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Meesa gonna kill you!

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Friday, June 23, 2017

Links - 23rd June 2017 (2)

BBC World Service - The Documentary, The Islamists: Islam, People and Power Boxset - "When I was very young, the video tapes that we were seeing, the songs that we were listening to, it's very clear in the ideas of the Muslim Brotherhood that the ultimate goal of the Muslim Brotherhood or of us as Muslims is to re-establish the Islamic rule or Caliphate somehow...
'One year after the Revolution, I discovered that the existing leadership of the Muslim Brotherhood were concentrating on power and political scene more than the education or the people to understand Islam or satisfying their needs. They became like another politician'
Kamal Helbawy was the longtime spokesperson for the Brotherhood in the West...
'I do not think the slogan of the Muslim Brotherhood *something* Islam is the Solution is a valid one. I believe that Islam can be a source of morality within politics. I believe that any solution that is accepted by Islam can be a solution and any solution actually that is accepted by the majority of people for me would be an Islamic solution'
Is a state guided by Islamic principles really a secular state?

BBC World Service - The Documentary, The Sunni Traditionalists: Islam, People and Power Boxset - "There were many voices who came and said do not join the revolution. But there are many verses in Koran and prophetic traditions that speak about if a ruler or a president is oppressive, the system is corrupted, you shouldn't be silent about it...
[On Al-Azhar] 'We don't have what is called an Islamic State in Islam'
'That's right. This top Islamic scholar does not believe in an Islamic State'
'We here in Al-Azhar don't recognise the religious state. The ruling systems are that of the civil authority kind. It's a contractual relationship which is different in different places and times. So there is no specific set system'...
'Islamic scripture does not specify a single model of governance. There are basic tenets such as Justice, Equality and adhering to Islamic Principles'...
The companions of the Prophet (PBUH) asked: what should we do with those who are unjust? So they say: should we confront them with swords? The Prophet said no. As long as they establish prayer among you, if you find something hateful from them, you should hate their actions but not withdraw your hand from obedience. Why did the Prophet say no to confronting them with weapons? This will lead to chaos and justice won't be served. And it is likely that the ruler wouldn't leave. It is better to leave it and let it takes its course either by allowing the leader to reach the end of his serving term or the wait till his death

BBC World Service - The Documentary, The Salafis: Islam, People and Power Boxset - "The stance of the Saudi establishment gets a little confusing. On the one hand, they promote a doctrine that says that rising up against the rulers is forbidden. On the hand hand, the Saudi government has given its backing to armed groups trying to depose the Syrian president Bashar Al-Assad"

BBC World Service - The Documentary, Reflections: Islam, People and Power Boxset - "The Arab uprisings were essentially a revolution or uprising against not only the political elites but also the religious elites"

BBC Radio 4 - From Our Own Correspondent, Cutting Through - "[On Le Pen being an Islamophobe] In the Suez War he won plaudits from the Egyptian population because he was the only French officer who took time to bury their dead according to Islamic rites

The attack on Pearl Harbor and physics through the ages | Podcast | History Extra - "Churchill in London was hugely relieved as well. He was at dinner when he heard about Pearl Harbor, and he was very despondent when he heard how the war was going, but when he heard the news, he spent the rest of the night dictating telegrams and saying to himself well we've won now. It's still going to be a long hard road but we cannot lose with the industrial muscle of the United States on our side...
It had interesting effects in places like Hollywood... [On Mrs. Miniver] they weren't able to make the film they wanted because they had to stay neutral. MGM had big box office profits in Germany and they had to make a film that didn't offend the Germans. Once Pearl Harbor had happened and America was in on the side of the Allies, they were able to rewrite the script and make the film they wanted to make...
Hitler was exactly like Churchill... when the news of Pearl Harbor was brought to him, and he was absolutely delighted, the same as Churchill... Hitler ran across the compound in the cold without his coat on to tell Field Marshal Keitel and Yodel what had happened. One of those things he said was that Japan had never lost a war in 3,000 years and that was gonna be good for the Germans."

Corner shops and Russian ballet | Podcast | History Extra - "It's kind of like that unsung hero of British life, which is why I wanted to shine a lens on it...
There was an attempt for political reasons to create ballets that broadcast, communicated certain ideological principles. And to make sure that these works were understood, audiences, including workers, farmers, people from the streets, were brought in, bused in to the Bolshoi and they were given questionnaires to fill out to see whether or not they understood the plot, whether or not they understood the gestures, whether or not the folkish dancers were folkish enough and so on and so forth and these commentaries, these answers that the regular person provided on these questionaires, often in very simple language, often in crayons and pencils ended up actually informing the rehearsals and the development of some of the great ballets. And one of them was by Shostakovich called the Bright Stream. It was a ballet about life on the collective farm...
the initial rehearsals were one that were very much catered to the masses...
The title was changed to the Red Flower to satisfy protests of Chinese Communists who actually thought calling the ballet the Red Poppy and drawing attention to the opium trade in China was an insult but then after the Cultural Revolution and the fraying of relationships between the Soviet Union and China, the original title was restored for this ballet"
Maybe the Singaporean use of unsung heroes to describe everyday people is inherited from the Brits

The birth of Eurasia | Podcast | History Extra - "History is the interaction of human agency with environment... I was accused of being a Marxist when I said that"

Historical fiction and a US murder scandal | Podcast | History Extra - "If you're a historian, you have to accept that everybody that you care about, everybody that you know about, everybody that you spent years working on is dead, and most of them have been dead for 500 years. So in a sense there are no happy endings in history because everybody is dead"

A history of Istanbul | Podcast | History Extra - "Theodora... was an erotic dancer, a gymnast... One of her most famous acts was to re-enact the story of Leda and the Swan... Young Theodora used to re-enact this, and we're told she used to do this with a grain and a goose...
The Virgin Mary is very important to Islamic Faith. She turns up more in the Quran than in the New Testament... Even if you go to Istanbul today there'll be very traditionally religious Muslim families who might well have an icon of Mary...
[On 1924] All these continuities that have been running for centuries stop at that time and then in the 1930s what happens is that the post office refuses to deliver any mail addressed to Constantinople. It has to be called Istanbul so I just thought at that moment both in practical terms and in psychological terms is the moment where things do change"

The wartime SAS and Hitler’s drug addiction | Podcast | History Extra - "'Even children were taking sort of heroin in cough syrup at this time to help them sleep'
'We have to understand that drugs are a concept that society makes up'...
[On the Nazi army being awake for 17 days and nights] The Blitzkreig strategy, they were awake quite a long time... [it's] tied in with the ability to use a chemically produced, very potent drug in order to combat the enemy number 1 of the soldier, and that is always sleep and fatigue. And the French for example, they relied on a very different drug. They relied namely on red wine. In the First World War there was this myth that red wine saved the French nation because they drank it and it lifted their spirits... every French soldier received 3/4 of a litre per day in combat... makes you drowsy in the evening...
By late 1944, he was a Class A drug addict. Which is very at odds with the symbol of German purity that he was made out to be: teetotaler, he didn't drink coffee... Hitler's eardrums were blown from the bomb attack, he was actually quite severely injured... Hitler demanded the cocaine also to boost his mood and to be able to not fall into the deepest paranoia and depression but to be able to kind of keep his spirits up"

The history of puzzles and Lady Anne Barnard | Podcast | History Extra - "Probability was first invented in the 17th century by Blaise Pascal and Pierre de Fermat, both French mathematicians who were asked by this gambler, the Chevalier de Mere to try and work out how he could win at a dice game"

The roots of modern rage | Podcast | History Extra - "[On Napoleon] People start thinking about this whole question in terms of East vs West... there was, once upon a time, a West from which Germany was excluded. From which Germans felt themselves excluded. A West by which they felt humiliated. So if you want to look at the experiences of the Russians or the Indians or the Chinese today, let's go back to the first people who felt excluded from modernity... I don't find the charge of Eurocentrism that offensive. I mean my argument is that we've actually not been Eurocentric enough, that we have not explored enough the way in which Eurocentricism pervades practically every religion and ideology defined in the last two hundred years"

Women in popular history | Podcast | History Extra - "[On positive discrimination] There is now a move... official BBC policy? Panels shows should have at least one woman represented. I know actually because I was trying to put together a panel on Europe last year. A kind of public debate about Europe. The history of Europe at the time of the referendum. Trying to get some kind of historical, cultural perspective. And it was actually incredibly difficult to get women on the panel... when you are looking for women to speak, or just looking for experts to speak, it turned out that when I wanted a kind of range of voices in different kinds of disciplines, it was the men that were there...
The people who have opened doors for me have been men... the people who have challenged me and tried to tear me down have predominantly been women'...
'What I've noticed is when I did feel quite critiqued at the beginning of my career and I was looking at who was making comments about my appearance, a lot of it was coming from women. A lot. I would say more was coming from women... the impact from the female side is cattier and crueler'...
'We have to... kind of get over ourselves because I just feel like you know we need to kind of integrate ourselves and not be these kind of women who fight the cause of girls'
Internalised misogyny!

Long-term Effects of Child Sexual Abuse - "The tendency for child sexual abuse to co-vary with disturbed family backgrounds, other forms of abuse and possibly even victim characteristics, creates profound difficulties when it comes to interpreting correlational studies... When examining all subjects with histories of child sexual abuse, it was found that the risks of women victims, who came from stable and satisfactory home backgrounds, developing significant adult psychopathology were no higher than for non-abused controls from similar backgrounds. This did not, however, hold for those who gave histories of the most physically intrusive forms of abuse involving actual penetration"

Experts debate impact, gray areas of adult-child sex - ""I think the evidence has been clear for some time that child and adolescent sexual abuse does not always do harm in the long term," says David Finkelhor of the University of New Hampshire, one of the nation's foremost researchers on the sexual abuse of children... In the 1998 article, three authors analyzed 59 studies of college students recalling sexual abuse. The researchers reported that despite what many think, child sexual abuse "does not cause intense harm on a pervasive basis regardless of gender in the college population," although boys fared better than girls. And they concluded that some children experienced positive reactions in "willing" sexual encounters with adults"

The big questions of the Holocaust | Podcast | History Extra - "'Prior to the Holocaust, anti-Semitism seemed to be far more prevalent in many countries other than Germany...
You would probably have said [the Holocaust would have occurred in] Russia...
enormous numbers of them weren't German...
Enormous numbers of them weren't German. And extraordinary documents in the book are from Germans complaining about the barbarity with which the Romanians are killing Jews. Imagine the Germans are also complaining about how the Croats are killing people. They're saying you know talking about the barbar- the notion that in any way it's confined to Germans is wrong. In the Baltic States many many of the killers were locals...
You talk to people involved in those [non-Nazi] terrible deportations which were really vile and for the most part what they'll say as well if I didn't do I'd be shot... what was extraordinary about all these former Nazis is I don't think I ever heard that... what you tended to hear was: at the time we felt it was the right thing to do...
One of the extraordinary things about Oskar Gröning is the reason he gave us that, an interview on camera was because he was really upset at his stamp collecting club when he came across a Holocaust denier and he said I was there."

This tool, made by college students, will save you all that time you spend transcribing - "Apparently they were working on some school project, and one guy had to transcribe 12 interviews, and he didn't want to do it, so he built this script that uses the Google Speech API to transcribe the speech to text... It really stands out to me for its accuracy. People reach out from time to time and ask “is there something I can do to not transcribe interviews?” It’s a pretty common question. And every time I recommend something, they’re like, “I’ve tried that, it doesn’t seem to work too well.”"
This is called Scribe

Baidu's SwiftScribe Transcribes Up to an Hour of Speech - "Baidu project manager Tian Wu, who was inspired partly by her experience transcribing interviews as a graduate student at the University of California, Santa Barbara, said that SwiftScribe has the potential to save hours. “English is not my first language,” Wu told VentureBeat. “It took 10 hours to transcribe one hour of audio. That’s my personal experience. Usually, it will take a professional four to six hours to transcribe a one-hour audio clip.” Wu told VentureBeat that SwiftScribe can help transcribe audio 1.67 times faster on average. She envisions transcriptionists doing more work and ultimately getting paid more for it."
This is better for multiple projects than Scribe

Regents Drop Teacher Literacy Test Seen As Discriminatory - "In New York, the Board of Regents voted Monday to eliminate a requirement that aspiring teachers pass a literacy test in order to become certified... 'The literacy test proved challenging to many prospective teachers, but particularly for black and Hispanic candidates'... an Goldhaber reviews the evidence on the importance of teacher quality. He notes that teachers’ verbal skills have been shown to be related to the impact of those teachers on student achievement."

The racial discrimination law dividing Australia - "The section, 18C, is anathema to conservatives, who call it a gag on freedom of speech... the act - under which discrimination complaints are initially investigated by the Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) - operated without controversy until 2011, when the Federal Court ruled it had been breached by a leading right-wing commentator, Andrew Bolt. Mr Bolt had published articles and blogs in which he accused nine fair-skinned Australians with mixed heritage of playing up their Aboriginality to secure jobs, grants and awards... The push for reform gathered momentum following the cartoon and QUT rows, the latter involving Facebook posts by the three students after they were asked to leave a computer lab reserved for Aboriginal students. One wrote: "I wonder where the white supremacist lab is.""
"It only takes 20 years for a liberal to become a conservative without changing a single idea."

Austrian President calls on all women to wear headscarves in solidarity with Muslims to fight 'rampant Islamophobia'
Uhh...

The Battle of Britain | Podcast | History Extra - "We have access to 80. 85% of the world's shipping... That kind of access to resources would just make Hitler weep with envy, frankly. And also Germany wasn't quite the big military moloch that everyone thought. Germany uses 1.5 million horses in the First World War, uses 3.5 million in the Second World War. Only the spearhead is mechanised...
They were already too far entrenched with their obsession with dive bombing... Once they saw how effective the Stukas were, they thought: you know what, we should do dive bombing for everything... they're developing this, which is a Junkers 88. And this is supposed to be a long range, fast - over 300 miles an hour, good, decent, twin engined bomber. Medium bomber with a fairly sizable 2 ton payload... what about giving it some dive-bombing capabilities?... production gets put back by months and months and months... not content with that they then decide that they should give a four engine bomber dive bombing capabilities"

The impact of war and a zoological institution | Podcast | History Extra - "[On Gladstone and liberals] They see international relations not in turns of power plays but in terms of a great, if you like, morality play, an act before our eyes in which we have to choose who are the good guys and who are the bad guys here... within this tradition of Anglo-American liberalism, this is a very common perspective on war... Tony Blair took a very moral view on why the British and Americans should invade Iraq... by moralizing the origins of the war the British and American liberals were as responsible as anybody, perhaps more responsible than anybody else for moralizing the peace and making it into an issue of German war guilt"

America in World War One and a naval tragedy | History Extra podcast on acast - "The United States conceived of itself as having made a choice which was different from Europe. It was almost what defined America was its rejection of Europe... there were people who were actively supporting the Central Powers at least in the sense of raising money to support German and Austrian soldiers and raising money for their kind of widows and orphans and so on. The centres of support for the Central Powers were unsurprisingly the German immigrants especially new German immigrants

The ‘Father of History’ and India in the British empire | Podcast | History Extra - "[On unreliable numbers for armies] The Greek for countless, innumerable is the same as the Greek for 10,000. So beyond 10,000 they seem to have had a problem with coping with it in intellectual terms... he did indeed [impart literary flare to his work] and in fact that's why to us it's odd but the only historians or indeed any writers of any kind who survived who were copied, who were read or listened to or performed were those that different judges at different times - literary experts decided were the best of their genre of writing, so for early historiography Herodotus and Thucydides are taken to be the exemplars...
Criticizing empire is part of the national story in India... I think Britain has a kind of peculiarly centralized political constitution you know this for much of the twenty century I think that's probably a consequence of Empire because attempt to create this sort of almost imperial sovereignty and then that comes back to Britain"

BBC Radio 4 - From Our Own Correspondent Podcast, From the Vatican to Vienna - "In its complex 15 year civil war, nearly every faction allied with and subsequently betrayed every other faction at least once. There are 18 officially recognised sects: 5 of them Muslim, 13 of them Christian, making Lebanon the most religiously diverse country in the Middle East...
[On the Blue Danube] The title of the waltz is satirical of course... the original lyrics were very sarcastic, he said. You have to imagine Austria had just been heavily defeated in battle by the Prussians, there was a cholera epidemic and an economic crisis and even in those days, everybody knew that the Danube wasn't blue... The tradition of balls and dancing is alive and well in Austria. And not just for the wealthy. Most Austrian teenagers still learn to waltz... A year and a half ago the far right Freedom Party commissioned a rap version of the piece as part of their election campaign in Vienna. The party leader Heinz-Christian Strache, known as HC or Hard See [sp?] was reaching out to disaffected Vienese, particularly from the working classes"

BBC Radio 4 - From Our Own Correspondent Podcast, Hidden Dangers - "[On ISIS] There's almost no household appliance he says that hasn't been rigged up to explode. At one half demolished house we walked past, a man was killed by a bomb apparently triggered by his TV remote control... 10 people died within the first few weeks of returning. One local tried to get rid of 60 mines he'd cleared himself by putting them on a bonfire and retreating to a safe distance. The resulting explosion flattened his own property and damaged 14 of his neighbors' houses too. He lived and he's now jokingly referred to as the village idiot...
On my first visit to these deserts, almost 5 years earlier, they had spoken about Yemen itself as it were a distant foreign country. Now they were asking me what I thought about the oppression of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar and the anti-Muslim campaign promises of Donald Trump. What had changed?
'Facebook. Whatsapp.' They laughed as they whipped out their new smartphones. Of course there was no signal in this remote wilderness but when, a few hours later, we re-emerged from the deserts onto the metaled road towards the coastal capital of Al Haida [sp?], the cacophony of pinging phones in my landcruisers sounded the changing times"

The cunning and cruel bombs used by Isis to stall the Mosul offensive - "Why would Isis use something nice, like a bear or a rabbit? They used this toy because they know the peshmerga [Kurdish fighters] will not touch it, but children will... A toy, a playing card and an abandoned watch are all detonators designed to spark the acquisitive curiosity of a returning civilian, who would be maimed or murdered by the explosion... Because there is no area, civilian or military, that the group will not lace with explosives, many Iraqis fear that returning to their homes and former lives could be deadly, even long after militants have left... Hassan points to a small, easily detectable mine that is actually a booby trap for a well-buried pressure-plate IED. “So when he goes in to defuse this, he will step on the other and it will explode,” he explains."

Wisconsin High School Evacuated After Student Cosplays As Darth Vader

What To Say Instead of 'All I Want Is A Healthy Baby' - "When people say they want a healthy baby, they are, no matter how unintentionally, perpetuating ableism and excluding those who may not have healthy or typical bodies and their families"
Maybe this is why people don't want kids nowadays

Can You Drink Too Much Green Tea? - "The compounds in green tea responsible for most negative health effects are caffeine, the element fluorine, and flavonoids. The combination of these and other chemicals may cause liver damage in some persons or if you drink a lot of tea"

Japan is suffering from a ninja shortage amid huge demand from foreign tourists - "Those who do put themselves forwards, he said, lack the basic skills needed. This usually means being trained in unarmed combat, acrobatics, concealment and first aid while also being able to use throwing stars and fight with swords"

People who are always late are more successful and live longer, says science

Chinese entrepreneur stumps up US$1.45 million purse to defeat MMA fighter Xu Xiaodong | South China Morning Post - "Chen Sheng, the multimillionaire entrepreneur who founded the Tiandi No. 1 drinks company, has raised the stakes to “defend the dignity” of martial artists after tai chi master Wei Lei was pounded into submission in under 10 seconds by MMA fighter, coach and promoter Xu Xiaodong... “I want him to understand, he used this kind of extreme method to provoke Chinese traditional culture, and will need to pay the price”... The initial duel between Wei and Xu in Chengdu, Sichuan province followed an online quarrel, in which Xu had dismissed traditional martial arts as being a fraud... Wei blamed his embarrassing defeat on reasons ranging from slipping on a new pair of shoes with rubber soles, to avoid causing “a loss of life”, and because winning would cause “disharmony”. The Chinese Wushu Association said in a statement on Wednesday that the Xu-Wei match, where they were “throwing down the gauntlet”, violates martial arts ethics and potentially the law. “Martial arts is a traditional Chinese sport as well as an excellent traditional culture that includes various forms like martial arts repertoire and free combat,” they said. “We are strongly against such bouts, especially scuffles held in the name of eliminating fake martial arts which are more about fighting and pure aggressiveness.”"

Female College Students Say They Live in Constant Fear of Being Raped - "As higher education promotes the idea of a “rape culture” where society excuses and even encourages sexual violence, female students are paying the psychological price. In an op-ed for The Stanford Daily, a student describes how she and her friends are suffering from “rape anxiety”... She describes how she and her friends live in a state of perpetual fear—a thought “as common as what assignments I have due”—on their campus, in their dorm, in their homes, walking after dusk... A much-hyped 2015 study by the Association of American Universities claimed that roughly one in four female college undergraduates had suffered sexual assault or misconduct. But the survey’s definitions are broad. For example, an unwanted butt slap is factored into that one-in-four number just like rape, even though there’s a world of difference between the two. As the Daily Beast noted at the time, the U.S. Department of Justice reached totally different conclusions about sexual assault on campus. A 2014 report suggested that actually, about one in 53 women on campus experience rape or sexual assault."
More ways feminism is making women miserable

Tobacco packaging design for reducing tobacco use - "The available evidence suggests that standardised packaging may reduce smoking prevalence"

When The Economist blamed Irish peasants for starving to death - The Washington Post

Stan Lee: Spider-Man creator says he can no longer read comics due to failing eyesight - "“My eyesight has gotten terrible and I can’t read comic books anymore,” he told the Radio Times. “I can’t even read a script. I come up with ideas for stories and somebody writes an outline for me – but I can’t read it. I have to hope it’s good. If something is very important, they print it in very big type for me to read – but that’s all I can do. I have the same trouble with hearing. It’s awful to feel a thousand years old.” He described his loss of vision, which also means he cannot read newspapers or novels, as “my biggest miss in the world”."

Valerie Tarico - It's a lot harder to speak truth to friends than... - " Any progressive is willing to point out how the Right plugs their ears when confronted with uncomfortable truths, but we unfriend people who shine a light on truths that might complicate our own perspective. We act like accusing people of sexism or racism or homophobia is an act of courage, when in reality such accusations often gain the accuser status in progressive activist circles. We point out the groupthink of Trump supporters and then silence ourselves when it comes to questioning liberal orthodoxies. We claim to be inclusive, but reserve our right to sneer at the people least like us -- the change-averse, the xenophobic, the devout, and those who are downwardly mobile -- and we look with suspicion on anyone who sees them through a lens of compassion... I used to believe that the truth had a liberal bias. In fact still do. But I increasingly doubt whether liberals have a truth bias"
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