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Monday, April 10, 2017

Links - 10th April 2017 (2)

Coke or Pepsi? It's all in the head - "Scientists in Texas used a brain scanning technique to carry out a hi-tech version of the Pepsi challenge and found that, when it comes to fizzy black drinks, brand love is just as important as taste"

Wanted, £45-an-hour cleaners - must work naked (and only women may apply) - "London-based Naturist Cleaners is recruiting female staff "of all ages and figures" to clean private houses across the UK while wearing just slippers and gloves. Clients - the majority of whom are nudists, according to the agency - are charged £65 for the first hour and £55 for each hour after, and must agree to a strict "no touch" and no pictures or video policy."

Labour Court can't make employer pay - "Last month, a construction company boss was ordered by the Labour Court to pay a Bangladeshi construction worker $7,363 in unpaid wages. But when the employer did not meet the payment deadline last Thursday, the court's hands were tied. Instead, the worker was asked to go to the State Courts to take action to recover the sum, a step that would require him to fork out money he does not have. The case highlights a little- known limitation of the Labour Court, and the dilemma workers face when employers refuse to comply with its orders."
Singapore is very pro-business

Finally, An App That Splits The Bill So That White Men Pay More
Maybe one day they will put a tax on white men

Now, Terengganu Islamic enforcers say may nab unmarried couples in cars too - "Under media spotlight for arresting unmarried Muslims couples riding motorcycles together, Terengganu Islamic authorities admitted on Wednesday (Jan 18) that it is considering extending the enforcement to passengers in other vehicles, such as cars. Despite that, Terengganu Religious Affairs Department (JHEAT) said implementing the anti-vice operation dubbed Ops Bonceng for other vehicles would be different, admitting that religious officers would not be able to observe Muslims in cars... Malay daily Sinar Harian reported that JHEAT nabbed 26 unmarried Muslim couples for riding motorcycles together. All 52 of them, aged between 16 and 42 years old, were arrested under Ops Bonceng last week under the offence of “immoral act in public”"

Aid in reverse: how poor countries develop rich countries - "In 2012, the last year of recorded data, developing countries received a total of $1.3tn, including all aid, investment, and income from abroad. But that same year some $3.3tn flowed out of them... by far the biggest chunk of outflows has to do with unrecorded – and usually illicit – capital flight. Most of these unrecorded outflows take place through the international trade system. Basically, corporations – foreign and domestic alike – report false prices on their trade invoices in order to spirit money out of developing countries directly into tax havens and secrecy jurisdictions, a practice known as “trade misinvoicing”. Usually the goal is to evade taxes, but sometimes this practice is used to launder money or circumvent capital controls. In 2012, developing countries lost $700bn through trade misinvoicing, which outstripped aid receipts that year by a factor of five"

Vancouver strata blocks Moby Dick franchise from opening over 'offensive' name, lawsuit alleges - "A Vancouver business is suing its strata corporation for refusing to allow the opening of a Moby Dick fish and chips franchise location, due in part to an "offensive" word in the restaurant's name."

It is time to bust the myth of physical inactivity and obesity: you cannot outrun a bad diet - "According to The Lancet global burden of disease reports, poor diet now generates more disease than physical inactivity, alcohol and smoking combined. Up to 40% of those with a normal body mass index will harbour metabolic abnormalities typically associated with obesity, which include hypertension, dyslipidaemia, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and cardiovascular disease. However, this is little appreciated by scientists, doctors, media writers and policymakers, despite the extensive scientific literature on the vulnerability of all ages and all sizes to lifestyle-related diseases. Instead, members of the public are drowned by an unhelpful message about maintaining a ‘healthy weight’ through calorie counting, and many still wrongly believe that obesity is entirely due to lack of exercise... Sugar calories promote fat storage and hunger. Fat calories induce fullness or ‘satiation’.A large econometric analysis of worldwide sugar availability, revealed that for every excess 150 calories of sugar, there was an 11-fold increase in the prevalence of type 2 diabetes, in comparison to an identical 150 calories obtained from fat or protein. And this was independent of the person's weight and physical activity level; this study fulfils the Bradford Hill Criteria for causation. A recently published critical review in nutrition concluded that dietary carbohydrate restriction is the single most effective intervention for reducing all the features of the metabolic syndrome and should be the first approach in diabetes management, with benefits occurring even without weight loss. The twin rationales for carbohydrate loading are that the body has a limited capacity to store carbohydrates and these are essential for more intense exercise. However, recent studies suggest otherwise"

Childhood forecasting of a small segment of the population with large economic burden - "A segment comprising 22% of the cohort accounted for 36% of the cohort’s injury insurance claims; 40% of excess obese kilograms; 54% of cigarettes smoked; 57% of hospital nights; 66% of welfare benefits; 77% of fatherless child-rearing; 78% of prescription fills; and 81% of criminal convictions. Childhood risks, including poor brain health at three years of age, predicted this segment with large effect sizes. Early-years interventions that are effective for this population segment could yield very large returns on investment."

Social behavior and kin discrimination in a mixed group of cloned and non cloned heifers (Bos taurus). - "Preliminary results showed that clones favor each other's company"

NCEE | Global Perspectives: Streaming in Singapore: It’s Not Tracking, And It Actually Promotes Equity - "Singapore’s world-class outcomes show that such a strategy works. Singapore’s secondary school completion rate was 99 percent in 2015. For school year 2014-2015, the United States’ average graduation rate was 83.2 percent, falling to 76.1 percent among low-income students and 74.6 percent among African Americans. And on the 2015 administration of PISA, the mean mathematics of the Singaporean student at the 25th percentile – a student from the lowest quartile of achievement – was 500, 30 points higher than the average score of all American students. In other words, the lowest-achieving students are learning more math and are better able to apply it to real world problems than the average American student. And, as we heard from policymakers and educators across the Singaporean system, streaming is a cornerstone of their strategy to ensure that educational attainment and achievement is shared equitably across their society."

Dutch Female Kickboxing Champ Had Real Muay Thai Fight With Man, Got Brutally Knocked Out

'Why having so many women doctors is hurting the NHS' - "most female doctors end up working part-time — usually in general practice — and then retire early. As a result, it is necessary to train two female doctors so they can cover the same amount of work as one full-time colleague. Given that the cost of training a doctor is at least £500,000, are taxpayers getting the best return on their investment? There is another important issue. Women in hospital medicine tend to avoid the more demanding specialities which require greater commitment, have more antisocial working hours and include responsibility for management... Dame Carol Black, former president of the Royal College of Physicians, pointed out this growing discrepancy in 2004, when she controversially suggested that the feminisation of the medical profession would lead to its degradation. She said the issue was not whether women doctors could do their job properly, but whether they were willing to devote time and effort, beyond their clinical responsibilities, to activities such as committee work and research... GPs are very well paid. Their average salary is around £103,000 — quite sufficient for a woman doctor who is also a mother to be able to afford quality childcare at home. But the salary also means that part-time working still allows for a comfortable lifestyle. In addition, doctors tend to marry within their own socio-economic group and, in many cases, the wife is the secondary earner. This also encourages less demanding part-time work... We make up the shortfall in medical manpower by importing about 40 per cent of the doctors we need. Most now come from austerity-stricken EU countries"

Women doctors could bring the NHS to its knees, says Dr Max - "This week the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health gave a stark warning that children’s wards face closure because so many paediatricians are now women and have gone on maternity leave or work part time. There simply aren’t enough senior doctors left to run departments any more. Three-quarters of doctors training in paediatrics are women. The situation has become so bad in some areas that up to 63 per cent of shifts are being covered by locums. In other specialities that attract women — such as general practice, where two-thirds of GPs are women — a similar staffing disaster is unfolding...
Did you see the survey published by the Girl Guides, saying half of British girls claim to have mental health issues? I was stunned by this story. Not by the statistics, but how no one questioned them. There was not a single eyebrow raised. Several commentators were doctors — who would normally critically appraise any piece of research. But because it’s about mental health, no one dares to question it in case they are accused of being insensitive. That attitude is very dangerous. Let’s make one thing clear: this was a survey. A group of kids were asked a series of leading questions. That is very different to proper academic research. And I simply don’t believe the results. I’ve worked in children’s mental health services and it’s laughable to say half of children have mental health problems."

Why Trump may be winning the war on ‘political correctness’ - The Washington Post - "Cathy Cuthbertson once worked at what might be thought of as a command post of political correctness — the campus of a prestigious liberal arts college in Ohio. “You know, I couldn’t say ‘Merry Christmas.’ And when we wrote things, we couldn’t even say ‘he’ or ‘she,’ because we had transgender. People of color. I mean, we had to watch every word that came out of our mouth, because we were afraid of offending someone, but nobody’s afraid of offending me,” the former administrator said... The label is, he said, a validation that what many on the right see as legitimate policy and cultural differences are not the same as racism, sexism or heartlessness. “Allegations of racism and sexism have turned into powerful silencing devices”... Cuthbertson, for instance, made a connection between her frustrations over political correctness and the other things she sees going on around her. “I look at what I get every month — and thank God, I was financially savvy and saved. I can’t live off Social Security. And you look at these people who have never worked and they’re having babies and they’re getting free rent and free food stamps and free medical care,” she said. “I couldn’t afford what they have on my Social Security, and I worked 50 years.”"

U.S.-born panda twins return to China, but struggle with the language and food - The Washington Post - "the pair still understand English better than Chinese, and prefer American crackers to Chinese bread... the pair are so addicted to American crackers that everything they eat — from bamboos to apples — has to be mixed with crackers. They even want to snack on crackers when drinking water.... While the pair respond to their own names, and understand some English phrases such as “come here,” they don’t understand the Sichuan dialect of Chinese used on the base"

If colleges keep killing academic freedom, civilization will die, too - The Washington Post - "Sixty years ago, Chief Justice Earl Warren warned our nation that we had a choice. Either “teachers and students must always remain free to inquire, to study and to evaluate,” or “our civilization will stagnate and die.” There was no third option. Today, we face this choice again. Recent attempts to shame professors for unpopular views and to curtail the due process rights of those accused of misconduct are cause for alarm. Especially when academic freedom is endangered at places such as Yale — long celebrated as a leader on freedom of expression — we know that the erosion of academic freedom has become a national problem... Academic freedom now attracts opposition largely from the left, while conservative organizations — including, ironically, the William F. Buckley Jr. Program at Yale — defend it most vigorously... On some campuses, “bias response teams” investigate professors’ online comments. Several universities, including Yale, may soon introduce a smartphone app that lets users anonymously report offensive remarks. These anonymous reports will allow university bureaucrats — and perhaps even the public — to compile a directory of “subversive” professors in the spirit of dictatorial regimes. One can easily imagine dueling “watchlists” compiled by liberal and conservative activists with the shared aim of chilling unwanted speech... Until recently, Yale insisted that accused professors enjoy basic due process, including the rights to a public, recorded hearing; to legal representation; to present evidence; to question opposing witnesses; and to a presumption of innocence unless convicted by “clear and convincing evidence.” Today, however, Yale and other universities routinely ignore or limit these rights, which the American Association of University Professors has described as essential in any fair proceeding"

UMass-Amherst: Harambe Jokes Are Racist Microaggressions, Violate Title IX - "Title IX—the catch-22 of modern campus life—strikes again. There is no facet of campus life that remains undisturbed by its creeping tendrils."

Four Lions Director on Why Terrorists Like Lord of the Rings - ""They see themselves as the force for good and Sauron is basically George W. Bush"... Four Lions exaggerates the absurdist aspects of terrorism, but not by much. “Terrorist mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed spent two hours looking for a costume that wouldn’t make him look fat on camera,” Morris cracked"

SEXUAL OFFENDER TREATMENT: Langfeldt - "The concept of pedophilia has traditionally been used as a homogeneous mental disorder by most authors and therapists. The present study, investigating different parameters in men who offend against children, shows that men who sexually offend against boys significantly differ from those who sexually offend against girls only. They are differences with respect to sexual orientation, prevalence, number of victims and being sexually abused during childhood. In the course of therapy, most men who sexually offend against boys turned out to be homosexual. These findings are discussed in relation to the life situation of young homosexual boys, and with regard to therapeutic work with sex offenders."
The party line of course is that pedophilia is a sexual orientation not to be confused with homosexuality

The Origins of the Neck Tie

7 Pieces of Shoe Advice for Men from 434 Single Women - "2. WEAR LEATHER SHOES

Guys, Here’s What It’s Actually Like To Be A Woman - "Women put a lot of thought into their appearance. Everything they wear and display is probably a conscious choice. Every choice is a statement—but not every statement succeeds. Often, women can’t tell if they’ve struck the right balance between formal and casual, tight and loose, sexy and slutty, classical and avant-garde, earnest and ironic. Are they projecting “sexy vamp” or “meth-head jailbait”? Are they projecting “sophisticated Brooklyn hipster” or “Jersey Real Housewife”? The problem is that they almost never get accurate feedback about what image they’re projecting. Her friends are too polite to tell her the truth one way or the other, and guys are too horny to tell the difference... Female promiscuity also has a “tragedy of the commons” effect in the mating market. If one woman offers blowjobs on the second date, it’s harder for other women to keep them in reserve until the fourth date as their special treat. This creates a downward spiral of young women feeling like they have to offer more and more sex to more and more guys just to stay in the mating game. Thus, slut-shaming is a way of enforcing a more restrained sexual norm on other women so that not all women have to become more promiscuous than any of them would like... Given the risk of slut-shaming, a typical female strategy is to pursue short-term mating quietly, with a lot of plausible deniability, adaptive self-deception and circumstantial rationalization"
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