"Malaysia Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad and the Sultan of Johor are seen in a blue Proton Saga... "When asked whether there is any tension with the sultan, Dr Mahathir said: “No, I don’t see anything because I went to see him and he drove me to the airport. I don’t want to comment on the sultans because if I say anything that is not good then it’s not nice because he is the sultan”"

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Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Links - 13th April 2016

Friends 'banned' from pub quiz because they keep winning - Telegraph - ""The other teams that take part in the quiz are younger than us, and we were referred to as 'old boys', so we believe the decision was made on discriminative grounds. We're disappointed and it's unfair.It's insulting"... "We started getting grumblings from other people about their constant winning and the attendance numbers started going down. "People thought they were professional quiz goers because they were always so many points ahead. "When we spoke to them we suggested that it might be healthy for the quiz if they take a break for a little while, to get the numbers back up."

How I learned to love my natural hair miles away from home in Nigeria - "I knew a round of heat applied through a white creamy relaxer would get me what was needed: straight and somewhat flippable hair. The kind of hair I saw on shampoo ads while growing up, with the horizontal sheen of light flowing down its droopy length. As the barber's clipper outlined my scalp, I remembered Coco Chanel's words, “A woman who cuts her hair is about to change her life”... Back home, it was uncommon to see women with kinky hair or worse still, with short coily hair, unless you were from rural areas; these were girls who were teased and called “Mbeke,” suggesting that their unprocessed hair was the result of their social standing and lack of sophistication... When my hair started thinning out in college, I didn't notice because I was too fixated on its length and like most of my peers, I had discovered weaves and “fixing” hair—as it is called—could give us the look of any celebrity we wanted.I graduated from cheap, synthetic weaves to Brazilian hair after moving from the conservative city of my birth, Kano, to Nigeria's capital, Abuja. That was in 2011 and at the time, everyone was fixing Brazilian, Peruvian and Indian human hair that could range from $40 to $500 or higher. It symbolized a certain kind of contemporary African sophistication."
Is it racist to like smooth silky hair?

Muslim shopkeeper murdered in suspected 'religiously prejudiced' attack after posting on Facebook of love for Christians - Telegraph

Snakes plus sushi equals felony for Los Angeles man - "Motohashi, 46, tucked into $200 dollars worth of food at the popular Iroha Sushi of Tokyo eatery in Los Angeles' Studio City neighborhood, local media reported. But when diners noticed that he was dining with a guest -- a very small snake -- management argued with him and Motohashi marched out, reports said. "The suspect left the location and then he returned with a large snake, probably between 10 to 13 feet (3 to 4 meters)," police spokesman Aareon Jefferson said of the Sunday evening incident. "He released the snake in the restaurant, the police was notified and the suspect was arrested for criminal threats, which is a felony."“

'Ambulance-chasing lawyers' blamed as nuisance calls hit 12m a day - "Axa Insurance warned that premiums were rising because the calls encourage people to make false claims, The Times reported. About £90 of the cost of each car insurance policy goes towards paying compensation for whiplash, which hit a record figure last year. The injury is thought to be a major source of fraudulent claims, so much so that the Government is considering banning cash payments and only allowing insurers to pay for physiotherapy instead."

The Singapore Start-Up Scene Is Not Gendered - "In an interview with Channel NewsAsia on 26 February, Infini videos founder Tracy Wong asserts that this scene is female friendly... “Cramps are probably the only obstacles that I reckon men don't face,” says artiste and co-founder of Invasion Singapore Inch Chua, more commonly known as iNCH. She feels that there is no unfair disadvantage to women in the start-up scene in Singapore. Gwen Guo, co-founder of sound design company IMBA Interactive goes further. She says, “The start-up scene in Singapore is friendly for everybody, I wouldn't even make this a gendered thing. I mean if you want to talk about paternal or maternal leave, child-friendly services or generally family-friendly services, these are subject to the flexibility of the start-up founders... When asked about what still needs to happen in start-ups, iNCH boils it down to equal opportunity. “The concept of gender equality has always been a paradox, for as we strive for gender equality we are ignoring the simple fact that men and women are made different and to say that we are truly equal would be unfair"
Feminists might disagree

Ben Shapiro Sends Blunt, Profanity-Laced Message to ‘Bloviating Jackasses’ Who Tried to Shut Down Campus Lecture - "The conservative writer, known for his no-holds-barred rhetoric, posted the profanity-laced message to his Twitter account after student demonstrators pulled the fire alarm during protests aimed at stopping his campus lecture... “Here’s my message to the bloviating jackasses outside: toughen up you spoiled brat snowflakes if you actually want a better world.” “We can have an actual conversation if they were up for it. There are mics here, people can ask questions. They could have engaged that way, they chose not to,” Shapiro continued. “Maybe they are right about how to solve America’s problems. Maybe I’m right. Maybe someone in the audience is right. We are never going to know because they won’t let the conversation happen.” Shapiro concluded, “Not all diversity is bad, some diversity is terrific. The left just ignores the only type of diversity that matters. Until they stop, America will only become a more pinched, bitter divide country, divided by tyrants, like some of those who are standing outside this hall, at the front of your classrooms and in the halls of your administration.”"

Fight To Stop Public Loos Going Down The Pan - "In the past decade, 40% of public toilets across the country have closed, according to figures from the British Toilet Association... The council explains that it has to make "huge savings" across its services. It is now working with local groups to try to keep the toilets open. But campaigner Allan Rapley warns any closure will affect more than just the local community. "Everybody needs a toilet, but some people need it more than others," he says... Many public toilets have been sold off and converted into underground cafes, bars and restaurants... For historian Lee Jackson, author of Dirty Old London, at least it means historically significant buildings don't fall into disrepair... with every closure, Gillian Kemp believes we're heading towards a new public health problem. As leader of the Public Toilets UK campaign, she's calling for loos to be protected by law."

Why British teen girls are really having 'so much drunk sex' - “new research from WHO which suggests that English and Welsh girls are the only ones in Europe who are more likely their male counterparts to get drunk and have sex, and far more likely than other European teens, I was unsurprised. The research has been hailed as a result of “lad culture”, which is a lazy catch-all applied whenever women seem to be enjoying the same freedoms that young men have always revelled in. I find suggestion that girls who are getting drunk and having sex are emulating “lads” infuriating.”

An Experimental Autism Treatment Cost Me My Marriage - The New York Times

Taiji master kills pedestrian while driving under ban and makes student take rap

Big Issue seller marries woman he met when asking for change - "A romance began when a homeless man gave a passerby 50p for her electricity meter – now the couple have pledged to spend the rest of their lives together.

Taj Mahal sees a major fall in foreign tourist arrivals
Maybe they're tired of the discrimination

Paramount says 'Star Trek' fan film's Klingon violates copyright - "For one thing, it believes that speaking Klingon is a violation -- yes, just shouting "qapla'" could get you in trouble. There have been concerns that Paramount might crack down on Klingon use before, but this is the first time it's taking action."

Judge orders Chipotle to rehire worker fired after tweets - "the judge on Monday found that Chipotle's social media policy violated the National Labor Relations Act. Chipotle was ordered to pay back wages to James Kennedy and post notices telling employees some of its past policies violated labor laws. Kennedy had tweeted about the company's "cheap" labor policies. He was fired two weeks later after circulating a petition asking managers to allow workers to take their breaks. The 38-year-old Upper Darby man has since found a job with American Airlines. He says he doesn't want his job back but is willing to accept his back pay in food vouchers."

Malaysia losing millionaires at world’s second-fastest rate - "Over one in four ultra-rich Malaysians are seeking permanent residence abroad, making Malaysia’s emigration rate among the rarefied set second only to China worldwide... the trend, largely credited to a purported lack of opportunities here, could worsen in the coming years if Malaysia continues down the road to conservatism... Over two million Malaysians are estimated to have emigrated since independence in 1957."

Vegan Soldier Rejected By Swiss Army For Refusing To Wear Leather Boots - "Antoni Da Campo, who also had issues with army's menu, is attempting to challenge the ruling in court, claiming that governmental institutions were failing to "account for changes in society," he told Swiss newspaper 24heures Tuesday. The Swiss army, which requires all 19 year-old men to complete a basic national service of 18 to 21 weeks, was unable to meet Da Campo’s strict vegan beliefs and would have struggled logistically to meet the needs of the teenager's diet... At one point, the army doctor told Da Campo to seek authorization from his superior officer to wear imitation leather footwear, but the option was logistically problematic as the army had no pre-approved footwear on offer... Any Individual deemed unfit for military service in Switzerland is required to pay a tax amounting to three percent of their income each year until the age of 30."

Goar: Anti-poverty success airbrushed out - (In Canada) "the concept of a guaranteed annual income (GAI) refused to die...
• During the GAI experiment, Dauphin had a dramatically lower rate of hospital admissions than similar communities in Manitoba.
• Its high-school dropout rate fell and stayed down for a generation.
• It had fewer accidents, serious injuries, arrests and convictions.
• Consultations for mental illness declined.
• And, contrary to policy-makers’ fears, people in Dauphin did not stop working or reduce their hours to get “free” money from the government.
“In all of the indicators I could find for quality of life, people did better,” Forget says.
But she can’t do a proper cost-benefit analysis. “Someone needs to estimate the savings associated with reduced bureaucracy, better education and health outcomes and probably lower costs associated with crime and special education”"

New Zealanders want to give everyone a 'citizen's wage' and scrap benefits - "New Zealand could become one of the first developed countries to scrap benefits and introduce a basic citizens’ income. Leader of the opposition Andrew Little said his Labour party was considering the idea as part of proposals to combat the "possibility of higher structural unemployment". Citizens’ income, also known as Universal Basic Income (UBI), involves a basic, unconditional, fixed payment made to every person in the country by the state in lieu of benefits... Other countries such as Finland and the Netherlands are due to launch similar programmes this year and Canada also recently debated the issue. Switzerland is due to hold a referendum on introducing the measure later this year. It comes after delegates at the SNP spring conference in Glasgow backed a motion to consider the proposal when designing the welfare system of an independent Scotland"

Samsung’s Galaxy S7 makes it a design leader - "The world’s biggest manufacturer of phones is now also one of its best designers. It was in the wake of the poorly received Galaxy S5 in 2014 that Samsung started showing a real commitment to improved industrial design. By the middle of that year, the Korean company had launched the handsome but expensive Galaxy Alpha, which was to provide the outline for a fundamental reform of its entire smartphone portfolio. What’s remarkable is that Samsung had the humility and the diligence to indeed change its ways. That distinguishes it from Sony, which has been talking about reorganizing its mobile division for longer than competitors like Xiaomi have existed, and from HTC, which still clings to its Sense software like an ineffective security blanket. It’s also the difference between Samsung and Nokia: the Finnish company’s prior success made it slow to let goof its Symbian legacy and embrace things like capacitive touchscreens, whereas Samsung has mercilessly scythed away its failed experiments."

Closing Apps to Save Your Battery Only Makes Things Worse

Angela Merkel caught on hot mic pressing Facebook CEO over anti-immigrant posts - "The Facebook CEO was overheard responding that "we need to do some work" on curtailing anti-immigrant posts about the refugee crisis. "Are you working on this?" Merkel asked in English, to which Zuckerberg replied in the affirmative before the transmission was disrupted... Facebook vowed to clean up what it deemed was racist content on the German version of its website. At the time, the social network said it would partner with a non profit group to oversee hate postings. Yet any action from Facebook is likely to stoke concerns about free speech. In the past, the social network has come under suspicion for suppressing or deleting posts and groups that advocate unpopular beliefs"
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