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Sunday, May 07, 2017

Links - 7th May 2017 (2)

BBC Radio 4 - From Our Own Correspondent, Constitutionally Capable - "[On disliking a Trump victory] They had no doubts about the value of elections. The majority of people in China don't really care who won. At least there they have the human right to vote. It's a good system...
[On the 2012 election, and still being shared] Americans please don't forget. You didn't know who would win the White House until it was announced. Don't be ashamed of your swing states. The fact that you have swing states proves that you have a real democracy no matter who comes out on top. In China we don't have the same choices. Or to sum it up with another online comment... Chinese people watching elections overseas... are like a bunch eunuchs talking about sex"

BBC Radio 4 - From Our Own Correspondent Podcast, Vigilantes, Strongmen and Mannequins - "President Yahya Jammeh of Gambia had said that he was proud to be a dictator. He also threatened as he put it to bury the evil vermin called opposition 9 feet deep... He was criticised when one of his political opponents was beaten to death in custody. He responded by telling both the UN and Amnesty International to go to hell. His citizens, though responded by going to Europe. In record numbers. 1/14 of those on people smuggling boats from Libya this year was Gambian, according to the UNHCR. That's a lot for a country of less than 2 million"

BBC Radio 4 - From Our Own Correspondent, Rwandan Echoes - "No one even knows what the true inflation rate is in Venezuela. The government doesn't publish the figures anymore. Last year it was 180%. This year the IMF expects it to hit 500% and for Gross Domestic Product to fall by 10%... The government blames lower oil prices and a US-led conspiracy to undermine the economy. This week President Nicolas Maduro blamed the mafia in neighboring Colombia for fueling Venezuelan inflation with big cross-border money deals...
[Venezuela] used to be one of the wealthiest countries in South America...
[The newspaper cartoon] showed a puzzled Santa reading through a long Christmas wishlist. 'But this is all food', Santa is saying to an elf. The elf, grim-faced, looks back at Santa. 'It's the Venezuelan list', he says...
[On António Guterres] He avoids the elaborate constructions favored by speakers of Latin languages which in English tend to come across as waffle"

BBC Radio 4 - From Our Own Correspondent, Cooking up 2016 - "I've posted a lot of photos of Middle Eastern street food on social media. Someone even combined them into an online slideshow under the admirably businesslike title of: Jeremy Bowen is hungry. I received some abuse on social media for daring to suggest that despite everything, Syrians still ate and that I'd been known to join them. My answer was that the best way to understand people even those caught up in the Middle East catastrophe is to see how they live and not just how they die"

One man's surprising defiance on Chinese legal rights - "I'm not used to private citizens standing on principle in China, especially not rich people. After all, this is a huge, homogenising society under an authoritarian one-party state. Principles often seem like a dangerous and expensive luxury. Yes, Communist Party leaders make speeches about principles, but for the public that's even more reason to regard such talk as arrant hypocrisy. I'd even go so far as to say that many Chinese people today are actively intolerant or suspicious of those who stand up for values. George Bernard Shaw may have written, "the reasonable man adapts himself to the world: the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man". But you don't hear people quoting that in China. Instead there are plenty of proverbs telling people to keep their heads down or they'll get them lopped off. George Bernard Shaw's unreasonable man is plain crazy in this worldview. Not someone heroic and brave, but a loser who will go down and probably take his family and friends with him. It's not so surprising given that people with convictions are the enemy to a paranoid political class which regards alternative values as an existential challenge."

BBC Radio 4 - From Our Own Correspondent, "May it Pass" - "[On Turkish conspiracy theories] One front page superimposed Barack Obama's face onto that of the nightclub killer. A famous fashion designer and outspoken critic of the government was deported from Northern Cyrpus this week for tweets deemed to insult Turkey. As he landed he was set upon by an organised mob on the runway who'd conveniently been informed of his flight details through a state agency report. He's now been arrested while the thugs roam free"

Backup PC to Google Drive in Windows 10/8/7 for Free

BBC World Service - The Documentary, The President and the Press - "[On Nixon] 'Reporters that he particularly disliked such as Dan Rather... He had the White House start a propaganda campaign with hate letters that were disguised so it wasn't clear they were coming from Republicans to try to get him fired. He and his advisors singled out individual reporters to try to get fired. Individual reporters who criticised him and stood up to him at news conferences, who investigated him. In one famous case his aides even plotted to assassinate an investigative reporter who was causing him more trouble and had for decades than any other. The plot was never carried out. The men were arrested instead at the Watergate burglary. Whether it would have been carried out otherwise we'll never know... he also went after the press as an institution"

ISIS threatens China for first time in new video
Damn Crusades!

BBC World Service - Assignment , After Obama Care: Health under Trump - "It is amazing how many people will walk out of a free clinic having been given care and asked: would you like to be on Medicaid? You can join Medicaid, you can get care through Obamacare and they don't want any part of it. Because they don't want government to be in the middle even though they can't afford the care that they need and they just got it for free. It happens...
Even those who were planning policy for a Hillary Clinton administration admit that Obamacare has its flaws...
There may be a uptick in the uninsured but the operating rule of health policy is: feed the middle class first. Then you see what's left over for everybody else

BBC World Service - The Documentary, Australia - Curbing Smoking, My Perfect Country Boxset - "It's not nicotine that's harmful in cigarettes. It's combustion and smoke. And you're lighting something on fire and inhaling it into your lungs...
If you think about say smoking in public space. Those tend to be spaces which no one really wants to hang out in anyway. That was one key thing in my research that people felt marginalised by. They couldn't be citizens in public space anymore because they were restrained to these kind of dirty spaces. And then also smoking has become a contagious disease. Members of the public who don't smoke are encouraged to be very fearful and that is directly related to how shamed people feel. It's taken up by people who are at the lowest on the socioeconomic rungs of the ladder and that adds a burden of shame to those people who might already be marginalised. In Australia the biggest group is aboriginal people...
'[On Australia's smoking laws] Tobacco companies are completely hamstrung and can't use their IP anywhere. The only thing they can use is their corporate logo. I think a lot of other businesses would be worried'
'And is it an infringement on freedom?
Yes, broadly. The harms of smoking overwhelmingly affect the smoker. The shortest way I can say it is: Your Body, Your Choice'"

BBC Radio 4 - From Our Own Correspondent Podcast, Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word - "I was a told a few times that even the Prophet Muhammad and his young wife Aisha went to a concert together"

Analysing train breakdowns, line by line - "WHEN the relatively new car you drive keeps breaking down, you can look to only two possible reasons. One, you have not been maintaining it well; two, it was not made well. You do not have to be an engineer to understand that but, just for the record, a senior engineer dispensed that truism when I asked him recently why our rail system keeps breaking down... It would appear that the newer systems have quality issues right from the start... The Bukit Panjang LRT system started breaking down practically from the time it opened in 1999. And it has been breaking down regularly ever since... Before last year, though, Hong Kong's MTR system had a largely pristine record. In fact, it has been a consistent top performer in the CoMET-Nova reliability ranking of 29 international metro operators. Singapore, on the other hand, has in recent years ranked above average among the 29, but near the bottom among the newer Asian metros."

How does our MRT compare with the subways of other cities? | S.U.R.E. - "Based on my analysis of the data, it seems the MRT in Singapore services far less area than the subway systems of other major cities. Compared to New York and Tokyo, the MRT has half as many stations per square kilometre of track. Overall, Singapore’s subway appears to connect fewer locations and coversless ground than its counterparts. I thought it might be fairer to compare Singapore to Hong Kong, a city closer in size and population density than London or New York. According to the LTA statistics, Hong Kong’s MTR covers even less ground than the MRT. But this Straits Times report suggests that what Hong Kong lacks in coverage, it makes up for in efficiency. Hong Kong trains carry more people, suffer fewer delays, and arrive more frequently than Singapore’s MRT. The one clear advantage to riding the subway in Singapore seems to be that it’s relatively cheaper."

BBC Radio 4 - From Our Own Correspondent Podcast, Mission Accomplishment - "[She] fled Somalia in 1992... Her first trip back to Mogadishu in 2012 did not go well. On her first night in the city, she learnt that her own relatives had sent relatives had sent gunmen to hunt her down and kill her. Someone had wrongly assumed that Ilham [sp?] was returning with political ambitions. That she was a rival and so, naturally, they wanted her dead. Even when she fled to the airport the next day an immigration official confiscated her passport in order to give the gunmen another chance"

Passer à la casserole - dictionnaire des expressions françaises Expressio par Reverso - signification, origine, étymologie - "Pour une femme, être dans l'obligation d'accepter l'acte sexuel ou s'y prêter pour la première fois... à quoi sert aussi une casserole, sinon à 'sauter' des aliments comme des pommes de terre, par exemple ?
Or, une femme qui subit ou participe à un acte sexuel, ne se fait-elle pas 'sauter' ?
Voilà une "bien jolie" métaphore qui suffit à faire le lien avec le dernier sens."

10 Weird Parlour Games Played Before TV Existed - "Hot Cockles... is a Victorian-era variation of everyone’s favorite classic Blind Man’s Bluff, because apparently it was such a good game that it needed spin-offs. One person sits in a chair while the main player puts their head in their lap. One by one, everyone else comes up behind them and kicks them. The object of the game is for the guy being kicked to correctly guess who just kicked him. If he gets it right, the person he identified is the new punching bag. Sometimes the simplest things are the most memorable, but if you can’t manage to remember, the bruises will help."

Man gets 20.5 years jail, 24 strokes of the cane for sexually exploiting four girls aged 11 to 13 - "He sexually violated the girls in public toilets, staircase landings and even the backseat of a taxi. He asked them to send him naked pictures of themselves... The High Court heard that Sim first got to know the older twin in November 2012 using a Facebook account in the name of Peter Tan. They exchanged phone numbers and she agreed to be his girlfriend. During their relationship of a few weeks, Sim asked her to send him pictures of her naked body. She sent him photos of her breasts and genitalia. After she told her twin about "Peter Tan", the younger girl added Sim as a Facebook friend. On the same day, he asked her to be his girlfriend. She said yes. Over the next two months, Sim met the sisters separately and bought them each a mobile phone. He groped the older twin on a taxi and outside a school. He went further with the younger twin - he groped her on a bus, violated her with his finger at staircase landings and handicapped toilets in shopping malls and asked her to perform oral sex on him. Twice, he took her home and asked for sex."

Jesus on Tinder - Album on Imgur

Female pedestrian crossing lights in Victoria: Equal number push - "ALL of Victoria’s pedestrian crossings could eventually have an equal number of female and male walking signals in a push for gender equality. But critics say the plan is political correctness gone mad. Influential lobby group the Committee for Melbourne says having green or red silhouettes only of men at traffic lights reinforces unconscious bias by discriminating against women... Shadow Minister for Women Georgie Crozier said: “Women would prefer safer roads, better footpaths and less congestion on roads instead of this condescending madness from Daniel Andrews. This will make zero difference to improving anyone’s life.”"
Did they just assume zir gender? Are they trying to reinforce the stereotype that women wear dresses?

'March For Science' Forced To Apologize For Calling Women 'Females' - "I get triggered by basic English – but yes, please give me a job in a highly competitive and stressful environment."

Emma Watson condemned for her 'hypocritical' criticism of Beyoncé's feminism - "If social media discourse has taught us anything, it's that Twitter remembers. While every person in the entire world debates whether Emma Watson's breasts are feminist enough, Beyoncé fans have unearthed a particularly unfortunate quote from Watson's past which seems to contradict her recent sex-positive activism... "As I was watching [the videos] I felt very conflicted, I felt her message felt very conflicted in the sense that on the one hand she is putting herself in a category of a feminist, but then the camera, it felt very male, such a male voyeuristic experience of her," Watson said during a conversation with journalist and actress Tavi Gevinson, as published in a 2014 issue of Wonderland Magazine. Watson's apparent hypocrisy, particularly in light of a boob-heavy pictorial in this month's issue of Vanity Fair and her stance that feminism and expression of sexuality aren't contradictory ideas, have naturally riled the buzzing panic button of pop fandom: The Beyhive"

People are angry feminist Emma Watson has posed for a braless Vanity Fair photoshoot - ""Feminist: Page 3 girls? Topless? Ban them! Emma Watson topless? Brave and Stunning! #doublethink #hypocrisy"... Watson rubbished suggestions Belle was really battling a serious case of Stockholm Syndrome and trapped in a loveless relationship with the Beast. She told Entertainment Weekly: ‘She has none of the characteristics of someone with Stockholm Syndrome because she keeps her independence, she keeps that freedom of thought.’"
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