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Valar Qringaomis

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Saturday, August 20, 2016

Links - 20th August 2016

Judge makes alleged rape victim pay $37,000 fine - "The woman pressed charges but a judge gave the men a light fine for the alleged assault while ordering the alleged victim to pay the equivalent of US$27,000 (S$37,000). The judge - whose name was not disclosed - offered a nuanced argument for the surprise ruling. The judge ruled that during the act, the alleged victim had said no to the filming but not to sex. Therefore, the model's claim of rape, the court said, was false. So, she was fined accordingly... Under pressure, German lawmakers are now moving to change laws to state that verbal resistance - for example, simply saying no - can be enough to make a case for rape... "Of course, a woman needs to be protected by the law, even if she looks like a Barbie doll," said writer Svenja Flasspohler this week in the Suddeutsche Zeitung daily. But she added that there is a danger that "men are accused out of revenge... or regret for the consummated act"."

Outrage over diphtheria deaths in Malaysia - "Two children have died in Malaysia from diphtheria this month, apparently because their parents did not vaccinate them against the infectious disease, believing the jabs contained elements of pig DNA."

The Brexit ballot is amazingly simple. Why can’t US ballots look like this? - "This isn’t just an aesthetic issue. Confusing ballots in the US — a category that includes obscure wording and bad design — lead to tens of thousands, maybe hundreds of thousands, of votes being thrown out without being counted... A study of more than 1,200 state-level ballot questions that voters across the US were asked to approve between 1997 and 2007 found that, on average, they were written at a 17th-grade level — in other words, you’d need more than a four-year college degree in order to understand what you were being asked to vote on."

The evil app that sends Game of Thrones spoilers to your enemies - "If your enjoyment of a TV programme solely lies in the basics of its plot twists – and not its artistry as a whole – then you shouldn’t be watching in the first place. A weekly set of bulletpoints is all you need."

More than 50 taxi drivers attack Uber driver, tourist couple - "A female tourist was left injured after more than 50 taxi drivers struck the Uber car she was traveling in at KL Sentral yesterday. According to the China Press, the incident occurred on Monday morning when the Iranian couple, who had recently touched-down in Malaysia, were using the Uber service. More than 50 taxi drivers, who were “hiding” in KL Sentral, pounced on them as soon as they entered the Uber car. The couple, along with the Uber driver, were pulled out of the car before the suspects used rocks to break the car window."
Swindling people is the birthright of Malaysian taxi drivers

How Americans pretend to love ‘ethnic food’ - "We want "ethnic food" to be authentic, but we are almost never willing to pay for it... Despite complex ingredients and labor-intensive cooking methods that rival or even eclipse those associated with some of the most celebrated cuisines — think French, Spanish and Italian — we want our Indian food fast, and we want it cheap... take my mother's attitude toward wine. She's only had a few sips in her life, and each time she says the same thing, which is that it kind of tastes like rotten grapes... Here in the United States, when you buy "ethnic food," you're essentially buying it from people who learn to cook it on the fly, mostly men, who have often never cooked back home. What ends up happening is they hide technical deficiencies behind salt, butter, and fat... I would ask people to think about what they mean when they say they want something authentic. Because most likely, they mean authentic according to their limited exposure to a country or cuisine... More than 70 percent of the Indian restaurants in New York City, for instance, are not run by Indians. They are run by Bangladeshi and Pakistani restaurateurs... German food, for the longest time, was frowned upon. German beer halls, where families would get together, were looked at with great disdain. But over time, as Germans climbed up in the social ladder, that changed, as it did for Italian food, and many others... Migration of poor people from your country and your culture has to end before America accords you prestige"

What I learned from a male sex surrogate - "I had tried online dating; clearly any woman can get laid if she really wants to. I didn’t experience any intimacy. It was more like something I was proving to myself. I felt like I was constantly lying, pretending to be someone I’m not. A confident, experienced, sexy woman. She’s not me. I needed a fundamental change in my character or attitude. How much can people change? How much can I? I have no idea. So I started to consider SPT"

Jodie Foster tired of 'the woman thing': There's no 'big plot to keep women down' - "Jodie Foster said she’s tired of people oversimplifying the issue of gender equality in Hollywood, declaring that there isn’t some major plot in the industry “to keep women down.”"

Man is sent abusive texts after REFUSING to sleep with a woman on their first date - "A man received a barrage of abuse over texts after refusing to sleep with a woman during a date... The unnamed woman even goes so far as to suggest that her date had no right to turn down the opportunity to sleep with her, asking him whether he was gay and telling him no only means no when a woman says it"

Nearly 300,000 people walk between Malaysia, Singapore daily: Malaysian Immigration Dept - "An average of 295,731 people use the two land crossings between Malaysia and Singapore daily... "These two crossings are among the busiest in the world""

Is God a Spaghetti Monster? That's a Serious Legal Question - "“It is no more tenable to read the FSM Gospel as proselytizing for supernatural spaghetti,” the court said, “than to read Jonathan Swift’s ‘Modest Proposal’ as advocating cannibalism”"

The complex circumstances that defined your gender - "“There may be hints of brain differences in transgender people, but you’d expect that because their life experience is going to have been quite different,” says Eliot. “How long they have identified as the other gender; the way they talk; who they played with as children; what sort of jobs they’re involved in – all of these things could affect those same pathways in subtle ways. There is certainly no proof of the Lady Gaga hypothesis that I was ‘Born This Way’”... Unfortunately, we can’t ask babies whether they identify as boys or girls, and it’s difficult to scan their brains because they move about so much. Instead, scientists have focused on studying their behaviour. A major clue is the toys they prefer to play with. “Play behaviour shows a big sex difference – at least as large as the sex difference in height,” says Melissa Hines, director of the hormones and behaviour research lab at the University of Cambridge... while identical twins are more likely to both be transsexual than non-identical twins, there are plenty of exceptions... “Quite a number of children have gender identity questions at early ages, but only 10% of them or so will develop along the trajectory of transsexualism”"
If gender differences are only caused by socialisation, transsexuals are problematic

Polyamorous relationships may be the future of love - "Even today monogamy is the minority relationship style around the world. Cultural estimates suggest that as many as 83% of societies around the world allow polygamy... polyamorous people tend to maintain more friendships as they keep a wider social network. They are also less likely to cut off contact after a break-up.Monogamous couples on the other hand, often withdraw from their friends in the first, loved-up stages of their relationship... overall relationship satisfaction can be higher in poly relationships... “Research shows that most children are really happy growing up with lots of adults, in fact most kids love it,” Pallotta-Chiarolli says. They benefit from added support and time from any additional parental role within their family unit. “These children are more insightful and wise, and open to understanding diversity and many forms of religion and culture”... For polyamory to be protected by law it will first have to be considered an orientation in the way that homosexually is. If, legally speaking, it is seen as an orientation, then the reasoning goes that poly individuals would be protected by similar anti-discriminatory laws... That some people choose polyamory in order not to cheat on their partner brings to light a striking contradiction about monogamy in the west: adultery is rife"

The Dalai Lama says ‘too many’ refugees are going to Germany - ""Europe, for example Germany, cannot become an Arab country," he said with a laugh, according to AFP, which quoted from an interview the spiritual leader gave to Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, a German newspaper. "Germany is Germany. There are so many that in practice it becomes difficult."... "From a moral point of view, too, I think that the refugees should only be admitted temporarily," the Dalai Lama said."

Blood ketones are directly related to fatigue and perceived effort during exercise in overweight adults adhering to low-carbohydrate diets for weight loss: a pilot study.

Talking To Frank Cho, Man Of Outrage, About Attracting Women - "As a life-long liberal Democrat and advocate for free speech and equal rights, it fascinates me to see when ultra-liberals become ultra-conservatives where they see injustices everywhere and cease to see reason, and start oppressing people who they disagree with. Thanks to the social media, we have entered into a dangerous era of Salem witch trials where no one is safe. Everything is being attacked everywhere in this hypersensitive atmosphere: The movie Grease (Sexualizes teenagers), Road Runner cartoons (Violence against animals), Game of Thrones. (Promotes rape and injustices against women.) The list goes on...
BC: So you’re not bothered by all the personal attacks online?
CHO: Naw. I actually enjoyed them. It spotlights the hypocrisy, unrealistic views and the victim mentality of these people. In my case, these critics of mine like most extremists and religious types, advocate mind control and censorship. They simply want to control what other people can and can not see. It’s similar to what the Republican party does to the LGBT community. They bully and shame people into what they should like or don’t like. I’m simply fascinated by how these few critics came riding in on their high horse and tried to paint me into a monster. In their eyes, I went from an artist who writes and draws strong independent female characters to a morally bankrupt pervert overnight simply because I drew a comic book character for a fan that they found offensive. It’s scary if you think about how much power the social media have given to these fringe voices. The comic book market is a vast and bountiful table. There’s a place for everyone. One group, because they don’t like something, should not dictate what others can see and enjoy. That’s simply wrong. If they don’t like something, then don’t look at it or buy it. As matter of fact, they should take all that hateful energy and create comics they want to read and art they want to see. Again, there’s a room for everyone at the comic table."

Married Japanese man claims he has finally found love with a sex doll - "The trend for intimate relationships with silicone dolls, which cost up to £4000 has been rising across Asia with China reported to have seen an increase. The dolls, which are non inflatable, are sold under the name 'Dutch Wives', a Japanese term for a sex doll, and adverts in the media boast that anyone who buys one will never want a real girlfriend again"

No, Palestinian Terrorism Isn't a Response to 'Occupation' - "since the beginning of 1996, and certainly following the completion of the redeployment from Hebron in January 1997, 99% of the Palestinian population of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip has not lived under Israeli occupation. As the virulent anti-Israel and anti-Jewish media, school system and religious incitement can attest to, during these years, any presence of a foreign occupation has been virtually non-existent. This in turn means that the presentation of terrorism as a natural response to the so-called occupation is not only completely unfounded but the inverse of the truth. In the two-and-a-half years from the signing of the DOP to the fall of the Labor government in May 1996, 210 Israelis were murdered – nearly three times the average death toll of the previous 26 years, when only a small fraction of the fatalities had been caused by West Bank- and/or Gaza-originated attacks due to Israel's effective counterinsurgency measures, the low level of national consciousness among the Palestinians and the vast improvement in their standard of living under Israel's control. Moreover, nearly two thirds of the 1994-96 victims were murdered in Israeli territory inside the "Green Line" – nearly 10 times the average fatality toll in Israel in the preceding six violent years of the Palestinian uprising (intifada)."

Bananas safe after kidnapping - "Two people are facing charges after B1 and B2, two large soft toys, were taken from the ABC's Collinswood building on Sunday during a break-in."

Swiss coffee joint also plans to serve oral sex - "The java-and-jollies joint is called, aptly enough, the Fellatio Cafe. You can’t say there isn’t truth in advertising. For about $61 bucks, guys can order a steamy beverage and some oral sex from an on-call licensed sex worker who stops by the establishment to perform the service"

Navigating a global order lacking in clarity - "Europe as a community of values was intended to be a new kind of global power. There was to be a new and superior pan-European identity based on an ideal of universal rights and a generous social model. This was as much a delusion as the communist dream of creating a "new socialist man". Nationalism cannot be wished away. The instinct to define oneself by distinguishing like from the "other" is an intrinsic and primordial part of human nature. Any political project undertaken in defiance of human nature is bound to eventually fail. In this respect, the EU stands as a prime example of the futility and danger of letting mental frameworks, however appealing or noble, outrun reality... young Europeans have embraced the idea of Europe far more enthusiastically than their parents or grandparents, he argued. Who are these young Europeans, I asked. Are they all middle-class, white, employed, at least nominally Christian or secular? He changed the subject... the main beneficiary of the end of the Cold War was not the "West" but China. Freed of the constraints imposed by its de facto membership of the US-led anti-Soviet alliance which it accepted out of necessity, but still largely a free rider globally and so without onerous international responsibilities, China has since the 1990s been free to single-mindedly pursue its own interests."
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