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Wednesday, March 02, 2016

Links - 2nd March 2016

The Economist explains: Why lesbians tend to earn more than heterosexual women | The Economist - "In a survey of 29 studies published in January 2015, Marieka Klawitter of the University of Washington found an average earnings premium of 9% for lesbians over heterosexual women, compared to a penalty of 11% for gay men. Establishing with certainty why this premium exists may be an impossible task, but various theories have emerged. One possibility is that lesbians might face positive discrimination, perhaps if employers expect them to be more competitive and more committed to work than their straight female colleagues. One study did find that in the (less heavily regulated) private sector the penalty for gay men was heavier and the premium for lesbians was larger, which is consistent with this theory. Another idea is that lesbians are responding to the gender of their likely partner. They might have to work harder to plump up household income in the absence of a male partner. Or, it could be that in same-sex couples women find it easier to shrug off expectations that they will take on the bulk of childcare or household chores. Same-sex couples do seem more likely to be dual-earners, even when there are children, and they also appear to share chores more equally than different-sex ones."
Lesbians are more manly than straight women. Gays are more feminine than straight men. Perhaps it's not that men are paid more, but that manly people are.

Easy Email Extractor: Extract email addresses from files and folders - "NoVirusThanks Easy Email Extractor is a handy freeware application which allows you to easily extract email addresses from files, folders and urls. You can extract email addresses from entire folders or hard disks by filtering file extensions to search. Other supported options are: copy the email addresses list to the Windows clipboard and then paste it anywhere you like, export the email addresses in a specific file."

Goth teens are more prone to be depressed or hurt themselves, study shows

Kenya restaurant owner arrested after 'No Africans' row - "Kenya's Daily Nation newspaper carried a story Monday that its reporters had been barred entry to the restaurant, being told by a guard at the entrance that "the time for Africans is over" when the journalists arrived at 7 p.m. Only locals accompanied by Chinese, European or Indian patrons would be admitted... the Chinese-owned eatery lacked liquor, health or change-of-use licences -- the latter needed as the property had been converted from a residence to a restaurant. Co-owner and restaurant manager Esther Zhao told the newspaper that the "no Africans at night" policy had its roots in security concerns. "We don't admit Africans that we don't know because you never know who is Al-Shabaab and who isn't," she said, referencing the Islamist militant group that is active in Kenya and neighboring Somalia... "Because of the concern of the business environment at night and the bad memory of (a robbery in) 2013, we adopted certain measures. Unfortunately, some of the measures were inappropriate, we sincerely apologize for this," the management said in a statement."
Chinese are consistent - they discriminate against majorities due to operational/pragmatic reasons (see also: Beijing shop that didn't allow local Chinese in)

Petition · African Governments: Please Give Asylum to African Americans · - "African Americans - the descendants of Africans stolen from the continent more than 400 years ago - are experiencing what can only be called neoslavery on the land that our ancestors were forced to build. We experience daily, relentless attacks by the police, suffer high rates of incarceration due largely to discriminatory laws and sentencing, not to mention economic, health, and employment disparities for no other reason than being Black in America. One can only turn on the news to see the treatment that we are receiving in the United States, and it is only getting worse. We are writing to request that any and all African nations consider granting us asylum within your borders."

I've read Pratchett now: it's more entertainment than art - "This is the difference between entertainment and literature – the novel as distraction and the novel as art. You cannot divorce a literary novel from the way it is written. Sentence by sentence, paragraph by paragraph, literature is the words and nothing but."

The retro cult around Fighting Fantasy gamebooks - "In Jonathan Green's forthcoming book, You Are The Hero - A History of Fighting Fantasy, he notes that while the books were targeted at boys, the character's gender in the gamebooks was never identified. Thus large numbers of girls also read Fighting Fantasy. Not everybody liked the books. Livingstone recalls: "The Evangelical Alliance published an eight-page warning guide saying, because children were interacting with ghouls and demons, they would be interacting with the devil. One housewife phoned her radio station and said her son levitated having read one of my books. A vicar also threatened to tie himself to the gates at Penguin Books until Fighting Fantasy was banned." But there was a clear positive. "It got children reading," says Livingstone."

A Point of View: What does vanilla yogurt have to do with the secret of happiness? - "while fruit flavourings in yogurt made no difference to anyone's happiness, there was, and I quote, a highly marked hedonic response to vanilla. Eating vanilla yogurt made people happy... one simple explanation is that vanilla is just inherently pleasing. It has long been known that vanilla scents in hospital waiting rooms make patients calmer and happier"

No Sharks Were Harmed in the Making of This Shark Fin Soup - "The greatest compliment Lee has received so far came from Cecelia Chiang, the revered chef and restaurateur who is credited with introducing Northern Chinese cooking to America. “She had no idea it was faux,” he said... Chiang, Lee said, has come back many times."

Sunandha Kumariratana - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - "The queen and her daughter drowned when the royal boat capsized while on the way to the Bang Pa-In Royal Palace (Summer palace). Despite the presence of many onlookers, they were forbidden on pain of death to touch the queen – not even to save her life"

SAF regulars in high demand after retiring from military - "eight in 10 retiring servicemen take an average of six months to land a new job in the civilian sector... most of these outgoing regulars are prepared for jobs which eventually see them ending up as supervisors, managers or directors in defence manufacturers, banks and security firms, while others become their own bosses. Human resource specialists told the English daily that former SAF regulars are noted for their strengths in adapting to different cultures quickly, leading people and working in teams."
If they're in such demand why do they take 6 months to get a job?

Yandere Simulator: Video game lets Japanese schoolgirl stalk, murder peers - "the main character, a deranged teen enraged by jealousy and driven by social status, does everything possible to keep her boyfriend to herself — even if she has to kill... “We could spread nasty rumours about her until the entire school is bullying her and she becomes so depressed that she stays home from school or commits suicide. We could stalk her until we see her breaking the school rules then report her and get her expelled... He said the very specific way Japanese schoolgirls bullied each other was also an inspiration. “When a girl’s reputation drops, other students will begin to bully her. Japanese bullying is very unique and is different from what you might expect to see,” he said. “For example, in Japan, when a student dies, a flower is placed on their desk. However, if you place a flower on someone’s desk while they are still alive this basically means: ‘I wish you were dead’.”

Woman Found Frozen To Death After Leaving Party In Shorts, Tank Top - "A 21-year-old woman was found frozen to death outside a Milwaukee home after leaving a party in subzero temperatures in just a pair of shorts, stockings and a tank top"

Did Singapore sell Christmas Island to Australia? - "Amidst accusations of “selling” Christmas Island, the Acting Chief Minister, Abdul Hamid bin Haji Jumat, told the press on 8 June 1957 that, “Christmas Island did not belong to Singapore. The Colony was asked to administer it and nothing more”. At the 19 June 1975 Legislative Assembly, he stated that “the island was placed under Singapore’s jurisdiction for administrative reasons in 1900, but it had been excluded from the present constitution of Singapore. As I said before, this island did not belong to Singapore but to the British Government”. Hence, Britain decided to transfer it to Australia and Singapore took note of the position."

Yosemite 'firefall' has hikers transfixed

The Size and Connectivity of the Amygdala Predicts Anxiety - "measuring the size and connectivity of the amygdala—a part of the brain associated with processing emotion—can predict the degree of anxiety a young child is experiencing in daily life. Prolonged stress and anxiety during childhood increase the risk of someone developing anxiety disorders and depression later in life. In the breakthrough study(link is external), the researchers at Stanford found that the larger the amygdala—and the stronger its connections with other regions of the brain responsible for perception and the regulation of emotion—the greater the amount of anxiety a child was experiencing"

Profile of George Galloway - "Dubbed the 'member for Baghdad Central' by some fellow MPs the generally sun-tanned politician has also been nicknamed 'Gorgeous George'. In 1994 he was shown on television telling Saddam: "Sir, I salute your courage, your strength, your indefatigability." After a more recent trip he said that he had been offered Quality Street chocolates by the dictator... During the war, in an interview with Abu Dhabi television, Mr Galloway said Tony Blair and George Bush were "wolves" for the "crime" of military action against Iraq."

Emily Bright's answer to What are the flaws in the Bechdel test? - Quora - "2 girls 1 cup passes the Bechdel test along with most lesbian porn"

BBC World Service - The World This Week, Not Much Shelter from Market Chaos - "To our ancestors of course the supernatural helped make sense of an otherwise baffling world, but in modern secular societies we don't believe in it. Only in children's stories or novels of magic realism is it permissible. Or is it? It turns out there are modern folk tales. We call them urban myths or urban legends. And guess what? They often contain an element of the supernatural or at least the eerie. Like the story of the Phantom Hitchhiker who hedges a lift only to vanish suddenly and mysteriously. Or the one about a maniac with a hook for a hand who escapes from a mental institution and interrupts a pair of lovers in a car. These are stories calculated to make the hairs on your neck stand up. It's the kind of thrill the earliest listeners of Jack and the Beanstalk might've felt. So maybe we aren't so different from our Bronze Age forefathers after all"

BBC World Service - The World This Week, Syria peace: what Russia & Turkey want - "I was watching these schoolgirls. They must've been about 18. And they were feeding the ducks. They didn't know I was watching them. We weren't filming them or anything. I was just watching them. They fed the ducks and they went over to the statues of Kim Il-Sung and Kim Jong-Il and when they came away, their eyes were moist. This was not a display for cameras or for security apparatus. This was them being moved by those two leaders. And we underestimate that at our peril...
When it comes to paying taxes, just like Facebook and other technology giants, it's no less adept at organising its affairs in them most efficient way than any other multinational. It's not Google's fault that there're all these clever weases to shift profit around the world to minimise tax liabilities. And to fail to take advantage of these loopholes would amount to negligence in the eyes of many shareholders. So when politicians, journalists and the public ask rude questions about how Google can pay its chief executive more in one year than it hands over to the British tax authorities, the company should have a simple answer: you make the rules, we obey them. If you don't like it, make some new rules. Otherwise, go away and leave us alone. That is in essence what Google has been saying, except that something of that Don't Be Evil ethos till seems to lurks at the back of the corporate mind. Whatever dreams they start with, and hold on to, it is all about the money for technology companies. At least if they want to survive and grow into the kind of business that can pay the boss 200 million dollars a year"

BBC World Service - Forum - Sixty Second Idea to Improve the World, Forget big 'grand design' ideas. - "My idea to change the world is: don't do it. I mean, don't even think about doing it. For self-conscious attempts to change it only make it worse. Grand revolutionary designs always come to grief. Exhortations to change ourselves only leave us remorseful for failing to be better than we are. And the Saints are so boring. So even the piecemeal approaches prove tiresome, frustrated by feelings of deja vu all over again. The many illusions of progress unpicked by the law of unexpected outcomes. Trailing human misery in their wake. So leave the world alone. Forget the big ideas of better, more moral, more perfect and focus on the small pleasures and pains of those most near about you. The small things. The modest claims to well-being. Might be called the English path to contentment: empirical and ironic. But go this way and you may just possibly become part of the solution, not part of the problem
... An old friend of mine from when I was a student in the Soviet Union which was a grim place to be. Where you definitely couldn't have any grassroots movements. And she always used to say: focus on the *something*. On the little joys of life, the little things every day that make you feel better, because you know you're not going to change anything"
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