"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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Saturday, February 18, 2017

Links - 18th February 2017

BBC World Service - The Documentary, Secret Lives - "Timing matters too. One study found that as romantic partners get to know each other, they become more judgmental about the disclosures they make...
I've reached the point that when... my sister or someone tells me: hey, I want to tell you something but you have to keep it a secret, I just say: don't tell me. Don't tell me because that is a burden. Especially if I cannot tell my husband, don't tell me"

Big Secrets Can Burden You Physically | What is Psychology? - "individuals seem to feel physically burdened when asked to think about or cover up meaningful secrets. These meaningful secrets being harbored by the participants included important issues such as infidelity and sexual orientation. “People who recalled, were preoccupied with, or suppressed an important secret estimated hills to be steeper, perceived distances to be farther, indicated that physical tasks would require more effort, and were less likely to help others with physical tasks” (Slepian, et al., 2012).

BBC World Service - The Food Chain, Beauty from Within? - "The Victorian lady was expected to her have beauty as a gift from God. A pure mind and pure living would create a beautiful face. Shop-bought cosmetics were the preserve of actresses, prostitutes and the French. So if you go through Victorian beauty manuals, strawberry juice was said to be very very good for removing wrinkles and freckles, the despair of blondes, could be addressed with green beans boiled and pulverised...
More than half of all the food, drinks and supplements to make beauty claims to be launched in 2015 were in the Asia-Pacific. 25% in Europe and just 4% in the US...
The clinical studies we have done, we normally run them over 3 months. And we start to see statistically significant effect after 1 month of intake, and that is daily intake. Basically when we age, our collagen network starts to fragment, it's not as cohesive and that's when you get wrinkles and sagging. And what we can see is we can actually reverse that trend and make that collagen network more intact. We can show that the overall collagen density increases so these are like objective measurements...
But not everyone agrees the science behind these products is rigorous enough...
As dermatologists we certainly know that poor nutrition can have very detrimental effects on your skin. What we don't know too well is if in a person that already has a good nutritional status, if we add supplementatiom of these compounds, are we getting beneficial effects. So now you're talking about the collagen peptides and certain studies have shown that when these are taken as supplements, they can accumulate in the blood and possibly modify the skin. There's been no large controlled studies proving their efficacy. When you ingest something it has to be a process by your digestive tract and then absorbed into your bloodstream and then make it to whatever target tissue it's designed to act at. It's possible to measure for example the concentration of these collagen peptides within the blood, but from there it's very hard to know whether or not they're getting into the skin. And that's true for most supplements. Knowing how much is actually getting there is not a simple question"

‘CONSPICUOUS CONSUMPTION’ KEEPS PEOPLE LOCKED IN POVERTY - "poor families around the world – those living on less than $2 a day – spend much of their income on goods that do not appear to alleviate poverty. For example, the average spending on festivals is as high as 15% of income in some regions of India. Similarly, South Africans spend on average a year’s income on an adult’s funeral, often financed by borrowing... Moav and Neeman propose that people care about their economic status and try to signal their income through conspicuous consumption. The analysis shows that if human capital is somewhat observable and correlated with income, then an unfortunate outcome driven by ‘signalling’ can emerge, in which poor individuals spend a large fraction of their income on conspicuous consumption. In particular, individuals with high human capital have a recognisable earning ability – professional titles, degree certificates, prestigious jobs, etc. – and relatively little need to signal success. In contrast, those without certified accomplishments have a relatively stronger motivation to impress via conspicuous consumption. As a result, the fraction of income allocated to conspicuous consumption can decline as the level of human capital rises – and the income allocated to savings and education can increase. Thus, the analysis predicts that among poor families with low levels of education, there will be low saving rates and low investment in the future – particularly in children’s education."
Keywords: survival strategy, poor

Over half of women wake up in a mood with their partner - because he annoyed them in a DREAM in the night

The world's most secure smartphones - and why they're all Androids - "This may seem odd, as Android has long been dogged by a poor reputation for security. However, building on Android is much easier than building a smartphone OS from scratch. Also, because the core of Android is open source, it's much more likely that bugs will be spotted and fixed... there can also be a cost-saving element: without secure phones, some customers in investment banking could only discuss certain sensitive deals in person, so the phones can save money, speed up projects and pay for themselves in a week."

Christina H. Sommers on Twitter - "When young women say no to feminism, feminists don't accept that no means no."

Anti-gun dildo protest at UT-Austin is 'sexual harassment' according to federal definition - "The federal government should be descending on the University of Texas-Austin any day now to investigate the school’s response to hordes of students who practiced blatant “sexual harassment.” That’s because students who oppose the state’s new campus-carry law were publicly brandishing dildos to protest the law last week – and that’s certainly “unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature” to at least some students."

curioustraveller1985 comments on Discouraged, more under 30 stop looking for jobs - "when I was working in a industry trade association, I often had to deal with hundred of SME bosses. Nearly all were asking for relaxation of foreign manpower curbs. When I asked them why they are so dependent on manpower curbs, "NS liability" was one of the informal answers very often given to me, although not a single one of the bosses would ever put it down on paper."
"A common complaint was "we've become the training ground for the middle east". This wasn't a case of MOM not willing to renew the S-Passes or Work permits; this was a case of their staff not wanting to work in Singapore because they received better-paying offers elsewhere in the world. When we suggested that they paid better salaries to retain their most talented staff, they refused to accept it. Instead, they suggested things like the duration of work permits and S-Passes should be doubled or tripled; one even suggested that the leaving staff should somehow be "forced" to stay in Singapore. I was like thinking "WTF" when i heard that at industry engagement session."

Bust of talent agencies for pimping porn starlets reveals hard times in industry - "Latin Quarter and Haute Couture used their web sites to attract customers by posting the names of actresses, their photographs and titles of their films were posted on the sites. Popular actresses fetched upwards of 80,000 yen per 120-minute session, with the bathhouse taking a cut of 15,000 yen... Fuzoku writer Taizo Ebina says that more women are entering the AV trade to snag a rich husband. “Girls are half-heartedly entering the trade on a lark with friends, some of whom are looking to score big by marrying into money,” says Ebina. “With the title ‘AV actress,’ women have a chance to encounter rabid fans with money from the Middle East and China.” (Though such an assertion may sound absurd, actress Yuria Satomi appears to be highly skilled at befriending wealthy men.)"

Transgender kids: Have we gone too far? - "“When we ask, ‘When did you first learn about this label of gender dysphoria’, they’ll say, ‘Me and Mom watched Oprah,’ ” adds Dr. Hayley Wood, a member of his team... Gender confusion is often temporary. About three-quarters of little kids who have issues with their gender – boys who want to be princesses, girls who throw their dresses in the garbage – will be comfortable with it by adolescence, according to Dr. Zucker. (Many of them will grow up to be gay or bi.) Gender confusion can also be a handy label for whatever ails a child (or her family). That’s why Dr. Zucker takes a watch-and-wait approach. He even advises parents of princessy six-year-olds to say, “You’re not a girl. You’re a boy.”And in the hotly politicized world of gender politics, that makes him, in many people’s eyes, a dangerous reactionary... At what point do you start taking life-altering decisions for a child that will have enormous physical, social and emotional consequences? Alice Dreger is a bioethicist and professor at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago. She calls herself an (im)patient advocate who prefers evidence to ideology. She is a strong supporter of transgender rights. But she thinks the pendulum has swung too far... For some people, including some adolescents, transgender treatment is lifesaving. But these treatments are neither simple nor benign. They may, among other things, retard maturation, suppress your growth or render you sterile. And in the end, medical science cannot create a body that makes you forget you were born the other sex. “Some kids need it, but for the kids who don’t, it’s dangerous,” she says. “All else being equal, it’s better to avoid long-term hormone therapy and major surgery that removes a lot of tissue.” Disturbingly, data on long-term outcomes for transgender kids are scarce. No one is tracking the evidence on puberty-blocking intervention either. “We are doing major interventions and we have shockingly little idea what the outcomes are,” Ms. Dreger says. You get the sense that what we have is not so much a rational approach to a psychosocial issue as a radical ideological experiment. Here’s more unwelcome news from Ms. Dreger. A child’s gender issue may merely be a symptom of other family problems. “The dirty little secret is that many of these families have big dysfunctional issues. When you get the clinicians over a beer, they’ll tell you the truth. A lot of the parents aren’t well in terms of their mental health. They think that once the child transitions, all their problems will magically go away, but that’s not really where the stress is located.” Clinicians won’t say these things publicly, she says, because they don’t want to sound as if they’re blaming gender problems on screwed-up families."

The Transgender Battle Line: Childhood - WSJ - "sexologists, who presumably would be able to determine the healthiest approach, are extremely reluctant to get involved. They have seen what happens when they deviate from orthodoxy. In 2003 a sex researcher and psychology professor at Northwestern University named J. Michael Bailey published “The Man Who Would Be Queen,” a book that countered the idea that male-to-female transgenderism is innately tied to gender identity. For some, he said, the attraction is related to a sexual fantasy of being a woman. Dr. Bailey was quickly accused of transphobia and sustained several years of vicious public attacks. The episode left a lasting impression on sexology: Science that doesn’t align with prevailing attitudes can be dangerous. Witness the recent experience of Kenneth Zucker, a psychologist in Toronto (who has conducted research with Dr. Bailey)... We don’t allow children to vote or get tattoos, yet in the name of progressive thinking we are allowing them to choose serious biomedical interventions with permanent and irreversible results."
The right wing is hardly the only side which manipulates science for political purposes

How the Fight Over Transgender Kids Got a Leading Sex Researcher Fired - "Zucker had built up quite a CV during his time leading the clinic: In addition to being one of the most frequently cited names in the research literature on gender dysphoria and gender-identity development, and the editor of the prestigious journal Archives of Sexual Behavior, he took a leading role helping devise diagnostic and treatment guidelines for gender dysphoric and transgender individuals. He headed the group which developed the DSM-5’s criteria for its “gender dysphoria” entry, for example, and also helped write the most recent “standards of care” guidelines for the World Professional Association for Transgender Health — one of the bibles for clinicians who treat transgender and gender-dysphoric patients... the real scandal here is how CAMH responded to a sustained campaign of political pressure: by allowing a vital scientific question — vital not only to gender-dysphoric and transgender young people, but to anyone who is a parent or will one day become one — to be decided by activists on the basis of flimsy, anonymous allegations. They think the activists’ claims about the clinic are unfounded, and argue that the controversy has more to do with adult agendas than with genuine concern for gender-dysphoric children and youth. As Dr. Jack Drescher, a psychiatrist with a research focus on gender-identity issues, explained in an email, this fight resembles many other culture-war battles: “[C]hildren serve as proxies for the competing value systems of adults.”"

Stop calling them boys and girls! Advisers paid £200k to help train teachers claim using sex specific classrooms is unfair to transgenders

Transgender cop's uniform keeps her out of event she organized - "Officer Christine Garcia, who transitioned last year, helped plan the event and was part of the Police Department security detail that watched over a commemorative march down University Avenue. After the march, when Garcia tried to enter the event as a member of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer community, she was asked to leave because her uniform could upset others in attendance."

Paglia: ‘Transgender Mania’ is a Symptom of West's Cultural Collapse - "Paglia went on to talk about her book Sexual Personae and how the emergence of transgenderism signifies the end of Western culture. “Now I am concerned about this… In fact, my study of history in Sexual Personae, I’m always talking about the late phases of culture.
“I was always drawn to late or decadent phases of culture. Oscar Wilde is one of the great exponents of that in the late 19th century. He’s one of my strongest influences from my earliest years.
"And I found in my study that history is cyclic, and everywhere in the world you find this pattern in ancient times: that as a culture begins to decline, you have an efflorescence of transgender phenomena.That is a symptom of cultural collapse.""

Transgender Identities Are Not Always Permanent - "Alexis Arquette (formerly Robert Arquette), a transgender performer and activist, returned to living as a man before his death on September 11, 2016, at the age of 47. Arquette appeared in the movies Pulp Fiction and The Wedding Singer and was a force for transgender rights... 'In 2013, amid increasing health complications, Alexis … began presenting herself as a man again, telling [her close friend] Ibrahim that “‘gender is bullshit.’ That ‘putting on a dress doesn’t biologically change anything. Nor does a sex-change.’ She said that ‘sex-reassignment is physically impossible. All you can do is adopt these superficial characteristics but the biology will never change.’” That realization, Ibrahim suspects, was the likely source of her deep wells of emotional torment.'
The process of abandoning the transgender life and reverting back to one’s innate gender/sex is called detransitioning. As someone who has detransitioned myself, I only wish more would speak up about the reality of what life is like after transitioning to the other gender and why some people eventually decide to embrace their birth sex."
If someone undergoes a sex change twice, do you need to perform the Orwellian rewriting of his historical name (e.g. pretending that Switched on Bach was released by Wendy Carlos) the second time too?

Hair salon at Plaza Singapura shuts, leaving customers with thousands of dollars in unused treatments - "She said many clients of the previous salon have come to her with outstanding amounts on their packages ranging from $100 to $20,000."
Who buys a $20,000 package?!

Sex changes are not effective, say researchers - "The review of more than 100 international medical studies of post-operative transsexuals by the University of Birmingham's aggressive research intelligence facility (Arif) found no robust scientific evidence that gender reassignment surgery is clinically effective... most of the medical research on gender reassignment was poorly designed, which skewed the results to suggest that sex change operations are beneficial. Its review warns that the results of many gender reassignment studies are unsound because researchers lost track of more than half of the participants... the high drop out rate could reflect high levels of dissatisfaction or even suicide among post-operative transsexuals. He called for the causes of their deaths to be tracked to provide more evidence... Research from the US and Holland suggests that up to a fifth of patients regret changing sex. A 1998 review by the Research and Development Directorate of the NHS Executive found attempted suicide rates of up to 18% noted in some medical studies of gender reassignment... "You either have an operation or suffer a miserable life. A fifth of those who don't get treatment commit suicide""
If either way you're miserable and may kill yourself...
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