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Valar Qringaomis

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Friday, April 01, 2016

Links - 1st April 2016

Somebody created a Chrome plugin to remove all the #RememberingLKY posts on Facebook

Donald Trump will win in a landslide. *The mind behind ‘Dilbert’ explains why. - "Trump is well on his way to owning the identities of American, Alpha Males, and Women Who Like Alpha Males. Clinton is well on her way to owning the identities of angry women, beta males, immigrants, and disenfranchised minorities. If this were poker, which hand looks stronger to you for a national election?"

More than 3,200 families benefited from HOPE scheme since 2004: MSF - "“The scheme is intended for lower income couples who wish to keep their family size small and are committed to upgrading themselves and achieving a better life for themselves and their children,” said Ms Low. She also said that nine in 10 HOPE families have remained on the programme and have up to two children. As for those who choose to leave the programme, she said: “Of the 306 families who have withdrawn, 80 per cent do so within five years of joining the programme. About 40 per cent indicated they wish to have a third child.”"
Eugenics? Saving taxpayers' money? Both?

Coolcreativity - F.A.I.L = First Attempt In Learning!

The world’s social media habits uncovered in new UCL study - "The landmark project saw nine UCL anthropologists each spend 15 months living in eight countries* in communities as varied as an English village, a factory town in North China, and a community on the Turkish-Syrian border...
Social media is seen as enhancing education by low-income families , and hindering education by high-income families
Contrary to popular belief, social media is not making us more individualistic or narcissistic – it is in fact reinforcing our sense of family and community
Selfies look different around the world: people take ‘footies’ in Chile, selfies, ‘groupies’ and ‘uglies’ in the UK, and more traditional selfies in Italy and Brazil. In China selfies are popular among young men, whereas in India and on the Turkish-Syrian border they are seen as too informal for the formal space of social media...
Memes are now the moral police of online life: memes range from more serious, religious themes in India, to the humorous as with parody and jokes about politicians in Trinidad. But in both cases, memes often assert one set of values and criticise others. People who might be shy about expressing their own values and opinions often use memes instead
We tend to assume social media is a threat to privacy, but sometimes it can increase privacy: in most regions there is considerable anxiety about the threat to privacy posed by social media. But some of the largest populations in East and South Asia live in extended families with limited expectations of individual privacy. For them social media can be their first experience of this kind of privacy"

Hillingdon Council bans standing in pairs in town centre as Public Space Protection Order - "Councils are creating ‘bizarre’ offences – including Hillingdon Council’s ban on standing in pairs (unless you’re at a bus stop). Specifically, you’re banned from assembling in groups of ‘more than one’ in Hayes town centre, and a few other areas, unless waiting for a bus. A survey by the Manifesto Club found 79 councils have used Public Space Protection Orders (PSPOs) to ban activities judged to have a ‘detrimental effect on the quality of life of those in the locality’ since they came into force in October 2014. The civil liberties group said 130 PSPOs have been issued by councils, including 12 bans on loitering or congregating in groups, nine bans on swearing, three on face coverings, and two on aggressive or assertive charity collection. The powers have led to peculiar offences, with a move by North East Derbyshire Council to ban people from playing golf in a park including the prohibition of carrying golf equipment in the area, the campaigners said. Blackpool Council has banned people from ‘engaging youth in card tricks as a means of appropriating money” alongside the sale of lucky charms and heather in its city centre. And Kettering Borough Council has banned under-18s from an area of town between the hours of 11pm and 8am, effectively putting in place a curfew... ‘PSPOs are being routinely used by local authorities to criminalise a wide range of innocuous activities with minimal consultation or debate."

The teddy bear that went to war and then went viral - Telegraph - "“I was interested to read about the teddy bear that accompanied a Battle of Britain pilot as I too have a little bear, with my maiden name tape sewn on it, which I gave to my fiancé to take with him on his operations over Germany during the Second World War. “He was a Mosquito nightfighter pilot and flew 50 ops accompanied by my bear, and together they won the DFC [Distinguished Flying Cross]. “We were married for 50 years but now, sadly, I just have the bear.” With three sentences of perfect prose, Mrs Mellows had ensured readers of The Telegraph letters page were wiping their eyes over breakfast, clearing their throats and asking for the marmalade to be passed. Within 48 hours of its publication at the end of last week, her letter had been shared hundreds of times on social media, with many wanting to know more about the bear, the DFC – and Mrs Mellows... “We were totally innocent. We did not give ourselves to each other until we were married – even though every leave could have been the last time we met. It’s a big point I want to make.” She stresses it later: “It was the discipline many of us had at the time. I want my children and grandchildren to know that.” She obviously suspects that I have her down as a hussy – and, looking at her engagement photos, you can tell she would have turned plenty of heads."

BBC Radio 4 - Best of Today, A history of celebrating 'safe and bland' music - "The music was black in origin. The original rock and roll music in America was black. It was then picked up by white musicians but as far as the establishment was concerned, the taint was still there.'
'Rock and Roll is the most destructive force in the country. A lewd, lascivious and larcenous influence on youth'...
'The rhythm itself they regarded as dangerous'
'There seems to be something about the idea of young people first of all enjoying themselves, secondly dancing and third, throwing themselves around in a vaguely sexual manner that really upsets people and that I think carries on to this day... racism did always use to be behind it... these days we're much more of a colour-blind country. I think when it comes to our musical taste. But perhaps the music business establishment isn't quite so colour-blind... the only thing that tends to be shocking is the voice of young black people. Particularly if they're making music that to white unschooled ears sounds aggressive or sounds threatening in some way. There is still this sense in our society that although we try to be colour-blind, when there are young black men shouting, we don't go 'okay they're acting in the same way as Marlon Brandon and Robert de Niro in gangster movies', we actually see it as some kind of threat to society"

Sweden is on track to become the world's first cashless society - "Right now, there's less than 80 billion Swedish crowns in circulation (about EUR8 billion) and Arvidsson says out of that, only 40 to 60 percent is actually still in regular circulation. The remainder has been buried in people’s backyards, in their sock drawers, or is being used for criminal activity. To give you an idea of how quickly the Swedes are rejecting cash, just six years ago, that figure was up around SEK106 billion. There are a couple of main factors that appear to have contributed to Sweden’s rapid swift towards electronic-only transactions. Not only have businesses done away with the 'minimum spend' rule when it comes to EFTPOS and credit card transactions, but there’s been a huge uptake of mobile app called Swish, which is the result of a collaboration between several major Swedish and Danish banks... "Swedes are pretty trusting and we’re used to embracing new technology so this was the perfect solution"... The other factor at play is the country’s crackdown on money laundering and organised crime, which has set so many guidelines in place about cash use, most people just opt for Swish or bank cards. "At the offices which do handle banknotes and coins, the customer must explain where the cash comes from, according to the regulations aimed at money laundering and terrorist financing," says Arvidsson, adding that if any cash transactions are considered 'suspicious' by bank staff, they're required to file a police report. "In general, the rule of thumb in Scandinavia is: 'If you have to pay in cash, something is wrong,'" writes Mikael Krogerus for Credit Suisse... two-thirds of Swedes think carrying cash is a human right, whether or not they actually want to do it"

BBC Radio 4 - Best of Today, The man who stood trial with Nelson Mandela - "I would rather put up a poster which says 'Bastard Exploiter', but that would have meaning. The removal of it takes away the right to expose, to debate, and what's proper: we cut into our right to Free Speech... [I would say to the South African student organising the {Cecil} Rhodes must Fall campaign] reshape your campaign to expose what Rhodes did and how the legacy continues in South Africa today and that is what you must fight"
Maybe the protestors will tell Denis Goldberg to Check His Privilege

BBC Radio 4 - Best of Today, Will new EU measures prevent tax avoidance? - "It is quite true that Google make a tenth of their sales, ballpark terms, in the UK. It's also quite true that under current international tax rules... we don't go pro-rata to Sales, we go pro-rata to where the kind of valuable economic activity is... the software development would be a huge part of what Google does. So whether this is a good deal or a bad deal, you would never expect it to get to 10% of Google's [profit]... A Scotch Whiskey producer which sells half its stuff in the States and Japan would not expect to pay half of its corporation tax in the States and Japan"

Male Investors vs. Female Investors: How Do They Compare? - WSJ - "financial institutions and academics who have studied the respective investing habits of men and women do agree: Men are generally more confident about investing, while women are more goal-directed and trade less."

Woman shocked that plate of rice with fried chicken and veggies cost $20 -- even if it's from MBS food court - "Stomper Lu feels that it is 'ridiculous' that her maid was charged $20 for a plate of rice with vegetables and two and a half pieces of fried chicken. The incident happened on Mar 5 and the meal was purchased from a stall at a food court in Marina Bay Sands. A stall employee later told Lu that the price of the meal came largely from the chicken, as one piece cost $7 each... "My maid went around and she chose this stall 'The Malay Cuisine'. She ordered a plate of rice with a piece of chicken and one vegetable. This plate cost me $20.00!!"
Malay Economy Rice is an oxymoron

The Ideological Lens - "There is a ubiquitous trend in intellectual spaces of adopting an ideological lens through which to view media, people or events. A brief Google search for “feminist lens” will turn up dozens of academic papers and analyses from a “critical feminist perspective“. A search for “Marxist lens” will provide you with endless book and movie reviews of celebrated classics from the perspective of class conflict... However, it is rarely asked by those applying these “critical perspectives” whether or not they should apply a specific ideological lens to their perspective when viewing an item or situation. Invariably, the critic approaching the corpus holds the ideological position they are about to use to critique the work, making the analysis a self-contained, self-congratulatory, one-person circle-jerk to reaffirm that their ideological position is, indeed, the most correct one and that any competing ideologies are not only wrong but beyond recovery and so can be dismissed without further contemplation. A feminist conducting an analysis through a feminist lens is not learning anything new, they are masturbating... The term ‘lens’ is used because an ideological lens is analogous to an actual lens. If you look at the world through coloured lenses they filter out colours that do not match the tint of the lens. If one were to remain wearing the lens after it has served its purpose then one is receiving a distorted view of the world... Once one is convinced that the ideology they hold is not only correct but also morally superior, it’s easy to use it to fill in the gaps regarding the personality and motivations of one’s ideological opposition."

All secondary schools to receive Lee Kuan Yew-inspired workbook - "All secondary school students will receive a copy of a book inspired by the country's founding Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew to commemorate his first death anniversary. Mr Lee died last year on Mar 23, aged 91... Featuring extracts from newspaper articles and interviews with Mr Lee, his quotes as well as historical photographs, the book seeks to inspire readers to persevere regardless of the challenges they face in realising their dreams... one of the activities has students learning about how Mr Lee's vision of a corruption-free nation required tremendous moral courage. Students would then reflect on under which situations they could also exercise moral courage. "
It needs to be red. And smaller

Tragic World Map
Comment (elsewhere): "Are there commensurate 'centricity maps' for how other parts of the world view themselves vis-a-vis disasters outside of their own region? Or is it just 'The West' that is constantly judged by everyone else while conveniently ignoring all evidence to the contrary? Because if our response to our slaughter is to be scrutinised every time then some relativity would be good. You might want to check maps of which countries contribute most aid to natural and political disasters such as Syria, Darfur, floods in Pakistan and Bangladesh. They would show that 'The West' puts its money where its mouth is massively more than any other regions of the world both in total terms and per capita. Then there is the West providing most of the funding for UN development programmes and the WHO and other world bodies etc etc etc. It's also the West that takes the lead and devoted immediate attention and resource to Ebola and other pandemics. Are you even aware that the majority of the Palestinian Authority budget is also supplied by the EU and the USA for all the recognition that ever gets us from people who may shout louder but give nothing like we do to alleviate suffering there. The examples are endless so this map is just beyond myopic. The West doesn't owe it to the world to be all things to all people and part of the problem is that there is hardly any gratitude, just expectation. Therefore the map is false. We are expected not to judge one group of people over another but it's fine to judge all of us in this way and deny us even a day or two to have centricity towards our trauma? Wow."

Nikki Chao - IMDb - "Nikki Chao was born on March 7, 1980 in Singapore. She is an actress, known for China Dolls (2008) and Gagged Girls Compilation #2 (2012). See full bio »
Born: March 7, 1980 in Singapore"
Annabel Chong isn't Singapore's only porn star!
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