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Valar Qringaomis

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Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Links - 29th June 2016

A Brexit conspiracy theory nails the no-win situation Boris Johnson now finds himself in - "“He has been out-maneouvered and check-mated,” the comment, by a prolific and anti-Brexit commenter identified as Teebs, says. “If he runs for leadership of the party, and then fails to follow through on triggering Article 50, then he is finished. If he does not run and effectively abandons the field, then he is finished. If he runs, wins and pulls the UK out of the EU, then it will all be over – Scotland will break away, there will be upheaval in Ireland, a recession … broken trade agreements. Then he is also finished. Boris Johnson knows all of this.” The commenter even goes so far as to say the Brexit campaigners themselves have no intention of carrying out the Article 50 process"

Welcome to Brexit Britain - a nation of secret Leave voters too afraid to own up - "My Facebook feed is currently full of people expressing distress and shock about the Brexit result. I can’t find a single one who's written something positive about the result, even though statistically - with 51.9 per cent of the population voting to leave the EU, and even factoring in London bias towards Remain - a good chunk of my 600 'friends' must have voted out... No wonder many Leavers are keeping quiet; the social media shaming has begun and if they speak out now, they risk being vilified. One 19-year-old summed it up when he spoke on Twitter about voting out and the assumptions people make about him: “I must be a racist and uneducated obviously.”... It has only been a matter of hours since the results came out, and already the Remainers are blaming the Leavers - or the "undereducated, misinformed, xenophobic stupid old arseholes"... We live in a democratic country, and we should be proud of the fact that 72.2 per cent of us came out to vote yesterday, not ‘embarrassed’ by those who ticked something different on their ballot paper. To me what’s even more upsetting than a shock Brexit is the fact that so many Britons felt they couldn’t talk honestly about their views - and that even now so many are too ashamed to speak out."
Amsusingly, the outroar about racist/xenophobic comments dwarfs any protest about the demonising of Leavers

John Bethell - Unlike, it seems, everyone on my Facebook and... - "Unlike, it seems, everyone on my Facebook and Twitter feeds, I found the EU referendum vote to be an almost impossibly difficult decision. The arguments in favour of leaving or remaining were powerful but mismatched: why should the UK not make all of its own laws - and at what economic and diplomatic cost should it do so? The EU was full of contradictions: it had torn down borders and turned its back on the world beyond them; it guaranteed social and economic rights but caused so much hardship to some of its poorest citizens. Evidently most of my friends found it a simpler choice - with an obvious answer."

Immigration and Brexit: How a rising tide of European immigrants fueled the Leave vote. - "anti-immigration sentiment has long been seen as a proxy for racism against nonwhites. In more recent years, however, the challenges presented by mass European immigration complicated this neat picture of the prejudiced Conservative. Early on, David Cameron recognized that doubts about uncontrolled immigration were no longer limited to older white traditionalists who could be dismissed, fairly or otherwise, as motivated by racial resentment. Once the less-skilled immigrants at the heart of the immigration debate were Poles and Bulgarians rather than blacks and South Asians, one could more credibly argue that anti-immigration sentiment was driven by concerns about the fiscal and environmental impacts of immigration, not a blind hatred of outsiders... The only way Britain can make itself less attractive to less-skilled European immigrants is by imposing labor market regulations and welfare reforms that would apply to everyone, including less-skilled British workers"

Cornwall issues plea to keep EU funding after voting for Brexit - "The Cornish council has issued a plea for “protection” following the United Kingdom’s vote to leave the European Union. Cornwall, which has a poor economy and as such has received millions of pounds in subsidies from the EU each year for over a decade, voted decisively to Leave"

Obligatory Star Wars Post: Male Vs. Female Storytelling – How The New Star Wars Is Written For Women - "Rey is able to successfully force-pull a lightsaber when her opponent – a trained Sith apprentice who can stop lasers in mid-air – could not. All these powers randomly appear without any sort of training. She just “taps into” these abilities without any foreknowledge or practice. It’s almost as if these powers are out of her control. Thus, they aren’t a work of her purposeful action, but of passive circumstance. Sound familiar? Sounds to me like an allegory of how girls achieve womanhood."

The Difference Between Ginger Ale And Ginger Beer
There's going to be no more Ginger Beer in Singapore because Schweppes can't produce "Ginger Beer" in Malaysia (even though it's not brewed like the Ginger Beer in this article). But Ginger Ale is okay. Malaysians have poor vocabulary. Malaysia Boleh!

THOMAS SOWELL: Preferential treatment, ‘stop and frisk,’ disillusion of politics - "I don’t happen to like the idea of “stop and frisk.” However, I like even less the idea of armed hoodlums going around shooting people. Those who refuse to see that everything has a cost should be confronted with the question: How many more young blacks are you willing to see shot dead, because you don’t like ‘stop and frisk’? If you think human beings are always rational, it becomes impossible to explain at least half of history... Once, when I was teaching at an institution that bent over backward for foreign students, I was asked in class one day: “What is your policy toward foreign students?” My reply was: “To me, all students are the same. I treat them all the same and hold them all to the same standards.” The next semester there was an organized boycott of my classes by foreign students. When people get used to preferential treatment, equal treatment seems like discrimination."
This is a great take on the slogan: 'When You're Accustomed to Privilege, Equality Feels Like Oppression'

How a typo helped prevent a nearly $1 billion bank heist - "the hackers misspelled "foundation" in the NGO's name as "fandation", prompting a routing bank, Deutsche Bank, to seek clarification from the Bangladesh central bank, which stopped the transaction."

Facebook ‘Reaction’ buttons not as engaging: study - "They found that on an average Facebook Reactions have low significance. Taking a look at the share of interactions, researchers found that 97 per cent were likes, comments and shares... The study shows that videos obtain up to 40 per cent more Reactions than image posts, the 'Tech Times' reported. Users tend to use the "wow" reaction much more when dealing with videos instead of static pictures or GIFs (Graphics Interchange Format)... Facebook users are more likely to interact with content that is entertaining, funny or positive"

Let's Ruin Cuba! - "A look at Cuba's failed communist experiment."

Lacking Internet, Cubans Rely On 'The Package' For Entertainment - "Without hi-tech offerings, Cubans have found an ingenious way to get nearly real-time entertainment, as well as the latest magazines, apps and even video games. It's called the "Weekly Package," and it's passed, bought and sold hand-to-hand on external hard drives and memory sticks throughout the island... On a recent day, the latest "package" of offerings included everything from the latest episode of Showtime's Homeland, Univision's Sabado Gigante and even anti-virus software updates. There were also advertisements for Havana restaurants and a local kid's party decorator. Looks like capitalism to me."

BBC World Service - The Documentary, Trading Hair - "Like many Indian women, especially here in the South, she takes good care of her much-cherished hair. It shines with health, it's incredibly long and she has pinned a string of sweet smelling jasmine flowers to her thick plait. Sacrificing this symbol of her beauty is the ultimate sign of humility and religious devotion. She hopes that by giving it up, her husband will get a job and stop drinking... If you can just keep one hairstyle for every time. And weaves is in thing. As soon as you wear weaves, you become a different person. Believe me, it's not gonna be easy for you to go back to the short hair again"

Fake Uber cabby takes some for a ride - ""I was still a little sceptical and asked how much the fare was. I was told $9 and a set fee of $6 for Central Business District charges. I agreed," he said. But the charges rocketed during the journey, he said. "The driver asked if I would have boarded if a limousine cab had come by. When I said no, as it would have been expensive, he replied that his is an executive car and he charges $7 per kilometre. I was taken aback," he said. Mr Wong said he had not agreed to the charges and asked to alight at Novena Square. "When he said I owed him $37, I paid him $10 and told him if he wanted the rest, he should come (out of the cab and get it from me). He just drove off," Mr Wong added."
Sounds like what happened to me in Beijing

Can Porn Improve Your Sex Life? - "In PornHub's study of 400 heterosexual pornographic videos, women and men were found to be equally represented as initiators of sex, and in positions of power. Plus, PornHub's Insights point out that both men and women search for similar terms when on their website, though usually at different rates, and women were 80 to 100 percent more likely to search for "rough sex" and terms related to female-centric oral sex."

Why Couples Who Confess To Watching Porn Are Happier And Have Better Relationships

FYI: Do Men Really Fall Apart When A Female Soldier Gets Killed? - "There's no scientific evidence to support the conventional wisdom that women wounded in combat would destroy male soldiers' morale and performance."

Presence of Openly Gay Soldiers in IDF Does Not Undermine Unit Social Cohesion - "Social cohesion was significantly higher among combat soldiers than non combat soldiers but
knowledge of homosexual peers was not related to lower measures of social cohesion. Thus, the study found no support to the hypothesis that knowledge of homosexual peers undermines unit social cohesion"

How Tuberculosis Shaped Victorian Fashion - "Between 1780 and 1850, there is an increasing aestheticization of tuberculosis that becomes entwined with feminine beauty"

Malaria parasites enhance blood-feeding of their naturally infected vector Anopheles punctulatus. - "the two species of malaria parasites modified the mosquitoes' behaviour with the effect of increasing their own transmission."

Rudeness at work is contagious - "the most common cause of acting rudely is imitating the behaviour of colleagues... Previous research points to mental illness, reduced job satisfaction, staff members who work less efficiently or seek jobs elsewhere, reduced loyalty and more conflicts."

Antibiotics Are Helping Mosquitos Spread Malaria More Effectively - "mosquitos feeding on the blood of malaria patients taking antibiotics were healthier, lived longer, and were likely more effective at spreading malaria than those feeding on unmedicated hosts."

A Street Named Fleming - Calle Doctor Fleming - "A statue of Alexander Fleming stands outside the Plaza de Toros de Las Ventas, Madrid's main bull-ring. It was erected with funding from grateful matadors. The use of Penicillin substantially reduced the number of deaths in the bullring after injury by bulls."

Smell of malaria attracts mosquitoes
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