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More adventurous than the average bear

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Monday, June 26, 2017

Links - 26th June 2017 (2)

Herpes Strikes Two More NYC Babies After Ritual Circumcisions - " In the most controversial part of this version of the Jewish ritual, known as metzitzah b'peh, the practitioner, or mohel, places his mouth around the baby's penis to suck the blood to "cleanse" the wound."

Seattle Mayor Proposes Soda Tax To Fight White Privilege - "After it was suggested to him his proposed two-cents-an-ounce tax on soda sweetened with sugar would be borne disproportionately by the poor and people of color, Murray lowered the levy and included all sweetened drinks, incuding diet soda. If it doesn't doesn't explode from the sheer weight of its daffy intentions, the City Council is expected to consider the proposal sometime in June. Diet drinks, Hizzoner reasoned, were more likely to be consumed by "upper middle class white people." It had become for him "an issue of equity," a way to tackle "white privileged institutionalized racism.""
We should tax gyms at the same rate as cigarettes too

Mob attacks engineer after Friday prayers for honking at another driver blocking his way - "JOHOR BARU: A 28-year-old man was injured and the car that he was driving, damaged, when he was attacked by several men outside a surau just after Friday prayers concluded at Taman Austin Perdana here today."

Study: For Malays, being Malaysian equals being Malay - "while respondents from the three major ethnic groups (Malay, Chinese, Indian) identified more strongly with their ethnic identities rather than a national one, Malay respondents believed that there was little difference between “being Malaysian” and being Malay."

What we lose, when family recipes vanish - a legacy of love and sacrifice - "“Don’t worry if your dough not nice - for anything that is imperfect, there will always be a remedy. Like make up - if a girl is not beautiful, she just has to put on makeup and she will look nice!” she said, as she loaded the sheets into the pasta machine again... Do you still like cooking, I asked her. “I’m sick of it. I have been cooking since I was 15,” she said... she was reluctant to teach me because she didn’t want her granddaughter to be banished to a kitchen (“so much work,” she repeated), now that there are other ways to make sure your children are fed. “Women today have earning power. If you don’t have food at home, go to a restaurant. Don’t do what I did - making noodles is beneath you,” she told me... “There’s no use in learning all this. They won’t want this type of food. They would want modern food. The world will be a different place, and we have to advance with it,” she said pragmatically"

Cannabis factory couple who gave £400,000 drug dealing fortune to poor Kenyans jailed for three years

Your brain on pseudoscience: the rise of popular neurobollocks - "The human brain, it is said, is the most complex object in the known universe. That a part of it “lights up” on an fMRI scan does not mean the rest is inactive; nor is it obvious what any such lighting-up indicates; nor is it straightforward to infer general lessons about life from experiments conducted under highly artificial conditions. Nor do we have the faintest clue about the biggest mystery of all – how does a lump of wet grey matter produce the conscious experience you are having right now, reading this paragraph? How come the brain gives rise to the mind? No one knows. So, instead, here is a recipe for writing a hit popular brain book. You start each chapter with a pat anecdote about an individual’s professional or entrepreneurial success, or narrow escape from peril. You then mine the neuroscientific research for an apparently relevant specific result and narrate the experiment, perhaps interviewing the scientist involved and describing his hair. You then climax in a fit of premature extrapolation, inferring from the scientific result a calming bromide about what it is to function optimally as a modern human being. Voilà, a laboratory-sanctioned Big Idea in digestible narrative form. This is what the psychologist Christopher Chabris has named the “story-study-lesson” model, perhaps first perfected by one Malcolm Gladwell. A series of these threesomes may be packaged into a book, and then resold again and again as a stand-up act on the wonderfully lucrative corporate lecture circuit... the great movie-monster of nearly all the pop brain literature is another region: the amygdala. It is routinely described as the “ancient” or “primitive” brain, scarily atavistic. There is strong evidence for the amygdala’s role in fear, but then fear is one of the most heavily studied emotions; popularisers downplay or ignore the amygdala’s associations with the cuddlier emotions and memory"

The Voice S'pore auditions call for those who can sing in fluent Mandarin, drama ensues (Facebook post comments) - "Before people complain about privilege and racism and all that shit, the real reason is because mm2 couldn't get the rights for other languages from the licensor, they're restricted to holding the competition only in Mandarin."
"I think it's fair. It's a Chinese programme. You have to be fluent in speaking and singing mandarin songs. If it's an English programme, singing English song, surely the candidates need to be fluent in English language as well."
"Asians who thinks that they can make it big by singing english songs show us how dumb they can be. There is a reason why america born chinese like Wang Lee Hom end up singing in Mandarin instead of English."
"look at all these chinese people defending their privilege"
"Its like I going to Suria, sing in english and demand the other contestants don't sing in malay and only sing in english."
Being upset at The Voice Singapore/Malaysia only being in Mandarin is like being angry at someone eating a doughnut because you're on a diet

Why are so many Muslims suddenly visiting Japan? (Facebook post top comments) - "Inshaa Allah with more influx of Muslims in Japan will one day open up the window for more Japanese to be receptive of Islam and ultimately more will get the hidayah to become Muslim."
"Allah promise will surely come true.
Islamic religion will triumph the world and will become the largest religion in the world one day."
" Japanese will be better Muslims in sya Allah.
There have the manners minus Iman but with Iman, they will lead the ummah in a better position in sya Allah."

Answers to all the rude questions about transgender people. - "Q: Do I really have to use transgender people’s preferred pronouns?
A: Yes.
To intentionally call attention to the fact that another person is trans and that you, personally, question the legitimacy of trans identities does not make you a bold truth-teller any more than the 12-year-old who calls her grandmother out for the ugliness of her Christmas sweater is a bold truth-teller. You are, of course, entitled to your opinions, but basic politeness dictates that you not needlessly antagonize or humiliate other people in public...
Q: If feminists believe that gender is socially constructed, then doesn’t that mean there’s no such thing as transgender people? Please pat me on the back for being the first person to expose this liberal hypocrisy.
A: Not so fast. Although it is surely true that believing gender is 100 percent socially constructed is not compatible with the view that transgender identities are 100 percent inborn, there are a great many ways to merge an understanding of the socially constructed aspects of gender with acceptance of transgender people’s innate desire to transition. As with most complex traits, there are likely genetic and environmental factors contributing to this thing we call gender. You have not blown anyone’s mind, and this is not an unresolvable conflict within liberal thinking. Next!
Comment: "evan's only been a man for six months and he's already using his male privilege to mansplain life to to trans-exclusive radical feminists! "
Facebook comment: "Snarking about the identified "hypocrisy in liberal thinking" and saying there are many ways of reconciling it is not actually an answer to this question."
Is the moral of the story of the Emperor's New Clothes that basic politeness dictates that you not needlessly antagonize or humiliate other people in public?

Ernst & Young Removes Degree Classification From Entry Criteria As There's 'No Evidence' University Equals Success

Pizza Hut's shrimp tempura, mayo, and hotdog pizza tastes as heinous as it looks - "As Shanghaiist's food editor I've eaten my share of WTF eats from fermented fish to yak penis. None did I dread trying more than the Pizza Hut special, a pie with shrimp tempura, steamed shrimp, squid rings, fish cakes, pineapple, wasabi mayonnaise, and a hot dog-stuffed crust (73RMB), now available at all China outlets!"

Pepsi And Chicken-Flavored Lay's Potato Chip Highlights Food Fusion In China - "cola chicken — a clear example of fusion cuisine — is a popular dish in China. Cola is often mixed with soy sauce and spices in a marinade that caramelizes when sauteed."

Small Canadian town will give land, a job to anyone willing to move - "since the town is not qualified for the Foreign Worker Program, it can take only people who are legally authorized to work in Canada (just a few extra steps for any foreigner who really really wants the job)."

The architect of China's Great Firewall embarrassed after needing to use VPN in front of live audience - "Things got awkward really fast, however, when he attempted to access blocked web pages hosted in South Korea to demonstrate his point. From there his speech went from being a defense of the Firewall to a demonstration of its stupidity. Unable to access the websites he needed to continue his speech, Fang somewhat unexpectedly resorted to the same illicit tool which all expats in China are all familiar with: the beloved VPN... The incident was so embarrassing that Fang ended up ducking out of a planned Q and A session that was supposed to take place after the speech, though not before exhorting his listeners to do he said and not as he did."

Some Urban Homesteader Is Living In A Bucolic Cabin On A Roof In Manhattan

Granny mistakenly prays before statue of online game character - "The photos come from outside an internet café, the woman is seen kneeling and burning incense in front of a statue that bears quite the resemblance to Lord Guan, a Chinese general during the Three Kingdoms period, immortalized in one of China's most famous books, and turned into a god. However, it turns out that the statue is actually Garen, a League of Legends character, also an accomplished military leader."

Japanese 'table manner guidebook' released after Chinese customers refused from restaurants - "Sushi Mizutani, a Michelin-star restaurant, refused to take bookings from a Chinese guest after a number of foreigners had abandoned their reservations. Last year, the story of a Chinese student who demanded cooked "sushi" at Japan's most famous sushi restaurant drew condemnation from web users in both countries...
Need to go to the bathroom during your meal? No. Japanese respect chefs very much and would only go before or after their meals. Also, when dining, don't touch your hair, don't talk while eating, and don't make noise with your utensils."

Guangdong college says all student sex is 'illegal prostitution', threatens expulsion - "“All restaurants outside of the dining hall are using gutter oil,” read a handwritten notice displayed on campus, according to a photo posted online. “All unmarried male-female relationships are illegal prostitution.” The notice also mentioned that police surveillance cameras had already caught several couples engaging in “illegal cohabitation.” It warned students that anyone caught breaking the rules would be subject to disqualification from awards and scholarships, and even expulsion or “more severe penalties.” “If you want to eat, go to the dining hall. If you want to love, get married,” the notice continued... Chongqing University installed free condom machines across campus, while last month a college instructor in Guangxi made headlines and earned widespread praise for handing out condoms to his students as a Christmas present."

Protestors hurl eggs at Japanese porn stars during Dalian sex expo - "A survey on Weibo found that 48.3 percent of netizens among 2,434 polled supported the protest, agreeing that such seXXXy exhibitions should be banned in China."

Chinese drama 'The Empress of China' taken off air for being 'too sexy' - ""there is a chance the TV drama will be completely banned from showing if no modification has been made," and that the only solution is to "make the breasts smaller," which would require a great deal of effort from the post-production team... SARFT did announced a new set of regulations in November requiring content providers to censor scenes in shows and film depicting one-night stands, adultery and excessive nudity, among a slew of other filthiness"

Watch: Footage of last month's collision between Chinese and Vietnamese ships in disputed waters - "At the time of the collision, China and Vietnam traded accusations of which side was the aggressor, but this video appears to validate the Vietnamese account, showing a much larger Chinese vessel steaming after two Vietnamese fishing boats. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hong Lei has responded by wondering aloud, "who was it who took the initiative for the clash? Who was it who created tension on the scene?" "This is very clear," Hong said."

The multiple shades of the hijab - "thanks to long-sleeved, close-fitting tops, veiled women can buy any piece of clothing, from strapless tops to backless dresses. In a society where expression of sexuality remains a taboo, Abaza believes that by adapting sexy outfits to the hijab, young women are attempting to be veiled and appealing at the same time."

'This is a library!' Student shuts down protesters and becomes viral sensation - "Libraries are meant to be a bastion of peace and quiet, so when these noisy protesters interrupted the silence, one student took it upon himself to shut them down. A ‘hero’ confronted anti-Trump supporters at a library in the University of Washington... “Hey, hey, hey, hey,” the visibly irked student interrupts, walking into the middle of the group, before telling the protesters: “This is library!”"
Lucky it was an Asian student doing this

‘Duties of care’ to the careless and criminal - "It seems unlikely that criminals of a previous generation would have had the gall to sue for injuries sustained while burgling somebody’s home. In 1976, Lord Denning, then Master of the Rolls, considered whether a burglar’s estate could sue a householder who had been convicted of the burglar’s manslaughter. He suggested that such a claim would fail on the grounds that a person should not be permitted to benefit from his own criminal conduct... Newbery had only intended to frighten the burglar away, but the court found that he owed the burglar a duty of care, and that he had breached this duty by firing a shotgun in the dark without knowing whether there was anyone in front of it... in recent years, negligence law has developed as a means of excusing one’s own failings... the inebriated soldier who falls off a lorry while trying to climb on to its canvas roof obtains a ruling that he and his comrades should have been supervised - like children on a school outing."
This is an interesting angle on "victim blaming"
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