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Valar Qringaomis

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Friday, January 13, 2017

Links - 13th January 2017

12 Things You Should Never Take for Granted After Working for an Amazing Boss - "Take a moment and be grateful for those amazing bosses who taught you to be a better person, a better boss, and how to be decent to the employees. Don't take those bosses for granted again."

GrabHitch: an express Tinder? - "ONLINE dating is a daunting task. But a good friend of mine thinks he's figured out a uniquely effortless way to score dates. Like many others, he's doing it through a mobile app; it's just not one of those that immediately comes to mind, though. Forget Tinder, OkCupid or Coffee Meets Bagel. My friend (call him Al) swears by Grab - yes, that ride-hailing app - to find love... Grab's carpooling service that is being beta-tested, which allows regular drivers like you and me to give Grab riders a lift, using our cars. In essence, he gives female (and only female) users a ride - and asks out those he finds attractive."

‘Black people and fried chicken’ video: BBC accused of racism - "THE BBC has been accused of racism after it posted a video online asking “Black people and fried chicken — is there any truth in it?”"
How can one investigate reality when even attempting to do so is offensive?

Which country really has the cleverest students? - "The Dutch university system, with low fees, outperforms the United States and England, which charge much higher tuition fees... an efficient school system might not translate into success in higher education. South Korea and Singapore, both high achievers at school level, are below average in the graduate rankings... "When it comes to advanced literacy skills, you might be better off getting a high school degree in Japan, Finland or the Netherlands than getting a tertiary degree in Italy, Spain or Greece," says Mr Schleicher... the OECD findings highlight a longstanding question about priorities for higher education. Should countries invest in making sure there is a good overall standard - or should they focus on cultivating a few world-leading institutions?"

Milwaukee: Police Reveal Officer Is Black, Shooting Justified; Riots Continue - "The violence that erupted in Milwaukee Saturday after a police officer fatally shot a black man continued Sunday night, with rioters throwing glass bottles, rocks, and bricks at officers and firing shots, resulting in one man suffering a serious gunshot injury. The riots Sunday occurred despite the police department revealing earlier that the officer involved was black and releasing more information indicating that his actions were justified. On Sunday, Milwaukee Police Chief Edward Flynn told reporters that the officer (who remains unnamed) was a 24-year-old African-American, who appears to have been justified in his actions. The suspect has been identified as Sylville K. Smith, a 23-year-old African-American man with a lengthy criminal record. According to the officer's body camera, the entire incident took between 20 to 25 seconds. At around 3:30 p.m. Saturday, Smith fled a traffic stop, holding a weapon. The officer pursued him a few dozen feet until Smith came to a fenced yard, where he turned toward the officer and appeared to raise his gun. The officer then fatally shot Smith in the chest and arm... The result of what appears to be a justified shooting is a city devastated by two nights of riots, cars and businesses set ablaze, racist violence, with rioters deliberately targeting white people, and Gov. Scott Walker forced to call in the Wisconsin National Guard"
Maybe many protests against 'police brutality' are just protests against policing

‘You’re Asian, Right? Why Are You Even Here?’ - "some in the group of rioters started chasing after me too. As a former back-of-the-pack runner in middle school gym class, I wasn’t surprised when they caught me. When they threw me to the ground, I reflexively curled up into a ball. Blows landed on my back, head and torso. “Stop! He’s not white! He’s Asian!” I wasn’t sure who said it, or how they knew my race, but within seconds, the punches stopped... Many immigrants also feel grateful for the U.S. justice system, after having left unstable Asian countries that lack civilian juries and rule of law. They believe that some activists, alarmingly, seem to want to blow the whole system up. “I’ve experienced the broken system in my home country and the working system here, so that’s why I really appreciate that everyone can have an opportunity to be judged by a relatively fair judge and jury,” says Xu, who is from China. “I hope the current system can be continuously improved, instead of suddenly broken.”"
Comment: "If you had found yourself caught in a lynch mob of "white" people attacking "black" people, how would you identify the people who said "Stop! He’s not black! He’s Asian! ...Don’t fuck with Chinese dudes "? Would you be so forgiving? You experienced what would have happened if you were "white" and the thing that saved you was not being "white", but "Asian". If you were not "Asian", how would that experience have ended. "

Kyrgyzstan president: 'Women in mini skirts don't become suicide bombers' - "Women can become radicalised to become terrorists if they put on Islamic dress, the President of Kyrgyzstan, Almazbek Atambayev, has claimed in his most recent intervention in a national debate on cultural identity... "If you do not like Kyrgyzstan you can leave our country and go wherever you want. We can pay your travel expenses, even to Syria," the president said - an apparent reference to his government's claim that around 350 Kyrgyz citizens are fighting with jihadi groups in Syria and Iraq... in 2014, while speaking at a session of Kyrgyzstan's Security Council, President Atambayev said that it was not the conservative clothing, or Muslim traditions, that he had a problem with, but more the "Arabisation of society [and the] deprivation of the Kyrgyz nation of its language and traditions"""

Monty Python stars: BBC is 'destructive' for comedy - "the pair said the corporation is now a “destructive” place for alternative comedy and their surreal and irreverent show would never have been made now"

German Catholics lose church rights for unpaid tax - "All Germans who are officially registered as Catholics, Protestants or Jews pay a religious tax of 8-9% on their annual income tax bill. The levy was introduced in the 19th Century in compensation for the nationalisation of religious property... Unless they pay the religious tax, Catholics will no longer be allowed receive sacraments, except before death, or work in the church and its schools or hospitals."

Man fills lubricant dispenser with hydrochloric acid in Sydney gay club

The Alt-Right: Young White Men Sick Of Being Hated - "Hillary Clinton warned the nation of a grave threat to our way of life. It wasn’t ISIS or Russia that she warned us about, although Putin got a mention. Instead it was white men saying very bad things on the internet. The mortal danger to American life that has Hillary jumping in her pantsuit is the alt right. For Hillary, white men being as proud of their race and identity as black men or white women is profoundly disturbing. This is because in the ideological worldview of the left today, best identified I think as Cultural Marxism, white men are the perpetrators of injustice. We are the privileged, the powerful, the bigots and the oppressors. In the mind of the leftist, unrepentant white maleness is the mark of Cain... What they do see are the devastating consequences of leftist identity politics upon society and individuals. They may well have been raised by a single mother. They’ve seen girls favored in the classroom then thrive academically while the boys in the class have languished and become antisocial. They see older generations congratulate their own generosity when mass immigration changes the face of Western cities, when those older leftists won’t ever have to live with the consequences."
If young people should've gotten more votes for Brexit because they will have to live longer with the consequences...

Tiny New Zealand town with 'too many jobs' launches drive to recruit outsiders - "The scheme involves offering house and land packages in the rural community for an attractive NZ$230,000 (£122,000) in the hope that Kiwis struggling with life in big cities will be tempted to relocate."

'Ex-Muslims' organise 'eating' protests outside embassies of Islamic nations to defy Ramzan fast - "Members of the council gathered outside the London embassies of several countries where not fasting during the month of Ramzan is punishable by law. "

Is it really ‘heroic’ to take a selfie at an Islamophobic protest in a secular society? - "For the past few days, Zakia Belkhiri, a young Muslim living in Belgium has become one of the most discussed individuals on social media. This is because during an Islamophobic protest in Belgium, this young girl went to the rally and lodged a counter protest in a special way. As protesters gathered outside the expo, which celebrated Muslim lifestyle, art and culture, they were holding placards with messages such as “No headscarves” and “Stop Islam.” In response, the teenage Hijabi Muslim girl stood firmly in front of the protesters and took selfies as a counter protest. Soon, her selfies went viral all over the social media which were shared by thousands of her supporters around the globe who saw her as a "defiant" teen standing up to anti-Muslim protesters. As much as it might sound amusing and courageous for Muslims around the globe as well as western liberals, there are a couple of things that shouldn't be overlooked in this matter. First of all, no matter how much we oppose the secular western societies, these are much more tolerant than our Islamic Pakistani society or most other Muslim majority states. When an Islamophobic protest took place in Belgium, Zakia Belkhiri was able to register a counter protest without any consequences. How many of us can guarantee a safe exit for any Shia who goes to any similar sectarian Sipah-e-Sahaba rally in Pakistan?... we want all those rights and privileges for ourselves that we are in no way willing to give to others. This is why we enjoy a Muslim girl counter protesting in anti-Islamic rally, but we do not acknowledge that the freedom and space given by a secular society allows her to register this counter protest. If that society allowed an Islamophobic protest, it also allowed a counter protest. Maybe this is why I personally don’t find anything "heroic" in this act... You're a hero if you stand for something knowing that it will endanger your life. For me females defying the system by driving cars in Saudi Arabia, going to prison for dressing up the way they want in Iran, or holding up a picture of Salmaan Taseer at a pro Mumtaz Qadri rally in Pakistan are heroes... There are many heroes in the Muslim world who were well aware of the consequences of all that they stood for yet they stood their ground. Those are the heroes that western Liberals and leftists need to acknowledge. There are many Sabeen Mahmuds, Rashid Rehmans, Parveen Rehmans, Aitezaz Hassans just in Pakistan, Raif Badawi in Saudi Arabia, Fatemeh Estakhari in Iran, the tank man of Tiananmen Square, and many more. Calling Zakia Belkheri a hero puts her in the same league as them. And to me that is an injustice."

To Kill a Mockingbird removed from Virginia schools for racist language - "To Kill a Mockingbird and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn have been suspended from the curriculum in some Virginia schools, after a parent complained about the use of racial slurs. Harper Lee and Mark Twain’s literary classics were removed from classrooms in Accomack County, in Virginia after a formal complaint was made by the mother of a biracial teenager. At the centre of the complaint was the use of the N-word, which appears frequently in both titles. The woman who made the complaint said her son struggled to read the racist language, telling the Accomack County public schools board: “There’s so much racial slurs and defensive wording in there that you can’t get past that.”"
Triggered.

The second brain in our stomachs - ""The modern thinking is that by doing the surgery you're producing changes in various hormones, chemical messengers which affect hunger levels and fullness levels, which in turn cause the weight loss. "Bob's gastric bypass surgery separated off and isolated the part of his stomach which produces most ghrelin, a hormone which appears to play a key role in making you feel hungry." The hope was that this would result in a permanent fall in production of ghrelin. His new shrunken stomach was then attached further down his small intestine, to a section known as the ileum which secretes a different gut hormone, PYY, which is responsible for making you feel full. When we eat, it normally takes 20 minutes for food to get from the stomach to the ileum, causing the release of PYY and the message to the brain, "I'm full". That is why it is better to eat slowly, to give the stomach a chance to tell the brain you have had enough before you overeat."

A Point of View: Loving pets v loving animals - "We go out of our way to ensure that the predators get through the hard days of winter, but do little or nothing for the mice and voles. Moreover we wage relentless war on the rats. There is a widespread habit in our neighbourhood of poisoning rats with warfarin, which then poisons the owls, buzzards and foxes that eat their remains. This habit has contributed to the near-terminal decline of the barn owl in our countryside... Both dogs and cats are predators, but dogs can be trained not to kill. They can be trained to focus their hunting instincts on a particular species, or they can be bred to focus the very same instincts on some other and more humanly useful pursuit, such as herding sheep or retrieving game birds. Not so cats. Everything in their nature tends towards the single goal of killing... One estimate puts at 180 million the number of wild birds and mammals lost to cats each year in Britain. The domestic cat is, without exception, the most devastating of all the alien species that have been brought onto our island. It is also protected, not only by law, but by the inquisitors sent round by the RSPCA, an organisation that claims to love wild animals, while devoting considerable resources to the creatures that destroy them... by loving our pets as individuals we threaten the animals who cannot easily be loved in any such way."

Pakistan: Policemen suspended as cat eats PM's peacock

Is Ed Houben Europe's most virile man? - "Mr Houben is a "charitable sperm donor". He helps lesbian couples, single women and heterosexual couples with fertility problems to have children free of charge... She wanted to know the man who was going to be the father of her child rather than use an anonymous donation... On his computer he keeps an up-to-date list of his progeny to reduce the risk that they might unwittingly interbreed... "They had been trying for 15 years in clinics… paid all their savings… doctors saying 'it will be all right, it will work' and so on - and it did not work. Usually probably it works but for them it didn't. "They came here three times and now they have a baby. They are beyond these feelings of 'ooh there's a stranger sleeping with my wife'." With mothers of his children dotted all around the Netherlands and Europe, how does Mr Houben protect himself against claims for financial assistance? He seems remarkably relaxed about it. He used to draw up contracts, but since a lawyer advised that they would not guarantee protection, he now relies on good faith."

The art of the awkward photo opportunity - "So why is that world leaders find themselves in these situations so often? The answer lies in our changing expectations of what politicians should be like, says Stephen Coleman, professor of Political Communication at the University of Leeds. In the past, their watchword was "authority" whereas now, it's "authenticity". "Somehow they have to appear to be like ordinary people. So what they're trying to do is guess at what being normal looks like." This leads to a sort of "rehearsed spontaneity", he says, which few politicians are able to pull off - with the odd exception, such as Bill Clinton."

Eating cheese in China. - ""Although in some ways you could say the flavours of cheese and fermented beancurd are similar," said Mao, "vegetable stinky foods are very clean and clear in the mouth (qing kou), and they disperse quickly, while milky foods are greasy in the mouth (ni kou), they coat your tongue and palate, and they have a long, lingering aftertaste." Two other chefs said the cheeses had a heavy shan wei (muttony odour), an ancient term used by southern Chinese to describe the slightly unsavoury tastes associated with the northern nomads. Another said that the selection "smells like Russians". "The difference," he added, "is that the stinky things Chinese people eat give them smelly breath, while stinky dairy things affect the sweat that comes out of your skin"... The only cheese that provoked real consternation was the Brie. "It has this animal stench that assaults your nose," said Dai Jianjun. "Definitely the stinkiest," said Mao, "I really can't bear it." Most of the others agreed. Only one chef, Sun Guoliang, actually liked it. "It has such a complex flavour, like stinking beancurd, rotted thousand sheets and fermented beancurd, all mixed together."

Lithuania: Pothole problem mocked in comic photo shoot - "The series of spoof photographs made for the offbeat Bored Panda blog plays on the idea that potholes are big enough to be mistaken for swimming pools, streams or even lakes"

Why can't cats drink milk? Plus 6 other feline myths - "When an adult cat drinks milk, the indigestible lactose in its gut may start to ferment, causing a stomach upset... To train a cat requires a great deal more patience and perseverance than for a dog. This is because most cats only attend to people when they need something specific, while dogs do this all the time. They first have to be taught that there will be a payoff for paying attention, specifically a tasty prawn or morsel of chicken breast. Training sessions need to be kept short to begin with, since cats will walk away as soon as they get bored, and any attempt to drag the cat back to the training area will make it less likely to learn... Stress can arise between cats in the same house, where the owner has unwittingly selected two that do not get along, or between cats in neighbouring houses fighting over a boundary between their respective territories. Cats lack the sophisticated analysis of body-language that enables dogs to resolve such differences and can live in a state of conflict for months, even years, on end. A typical example of this was shown on the BBC Horizon programme The Secret Life Of The Cat, where two of the cats, Kato and Phoebe, living in houses opposite to each other across the street, were still disputing ‘ownership’ of the gardens between."
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