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More adventurous than the average bear

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Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Links - 15th June 2016

Behind Singapore's success in the IB: More tuition? - "According to Ideas Ink founder Pek Kim Beng, up to three-quarters of each batch of ACS (I) IBDP students seeks out tuition, and he claimed that his centre alone caters for 20 per cent of the school's IB's chemistry cohort, and 30 per cent of its physics cohort"

Harvard Study Shows that Lecture-Style Presentations Lead to Higher Student Achievement - "8th grade students in the U.S. score higher on standardized tests in math and science when their teachers allocate greater amounts of class time to lecture-style presentations than to group problem-solving activities"

Bad science: Thanks to HIV/Aids denialists like Christine Maggiore more will die - "What if everything you thought you knew about Aids was wrong? That was the title of a book by Christine Maggiore, an HIV/Aids-denialist lauded in the American media. She is now dead. Maggiore decided that HIV does not cause Aids, and that antiretroviral drugs do not treat it. She was HIV positive, which the media loved. She declined to take ARV drugs and specifically decided not to take HIV drugs during her pregnancy, despite the strong evidence that they massively lower the risk of maternal transmission. She insisted on breastfeeding her children, even though it has been shown that this increases the risk of maternal transmission. She also refused to have her children tested for HIV. Her daughter, Eliza Jane Scovill, died three years ago. The coroner attributed the death to Aids and Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia. She was three years old... One demographic modelling study estimates that if the South African government had used antiretroviral drugs for prevention and treatment at the same rate as the Western Cape, around 171,000 new HIV infections and 343,000 deaths could have been prevented between 1999 and 2007."

How a Son Survived Being Injected with HIV by His Father - "Jennifer now has six children by five men; in Badger's mind some of the guys after his father weren't a whole lot better. He says he watched them hit her and saw them leave all but one of those children behind for her to take care of"

Please don’t learn to code - "I would no more urge everyone to learn to program than I would urge everyone to learn to plumb. Focusing on coding inflates the importance of finding the “right” method to solve a problem rather than the importance of understanding the problem."

Transgender girl says she is rejected by straight guys for 'having male parts' - "
If straight men complaining women don't want to date them is evidence of male entitlement...
Are gay men who refuse to sleep with women misogynistic?
Comments: "some people don't want to date someone with a bunch of tattoos, piercings, or body modifications, it's all a matter of preference and no one should feel guilty about having them. The way this article is worded makes Claire sound very entitled. No one owes anyone a relationship, but you'll always owe them honesty"
"What kind of hypocrites want the transexuals to be able to WEAR the parts they want, but don't want non-transexuals to be able to have the body parts they prefer in a lover?"
"This is what we get as a society when we start referring to mental illness as normal."
"It's like buying a burger and fries and expecting to get ground beef only to find out that it's a veggie burger."
"If I just call myself a woman, should I expect lesbians to want me?"
"Imagine if i was tricking women into having sex with me, I'd be called a rapist and misogynist. These trans get labeled victims and get awards for being heroes!!!"

Is there sinister subtext in McCain ads? - "the liberal blogosphere has become a virtual Bletchley Park of racial cryptographers teasing out the sinister motives and subtexts of McCain’s campaign advertising... When the video briefly flashed Berlin’s Victory Column on the screen — where Obama addressed 200,000 adoring fans — New York Times columnist Bob Herbert saw a “phallic symbol.”"

The Paranoid Center - "the panic over right-wing violence is being used to marginalize peaceful dissent... When mainstream commentators treat a small group of unconnected crimes as a grand, malevolent movement, they unwittingly echo the very conspiracy theories they denounce. Both brands of connect-the-dots fantasy reflect the tellers' anxieties much more than any order actually emerging in the world."

Canadian Teen Finds Lost Mayan City With Satellite Maps - "while the narrative of a plucky untrained teenager succeeding where the experts failed is always compelling, the "lost Mayan city" report was one of several science claims reported by the media only to be fact-checked by experts after the fact."

13 girls held for Akihabara 'JK osanpo' escort services - "They range in age from 15 to 17 and were allegedly offering their services in the Akihabara district. JK is short for “joshi-kosei” (female high school student) and JK osanpo translates as “female high school students walk.” JK osanpo, in which older men pay to spend time with young girls, is reportedly widespread in Akihabara, and the police said they took the recent action because they consider the practice “harmful for juvenile physical and mental health.” According to the police, as many as 96 locations in the district offer JK osanpo services. The police believe they are a breeding ground for child prostitution and the black market for stolen underwear. Some of the girls taken into custody claimed they did not think they were doing anything wrong. Five said, however, they had experienced problems such as “the customer taking underskirt photo shots” or “having been asked for a sexual relationship.”"

This picture book of Taiwanese high school girls – what’s that about then? - "the girls in this book aren’t depicted as sexy – in fact, Wang drew them to a strict six-point checklist:
1) The uniform must be worn correctly, according to school rules.
2) No dyed hair.
3) No permed hair.
4) No make up.
5) No accessories.
6) No cleavage...
The Tokyo Joshikou Seifuku Zukan (Tokyo High School Girls’ Uniform Illustrated Guide) was published every year from 1985 to 1994."

BBC Radio 4 - Best of Today, 'Society is anything but normal here' - "[On Northern Ireland] Unionism, in my view, does not want to share power with Nationalism. If there wasn't an IRA, they would invent an IRA. There is no terrorism here of any significance. This actally is the safest part of Europe you could live in in terms of murder, rape, burglary etc etc, but the irony of it is that there are two different communities here who live in parallel lines and never interact in any meaningful level in anything outside the workplace, or politics of course is completely barred and is totally off limits to talk about. So, as I repeat sadly, I'm nearly ashamed to say this to you but I'm told not to tell any more lies in my life. I don't have one meaningful relationship with a Protestant or a Unionist in my life and I think that is something that I have gone out of my way my whole life to embrace Unionism, to understand Unionism and frankly I have been rejected on a personal level and I think the Nationalist parties here, if you look at the front page of the local paper today, the stand-in First Minister refers to the other ministers... as rogues and renegades. And I mean the idea that language sends out that you people are not fit to govern"

The Sordid Origin of Hate-Speech Laws - "the introduction of hate-speech prohibitions into international law was championed in its heyday by the Soviet Union and allies. Their motive was readily apparent. The communist countries sought to exploit such laws to limit free speech... it is not difficult to see why Article 4 so appealed to nondemocratic states. icerd makes the state responsible for eliminating discrimination through coercive measures. The idea that deliberate state action — even at the expense of individual liberty — is the principal vehicle for social change and human progress is a hallmark of socialism, fascism, communism, and in some cases, forms of progressivism... Article 134 of the criminal code in force at the time of the breakup of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia punished with imprisonment of up to ten years anyone who “incites or fans national, racial, or religious hatred or discord between peoples and nationalities.” The article was mostly used by the communist regime to silence critics, but the prohibition against hate speech obviously did nothing to inculcate a culture of tolerance that could prevent ethnic cleansings and genocide, which occurred throughout Yugoslavia’s breakup."

BBC Radio 4 - Best of Today, 'There is a deafening, horrific silence in America about this' - Piers Morgan - "'In an era of nuclear weapons and all the rest of it just feels-'
'Well I had a debate with a guy who was a Virginia pizza store owner and he was offering a 15% discount on pizzas to anybody who turned up with a loaded assault weapon... Who do you think is going to come for you? Why are you so worried about this infringement on your right to bear arms. And he said my government, and this reflects 35% in all polling. That 35% of all Americans which is 140 million people genuinely believe that Barack Obama may one day turn up on their doorstep and confiscate all their guns. I pointed out to him, look if that happens he has the United States Marine Corps and he has 5,000 nuclear warheads. He's probably gonna win against you and your mates with your AR-15s. 'Well yeah, but he's not the only one'. I said who else are you worried about in Virginia? And he paused for a few seconds and said, the United Nations? I said let me get this absolutely straight. You think the United Nations is about to launch some sort of ground offensive against you here in Virginia. But although it's comical on one level... I cannot buy a Kinder Surprise Chocolate Egg in America because they're banned on health hazard grounds. Because the little toys inside may choke you. But you can buy an assault weapon'...
'Many Americans, most Americans live peaceable lives. Actually rather more peaceable in some respects than in this country. Perhaps this is just the price as Jeb Bush seemed to be suggesting that America has to pay for being the kind of place it is'
'Well that's fine unless it's your child and I just think it's unconscionable the way that so many intelligent Americans, Jeb Bush and others, who know what this problem is, who with Ebola, raises its head as it did last year and kills 2 Americans, they throw billions of dollars at it. If there's a problem in Syria, they'll fly over drones at billions of dollars of expense. But when you have something like this, Michael Bloomberg who was mayor of New York, said to me... if this was a disease killing 32,000 Americans a year, we would throw the kitchen sink and billions of dollars in combating it. There is a deafening, horrific silence in America about this. This latest incident in Britain would be a massive story for weeks. And we remember after Dunblane in the mid 90s, we banned guns and we haven't had a single school shooting since. This incident was the 142nd school shooting in America since Sandy Hook, under 3 years ago"

BBC Radio 4 - Best of Today, Tuesday's business with Simon Jack - "'Larry Page I think once said there are 20 year olds today who'll have to change their name because of the stuff they put on Facebook'...
'But our parents told us that we would neer get a job with a tattoo and you could never do anything if you had piercings or any of this other stuff, and yet I'm hiring engineers who have neck tattoos and they're making, you know 6 figures. And so I think that the world changes... it's like rock and roll'
'That was Harper Lee, who's got a few piercings of his own actually. He was the chief technology officer for Barack Obama's 2012 campaign and was charged with getting the vote out and obviously he did it'"

BBC Radio 4 - Best of Today, 'If the economy collapses, the regime collapses' - Chen Guangcheng - "I do feel that a place like Britain is coming under threat. We know that a lot of places have Confucius institutes. This is clearly the soft arm of the Chinese government and they wield a lot of influence, especially when it comes to issues of academic freedom. If democracies around the world don't use their systems to influence China then the authoritarian regime in China will influence democracies around the world."

BBC Radio 4 - Best of Today, 'A revolution of consciousness' - "I think the world divides into people who love the idea of revolutions and those who fear that idea"

BBC Radio 4 - Best of Today, 'Going to ISIS is the new trend' - "Most of the students we spoke to were irritated by the idea of being taught British values and felt it would be a personal attack on their culture and religion.
'I don't know about *something* I don't agree with gay people because it's against my religion... everyone's entitled to their own opinion and I'm sure you'll agree with me'
'Personally if I dislike them, I'm not gonna say I hate em because it's a bad word. I just wouldn't wanna approach them I wouldn't wanna or talk to them. Just let em do what they want, if you know what I say'
But what if students have no contact with people from different backgrounds, race or religion?...
'Would you ever consider going?'
'Yeah, I would'
'What would you be fighting for?'
'For peace'
'You've just said you would go out there to fight. That's not peace, is it?
'You could, that's allowed to, init? For freedom'
'You would be killing other Muslims out there, wouldn't you?'
'They're not Muslims'"
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