR, they typically will not regain consciousness and if they do, they are in severe pain from the impact of the procedure on their body... The number of CPR recipients that actually leave hospital alive is very small. For patients with cancer that has spread to other parts of the body, the average percentage surviving CPR and then leaving hospital in a study was 1.9%. The average number for patients over the age of 80 in the same study was around 3%... CPR is a hard, ferocious, bone-breaking clinical intervention, and too often prolongs the death and dying event."

San Francisco gays want heterosexuals out of their neighborhoods, can’t stand seeing “butch men” - "As with all brands of political correctness, it never cuts both ways. Imagine if someone had just said the above about gay people. You’d have to pass the smelling salts. But telling people to “stay in their area” becaese of their sexuality? Well, since the intolerance is coming from gays, it’s just another moment in the “age of tolerance.”"

The Most Dangerous Kidnappers: Parents

Jailed for taking upskirt videos of his friends - "For nearly four years, a 29-year-old accountant took more than 120 upskirt photos and videos of seven women he liked, but did not think he had a chance with... Ang has a history of failed relationships and the victims he picked were "girls that he liked a lot, but (had) no courage to approach", the lawyer said. Urging the judge to look at the boyish Ang in court, Mr Quek said: "He is very much like a boy in his personality." But DPP Low said Ang had sought psychiatric treatment only because he had been arrested. That he fancied his victims, but had no courage, was also not a mitigating factor, the DPP said."

Original 1977 Star Wars 35mm print has been restored and released online - "A restored HD version of the original Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope 35mm print has appeared online. While this isn't the first time that attempts have been made to restore Star Wars to its original theatrical version—that's the one without the much-maligned CGI effects and edits of later "special" editions—it is the first to have been based entirely on a single 35mm print of the film, rather than cut together from various sources... Lucasfilm later claimed that the original negatives of Star Wars were permanently altered for the special edition releases, making restoration next to impossible. How Team Negative 1 got its hands on a 35mm print of the 1977 release of the movie is a mystery. But for fans who don't want to see ropey CGI, a pointless Jabba the Hutt scene, and know for a fact that Han shoots first, this restored version of the film—even with some pops, scratches, and colour issues—is the one to watch."
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