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Monday, April 25, 2016

Links - 28th April 2016

BBC World Service - The Food Chain, The Truth About Diabetes - "Up to 50% of type 2 diabetics actually suffer acute or chronic pain or depression at levels similar to people with terminal cancer"

The Arab world's dirty secret - The New York Times - "I was on my way home on the Cairo Metro, lost in thought as I listened to music when I noticed a young Egyptian taunting a Sudanese girl. She reached out and tried to grab the girl's nose and laughed when the girl tried to brush her hand away... I knew she was Muslim because she wore a scarf. I told her that the way she was treating the Sudanese girl made the scarf on her head meaningless. Her mother asked me why I didn't cover my hair and I replied that I didn't want to be a hypocrite like her and her daughter... The racism I saw on the Cairo Metro has an echo in the Arab world at large, where the suffering in Darfur goes ignored because its victims are black and because those who are creating the misery in Darfur are not Americans or Israelis and we only pay attention when America and Israel behave badly. We love to cry "Islamophobia" when we talk about the way Muslim minorities are treated in the West and yet we never stop to consider how we treat minorities and the most vulnerable among us."

African Refugees Say Arab Muslims More Racist than Europeans - "Arabs hate black people. And that is not from today, it is in their blood"

Pink accused of failing the smell test - "Alfian’s critique may well be spot on. But the implicit assumption behind such a view — that any social movement aimed at objective A must first satisfy the nose test for objective B — is highly problematic. Does one expect an animal rights group to satisfy class-equality standards among all its members, volunteers and supporters? Does one demand that an anti-abortion campaign lean over backwards to ensure gender equality?... To expect a gay-affirmative movement to meet purity standards by other yardsticks — racial views, religious representativeness, age profile, etc — is plain unrealistic. Where an indictment can be made is when a movement applies tests for exclusion unrelated to its key aim. Does a gay movement deliberately exclude people of a certain ethnicity from participation? Does a breast cancer campaign go out of its way to exclude unmarried adults? Does a hamster-lovers’ society turn away atheists? By no stretch of the imagination can such an indictment be made of the Pink Dot movement. But if one says that they were negligent in not making efforts to ensure purity in all other regards, or in purging itself of the various biases that its participants bring in, I would say, that’s just not fair. It’s too tall an order and it’s not what the movement is about. Why should they expend precious energy and resources on that? Don’t forget, people didn’t join to have their minds about ethnicity, religion or vegetarianism changed. They joined to promote the primary cause... Actually, it’s not just Pink Dot. Look around at most civil society, non-profit groups that serve a wider cause (as opposed to clan associations or temple groups) and what you see is the same: Lots of English-speaking middle-class Chinese and Indians... In fact, one group that is way over-represented are the White Singaporeans — who are Permanent Residents if not citizens, but who see Singapore as their second home. The primary denominator is not ethnicity, it’s social class. And for liberal causes, the other chief denominator is the English language and Western acculturisation."

Lauren Campbell's answer to I'm a male feminist of the 'Lean In' persuasion. What is the way forward for feminism - confrontation or collaboration? - Quora - "If feminists want to stop people going down this path then they need to create a space for men within their movement. But people are getting fed up with it and not just men but women as well. Women Against Feminism made waves as a result of the sheer number of women rejecting the feminist label. Karen Straughan is probably one of the most well-known MRAs. Lauren Southern is an aspiring politician and active anti-feminist. There's myself and several other women on Quora who criticize the feminist movement. A lot of us are washing our hands of feminism and trying to create some real progress that can direct men away from the more hate-filled platforms of anti-feminism and trying to discuss and improve issues that affect men. And we are absolutely and completely belittled for our efforts... The feminist movement has the resources, influence and ability to make the changes that men want to see. If feminists got half as worked up about the lack of resources for male domestic violence victims as they do about even something like manspreading then there'd be progress. If feminists cared as much about male rape victims as female rape victims, then there'd be progress"

Roland Mouret: ‘A good dress can do the same job as seeing a shrink’ - "I have a wild temper - I’m French! But the storm cloud passes quickly. I really go for it. I’ll do all the shouting I need to and then it’s over... A good dress can do the same job as seeing a shrink and can often cost less. I reconnect women to their bodies. My clients will often say, “That dress is too good for me,” but it’s just a dress. Have fun with it. Have fun with life. It’s not all meant to be so serious."

Young single people bear the brunt of Generation Y's economic woes - "Single young people are getting poorer compared to the average population even those with dependent children, with stagnating disposable income and onerous living costs pressing down on prosperity... living alone was so important to young people that they were willing to pay a heavy economic price to do so. “The motivation for people to live alone is so strong that people are willing to continue doing it even if it is financially difficult.”
Is "ageism" really the biggest age-related discrimination problem?; should people really bash those who still live with their parents so much?

Japanese firm releases manhole cover collectors' cards - "According to the Japan Visitor website, the covers attract a special kind of tourist - "drainspotters" - who visit from around the world to see their distinctive designs. The covers often feature a symbol specific to an area or town, or a local mascot. Designs are decided upon after asking the public for ideas, or through competitions, GKP spokesperson Hideto Yamada says."

Why Hillary Clinton is struggling to win over America's young women - "Hillary Clinton’s electoral chances are intricately bound up with the political status of middle-aged women... Given the number of issues they face that have nothing to do with being female, some younger women have chafed at older feminists’ apparent insistence that they should vote for Clinton simply because she’s a woman. When Madeleine Albright, a Clinton supporter and the first female Secretary of State, said recently at a Clinton rally that there’s a special place in hell for women who don’t help other women, a phrase she’s used frequently over the years, many younger women supporting Bernie Sanders felt insulted, forcing Albright to clarify what she meant. Second-wave feminist icon Gloria Steinem caused an even bigger stir by suggesting young women supported Sanders, himself a much older man, because “the boys are with Bernie”... Today’s young women construct their identity across a number of categories, and they don’t necessarily prioritise gender over race, class or sexuality... If young women were to cost her the nomination or the presidency, that would set a strange cap on Clinton’s career, which has almost perfectly mirrored women’s shifting place in the American polity"

Burma’s ‘Wild East’ Is a Debauched Land of Drugs and Vice That Reforms Forgot - "On the hotel carpet, in the doorway of Room 286, lay a calling card advertising prostitutes as young as 16. The flat-screen TV shows round-the-clock porn — mostly Japanese housewives punctuated by bronzed American couples — and a sign by the bed lists hotlines serving up yet more sex with teenagers... Carved into a jungle valley on northeastern Shan state’s border with China, Mong La is the biggest town in tiny Special Region 4, a land that Burmese reforms forgot. While much of the former pariah state has witnessed greater freedoms since the election of a quasi-civilian government in 2010, the rebels that run this autonomous fiefdom — slightly smaller than Delaware — have instead pursued freewheeling economic policies based around garish Chinese casinos. After authorities across the border in Yunnan province began to restrict access following stories of gambling excess, rising numbers of Chinese began entering illegally to head to the casinos, to party and to do business... Mong La runs on Beijing time, 90 minutes ahead of Burma proper — the country is now officially called Myanmar. Every word spoken is in Mandarin, and everything paid for in Chinese renminbi"

Ben Nevis Rescue For Woman In Shorts - "A woman wearing shorts and trainers in blizzard conditions and carrying only a selfie stick has been rescued from Ben Nevis, Britain's highest mountain. Sara Albone, 28, said she had decided to climb the mountain on the spur of the moment while she was taking part in a mountain biking tour through Scotland. But the cross-country runner had only taken the light clothing for her bike trip - not the ice pick, poles and emergency shelter advised by experts for a trip up the snow-capped mountain. She subsequently began to develop hypothermia after becoming disorientated... "Being irresponsible means others have to go out of their way to help""

Flex tampon is designed to be worn during sex - ""We've built a product that allows couples to increase their opportunity to have sex by 23 per cent," she continued. "The great tragedy of people avoiding sex on their period is that this is really the time when women want it most.""

The Case Against Low-Fat Milk Is Stronger Than Ever - "people who had higher levels of three different byproducts of full-fat dairy had, on average, a 46% lower risk of getting diabetes during the study period than those with lower levels... Since full-fat dairy products contain more calories, many experts assumed avoiding it would lower diabetes risk. But studies have found that when people reduce how much fat they eat, they tend to replace it with sugar or carbohydrates, both of which can have worse effects on insulin and diabetes risk... among 18,438 women in the Women’s Health Study, those who consumed the most high-fat dairy products lowered their risk of being overweight of obese by 8%. Together, the body of data is beginning to reveal both that full-fat dairy has a place in a healthy diet, and also how focusing on one nutrient in the diet may backfire... While it’s not entirely clear how whole fat is helping to lower risk of diabetes, it’s possible that it’s working on several different levels to regulate insulin and glucose. At the simplest level, people eating more high fat dairy products will have enough calories so they won’t feel hungry enough to need additional calories from sugary foods. It’s also possible that the fats in dairy may be acting directly on cells, working on the liver and muscle to improve their ability to break down sugar from food. And then there’s the possibility that for certain high fat dairy foods, like cheese, which is fermented, microbes may be working to improve insulin response and lower diabetes risk too."

India's fastest train Gatimaan Express brings the Taj Mahal closer to Delhi - "In a departure from most Indian trains, the Gatimaan Express will have train hostesses greeting passengers with a rose. Passengers will also be able to access free on-board entertainment, and watch videos on their smartphones, tablets and laptops without Wi-Fi. Tourists can also opt for one and two day packages, which include guided tours of the Taj Mahal and other heritage sites in Agra."

Game Of Thrones star Isaac Hempstead Wright grows up on set with decapitated heads - ""Seeing these layers of screaming girls is something I haven't experienced before"... One way in which the show had an impact on their lives was that the family conversation about the facts of life came earlier. She laughs: "I wanted to be the one who told him rather than have him learn from an HBO show.""

Aurora motel owner for decades spied on guests having sex, author says - "And one year he created an annual report "trying to identify significant social trends," Talese writes. "In 1973, he noted that of the 296 sexual acts he'd witnessed, 195 involved white heterosexuals, who favored the missionary position. Over all, he counted 184 male orgasms and 33 female orgasms.""

That North Korean News Twitter Account Is Fake - "You may have seen a strange North Korean news account floating around the Twitters recently. DPRK News Service (@DPRK_News) sends out weird messages posing as an official mouthpiece of the authoritarian regime... CNN, Newsweek, and Fox News have all quoted the account as a real voice coming from the North Korean government. And even though these news outlets clearly should have taken a minute to realize that it’s fake, it’s not hard to see why they were fooled. Many of the tweets are only about 10 percent more ludicrous than the real English-language news feed of North Korea."

7 Tranquil Islands To Visit in Singapore To Escape From The City Life

Parliament: Law enforcement to use public transport camera, ERP data to fight terrorism, says ShanmugamTimes - " - "Law enforcement agencies here will begin using data from public transport video cameras and the Electronic Road Pricing (ERP) system to track travel patterns of suspicious individuals... Stressing again how the threat of terror attack on Singapore is at its highest in recent times, Mr Shanmugam explained that "in this heightened threat environment, we have to use all available resources at our disposal ". And this includes the Government's about-turn to use data provided by public transport video cameras and the ERP system for tracking purposes."
Meanwhile, ERPII...; what happens if one day a rogue government comes to power?

Nostalgia effect: Do consumers spend more when thinking about the past? - "We wondered why nostalgia is so commonplace in marketing. One reason could be that feeling nostalgic weakens a person's desire for money. In other words, someone might be more likely to buy something when they are feeling nostalgic... when people have higher levels of social connectedness and feel that their wants and needs can be achieved through the help of others, their ability to prioritize and keep control over their money becomes less pressing"
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