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Valar Qringaomis

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Friday, April 08, 2016

Links - 8th April 2016

Effects of Apple Consumption on Lipid Profile of Hyperlipidemic and Overweight Men - "Consumption of Golden delicious apple may be increased serum TG and VLDL in hyperlipidemic and overweight men"

Science Says 'Baby Fever' Affects Men, Too - "positive exposure to babies (mainly those who are behaving) intensifies the urge to have children. Meanwhile, negative contact — think screaming, kicking, stinky baby — suppressed the urge. Considering the obvious trade-offs (children mean less freedom, less money) was another factor in the intensity of baby fever. Also worth mentioning: For women, the urge to have a child dampens after the first baby. For men, however, one kid means a sudden desire to have even more."

Why animal bodies tend to get bigger over time - "New research offers fresh support for Cope’s rule, a 19th-century theory that suggests animal evolution trends toward larger sizes through time... over the past 542 million years, the mean size of marine animals has increased 150-fold. “That’s the size difference between a sea urchin that is about 2 inches long versus one that is nearly a foot long,” says Noel Heim, a postdoctoral researcher in Payne’s lab. “This may not seem like a lot, but it represents a big jump.”"

Uncovering the Mysteries of Tax Optimization - "“One of the most startling, and scariest, place we visited was the Singapore Freeport. It’s a gigantic building that houses the world’s fortunes. Situated just of the airport runway, it allows the rich to land, and directly stash their treasures without ever entering the country,” recounts Woods. “There, we spoke with a Swiss man who upon learning that we were from Florence, exclaimed: ‘We have more art here than in Florence’s Uffizi.’ Nothing that he, or his peers, are doing is illegal. The problem is that the law itself is wrong. Only by making people aware of this can we hope for structural change.”"

The Simple Truth About Gun Control - "the central insight of the modern study of criminal violence is that all crime—even the horrific violent crimes of assault and rape—is at some level opportunistic. Building a low annoying wall against them is almost as effective as building a high impenetrable one...The more guns there are in a country, the more gun murders and massacres of children there will be. Even within this gun-crazy country, states with strong gun laws have fewer gun murders (and suicides and accidental killings) than states without them. (Hemenway is also the scientist who has shown that the inflated figure of guns used in self-defense every year, running even to a million or two million, is a pure fantasy, even though it’s still cited by pro-gun enthusiasts. Those hundreds of thousands intruders shot by gun owners left no records in emergency wards or morgues; indeed, left no evidentiary trace behind. This is because they did not exist.) Hemenway has discovered, as he explained in this interview with Harvard Magazine, that what is usually presented as a case of self-defense with guns is, in the real world, almost invariably a story about an escalating quarrel. “How often might you appropriately use a gun in self-defense?” Hemenway asks rhetorically. “Answer: zero to once in a lifetime. How about inappropriately—because you were tired, afraid, or drunk in a confrontational situation? There are lots and lots of chances.”"
One bizarre adhoc argument I've been presented with: guns prevent crime because when would-be criminals see "good" people with guns and their guns, they do not commit the crime

Feminist hate explodes on Twitter with #killallmen - "
“If a group of men – or worse, a group of MRAs – would’ve done something like that, the entire society would have demanded their heads on the sticks. Yet feminists can get away with virtually anything – from making a mockery out of genital mutilation to outright calling for the extermination of the male sex” he said. “Some countries put people in jail for even saying something positive about the genocide of Jews – yet when it’s men as a sex, anything goes. If this is not cultural misandry, I don’t know what it is”"

1979 Seizure of the Grand Mosque in Mecca - "A team of three French commandos from the Groupe d’Intervention de la Gendarmerie Nationale (GIGN) arrived in Mecca. Because of the prohibition against non-Muslims entering the holy city, they converted to Islam in a brief, formal ceremony"

Why Muslim Dr Taj Hargey is launching campaign to ban the burka in Britain - "there is no unqualified human right to wear whatever we want in public. In every developed society, personal freedoms have to take account of wider social mores...
The wearing of the face mask is a custom originating in ancient Persia and Byzantium, more than 1,000 years before the birth of Islam. It was upheld by male aristocrats because of social snobbery rather than religion, since they did not want their womenfolk — wives, daughters, sisters or mothers — to be seen by the peasantry... verse 32 of chapter 33 in the Koran explicitly states that ‘the Prophet’s wives are not like other women’. So there is no reason to emulate them. Just as revealingly, it is forbidden for Muslim women going on pilgrimages to Mecca to cover their faces. So if such a pre-Islamic practice is banned in Islam’s holiest site, why on earth would it be required on the streets of Britain?... Al-Azhar, the leading institution of Muslim theology in the Islamic world, declared that the burka has no spiritual authenticity... If I tried to wear a ski-mask on a bus or at a bank, I would quickly be told to remove the item or leave, or be arrested. Why should the same rules not apply to Muslim women?"

Blunkett wants broadcasters to dub rather than subtitle foreign dramas - "David Blunkett has called on broadcasters to dub more foreign dramas so that blind members of the audience like himself are able to enjoy imports such as The Killing. Writing in the Radio Times, the former Cabinet Minister said he found the amount of foreign dramas and documentaries broadcast with subtitles but not available in dubbed versions, “incredibly frustrating”. “There is an increasing tendency for overseas material to be broadcast without being dubbed,” Mr Blunkett wrote. “That’s difficult enough for French and German programmes, but with the trend for excellent crime and political dramas from Scandinavia, it’s simply impossible for most of us." “I would have loved to enjoy The Killing and Borgen, but both shows were screened on BBC4 with English subtitles and no over-dubbing. I appreciate that many people don’t like dubbed dialogue, but if you’re blind it’s invaluable – you can piece together the storylines simply by listening to what is said.”"
To accommodate deaf people as well, I suppose you need to both subtitle and dub the dramas

A Brazilian Fish Stew Called Moqueca - "this dish taste really similar to the local curry fares, sort of like our curry fish head, though less spicy and creamier in comparison. Thereupon, I am sure a lot of Asians will love the natural flavours in this dish as well."

Memorization is Not a Dirty Word - "Disdain for memorization is a relatively new phenomenon in education. In ancient times, people took great pains and pride in memorizing huge quantities of information. The advent of printing greatly reduced the need to memorize history and cultural mores. In modern times, we have the Internet... We think and solve problems with what is in working memory, which in turn is memory of currently available information or recall of previously memorized information. The process of thinking is like streaming video on the Internet: information flows in as short frames onto the virtual scratch pad of working memory, successively replaced by new chunks of information from real-time or recalled memory. Numerous studies show that the amount of information you can hold in working memory is tightly correlated with IQ and problem-solving ability... Memorization trains the brain to develop learning and memory schemas that facilitate future learning. Learning schemas develop as you acquire competence in an area—call it skill A. Now, when you need to learn a new and related skill, B, you mind says to itself, “I don’t know how to do B. But I do know how to do A, and some of that can be applied to learning B.” Memory schemas are memorized frames of reference and association, where having memorized fact A, you have an association handle for memorizing fact B."

Ex-teacher jailed 4.5 years for sex with student - "In 2004, the accused told the teenager that he was undergoing divorce proceedings and his wife had booted him out of their marital home. He started renting a room in her house for S$150 to S$200 a month. Over the next few years, the man and the girl had numerous sexual encounters at home and in rented cars and hotel rooms... Even after they ended their relationship, the man continued to live with the girl and her mother, and even took videos of the two while they were showering in the bathroom. In 2013, the girl discovered video footage of their trysts, as well as the videos of her mother and her in the shower, among his belongings. The cops were called, and he was arrested on Aug 23, 2013."

Police pull over speeding hearse, find half a ton of caviar

In Photos: The World's Oldest Cave Art - "Archaeologists may have discovered Earth's oldest known cave art. Dating back to around 40,000 years ago, paintings in Indonesian caves of human hands and pig-deer may be the oldest ever found — or, at the very least, comparable in age to cave art in Europe. Here's a look at the rock art, discovered and dated from seven caves sites in Sulawesi, an island of Indonesia."

Gay Activists Need to Get Beyond Blackmail - "They claim, through a chain of causation, that marriage is discriminatory and that it follows that such discrimination is a cause of depression, which in turn ­causes suicide in LGBTI people. If so, the significant changes to Australian attitudes to LGBTI people and the removal of every conceivable form of official discrimination against LGBTI people in the past two or more decades should have resulted in a diminution of the suicide rate. ­Indeed, evidence would be essential if one were to argue that marriage, the last and arguably least important bastion of alleged discrimination, is to fall. Unfortunately for Beyond Blue, there is no Australian data to test this proposition. However, in Denmark and Canada, where LGBTI marriage is accepted, the evidence is not encouraging... LGBT suicides were nevertheless less than for the population. The 2007 Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing (Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2010) for example, found that 1.9 per cent of men and women reported being homosexual or bisexual. The Queensland study suggested no difference in the prevalence of psychiatric disorder among LGBT suicides but that it was likelier that depression was mentioned as a factor. However, the rates of diagnosis for depression were not significantly different. The real insights were that fully two-thirds of LGBT individuals experienced relationship problems compared with one-third in comparison cases. Relationship conflict was significantly more common in LGBT cases (31 per cent versus 10 per cent in comparison cases). Interpersonal conflict was more frequent among LGBT individuals (14 per cent) than in comparison cases (5 per cent), with the difference “approaching statistical significance”. In addition, other factors such as fear of contracting HIV, social isolation and alienation, and conflict over sexuality were more common among LGBT cases."

Will the ASEAN Economic Community mean free movement of labour? - "In the EU a citizen can freely move, reside and seek employment in any member state, regardless of skill level, but the AEC has a far more limited approach. It is only making concessions to eight professions at this point in time: engineering, nursing, architecture, medicine, dentistry, tourism, surveying and accounting. This is less than 1.5 per cent of the ASEAN labour force. There are, however, further limitations on the free movement of that small slice of skilled workers. There are minimum years of experience requirements, labour market tests, pre-employment requirements such as health clearances and numerous other domestic immigration and professional boxes to tick."

Bill Clinton: Gender and Racial Politics 'Greatest Threat' to Country's Future? - ""I believe that in ways large and small, peaceful and sometimes violent, that the biggest threat to the future of our children and grandchildren is the poison of identity politics that preaches that our differences are far more important than our common humanity," he told the crowd of activists, celebrities, and lawmakers."

Wife thought delivery man sex was with her husband - "Amit Hamal, 22, a Nepalese national, was delivering Indian food to the woman's house when he walked past her bedroom, noticed she was alseep and proceded to remove her pants and have sexual intercourse. Her husband, who had fallen asleep in the lounge while waiting for the food to arrive, denied having sex with her when she raised it the following morning, saying it must have been a vivid dream. It was not until Hamal called the house later that day and suggested they become casual sex partners that she realised she had been sexually assaulted... Hamal's barrister, Charles Waterstreet, said Hamal had grown up in a ''repressed society'' and the availability of casual sex in Western society ''was quite an eye opener'' when he arrived in Australia in 2009... Hamal found the front door open when he arrived at the Rose Bay house about 9.15pm on July 16, 2010, more than two hours after the order was placed. ''Stepping inside the bedroom may have been a bit too far,'' Mr Waterhouse said... That he was arrested two days later at the airport in possession of a one-way ticket to Kathmandu showed he knew his actions were wrong."

catherinelim.sg » A Writer’s Roller-Coaster Ride - "resentment was building up against me in the Eurasian community. The cause of their anger was one particular story in the book, entitled ‘Kenneth Jerome Rozario.’ It is about a Eurasian schoolboy who comes from a broken home, lives with an aunt who has little time for him, gets his girlfriend pregnant and has to leave school. The story ends with him sitting on the ledge of a high-rise building, his legs dangling over the edge. There is a blissful smile on his face as he listens to a gently mournful song coming from his radio, inviting him to a happier world. His family and girlfriend are frantically pleading with him not to jump... I wish I had been given the chance to explain that in a work of fiction (unlike a work of non-fiction, such as a social commentary), the views expressed by the characters in dialogue are not necessarily those of the writer, but are there to serve some literary purpose, such as to delineate a character more sharply, contrast him/her with other characters, provide a local flavour and authenticity, reinforce the writer’s use of irony, etc. The complaint against me was taken right up to the Minister of Education, together with a request for the book to be withdrawn as a literature text for the exams...
For a while, I was furious enough to wallow in the peevish self-indulgence of exaggerated rhetoric: So will the Indian community also make the request to the Ministry to withdraw my book because another story tells about a Mr Velloo who is poor, shabbily dressed, quarrelsome, his mouth permanently reddened by his ceray chewing? Will the Teochew community complain too about dialectal bias because one of my stories is about a proud Hokkien patriarch who refuses to allow his daughter to marry into a Teochew family?"
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