"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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Friday, August 26, 2016

Links - 26th August 2016

Stilettos to the rescue of Japan’s ‘waddling ducks’ - "Feminists, look away! Fashion police in Japan want to ‘empower’ women by persuading them to wear high heels, insisting the country’s historic ‘kimono culture’ has led to many women having poor posture. The Japan High Heel Association (JHA) is calling on women across the country to trade sensible shoes for a pair of stilettos, insisting that standing tall will give them ‘confidence’ — and improve their gait. “Japanese women walk like ducks,” JHA managing director ‘Madame’ Yumiko told AFP in an interview at her plush Tokyo salon."

Istanbul riot police disperse 'Trans Pride' march - "Istanbul riot police fired tear gas and rubber pellets on Sunday to disperse a march for transgender people banned after ultra-nationalists said that "degenerates" could not demonstrate... Authorities have banned transgender and gay pride marches this month, citing security concerns after the ultra-nationalist warnings against any such events on Turkish soil... The annual gay pride parade, described as the biggest in the Muslim world, was due to take place on June 26. Istanbul has held gay pride parades since 2003, attracting tens of thousands of marchers, but last year's was broken up by police... Unlike many other Muslim countries, homosexuality is not a crime in Turkey but hostility toward gays remains widespread... The assault by the riot police targeted protesters angered by an attack on a record store launching the new Radiohead album on Saturday.
A group of men armed with sticks and bottles attacked the store late on Friday, apparently in protest at people drinking beer during Ramadan, video footage on social media showed"
LGBT Against Islamophobia!; is it better to be LGBT in Singapore, where gay sex is technically illegal, or in Turkey?

From snail soup to deep-fried dumplings: Hanoi's 10 essential street foods

China to implement 2.5-day weekend this summer

$2,225 a month claim for undergrad expenses 'inflated' - "The couple split 10 years ago and he has been paying $950 a month for his daughter's expenses since 2010. But his former wife applied to court last year to increase the sum to $1,450, in addition to him paying all of their daughter's annual university fees. District Judge Lo Wai Ping was not convinced and, in judgment grounds released yesterday, ordered the man's maintenance sum for his daughter to remain at $950 and reduced his contribution towards her $17,563 annual tertiary fees to a maximum of 75 per cent. The judge noted that the father, who has since remarried, "has been struggling" since last October to pay his former wife $2,300 a month for their daughter, comprising $950 for living expenses and $1,350 for tertiary fees. He also pays his former wife $500 in monthly maintenance... His lawyer Lim Poh Choo supplied data on the monthly expenses that an undergraduate may incur at NUS, Singapore Management University and Nanyang Technological University. Ms Lim argued these figures showed an undergraduate would need about $750 in monthly living expenses. The judge found that some of the monthly expenses claimed by the mother for her daughter "were indeed inflated and exaggerated". Among other things, the mother explained that her daughter needed $200 a month for clothes, shoes and handbags as she was required to wear office attire when giving presentations in school and attending court... the research presented by the father included food prices at the NUS Bukit Timah campus, and accepted that prices at campus canteens would be cheaper, reducing the $600 a month sought for food to $350 a month. The father is currently a sole breadwinner who sends $2,000 monthly to his China-based wife and six-year-old child, in addition to what he now pays for his daughter and former wife."
No wonder people don't want to have kids - it's so expensive

Students should be allowed to sell sex to fund university, say academics - "Their 2015 report, The Student Sex Work Project, indicated that 5 percent of students, more than 100,000, are engaged in the sex industry, principally to fund their higher education or a better lifestyle at university, while 22 percent had considered providing sexual services for money. The survey of 6,750 students also found that more male than female students were making money in sex-related occupations. Most were involved with “indirect” sex work, and the most popular activities for men included acting as a “naked butler”, stripping, erotic dancing and performing in porn films... “creative” students had seized an opportunity in the expanding market for sex. “What’s the difference between doing webcam work and working in a bar?” she said... the proliferation of hen parties meant there was a greater need for more male strippers... money was not the only motivation for students working in the sex industry. Fifty-nine percent of respondents thought they would enjoy the work, while 44 percent said they were motivated by sexual pleasure."

Father forced to give police 24-hours notice before he has sex claims it is because he visited 50 Shades of Grey style club - "The 45-year-old IT worker, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, has accused the police of deliberately trying to ruin his life... Thought to be a legal first anywhere in the world the order meant he had was forced to give police the details of his intended sexual partner at least 24 hours before allowing officers to visit her and inform her of the situation."

Farid al-Din `Attar | "Shaikh San'an beneath the Window of the Christian Maiden", Folio18r from a Mantiq al-tair (Language of the Birds) | Islamic | The Met - "A celebrated shaikh named San'an went from Ka'ba to Greece and fell in love with a Christian maiden. At her suggestion, he became a Christian and even looked after swine, which are considered unclean in Islam. When his disciples heard about this, they came to Greece and prayed to God that Shaikh San'an would return to the right path. Due to the disciples' prayers, he revived his Muslim faith and returned to his home in the Hijaz. Then, repenting of her deed, the Christian maiden followed him and converted to Islam. Shaikh San'an sensed that she had true faith in Islam and turned back to seek her with his disciples. When she saw Shaikh San'an, she fainted and this made him cry. Later, when the Christian maiden recovered consciousness, she begged his pardon and died."

Plaque: The Christ Child as Navigator - "Here the Christ Child is shown as a sailor, steering the ship representing the church. The mast of the ship is formed as a cross. He holds a globe with a cross, symbolic of his role as Saviour of the World. Many details relate to the Crucifixion, foreshadowing his fate. Across the deck are disks, each of which contains an emblem representing the agonies of Christ's trials, including the flagellation, crown of thorns, and nails used in crucifixion."
Interestingly, this is an Asian innovation and European iconography followed the appearance in the Asian variety

Dear Jimmy Kimmel, Megan Fox's Pregnancy Is None Of Your Business
Comments: "A comedian made a joke. Alert the authorities. You guys are too much sometimes.I'd hate ot live in your world, where everything is taboo. If Megan Fox didn't like it, I'm sure she would have told him to shove it. She doesn't appear to need your "defense," aka sniveling over everything"
"This is a really stupid thing to get mad about. Those interviews have pre-planned questions and she was promoting a movie. I feel stupider for having read this article."

Facebook will start scanning 10,000 posts a second to make comments less terrible - "It’s the technology behind the scenes that can distinguish the words “I need a ride,” in which case Messenger might prompt you to order an Uber, versus “I was going to get a ride,” in which case the moment has already passed. Not to mention “I like to ride a donkey,” which is a whole different thing entirely."

Why Giving Captain America A Boyfriend Makes Sense
Comment: "The thing is that the Marvel universe desperately needs:
a feminazi super hero,
a MRA superhero,
a racist superhero,
a junkie super hero (for every hard drug there is)
a greedy poiltician superhero,
a communist, a fascist superhero, why not?
a foot fetishist superhero...
a superhero that just want's to jerk it off by himself,
a sado-masochist super hero,
a transexual superhero,
a rapist superhero,
a bestiality lover superhero,
a pedophile superhero...
Should we also make religious fanitic superheroes for every religion?
Yes, I thought so... cause you know, people nowadays needs something to identify with.

Women in Refrigerators - "most of my favorite female comics characters had met untimely and often icky ends"

X-Men: Apocalypse — a spoiler-filled post-film chat - "they're planting that conflict here so they can pay it off in some future movie. The fact that they forgot to give Quicksilver any kind of satisfying arc in this film just speaks to the borderline contempt Apocalypse has for its audience. It's not so much a movie as it is a random sensory experience designed to support a marketing campaign, and if that means using fistfuls of dated tropes, taking huge leaps of logic, or ignoring even the basics of storytelling… well, the film itself certainly doesn't seem to care. "I'm an X-Men movie," Apocalypse appears to be saying, "and you're going to come see me whether I'm good or not.""

The perils of percentages - "In the late 1970s, the Mexico city government increased the capacity of the Viaducto, a four-lane motorway, by re-painting lines to make it six lanes wide—in effect, a 50% increase in capacity. Unfortunately, this also resulted in an increase in fatal accidents. After a year the Viaducto was changed back to a four-lane road—a 33% capacity reduction. The government, casting around for facts to support its claims of social progress, subtracted that 33% reduction from the 50% increase to claim a net increase in capacity of 17%."

The Wealthy in Florence Today Are the Same Families as 600 Years Ago - "The entire top 33% of the income distribution in 1427 is likely to be wealthier today. This is a far broader group than Medici princes and dukes, with castles and estates to hand down through the centuries. This suggests that some 25 generations later, the hundreds of descendants of comfortable — but far-from-regal — leathermakers are likely to be doing quite well, and it’s not because they inherited great(x25)-grandpa’s shoes and belts, let alone his palaces."

A slave in Scotland: ‘I fell into a trap – and I couldn't get out’
As I suspected, the shockingly high number of modern day "slaves" is because of a very generous definition of slavery

Why Is Marijuana Banned? The Real Reasons Are Worse Than You Think - "alcohol prohibition finally ended — and Harry Anslinger was afraid. He found himself in charge of a huge government department, with nothing for it to do. Up until then, he had said that cannabis was not a problem. It doesn’t harm people, he explained, and “there is no more absurd fallacy” than the idea it makes people violent. But then — suddenly, when his department needed a new purpose — he announced he had changed his mind... What evidence did Harry Anslinger have? It turns out at this time he wrote to the 30 leading scientists on this subject, asking if cannabis was dangerous, and if there should be a ban. Twenty-nine wrote back and said no. Anslinger picked out the one scientist who said yes, and presented him to the world. The press — obsessed with Victor Licata’s axe — cheered them on. In a panic that gripped America, marijuana was banned. The U.S. told other countries they had to do the same. Many countries said it was a dumb idea, and refused to do it. For example, Mexico decided their drug policy should be run by doctors. Their medical advice was that cannabis didn’t cause these problems, and they refused to ban it. The U.S. was furious. Anslinger ordered them to fall into line. The Mexicans held out — until, in the end, the U.S. cut off the supply of all legal painkillers to Mexico. People started to die in agony in their hospitals. So with regret, Mexico sacked the doctor — and launched its own drug war."

Why migrant workers can't make S'porean friends - "Barely two days after news of the recent arrests broke, Mr Jahangir and his Bangladeshi peers were jeered at by migrant workers of other nationalities. At his workplace, where he is a site engineer, he tells TNPS that many of his colleagues have been making fun of them during meal times.
What do you do when a "minority" oppresses another?

Giant swimming, venomous centipede discovered by accident in world-first
Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water...
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