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More adventurous than the average bear

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Thursday, May 12, 2016

Links - 12th May 2016

BBC Radio 4 - Best of Today, Should a new test for Down's syndrome be available on NHS? - "'It's all medical and there's none of the positive stuff.'
'Are you saying that we shouldn't screen at all, for Down's Syndrome?'
'Well I think that is a question, to be honest We need to think as a society. We're signed up to various human rights acts. We're hoping to move towards a more inclusive society. We do have to ask the question: you know, if you think of people with Down's Syndrome as being a particular race, then it's utterly unacceptable isn't it? I'm not saying we should definitely go with it, I think there's just a very strong argument and a debate does need to be had. People with Down's Syndrome never been included in the debate. They've never been asked. Because of course it's preposterous to ask somebody with Down's Syndrome who, they tend to really enjoy their lives whether or not they think they ought to have a life'
'Or to have been born in the first place'
Ahh, identity politics
More: ‘Bridget Jones’ Actress and Parent of Down Syndrome Child Criticizes New Prenatal Screening

Rolex Recipe - "No, it has nothing to do with watches, Rolexes are a favorite any-time snack or light meal that is distinctly Ugandan, easily found in the Masaka and Kampala districts. Its name is derived by saying "roll of eggs" quickly in a Luganda accent, though they are better known as Rolexes rather than as rolls of eggs. A Rolex might be compared to a breakfast-burrito or rolled omelette. In Uganda, this is a typical greasy street-vendor offering available at busy intersections at a cart with an umbrella (for shade), cutting board, and charcoal cookstove with rounded metal hot-plate."

Shakespeare’s world and cricket in South Africa | Podcast | History Extra - "In Julius Caesar... thinking about revolution and really more important than that, what comes after it. The kinds of betrayals and the temptation towards retribution and really the practice of living after you have overthrown a tyrant. We think, in some ways, about Julius Caesar as a play about the death of Julius Caesar but most of the interesting stuff happens after that. It's about how the aftermath tears apart the people who overthrew the oppressor and then have to find a way to make that vision of a life after it stick...
Be cautious about assuming that historical evils saw themselves as evils. I think a lot of these people who we see now as having rather patronising or culturally paternalistic towards the people towards whom they were dealing thought they were very much thought they were doing the right thing. It's very easy to look back at history and assume that, you know, the evil people were malicious and the good people were benevolent... a lot of the people who ended up doing things that we think rather less well of nowadays were benevolent. They wanted good things. And they simply had thought through them in ways that we don't think through them. So that might be a caution in some ways to think about our own acts of supposed benevolence and how they might be judged by people looking back in the future"

BBC World Service - The Food Chain, Eating With Our Ears: The Sound of Food - "Tastes, they vary. A complaint that cuts across genres: volume. A recent Zagat survey found that noise is what most irritates New Yorkers about dining out. But they may have themselves to blame... 'What people do not realise is that New York restaurants, the background noise is a lot higher than let's say restaurants in Europe. Americans have a tendency to speak very loud. So the music, if you want it to be heard, has to be above that"

BBC World Service - The Food Chain, Food Chain Late Night - "'Are there any differences between the kind of kebab that's being made in this kitchen here right now in the UK and the kebab I buy in Turkey itself?'
'The meat price is very expensive. In Turkey, they don't use that much meat. In this country, meat prices not that expensive. You get more quality kebab in London than Turkey...
They working late in office, they coming here. They go in a pub and drinking, they coming here. Even this time and hour, I got - see the phone ringing now, probably the family customers, they doing the family orders. People, they got one image: kebab only for drunk people. No.'...
[In Hong Kong] 'I want the world to know that this is how we used to do it in the 1960s. These days, chefs think they're really something. But nobody else can handle two woks at the same time'"

BBC World Service - The Food Chain, No Such Thing as a Free Lunch?
Food is very important in Burmese culture. And if you attend Burmese dinner by Burmese people, you will find out that the first thing is to enjoy food. so you don't speak, you don't talk, you just eat. And after that you relax and you start the conversation. So it's quite different from English culture where you sit down and you talk a lot...
I watched the CEO of Google Eric Schmidt [have a dry sandwich at his desk] more than once. To this day, now I have a sandwich in my market called Eric's Club. And customers say, this is the driest, more plain, boring sandwich I've ever had. I say well, you should've met Eric...
The word lunch had been around for a long time. It always meant the amount of food you could carry in the palm of your hand. It was a small amount of food. Eating on the run was always associated with the word lunch. You could have a lunch at 10 in the morning, you could have a lunch at midnight. What happened with industrialisation was that that word acquired a place on the clock. Lunch was now that thing that happened between 12 and 2. So you had the word, you had the connotation of speed and you had that time of day"

6 Major Continuity Problems in the 'X-Men' Movies

Why These Iconic British Comedies Were Banished From Our Screens - "On his death in 1998, Mitchell compared Speight’s use of satire to that of Jonathan Swift.“I’ve just been re-watching the episode about donating blood,” Mitchell told the Independent. “Alf believed that if a white man got blood from a black man, there was a danger of awful disease. Then his son-in-law said something equal to anything campaigners come out with: `So all you’ve got to do is take Cassius Clay, drain him of his blood, put it in a white, British man, and you’d have a white, British heavyweight champion of the world’. That says all there is to say about the idiocy of racism.” However, in 2013, it was reported that the BBC shelved a report that showed that a significant proportion of viewers - of which there were sometimes as many as 16 million - had missed the satire entirely, and agreed with Garnett’s views. It concluded that rather than ridiculing bigotry, 'the series may have reinforced existing illiberal and anti-trade union attitudes’."

Oxford student behind Rhodes Must Fall campaign says he refused to tip waitress because she is white - "Mr Qwabe, 24, is one of the leaders of the Rhodes Must Fall movement, which campaigned to remove a statue of the 19th Century imperialist from Oriel College. Although he is a Rhodes scholar himself and received money from the Rhodes’ estate to study at Oxford, Qwabe and other activists claimed forcing ethnic minority students to walk past the statue amounted to ‘violence’. On Thursday, he wrote on Facebook about an altercation with a waitress during a visit to a restaurant called Obz Café in the Western Cape, South Africa. He said the incident had left him ‘unable to stop smiling because something so black, wonderful & LIT just happened!’... ‘Moral of the story: the time has come when no white person will be absolved. We are tired of “not all white people” and all other bulls***. We are here, and we want the stolen land back. ‘No white person will be out here living their best life while we are out here being a landless and dispossessed black mass. NO white person shall rest. ‘It is irrelevant whether you personally have land/wealth or you don’t. ‘Go to your fellow white people & mobilise for them to give us the land back.’ His post went viral on the internet, with critics from around the world hitting out at his apparent prejudice... the manager of the restaurant, Rush Alexander, confirmed the incident had taken place and said the waitress involved was ‘upset’. He added: ‘We were very surprised as everyone in Cape Town just gets along. It was racist and it was unjust. However, we don’t think we will take any further action. ‘It was just the words of one ignorant man.’"
FB comments: "Nothing fights the decolonial fight like a privileged Oxford law student abusing the working classes."
"Fine. If you are going to blame modern white people for what their ancestors have done, I think they are also perfectly entitled to claim ownership of everything their ancestors have brought from European civilization."
"it has brought out all of the filth, racism, whitesplaining, white tears, cries of reverse racism, etc there's to find online."
"If the group campaigning believe a waitress can be considered responsible in any way for the taking of land, because of the white colour of her skin, they must be OK with some white people considering any black person they come into contact with responsible for the actions of other black people who have committed heinous acts and atrocities"

Oxford's Rhodes Must Fall co-founder in restaurant altercation: 'we will tip you when you return the land!' - "When the time came for the pair to pay the bill, his friend came up with a novel tactic for tipping. Rather than offer gratuity, his friend wrote on a slip of paper: ‘we will give tip when you return the land’. Unsurprisingly the ‘white waitress’ was taken aback when she received the note. However, Qwabe had little sympathy — complaining that she burst into ‘typical white tears’... It seems the current wave of safe-spaces and Stepford students at universities is beginning to affect those who aren’t even on campus. Update: Rather than apologise for his post, Qwabe has hit out at the ‘white media’ for their ‘hysterical’ reaction. In a new Facebook post, he says: ‘Whiteness is so weak. Cute actually’. Can Oxford university really condone this kind of behaviour?
This suggests that many SJWs and anti-racists are actually racist (besides being nasty people)

Planned Obsolescence: Built Not to Last - "the dark side of planned obsolescence is best illustrated by the example of the nylon stocking. The invention of nylon transformed an entire industry because it proved that we could now engineer polymers; but when Dupont came up with the nylon stocking scientists were told to play around until the synthetic fiber was more fragile and would “run” more often. More runs meant that women would have to buy more nylons. When you consider that original nylon was used for parachutes in the military it seems kind of ridiculous that a pair of stocking only lasts a week or so... How often does a light bulb blow out, forcing you to replace it? Think about that as you consider the Centennial Light, a light bulb manufactured by the Shelby Electric Company in the 1890s and continues to function after 113 years... in 1924 a cartel limited the lifespan of a light bulb to 1000 hours. Before that light bulbs had an average lifespan of 2500 hours... Consider the case of the new Apple watch, which tech repair and upgrade website iFixit claims has intentional obsolescence built into it. “The S1 SiP [internal system in package] is encased in resin, and is further held in place by a mess of glue and soldered ribbon connectors. In short, basic component replacements look nearly impossible.”"

Frozen fans urge Disney to give Elsa a girlfriend in sequel - "some read same-sex attraction into the character the first time round, anyway... Asked about a perceived undertone of homosexuality in the film, writer and co-director Jennifer Lee told the Big Issue, “We know what we made. But at the same time I feel like once we hand the film over, it belongs to the world, so I don’t like to say anything, and let the fans talk. I think it’s up to them.”"
A woman needs a partner? Or a woman without a man must be lesbian? How misogynistic

Feinstein-Burr: The Bill That Bans Your Browser - "Any of these “covered entities,” upon receipt of a court order, must be able to either provide the government with the unencrypted “plaintext” of any data encrypted by their product or service, or provide “technical assistance” sufficient to allow the government to retrieve that plaintext or otherwise accomplish the purpose of the court order. Penalties aren’t specified, leaving judges with the implicit discretion to slap non-compliant providers and developers with contempt of court. Moreover, “distributors of software licenses” — app stores and other software repositories — are obligated to ensure that all the software they host is capable of complying with such orders. Some types of encrypted communications services either already comply or could comply in some reasonably obvious way with these requirements. Others, not so much. Because of the incredible breadth of the proposal, it’s not possible to detail in a blog post all the varied challenges such a mandate would present to diverse types of software. But let’s begin by considering one type of software everyone reading this post uses daily: Your Web browser. To the best of my knowledge, every modern Web browser is non-compliant with Feinstein-Burr, and would have to be pulled from every app store in US jurisdiction if the bill were to become law."

Marvel’s Civil War and its politics, explained - "The tension between Cap and Iron Man has been brewing throughout the past few Marvel movies, but the source material for Captain America: Civil War — a 2006 comic book crossover featuring the Avengers and other players in the Marvel universe — actually dates back 10 years or so, to a time of George W. Bush, the Patriot Act, and the early days of America's ongoing wars in Afghanistan and Iraq."

BBC World Service - The Documentary, Donald Trump: The People's Billionaire - "Barbara Res was the woman who led the construction of Trump Tower, which opened in 1983. A woman. In charge of a building site. In a world as chauvinistic as construction. Chosen by Donald Trump over other male contenders. What does this tell us about The Donald? 'Trump is a smart guy and he has a theory about women... in general men tend to be better than women at what they do, but a good woman is better than ten good men'... And he took the decision to put you in charge of Trump Tower which was the big project... 'He is the best salesman I have ever seen in my life. He could sell ice to the Eskimos in their coldest winter'"
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