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Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Links - 18th April 2017 (1)

Already married... now for a decent proposal - "Mr Singh, a Singaporean, and his wife, Ms Mia Wang, 25, from mainland China, have been married for slightly over a year. Their fathers had played matchmakers and proposed an arranged marriage"

Articles: Wrongfully Accused: Jews and Bolshevism - "What happened in the Soviet Union is only part of the error in assuming that, somehow, the Jewish people are responsible for Bolshevism. People eager to embrace that falsehood often note that Karl Marx was "Jewish." That is not true: Marx was half Jewish and half Christian. His family converted to Christianity, but Marx rejected both Judaism and Christianity. Marx was a rabid German nationalist who had very little sympathy for the Jewish people. In 1844 Marx published a hateful pamphlet about Jews and Judaism entitled On the Jewish Question"

On the Origins of Gender Roles: Women and the Plough - "We test the hypothesis that traditional agricultural practices influenced the historical gender division of labor and the evolution and persistence of gender norms. We find that, consistent with existing hypotheses, the descendants of societies that traditionally practiced plough agriculture, today have lower rates of female participation in the workplace, in politics, and in entrepreneurial activities, as well as a greater prevalence of attitudes favoring gender inequality. We identify the causal impact of traditional plough use by exploiting variation in the historical geo-climatic suitability of the environment for growing crops that differentially benefited from the adoption of the plough"

Doctors now say chicken skin is good for you - "most of the fat in chicken skin is healthy, unsaturated fat—and cooking with the skin keeps the chicken flavourful and moist, so you don’t need to add as much salt or use a breaded coating."

Cheap hawker food – the reality behind politicians' Facebook postings - "it was true that the chicken rice meal costs S$1.80. However, this was a “promotional price”, something which both Mr Teo and Mr Ng did not mention in both of their Facebook postings... In Mr Baey’s case, he had explained – after his posting has caused a furore – that a “staff had recognised me that day and out of respect for my work and service in the community, charged me only $3 when it was more than $4”... Ironically, in December, while Mr Baey was posting about how cheap a meal of nasi padang was, foodcourt chain Banquet was reported to be closing down. Part of the reason was high commercial rents."

Tissue paper peddlers are unlicensed hawkers, says NEA - "only 11 street hawkers under its Street Hawking Scheme are licensed to sell tissue paper in town council areas. Under the scheme, which started in 2000, those who meet the eligibility criteria pay a nominal fee of S$120 a year, or S$10 a month, to peddle their wares at fixed locations without having to pay rent. In all, 362 people have been issued licences to sell items such as ice-cream, nuts, crackers, canned drinks, costume jewellery, newspapers, phone cards and toiletries."

Women’s March towards Islam? - Cheri Berens - "The coffee shop roared loudly with cheers when Trump said "radical Islam will be eradicated from the planet". We here in Egypt have experienced many terror attacks and all of us have experienced the death of a friend or family member who were members of the Army and who fight ISIS on a daily basis. On the third night, as we settled in at the coffee shop, anticipating another exciting night of informative news, we instead sat in silence and horror. First we saw protesters smashing windows and torching cars. Hushed murmuring began all around me as every single Egyptian in the coffee shop could be heard saying the words: “Muslim Brotherhood”. The images we were watching could have been taken right from a street in Egypt. It is exactly what we had experienced on a daily basis for more than a year... The entire coffee shop gasped in disbelief at the vision of American women donning the headscarf. And worse, some of the headscarves were made of the American flag. Even in Egypt, Muslim women do not desecrate the Egyptian flag by wearing it as a headscarf. You do not wear the national flag as clothing. It would be a desecration of what the flag stands for... The women in the coffee shop began to get visibly agitated. One said, “We have been fighting to remove the headscarf, why are these stupid women putting them on?”... It was explained on TV that the "Women’s March" was based on "a Civil Rights platform". The women in the coffee shop shook their heads and asked, Rights? "The headscarf will take away your rights!” one young woman shouted at the TV. The Grand Mufti of al-Ahzar, the highest authority of Sunni Islam, announces periodically that the headscarf is not a religious requirement"

My 'towel theory' explains why being cheap ends up costing you more - "Is it cheaper to buy a $20 set of towels you have to replace every year or a $60 set that lasts a decade?"

Religious chocolate nipples ranging from young girls to mature ladies launched in Japan - "The “CHOCONIP” set will be sold with eight different nipples representing the transformation from a young girl’s nipple to the mature age female nipple... The Mme KIKI company, which will be manufacturing the chocolate nipples, has said the idea came to them suddenly when they thought “Why don’t we make chocolate in the shape of young girls’ nipples?”"

‘To be white is to be racist, period,’ a high school teacher told his class - "The lecture at the Norman, Okla., high school was intended to heal the racial divides, a student said."
In the old days, making sweeping statements about all members of a certain race was considered... racism

Obama administration spent billions to fix failing schools, and it didn’t work - The Washington Post - "Test scores, graduation rates and college enrollment were no different in schools that received money through the School Improvement Grants program — the largest federal investment ever targeted to failing schools — than in schools that did not"

Genetics Proves Indian Population Mixture - "all populations in India show evidence of a genetic mixture of two ancestral groups: Ancestral North Indians (ANI), who are related to Central Asians, Middle Easterners, Caucasians, and Europeans; and Ancestral South Indians (ASI), who are primarily from the subcontinent... “Groups in the north tend to have more recent dates and southern groups have older dates,” said co-first author Priya Moorjani, a graduate student in Reich’s lab at Harvard Medical School. “This is likely because the northern groups have multiple mixtures.” “This genetic datatells us a three-part cultural and historical story,” said Reich, who is also an associate member of the Broad Institute. “Prior to about 4000 years ago there was no mixture. After that, widespread mixture affected almost every group in India, even the most isolated tribal groups. And finally, endogamy set in and froze everything in place”... once established, the caste system became genetically effective, the researchers observed. Mixture across groups became very rare."

Education for Whom? - "mathematics texts contain multiple examples of problems that reify hegemony, the exploitation of people, and a marked disregard for the environment. This article includes ways mathematics educators can reconceptualize mathematics texts as inextricably linked to cultural reproduction and furthermore, to use these insights to build ways that mathematics educators can disrupt the current narratives of inequity, waste, exploitation and the privileging of particularly narrow perspectives in mathematics education and replace them with more equitable, inclusive, sustainable and critical perspectives."

Random promotion may be best, research suggests - "The three based their work on the Peter Principle – the notion that many people are promoted, sooner or later, to positions that exceed their competence"

The Leftist historians voting Thatcher our worst prime minister profane their profession - "Given the Leftist groupthink that suffocatingly permeates the commanding heights of our culture, it is no surprise that the three PMs most demonised in the poll are Tories. But oddly, the historical writers who have given Mrs T. the blackest spot are mainly women themselves... There are plenty of other candidates for the role of worst ever PM over the past century if the HWA would actually study a bit of History"

None of the Hollywood celebrities who vowed to leave America if Trump won have left the U.S.

The West can never hope to understand Islamic State - "How much does Islamic State actually believe this stuff? The assumption that it is a proxy for other concerns – born of US foreign policy, or social deprivation, or Islamophobia – comes naturally to commentators in the West. Partly this is because their instincts are often secular and liberal; partly it reflects a proper concern not to tar mainstream Islam with the brush of terrorism... Western society has become woefully unqualified to recognise the ecstatic highs that can derive from apocalyptic certitude. “The notion that religious belief is a minor factor in the rise of the Islamic State,” he observes, “is belied by a crushing weight of evidence that religion matters deeply to the vast majority of those who have travelled to fight.” Anyone who has studied the literature of the First Crusade will recognise the sentiment. The conviction, popular since at least the Enlightenment, that crusading was to be explained in terms of almost anything except religion has increasingly been put to bed... The irony is glaring. The young men who travel from western Europe to fight in Syria for Islamic State – and thereby to gain paradise for themselves – are following in the footsteps less of Nur al-Din than of the foes they are pledged to destroy: the Crusaders... When Wood asks Hamza Yusuf, an eminent Berkeley Sufi, to demonstrate the group’s errors by relying only on the texts revealed to the Prophet, he struggles to do so"

Think ISIS Is Not Islamic? Think Again - "If grievances and atrocities are considered to be the “reasons” behind ISIS attacks, then by this logic all Indians living in the United Kingdom would be retaliating to avenge the sufferings of their ancestors faced during the British Colonialism. Bangladeshis would carry out attacks against Pakistan since they were once ruthlessly persecuted by them. Jews would be retaliating against Austria, Germany, Hungary and Romania as these countries were among the main perpetrators of the Holocaust. Vietnam would attack the United States for the disaster caused by Agent Orange and Japanese would retaliate against the U.S for the colossal humanitarian tragedy caused by the Hiroshima bombings and Chinese against Japanese for the dreadful 1937 Nanking Massacre... Why we don’t see any campaigns similar to the BDS movement against Qatar and Saudia Arabia attempting to increase economic and political pressure on them to jettison their support for Islamic extremism?"

A proposal for a Singaporean 'charter city' in Australia

This dog smells trouble for diabetics - "the mixed breed canine has learnt to raise the alarm whenever Ms Stella Chew's blood sugar levels fall to a critical low - even if its owner does not notice it herself... Ms Chew is now working with four people, and hopes they will pass on the knowledge when their dogs have mastered the skill."

Study: Many in the dark about newer birth control - "Women in Singapore are well aware of contraceptive methods such as condoms or the Pill, but they surprisingly lack knowledge of newer alternatives"

Pri 5 boy falls to death after failing exams for the first time - "the boy's mother, a housewife, had expected him to score at least 70 marks per subject for his exams. He had scored about 70 marks for every subject from Primary 1 to Primary 4. If he did not meet her expectations, she would cane his palm lightly, Insp Ong said, adding: "She would hit him once for every mark short of 70 marks." However, she would cane him only if his average score across all subjects was below 70 marks. "Sometimes, she would look through his examination papers first, and if they were difficult, she would not hit him." His mother also rewarded him when he did well, such as buying him a gift... Insp Ong said that when the principal arrived at the scene, the mother was "very emotionally unstable". "She heard her lamenting in Mandarin, saying 'I only asked for 70 marks, I don't expect you to get 80 marks,'" Insp Ong added."

Singapore flagged by IOC for ambush marketing - "Too many brands are riding on Joseph's coattails not having paid a single dollar to him. Some have taken out full-page ads in the papers, where before they've not supported local sports. This is ambush marketing"

Indians, Chinese imported to dispossess Malays of ‘birthright’, ISMA claims - "Indians and Chinese were brought into Malaysia to weaken the Malay identity and undermine the community’s birthright to peninsular Malaysia on the pretext of multiculturalism, Islamist group Ikatan Muslimin Malaysia (ISMA) said today...
He also asserted that Malaysia was dubbed “The Cradle of Human Civilisation”... In supporting the continuation of Malay special “rights”, ISMA had in its seminar and events suggested that the community were the original settlers of Malaysia, describing the native indigenous Orang Asli as sharing the same ethnic roots with the Malays. The group had also suggested that ancient Malays had been one of the oldest civilisations in the world, which went on to spawn other current ethnic groups, but has since had their riches and knowledge stripped by foreign powers"

Women's low sex drive blamed for Hong Kong's falling birth rate | South China Morning Post

Beaten, abused and afraid: the plight of Hong Kong’s sex workers - "Indonesian and Filipino women arrive in Hong Kong as tourists on 30-day visas. Vietnamese women vanished from the sex trade a couple of years ago when Hong Kong’s government restricted them to just seven days – too little time to earn back the air fare. Many overstay. Mujiasih’s domestic worker’s permit had expired; Ningsih’s visa was about to run out... Other expats say the pace of life in Wan Chai can be exhausting: a non-stop haze of partying, drug-taking and drinking. They said couples who arrived in Hong Kong on professional postings frequently split up. The pressures included too little space in a city jam-packed with vertiginous high-rises. And then there were the temptations: young women who apparently found all western men, even those who were overweight, instantly charming. “I lived in Wan Chai for four months. After that I had to move out,” one expat confesses. “In London you drink until the last train. Here you go out at midnight.” He says J-Res, where Jutting lived, is the most expensive block of flats in the neighbourhood, which has undergone dramatic gentrification. A nearby block is home to eastern European sex workers who service wealthy Hong Kong Chinese clients. For a single man, Hong Kong is a dream, he says: a 15% tax rate, a lively nightlife and bands that play your every request."

Is This the Death of Hong Kong? - "Take this month's unnerving white paper from China’s State Council, which asserted that Beijing's interests took precedence over Hong Kong's. Its characterization of those who didn't want to live in a Communist society as “confused or lopsided” was as bizarre as it was chilling. So was its suggestion that Hong Kong courts effectively need to ask "what would Mao Zedong do?" before making decisions"

'Bad Chinese': Beijing's attitude to Hong Kong, Taiwan is backfiring - "Colonial nostalgia in Taiwan and Hong Kong triggers angry Chinese reactions. In 2012, Kong Qidong, a professor at Peking University, declared that regretting British rule made Hong Kongers no better than dogs. Chinese nationalists use similar vocabulary denouncing Taiwan “separatism”, often attributing this to Japan “poisoning” Taiwanese minds. This violent rhetoric suggests that the root of the problem might well be Chinese – for it is Chinese nationalists on both sides of the Taiwan Strait who made political loyalty a question of national identity, equating patriotism with obedience to an authoritarian regime. This culturist and authoritarian argument is at the root of notions such as “socialism with Chinese characteristics” – a capitalist economy ruled by a communist dictatorship. According to this logic, dissenters in the mainland or elsewhere can only be bad Chinese"
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