"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, May 04, 2017

Links - 4th May 2017 (2)

The myth of self-control - "“Our prototypical model of self-control is angel on one side and devil on the other, and they battle it out,” Fujita says. “We tend to think of people with strong willpower as people who are able to fight this battle effectively. Actually, the people who are really good at self-control never have these battles in the first place”... People who are better at self-control actually enjoy the activities some of us resist — like eating healthy, studying, or exercising... Our dispositions are determined in part by our genetics. Some people are hungrier than others. Some people love gambling and shopping. People high in conscientiousness — a personality trait largely set by genetics — tend to be more vigilant students and tend to be healthier. When it comes to self-control, they won the genetic lottery... Another intriguing idea is called “temptation bundling,” in which people make activities more enjoyable by adding a fun component to them. One paper showed that participants were more likely to work out when they could listen to an audio copy of The Hunger Games while at the gym"

Expedition Ecstasy: Sniffing Out The Truth About Hawai‘i's Orgasm-Inducing Mushroom - "“I have had over a thousand inquiries over the last week,” said Holliday, clearly agitated. It had been eight days since the science news aggregator IFLS had drudged up the abstract on orgasm-inducing mushrooms, putting millions of pairs of eyes on Holliday & Soule’s abstract"

It's official: Getting married really DOES cause you to put on weight - ""couples reported buying more regional and unprocessed products and less convenience food. Moreover, married men were more likely than single men to buy organic and fair trade food. 'That indicates that particularly men in long-term relationships are more likely to eat more consciously and, in turn, probably more healthily,' says Jutta Mata, lead author of the study and Assistant Professor of Health Psychology at the University of Basel. But it does not mean that they are generally healthier: The study also shows that married men do less sport than singles."

No, Putin didn’t hack the power grid; journalists need to take a breath and get it right - "the Post’s entire story about Russian hacking into America’s electrical grid ended being unprovable at best and completely false at worst. The episode is amusing in a sense, but is also destructive to American-Russian relations and to the credibility of the news media, which was already at record-low levels. In a September Gallup poll, just 32 percent of the public said they had a “fair” or “great deal” of trust in the mainstream media. Despite their skepticism about the media in general, however, many members of the public continue to believe false theories about the recent hacks of the Democratic National Committee. According to a survey conducted by the Economist and YouGov, 52 percent of self-identified Democrats believe that Russian hackers altered election results to help Donald Trump defeat Hillary Clinton. No government officials or prominent Democrats, Clinton included, have made such an allegation. President Obama and other officials have explicitly denied it."

Anthropologist Jane Goodall: China is pillaging Africa like an old colonial power

Everyone who can now see your entire internet history, including the taxman, DWP and Food Standards Agency

Penis Size: It May Be Written in the Length of His Fingers - "those with a lower ratio, whose index finger (or second finger, 2D) was shorter than the ring finger (or fourth finger, 4D), had a longer stretched penis length, which is well correlated with erect size."

An economics professor explains how the Empire built the Death Star - "the Galactic Empire was destroyed because Emperor Palpatine did not understand basic macroeconomics and either was incorruptible or surrounded himself with incompetent lackeys. Ergo it was economics that brought down the Empire, not the return of the Jedi!"

Olentzero - Wikipedia - "According to Basque traditions Olentzero comes to town late at night on the 24th of December to drop off presents for children... if the children did not want to go to bed, a sickle would be thrown down the chimney and the children told that Olentzero would come to cut their throats if they didn't go to bed."

Sinterklaas - Wikipedia - "During the German occupation of the Netherlands (1940–1945) many of the traditional Sinterklaas rhymes were rewritten to reflect current events. The Royal Air Force (RAF) was often celebrated. In 1941, for instance, the RAF dropped boxes of candy over the occupied Netherlands"

Japanese Twitter seems to have no problems with Karlie Kloss’ “geisha” photo shoot - "'Japanese people: “Wow! You respect Japanese culture! You’re our friend! We’re happy!”
People overseas: “She’s stealing Japanese culture!”
People overseas: “She’s making fun of Japanese people!”
Japanese people: “Huh?”'
As of this writing, Japanese Twitter users have been overwhelmingly supportive of the photos. Many have voiced bewilderment or exasperation at other parties becoming, to their minds, indignant on their behalf.
'“What makes me angry is people getting upset and shouting that this is racist even as they ignore the sensibilities of people in Japan. It’s easy to see that they’re trying to use the situation to drum up business, and in the end, they don’t really care about what the people from the culture in question actually think.”
“They’re psychopaths who get a sense of superiority by calling anything and everything racist until the other party bows its heads in shame.”'...
'They may have big bodies, but foreigners sure are narrow-mindedly hung up on small things'"

BP is to blame for Deepwater Horizon, but its mistake was actually years of small mistakes. - "After every big disaster we naturally assume some reckless decision by a manager or a massive equipment breakdown must have been the cause. In the words of accident investigator Dekker, we look for “bad people, bad decisions, broken parts.” But in studying large industrial failures (including the BP spill), Dekker came to a very different conclusion about what causes such problems. Large accidents are more often the result of dozens of tiny contributing factors: misguided assumptions on the part of workers and managers; small, subtly flawed decisions; routine mechanical or digital glitches. Individually, none of these seem particularly noteworthy to the people on the front line—just another day on the job. It’s only after the accident that we see how this particular row of dominos toppled"

‘Motherless babies!’ How to create a tabloid science headline in five easy steps

Who's downloading pirated papers? Everyone - "Sci-Hub users are not limited to the developing world. Some critics of Sci-Hub have complained that many users can access the same papers through their libraries but turn to Sci-Hub instead—for convenience rather than necessity. The data provide some support for that claim. The United States is the fifth largest downloader after Russia, and a quarter of the Sci-Hub requests for papers came from the 34 members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the wealthiest nations with, supposedly, the best journal access. In fact, some of the most intense use of Sci-Hub appears to be happening on the campuses of U.S. and European universities."

Traditional Chinese medicine origins: Mao invented it but didn’t believe in it. - "In 1923, Lu Xun, China’s most famous man of letters, reflected critically on his father’s visits to a Chinese doctor, visits that bankrupted the family and failed to produce results. “I still remember the doctor’s discussion and prescription,” Lu wrote, “and if I compare them with my knowledge now, I slowly realize that Chinese doctors are no more than a type of swindler, either intentional or unintentional, and I sympathize with deceived sick people and their families”... The reason so many people take Chinese medicine seriously, at least in part, is that it was reinvented by one of the most powerful propaganda machines of all time and then consciously marketed to a West disillusioned by its own spiritual traditions. The timing couldn’t have been better. Postmodernism was sweeping the academy, its valuable insights quickly degrading into naïve relativism"

What REALLY goes into a jar of Nutella

Cheapest hawker food: how stall holders keep prices down - ""Singaporeans are very sensitive to price increase of food; even with an additional 10 cents or 20 cents, they will stop patronising a stall""

Forgotten foods and mealtime memories - "Over the years, plenty of foods have disappeared for various reasons. Take pig's blood pudding for instance. It used to be cooked in a clear Teochew-style soup, together with minced pork and lavish handfuls of Chinese celery. Pig's blood, coagulated and cut into squares, was freely sold at markets back in the 1950s. My Teochew father would buy and cook it in a clear soup on Sundays (he belonged to a family where the men took up the ladles on weekends while the womenfolk prepped and cleared up afterwards). Sadly, this soup is no more to be found at home and at hawker centres. Pig's blood is no longer sold, following the outbreak of Japanese encephalitis at pig farms in Malaysia in 1999."

How Ikea uses food to trick you into spending more - "the whole purpose of the quick-service restaurants is to “reinforce their low price profile” on items in the rest of the store, even if it means selling food at a loss."

26 Traditional Indian Foods That Will Change Your Life Forever

21 Pictures That Prove Hipsters Should Be Banned From Food Forever

Why do Brits and Americans swear so differently? - "The influence of American films and television on British culture is strong. Any British person who hasn’t visited America could be forgiven for assuming that America is one giant cluster-cuss, its citizens dropping F-bombs like Eliza Doolittle dropped her Hs. But this isn’t necessarily so. There is a real puritanical streak in America that is much discussed — but little understood — by the British. It manifests itself in unpredictable ways, like an unwillingness to use seemingly innocuous words (the word ‘toilet’, for example) and a certain gentility when it comes to swearing... there are some words the British use casually that are considered more offensive or insulting by Americans. As Margolis notes, for example, in Britain one might plausibly tease a friend of either sex by calling them a twat (rhymes with cat) or the four-letter c-word, which is all but unsayable in the United States — and which linguist John McWhorter (while not at all against swearing in principle) has lumped in with the n-word as one of Americans’ most taboo. Americans find it really shocking to hear it used carelessly."

Malcolm Gladwell got it wrong: ‘Deliberate practice’ — not 10,000 hours — key to achievement, psychologist says

Does it take 10,000 hours to become world class at golf? - "A few years ago I came across a guy who decided to test the 10,000 rule in a way no one had ever done before. He quit his job and decided to spend 10,000 hours practising to be good enough to compete on the PGA Tour. If you think that sounds ambitious, I should probably also mention that he’d never even played golf before. The Dan Plan was born. That guy was Dan McLaughlin. I got in touch with Dan, arranged an interview, and pitched the idea to a few golf magazines. I ended up writing the feature for Today’s Golfer. I recently discovered that Dan has given up on The Dan Plan. He hasn’t said much about it but, as far as I can gather, injury and financial issues seem to be the main factors."
Now he's selling soda

Are Men Just Not Interested in Clever Women? - "our hypothetical woman with a 6 out of 10 score for attractiveness will do best with men at a speed-dating event if she scores around a 7 for intelligence. Men will be less interested in her if she is any less or any more intelligent than this. By the way, this isn’t only true for women who are of average physical attractiveness. The same pattern holds true for very attractive and very unattractive women... A paper published in late 2015 suggested that men are less attracted to intelligent women because the comparison with their own intelligence damages their egos... Karbowski and colleagues offer another possibility:
“Perhaps women’s mating demands (of the physical attractiveness and intelligence of a potential partner) can…be effectively met by more pairs of the levels of [attractiveness and intelligence].""

Shelter call psychologist on violent rabbit Jack in Cornwall

Psychology, Anthropology, and a Science of Human Beings - "As for anthropology, ever since the Vietnam War, the two no-no’s have been research on universals and collusion with power, these being conflated by the belief that hidden in the West’s hegemonic designs on the world is a “logocentric” attempt to reduce the rest of the world to manipulatable proportions... much of cultural anthropology is so preoccupied with irreducible “diversity” (on down to glorification of some obscure person on a subway ruminating on her “cosita”—seriously) that the science of human beings is being left almost wholly to psychology... Oxford University Press, which was the first to regularly publish anthropology as science, has stopped doing so"

Will We Ever Notice Boys' Struggles? - "If you do see an article or book in support of boys or men, it is usually by someone known to be a conservative or it is on a conservative website. Consider the first well-known book on this issue, The War Against Boys, in 2000, by Christina Hoff Sommers (now with the American Enterprise Institute). Or a 2015 article in the National Review, titled “Why Do More Women Than Men Go to College?” My fellow liberals continue to focus almost exclusively on women and girls."

7 Psychotic Pieces of Relationship Advice from Cosmo

Political Diversity in Social and Personality Psychology by Yoel Inbar, Joris Lammers - "A lack of political diversity in psychology is said to lead to a number of pernicious outcomes, including biased research and active discrimination against conservatives. The authors surveyed a large number (combined N = 800) of social and personality psychologists and discovered several interesting facts. First, although only 6% described themselves as conservative "overall," there was more diversity of political opinion on economic issues and foreign policy. Second, respondents significantly underestimated the proportion of conservatives among their colleagues. Third, conservatives fear negative consequences of revealing their political beliefs to their colleagues. Finally, conservatives are right to do so: In decisions ranging from paper reviews to hiring, many social and personality psychologists said that they would discriminate against openly conservative colleagues. The more liberal respondents were, the more they said they would discriminate."
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