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More adventurous than the average bear

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Saturday, May 07, 2016

Links - 7th May 2016

Cutting the Nose to Save Face - "While Afghans, more interested in saving face than confronting tough realities, quite literally to cut off the nose of a woman to save face, there many others who saw the video for what it is, evidence that theology gives men power to abuse women and get away with it. Given Yeung’s denial of this connection, Westerner liberals unfortunately side with those who betray Afghan women by seeking to protect theology rather than scrutinize it. Yeung’s interview was a rare moment of insight into the connection between religion and misogyny. While, in their struggle for humane treatment, Afghan women are up against the twin power of jihad and theology, men in positions of power deny the truth of violence against women. They use the postmodern theory of cultural relativity to justify violence. They censor and they threaten with rape. Here was a valuable lesson based on undeniable evidence. But instead of using this piece of proof as a starting point for an honest and serious debate, the opposite happened. Yeung launched a defense of religion. Hanafi thanked her by denying he had ever met her while other commentators accused Yeung of being an agent of hatred. These reactions were insightful. They revealed that something strange has happened to us all. They showed that even in the face of hard evidence, we go out of our way to protect religion against the women theology oppresses. They showed that Muslims and their liberal friends resort to the same psychological mechanisms of denial and disbelief when faced with hard evidence. Meanwhile the theologically sanctioned abuse of Afghan women continues without challenge. After all, as liberals, we have chosen to protect the image of Islam as our priority. A priority that, ironically, we share with Islamist fundamentalists."

India says British queen should keep her Koh-i-Noor crown jewel - "India should relinquish its claim to a huge diamond that it has fought for decades to get back from the British, the government told the Supreme Court on Monday (April 18), because the stone was given to its former colonial ruler rather than stolen... The stone has been at the centre of a long-running diplomatic row, with many Indians demanding Britain return the diamond to atone for its colonial past."

The one group unions don’t want getting a minimum wage in California? Union workers - "Unions say it gives them the flexibility to negotiate packages for their workers that supplant wages with health insurance and other benefits. Critics say that it’s a shrewd move by unions to drive up membership dues and ensure that their workers are the cheapest in town. The exemption gives cost-conscious employers little choice but to hire union, and workers who want jobs little choice but to join their local."

Couple thrilled to find rare chunk of whale vomit worth up to $70,000

Study: Why Pot Smokers Are Skinnier - "marijuana somehow works to improve insulin control, regulating body weight and perhaps explaining why marijuana users have a lower incidence of diabetes. Adding to the big questions -- "can weed can treat obesity?" and "marijuana makes you skinny?!" -- is the possibility that marijuana might be useful in helping people to manage their blood sugar."

The Citadel considers first-ever uniform exception: allowing a Muslim hijab - "As word spread on social media, students, alumni and others responded strongly to the idea of an exception being made at an institution where uniformity, discipline and adherence to rules are defining values, where loyalty to the corps is paramount and individual preferences are trivial... 'It’s no secret that you can’t wear what you want when you’re at the Citadel. You’re punished even for wearing what you want when you’re not on campus. But, those who come here are signing up for that, no matter how much they hate it (we do). So it’s not unfair to those people who want to join an organization with the intentions of excluding themselves from the regulations, it’s unfair to those who practice within the realms of those regulations. It’s unfair to the school having to change rules and adjust to the individual'... 'I can’t wear a tshirt around campus that says “I love Jesus”. Why? It’s not because of religious intolerance, it’s because it does not meet uniform requirements that all 2400 of us are held to.'"

Dashboard cam captures elderly man flinging himself onto car hood at Tampines industrial park

Why Game Publishers Aren’t Interested In Your Game Idea - "Over the past three decades, many people have told me that they had an idea for a game and wanted to know if a publisher would be interested in it, and each time I’ve had to give them an unwelcome dose of reality. Most ideas are not unique, which is one reason why publishers will not accept unsolicited game proposals — the idea may coincidentally be similar to a game the publisher is already be developing. When I had my own company, I opened up a bulky piece of mail to discover that it was an unsolicited game proposal, along with a letter from the author saying that he sent another copy of the proposal to his lawyer — an implied warning that he’d sue me if I stole the idea he had sent me. It so happened that his proposal was very similar to a game my partners had discussed developing, but fortunately we decided not to proceed with it. Even original game ideas are not that valuable. It’s not all that hard to come up with an idea for a game... Implementation is everything in business. As this chart from CD Baby founder Derek Silvers indicates, ideas — even brilliant ideas — have very little value by themselves. It’s the execution of ideas that matters, and ideas are just a multiplier for the worth of that execution. Poor or mediocre execution of even the most brilliant idea is worth very little."

Multimillionaire gives up all his assets to move to rural village and marry simple farmer

Hillary's Equal Pay Hypocrisy - "The Left’s champion of women has a long history of paying her female employees less than their male counterparts — something Hillary Clinton left out of her Equal Pay Day speech"

Powys mum banned from naming daughter Cyanide by court - "She said Cyanide was a "lovely, pretty name" with positive connotations as it was taken by Hitler... The mother said Cyanide was linked with flowers and plants and was "responsible for killing Hitler and Goebbels and I consider that this was a good thing"."


Too many universities teach pointless degrees that offer nothing to their students or society - "There’s no doubt that doctors and lawyers earn a bomb; no doubt that an Oxbridge degree opens many gilded doors. But studying urban dance at Peckham University or media studies at the University of Scunthorpe is another story entirely... Most arts degrees are pretty worthless. While studying hard does seem to pay off, with a 2:1 leading to higher pay than a 2:2, remarkably, the researchers found no fewer than 23 universities whose average male graduate earns less than those who had not been to university at all. Had any of these students borrowed heavily to attend, it would be a calamitous investment... Nor is it true, as David Cameron claimed earlier this year, that the top universities somehow discriminate against ethnic minorities. The Prime Minister made headlines declaring that “if you’re a young black man, you’re more likely to be in a prison cell than studying at a top university”. I have since established, via a Freedom of Information request, that his claim is a result of his own bungled maths (he read PPE). If you look at university ages - 18, 19 and 20 - then black men are more than twice as likely to be at a top (ie, Russell Group) university than in prison. Include black women, and university is five times more likely than jail. In fact, of all the ethnic groups in Britain, university entry rates are lowest for whites... he should ask why students will soon be emerging with up to £60,000 of debt, yet up to half of them are stuck in non-graduate jobs long after leaving university... A third of students say that they would have chosen a different course, had they had know what things would be like. About the same proportion describe their fees as very poor, or poor, value for money. Behind such statistics are tens of thousands of young people, who have been lured deep into debt and are unable to escape... If the data is published then every student can see whether or not their course leads to higher pay. Money, of course, is not everything: many courses offer wonderful facilities, luscious campuses and cheap beer - but are they worth £9,000 a year?
Curiously, whites are the least likely racial demographic to go to university. White Privilege!

15 Funny Dutch Words

Man accidentally 'deletes his entire company' with one line of bad code - "Mr Marsala confirmed that the code had even deleted all of the backups that he had taken in case of catastrophe. Because the drives that were backing up the computers were mounted to it, the computer managed to wipe all of those, too."

Ohio State Turns the Concept of 'Safe Space' Against Student Protesters - "“The employees who work past five o’clock left early this evening. Do you know why? Because they were scared you were going to do something”... In my work defending free speech, I’ve repeatedly noted how speech codes implemented in the late 1980s and early 90s with the intention of protecting black students were ultimately used to charge and punish more black students than white students."
A horde of protestors is more scary than someone using a politically incorrect word

Don't be fooled - Elon Musk's electric cars aren't about to save the planet - "All of the world’s electric cars sold so far have soaked up £9 billion in subsidies, yet will only save 3.3 million tonnes of CO₂. This will reduce world temperatures by 0.00001°C in 2100 – the equivalent of postponing global warming by about 30 minutes at the end of the century. Electric cars will be a good idea, once they can compete – which will probably be by 2032. But it is daft to waste billions of pounds of public money on rich people’s playthings that kill more people through air pollution while barely affecting carbon emissions. The Tesla 3 is indeed a “zero emissions” marvel – but that is only because it does not yet exist."

Dyson Airblades 'spread germs 1,300 times more than paper towels' - "Dyson Airblade hand-driers spread 60 times more germs than standard air dryers, and 1,300 times more than standard paper towels, according to research published in the Journal of Applied Microbiology."

Airport sniffer dogs find cheese and sausages – but fail to spot drugs

Indonesia's Aceh province canes non-Muslim for selling booze - "Though the law once only applied to Muslims, a bylaw that took effect late last year allowed sharia regulations to be applied to non-Muslims in certain situations"

An experimental eating regime may slow aging and stave off disease–if you can stand it - "Fasting this way could, they say, start a regenerative process that will lead to improved health and longer life. If the theory stands, I could enjoy a lower risk of cancer, a strengthened immune system, improved cognitive ability and little to no chance of contracting diabetes. The science is based on years of experimentation with yeast, worms, flies, mice–and studies of Ecuadorians with a form of dwarfism."

Moral clarity in Gaza - "Apologists for Hamas attribute the blood lust to the Israeli occupation and blockade. Occupation? Does no one remember anything? It was less than 10 years ago that worldwide television showed the Israeli army pulling die-hard settlers off synagogue roofs in Gaza as Israel uprooted its settlements, expelled its citizens, withdrew its military and turned every inch of Gaza over to the Palestinians. There was not a soldier, not a settler, not a single Israeli left in Gaza. And there was no blockade. On the contrary. Israel wanted this new Palestinian state to succeed. To help the Gaza economy, Israel gave the Palestinians its 3,000 greenhouses that had produced fruit and flowers for export. It opened border crossings and encouraged commerce... And how did the Gaza Palestinians react to being granted by the Israelis what no previous ruler, neither Egyptian, nor British, nor Turkish, had ever given them — an independent territory? First, they demolished the greenhouses. Then they elected Hamas. Then, instead of building a state with its attendant political and economic institutions, they spent the better part of a decade turning Gaza into a massive military base, brimming with terror weapons, to make ceaseless war on Israel."

Israel thwarts ‘drone smuggling attempt’ inside truck carrying toys to Gaza

Hundreds of smuggling attempts to Gaza intercepted in 2015 - "Among the confiscated items were chemical solutions used to make rockets, GoPro cameras which can be used to spy on IDF forces near the border, laser markers for weaponry, electrodes that can be used to make rockets and explosive devices, pipes and tin boards used to manufacture rockets, firecrackers hidden behind flowers that could be used by rioters during protests at the border fence, industrial coal, also used in rocket production, liquids to produce rocket propellant fuel which were hidden inside paint thinners and dishwashing liquid, soldering coils for rocket production hidden inside blow heaters, and disassembled motorcycles and trucks"

Black Woman Who Accused White Man With Dreadlocks Of Cultural Appropriation Has Received Death Threats - "who knows! Perhaps he'll come forward and say that he has, in fact, experienced further suffering — more criticism of his hair or appearance. That would be fitting. After all, the real appropriation in all this story, as it seems to me, is that Goldstein and the media have conveniently borrowed a narrative of oppression. She criticized his hair, and someone threatened to kill her for it, but somehow, he's the oppressed party? Now that's offensive."
Comments: "There is a mechanism among SJW thinking that says: If you get internet death threats then that legitimizes your cause and actions regardless of the logic behind them. Example: Anita Sarkeesian"
"Live by the personal attack, "die" by the personal attack. Not that I want her physically hurt, but she does maybe need to think twice before challenging other peoples' right to look the way they want to and as long as it doesn't go beyond the verbal . . . ."
"Let's look at the good side of this. When I was their age a real racist wore a Klansman's hood. Now a white guy in dreadlocks is a racist? At last! Free at last! Or at least a darn good start in that direction."
"2 wrongs don't make a right; she was still wrong to assault the guy and if hadn't been caught on camera than maybe next time she and her accomplice would have done something worse."
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