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More adventurous than the average bear

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Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Links - 20th June 2017 (2)

'Rachel Maddow Show' Blames Venezuela Unrest on 'Trump Donations' - "MSNBC's "The Rachel Maddow Show" on Thursday night played images of rioting and protests in Venezuela with the chyron "Unrest in Venezuela Over Trump Donations," while Maddow claimed Venezuelans were "enraged anew" over a Trump Inaugural Committee FEC filing showing a major donation from Citgo Petroleum, an American subsidiary of Venezuela's state-owned oil company, Petróleos de Venezuela... All the while, the show played images of the massive street demonstrations against Maduro."

Wikipedia Is Shockingly Biased: 5 Lessons From An Admin - "Like your own workplace, the biggest problem with Wikipedia is that some people are happy dedicating all of their time to arguments about pointless bullshit. "Sega Genesis or Sega Mega Drive? Star Trek Into Darkness or Star Trek into Darkness (before the film was released, obviously)? Some of the worst have historically been the debates between American and British spelling. Is it 'color' or 'colour?'"... while it's doing well financially, it's bleeding away users. "The number of 'very active' editors (defined as more than 100 edits in a month) dropped from nearly 5,000 to about 3,200 between 2006 and 2014. The number of 'active' users (at least five edits per month) dropped from 50,000 to 30,000. One of my friends dropped out of editing several times because things were too contentious. Admin statistics are worse. We only have 551 active admins. We're not replacing admins at a fast enough rate"

Everything We Knew About Sweatshops Was Wrong - - "most people who got an industrial job soon changed their minds. A majority quit within the first months. They ended up doing what those who had not gotten the job offers did — going back to the family farm, taking a construction job or selling goods at the market. Contrary to the expert predictions (and ours), quitting was a wise decision for most. The alternatives were not so bad after all: People who worked in agriculture or market selling earned about as much money as they could have at the factory, often with fewer hours and better conditions. We were amazed: By the end of a year only a third of the people who had landed an industrial job were still employed in the industrial sector at all."

“Long live the patriarchy”: One more barrier faced by women in science - "On the third morning I woke up feeling victorious as I walked outside. But before long, defeat literally dampened that feeling as my socks absorbed the warm pee running down my legs. Long live the patriarchy."
Uhh... Is the patriarchy to blame for women suffering from menstrual cramps too?

The Unusual Origins of Pink Lemonade - "Conklin ran out of water and thinking on the fly, grabbed a tub of dirty water in which a performer had just finished wringing out her pink-colored tights. In true circus form, Conklin didn't miss a beat. He marketed the drink as his new 'strawberry lemonade,' and a star was born"

France’s Latest American Import: Mermaid Schools - The New York Times

The Strange Fate of the Giant Lobster NASCAR Trophy - "For the past few years, winners of the elegantly-named Lenox Industrial Tools 301 ("The Extra Mile on the Magic Mile") have been presented with a monster lobster (18-22 pounds!) at the podium. This bizarre tradition began whena Speedway official was inspired by a dinner at Makris Lobster & Steak Houseseven years ago... Makris' crack team of lobster guys takes the beast, pressure cooks it, and carefully takes out the roughly six pounds of meat... A taxidermist reassembles the shell, repaints it to look like an uncooked lobster, and mounts it as a trophy, which then gets sent to the winning driver"

Turkey blocks Wikipedia under law designed to protect national security - "Turkey also banned hugely popular television dating shows, a move that been mooted for months by the government. “In radio and television broadcasting services, such programmes in which people are introduced to find a friend.... cannot be permitted,” said the text of the decree. Deputy prime minister Numan Kurtulmus said in March that the ban was in the pipeline, arguing the shows do not fit in with Turkish traditions and customs. “There are some strange programmes that would scrap the institution of family, take away its nobility and sanctity,” Kurtulmus said at the time."
Maybe extreme censorship and gender segregation are part of a "mildly Islamist" government's policies

A land of 246 kinds of cheese - Telegraph - "In parts of the Pyrenees, shepherds had developed a language of whistles that could be understood at up to two miles' distance, while, as the sun passed over the eastern region of the Franche-Comté, "it changed its name to souleil, soulet, soulot, s'lot, soulu, sélu, slu, séleu, soureil, soureiul, sereil, s'reil and seroille". Until the development of mass transport in the 19th century, and in many cases until much later, la France profonde was the "land of a thousand pays" - tiny areas of human settlement delimited neither by state boundaries nor by zones of taxation, but by the distance to which the village bells carried or by how far a patois remained comprehensible"

North Korea explained: The Kim dynasty has learned the lessons of history - "A decade ago US diplomats and journalists, then full of enthusiasm about Libyan nuclear disarmament deal, used to say that North Korean leaders "should learn the lessons of Libya." And there's no doubt that they have, even if they've drawn very different conclusions... Kim is also no doubt aware that coups in non-democratic regimes are fairly common, and fairly successful; according to a recent study, 227 of the 457 coups worldwide between 1950-2010 succeeded. Two of those successful coups took place in the country Pyongyang watches most: South Korea... The per capita income gap between North and South Korea is larger than between any two other countries which share a land border; the ratio is somewhere between 1:14 and 1:40. The gap between East and West Germany, in contrast, was between 1:2 and 1:3... In North Korea, the attempt at emulating China's "reforms and openness" policy is likely to make the populace, currently isolated at least somewhat from the outside world, acutely aware of South Korea's unbelievable affluence, and less fearful of the authorities"

Murders in US very concentrated: 54% of US counties in 2014 had zero murders, 2% of counties have 51% of the murders - "Murders actually used to be even more concentrated. From 1977 to 2000, on average 73 percent of counties in any give year had zero murders"

Two members of alt-right accused of making white supremacist hand signs in White House after receiving press passes - "Ms Fairbanks’ supporters point out that the hand symbol is also used to mean “OK.” Photos show people of all races using the symbol to signify that everything is “alright.”"
How far have we fallen?

How to Turn Your Windows PC Into a Wi-Fi Hotspot - "If you’re running Windows 10 with the Anniversary Update installed, then you’re in luck. With that update, Windows now has a single switch for turning any PC with Wi-Fi into a hotspot, and it doesn’t matter whether the Internet connection you want to share is wired or wireless."

Yale Grad Students Go On 'Symbolic' Hunger Strike Where They're Allowed to Eat

Showing your butt in beautiful landscapes is the new trend

Organizers cancel 82nd Avenue of Roses Parade, after protesters threaten to shut it down - "Organizers of the 82nd Avenue of Roses Parade announced Tuesday that the event will be canceled, for fear that the east Portland parade could be disrupted by "the type of riots which happen in downtown Portland."... This year's parade was once again set to feature the Multnomah County Republican Party as one of the many groups slated to march, but that inclusion drew ire from some of the city's left-leaning protest groups. At least two protests were planned for the day of the parade, one by Oregon Students Empowered and another by Direct Action Alliance. Both events were mentioned in an email sent to parade organizers on Saturday, threatening to shut down the event with hundreds of protesters in the street. "You have seen how much power we have downtown and that the police cannot stop us from shutting down roads so please consider your decision wisely," the anonymous email said, telling organizers they could cancel the Republican group's registration or else face action from protesters. "This is non-negotiable.""
Maybe mainstream Republicans are "Nazis" too

AWESOME New Mod Tool – swgohindepth - "Redditor solosier’s new mod tool allows you to select a character and the stat you wish to maximize on that character. The tool then analyzes all your mods as shown on (which is all those mods ever assigned to a character) and shows you your best possible mod allocation to maximize that stat."

Two words describe Labour's humiliating loss in Copeland: Jeremy and Corbyn
This from a consistently Labour-supporting tabloid

BBC Radio 4 - Best of Today, Monday's business with Dominic O'Connell - "US infrastructure is crumbling... going through Africa is easier than going through a US airport, to be frank"

BBC Radio 4 - Best of Today, Cash for new grammar schools in £320m Budget plan - "One of the effects that a good new free school opening in a neighbourhood has is to raise standards in neighbouring schools. It's a myth to think that if a school opens on the doorstep of a coasting school, and it's a really good school, that the coasting school will just start spiralling the drain. Often what happens is that the coasting school will raise its game to compete with the new school"

BBC Radio 4 - Best of Today, Lord Baker looks back to Britain joining the EEC - "When you're creating a supernational state which is a sort of empire, which is what it has become, In the long flow of history, it's empires that decline but the nation states survive"

BBC Radio 4 - Best of Today, Christianity and politics - a match made in heaven? - "Theresa May is the daughter of a Church of England vicar. Gordon Brown was famously the son of a Manse. Margaret Thatcher, the daughter of a Methodist preacher...
Disraeli in his novel Endymion has an exchange:
'Sensible men', says one of the two interlocutors, 'are all of the same religion'
'And pray what is that?' enquired the prince.
'Sensible men never tell'"

BBC Radio 4 - Best of Today, Government: Grammar schools are for 'ordinary, working families' - "There's a phrase... they use it all over the country: one rule for them, another rule for anybody else. If your Shadow Home, Foreign Secretaries, Attorney-General and Director of Communication, not to mention the Labour party leader whose children ended up being sent to selective school, admittedly against his will because his wife sent him there, does it not suggest that you are arguing for policies that your own people don't believe in and practise as parents?

BBC Radio 4 - Best of Today, Election 2017: Boris Johnson on his party's plan - "We should be very proud of our universities... of all the Kings, Queens, Presidents and Prime Ministers in the world, 1 in 7 was educated in this country

BBC Radio 4 - Best of Today, David Moyes' remark: sexist or just a 'clumsy joke'? - "I'm uncomfortable about the entire debate because everybody who knows David Moyes knows that he's a decent, honourable man who's done great things for women's football, doesn't have a sexist bone in his body, who makes a clumsy joke... This is one small statement in a lifetime of good work for football. And the level of vilification and mob justice that he has been the victim of is, I think, is massively overblown but symptomatic of our age. Martha mentioned that managers sometimes react quite negatively towards questioning. They're questioned directly after a match, where reporters are: the job of a reporter is to get that one phrase out of an hour of questioning that can be put on the backpage and can make the manager look potentially less good than he'd like to be and after coming off camera he made this one joke - it was clumsy, it was poor, but let's be honest: journalists can be quite aggressive. And if a manager reacts slightly over the top I think we need to sometimes take that as part of the job... [On calling the female journalist 'the girl] if he had been asked that question by a male journalist he may have said 'the boy'. It's quite a common phraseology in football to say 'the lad' or 'the boy'... if we had to police every time we strayed into territory that was quite funny, quite sharp because we're worried that that one phrase could lead to the loss of our jobs, if that level, that dead hand of political correctness was to overtake our lives, natural and normal human discourse would die'...
'You feel like people are making a point particularly towards you because you're a woman. Or they say things like: Oh, watch your language, there's a woman in the room. And it's those offhand comments'
Words speak louder than actions
Ironically if Moyes had watched his language (alleged evidence of sexism) because there was a woman in the room, he wouldn't have gotten into trouble

BBC Radio 4 - Best of Today, Can robots learn to feel? - "The whole thing is you have something more intelligent than you deciding for you what to study, where to work and whom to marry... just as today we ask Google when we find our way around space... in 20 years or 40 years you will ask Google what to study and whom to marry'
'So therefore it's Google that's the evil master... become the evil master'
'It's not evil. It's in a way much worse than that. We are used to the scenario that there is an evil conspiracy... but this just implies that we are the best in the world. Any attempt to surpass human beings will fail. Will be evil. It's much worse for us to think that maybe it will succeed and then you have kind of a banal apocalypse in which we lose the power to decide because yes the Google algorithm makes better decisions from (sic) us about whom to marry'
'So it's the algorithm that's the master'
'Yes, and then authority shifts from the humans to the algorithms and again just try to think about your favourite Shakespeare play when all the decisions are taken by Google... instead of agonising for hours and hours, Hamlet can just ask Google: hey Google, what should I do?'"

BBC Radio 4 - Best of Today, Why some Hispanic people voted for Donald Trump - "Ronald Reagan said: if you are with me 80% of the time, you're my friend. I was not with Donald Trump a 100%, but I was with him at least 80%... the alternative was worse"

Do TV actors mumble too much? - "It does make you pay attention. Because one of the reasons that I particularly enjoy Scandinavian crime is that you read the subtitles. So you can't can't look away, you can't play with your phone, you can't go on your computer, so I think the mumbling actor is the antidote to the double screener...
'Despite our, the screens on flat TV... being so good, the image is incredible, the sound isn't as good as it used to be, is it?'
'When you consider a conventional TV was a big box with depth to it so you could put a big decent pair of speakers that could handle a wide variety of frequencies, now those speakers often have to have less than 1 inch of depth because that's how thick the TV is... that's one of the reasons why people have started to invest in things like sound bars... to try and give yourself at least halfway decent sound'"
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