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Tuesday, February 07, 2017

Links - 7th February 2017

Swiss cheese hole mystery solved: It's all down to dirt - "Contrary to what cartoons have suggested over the years, the holes are not made by mice eating their way through the cheese. And nor are they produced by carbon dioxide released by bacteria, as popular scientific belief held. Instead, a Swiss laboratory says they are created by flecks of hay... the findings explained why fewer holes had been appearing in Swiss cheeses over the last 15 years, since more modern milking methods made it less likely for hay to fall into containers."

Having a ‘work spouse’ makes you happier - "In 2015, they conducted an online survey of 276 people. Based on their findings they defined a work spouse relationship as a “special, platonic friendship with a work colleague characterised by a close emotional bond, high levels of disclosure and support, and mutual trust, honesty, loyalty, and respect”... The emergence of work spouses can be seen as a symptom and extension of the increasingly blurred lines between work and family life"

Singaporeans among the world’s gloomiest millennials, Japan tops survey - "The Japanese are even more downbeat than young Greeks, who have suffered Great Depression-like conditions and political upheaval in recent years. The survey also found that 14 per cent of Singapore millennials believed they would have to work until the day they die, compared to 12 per cent globally. Singapore is joint-fourth on this list, behind Japan (37 per cent), China (18 per cent) and Greece (15 per cent). Meanwhile, Singapore millennials work more hours in a week than even the Japanese, according to the survey findings. On average, Singapore millennials worked 48 hours a week, coming in second alongside Mexico, China and Switzerland. India millennials topped this list by working an average of 50 hours a week, while the Japanese worked 46 hours."

The “Hamilton” cast’s condescending attitude toward Mike Pence is why Donald Trump won in the first place - "Imagine a president of the United States who rounded up and deported more immigrants than any other in history; put an entire generation of black men in jail with their draconian anti-drug policies; ran a horrid racist campaign against America’s first black president; attacked victims of sexual assault; or had policies that were responsible for the deaths of countless innocent civilians? Would the cast of “Hamilton” give a special wag-of-the-finger message to such leaders during their performance? Of course they wouldn’t—they absolutely love and adore Barack Obama and Bill and Hillary Clinton... It’s yet another example of the pomposity of entertainers and celebrities who fancy themselves as guardians of acceptable thought and speech, and so many Americans are just plain tired of it... British actor and comedian Tom Walker—a progressive vehemently opposed to Trump—made a similar point about the left’s attitude toward those outside their political and cultural bubble in an angry but poignant video rant after the election. “Not everyone that voted for Trump is a sexist or a racist,’ Walker yells. He continued:
The left is responsible for this result because the left have now decided that any other opinion, any other way of looking at the world is unacceptable. We don’t debate anymore because the left won the cultural wars. So if you’re on the right, you’re a freak. You’re evil. You’re racist. You’re stupid. You are a basket of deplorables. How do you think people are going to vote if you talk to them like that?"

Video puts Muslim bakeries, florists in gay-rights spotlight - "Along with cheers from the right, the video has drawn a backlash from the left, where columnist Wes Williams of charged Mr. Crowder with being “homophobic, AND racist,” calling the expose “an attempt to smear Muslims”... “Many of the Muslim bakeries were kind enough and willing to serve us, but many of them were not,” Mr. Crowder said. Mr. Williams argued that there has been no media coverage of Muslim bakeries because there have been no complaints filed against them, a point reinforced by Sommer Foster, political advocacy director of Equality Michigan, who said Friday she was unaware of any complaints... “Waiting for the militant progressive supporters of gay wedding cake to start threatening and protesting these Muslim ran bakeries,” she said in a Facebook post. “I think we will be waiting a long time.”"

Outlook 2010 crashing replying to HTML email - Spiceworks - "When a particular user in my organisation replies to some HTML emails Outlook completely freezes and needs to be ended via Task Manager and restarted. I think i've narrowed down the problem to HTML emails with embedded images (which is a lot given people have them in their signatures etc). If I delete the images before sending then it sends straight away. I've been able to replicate the problem for the same user on a different machine, so it's not a machine/profile issue as far as I can see."
"Are the images pulling from an external source? Outlook may be waiting on a network response."

Taking the Pill doesn't damage your sex drive - the length of your relationship is more important

Police force describes missing woman as 'chubby' - "A police force has come under sharp criticism for describing a missing woman as "chubby"... many also pointed out that, presumably, the force was using a description given to them by Elizabeth's family, with one saying: "The family supply the description. Grow up and stop being offended by everything. Hope they find her soon." And another added: "Send her my love and hugs. And tell her all people were worried about is that she was called chubby not that she was missing."
They shouldn't have mentioned her size, then maybe she wouldn't have been found

Trump could be the new JFK says Bill Gates: Microsoft boss says new president will unite country through innovation as the pair meet - "'It was a good time,' the Microsoft head honcho declared. 'We had a good conversation about innovation, how it can help in health, education, the impact of foreign aid and energy, and a wide-ranging conversation about the power of innovation,' he said, using the buzzword once more."

Wonder Woman Is No Longer UN Honorary Ambassador For Gender Equality - "Wonder Woman has been demoted from her role as ‘Honorary Ambassador for the Empowerment of Women and Girls’. On Monday it was announced that Wonder Woman’s campaign will come to an end on Friday, just two months after it began. The appointment of the DC Comics heroine was controversial to say the least, prompting protests and an online petition from UN staff."
Maybe the Burka Avenger would've been better

Donald Trump's anti-Muslim policies are tame compared to Pakistan's treatment of the Ahmadis - "this is an apartheid of the worst kind which has been underway for several decades now. It is incredibly ironic that a country like Pakistan, whose conceptual foundations were built on safeguarding the rights of Muslim minorities in India, now treats its own minorities with such disdain and callousness. To me, the lack of introspection and critical thought among the general populace is emphasised the most when Pakistani Muslims, who hold discriminatory beliefs against Ahmadis, cry foul of the policies against Muslims put forward by Donald Trump... It would behove such Muslims to come to the realisation that the fundamental human rights they expect to receive in the West should also extend to the treatment of minorities in Muslim-majority states. Paying heed to the Golden rule of 'Do unto others as you would have them do unto you' should take us a long way."

Pupils at German primary school chant Muslim prayers as migrants outnumber natives - "The father of the pupil at the girl's primary school in German ski resort Garmisch-Partenkirchen discovered that his daughter had been forced to learn the Islamic prayer when he discovered a handout she had been given. He claimed she had been "forced" by teachers to memorise the Islamic chants... The incident comes just weeks after parents complained to German newspaper Hessian Niedersächsische Allgemeine (HNA) that their children's nursery was refusing to acknowledge "Christmas rituals" to accommodate the "diverse cultures" of other pupils. The Sara Nussbaum House daycare centre in Kassel refused to put up a Christmas tree, tell Christmas stories or celebrate Christmas in general because it said only a minority of pupils were Christian"

Muslim student filed bias crime report to avoid curfew punishment - "A Muslim student who said she was harassed on the subway by drunken, hate-spewing white men shouting “Donald Trump!” lied to police because she broke her curfew... Her strict, Muslim parents allegedly forced Seweid to shave her head over the incident and were upset that she was dating a Christian... In a bizarre twist, Seweid’s older brother, Abdoul, was also charged with falsely reporting an incident back in 2012. Cops said Abdoul, then 17, claimed a pal was “assaulted by three unknown males,” according to a Newsday story at the time."

Humans no longer have a penis bone because we don’t need to have as much sex

Why Do iPhones Cost So Much More In India And Singapore Than China And Japan? - "The fact that Japan and China have the two cheapest average iPhone prices in Asia (they're respectively number two and three cheapest overall in the world, behind Angola), while developing countries like India, Indonesia and Bangladesh cost more, is really surprising. Linio concludes that these differences are due to the different tariffs and taxes from different countries. But there are other reasons too. Logistics of the supply chain is a big factor. In India, because Apple doesn't have its own store, iPhones have to be sold through third party retailers, and according to a report by the Wall Street Journal, smartphones have to pass through up to five middlemen in India before it reaches consumers -- and each one takes a chunk... Apple makes less per iPhones sold in India than in other countries"

There is more than one truth to tell in the heartbreaking story of Aleppo - "it’s time to tell the other truth: that many of the “rebels” whom we in the West have been supporting – and which our preposterous Prime Minister Theresa May indirectly blessed when she grovelled to the Gulf head-choppers last week – are among the cruellest and most ruthless of fighters in the Middle East. And while we have been tut-tutting at the frightfulness of Isis during the siege of Mosul (an event all too similar to Aleppo, although you wouldn’t think so from reading our narrative of the story), we have been willfully ignoring the behaviour of the rebels of Aleppo."

A Profoundly Woolly Feral Sheep Is Rescued in Canberra, Australia - "Leave a sheep unshorn for long enough and it’ll begin to resemble a shambling, woolly iceberg. But as cute as that sounds, it’s a bad idea: Massively hairy sheep face many dangers, from heat stress to blindness to toppling over and never being able to get up again."
Don't tell PETA

Reviving Malay Connections in Southeast Asia - "Filipino politicians who dreamt of creating a Pan-Malay nation also considered adopting the name Malaysia, which had referred to the overall Malay archipelago before becoming the name of the newly independent Malaysian nation in 1963*. The former Filipino Vice-President of the Pan-Malayan Union presented a bill in the Senate in 1962 to change the name of the Philippines to Malaysia (Alonto 2003 p.190). While the bill was debated in the Congress, the name was adopted by Tunku Abdul Rahman, who led the Malaysian nationalist movement
* - For example, the advocate of the Greater Malaya, Ibrahim Yaacob, used this word to refer to the Malay Archipelago in 1951"

Was Hitler democratically elected? - "People who say that Hitler wasn’t really elected are usually germanophiles who search for excuses for crimes of the german people in the “Third Reich” (the argument is that a small undemocratic minority oppressed the good people of germany). But since Pharyngula is an american blog the case here might be a lot less sinister. The idea that Hitler wasn’t elected democratically is probably an allusion to the fact that he never got more than 50% of the votes (the best result was some 44%). Americans, with their “the winner takes it all”-system tend to forget that you can win a german election without winning a majority. The problem with this is that, without a majority, you have to form either a coalition with other parties, or form a minority goverment, or both, and in fact that was the problem that had plagued the Republic from the beginning. To put the results into perspective, the 43,9% for the NSDAP in the 1933 election was the best result any party had ever had in the Republic of Weimar from 1919 to 1933... Incidentally, counted in percentages the NSDAP had a better democratic legitimation than any party in the Federal Republic of Germany for at last 20 years – the best result in this time was 44,3% for the conservative „Union“ in the 1987 election and as the name suggests even this is a (permanent) coalition of two parties (CDU/CSU)"

Trump Supporters Beat Gay Man in California? : - "None of the reports we found about Chris Ball's altercation with purported Trump supporters mentioned a location, cited a police report, or any provided information substantiating his attackers' motives. The account could have been completely accurate, but the event it described also could have been a garden-variety bar fight that took place after what turned out to be an exceptionally tense night in the United States."

MILO Takes On Lesbian Hate Crime Hoaxes At Texas Tech - "Milo listed a number of LGBT hoaxes and their perpetrator, including the likes of Carol Ann and Laura Stutte, Mari Poindexter, Charlie Rogers and more.
“It’s a world where feminist whingers can make hundreds of thousands of dollars by complaining about mean words from anonymous strangers on the internet, and everyone believes them and opens their wallets.”"

Girl wins right to have body frozen so she can return from the dead - "A 14-year-old girl who has died of cancer has been cryogenically frozen in the hope that she can be "woken up" and cured in the future after winning a landmark court case in her final days. The girl's divorced parents had disagreed over whether her wish to be frozen should be followed"

City University students vote for campus ban on Sun, Mail and Express - "Students at City University of London, home to one of the country’s most respected journalism schools, have voted to ban the Sun, Daily Mail and Express from its campus... The motion, while largely symbolic, is embarrassing for the university, which runs one of the UK’s top journalism programmes. Less than 200 of the university’s 19,500 student population attended the meeting where the motion was passed to ban the newspapers “in their current form”... The students’ union said there was “no place” for the papers on campus or university properties although it was unclear how the ban would be enforced. A number of journalism students are looking to pull out of the union in protest against the decision, which they believe harms the university’s reputation. Many graduates go on to work at the Sun, Mail and Express titles in some capacity... another motion titled “why is my curriculum white?” was passed attacking the university as the “primary motor in reproducing this ideology of whiteness”. The union has resolved to take an active role in “decolonising” the curriculum and “start asking where are our black lecturers”... online publication Spiked released its latest free speech rankings for universities, finding that 90% of institutions were carrying out some form of censorship, up from 80% a year earlier... almost two-thirds of UK students back the National Union of Students’ no platforming policy"

Male researchers stress out rodents - "Male, but not female, experimenters induce intense stress in rodents that can dampen pain responses... the animals seemed to show a decrease in pain response of about 40% when a man rather than a woman remained in the room, based on pain levels analysed using the mouse grimace scale... It wasn’t just men who caused the stress spike in the rodents, but any nearby male animal, including guinea pigs, rats, cats and dogs. Male cage-mates of the animal being tested were the only exception, and produced no changes in stress hormone levels."

How drag saved my relationship with my Muslim mother and made me fall in love again with my Arab heritage - "performing uplifting tropes of Middle Eastern femininity has been a key feature of my practice. Whilst I set out to reject my heritage through the queer art of drag, I’ve ended up falling back in love with it. And though my mother does not accept a large part of who I am, through performing what I love about her on stage, my wounds are healing. We’re in fact closer than we’ve ever been."
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