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Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Links - 17th May 2017

Why the Iconic 'Power' Symbol Looks the Way It Does - "The line symbolizes the number one, YouTuber Lazy Game Reviews explains in his latest video. The half-circle is a zero, a reference to the binary "on/off" states. The line intersects the circle to communicate that this button won't cut power fully, but is a standby mode—a line inside a circle, or an empty circle, would turn on or shut down power completely."

Why You Shouldn’t Walk on Escalators - The New York Times - "Boarding an escalator two by two and standing side by side is the better approach. It may sound counterintuitive, but researchers said it is more efficient if nobody walks on the escalator."

Washington Post embraces alternative facts on adrenal fatigue, fuels death of expertise epidemic - "While I expect this kind of poison from Paltrow and Mercola to see such junk in the Washington Post is jarring. Maybe the whole alternative-fact-busting-democracy dies-in-darkness credo takes Sundays off?"

Eye Tracking of Men’s Preferences for Female Breast Size and Areola Pigmentation - "we used eye-tracking technology to test two hypotheses: (1) that larger breasts should receive the greatest number of visual fixations and longest dwell times, as well as being rated as most attractive; (2) that lightly pigmented areolae, indicative of youth and nubility, should receive most visual attention and be rated as most attractive. Results showed that men rated images with medium-sized or large breasts as significantly more attractive than small breasts. Images with dark and medium areolar pigmentation were rated as more attractive than images with light areolae. However, variations in breast size had no significant effect on eye-tracking measures (initial visual fixations, number of fixations, and dwell times). The majority of initial fixations during eye-tracking tests were on the areolae. However, areolar pigmentation did not affect measures of visual attention. While these results demonstrate that cues indicative of female sexual maturity (large breasts and dark areolae) are more attractive to men, patterns of eye movements did not differ based on breast size or areolar pigmentation. We conclude that areolar pigmentation, as well as breast size, plays a significant role in men’s judgments of female attractiveness. However, fine-grained measures of men’s visual attention to these morphological traits do not correlate, in a simplistic way, with their attractiveness judgments."

Liberal reflections on loss and acceptance in GE2015, Opinion News & - "The People's Action Party's (PAP) political narrative for Singapore has always insisted on our exceptionalism. For the longest time, I had suspected that this was just an excuse to impose an unnatural dominance on the populace. I had assumed and hoped that, given time, given information and given choice, Singapore would one day become a democratic society like any other - with more than one strong political party, all realistically vying for power, ensuring diversity and providing checks on each other. But I'm big enough to admit when I'm wrong... Singaporeans want a monolithic government. They are comfortable with power consolidating in the hands of very few, presumably in the interests of effectiveness and efficiency. They do not believe that leaders necessarily govern better if they must answer, day to day, matter to matter, to critics. They do not generally require diversity of views for its own sake. Singaporeans have freely chosen to be governed by an entrenched elite aristocracy. Singapore may well be the only country in the world that, offered a truly free and informed choice, has so chosen."

Liberty University Students Survived the Unsafe Space Created by Bernie Sanders and His Pro-Choice Views - "if we’re going to buy the theory that the mere presence of a certain type of speaker on campus creates an unsafe space that expands across that campus, bringing the risk of psychological harm to students, Liberty must have been an incredibly unsafe place today. Many, if not most, of its students, after all, deeply and viscerally believe that abortion is murder. And here was a speaker who didn’t agree with them on that — he was, from their point of view, in favor of mass murder. And yet they let him talk respectfully, they asked him questions, and it seemed like everyone was able to have a civil conversation (albeit a mandatory civil conversation). As of yet, there are no reports of widespread psychological trauma out of Lynchburg."

Social sciences and humanities faculties 'to close' in Japan after ministerial intervention - "The call to close the liberal arts and social science faculties are believed to be part of wider efforts by prime minister Shinzo Abe to promote what he has called “more practical vocational education that better anticipates the needs of society”."

Obama on liberal college students who want to be "coddled": "That’s not the way we learn" - ""Sometimes there are folks on college campuses who are liberal, and maybe even agree with me on a bunch of issues, who sometimes aren’t listening to the other side, and that’s a problem too. I’ve heard some college campuses where they don’t want to have a guest speaker who is too conservative or they don’t want to read a book if it has language that is offensive to African-Americans or somehow sends a demeaning signal towards women. I gotta tell you, I don’t agree with that either. I don’t agree that you, when you become students at colleges, have to be coddled and protected from different points of view. I think you should be able to — anybody who comes to speak to you and you disagree with, you should have an argument with ‘em. But you shouldn’t silence them by saying, "You can’t come because I'm too sensitive to hear what you have to say." That’s not the way we learn either"...
The earnings data has been the most controversial part, with Obama accused of reducing the value of college to a number that colleges themselves can't fully control... He defended the accountability approach in part, including in response to a question about the struggles of historically black colleges. "There are some of those schools, just like non-historically black colleges and universities, who take in a lot of students but don’t always graduate their students, and those students end up being stuck with debt and it’s not a good deal for them," he said."

Femen's topless condescension towards Muslim women only helps sexism - "It is as if one can only be either a Muslim who loves misogyny as a religious duty, or an orientalist feminist who hates Islam. There is no other option. Forcing the discourse into such a binary is not only myopic, but factually incorrect. I’ve researched the way Muslim women fight sexism within the Muslim community, and to the shock of many non-Muslims, my research showed that far from being a recent practice borrowed from the west, Muslim women had been standing up for themselves since the advent of Islam... Far from seeing Islam as a barrier to liberation, a majority of the women in my investigations use Islam to help them in their fight against sexism and shockingly, many named Muslim men (husbands, fathers, teachers) as some of the biggest supporters of their endeavours. When I’ve told non-Muslims about my findings, they were often baffled, even infuriated. The belief that women can pursue advancement and emancipation as Muslims will be dismissed by many as a kind of “false consciousness”"

From Kissing to Wedding in Germany - "In Germany you can get from kissing to wedding in 9 hours, and the stops are equally interesting."

Coloring Book For Grown-Ups

Honey isn’t as healthy as we think - The Washington Post - "Honey has an aura of purity and naturalness. Fresh air, birdsong, forests and meadows. High-fructose corn sweetener? Not so much. So you might think that honey is better for you. But a study published this month compared the health effects of honey and the processed sweetener and found no significant differences... The honey industry, likely hoping that that honey's suspected health benefits might be proven, helped fund the effort... “Honey is thought of as more natural whereas white sugar and high fructose corn syrup are processed from the cane or the beet or the corn,” said Raatz, whose paper appears in the Journal of Nutrition. “We wanted to find out if they were different. But chemically, they are very, very similar, and that’s what it seems to break down to.”"
Cheap science dismissing logic: since the honey industry funded the effort, we can't trust the result, and honey must be even worse than high fructose corn syrup

Pulling Out Is as Effective as Using Condoms - "Social mores, as usual, aren't able to fully control the way people have sex, and a majority of cis, heterosexual adults have at least tried withdrawal, even if not regularly relied upon it. It's easy to see why: It's always available, costs nothing, aggravates no allergies, presents little barrier to pleasure, and has no negative side effects... no method of birth control—not even tubal ligation—makes penis-in-vagina sex completely risk free"

Why Carbonated Beverages Are Called “Soft Drinks” - "“Soft Drink” refers to nearly all beverages that do not contain significant amounts of alcohol (hard drinks)... Interestingly, according to a study done in 2006, most carbonated “soft” drinks actually do contain a little alcohol. In older methods of introducing the CO2 to the drink, this was resulting from natural fermentation, similar to how most beer gets its alcohol. However, with modern methods of introducing CO2 to the drink, this is not an issue; yet measurable amounts of alcohol remain. This is due to the fermentation of sugars in the non-sterile environment of the drink. In some types of soda-pop, additional alcohol is also introduced due to the fact that alcohol is used in the preparation of some of the flavor extracts. However, before anyone starts campaigning to make soda-pop illegal for kids due to the alcohol content, it should be noted that a typical container of yogurt of similar volume to some amount of soda-pop, will contain about 2 times the amount of alcohol over the amount in the soda-pop...
Keeping aerated drinks in a bottle was a huge problem for a long time in the distribution of soft drinks. As such, until the advent of crown cork (crown cap), carbonated beverages were generally only available in pharmacies (hence why many of the most popular soft drink flavors that survived to this day were invented by pharmacists).
Most modern carbonated beverage bottles are designed to hold as much as 20 atmospheres of pressure before bursting. The carbonation itself though is only introduced at about 2 atmospheres of pressure, though this varies slightly from drink to drink.
If you were to let all the CO2 out of a typical carbonated drink, at 1 atmosphere of pressure it would fill a volume about four times that of the original drink container.
Glass bottles make significantly better containers for carbonated beverages due to the fact that air can diffuse through plastic, allowing the CO2 to escape. Thus, carbonated beverages stored in plastic containers have a much shorter shelf life than their glass counterparts."

Why it’s so difficult to get a cab - "Singapore has one of the highest cab densities in the world with 5,225 taxis per 1 million inhabitants, compared to 1,522 in New York and 3,285 in London... there are more cabs on the road and driving longer distances, but they are not exactly ferrying proportionately many more passengers... Earning less the day before did not motivate them to stay longer on the road to augment the earnings shortfall. Neither did earning more the previous day prompt them to drive less. This pattern is consistent regardless of the day of the week, with drivers seemingly “rebooting” on a daily basis. This does not augur well for their personal household budgeting, nor does it reflect a strong work ethic or attentiveness to customer service. That cab drivers set daily income targets that are somewhat invariant suggests how much they work is independent of demand"

Knife wielding man had overdosed on kiwi fruit which ‘led to hallucinations’ Peterborough court told

Liberalism and conservatism should not be viewed in a binary manner - "it would be naïve to assume that people subscribe to liberalism and conservatism in a binary manner. A person can well be both liberal and conservative at the same time. One can be liberal in supporting generous social redistributive policies, but conservative in supporting tough stances on crime. Or one can be liberal in supporting LGBT rights, but hold conservative views towards embryonic stem cell research."

Thai govt warns teens against buying oversized condoms - "teenagers often buy condoms bigger than the size of their penises because they were afraid that their friends would look down on them for having “a small one” and were therefore inferior."

New Thai tourism strategy: ‘I Hate Thailand’ - "The five-minute video shows an angry British tourist on a beach. He introduces himself as James and says his bag was stolen. “I hate this place. I hate Thailand,” he tells a handheld camera. After mouthing off to a policeman, he meets an attractive Thai woman and finds reasons to like Thailand. In the end, the unshaven, bare-chested foreigner cleans up, puts on clothes, befriends the locals and gets his bag back — wallet, passport and all... The tourism authority said it was inspired by research showing that “unbranded” advertisements tend to receive more interest than conventional commercials"

Fuck You, White People - "White People, fuck you for colonization. That’s right, I’m going straight for the big guns. As a marginalized brown woman, I’m going to conveniently forget all the numerous examples in history where non-white civilizations came in and killed a bunch of other non-white people, effectively colonizing them. I’m never going to acknowledge the Mughal/Muslim takeover of the Indian subcontinent which took us from this to this. There is no winning here for you White People; colonization is the deux ex-machina of justifying why you all are the worst race on the planet at the moment, maybe even all of human history. Any time you try to talk sense to racial minorities about identity politics and PC culture, you will be shut down. We will throw this excuse at your face till we are satisfied you feel like the racist garbage we all know you are deep down. And if you still want to have a civil and constructive discussion about these issues, we’ll bring up slavery for good measure as well... If you disagree with anything I’m saying, it’s because you’re a racist. I’m going to use my free speech to shut down yours, so get in line and always be politically correct. And yes, all White People are a monolithic group, but don’t you dare say all Muslims are the same! #NotAllMuslims"

Cloned Pets: Looks Can Be Deceiving - ""I'd suggest to anyone cloning an animal not to expect too much," said Sandra Reddell, who had her famous Brahmin bull, Chance, cloned. The clone's name: Second Chance. "It doesn't matter what species or what breed," Reddell said. "There is no guarantee it will look or act the same.""

Nicole LeMire sacked for 'public humiliation' of child she asked to stop bullying - "A beloved Ohio elementary school teacher has been fired for 'public humiliation' after she said she asked a child to consider how his bullying was affecting his peers."
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