"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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Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Links - 24th August 2016

Meet Fu Yuanhui, The Most Lovable Athlete At The Rio Olympics - "There are lots of great athletes at the Rio Olympics ― Lilly King, Michael Phelps, Simone Biles. The list goes on. But the best Olympian this time around doesn’t represent the USA. She hasn’t even won a gold medal. But neither of those things matter. For there is no one as great, as funny and as instantly lovable as Fu Yuanhui. Oh, there she is on the right. Hi there"

Chinese actress Angelababy's face examined for court case - "Doctors who examined her on Thursday said that her looks were genuine. It came a week after her widely-publicised wedding to actor Huang Xiaoming, who has defended her, saying she "sometimes looks quite ugly". A Beijing judge had suggested that her face be examined by medical professionals to certify its authenticity. The 26-year-old actress, whose real name is Yeung Wing, went through a series of X-ray scans and tests - which at one stage involved a doctor prodding her face - at a plastic surgery hospital... Angelababy, who first shot to fame as a model and actress in Hong Kong, has long been dogged by rumours that she had plastic surgery, with pictures purportedly showing her natural face circulating online in recent years. She is suing Beijing beauty clinic Ruili for carrying an article on its website in 2012 alleging that she had plastic surgery, and is seeking 500,000 yuan (£51,000; $79,000) in compensation."

'Flawed' study casts doubts on mixed-gender units in US marine corps - "women were not expected to pose problems for ground-combat units, so long as clear standards, diligent screening of candidates and good training and leadership were in place. According to the data shared with the Guardian, the study also showed that some women excelled during tests such as hiking quickly with heavy loads and firing artillery under simulated enemy attack, while mixed marine units showed superior morale and problem-solving and better discipline than units composed only of male marines. Furthermore, though the report found all-male units were better at hiking, shooting, gorge-crossing and cliff-climbing, and males suffered fewer injuries, in one section of tests a mixed-sex unit out-marched three all-male units, progressing at five kilometres an hour (kph). The marine corps requirement is 4kph, carrying heavy packs and equipment."

Male Erection Frequency | SexHealthMatters.org - "Another type of non-sexual erection is the reflex erection, which can happen when a man is nervous, scared, angry, or under stress. Reflex erections can also be caused by an enlarged prostate condition, some recreational drugs, and the need to urinate."
More corroborating information on how the "homophobes are secretly gay" claim is not 100% confirmed

Florida lawyer disbarred after having sex with clients in jail, and a lot of drug use - "A Florida lawyer who had sex with her jailed clients so much the warden had to restrict her visitation access has been disbarred. When physical sex wasn't an option, Linda Hadad, 43, would apparently have phone sex with her imprisoned clients."

East Village mall finds a niche among affluent Muslims - "The mall has organically grown to serve a niche market: the Muslim smart set with money to spare. Mr Nio said the shoppers at East Village tend to have greater spending power, who drive and who prefer avoiding the crowded bazaars of Geylang Serai."
If I apply to sell bak kwa there and they turn me down saying "We are not so keen to sell bak kwa as our target audience are mainly Muslim", can I make a police report?

Richard Morin - The Ugly Face of Crime - ""We find that unattractive individuals commit more crime in comparison to average-looking ones, and very attractive individuals commit less crime in comparison to those who are average-looking"...
* "Post-It Note Persuasion: A Sticky Influence" by Randy Garner. The Journal of Consumer Psychology. Vol. 15, No. 3. A Sam Houston University professor finds that people were more likely to complete a survey questionnaire and give more complete answers if the researcher attached a Post-it note. The reason: People interpreted the note as a request for a personal favor.
* "Binge Drinking in the Context of Romantic Relationships" by Judith L. Fischer, et al. Addictive Behaviors Vol. 30, Issue 8. Researchers led by a Texas Tech University professor discover that students who drink too much aren't the best lovers.
* "Women Who 'Do Elvis': Authenticity, Masculinity and Masquerade" by Francesca Brittan. Paper to be presented Sunday at the Study of Popular Music conference in Nashville. A Cornell University researcher studied female Elvis Presley impersonators such as Janice K and Elvis Herselvis and finds them to be "campy, cheeky, and often disturbingly convincing."

Photos Tagged as Art Linked to Rising Property Prices

Dear "Skeptics," Bash Homeopathy and Bigfoot Less, Mammograms and War More - "I’m a science journalist. I don’t celebrate science, I criticize it, becausescience needs critics more than cheerleaders. I point out gaps between scientific hype and reality. That keeps me busy, because, as you know,most peer-reviewed scientific claims are wrong. So I’m a skeptic, but with a small S, not capital S. I don’t belong to skeptical societies. I don’t hang out with people who self-identify as capital-S Skeptics. Or Atheists. Or Rationalists. When people like this get together, they become tribal. They pat each other on the back and tell each other how smart they are compared to those outside the tribe. But belonging to a tribe often makes you dumber... He documents the huge surge in prescriptions for psychiatric drugs since the late 1980s. The biggest increase has been among children. If the medications really work, rates of mental illness should decline. Right? Instead, rates of mental disability have increased sharply, especially among children. Whitaker builds a strong case that medications are causing the epidemic. Given the flaws of mainstream medicine, can you blame people for turning to alternative medicine?"

Married Couples Pack On More Pounds - "Both men and women gained weight but when it came to race, black women had the most rapid weight gain, followed by white women and then black and white men... married men and women may be less concerned about their body weight because they’re no longer actively seeking a mate"
Given that women gain more than men...

How Did 'Angry Birds' Become the Years Divisive Immigration Movie? - "This film is not just another saccharine kids flick but a parable of immigration. Depending on whom you ask, it’s either a racist screed against the migrants flooding into Europe, or a ripoff of Avatar that celebrates the defeat of a band of would-be conquistadores... The Angry Bird Movie clearly has delights for the whole family. Children of all ages, racists, anti-colonialists and SJWs who love spotting heavily buried racist themes will be walking out of the theaters asking for more. Hopefully box office receipts will be strong and we get to see an Angry Birds 2, tackling a new hot button issue like abortion or the right to die."

The Dumbledore Problem: A Post about LGBTQ Characters - "Would it have pleased anyone if Dumbledore had slipped into a stereotype to prove a point and camped and queened his way around Hogwarts Castle, perhaps making passes at male students and teachers and slinging feather boas over his shoulders and generally being terribly offensive? Still, it would have had it in his characterisation! This is the thing, you see: a person’s personality and actions, especially in the wider frame of things where, say, there are magical beasts roaming around, dark wizards wreaking havoc and bloody living paintings and staircases that move, are not really affected by their sexuality... how could we have known he was gay? We couldn’t, and we didn’t, and in the end it didn’t matter in the slightest. That’s kind of how it works in real life."
If you don't write any LGBTQ characters, you'll get bashed. But you'll get bashed no matter what you do, so you might as well save yourself some bother while you're at it

The knowledge economy is a myth. We don’t need more universities to feed it - "The majority of jobs being created today do not require degree-level qualifications. In the US in 2010, 20% of jobs required a bachelor’s degree, 43% required a high-school education, and 26% did not even require that. Meanwhile,40% of young people study for degrees. This means over half the people gaining degrees today will find themselves working in jobs that don’t require one... The occupations most likely to be automated out of existence are knowledge-intensive ones such as auditor, insurance underwriter and credit analyst. Those least at risk of automation are hands-on jobs such as masseuse and fire fighter. The stark mismatch between the number of people with degrees and the number of jobs requiring degrees has created a generation of bored employees who feel like they are working “bullshit jobs”. It’s no surprise 37% of UK employees think their jobs make no meaningful contribution to the world at all... It’s uncertain whether universities are delivering on their core purpose. One recent study tracked thousands of students during their time at university. It uncovered a rather disturbing picture: after two years at university, 45% of the students showed no significant improvement in their cognitive skills. After four years, 36% of students had not improved in their ability to think and analyse problems. In some courses – such as business administration – students’ cognitive abilities actually declined in the first few years."

Unlimited paid leave: there's no such thing as a free lunch - "Your employer is gifting you something, and it’s not precisely clear what you need to give in return. This lack of clarity, coupled with the obligation to reciprocate – so as to clear the debt created by the gift – brings to mind an Innuit phrase that is often quoted in anthropology: “by gifts one makes slaves”... While at first glance such an arrangement may seem liberating for employees, the reality is that without strong cultural guidance from senior management, unlimited paid annual leave is a policy that plays on known behavioural principles to make employees work longer and harder for the same amount of pay. Companies that have trialled schemes like this have found that instead of encouraging employees to take more time off, unlimited paid annual leave resulted in people taking less annual leave"

Disney Will Alter Song in 'Aladdin' : Movies: Changes were agreed upon after Arab-Americans complained that some lyrics were racist. Some Arab groups are not satisfied. - "The lyrics in the film's opening song "Arabian Nights," originally were:
Oh, I come from a land
From a faraway place
Where the caravan camels roam.
Where they cut off your ear
If they don't like your face
It's barbaric, but hey, it's home.
The altered lyrics, which were written as an alternate version by Ashman, are:
Oh, I come from a land
From a faraway place
Where the caravan camels roam.
Where it's flat and immense
And the heat is intense,
It's barbaric, but hey, it's home...
'Barbaric' refers to the land and the heat, and not to the people.""
Today, this would not happen. They'd revamp the whole song

Nulla poena sine lege - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - "Nulla poena sine lege (Latin for "no penalty without a law") is a legal principle, requiring that one cannot be punished for doing something that is not prohibited by law. This principle is accepted and codified in modern democratic states as a basic requirement of the rule of law"

Japan's plan to drop swastikas as temple symbol sparks backlash - "So if terrorists hang up the Union Jack, does this mean the UK should change its flag? Or the USA or Australia?"

The Road to Wigan Pier, by George Orwell : chapter6 - "I think it could be plausibly argued that changes of diet are more important than changes of dynasty or even of religion. The Great War, for instance, could never have happened if tinned food had not been invented. And the history of the past four hundred years in England would have been immensely different if it had not been for the introduction of root-crops and various other vegetables at the end of the Middle Ages, and a little later the introduction of non-alcoholic drinks (tea, coffee, cocoa) and also of distilled liquors to which the beer-drinking English were not accustomed. Yet it is curious how seldom the all-importance of food is recognized. You see statues everywhere to politicians, poets, bishops, but none to cooks or bacon-curers or market-gardeners. The Emperor Charles V is said to have erected a statue to the inventor of bloaters, but that is the only case I can think of at the moment."

Star Wars in Italy

Why Chinese couples are having their wedding photos taken in London - "It's a Chinese custom for couples to have their wedding photos taken before they are married, rather than on the day of the nuptials... While London is growing in popularity as a location for pre-wedding photography, Crystal says it still lags a long way behind Paris and Santorini in Greece - partly due to the fact that a separate visa is needed for travel to the UK... While the average tourist spends £640, each Chinese tourist will typically contribute £2508 to the British economy... Tao reveals that many of his clients will only consider using a Chinese photographer - but not just because of the language barrier. "Chinese people judge beauty differently from Europeans," he suggests. In his view, European couples prefer more "natural looking" pictures, whereas his Chinese clients prefer what he describes as a "natural, plus post-production" style. For Tao this means not only changing the colour on some photos, but digitally removing "clutter" from the background, such as litter on the ground or people who have wandered into the frame."
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