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More adventurous than the average bear

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Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Links - 22nd November 2016

"Having to read a footnote resembles having to go downstairs to answer the door while in the midst of making love." - Noel Coward


Why Mandarin Won’t Be a Lingua Franca - "English is an inherently neutral language: There is no gender in English as there are in Romance languages. There are no class or generational distinctions baked into the language, as there are with so many languages that feature different you’s with different verb conjugations – the deferential you (boss, elder, stranger) versus the familiar you (friend, subordinate, child). Ours is a radically egalitarian and modern language, and it is simpler and more direct as a result. English is also more politically neutral than we think. Even Islamist Jihadist propagandists would concede that English, is a convenience in spreading their word... In what amounted to a telling parody of modern France, one grievance underlying a recent Air France strike was the airline union’s anger at the adoption of English as the default language for internal communications across its global operations... This cordon sanitaire containing China’s cultural (and if it comes to it, military) expansion is one of the lesser appreciated dynamics of today’s world, one that augurs well for the cause of the English language and American cultural influence"

Discharge pending for combat pilot who tried to halt lesbian officers' make-out session - "A special three-officer “show cause” board reviewed the punishment and unanimously ruled that the evidence showed he did not violate Army rules... A warrant officer had approached Col. Downey and complained that their prolonged French kissing, buttocks grabbing and disrobing of Army jackets violated Army rules against inappropriate displays of public affection while in uniform on base... “Astonishingly, the soldier who Lt. Col. Downey was alleged to have assaulted later stated that he was not the victim of an assault, and that he knew Lt. Col. Downey never intended to harm him,” Mr. Thompson said. The lawsuit states: “He simply sought to lower the camera and used no more than the slight movement necessary to accomplish this legitimate and lawful objective.”"
No wonder people complain about the gay agenda

Pushing white guys rightward on the political spectrum - "what did President Barack Obama and the Democrats do to hack off white guys so badly that we voted GOP by the widest percentage since Ronald Reagan wiped out Walter Mondale in 1984? For one thing, there have been incessant and noisy claims by Democrat higher-ups that Republicans are waging a "war on women"... In better times white guys let such mockery roll off their backs. But these are not better times, especially for the vast majority of guys not at the top of the economic pyramid"

Why You Should Stop Juicing - "If our bodies are our temples, juice is what we worship—and no form of prayer is more American than opening up our wallets... juice cleanses accomplish exactly none of their physiological or medical objectives; they fetishize a weird, obsessive relationship with food, and they are part of a social shift that reduces health (mental, physical, and, sure, spiritual) to a sign of status. They’re annoying as hell... after days of Googling I still have no idea WTF a toxin is. “It is far harder to kill a phantom than a reality,” wrote Virginia Woolf, another woman with a tortured relationship to food. The juicing industry is counting on that... Toxins are like cholesterol clogging an artery, except they block the path to woo-woo transcendence instead of the left atrium. Or, as Vanessa Grigoriadis puts it in New York magazine, “Food is the focus of an enormous amount of modern moralism ... One wants to be skinny because one wants to be healthy; one wants to be healthy because one wants to be good.” As religion declines among elite urbanites, a new scripture—“sprouting and enzymes and whatnot”—is swirling into the void"

Yishan Wong's answer to What does Twitter need to do to restart growth and reactivate its massive dormant user base? - Quora - "using Twitter for long periods of time is a fundamentally unpleasant experience... the more successfully you use Twitter, the more likely and more frequently the worst possible thing that can happen to you on Twitter is going to happen to you"

Should Buying Sex Be Illegal? - "The answer to the question of which law better protects women—full legalization or the criminalization of demand—is as much ideological as empirical. It depends on whether you see Anna as a trafficked, exploited woman mouthing sex-industry propaganda, or as a person with agency making the best choices she can given her constrained circumstances. It depends on how much regulation you’re willing to accept in the name of gender equality, and ultimately whether you think making it harder for some prostitutes to work is a worthwhile price to pay for reducing the number of women in prostitution overall."

STATS: Migrants Committing Disproportionately High Crime In Germany, Media/Govt Focus on 'Far Right' Thought Crimes - "according to the statistics, identified left wingers have had more confrontations with police (3,507 incidents), according to the statistics, than right wingers have (1,203 incidents). Left-wing activists have confronted more right wingers (4,276 incidents) than vice versa (1,406 incidents). These incidents include public protests like those of the PEGIDA movement. Nonetheless, the reporting from Western news agencies has focused on a “right wing” wave of violence."

Controversial New PETA Video Destroyed For Likening Animal Exploitation to Rape - "the group was forced to defend its president Ingrid Newkirk’s comment comparing women’s rights to those of chickens"

Christian children ‘singled out for bullying’ in Egyptian classrooms - ""No girl can show up with her hair showing. They all have to wear the hijab," explained Salem to her interviewer on a talkshow on an independent satellite channel earlier this month, when asked if exceptions were made for Christian girls... The Kafr el-Ashraf case is not isolated. A number of parents across the country have reported rising intolerance towards pupils who do not wish to wear the veil, and bullying of non-Muslim children by teachers and by pupils who follow their lead. On 18 October, Coptic newspaper Watani reported that another state school in the same province, Sharqia, was forcing all female students to wear a hijab. The director of al-Nassiriya School in Zagazig posted a large sign mandating Islamic dress on all girls as part of the school uniform. For years, Christians have complained of harassment in classrooms. Some of their complaints relate to government policy, such as having to memorise parts of the Qur’an to pass mandatory Arabic exams. Others are a result of an ever-growing societal pressure... Viola Samir, a seven-year-old Christian pupil at Kom el-Lufi Primary School in a village outside Samalout, in Minya province, 250km south of Cairo, told how the Islamic religious studies teacher had held eight Christian pupils in her class of 35 against their will, beating one who had not learnt the Qur’an by heart."

See The REAL Reason Denzel Refused To Kiss White Women In Movies - "It had been twenty years (in 1992’s Malcolm X) since Denzel had kissed a White woman on screen until more recently in the 2012 movie, “Flight.” He had his reason for not doing so and it had nothing to do with him disliking White women or anything like that, but it apparently had a lot to do with with his respect for Black women and his disapproval of how Black actresses were all too often not seen as the object of affection when it came to major motion pictures, so he didn’t want to feed into that stereotype... “Black women are not often seen as objects of desire on film. And they have always been my core audience.”"

Woman, 19, had skull fractured after man hit her near Rutgers campus - "A 19-year-old woman suffered a fractured skull after being punched in the face near a Rutgers fraternity house over the weekend, and her family is asking for help to identify the man who hit her... A video of the incident posted on social media and obtained by NJ Advance Media shows Rand take a swing at a man in the area of Robinson and Hamilton streets before the unidentified man punched her in the face."
Woman attacks man. Is still the victim

Love Me Tinder - "At 35, she's old enough to know what dating was like pre-Facebook and the likes of Tinder and OkCupid. "Before the Internet and mobile phones, men took time to get to know me," says the art gallerist. "We would go on at least three or four dates before either one of us decides it won't work out. But these days, that period has shrunk. Again and again, I find myself going on one-off dates where the men quickly decide within the hour - maybe even 30 minutes - that we shouldn't see each other again. "My other friends are experiencing it too - a shortened dating cycle. I don't know if it's because people are so hooked on their apps and the infinite choice they have that they feel they don't have to settle for anything less than perfect"... TW, a male undergraduate at the National University of Singapore, calls Tinder the "best thing ever". He says he's met about 20 women in the past six months through Tinder. Many of these dates got physical to some degree, and some were one-night stands. None of them developed into a serious relationship - but that's not something that concerns TW: "I'm still young. I'm not looking to settle down until I have a stable career. My plan is to make half a million before I'm 30 - and then I'll think about marriage." Meanwhile, Tinder gives him "all the romance I need". The converse is true for young women"
Maybe it's because she's 35

Autopsy reveals Omar Mateen died of “masculine toxicity” - "“At the time of his death, Mr Mateen had enough masculine coursing through his veins to kill 49 people,” said Amanda Marcotte, the forensic pathologist who conducted the autopsy."

Woman in China scalded with hot water over bad restaurant review gets $47,000 in compensation

Pakistan most dangerous country for the world: ex-CIA official - "A former CIA official has said Pakistan is probably the most dangerous country for the world as it is ripe with threats of terrorism, a failing economy and the fastest growing nuclear arsenal."

The last dating taboo: why can't a man ask a woman her weight? - Telegraph - "why is it acceptable for a woman to shirk away from a shorter man, but when that same man declines the advances of a 'larger' woman, he is labelled a superficial pig?... Generally speaking, a person's height is considerably more fixed than their weight – which makes it all the more unfair to judge a man on his vertical inches... Women are clearly stipulating their superficial demands, without fear of retribution. Many of the female profiles I encountered online included such blunt and bullheaded phrases as "don't bother messaging" or "don't expect a reply if you're under 6ft". "No short-arses", "the taller the better" and "I only date tall men" also cropped up."

Cats are rounded up off street so they can be slaughtered for meat and sold at Indian restaurants - "Shocking video footage captured the animals being skinned and boiled alive in the Pallavaram area in the city of Chennai... a particular nomadic tribal community in Chennai called the Narikuravas have a habit of eating cat meat"
Why can't people just sell it openly?

British parrot missing for four years returns speaking Spanish - Telegraph

Deepavali or Diwali debate explains unhappiness immigration influx has caused among some Sporean Tamils - "I too have an issue with our national broadcaster needing to translate Deepavali (as it is said in Tamil) into Diwali. My friend said: “Tamil is one of our National Languages. I would rather they stick to Deepavali. I am not Tamil myself but grew up with it. I know many don’t see it the way we do and that is their right, But i would like the media to stick with Deepavali.”
Given that North Indians have been in Singapore since the 1820s...
What do you do when a "minority" is being "oppressed" by another "minority"?

Facebook Lets Advertisers Exclude Users by Race - "Imagine if, during the Jim Crow era, a newspaper offered advertisers the option of placing ads only in copies that went to white readers. That’s basically what Facebook is doing nowadays... When we showed Facebook’s racial exclusion options to a prominent civil rights lawyer John Relman, he gasped and said, “This is horrifying. This is massively illegal. This is about as blatant a violation of the federal Fair Housing Act as one can find.”"
If I don't send junk mail to some people but to others, am I being discriminatory?
If my supermarket uses loyalty data to send me targeted diaper ads but not my neighbour, is it being discriminatory?

Fearing sway among Muslim youths, group demand church take down cross - "A group of about 50 residents staged a peaceful protest against a new church in Taman Medan fearing proselytization after the church’s congregation had put up a cross on the building. The Star Online reported that the group had gathered at the church at about 10am earlier today while Sunday mass was going on, claiming that putting up a cross in a Malay-majority area challenged Islam and could influence young Muslims... “After meeting with the priest, the church agreed to take down the cross by next Sunday. If they have the authority to run, we cannot stop it. But we ask out of concern, being a Malay area, that they take down the cross,” the group’s leader Datuk Abdullah Abu Bakar was quoted saying. Some of the protesters had also reportedly threatened a male reporter during the incident, demanding that he write “nice” things about the group. The report also claimed that some held on to the journalist’s shirt as he interviewed the protesters."
The next time I say Malaysians are stupid (and not just the politicians) I'll have additional material

Silly, stupid? No, something sinister in Malaysia's pretzel dog brouhaha - "It goes for other fast food franchises such as A&W with their iconic A&W Root Beer (which was renamed in 2009) or Coney Dog (which has also been renamed), and for that matter, food items such as beef bacon or turkey ham."
Addendum: This was for Auntie Anne's, but applies to hot dogs too

A sad day when logic goes to the dogs - "While members of the public voiced their bewilderment at this move, the Federation of Malaysian Consumer Associations (Fomca) stepped right in to support Jakim, saying the decision was in line with the teachings of Islam and the word “dog” in the menu, was inappropriate... Back in 2009, the much-loved A&W Root Beer was dealt a deadly blow when Jakim refused to certify any product with the word “beer” in its name, even if it was non-alcoholic. Yes, we do know beer, which is an alcoholic beverage, is prohibited in Islam, but we also do know there is no alcohol in Root Beer. All the same, the popular drink was renamed “A&W Sarsaparilla” so its halal certificate could be renewed. Its restaurant chains across Malaysia meanwhile began calling its root beer, “RB” in 2013 – and no, not Rhythm and Blues, in case music lovers got confused and started grooving at the counter while placing their orders. The same fate befell good old Ginger Beer sold in cans that also underwent a name change to “Ginger Ade” (we’ve heard of ale, but ade?) so that the word “beer” could be obliterated, effectively putting an end to any confusion regarding its halal status... Will a popular brand of shoes have to call itself Hush, My Little Kitty in order to keep selling its merchandise undisturbed by the religious authorities? Or will Jakim know better and let sleeping dogs lie? Already, a string of movies have faced the ban in our cinemas, simply because its posters either featured a pig, or its storyline dealt with God or his prophets, who took on a human form. In 1995, the movie Babe, essentially a feel-good movie targeted to families with kids, was banned because it featured the antics of a pig, and the very word “Babe” could be easily mispronounced in Malay as “Babi”, meaning well… err… pig, an animal prohibited for consumption in Islam. I hope Miss Piggy too does not feel slighted that she has been downgraded to non-halal status. In 2014, the movie Noah was banned on grounds it went against the prohibition in Islam to visually depict Muslim prophets."
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