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More adventurous than the average bear

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Monday, September 12, 2016

Links - 12th September 2016

Rio officials lose keys to Olympic stadium, need bolt cutters to get in

Left Planned to Stage Violence to Bring Down Trump - "'If you go back to the WikiLeaks release of the DNC emails, this is on the PowerPoint playbook on the messaging — slide number 6 — with the messaging theme number 1: Violence. They were looking for an opportunity to pick up somewhere to continue this narrative that somehow Donald Trump is violent.'... There is no doubt that Trump has played into that strategy with some rather stupid remarks, the worst of which was his offer to pay the legal fees of a supporter who punched a protester. Note, however, that the protesters seem to have done their very best to get hit. One group brought a KKK-style hood to a Trump rally and was attacked by a black Trump supporter. The worst case of violence was outside a San Jose rally in early June, where Trump supporters were viciously beaten and chased through the streets by a left-wing mob. Despite the fact that the rioters carried out their brutality shamelessly, in full view of the mainstream media, some media outlets blamed Trump for the violence... And for the left, that was precisely the point: creating violence is a no-lose strategy. If protesters can provoke Trump supporters to be violent, they embarrass Trump and cast him as a fascist. And if the protesters themselves are violent, voters will understand that a Trump victory will be met with violent mob resistance."

Millennials outraged over TV show portraying millennials as outraged

Germany Has Evidence ISIS Hides 'Hit Squads' Among Refugees - "Manfred Hauser — the vice president of BayLfV, the Bavarian region’s intelligence gathering apparatus — told the BBC Thursday that officials must “accept we have hit squads and sleeper cells in Germany.” “We have substantial reports that among the refugees there are hit squads,” he added. “There are hundreds of these reports, some from refugees themselves.”"

Chinese tourists lead San Diego police on freeway chase, didn't know they were supposed to pull over

Florida police shoot dead woman during safety exercise for local community - "Ms Knowlton was playing a victim and the officer was playing an aggressor. But the gun used in the exercise was real and loaded with ammunition, and at least one round was shot into Ms Knowlton, causing fatal injuries"

Woman tells police she was RAPED by a Pokemon Go character after she felt an ‘assault’

American adults have low (and declining) reading proficiency - "The reading skills of American adults are significantly lower than those of adults in most other developed countries, according to a new international survey. What’s more, over the last two decades Americans’ reading proficiency has declined across most age groups, and has only improved significantly for 65-year-olds... Americans also scored lower than average in math and technological problem solving... People in their thirties and forties in 2012 scored significantly lower than people in their same age group in 1994. The drop among 30-year-olds was less dramatic."
Not all laments about declining standards are unwarranted

Hospital crises show the gap between how doctors and patients perceive events - "Most hospitalised patients have no idea whose care they are under; frustratingly, their doctors may not know either. Increasingly, in modern medicine, there is no such thing as the patient’s doctor – it’s the patient’s pulmonologist, oncologist, thoracic surgeon, psychiatrist and cardiologist. This fragmentation of care has deep consequences for decision-making and healthcare spending but there is another growing problem – the diffusion of accountability."

US election: The man hurting Clinton in her fight with Trump - "My sense, having watched the Clintons fairly closely for over 20 years, is that they have a loving marriage and deep friendship. An animated conversation that started at Yale Law School in the early Seventies continues for both of them to fascinate and enthral. But many critics of the Clintons believe it's a transactional partnership, a marriage of political convenience. To some, her loyalty during the most troubled phase of the Clinton presidency reinforces the sense that she's a cynical political operator, willing to do anything to accrue power"

Chinese tourist loses wallet and becomes refugee in Germany for two weeks by mistake - "The 31-year-old backpacker, who spoke neither German nor English, reported that he "needed help" after arriving at Stuttgart airport on July 4. The man, who was described as "smartly dressed" and had apparently travelled to Europe for a walking holiday in Italy, was taken to a reception centre in the nearby town of Heidelberg. Instead of signing a stolen item form for his wallet at the local police station, the man, known as Mr L, unwittingly filled out an asylum request form. The mistake triggered a chain of events as the hapless tourist became mired in bureaucratic red tape. Authorities took his passport and gave him refugee documents. He was transported nearly 200 miles to Düsseldorf, in the west of the country, and then a further 50 miles north to Dülmen. He was given a medical check, had his finger prints taken, and accepted the pocket money given to him by camp officials."

Italian police in Rome cook pasta for lonely elderly couple as they were crying - "The couple said they had not been victims of crime, but were overcome by emotion after watching sad stories on the news. The pair, who have been married for 70 years, said they had not had visitors for a long time and were very lonely. While they waiting for an ambulance to arrive to check the couple over, the officers prepared a hot meal. They then sat down to have a chat while the elderly couple ate the spaghetti with butter and parmesan they had prepared."

Fury at Luton's segregated Olympic swimming pool done for 'cultural reasons' - "Abdul-Wadud Ahmed, 31, said more than 40 swimmers attended the first new permanent session last Friday, which he hopes will grow in the near future. He added: 'There is a large demand for it, one of the reasons being that swimming is a prophetic activity where Muhammad, peace be upon Him, encourages Muslim men and women to swim... The gender-segregated sessions are being advertised as 'Alhamdulliah swimming' on Facebook, a Muslim phrase which thanks God for his blessings. Posters promoting the event, which were implemented last Friday, strictly ask that 'navel to knee must be covered'."

Long way to catch up with Hong Kong's rail reliability - "If we consider that Hong Kong's network is longer and older than Singapore's, and that it carries significantly more people, we will be able to appreciate the comparison more fully... the MTR is so impressive that several cities pay it to run their trains. There are other learning points from the MTR, such as compensating commuters who have been inconvenienced by a breakdown... in Hong Kong, the rail network is denser, and there are a myriad of other transport options (besides Uber) to help in a breakdown. Nevertheless, the public gives the MTR hell whenever a breakdown happens. The press also goes to town, pressuring the government each time. So much so that in March 2014, Secretary for Transport and Housing Professor Anthony Cheung Bing-leung said the government would consider tying the salary of top management at MTR to the number of breakdowns. Should SMRT do likewise? That's something for its board of directors and major shareholder Temasek to decide... the MTR would probably find it a tad more challenging to maintain its reliability record if it had to cope with Singapore's ridership growth surge. Here the lesson is, of course, to keep a closer watch on population growth, and to ensure that infrastructural and systemic expansion keeps pace. By the same token, Singapore may well have to tone down its "car-lite" rhetoric until after its rail woes are fixed. Because the last thing it wants is to push more people onto a system that is already feeling the strain of the current load."

Men who picked up Yellowstone bison: 'We didn't have the heart to leave it' - "A Canadian man and his son loaded a Yellowstone national park bison calf into their vehicle last month because they thought it was an abandoned newborn that would die without their help, the men said in their first interview since park officials had to euthanize the animal. The calf was killed because it couldn’t be reunited with its herd after being handled by Shamash Kassam of Quebec, Canada, and his son, Shakeel Kassam, on 9 May, park officials said... Park rangers took the animal back to where it was picked up, but they could not reunite it with its herd. The calf was euthanized because it was continually approaching people and cars on the roadway, Yellowstone officials said. They warned that humans approaching wildlife can affect the animals’ wellbeing and possibly cause mothers to reject their offspring"

Myth busting: Are synthetic pesticides, used with some GMOs, more dangerous than natural ones? - "we eat an estimated 1.5 grams of natural pesticides a day, “which is about 10,000 times more” than the amount of synthetic pesticide residues we consume. This amount would be significantly higher in vegetarians and vegans... While there’s an uproar about parts per billion amounts of synthetic pesticide residues on our food, there are more concentrated compounds in fruits and veggies actually known to cause cancer. In addition, some of the more commonly used pesticides in agriculture have mechanisms of action that are specific to the pests their targeting, making them far safer than many natural pesticides, which is on reason why they’ve gained popularity in the past half century... there are plenty of “natural chemicals” that are registered pesticides, but no one seems to be freaking out about basil and mustard seeds."

Japan-Themed Cambridge Ball Scrapped over ‘Cultural Appropriation’ - "The first theme was set around the contrasts between the two major Japanese cities, which promised “vibrant fashions” and “neon lights” paired with “Imperial palaces and tranquil gardens”... The Tab polled readers to see whether they thought the event should have been changed. At time of writing, 92% had answered “no”... the Japanese Society had volunteered its members to help organize the event. Despite members of the society clearly enjoying the event sufficiently to join in, blog author Hanna Stephens accused to organizers of “commodifying” Japan and “causing offence”. She claimed the event was part of an “Orientalist” culture which was also responsible for Japanese Americans being sent to camps during the Second World War, and today manifests itself in a “lack of social interaction” between Asian and Western students. Cambridge parties are not usually accompanied by hand-wringing firestorms. Previous years have seen Greek, Italian, Middle Eastern and indeed Far Eastern themes executed with little fuss... in recent months even much lower-profile social events have flared into cultural disputes. Last week Heat Street reported that students at Queens’ College were branded racist for holding an Africa-themed dinner. Earlier in the year a party tied to the classic novel Around the World in 80 Days was scrapped for fear they would wear offensive costumes. Other British campuses have implemented sombrero bans and shut down themed in case young people are insufficiently reverent. The conflict also echoes a ruckus at the University of Missouri, which saw student protesters force the owner of a sushi restaurant to remove the Rising Sun Flag from his store logo."

Automation accelerates in the fast food industry - "Wendy’s announced on May 12 that they would begin to offer self-service kiosks to franchise owners of its fast food restaurants in late 2016. Rising labor costs were cited for the move."

Turtle gets final revenge on man after being chopped in half - "A turtle has managed to attack a man's face in its final act of revenge after being chopped in half. The shocking video shows the sawn-off creature clamp onto the man's forehead in its dying moments."
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