"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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Friday, February 24, 2017

Links - 24th February 2017

PIERS MORGAN slams Meryl Streep's Golden Globes spech - "She began by saying that Hollywood, foreigners and the press are ‘the most vilified segments of American society right now’. At which point the cameras panned out to hundreds of the richest, most privileged people in American society sitting in the audience in their $10,000 tuxedos and $20,000 dresses, loudly cheering this acknowledgement of their dreadful victimhood... the reporter is hardly a powerless individual with ‘no capacity to fight back’; he’s a long-time Pulitzer-prize winning investigative journalist at the New York Times, a paper that’s trashed Trump for decades... To highlight just one example of Streep’s shocking hypocrisy, what about the 2003 Oscars when she leaped to her feet and gave child rapist Roman Polanski a standing ovation after he was announced as winner of Best Director for The Pianist?... At the end of her speech, Streep launched a passionate defense of the press. ‘They’ll need us to safeguard the truth,’ she said. Now, I’ve been a journalist for over 30 years. I love my industry, warts and all, and I welcome any support. But when it comes to the truth, many parts of America’s media were found severely wanting in this election campaign. Frankly, a lot of the coverage was a fact-starved partisan disgrace as they fought to see who could sink deeper into the tank for Hillary Clinton... It’s also a fact that no president in modern times has been so anti-press, or so intent on attacking press freedom, as Barack Obama, one of Streep’s heroes. Under his administration, the US government has set a new record for withholding Freedom of Information Act requests. Obama’s also used the Espionage Act to prosecute whistleblowers who leak to journalists more times than all previous administrations COMBINED. So yes, the stench of hypocrisy throughout Streep’s speech was putridly pungent... Mark Wahlberg... urged actors not to talk about politics: ‘A lot of Hollywood is living in a bubble. They’re pretty out of touch with the common person, with the everyday guy out there providing for their family.’ Quite. Meryl, I still love you dearly, but you had a chance to bring your country together last night and you blew it"

Donald Trump Is a Jerk, but That Does Not Make Meryl Streep an Underdog - "Thus did Meryl Streep, a rich, successful, widely admired, award-winning movie star, implausibly portray herself as a vilified outsider while dismissing many, if not most, of her fellow Americans as yokels with no appreciation for "the arts" (which evidently include She-Devil and Mamma Mia! but not Monday Night Football). And where did Streep get the idea that Trump, a cultural liberal who is himself a representative of Hollywood as a reality TV star and producer, either embraces the social-conservative critique of the entertainment industry or wants to prevent foreign-born creators and performers from participating in it? Trump, who married a model from Czechoslovakia and another from Slovenia, floated several alarming immigration proposals during his campaign, but they did not include any policy that would preclude Ruth Negga, Ryan Gosling, or Dev Patel from working in the United States. Streep, a Hillary Clinton supporter who spoke at the Democratic convention last summer, has trouble distinguishing between Trump's actual faults and those of the cultural reactionaries she imagines populate the Republican Party. That confusion is necessary because she is determined to portray herself and her rich and famous friends as besieged dissidents"

Donald Trump's 'impression' of a disabled reporter may have been his 'default' put down - "Donald Trump was accused in November last year of mocking a disabled reporter - but videos of his other speeches suggest that he performs the same impression for whoever he mocks. Trump mocked New York Times journalist Serge F Kovaleskiat a South Carolina rally by making twitching arm and face movements - which the disabled reporter took as a personal slight. But pro-Trump website Catholics 4 Trump says that the Republican candidate has a long history of making similar gestures while mocking other people"

Teen jailed for blackmailing cop - "A TEEN waitress has been jailed for blackmailing a police officer she met on a dating website — after editing a video to make it sound like he was threatening to rape her... The officer, who was not named in court, said: “She has always been talking about money and asking for money. “I am extremely disturbed by this and feel it has affected me personally with trust issues and has made me realise how vulnerable I can be.” Judge Jeremy Carey said he had to put her behind bars for the ‘premeditated, determined and unpleasant nature’ of her behaviour. He said: “The officer is to be commended for the measured way in which he has expressed the extent of the impact upon him. “The reality is, as you well know, that he was particularly vulnerable because of his position as a serving police officer."
I like how he was called 'vulnerable'

Study explains evolution phenomenon that puzzled Darwin - "In animals with ornamentation, males will evolve out of the tension between natural selection and sexual selection into two distinct subspecies, one with flashy, “costly” ornaments for attracting mates and one with subdued, “low-cost” ornaments... Where do humans fit in? “I don’t want to push it too far, but the natural analogy is that individuals also can try to appear more appealing by spending resources on things that cost a lot of money -- expensive homes, cars, clothes or jewelry, for example,” Abrams said."

Her Tears Will Control Your Mind - "testosterone levels were lower in saliva samples taken from men sniffing tears than men sniffing saline, and arousal-associated brain areas were muffled by tears as well."

Blame the Rich - "the big houses of the British countryside before World War I often accommodated 10 to 20 servants, who were typically young, female and single. "Housemaid Heights," Betzig argues, functioned as a de facto harem for upper-class males. Thus an 1883 investigation in Scotland found that domestic servants accounted for almost half of out-of-wedlock births...
In the relatively stable British climate after 1200, with limited resources and little population growth, "the superabundant children of the rich" inevitably moved down the economic ladder, displacing poor families. And something of their privileged past went with them. "The attributes that would ensure later economic dynamism—patience, hard work, ingenuity, innovativeness, education—were thus spreading biologically throughout the population," Clark writes... There is, however, another way the rich may have helped make us who we are: by their knack for "extreme selfishness." Like many scholars, Brian Hayden, an archaeologist at Simon Fraser University in British Columbia, believed that leaders generally served the common good. Then he interviewed people in traditional Mayan villages about how their leaders had helped out during droughts and famines... Even if crediting the rich with the agricultural revolution seems like a stretch, Hayden has marshaled plenty of other evidence that triple-A types have repeatedly driven the development of new technologies for the purpose of displaying their prestige—textiles, for instance, and metalworking, glass, indoor plumbing and illuminated books. Then the sweaty mob imitates them, gradually figuring out how to make prestige items more cheaply and put them to practical use."

January Jones Says Her Son Doesn't Need a Father Figure to Teach Him 'Sh**ty Things' - "The former Mad Men actress says she’s a proud single mom whose son doesn’t need a father because she doesn’t want a man around the house to teach him “sh**ty things.”"

Amazon’s (AMZN) Alexa accidentally ordered a ton of dollhouses across San Diego

My Little Paris - Timeline - "Paris is your playground.
Leçon de voltige sur les toits de Paris."

Turns Out Getting Revenge Really Does Make You Happier

Was Iron Dome defense system actually built for Singapore? - "A Paris-based online magazine covering intelligence and security issues this week called Singapore one of the most important customers of Israel's defense industry"

Apple's new iPhone 7 lightning headphones rely on the company's most hated product - "Deep within Apple’s labyrinthine website, beyond its beloved laptops, phones, and tablets, is a class of items that are universally reviled. The company’s lightning cords were introduced four years ago to immediate disapproval that has never waned. On Reddit, Tumblr and, uh, Apple.com, people register the same central complaints. The cords don’t work. They break. They’re expensive and tedious to replace. The 1-meter version has a cumulative rating of 1.5 stars out of 5 on Apple’s website... Apple could still fortify the neck of the cord to make it more resistant to natural wear and tear. But to do so would impinge upon one of Apple’s top design imperatives: Minimalist design."

Indigenous woman yells ‘I hate white people’ before punching white woman, but it’s not a hate crime judge rules | Calgary Herald - "“There is no evidence either way about what the offender meant or whether . . . she holds or promotes an ideology which would explain why this assault was aimed at this victim,” he said."

Hamas leader's daughter treated in Israeli hospital - Telegraph

Iran opens theme park where children pretend to attack Israel and Western enemies - "The park is named The City of Games for Revolutionary Children... they are encouraged to fire plastic bullets at an effigy of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu."

Wedding brawl erupts after 'bride's ex puts incriminating photos on tables at the reception' - "One person said the bride's ex-boyfriend put photos of her performing a sex act at all the tables. That user said in the exchange: 'Brides [sic] brother thought it was one of the groomsmen.'"

Does Apple deliberately slow its old iPhones before a new release? - "The U.S. study analysed worldwide searches for 'iPhone slow' and found that the search term spiked significantly around the time of new iPhone launch. It then compared those results with similar searches for the term 'Samsung Galaxy slow', and discovered the term was unaffected by new releases from Samsung"

Growing evidence that autism is linked to pollution and babies are 283% more likely to suffer from the condition compared to other birth defects

Research news - Female animals look drab to avoid sexual harassment, study shows - ""If we accept the premise that males, while not as choosy as females, still exert some choice of mate then the question is why don’t females signal their sexual quality via ornamental sexual traits like males do?" said Professor Hosken. "We suggest that if female ornaments signalled their sexual quality, females could suffer increased sexual harassment by males and this could be especially costly to fitness." It is known that females go to great lengths to avoid male sexual harassment and signal their unattractiveness – by disguising themselves as males, moving to areas where there are fewer males, using anti-aphrodisiacs and fighting off unwanted copulation."

Sir David Attenborough and Brian Cox's shows are 'putting viewers off science' because the beautiful scenes reaffirm belief in god - "among religious people, feeling a sense of awe decreased their sense of a scientific order. Among non-religious people they were more likely to support a theory of evolution that emphasised order over randomness."

MUIS clarifies McDonald's statement on halal-only birthday cakes - "The Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (MUIS) has clarified that it adopts "a flexible approach" for the consumption of outside food in halal-certified restaurants, after McDonald's Singapore said that only halal cakes are allowed on its premises. In a media statement on Tuesday (Jan 10), MUIS said that in certain cases, such as with birthday cakes and baby food, customers can consume them at halal-certified restaurants. MUIS explained that food establishments with the halal certification "may exercise some discretion in such cases" as long as the following conditions are met:
- There is no cross-contamination and the item is not brought into the kitchen/food preparation area/storage facilities
- Only disposable cutlery is used
- The food item is consumed and any remnants bagged and disposed of immediately"

How to Never Get Lost in India | Giving and Getting Directions - "Warning: Should you choose to crowd-source your directions, remember to stop early and often. Some people will give directions, even if they are not sure how to get there, so you should double-check everything. Using landmarks will greatly increase the accuracy."

Carb your enthusiasm: Are bread, pasta and spuds making you fat? - "the National Obesity Forum, a UK body for health professionals involved in weight management, made headlines when it overhauled its advice... even wholegrain carbs, which are recommended, cause our blood sugar to rise, albeit more slowly than their milled equivalents. A slice of wholemeal bread raises blood sugar the same amount as three teaspoons of pure sugar... A jacket potato – archetypal healthy fare – is akin eating 9 teaspoons of sugar (although how fast it is released depends on what you eat with it – fat or protein lowers the speed)... In one study of 34 overweight people with type 2 diabetes, those on a low-carb, high-fat diet with no obligation to calorie count ended up with significantly better blood sugar control after 3 months than those following the low-fat guidelines for diabetes. Three times as many low-carbers were able to stop taking at least one diabetes drug as those on the standard diet... he received a National Health Service innovator of the year award, partly in recognition of the savings being made at his practice, Unwin says. Their per-patient spend on diabetes drugs is about 70 per cent of the local average... The role of insulin resistance, the key problem in diabetes, also seems to be a bigger player in heart problems than we thought. One recent study found it is a bigger heart attack risk factor for men than high blood pressure, high cholesterol and being overweight... when most vegetable oils are heated, they form toxic compounds called aldehydes, which have been linked to heart disease, cancer and dementia. So you might be better off frying in butter than sunflower oil. Many cherished beliefs about cholesterol have also turned out to be wrong. Too much cholesterol in the blood, especially a type called LDL cholesterol, can cause dangerous plaques to build up in blood vessels. But more recently we discovered that smaller LDL particles cause more plaques than large LDLs. And while eating saturated fat raises large LDL levels, small LDLs are boosted most by refined carbohydrates. That’s alarming because it suggests past research that used total LDL as a proxy for heart attack risk would be misleading – underplaying the dangers of eating processed carbs and exaggerating those of saturated fat"

Morocco 'bans the sale and production of the burka' - "Morocco has banned the sale, production and import of the burka, according to local reports. Letters announcing the ban were sent out on Monday, giving businesses 48 hours to get rid of their stock, the reports stated. There was no official announcement from the government, but unnamed officials told outlets the decision was made due to "security concerns"."
Is Morocco Islamophobic?

BBC Radio 4 - Today, 31/01/2014, French maiden name decision 'positive step' - "3/4 of married women in France still use their husbands' names...
I changed my name and I hated the fact that people felt they could criticise or even comment on that deeply personal decision. I don't think that it's the role of the state to tell us which name we should take or how we should run our families... Interestingly, the research I've seen tends to suggest the younger the woman is the more likely she is to change her name...
People are still thinking that it's, maiden name in fact comes from the fact that you were meant to be a virgin when you got married and in the 19th century, this was when women started taking men's names, it's because women were viewed as almost property and they were being handed from the father to the husband. Those are ancient battles that have been won by women. I think that's in the history books... Personally I think Ms is terribly ugly and I'm very happy to be a Mrs"
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