"Malaysia Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad and the Sultan of Johor are seen in a blue Proton Saga... "When asked whether there is any tension with the sultan, Dr Mahathir said: “No, I don’t see anything because I went to see him and he drove me to the airport. I don’t want to comment on the sultans because if I say anything that is not good then it’s not nice because he is the sultan”"

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Thursday, May 19, 2016

Links - 19th May 2016

How my company is lowering the bar to increase diversity - "1. Give people of a certain race a numerical boost on their interview feedback scores.
2. Stop preferring to hire people with a college degree in CS (or related fields) over people without a college degree because that’s sexist
3. Stop considering some colleges as better than other colleges because that’s racist
4. Start recruiting at certain schools with worse computer science programs explicitly because of race
5. Stop looking for people with relevant industry experience because it is sexist
6. Stop considering some companies such as Google better than other companies since it is racist/sexist
7. Stop looking for highly experienced people with 15 years of experience since it is sexist because women tend to leave the industry before 10 years of experience.
8. Stop asking for a link to a portfolio of work on on the job application because it is sexist
9. Stop having employees refer good people they have worked with since it is sexist/racist"

How a Small Town Became the Capital of HIV in America - "Austin went from having no more than three cases per year to 180 in 2015, a prevalence rate close to that seen in sub-Saharan Africa... Singer quickly realized that syndemics was not just about the clustering of physical illnesses; it also encompassed nonbiological conditions like poverty, drug abuse, and other social, economic, and political factors known to accompany poor health. “Syndemics is embedded in a larger understanding about what’s going on in societies”... All of what has happened since the late 1980s is potentially part of Austin’s syndemic: the sudden unemployment, the desertion of the young, the fall in rent prices, the rise of the itinerant population, the decline of infrastructure, the overprescription of pain pills, the lack of assistance. By the late 1990s and early 2000s, it seems, the town itself had become sick, the result of various forms of ‘structural violence’—a term introduced by Harvard physician and anthropologist Paul Farmer to describe harmful social frameworks—along with historical, behavioral and political risk factors."

Youths robbed cabby of $5 but left iPhone in victim's vehicle; two sentenced to probation - "the three had boarded Mr Abdul Latiff's vehicle having planned to rob a the taxi driver. When the vehicle reached its destination, Fauzi, who was seated directly behind the driver, grabbed his neck. Aizan punched his face four times, while Istiqlal grabbed the coin pouch from their victim. While fleeing the scene, Fauzi realised he had left his iPhone in the taxi. Agreeing to Istiqlal's suggestion that he report his phone had been lost, Fauzi went to the police station to say he had been assaulted and had lost his phone, wallet and watch. The three were arrested later the same day"

Man buys penis enlarger, gets magnifying glass instead - "A man who purchased a penis enlargement device online had a rude shock when he received a magnifying glass instead of the device he thought he had purchased. MCA Public Service and Complaint Bureau chairman Datuk Seri Michael Chong said Tuesday that the disgruntled customer, known only as Ong from Seri Kembangan, had paid RM450 for the penis enlarger"

'Penis enlarger' story was a joke, Michael Chong clarifies - "The story of a man from Seri Kembangan who bought a “penis enlarger” online but got a magnifying glass instead turned out to be a hoax"
Malaysia Boleh

German Village Takes Digital Fate into Own Hands - "Too isolated and with few inhabitants, the tiny village of Loewenstedt in northern Germany is simply too small to show up on the radars of national Internet operators. So the villagers took their digital fate into their own hands and built a broadband Internet network of their own."

The New Playlist For More Productive Work: Video Game Soundtracks - "Because the music is designed to foster achievement and help players get to the next level, it activates a similar "in it to win it" mentality while working, argues Karltorp. At the same time, it's not too disruptive to your concentration. "It's there in the background," said Karltorp. "It doesn't get too intrusive, it keeps you going, and usually stays on a positive tone, too, which I found is important.""

Cultural influences on Facebook photographs - "East Asian Facebook users are more likely to deemphasize their faces compared to Americans. Specifically, East Asians living in Hong Kong, Singapore, and Taiwan exhibited a predilection for context inclusiveness in their profile photographs, whereas Americans tended to prioritize their focal face at the expense of the background. Moreover, East Asian Facebook users had lower intensity of facial expression than Americans on their photographs. These results demonstrate marked cultural differences in context-inclusive styles versus object-focused styles between East Asian and American Facebook users"

Why do we hate modern classical music? - "For decades, critics, historians and even neuroscientists have been pondering the question of why so-called modern music seems to perplex the average listener. After all, adventurous artists in other fields have met with a very different reception. The highest-priced painting in history is Jackson Pollock's swirlingly abstract No 5, 1948, which sold in 2006 for $140m. Tycoons and emirs covet avant garde architects. James Joyce's Ulysses inspires worldwide drinking parties every 16 June."

The effects of carbohydrate, unsaturated fat, and protein intake on measures of insulin sensitivity: results from the OmniHeart trial. - "A diet that partially replaces carbohydrate with unsaturated fat may improve insulin sensitivity in a population at risk for cardiovascular disease. Given the well-recognized challenges of sustaining weight loss, our results suggest an alternative approach for improving insulin sensitivity."
Keywords: Carbohydrates, carbs

Dietary carbohydrate restriction as the first approach in diabetes management: Critical review and evidence base - "Dietary carbohydrate restriction reliably reduces high blood glucose, does not require weight loss (although is still best for weight loss), and leads to the reduction or elimination of medication. It has never shown side effects comparable with those seen in many drugs"
Keywords: Carbohydrates, carbs, insulin resistance

Opposing Gay Marriage Doesn’t Make You a Crypto-Racist - "1. Marriage has always been gendered.
2. Religion, unlike racism, is constitutionally protected, and opposition to gay marriage has deep religious roots.
3. There is no political emergency...
It was painfully clear that ordinary politics was blocked by a regime of systematic violence, intimidation, and corruption. The racists who loosed dogs and fire hoses on children were capable of anything; nothing short of a full-scale national assault on racism could work. We would put troops on the streets if we had to.Today gay Americans’ situation could not be more different... I recently talked to a gay-rights organizer whose job includes building support for marriage equality and anti-discrimination laws in conservative states, where gay people (especially kids) are most in need of such protections. She is not some internet activist posting comments; she deals with the daily realities of bringing about social change on the ground. When I asked if the analogy to racism was helpful, she groaned. No analogies are helpful, she replied, but this one is especially counterproductive. People snap into a defensive crouch and shut down. No one will trust or talk to someone who calls them, in effect, a racist, the worst thing you can be in America. Winning converts, finishing the fight, she said, requires taking people on a journey toward seeing marriage and homosexuality in a new light. It’s a process, and an accusatory approach aborts it."

Homosexuality may be caused by chemical modifications to DNA - " Twin studies suggested, moreover, that gene sequences can't be the full explanation. For example, the identical twin of a gay man, despite having the same genome, only has a 20% to 50% chance of being gay himself. That's why some have suggested that epigenetics—instead of or in addition to traditional genetics—might be involved"

Feminist trouble (an interview with Camille Paglia) - "After the ferocious Culture Wars of the 1980s to mid-1990s, feminism sank into a long period of relative obscurity. It was kept tangentially alive through scattered websites and blogs until it finally regained media visibility over the past five years, partly through splashy endorsements by pop figures like Beyoncé. The history of feminism has always been cyclic... The problem with too much current feminism, in my opinion, is that even when it strikes progressive poses, it emanates from an entitled, upper-middle-class point of view. It demands the intrusion and protection of paternalistic authority figures to project a hypothetical utopia that will be magically free from offence and hurt. Its rampant policing of thought and speech is completely reactionary, a gross betrayal of the radical principles of 1960s counterculture, which was inaugurated in the US by the incendiary Free Speech Movement at the University of California at Berkeley. I am continually shocked and dismayed by the nearly Victorian notions promulgated by today’s feminists about the fragility of women and their naïve helplessness in asserting control over their own dating lives. Female undergraduates incapable of negotiating the oafish pleasures and perils of campus fraternity parties are hardly prepared to win leadership positions in business or government in the future... The anti-porn crusader Andrea Dworkin (who died a decade ago) was a rabid fanatic, a self-destructive woman so consumed by her hatred of men that she tottered on the edge of psychosis... We wanted the same freedoms as men, and we took charge of our own destinies. We viewed life as a continual experiment, an urgent pressing into the unknown. If we got knocked down, we got up again, nursed our bruises and learned from our mistakes. Today, in contrast, too many young feminists want their safety, security and happiness guaranteed in advance by all-seeing, all-enveloping bureaucracies. It’s a sad, limited and childish view of life that I find as claustrophobic as a hospital ward... Each generation must create its own reality and find its own identity. If today’s young women want to be passive wards of the state, then that is their self-stultifying choice... The childless Gloria Steinem, who was unmarried until she was 66, has never been sympathetic to the problems faced by women who want both children and a job. Stay-at-home moms have been arrogantly disdained by orthodox feminism. This is a primary reason for the lack of respect that a majority of mainstream citizens has for feminism, which is addicted to juvenile male-bashing and has elevated abortion to sacramental status. While I firmly support unrestricted reproductive rights (on the grounds that nature gives every individual total control over his or her body), I think that the near-hysterical obsession with abortion has damaged feminism by making it seem morally obtuse."

Chrissie Hynde criticised over rape remarks - "She told the Sunday Times magazine that when she was 21 an Ohio motorcycle gang member promised to take her to a party but instead took her to an empty house, yet she claimed to take “full responsibility” for what happened. She said: “Technically speaking, however you want to look at it, this was all my doing and I take full responsibility. You can’t f*** about with people, especially people who wear ‘I Heart Rape’ and ‘On Your Knees’ badges ... those motorcycle gangs, that’s what they do. “You can’t paint yourself into a corner and then say whose brush is this? You have to take responsibility. I mean, I was naive.” When asked whether the gang took advantage of her vulnerability, she replied: “If you play with fire you get burnt. It’s not any secret, is it?” Hynde went on to say that women who dress provocatively while walking down the street drunk were also to blame if they were attacked. “If I’m walking around in my underwear and I’m drunk? Who else’s fault can it be?” she said... "if I’m being very lairy and putting it about and being provocative, then you are enticing someone who’s already unhinged – don’t do that. Come on! That’s just common sense. You know, if you don’t want to entice a rapist, don’t wear high heels so you can’t run from him. “If you’re wearing something that says ‘Come and f*** me’, you’d better be good on your feet ... I don’t think I’m saying anything controversial am I?”"

Julia Hartley-Brewer: Chrissie Hynde was right about rape - Telegraph - "Miss Hynde, once seen as a strong feminist role model, had unwittingly breached the first rule of the Sisterhood club: if you want to belong, then you have to conform. There is no room for debate, nuanced argument or even personal opinion in the Sisterhood orthodoxy. You’re either a Sister and agree that women take no responsibility for anything that happens to them or their bodies whatever the circumstances, or you are a “rape apologist”. It’s one or the other. Miss Hynde is not alone in being purged from the Sisterhood for her apparently unsisterly views. She joins Judy Finnegan, Mary Jane Mowat and many other women who have foolishly spoken their own minds without first checking the rule book. Mrs Finnegan was forced to apologise for making entirely accurate remarks on the ITV show Loose Women about the rape case involving footballer Ched Evans, pointing out that the victim had been very drunk and that no physical violence was involved. The fact that she was quoting the judge in the case was completely ignored in the tsunami of feminist hate that followed. Mrs Mowat, a former judge, was castigated last year for saying that rape convictions will not go up “until women stop getting drunk”, because juries face an impossible task to decide whose version of events is the truth when the woman was too drunk to know what actually happened. It was a statement of fact. The Sisterhood, however, has no time for irritating little details like facts"

Zombie apocalypse from now on - "as the zombie trope develops during the late 19th century, it fuses with that other index of black savagery – cannibalism. The zombie becomes an all-purpose symbol of blacks’ backwardness. Indeed, although the zombie has long since shed its vodou references, the flesh-eating aspect survives, as a de-racialised sign of subhumanity in general, rather than racial atavism in particular... powerless and besieged, too many Westerners started to see the concentration camp as an appropriate metaphor for late-20th-century society, a society composed of victims straining to survive the everyday punishments of societal life. The end of civilisation is assumed, and the future hopeless – it’s now just a case of getting through it."
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