"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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Thursday, March 02, 2017

Links - 2nd March 2017

Home Based Small Scale Business Scheme | HDB InfoWEB - "Massage services are not allowed in HDB flats."

Poldark and historical TV drama | Podcast | History Extra - "There's a film called Che by Steven Soderbergh... it's an absolutely unwatchable film. It's about 6 hours long, it's in 2 parts. It's about Che Guevara. No one watched it, because it's incredibly boring because it's really sort of carefully accurate and it just doesn't have any of the pizzaz of a story. It doesn't have those Aristotelian poetics. The sort of the 3 act structure: the beginning, the muddle and the end. It doesn't have any of the drama that you require in something that captures your imagination. And if you're bored an hour in, then you're not learning the history, because you're bored... Braveheart is perhaps the most inaccurate film in all of human history. It's a good movie, it's really well made. Historically it's absolute nonsense. And I think some people would argue that it's also had a huge impact on the rising... Scottish nationalism and people re-engaging with their past. But I don't think it had to be accurate. That's not its job. Its job was to be thrilling and inspiring and then the role of historians is to step in and say: I'm really glad you enjoyed that. Here's a very interesting book about how it's not true."

Women in politics and Robinson Crusoe | Podcast | History Extra - "There comes a point in the 1930s where the Conservative Party's actually concerned to attract more men to their ranks, because women have really taken over in many ways the organisation, the kind of the social life and the social kind of energy of the party. Which is of course fundamental for a party that considers itself the party of natural rule...
This exemplary Englishman is in fact reading a lesson to King George I about what it means to English. You live on an island, you improve it, you're tolerant to people of many faiths, but you won't put up with cannibalism. And you leave the island far richer and more prosperous than you found it. This is precisely what men like Defoe wanted George I to be - an improving English king. And they were reading him a lesson in English kingship and Englishness which they felt very necessary for a German-speaking Hannoverian"

Lenin and the Russian revolutions | Podcast | History Extra - "He liked Switzerland. Most revolutionaries were a bit iffy about Switzerland because they thought it was bourgeois. Trotsky hated it. He said the only thing the Swiss ever talk about is the shortage of potatoes. But Lenin liked it because it suited his sense of what's decent and what's proper. The libraries were great, the trains ran on time, the buses were clean. He had a little room in a street in Zurich and he could walk to the library in 5 minutes, I've done the same walk. And there he was, he could just write his stuff. Everything was exactly the way he wanted it. And he was in the Swiss labour movement to try to organise a very very tiny party into another split, because Lenin liked splitting parties, so it's good for him. And he liked mountain walking too...
What he was trying to do was, his view was always 'I would rather lead a party of one than be wrong. I'd rather have 2 people with me than be with this large party of people who are simply going to lead the Revolution down a blind alley'...
Lenin crept back in and then when trouble broke out in June, July, he crept back out again because he was always one to watch his own back and get out to safety. Lenin never was there leading from the barricades. Trotsky was the poster boy"

The Norman Conquest | Podcast | History Extra - "[On the Bayeux Tapestry] It's an artist's depiction of events that happened years before. But it's also an artistic source based on other artistic sources. So you can see at various points the tapestry artist borrows from copies, illuminated manuscripts at Canterbury where the tapestry was manufactured. So you can point to very precise examples. Here is Bishop Odo holding a feast before the Battle of Hastings. Oh look it's copied from this Last Supper scene. A similar thing seems to be going on with Harold's death scene. It seems that the tapestry artist may have been copying a biblical scene of the death of King Zedekiah who was killed by being blinded. So it's a very problematic source. There is another contemporary source... the song of the Battle of Hastings, which says that Harold was hacked to death by a dedicated Norman Death Squad, which would make perfect sense because William's war aim is Harold must die. Either way, we'll never know...
What happens in the years that follow, the months that follow even... is Anglo-Saxon rebellion and insurgency... My take on it is the English don't seriously think they were conquered in 1066. Because they were conquered 50 years earlier by the Vikings and they know what conquest feels like. In particular people have their heads chopped off. And William's attitude in the first instance is more lenient than that. Despite all the killing at Hastings in the course of the battle, what he does with the survivors, the surviving English aristocrats is he spares them and lets them redeem their lands. He lets them hang on to their lands in exchange for payment. Which makes sense if he's saying 'I am the legitimate successor to Edward the Confessor'...
England before 1066 was essentially a land without castles. Well, it's very hard to imprison people and hold them if you don't have strongholds"

Shepherd Gets Attacked by Sheep GIF | Create, Discover and Share on Gfycat

Batteriser is a $2.50 gadget that extends alkaline battery life 800%

Be Careful About "Missing Person" Posts It's one thing to circulate a curren... - ""missing" posts that tell you to call someone other than police, that have no date or location, or are in any other way suspect should not not be shared and possibly should even be reported. This is how stalkers can find their hidden victims. This is how abusive parents reconnect with children that have been taken from them for good reason."

Most Germans don’t buy their homes, they rent. Here’s why - "There’s another pretty simple reason Germans are less likely to own houses. The government doesn’t encourage it. Unlike high-homeownership countries like Spain, Ireland and the US, Germany doesn’t let homeowners deduct mortgage-interest payments from their taxes. (There’s more on the structure of European tax systems here.) Without that deduction, the benefits of owning and renting are more evenly balanced"

Students at Harvard’s Kennedy School will now be required to check their privilege

Baltimore Professor: “White People Should Deposit Their Unearned Wealth In Black Accounts” - "White people’s wealth is apparently ‘unearned’ because it is based off a white supremacist society that steals from black people. That is why said wealth should be ‘deposited in black accounts’. In activist parlance, ‘white allies’ are the white liberal/leftists that come out at at some of these protests. This standing with black folk is apparently in his words being given too easily, and should not be given without this cost."

Taiwan Voice - Timeline - "Unfortunately for the police, among the 19 people inside were three lawyers, a law professor, and several legal advisors. When asked to show his ID, lawyer Kao Yung-Cheng came forward and asked the police based on what law they were forcing them to show their IDs. None of the police officers could answer the question. Kao showed the police his lawyer certificate and told the police that none of the people inside had their IDs, nor could they remember their ID numbers. He added that all he had with him was his law certificate, and to contact him with any problems."

Carly Fiorina Says the Chinese ‘Don’t Innovate’ - "Fiorina has criticized proponents of Common Core who think the policy will help U.S. students compete with Chinese students in subjects like math and science. The 2016 presidential hopeful told Iowa political video blog Caffeinated Thoughts earlier this year that the U.S. education system should not be modeled after China’s. Chinese students may test well, she said, but they fall short when it comes to innovation."

A lèse majesté law for Singapore’s king, long live Lee Kuan Yew! - "his ministry was looking into treating Mr Lee as a national symbol, equivalent to the national flag, by incorporating him into the Singapore Arms and Flag and National Anthem Act. Mr Lee’s name and image would then have to be accorded the same respect as the national flag, much like a king in a monarchy. The laws which govern the use of the flag will then also govern the use of Mr Lee’s name."

Skyping with the enemy: I went undercover as a jihadi girlfriend - "When a French journalist posed online as a young woman interested in Isis, she was soon contacted by a fighter in Syria. He proposed marriage – but could she maintain a double life?"

Danish DJ bludgeons rabbit to death to prove a point – “live” on air - "Mr Juhl later explained to the media that his intention in killing the rabbit “live” on air was to show up the hypocrisy of our relationship with animals. "Consumers generally do not kill animals themselves, but we buy and eat animals, that have lead sad lives," he said. "You cannot say: 'It's terrible to kill an animal', and then eat meat. These things are connected"... The station claimed that the rabbit had “enjoyed a good life”, unlike many of the animals which end up on the meat counter, and that it was killed in “a humane manner.”"

How to become a swordsmith apprentice in Japan « Soulsmithing - "What is important to understand is that high-level craftsmen in Japan actually feel it is a big responsibility to pass down the tradition for future generations. They cannot let it be perpetuated by luke-warm souls who would let fall the very standards of their trade. Accepting an apprentice is a responsibility both in the face of the tradition and that of the individual thinking to make this life choice."
No wonder their trades are dying

The Clash of Victimizations – How A Babble of Grievances Impedes the Struggle for Real Justice - "A “Gresham’s law” of language takes over, where it is not bad money that drives out the good, but self-serving tropes that end up replacing the genuine coinage of truth and righteousness... In a globalized and culturally hybridized society of competing social values, worldviews, and behavioral patterns, where pluralism is no longer simply taken for granted, but aggressively advanced and in some ways even manufactured by what I would call the “difference industry”, it becomes impossible to establish easily recognizable standards of “rightness” or “wrongness”, from which any consensus about the nature of “justice” arises. Even murder and terrorism can be easily excused. Nuanced and balanced judgments become nearly impossible when every grievance is crying out for recognition. Relative ethical hierarchies are abolished, and every single cause becomes equally its own categorical imperative. In consequence, our own overactive ideological glands that produce the hormones designed to intensify our moral outrage end up generating insoluble controversies. This week’s flap at Princeton University over whether rapper “Big Sean” Anderson should be disinvited from starring in the school’s showcase music festival because of often brutally misogynistic lyrics is a case in point. It has pitted feminists and anti-rape activists against the black student community., who view the outcry over Anderson’s music as one more manifestation of embedded racism."
Keywords: Offence culture, offense culture

New JPEG image enlargening software is actually a bigger deal than it sounds - "thanks to the free and excellently-named software, waifu2x, JPEG images can be enlarged with virtually no noise or pixilation and I can finally get back to completing my epic Fraggle Rock erotic fanfiction saga instead of spending hours a day turning the Internet upside down for appropriately-sized pictures!"

British women paying for sex with male escorts more than ever - "record numbers of women who pay for sex come from all backgrounds and ages, although there are a high number of women in their thirties and forties. Escorts said that while some of the women didn't want or have time for relationships, others were already in a relationship but wanted to spice things up. While busy career women are increasingly using their phones and the internet to access sexual services... "It is also evident that women purchase sexual services as part of a couple. The majority of the escorts interviewed see couples, stating they are booked for regular excitement and fun, or simply for a relationship treat. "In couples, some men appeared more nervous than their female partner." The study also revealed that in the past five years the number of male escorts has tripled from 5,246 in 2010 to 15,732 in 2015. While the number of female profiles has increased from 11,056 in 2010, compared to 28,614 now."

Singaporean dies in Bali trying to take a selfie - "According to Indonesian media reports, Mr Mohamed Aslam tried to take a selfie on a cliff at Sandi Bay Beach on Nusa Lembongan Island on Thursday (May 21). He lost his footing after he was hit by a wave"

Grad Student Deconstructs Take-Out Menu - "At approximately 2 a.m., Rosenblatt was finishing a particularly difficult course-pack reading on the impact of feminism, post-feminism, and current 'queer' theory on received notions of gender and sexual preference/identity. Realizing he hadn't eaten since lunch, the Ph.D candidate picked up the Burrito Bandito menu. Before he could decide on an order, he instinctively reduced the flyer to a set of shifting, mutable interpretations informed by the set of ideological biases—cultural, racial, economic, and political—that infect all ethnographic and commercial "histories.""

Morrissey: eating meat is the same as paedophilia - ""I see no difference between eating animals and paedophilia," he said. "They are both rape, violence, murder. If I'm introduced to anyone who eats beings, I walk away"... If you believe in the abattoir then you would support Auschwitz. There's no difference."

Poor work-life balance makes life in Singapore more expensive - "Saving money takes time. It often means doing your own cooking instead of eating out again, having the perseverance to take public transport instead of hailing a cab and having the patience to comparison shop...
one of my friends is really into photography and has a ton of gear. But he finds that the less time he spends on actually going out and taking pictures, the more he ends up amassing equipment procured online."

Hard to bear: pandas poorly adapted for digesting bamboo, scientists find - "two million years after shifting to a herbivore lifestyle, the giant panda still has carnivore-like gut bacteria, which is better at breaking down protein. The discovery could explain some of the animal’s more baffling traits, including spending almost every waking hour eating and its apparent indifference towards attempts at reproduction."

World’s First ‘Phodographer’ Dog Uses Heart Rate Monitor That Snaps Pics When He Gets Excited - "The heart rate monitor can be worn on a strap around the dog’s neck. The camera is worn on the dog’s chest with the help of a harness, and the two communicate with Bluetooth. When the dog’s heartrate goes up – which can be when he’s excited or afraid – the camera snaps a picture!"

The Muslim Call Girl Who’ll Marry You First - "To Kamillah, a London escort with 80,000 Twitter followers, nikah mut’ah is merely an optional extra available for less than $100... the $450-an-hour escort wears a veil or hijab in most of the photographs on her booking site, even when a nipple is squarely in the center of the frame. Thus, civilizations collide in 21st-century London. Among the reviews on the Trip Advisor-style site, a satisfied customer concludes: “Allahu Akbar! Had the best mutah experience everr”... The biggest concern for Kamillah, who says she is half-Iraqi, half-Iranian, was apparently the fear that Romanian and Eastern European call girls were muscling in on her turf by pretending to be Middle Eastern and offering the same ceremony. While there is a debate among Shia clerics about the permissibility of mut’ah, it is completely outlawed for Sunnis. Kamillah told The Sun: “I did it with one Saudi who converted to Shia Islam only so he could do mut’ah. He did it just for that reason."

Cambridge students urge university to stop making their exam results public - "Students who signed the petition are concerned that the public distribution of results ignores students’ welfare and right to privacy. They say the current practice “promotes a culture of grade shaming”, that those with mental health issues may not want to be included, and that it could “trigger an episode” in vulnerable individuals. The campaigners also say the system may harm “those who do not wish to be identified by the name the university has on record, particularly within the trans community”.
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