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Thursday, May 04, 2017

Links - 4th May 2017 (1)

Mom Angry That Teacher Won't Serve Her Vagina Cookies to Second Graders

If you speak Mandarin, your brain is different

'Chalk and talk' teaching might be the best way after all - "there is increasing evidence that these new-age education techniques, where teachers facilitate instead of teach and praise students on the basis that all must be winners, in open classrooms where what children learn is based on their immediate interests, lead to under-performance... 'The psychological evidence is clear that there are no benefits for learning from trying to present information to learners in their preferred learning style.'... Overly praising students, especially those who under-perform, is especially counterproductive. It conveys the message that teachers have low expectations and reinforces the belief that near enough is good enough, instead of aiming high and expecting strong results."

‘Frozen’ might be everything that’s wrong with the U.S. economy - The Washington Post - "Toy companies have concluded that they can appeal more powerfully to young customers if they appeal to them as boys or girls, rather than as kids. This is a really big trend, it’s clearly a commercial success story... the nuances and complexities of movie characters are not easily transferred to toys. Figurines of Merida, the Disney princess in 2012’s “Brave,” generally are sold in a shiny blue dress the strong-minded movie princess hated to wear."

In Singapore, your private data is being sold without your permission - at one cent apiece - "Asian consumers, it seems, aren’t as concerned about data privacy as their Western counterparts, who have been recently rocked by the NSA surveillance revelations. Saiyai Sakawee, Tech in Asia’s Thailand correspondent, tells me that people in Thailand tend to overshare about their lives. “They even post credit card information on Facebook sometimes,” she adds."

The Singapore Consensus
This is a collection of Tey Tsun Hang's research papers on the Singapore judiciary

Penis size: Researchers provide the long and short of it - "What is an "average" size for a penis? The enduring question now has a scientific answer: 13.12 cm in length when erect, and 11.66 cm around, according to an analysis of more than 15,000 appendages around the world."

Pandas aren't cute, they're death-loving oxygen-thieves. Let's just eat the idiot-bears - "Incidentally, keeping each of the 150-odd pandas currently in captivity costs around £1.5 million a year. How many of our own species could we feed and house for that? We should turn the podgy oxygen-thieves out on their stupid furry ears and see how long they last on the streets with the foxes."

At least five Americans accidentally shot off their penises since 2010

Death as a Foodborne Illness Curable by Veganism - "“If only you would watch this video”
I hear that all the time from people who have been overwhelmed by the information presented in a video that supports their beliefs. They assume that the evidence presented is incontrovertible, and that anyone who agreed to watch it would necessarily be converted to their beliefs. These videos tend to fall into an easily recognizable pattern. They feature a charismatic scientist with an agenda who makes sweeping statements that go beyond the evidence, makes unwarranted assumptions about the meaning of studies, and omits any reference to contradictory evidence"

Scalia's Grave-Dancers Deserve a Harsh Verdict - "When Marshall, his health broken, at last stepped down in 1991, with a year and a half to live, there were only encomiums, even from conservatives. True, Twitter didn’t exist. If it had, perhaps the gleeful right would have been dancing in public. Instead, whatever champagne was drunk was poured in private. And that makes all the difference. To mute those cheers shows respect not only for the dead, but also for the institution... Nowadays we burn too much energy evaluating people based on whether we agree with them or not. It’s a pardonable vice, and in the worst case perhaps a necessary one, but it can get out of hand. There’s a vast difference between “He’s wrong” and “He’s a worthless bag of flesh who deserved to die.” Sadly, we live in an era when every case is the worst. The late Christopher Hitchens once wrote: “One test of un homme sérieux is that it is possible to learn from him even when one radically disagrees with him.” He was right. Those with whom we disagree will often have things to teach us, if we’ll let them. Scalia was un homme sérieux in the classic sense"

For Believers, Talking to Atheists Is Like Confronting Death - "The researchers believe that “anti-atheist prejudices stem, in part, from the existential threat posed by conflicting worldview beliefs.”"

Indonesia's highest Islamic clerical body issues fatwa proposing death penalty for people caught having gay sex

Humans will be kept between life and death in the first suspended animation trials

Sex pigs halt traffic after laser attack on Pokémon teens - "Tiny Insjön in central Sweden isn't known for pig mask-wearing couples shooting lasers at Pokémon hunters before having sex by a waterwheel. But that could be about to change."

Orgasms more frequent for women partnered with attractive, manly men: study - "Researchers say the study needs to be replicated, but that “they are consistent with the hypothesis that female orgasm is a copulatory mate choice mechanism, perhaps for selecting high-quality genes for offspring.” Further, a mate’s masculinity or attractiveness “did not predict women’s orgasms achieved through masturbation or non-coital sexual activity with a partner. This suggests that male sire quality increases female orgasm specifically during sexual behaviors that could result in conception."

Attractive Female Romantic Partners Provide a Proxy for Unobservable Male Qualities - "Previous research indicates that women find men more desirable when they appear to be desired by other women than in the absence of such cues—an effect referred to as female mate choice copying. Female mate choice copying is believed to emerge from a process whereby women use the presence of a man’s mate as a cue to his own quality. Here, we test this hypothesis explicitly by examining whether the desirability enhancement effect conferred on men by the presumed interest of an attractive female (a) emerges only when the female is described as being a man’s current romantic partner"

STUDY: Women Are More Likely to Be Bisexual Than Men - "women who didn’t have children at a young age, were conventionally attractive, or had higher education were less likely to be bisexual. McClintock suggested this is due to having “more romantic opportunities with male partners.”"

Tinder Takeover » DTR » Podcast » Podtail - "If you can't handle me at my D&D, you don't deserve me at my DTF"

Autopsy reveals Florida man who died after winning cockroach-eating contest choked to death and didn't have an allergic reaction - "None of the other 30 competitors fell ill after the contest and store manager Ben Siegel's attorney said the roaches were all raised in sterile conditions and were perfectly safe to eat"

Uroko Onoja death: Husband 'raped to death' by 5 wives, because he was paying too much attention to the sixth - "His youngest spouse is quoted as saying her five fellow wives ran into the forest when they realised their husband was dead."

Fossil fuels are far deadlier than nuclear power - "The agency examined the life cycle of each fuel from extraction to post-use and included deaths from accidents as well as long-term exposure to emissions or radiation. Nuclear came out best, and coal was the deadliest energy source. The explanation lies in the large number of deaths caused by pollution. “It’s the whole life cycle that leads to a trail of injuries, illness and death,” says Paul Epstein, associate director of the Center for Health and the Global Environment at Harvard Medical School. Fine particles from coal power plants kill an estimated 13,200 people each year in the US alone, according to the Boston-based Clean Air Task Force (The Toll from Coal, 2010). Additional fatalities come from mining and transporting coal, and other forms of pollution associated with coal. In contrast, the International Atomic Energy Agency and the UN estimate that the death toll from cancer following the 1986 meltdown at Chernobyl will reach around 9000."

How Nuclear Power Can Stop Global Warming - "The low-carbon electricity produced by such reactors provides 20 percent of the nation's power and, by the estimates of climate scientist James Hansen of Columbia University, avoided 64 billion metric tons of greenhouse gas pollution. They also avoided spewing soot and other air pollution like coal-fired power plants do and thus have saved some 1.8 million lives... "Environmentalists need to recognize that attempts to force all-renewable policies on all of the world will only assure that fossil fuels continue to reign for base-load electric power, making it unlikely that abundant affordable power will exist and implausible that fossil fuels will be phased out.""

Can Bondage Play Reduce Anxiety? - "“I do a lot of yoga and meditation,” she said. “I think rope can have the same effect. When you’re tied up it’s like you’re not responsible for anything else that happens and there’s a sense of freedom in that. It’s one of the few moments where I don’t have to worry about all of my responsibilities”... Practitioners of bondage reported less neuroticism, a trait similar to anxiety, and more security in their relationships than people strictly into vanilla sex"

The Science of Cohabitation: A Step Toward Marriage, Not a Rebellion - "Other researchers who had been exploring the link between cohabitation and divorce failed to take into account the age at which couples took that plunge. Kuperberg wondered if once she controlled for age, the link between cohabitation and divorce might disappear."

Airline passengers in developing countries face 13 times crash risk as US - "Prof. Barnett questioned why the economically-advancing countries in the Developing World did not have safety records closer to those in the First World, given that they approach First-World standards in life expectancy and per capita income. He cites research that indicates that, in terms of deference to authority and "individualism," the economically advancing Developing-World countries are on average far from those in the First World but almost identical to other Developing-World countries. Prof. Barnett concedes that he should "not get too caught up in speculation," but notes that one possible explanation for why the economically-advancing countries did not fare better is that "their economic shift towards the First World has not been accompanied by a corresponding cultural shift.""

Why Does the Muslim World Lag in Science?

30 minute ice-packs could be key to burning away body fat, say scientists - "Simply strapping an ice-pack to a fatty area like the thighs or stomach for just 30 minutes can burn away hard-to-shift calories. The cold compress works by triggering the body into turning flabby white fat into calorie burning ‘beige’ fat... The researchers also found that obese people could not convert their white fat to beige fat as well as slim people... It follows previous studies which have suggested you can ‘shiver yourself slim’ by turning the heating down a few degrees."

Natural selection making 'education genes' rarer, says Icelandic study

11 key findings from one of the most comprehensive reports ever on the health effects of marijuana

Google DeepMind : pourquoi le futur de l'IA passe par StarCraft II

God made Eve from Adam's PENIS and not his rib, claims religious academic - "Professor Zevit said this explains why man has no baculum, unlike most mammals, and why men don't have an uneven number of ribs compared to women. To support his theory, Professor Zevit from the American Jewish University in Maryland said the Hebrew word 'tsela', taken from the Old Testament, does not translate as 'rib' and instead 'refers to limbs sticking out sideways from an upright human body.'"

A review of intelligence GWAS hits: Their relationship to country IQ and the issue of spatial autocorrelation - "Published Genome Wide Association Studies (GWAS), reporting the presence of alleles exhibiting significant and replicable associations with IQ, are reviewed. The average between-population frequency (polygenic score) of nine alleles positively and significantly associated with intelligence is strongly correlated to country-level IQ (r = .91)."

Facebook's bizarre and secretive 'graphic content' policy revealed in leaked document - "An aggrieved Moroccan worker who was paid a mere $1 an hour by oDesk - a third-party content-moderation firm used by Facebook - revealed it tells staff to delete all forms of sexual activity, even simulated activity where there was nothing explicit on show. Yet deep wounds, excessive blood and 'crushed heads, limbs etc' are allowed - 'as long as no insides are showing'... Urine, faeces, vomit, semen and - strangely - ear wax are not allowed."

Caesarean births 'affecting human evolution' - "More mothers now need surgery to deliver a baby due to their narrow pelvis size"

Norwegian researchers win Ig Nobel Prize - "After 3 weeks of excellent weather conditions, the researchers had done most of the planned field work, which included 50 observations on reindeer responses to humans approaching. Leaving time for creative ideas while waiting to be picked up by the helicopter. “It was a spontaneous idea after having observed polar bears in the inner parts of Edgeøya where we had seen reindeer earlier. On one occasion we also observed a polar bear clearly interested in the reindeer.” Using whatever they had of white clothing, Reimers was dressed up as a bear"

Study suggests London Underground may be 'too fast' - "If Tube journeys are too fast, relative to going by road, then the model predicts an increase in the overall level of congestion. This is because key locations outside the city centre, where people switch transport modes, become bottlenecks"
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