"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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Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Links - 14th June 2016

Zeng Guo Yuan - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - "In around October 2009, a lawsuit was filed against Zeng for placing at his two stores banners of then-wanted fugitive Mas Selamat bin Kastari — which he argued were merely sunshades – without official permit.[39] The banners were accompanied by large one-word notes all reading "Death". The trial concluded with Zeng deciding to spend three weeks in jail, instead of paying $3,000 in fines"
We haven't heard about Parrot Man for a while, but his past antics can still entertain us

Netherlands sees sharp increase in people choosing euthanasia due to 'mental health problems' - "In one controversial case, a sexual abuse victim in her 20s was allowed to go ahead with the procedure as she was suffering from "incurable" PTSD"

JESSICA JONES Too X-RATED for Netflix? (Who is Jessica Jones?) - YouTube - "The original writer of Alias, Brian Michael Bendis, he admitted that he probably used the [f] word way too much in his writing: 'I like saying 'fuck' a lot but it was stifling things'"

BBC Radio 3 - Sunday Feature, South Korea: The Silent Cultural Superpower - "There's something about the image of male masculinity and identity that Korean actors represent that works in a Japanese culture where men have become a little bit effeminised

BBC World Service - The Documentary, South Korea: The Silent Cultural Superpower - Part Two - "
'K Pop is not really a Korean culture. It's a Western culture'... [On Winter Sonata] Before that particular program, the Winter Sonata, generally the image of Korea and Koreans in Japan is probably not a very positive image. Korean men particularly. Considered very rough. Maybe ill-mannered and all that. But that sort of drama kind of romanticises the image of Korean men and it's led on to a number of other dramas that's been a big hit in Japan...
'We do create a song in English first'"

BBC World Service - The Documentary, Chemsex - "As one man told me, I'd rather get HIV than Diabetes... The misinterpretation of what chemsex is is so easy to do. It looks like a bunch of self indulgent hedonistic drug taking promiscuous fiends going out and destroying all of our public health work. It's not like that at all. It doesn't take a genius to look much deeper to know that these guys are looking for affirmation or for connection. They're looking to be part of a community. They're looking to have sex... [these drugs] are very powerful sexual disinhibitors. Particularly for a population of people that kind of need some disinhibition around their sex because their sex has been associated with disease and danger. When the sex you have historically has happened in parks and public toilets rather than in your bedroom, under your mom and dad's roof perhaps then you develop a very different understanding of what sex is. You know it's different. You know it's deviant. You know it's naughty. And that can translate to doing everything outside the norm...
[On PREP] Condoms suck. And people are not using them. In the city, in San Francisco a survey of 30% I think of people say they actually use a condom routinely. 70% of people not using condoms... It's a failed intervention in my mind for many people...
'For the first time, I was accepted within the gay community. That I felt accepted. You think: oh, when I come out of the closet then everything is going to be fine. Without realising... where do I belong within the gay community? Which was a lot harder than coming out, in my experience
All criminal behavior can be explained as a cry for help

BBC Radio 4 - Best of Today, Friday's business with Tanya Beckett - "I've seen this before. When Singapore became independent from Malaysia, that little insecurity that they were no longer part of Malaysia, it was an inspiration. And it's now probably the greatest economy in the world. And I honestly think that will be good for us. That little bit of insecurity will be fantastic stimulus for us

BBC Radio 4 - Best of Today, Aid reaches Madaya - "We hear every so often a very limited account and it's all very fleeting. 2 years ago there was great concern around the world for the fate of the people of Yarmuk. Who's talking about Yarmuk today? Today it's Madaya. But across the country there are countless Madayas where people's suffering is constant and deepening while the attention of the world... is so limited and so fleeting"

BBC Radio 4 - Best of Today, Guest editor: Sir Bradley Wiggins - "I love Boris in many ways, but the one thing I was always very critical of was the fact that he would wear his suit on his bike. I thought that was something that really ought to have been avoided cos either it meant that he was cycling too slowly to actually get anywhere, to avoid getting hot and sweaty on his bike, or in fact he did get hot and sweaty on his bike which would've resulted in rather an unpleasant day I would have thought for him and the people around him in the office. So I'm very very critical of that kind of behavior"

BBC Radio 4 - Best of Today, 98-year-old former King's College carol chorister - "[On fewer opportunities for girls to sing] I myself can't distinguish at all between the sounds of girls and the sounds of boys. I did actually introduce girls to the school. About the last thing I did as headmaster and the very day that I introduced girls, all the little boys lay down in protest on the drive and refused to let the cars come in"

How often should you shower? - "Showering gets rid of the good bacteria
Showering dries out your skin and hair
Showering uses a ton of water
Chemical by-products from soaps get into the water system"

High childhood IQ linked to subsequent illicit drug use, research suggests - "Although it is not yet clear exactly why there should be a link between high IQ and illicit drug use, the authors point to previous research, showing that highly intelligent people are open to experiences and keen on novelty and stimulation."

The Power of a Teddy Bear - Ideas Market - WSJ - "People who feel the pain of social rejection often retreat from human interaction—which, of course, is a self-defeating move—but touching a teddy bear may counteract the tendency"

Owning Teddy Bears Does Not Reflect Immaturity - "Although “some people might automatically assume that an adult owning a toy animal is an indicator of the owner's immaturity,” explains lead author Stuart Brody, professor of psychology at the University of the West of Scotland, “there was no association of adult toy animal ownership with emotion regulation and maturity.”"

Second separation: Why Singapore rejected a common currency with Malaysia

Do You Speak Singlish? - The New York Times - "Is the government’s war on Singlish finally over? Our wacky, singsong creole may seem like the poor cousin to the island’s four official languages, but years of state efforts to quash it have only made it flourish. Now even politicians and officials are using it."

Why Do We Care If Facebook Is Biased? - "“Facebook is a media company, but more than that, it is a utility, an integral piece of information infrastructure upon which hundreds of publishers and media companies rely to reach their audience.” The point isn’t just that so many people use Facebook (though that’s part of the point). It’s that it has been positioned as part of the Internet “infrastructure,” not so different from the electric grid or the telecommunications system... As Facebook becomes increasingly active in determining which news its users see, it would do well to acknowledge the use of humans—including their potential for errors and bias. This might even give the company some freedom to be more discerning in deciding which headlines we should see."

This start-up promised 10,000 people eternal digital life—then it died - "You can’t achieve immortality if you’re dependent on a company that might go out of business"

Facebook Found To Cause Android & iOS Batteries To Drain Fast - "deleting Facebook from an iPhone could save up to 15% battery life. Similarly, taking Facebook app off an Android phone would save users 20% of the device's battery."

Media Slant: A Question of Cause and Effect - The New York Times - "With specific phrases associated with political stands, the researchers then analyzed newspaper articles from 2005 to determine which papers leaned left and which leaned right. (They looked only at news articles and excluded opinion columns.) That is, they computed an objective, if imperfect, measure of political slant based on the choice of language. To confirm the validity of their measure, Mr. Gentzkow and Mr. Shapiro showed that it was correlated with results from subjective surveys of readers... A natural hypothesis is that a media outlet’s perspective reflects the ideology of its owner... From their study of newspapers, however, Mr. Gentzkow and Mr. Shapiro, find little evidence to support this hypothesis. After accounting for confounding factors like geographic proximity, they find that two newspapers with the same owner are no more likely to be ideologically similar than two random papers. Moreover, they find no correlation between the political slant of a paper and the owner’s ideology, as judged by political donations... If a paper serves a liberal community, it is likely to lean left, and if it serves a conservative community, it is likely to lean right... Media owners generally do not try to mold the population to their own brand of politics. Instead, like other business owners, they maximize profit by giving customers what they want. These findings speak well of the marketplace... the findings also raise a more troubling question about the media’s role as a democratic institution. How likely is it that we as citizens will change our minds, or reach compromise with those who have differing views, if all of us are getting our news from sources that reinforce the opinions we start with?"
This won't stop red herrings about how ownership of newspapers inevitably means editorial interference; Original paper: WHAT DRIVES MEDIA SLANT? EVIDENCE FROM U.S. DAILY NEWSPAPERS / MATTHEW GENTZKOW AND JESSE M. SHAPIRO

Harvard’s clueless illiberalism - "Harvard has concluded that, in response to sexual assault and other manifestations of gender inequity, it must reform campus culture. Single-gender social organizations are unavoidably discriminatory, President Drew Gilpin Faust noted, “in many cases enacting forms of privilege and exclusion,” contrary to what Harvard stands for... no student members of single-gender fraternities, sororities or final clubs may hold “leadership positions” in Harvard’s hundreds of officially “recognized” undergraduate organizations. Nor may they apply for fellowships, such as the Rhodes and Marshall scholarships, that require an official college endorsement... Only Harvard could proclaim its opposition to arbitrary “privilege and exclusion” while running a $38 billion hedge fund (a.k.a. the Harvard Endowment) and rejecting 95 percent of applicants — based on murky criteria rumored to include everything from SAT scores to alumni connections. There must be no exclusive clubs within this exclusive club. Dean Rakesh Khurana, the new policy’s intellectual author, declared that “their fundamental principles are antithetical to our institutional values,” with no apparent awareness of the chilly authoritarianism he was directing at the approximately 25 percent of students who belong to the groups in question — and who, at last check, have a perfect right to be at odds with any “institutional values” they please."

The Curious Case of the Weapon that Didn’t Exist - "These weapons are also neither described in medieval literature or chronicles, nor are they listed in armoury catalogues. They simply aren’t discussed... the flail persists in the imagination for the very reason it was invented—whether by artists or smiths—in the first place: because it looks cool, dangerous, unpredictable, unwieldy, and uncivilised"

Chinese Cops Are Temporarily Patrolling the Streets of Rome and Milan - "the recent terrorist attacks in Paris and Brussels have travelers nervous about visiting Europe. Pickpockets and petty criminals have also targeted Chinese travelers who tend to carry large amounts of cash. Often, because of cultural and language divides, Chinese visitors have difficulty finding help after an incident."

Fighting diabetes: Why the target is white rice - "Yes, sweet drinks and junk food are bad, and no one, least of all the HPB, is denying this. What it is saying, though, is that white rice is also a major culprit - largely because it is a staple, so more of it is eaten... The 2010 National Nutrition Survey found a typical serving of rice here was 250g, and that a third of Singaporeans' daily intake of calories comes from rice - compared to 3.5 per cent from sugary drinks."
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