"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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Sunday, February 19, 2017

Links - 19th February 2017 (2)

Londoners launch anti-Tube Chat campaign - "London commuters have attempted to prove they are insular and unfriendly by wearing badges discouraging fellow passengers from talking to them."

Why Do Women Risk Pain and Injury Wearing High Heels? - "as heel height increases, men pay more attention to women—much more attention... Men lust after women, and some women experience male-style desire. But many women feel less motivated by lust than the need to feel desired, to attract and hold male attention. High heels attract male gazes. Women often complain about the downsides of high heels, but continue to wear them. Apparently, the yearning to appear desirable beats the desire to feel comfortable."

Want a helping hand? Try wearing high heels. - "Are men more likely to respond to women in heels because they find them more attractive, and are they more likely to answer survey questions from or help an attractive woman? Or are the men who help a woman in heels pick up her glove correctly perceiving that a woman in heels is in fact, physically, less stable than a woman in flats, and might therefore be more likely to need their help? Or, more interestingly still — and more troublingly — does a woman’s perceived instability and vulnerability make her more physically attractive to some men?"

Men’s music ability and attractiveness to women in a real-life courtship context - "This experiment tested the assumption that music plays a role in sexual selection. Three hundred young women were solicited in the street for their phone number by a young male confederate who held either a guitar case or a sports bag in his hands or had no bag at all. Results showed that holding a guitar case was associated with greater compliance to the request, thus suggesting that musical practice is associated with sexual selection."

Gardener accidentally triggers ‘red alert’ for northern lights while cutting the grass

Hamas condemns video of Muslim and Jewish people dancing as 'disgraceful spectacle' - "Officials from Hamas have criticised a video appearing to show Muslim and Jewish people dancing together at a Hanukka ceremony, describing it as a “disgraceful spectacle”. The Islamist group said the video from the event, hosted by the king of Bahrain and attended by members of the local Jewish community, was “humiliating” after it was posted on YouTube."

Disney to reportedly receive £41 million insurance payout after death of Carrie Fisher

Who Said It: A Suffragette or a Member of the KKK?

Witchcraft banned from Rwandan soccer matches after bizarre incident

Self-driving cars will exacerbate organ shortages. - "There’s also evidence that both monetary and nonmonetary compensation offer strong incentives for donation. In 2008, for example, Israel instituted a benefit package for living donors that included full wage reimbursement for 40 days and up to five years of paid expenses for a variety of services, including health and life insurance. The country also amended its organ transplant law again in 2010 to allow a patient to gain priority allocation on a transplant list if a member of his or her family demonstrated willingness to donate an organ. The number of living organ donors increased by 67 percent between 2011 and 2013 compared with the previous three-year period."

Man convicted of bacon attack on mosque dies in jail - "Kevin Crehan, who was from Knowle in Bristol, was jailed in July. He was convicted along with three others of committing a racially aggravated public order offence. In January 2016 they shouted racial abuse at a member of the Jamia Mosque on Green Street in Totterdown in Bristol while rashers of bacon were placed on the door handles and a St George’s flag was tied to the fence."

White House fails to make case that Russian hackers tampered with election - " The US government's much-anticipated analysis of Russian-sponsored hacking operations provides almost none of the promised evidence linking them to breaches that the Obama administration claims were orchestrated in an attempt to interfere with the 2016 presidential election."

Shanghai working woman opens Instagram account to document lucrative affair with her boss

Malaysian man says he is living in fear after wife buys million-ringgit insurance in his name - "The man, who has been a construction safety officer since retiring in 2011, said two men posing as civil engineering students attempted to strangle him inside a car on Sept 10."

Steve Martin deletes tweet calling Carrie Fisher 'beautiful' after backlash
Comment: "so she was not beautiful? or she was not a creature? which is it? is it wrong to say a person is a creature of habit? that's what feminists are for sure - they are creatures of habit when it comes to criticizing anything a man states..."

Monkeys Make Stone "Tools" That Bear a Striking Resemblance to Early Human Artifacts

This Chinese Billionaire Is Moving Production to the U.S. to Cut Costs - "Wage and transportation costs are getting higher in China, Cao says. "Compared with four years ago, labor wages [in China] today have tripled," he told China Business Network. Meanwhile, "transportation in the U.S. costs the equivalent of less than one yuan ($) per kilometer, while road tolls [in China] are higher," he added, pointing out that some mid- and small-sized Chinese enterprises have already started moving to Southeast Asian countries like Vietnam and Cambodia for cheaper wages and materials."

Indonesia's Growing Islamist Populism - "There is one group in particular, the Islamic Defenders Front (Front Pembela Islam/FPI), which has always been around since 1998, but it was seen as a splinter group; it was seen as a group that was only active at the very Islamist margins. They have now proven that they can mobilize numbers of people that was unprecedented in Indonesian history. Again, the demonstration on the 2nd of December probably had around 750,000 people on the streets of Jakarta. That is larger than any demonstration we have seen, including in the 1950s and 1960s. So that has catapulted the leader of this particular group, Habib Muhammad Rizieq Syihab, into the center of Indonesian politics."

This smart urinal will clean your dick entirely hands-free

Three British Airways passengers treated like 'rock stars' when they found they were the only people on board their flight

People think they've seen 'Shazaam,' but it never existed - "If you fondly remember the early-1990s film "Shazaam," starring the comedian Sinbad as an incompetent genie who tries to help out two young children — then you are wrong. Not because the movie isn't good, but because it never existed in the first place."

Somali-American teen becomes the first Miss USA hopeful to wear a hijab and a burkini - "she stuck to her conservative Muslim dress code, covering her head with a hijab and wearing a burkini during the swimsuit competition. A burkini is a swimsuit worn by many Muslim women, which covers most of the body"
If you don't stick to the rules, shouldn't you get thrown out?

It’s time to accept reality – Hong Kong is a city in decline and it’s our fault | South China Morning Post - "Virtually everything that is wrong with us is rooted in our fight for so-called true democracy. We lie to ourselves that our promised high degree of autonomy equals self-determination with elections free of any Beijing input. We delude ourselves that this so-called true democracy will shield us from the mainland."

Singapore named second most vegan-friendly city in Asia by Peta - "Taipei, Taiwan, pipped Singapore to the top spot on the list by the international animal rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals or Peta."

audioBoom / Today: Should women fight on frontline? - "We are physically different... as an example, in my squadron, we deployed with a lot of very heavy communications vehicles. We had, there were quite a lot of physical tasks to be done every time we deployed on exercise. We had a maximum of 4 girls in my squadron, 4 women in the squadron and it was perfectly natural and normal that the guys would do all the heavy jobs and those jobs which were physically demanding, whilst women would do the slightly less physical. I mean it was just the normal course of events. It was absolutely fine in the situation that I was in. But when we're talking about an infantry section of 8 guys and you've got 1 person who is not actually as physically strong or as physically capable as the other 7, over possibly an extended period of time, which is what has not been tested, that could create an effect on our combat effectiveness... Captain Katie Petronio who was a combat engineer, an American combat engineer, who herself was definitely up for anything that a man could do when she joined. She spent an extended period of time in Afghanistan, had to carry a very heavy load and was physically affected very seriously and she has said herself: Stop. Stop. Women should not be placed in these situations
Which is more valuable? A feminist perspective or the perspective of someone (who is incidentally a woman) who has on the ground military experience?

BBC Radio 4 - Best of Today, The fall of the Soviet Union: The Rosenberg reports - "'By nature, I am a typical monarchist'
'You'd like a Tzar back'
'I want the Tzar. I understand that the country is so big, and it has so many problems that I don't see anybody else but a strong mighty powerful person who's gonna run this country'
'Does Vladimir Putin fulfil that need for a Tzar?'
'To my understanding, yes'
'Western governments would say the President is being aggressive. The West doesn't trust Vladimir Putin'
'So why should they like him? He's not a girl. He's not a pretty woman. Why should they like him? Not everybody likes people who have their own point of view'...
'The West has very often believed that Russia was insulted, that Russia was humiliated and that the West has done wrong and the West should look at its own mistakes, where did we get Russia wrong. I would say no. The West did not get Russia wrong. Russia got itself wrong. Russia constructed its own grief. Russia constructed its own litany of concerns, cos this was a new ideology that was very much befitting the authoritarian drift in Russian domestic politics. We needed an external enemy. And we needed a new sense of confrontation with the West in order to consolidate Putin's domestic power'"

Stupid Reasons to Go to War in the Middle Ages - "Another strange medieval conflict was the so-called ‘War of the Bucket’, fought in 1325 between the Italian city-states of Bologna and Modena. They had been foes for many years before this, and during a period of heightened tension, a group of Modenese soldiers sneaked into Bologna, and stole a bucket from the main city well. The Bolognese demanded the return of the bucket, which was refused, and then mustered an army of 32,000 men to attack Modena. However, the Modenese met them at the Battle of Zappolino. Two thousand men were left dead on the battlefield, and the Bolognese being routed. You can still see the famous bucket on display in Modena."

The War on Stupid People - "[In the 1950s] hiring decisions were “based on a candidate having a critical skill or two and on soft factors such as eagerness, appearance, family background, and physical characteristics.”... The 2010s, in contrast, are a terrible time to not be brainy. Those who consider themselves bright openly mock others for being less so. Even in this age of rampant concern over microaggressions and victimization, we maintain open season on the nonsmart. People who’d swerve off a cliff rather than use a pejorative for race, religion, physical appearance, or disability are all too happy to drop the s‑bomb: Indeed, degrading others for being “stupid” has become nearly automatic in all forms of disagreement... Harvard Business School professor Chris Argyris argued that smart people can make the worst employees, in part because they’re not used to dealing with failure or criticism. Multiple studies have concluded that interpersonal skills, self-awareness, and other “emotional” qualities can be better predictors of strong job performance than conventional intelligence, and the College Board itself points out that it has never claimed SAT scores are helpful hiring filters... Intelligence and academic achievement have steadily been moving up on rankings of traits desired in a mate; researchers at the University of Iowa report that intelligence now rates above domestic skills, financial success, looks, sociability, and health... the less brainy are, according to studies and some business experts, less likely to be oblivious of their own biases and flaws, to mistakenly assume that recent trends will continue into the future, to be anxiety-ridden, and to be arrogant."

The Three Stages of Stupidity - "I suggest there is a three stage mental process undertaken by thinkers of the New Left...
The three stages are:
1: Holding the urge to protect and support the underdog above all other motivating forces to the point of myopia. Support for the underdog is felt by most humans, thankfully, and should be. But it is so strong in some that it is followed unequivocally and other motivations are ignored.
2: With that as a motivating principle each problem is approached, subconsciously and consciously, by dividing all actors in a situation into the ‘oppressor’ and the ‘oppressed’. This is done along demographic lines, be them race or gender or sexuality or whatever. If you are part of that group you’re treated as the group. The view struggles with seeing individuals at all.
3: The thinker then falls for Bertrand Russell’s fallacy of ‘The Superior Virtue of the Oppressed‘. The weaker group in the binary situation is of superior virtue. No. Matter. What...
let’s say there is an article in the Guardian about the oppression of women in the Muslim world. The Muslim woman becomes part of the oppressed minority of Muslims against the oppressor, which is the West, and her individual struggle as a woman is then subsumed. Despite solicitous studies in the field of intersectionality, you really are only part of one group at a time with this process. Because the people speaking of feminist ideals become part of the West they have to be bad. For although feminists are on the oppressed side in a UK based topic, these ones are up against Muslim men, who are lumped in simply as Muslims, and therefore the feminists must conform to their larger identity, Westerners. Hence why we see committed feminist writers, plagued by this process, willingly abandon their sisters in a Muslim country under talk of cultural relativism and of different standards applying."
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