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Valar Qringaomis

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Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Links - 17th May 2016

Jeremy Corbyn refuses to denounce terrorist 'friends' Hamas and Hezbollah - "Ambassador Mark Regev said on Sunday: "You’ve had too many people on the progressive side of politics who have embraced Hamas and Hezbollah... if you’re progressive, you’re embracing an organisation which is homophobic, which is misogynistic, which is openly anti-Semitic, what’s progressive about that?" Ambassador Regev added that the left is "in denial" about the scale of the problem"

Today: When should a flag be flown at half-mast? | Best of Today | Podcast Chart - "'You don't necessarily have to like your allies. There have been plenty of times we had allies we didn't like but the point is they are allies for particular reasons and the Prime Minister has to look at this not as: do I like King Abdullah, do I like what he's done but how important is our relationship with Saudi Arabia to this country? How many jobs does it support?'
'Because not flying the flag would what? Would it send a message?'
'Well, funnily enough, Saudi Arabia is about the only country in the world where we could get away with not flying it at half mast, because Saudi Arabia doesn't fly its flag at half mast... because it contains the Shahada... that would be an insult to God... the death of your Head of State is not the appropriate time to make a comment on your human - I mean, remember the people who made this decision actually know this person. They've sat down and had meals with them. It's not an appropriate time. If you don't get on with you brother-in-law, you don't choose the moment of your sister's death to tell him why you don't get on with him. It's the wrong time'"

Black in Algeria? Then You’d Better Be Muslim - The New York Times - "in Algeria there often is no empathy between human beings, only empathy between people of the same religion... [in] Arab countries, discourse in the media and among intellectuals is compartmentalized. On the one hand, there are virulent articles about racism in Europe describing the “Jungle,” a migrant detention center in Calais, France, as something of a concentration camp, or presenting fallacious analyses: “No Work in France if You’re Arab or African,” said one headline in an Islamist newspaper in February. On the other hand, there is no shortage of Ku Klux Klan-worthy arguments about the threat posed by blacks, their perceived lack of civic-mindedness and the crimes and diseases they purportedly bring with them... Denunciations of racism are reserved for the crimes of the West. What counts as abuse there seems like a necessity here... for blacks, embracing Islam is no guarantee of safety"

Only successful people can afford a CV of failure - "Professor Haushofer explains at the top of his CV that most of what he tries fails, but people only see the success, which “sometimes gives others the impression that most things work out for me”. The failures he lists include not getting into postgraduate programmes at Cambridge or Stanford, not getting a Harvard professorship and failing to secure a Fulbright scholarship... Those who are most successful have an understandable interest in emphasising that they got there through old-fashioned grit, persevering in the face of failure, never letting setbacks beat them down. Quite frankly, it’s a far more attractive way to package success than sharing a story of how it just happened to fall in your lap or how your innate abilities are so brilliant that they effortlessly propelled you to the top. Our favourite success story goes: sure, I may have some natural advantages, but I’m essentially like you, I just worked really hard to get where I am... there are lots of times when failure doesn’t end in success, and those stories contain as many important truths about how the world works. Those stories are much harder to share: like most people, I’d find it much more painful and difficult to be open about failures in those areas of my life that I don’t consider a triumph than those that I do. Taken to the extreme, the risk is that telling ourselves these nice stories of success in terms of trying, failing, learning and trying again makes us too complacent that that’s the way the world really works"
Survivorship bias

After ‘The Biggest Loser,’ Their Bodies Fought to Regain Weight - The New York Times - "most of that season’s 16 contestants have regained much if not all the weight they lost so arduously. Some are even heavier now... The results, the researchers said, were stunning. They showed just how hard the body fights back against weight loss... anyone who deliberately loses weight — even if they start at a normal weight or even underweight — will have a slower metabolism when the diet ends. So they were not surprised to see that “The Biggest Loser” contestants had slow metabolisms when the show ended. What shocked the researchers was what happened next: As the years went by and the numbers on the scale climbed, the contestants’ metabolisms did not recover. They became even slower, and the pounds kept piling on. It was as if their bodies were intensifying their effort to pull the contestants back to their original weight... Despite spending billions of dollars on weight-loss drugs and dieting programs, even the most motivated are working against their own biology... “This is a subset of the most successful” dieters, he said. “If they don’t show a return to normal in metabolism, what hope is there for the rest of us?” Still, he added, “that shouldn’t be interpreted to mean we are doomed to battle our biology or remain fat. It means we need to explore other approaches”... Slower metabolisms were not the only reason the contestants regained weight, though. They constantly battled hunger, cravings and binges. The investigators found at least one reason: plummeting levels of leptin... “The body puts multiple mechanisms in place to get you back to your weight. The only way to maintain weight loss is to be hungry all the time. We desperately need agents that will suppress hunger and that are safe with long-term use”... people took a diabetes drug, canagliflozin, that makes them spill 360 calories a day into their urine, or took a placebo. The drug has no known effect on the brain, and the person does not realize those calories are being spilled. Those taking the drug gradually lost weight. But for every five pounds they lost, they were, without realizing it, eating an additional 200 calories a day... “The difficulty in keeping weight off reflects biology, not a pathological lack of willpower affecting two-thirds of the U.S.A.”"

I'm an obesity doctor. I've seen long-term weight loss work. Here's how. - "The key to your success is actually liking the life and diet you're living with while you're losing weight"

Sikh U.S. Army captain allowed to wear beard, turban in uniform - "Even as his court case was pending, Singh passed a routine gas mask test with his unit. In barring the extensive testing, U.S. District Judge Beryl Howell said it made little sense since 100,000 soldiers had been allowed beards for medical reasons."

Club refuses woman free entry on ladies’ night because of “unfeminine” dressing - "– Four girls, including her, went to f.Club on ladies’ night, and one was told to pay the $30 cover charge.
– The reason given by multiple bouncers: she was “inappropriately dressed” — she was in a long-sleeved sweater and jeans.
– She points out that their dress code is no singlets, no shorts and no slippers, and while she and her friend both complied with that, her friend still wasn’t allowed in for free.
– Her complaint was that the club is corrupt for accepting a $30 “bribe” (because her friend was deemed to be inappropriately dressed), propagates gender stereotyping and objectification, and is breeding a culture where women are expected to put their bodies on show."
You try to get free entry on Ladies' Night, and then complain about sexism? SPOING!
Comment: "I don't know what is her problem. If she's been to Europe or Australia, she would know that you can't get into premium clubs unless you are well dressed, well behaved and are the kind of customers that they are looking for. It is not a coffeeshop where anybody can go to... She should take some effort to dress well. It not called FASHION TV Club for nothing."


Dead Obese Woman Carried So Much Fat She Set Crematorium on Fire - "The fat caused the fire inside the crematorium to reach 300C, resulting in clouds of smoke billowing out of the building when the filter mechanisms failed to stand up to the job. Firemen had to rush to the scence in Graz, Austria, where they were confronted by thick black smoke smoke... The woman in question weighed 440 pounds"

Using Generic Antidepressants vs. Brand Name - "a group of Canadian psychiatrists described seven cases in which patients with depression were taking Paxil or Celexa. When their medication was switched to the generics -- paroxetine and citalopram – they experienced a relapse of their depression. Other people with depression have reported a recurrence of side effects when they switched to generics, and one report showed that switching from one generic to another can also result in a relapse... With somewhat older antidepressants, such as fluoxetine (Prozac), several different manufacturers make the generic antidepressants, each using different non-active ingredients. Thus, each generic brand may have slightly different effects. “In general, generics have been as effective as brand-name antidepressants. And they’re less expensive, so it makes sense to use them,” says Alpert “But,” he adds, “the differences for a given individual might be enough to throw off that individual’s response or to cause additional side effects.”"

Pharmaceutical quality of generic isotretinoin products, compared with Roaccutane. - "Thirteen generic products failed to match Roaccutane in one or more tests and 11 failed in three or more tests. It cannot be assumed that all generic isotretinoin products are as therapeutically effective or safe as Roaccutane."

The 10,000 Hour Rule Is Not Real - "A new meta-analysis, however, indicates that the 10,000 hour rule simply does not exist. As Brain's Idea reports, authors of the new study undertook the largest literature survey on this subject to date, compiling the results of 88 scientific articles representing data from some 11,000 research participants. Practice, they found, on average explains just 12 percent of skill mastery and subsequent success. "In other words the 10,000-Hour rule is nonsense," Brain's Idea writes. "Stop believing in it. Sure, practice is important. But other factors (age? intelligence? talent?) appear to play a bigger role"... despite the new evidence that the 10,000 rule is bull, like the studies and articles that came before it, that message will likely fall on many deaf ears. The 10,000 hour rule seems to have entered into the common lore about success: it's a nice idea, that hard work will actually pay off"

I Don't Care About The ‘Hate’ Crime At Harvard Law School, And Neither Should You - "As a society, at some point we are going to have accept that there are racists and there are trolls. At some point we’re going to have to figure out how to object to the former without feeding the latter. And I know there’s a Venn here. Most trolls are racists and some racists are trolls. But when a motherf**ker is just so CLEARLY trolling you... you have to exhibit some restraint and not give him battle."

Could the Hunger Games turn your teen into a revolutionary? - "Young adult dystopian fiction tends to include at least one key learning point or moral. When teens absorb the moral, it can change their attitudes and durably weave the story into teens' life choices. Narratologists call this the cultivation effect."
If you believe in the monkey see monkey do theory of human behavior, why wouldn't the Hunger Games incite violence?

'Run, don't play dead': UK counter-terrorism office issues advice after Paris attacks - "Victims of a Paris-style gun and bomb attack should run or hide behind “substantial brickwork” or “reinforced walls” rather than lie down, according to new official guidance."

The real reason Japan's economy keeps stumbling into recession - "Can we be sure that Abenomics is responsible for the recovery in the Japanese labor force? It's hard to prove anything conclusively in macroeconomics. But we can see that the Japanese price level has stopped falling ever since Abe came to office determined to make it stop falling" The French Way of War - "For American military observers, the one word that sums up their assessment is respect. What makes the French way of war distinct from, say, the U.S. way of war has to do with scarcity. The French military is highly conscious of its small size and lack of resources. This translates into several distinctive features of French military operations"

Row after University of York cancels International Men’s Day event - "The dispute began after a statement appeared in connection with International Men’s Day in which Adrian Lee, of the university’s equality and diversity committee, said men were under-represented in some areas of the university and that women had a higher chance of being appointed to academic staff posts than men... “A day that celebrates men’s issues – especially those outlined in the university’s statement – does not combat inequality, but merely amplifies existing, structurally imposed, inequalities”... “International Men’s Day is about raising issues like the high male suicide rate, male rape and male domestic abuse; it’s about issues in education, and child-father relationships. These do not necessarily conflict with women’s rights."
Equality means not caring about men

We Muslims can’t wait for the next bomb before we speak out - Telegraph - "Many Muslims remain reluctant to think seriously about the vision they have for their lives in Europe. They react to Western foreign policies, geopolitics, sectarian violence, disenfranchisement with corrupt Muslim governments, but they still remain unwilling to accept that nurturing an ethical framework for one’s life requires reflection and a very real commitment to social and intellectual pluralism... There is no point in talking of human rights when it’s just your own human rights which concern you; there is no depth in talking of piety when your only concern is wearing the hijab; there is no traction in saying Islam is a religion of peace when the evidence for it is shrinking daily"
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