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More adventurous than the average bear

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Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Links - 10th May 2016

London's First Clothing-Optional Restaurant Has a Waiting List of Over 15,000 - "A pop up restaurant in London is making waves nearly two months before its grand opening, thanks to its controversial ‘clothing optional’ policy. The Bunyadi, which all set to open in June for three months, will have two separate ‘clothed’ and ‘unclothed’ sections for patrons to choose from. “The idea is to experience true liberation,” said Seb Lyall, founder of Lollipop, the company behind the venture. “People should get the chance to enjoy and experience a night out without any impurities: no chemicals, no artificial colors, no electricity, no gas, no phone, and even no clothes if they wish to. We have worked very hard to design a space where everything patrons interact with is bare and naked.” And of course, the staff will be in the nude as well, with certain body parts strategically covered up."

Ohio University students demand police investigation after peers mock safe-spaces - "The College Republicans (CR) at Ohio University (OU) wrote a message on their school’s “Graffiti Wall” that mocked the idea of safe spaces, causing some students to demand a police investigation into the matter. “Trigger Warning: There are no safe spaces in real life. You can’t wall off the First Amendment,” CR members painted on the wall, later claiming responsibility for the messages. In response, one student demanded a “mandatory investigation” and another vowed to “beat the shit” out of the CR members... a group of anonymous students painted the slogans “Build the Wall” and “Trump 2016” on the free speech wall, rendering the involvement of OU’s president, who apologized to students who were “hurt” by the messages."
Safe spaces mean you can beat up people you hate

Resurrecting the Selous Scouts to Destroy ISIS - "In the mid 1960’s and throughout the 1970’s, Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) faced a boiling communist inspired insurgency that sought to overthrow the existing government that was led by the descendants of European settlers. The Rhodesian Bushwar would last over fifteen years, coming on the heels of the Malayan Emergency and the Vietnam Conflict. Faced with bureaucratic constraints and operational shortcomings, the Rhodesians were forced to maximize the potential of their meager resources by creating highly reliable small unit forces that could conduct raids and “pseudo-operations” against rebel forces. Among these units were the Rhodesian Light Infantry Commandos (RLI), the Rhodesian SAS and the Selous Scouts. Though modern circumstances have changed, the tactics of the Selous Scouts continue to be relevant and apply to the ongoing fight against ISIS and the Global War on Terror... The strategy of the Selous Scouts was to conduct “pseudo-operations” (false flag) by pretending to be guerillas themselves and luring the true guerillas into ambushes or to gather intelligence about guerilla operations/tradecraft. The Selous Scouts would also attempt to turn captured guerillas making them “tamed terrs” and incorporating them into the unit."

Hideously diverse Britain | What makes a Sikh join the far right? - "Both say they want to fight Muslim "extremism"... "Look at all these places serving up halal," he says. "Sikhs can't eat halal. Every time a KFC or a Subway goes halal, that's one more place that we can't eat.""

White boy suspended for claiming 'African' prize - Telegraph - "A white teenager who moved from South Africa to America six years ago was suspended from school after nominating himself for a "Distinguished African-American Student of the Year" prize. Trevor Richards, 16, was accused of "showing disrespect" to black pupils at Westside High School in Omaha, Nebraska. It is thought he is the only pupil to have lived in Africa"

Bald Men: More Masculine, Less Attractive? - "A new study indicates men who choose to go bald by shaving their heads are perceived as being more masculine, even taller and physically stronger - although less attractive than men with a full head of hair."

Let's start the foodie backlash - "The name of the Food Rave is entirely appropriate for a modern culture in which food is the last ingestible substance you can indulge in with obsessiveness without being frowned on by society. Alex James, the Blur bassist turned gentleman cheese farmer and Sun food columnist, has said: "My 20th birthday party was all about booze, my 30th birthday was about drugs, and now I realise that my 40s are about food"... That food and religion alone should buck the negative trend is no coincidence, for modern food books are there to answer metaphysical or "lifestyle" rather than culinary aspirations, and celebrity chefs themselves are the gurus of the age... Everywhere in the ideology of foodism we see a yearning for food to be able to fill a spiritual void. Food is about "spirituality" and "expressing our identity", claims modern food-knight Michael Pollan. His celebrated catechism of modern foodism, The Omnivore's Dilemma, speaks of eating with a "full consciousness", and claims that every meal has its "karmic price"; it ends with the declaration that "what we're eating is never anything more or less than the body of the world". And so chewing on pork products becomes a sublime union of self with planet, a Gaian eucharist. Note, too, how many manuals of eating are termed "bibles"... Gluttony, on the original understanding, wasn't necessarily a matter of eating too much; it was the problem of being excessively interested in food, whatever one's actual intake of it... In an experiment, two psychologists gave different groups of people Heston Blumenthal's "Crab Ice-Cream" while describing it differently: one group was told it was about to eat a "savoury mousse", the other was expecting "ice-cream". The people given savoury mousse liked it, but the people thinking they were eating ice-cream found it "digusting" and even "the most unpleasant food they had ever tasted"

Kaiting Cheng | Singapore Lifestyle Blogger: A Day in the Life of a Cleaner - "I read this very interesting news article that said that Taipei, with a few million people, has 5,000 cleaners. Do you know how many cleaners we have in Singapore? We have five million people and get this, 70.000(!!!) cleaners. That’s equivalent to the size of TWO Singapore armies. The contrast between the two cities is so so so ridiculous I haven’t yet been able to wrap my head around this. So here begets an important question, as important as the chicken and egg question. Is Singapore a clean or cleaned city?"

How the Green leaders have alienated almost everyone - [On Sweden's pro-immigration Green Party] "The spokespersons, a term they prefer to leaders, have come under intense fire since it emerged last week that the then housing minister, Mehmet Kaplan, had kept company with Turkish extremists. The leadership pair deflected the criticism, even when a clip showed up of Kaplan comparing Israel to Nazi Germany, and they continued to back the minister after he announced his resignation at a joint press conference with the prime minster, Stefan Löfven. They weren’t helped much by party veteran Per Gahrton, who somehow managed to blame Israel for stirring the pot. Romson then found herself in the eye of the storm when she referred to the 9/11 terrorist attacks at “accidents”... More trouble loomed around the corner when a rising star in the overtly feminist party, Yasri Khan, refused to shake a female journalist’s hand. He resigned but commentators were left wondering what had happened to the sweet little junior partner in Sweden’s government"

Mercury and Chinese herbal medicine - "In the traditional Chinese medicine, Chinese herbal medicine, besides herbs, contains animal products and minerals. The minerals include two mercurials, Zhu-Sha/Cinnabar (red mercuric sulfide) to bring longevity, and Qing-Fen/calomel (mercurous chloride) to detoxify various poisonous conditions. Mercury as adulterant or contaminant in Chinese patent medicines of herbal origin has been well documented."

Why TCM products are seen as poison pills abroad - "Britain's Medicines and Health Care Products Regulatory Agency issued a press release warning that extreme caution should be used with a number of traditional Chinese medicines (TCM) because they could contain dangerously high levels of toxins, including lead, mercury and arsenic"

Mercury, lead, and other heavy metals in Chinese medicines - Springer - "Ninety-nine samples of common Chinese medicines were purchased from Chinese medical shops in Singapore and Malaysia and analyzed for mercury, lead, copper, cadmium, cobalt, iron, and nickel. The majority of these medicines were manufactured in China, Hong Kong, and Malaysia. A few of them were of Singapore and Taiwan origin. Atomic absorption method (both flame and flameless) was used for the analyses. Mercury was found to be present in high concentrations in several of the medicines that were for oral consumption."

Refugees refusing to leave bus in 'too cold' Swedish village to be removed - "The group refusing to get off the bus have complained about being in a forest dozens of kilometres from the nearest town, and many of them have demanded to be taken to a big city, or even to Germany."

Sex Baiting Prank on Craigslist Affects Hundreds - "He wandered into the "Casual Encounters" section of the personal ads where countless men and women were soliticing for no-strings-attached sex and wondered, Is it really that easy? As a test, he composed several ads with different permutations of assumed identity and sexual orientation: straight/bi men/women looking for the opposite/same sex. He then posted it to New York, Chicago, and Houston, and tallied the results. Overwhelmingly and instantly, the ads from the fake women looking for male partners were inundated with responses, sometimes several per minute. All the other ads received lukewarm responses, at best."
Addendum: Somehow, some people don't accept this as proof that women can get sex easily

Niceness and Dating Success: A Further Test of the Nice Guy Stereotype - "Proponents of the nice guy stereotype argue that women often say they wish to date kind, sensitive men, but, in reality, still choose to date macho men over nice guys, especially if the macho men are more physically attractive. We investigated the relationship between men’s agreeableness, physical attractiveness, and their dating success across different relationship contexts. One hundred and ninety-one male college students completed a computerized questionnaire to assess their levels of agreeableness and aspects of their dating history. Twenty college-aged women rated the men’s photographs for attractiveness. Results supported the nice guy stereotype. Lower levels of agreeableness predicted more less-committed, casual, sexual relationships."
Nice guys finish last!

Articles: RationalWiki: American Thinker is a Wingnut Publication - "It's fairly clear – to my irrational mind – that this writer might not have read a single American Thinker article. (As Uncyclopedia hints at later, he seems to rely on other Wikipedia articles.) For example, he comes out with this claim: “The magazine, of course, is chock-full of right-wing concpiracy theories, woo, pesudoscience, and anti-science.” All this is stated without a single argument of any kind. All we have is smugness and sarcasm... What this writer doesn't realize is that – to a rational thinker -- generalizing about your opponent is supposed to be a very bad thing. Ad hominems are generally to be avoided too... So what about that adjective “rational” (as in RationalWiki)? It's strange, really, because in this article -- and in most of the others I've read at RationalWiki -- there are virtually no arguments. There's a lot of sarcasm (as I said); though not much logical reasoning, argumentation or even discussion. It's as if the very fact these writers/editors have used the self-description “rational” (as well as the fact that it has a left-liberal - sometimes outright Leftist - slant) is all it takes to be, well, rational. Similarly, RationalWiki believes that all it takes for someone to be irrational is to be a “right-winger”; or, worse still, be a writer for American Thinker... authoritarianism and fundamentalism are virtually unknown in the Left. Indeed almost every Leftist and Left-Liberal on the planet is a supremely “rational” being. Equally, the pious upholders of science can never -- by (self)definition -- be fundamentalist or authoritarian. All that, my friend, is a scientific truth. And to believe otherwise is to be a wingnut... the article on the UK's Daily Mail (which is slightly longer) informs us that “by any objective standards the Mail is Fascist”.... Yes, I'll repeat that just in case you think it's a misprint. RationalWiki believes -- objectively believes -- that the Daily Mail is fascist. In addition, it's apparently the case -- rationally speaking -- that all Ukip supporters are “more-or-less completely scientifically illiterate”. (Yes, you can almost taste the combined smugness and snobbery here.) And even in RationalWiki's slightly-more-detailed pieces there's still a superabundance of sarcasm and almost zero argument. I stress argument here because this website is called RationalWiki. And rationality -- more than anything - should include genuine argumentation and debate. So I wonder what purpose -- other than grandstanding its own cleverness -- RationalWiki serves."
How Rational

Sh*t Rational Wiki says, part 1 | Wikipedia, We Have a Problem - "I am called a ‘pseudoscience and woo supporter’ because I engaged in editorial based arguments about non controversial biographical facts on a Wikipedia article. This framing compliments the Rational Wiki brand of snark. ‘Snark’ is an inherent component of the Rational Wiki brand – whose mission statement is to ‘expose pseudoscience and quackery’. In reality, Rational Wiki has little resemblance to an encyclopedia that covers scientific and rational thought, rather Rational Wiki editors abuse their platform by harassing people they meet on the internet. Editors there leverage the page ranking of Rational Wiki and hold that power over individuals they disagree with. On the most pettiest of disagreements to boot, squabbles on Wikipedia."
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