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Thursday, February 16, 2017

Links - 16th February 2017

BBC Radio 4 - Today, 25/02/2015, Gaza conflict: Mothers share children's trauma six months on - "'One of her children asked why God brought the Israelis or the Jews to the world and the sibling answered so 'that they can kill us and we can be martyrs'... I wanna know what she is telling her children. I am teaching my children that the other side are people just like us, that the other side have a right to live just like us and we have to find a way to interact and build bridges and not bombs'"

BBC Radio 4 - Today, 14/01/2015, Do modern feminist campaigns only benefit an elite few? - "Essentially, modern feminism, especially as you get it in the media, has become a combination of outrage and elite self-interest. Basically what we have is a focus on campaigns which are supposedly going to benefit women generally and which freak out politicians. But which actually, as we can tell from the evidence, the data, do nothing for the vast majority of women. And 2 obvious ones would be this campaign to get a minimum of 30% of women on the boards of big companies and also the obsession with all-female shortlists. Both of which have become big media campaigns and which are of no interest to the vast majority of women, no relevance to them, and they aren't even interested...
There's no evidence that having a minimum number of women on boards does anything for anybody. And I really want to emphasise this because we've had a number of countries now which've done this and what has happened is it hasn't done any good to the companies concerned. So this idea that you get diversity by replacing an Oxbridge-educated white male with an Oxbridge-educated white female. The evidence that this makes any difference to the companies' effectiveness is zero. And they also don't do anything for what is going on. They don't have any impact on the degree to which women in the companies which they are supposedly running have more or fewer opportunities for promotion or to the pay structure. And can I also say I don't recognise this vast swell of grassroots outrage about rape and assault. I recognise a Twitter tsunami about it but the thing that actually interests the vast majority of women is living standards, what's happening to their families, the much more the health service and those things are not affected by whether or not you're voting for a woman or a man. Women vote for an MP, they don't vote for a woman... What bothers me is that feminism which was originally about increasing opportunities to half the population has become so focused on issues which are of interest to about 10% of women"
Of course Alison Wolf got bashed

BBC World Service - The Food Chain, Plate of the Union - "[On Clinton in 1992] 'I could've just been just a woman home. baking cookies and having teas.' And unbeknownst to her at that time it really set off a firestorm because a lot of people were like: well, that's what I do. I'm home cooking. What's wrong with that? I make cookies and I spend time with my kids... people really took offence to it. And the PR director at our magazine at the time was like: we gotta do something with this. So let's throw down the gauntlet and see if she can really make cookies. and so we started this Presidential cookie contest. And I really didn't think anything of it at the time but it really picked up a lot of energy. And I remember coming in to work every day having to make these damn cookies to send out to all these press people to try. And it just got bigger and bigger. She actually got really into it and she started baking cookies and giving them out and was doing her cookies against Barbara Bush's cookies. They were both chocolate chip cookies but Hillary's had oatmeal in it. So they won. And 4 years later we did it again and we've been doing it every Presidential election and all but one of the elections, the person who won the cookie election won the Presidential contest...
A taco bowl, it's an edible bowl. Tastes like you dropped a taco on the floor and scooped it up. It has the flavours of commercial foods. Yellow cheese that isn't cheese, industrial sour cream, ground meat that isn't meat. It's a very popular food but it's definitely not something that the Mexican-American community is eating. It really would be more of a part of American fast food culture. But I guess that's the only thing that qualifies as Mexican at the Trump Tower"

BBC World Service - The Food Chain, The Hidden Cost of a Home-Cooked Meal - "[On Kenya] A woman, before you get married you have to know how to cook. In the rural setup, a woman who gets married and does not know how to cook actually is a big problem for that particular family. So what happens, from what I've seen in my younger ages is the woman would be taken back to her mother for a few months to be taught how to properly cook the meals that she is supposed to be cooking for her family, especially her husband. Then she would go back when they feel she is ready. She would be lucky, most women are usually lucky that their men accept them back. So it's unacceptable...
'After World War II, the food industry which had been completely geared up towards the war effort was up and running and producing packaged, frozen and dehydrated foods to be eaten in foxholes basically. And they had to completely shift towards a regular market of families eating at home. The great future for food in America and they hoped in the world was that fresh food would go into decline. People would not be eating fresh oranges. They would be drinking dehydrated juice or frozen concentrated juice and in fact to an extent that's exactly what happened. But what they hadn't counted on was that a lot of home cooks were completely content with what was already going on at home in the 1950s in America. It was simpler to turn out a dinner for your family than it had ever been probably in the whole history of human cooking. You had hot and cold running water pretty much everywhere. You had gas and electricity, people had refrigerators with the little freezing compartments. It was not a big deal to put food on the table. Meals themselves had gotten much simpler after the war. And women knew how to cook"

For Russia, Syrian Ties Complicated by Marriage - The New York Times - "They are all women from the former Soviet Union who married Syrian men. Pan out to the greater expanse of Syria and the number of Russian wives grows to 20,000, the human legacy of a cold war alliance that, starting in the 1960s, mingled its young elites in Soviet dormitories and classrooms. This unusual diaspora offers some insight into the many-stranded relationship between the two countries, one that makes the Kremlin reluctant to cast off Syria’s president, Bashar al-Assad... Syrian-Russian unions were especially common — and not just for geopolitical reasons, husbands and wives said in interviews. Many Syrian men felt genuinely transformed by their time in Russia; they also sought to avoid paying a bride-price as is customary in the Middle East. Mahmoud al-Hamza, who met his wife, Nadezhda, in a Moscow park in 1971, said that in order to marry a Syrian, “you need an apartment, you need to pay money, you need to buy gold, and for a Russian woman you just need a wedding ring.” Soviet women had their own reasons to pursue Syrians — nondrinkers who, thanks to the Baath Party’s ties to the Communists, traveled freely in and out of the Soviet Union. A new wave of marriages followed the Soviet collapse, as young women sought a way out of economic chaos. “Let all the world hear this: Russian men, maybe not all of them, but more than half of them are gigolos”... “If there is a quarrel, what will a Russian woman do? She will cry,” she said. “Maximum, she will go to her friend and say, ‘He is such and such.’ And what will an Arab woman do? She will gather a posse of all her relatives. She may run at night to her husband’s mother and sister and start yelling”... even young men who have never set foot in Russia have started “to call us very seriously and say, ‘Help me marry a Russian.’”"

Turning Japanese by The Vapors Songfacts - "One of the more misinterpreted songs of all time, word was that "Turning Japanese" refers to the Asian facial features people get at the moment of climax during masturbation. In a VH1 True Spin special, they asked The Vapors about this song, and they explained that it is a love song about someone who lost their girlfriend and was going slowly crazy"

Singapore's S$134m bottled water addiction - "In a country where tap water quality far exceeds minimum World Health Organization (WHO) and US Environmental Protection Agency standards, it may come as a surprise to some that bottled water is a booming, multimillion-dollar business... F&N confirmed that Ice Mountain sold in Singapore “is sourced and packed in Malaysia from tap water”, while Coca-Cola said that Dasani produced for the Singapore market comes from “the local water supply at (its) facility in Malaysia”... some consumers have become more concerned about health issues surrounding tap water consumption, such as “the hygiene of the water ducts and pipes”. When these concerns were relayed to PUB, it told Channel NewsAsia that Singapore has “a comprehensive and rigorous maintenance, servicing and monitoring programme which covers the entire water system, from reservoirs to waterworks, through the distribution network, to the end consumer’s tap”. This ensures that the tap water is “clean and wholesome”, it said. PUB also added that the pipes used in Singapore’s potable water supply “are primarily cement-lined ductile iron and steel water mains” that comply with international standards"

A compilation of Mediacorp's "Have you taken your medicine?"
Mostly from Channel 8, but Channel U seems to have some. And some look Korean. Maybe it's an East Asian thing? - View Single Post - Visa to Australia - "VISA Service Fee
SGD$7 (RM$20) nett per passport. No other hidden charges.
You are paying for Service Fee to process the Visa application.
... Two *FREE* Visa for these Forum Members (see below requirements) (HWZ) (MCF) (LYN)"
The domain name redirects here

The Bengali Famine - "Mr. Polya begins by dismissing all historians who disagree with him as Anglo-American and Zionist propagandists, including official biographer Sir Martin Gilbert—who, since it’s always a good idea to question the accused, we asked for comment. “Churchill was not responsible for the Bengal Famine,” Sir Martin replied. “I have been searching for evidence for years: none has turned up. The 1944 Document volume of the official biography [Hillsdale College Press] will resolve this issue finally”... “The idea that Churchill was in any way ‘responsible’ or ‘caused’ the Bengal famine is of course absurd. The real cause was the fall of Burma to the Japanese, which cut off India's main supply of rice imports when domestic sources fell short, which they did in Eastern Bengal after a devastating cyclone in mid-October 1942""

A review of the evidence for the effectiveness, safety, and cost of acupuncture, massage therapy, and spinal manipulation for back pain. - "Initial studies have found massage to be effective for persistent back pain. Spinal manipulation has small clinical benefits that are equivalent to those of other commonly used therapies. The effectiveness of acupuncture remains unclear. All of these treatments seem to be relatively safe. Preliminary evidence suggests that massage, but not acupuncture or spinal manipulation, may reduce the costs of care after an initial course of therapy."

No, Super Mario Run isn’t too expensive, you’re just too cheap - "While most of the reviews are very positive, the average score is only 2.5. What’s bringing the score down is the many, many 1-star reviews. Overwhelmingly these reviews are about one thing: price. In an app store where price has been thoroughly driven down by freemium and $0.99 games, it seems a traditional approach to pricing up-front for quality content leaves a sour taste in user’s mouths... This content is new interesting, and can engage the senses in ways that just having more gold can not. This is part of the art of games, and it’s being lost with the IAP-driven design of most mobile games today. These games don’t win awards for creative excellence. They aren’t viewed as adding to the art of crafting games. No, they are more akin to something else that rewards players for playing with an alternative currency devised by the system… slot machines... Players avoid paying $10 one time, and instead pay $0.99 50 times, or in some sad cases, much much more. Like this guy, who spent $1 million dollars on Game of War In-App-Purchases. Seriously, you can’t make this up. On average, mobile gamers spend $87 per player on their “free” games. Tim Cook himself was forced to reckon with this abusive type of monetization after being probed by the FTC, and Apple ended up refunding $32.5M for in-app purchases made by kids."

hardly pocket change: mobile gamers spend an average of $87 on in-app purchases - "Our analysis validated the existence of mobile gaming “whales“. Data shows that only 10 percent of the mobile in-game purchasing population accounts for 90 percent of mobile gaming sales. Further listening to the statical sonar reveals that the top one percent, the “white whales”, of mobile gamers account for an astonishing 58 percent of the mobile gaming revenue from in-app purchases. This trend doesn’t occur among traditional games, where roughly 28 percent of the audience accounts for 90 percent of game sales... The real cost is we are raising a generation of gambling addicts. We are throwing out all the value in the art and craft of storytelling in games. We are abandoning everything that makes the experience of playing games valuable, and replacing it with cheap thrills. “Free” never means free, you’ll always pay one way or another."

Why Margaret Cho was justifiably angry over Tilda Swinton's demand for emotional labour - "Of course Cho was polite in her emails; if people of colour weren't polite every time we're confronted with problematic behaviour by powerful white people, we'd be rioting every hour of every day. Instead, we do our best to present our case, hope we're actually listened to, and then later vent to our friends about the latest round of extracurricular emotional labour we've had to do in our workplace, in our school, on the bus ride home, or wherever it occurred. There is absolutely nothing surprising about Cho's emails or her account on the podcast; both will be familiar to anyone from marginalised backgrounds or who faces systemic discrimination"
Yet more proof that white people (or other "powerful" people) shouldn't try to appease SJWs because you can never win. They will look for some angle to attack you anyway, so you might as well do your own thing (since you'll get savaged regardless).

Minority rule, majority hate - "Can two seemingly unrelated issues like globalization and violent ethnonationalism actually have a priori linkages? Yale University professor Amy Chua's new book takes the globalization debate into uncharted territory via myriad comparative examples to show the explosive collision between free market democracy and ethnic hatred... The latifundia feudal land ownership system, dominated by Spanish-blooded families, is booming further with each new round of pro-globalization reforms. Other outsider minorities making hay under the neo-liberal economic order in Latin America include Lebanese, Jewish and Palestinian businessmen, who corner enormous profits in Brazil, Panama, Argentina, Belize and Honduras. All over the region, traditionally soft in ethnic identity assertion, "distinctively ethnic resentment against market-dominant light-skinned elites is on the rise"... Besides whites, the other non-indigenous market dominant minorities in Africa are Indian and Lebanese merchants"
You can't blame colonialism for Indian and Lebanese success in Africa

“Merry Christmas” vs. “Happy Holidays”: Republicans and Democrats are Polar Opposites - "Nearly one-quarter (24%) of Democrats say they blocked, unfriended, or stopped following someone on social media after the election because of their political posts on social media. Fewer than one in ten Republicans (9%) and independents (9%) report eliminating people from their social media circle. Political liberals are also far more likely than conservatives to say they removed someone from their social media circle due to what they shared online (28% vs. 8%, respectively). Eleven percent of moderates say they blocked, unfollowed, or unfriended someone due to what they posted online. There is also a substantial gender gap. Women are twice as likely as men to report removing people from their online social circle because of the political views they expressed online (18% vs. 9%, respectively). Notably, the gender gap also differs significantly across political affiliation. Three in ten (30%) Democratic women say they removed an individual from their online social network because of a political opinion they expressed, while only 14% of Democratic men reported doing this. Republican men and women are about equally as likely to say they blocked, unfollowed, or unfriended someone on social media because of political posts (10% vs. 8%, respectively)."
This replicates the Pew finding that liberals are more intolerant (i.e. more likely to block, unfriend or hide people because of politics)
"It was always the women, and above all the young ones, who were the most bigoted adherents of the Party, the swallowers of slogans, the amateur spies and nosers−out of unorthodoxy.” ― George Orwell, 1984

Kevin 👐 Glass on Twitter: "@JulieBorowski: I am so torn on immigration. I want free migration of people, but can't deny that Germany's open door policy led to terrorist attacks.
@KevinWGlass: sometimes we gotta bite the bullet and say increased welfare for refugees is worth the increased risk of domestic terrorism"
Besides the modern version of Original Sin liberals believe in turning the other cheek. So ironically despite a reflexive anti-Christianity stance they are quite like Jesus

Michigan recount reveals error, but not the one Jill Stein wanted - "Green Party nominee Jill Stein’s presidential vote recount in Michigan may have turned up massive voter irregularities — in the Democratic stronghold of Detroit. Now it’s Republican leaders who are demanding an investigation to determine why a third of the city’s voting machines registered more ballots than actual voters, the Detroit News reported."
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