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Thursday, July 13, 2017

Links - 13th July 2017 (2)

Records Found in Dusty Basement Undermine Decades of Dietary Advice - "Ramsden, of the National Institutes of Health, unearthed raw data from a 40-year-old study, which challenges the dogma that eating vegetable fats instead of animal fats is good for the heart. The study, the largest gold-standard experiment testing that idea, found the opposite... the Minnesota participants were in institutions that prepared all their meals and kept records, the scientists knew exactly what they ate for up to 56 months. Many nutrition studies have foundered because people misremember, or lie about, what they ate... the lower cholesterol fell, the higher the risk of dying: 22 percent higher for every 30-point fall. Nor did the corn-oil group have less atherosclerosis or fewer heart attacks... Partly because of the weak evidence for the diet-heart hypothesis, it has been under increasing assault. Critics of the demonization of saturated fat have long pointed out that key findings from landmark studies were never published. One, the Seven Countries Study, originally included many more nations. But in only seven did populations consuming lots of saturated fats have high levels of heart disease, prompting recent accusations of cherry-picking data."

Breaking: Pro-Erdogan Group Attacks Peaceful Protesters in D.C. - "[This was] the type of violence you would never expect to see in America’s capital. It was the type of violence you’d expect to see in Erdogan’s Turkey and in other dictatorships"

Two-Faced Thailand: The Ugly Side Of 'Asia’s Gay Capital' - "At Wat Kreung Tai Wittaya, a Buddhist temple in Chiang Khong, Thailand, transgender teens are being taught to be “more manly.” “We cannot change all of them but what we can do is to control their behavior to make them understand that they were born as a man … and cannot act like a woman,” Headmaster Phra Pitsanu Witcharato told Agence France Presse in 2011... About 2.5 percent of LGBT teens in Thailand, a Buddhist-majority country, are forced to enter the monkhood to be “cured”... LGBT people in Thailand are seen by many as “freaks of nature,” activist Naiyana Supapung told the Bangkok Post in 2013. To illustrate the point, she recalled a school textbook of her son’s which “specifically warned against any contact with people who act like members of the opposite sex.” The book “advised students to inform their teacher straight away so they can help adjust those kids’ behavior,” she said... “There is a quote [that says] that Thai society unofficially accepts, but officially rejects, gay and lesbian people,” Anjana Suvarnananda, president of LGBT rights group Anjaree, told Phuket News in 2013. “I think it’s true that Thai people can only accept gay and lesbian people in superficial ways, such as the way they act or dress. But when it comes to the meaningful circumstances, Thai people tend to be biased against them.” A recent study conducted by the Khon Thai Foundation found that more than 50 percent of Thais between 15 and 24 believe “homosexuality is wrong.”"

The Shocking Secret of the Green Tea Kit Kat - "Locals kept telling me that there are actually two formulations of Green Tea Kit Kats — the standard flavor that you’ll find all over Japan, and a less bitter version that they sell only at Japan’s airports, a difference meant to appeal to foreign taste buds... there are actually three different recipes. Mind blown. There’s the Green Tea Kit Kats you’ll find in supermarkets, drug stores, and convenience stores. It’s sweeter and more bitter than the version you’ll find at airports. And then there’s the Kit Kat gift series, available in the Kansai region of Japan, which features a Green Tea Kit Kat created in collaboration with a Japanese tea manufacturer."

E-Cigarettes May Have Helped 18,000 People Quit Smoking Last Year
Meanwhile, in Singapore...

Jeremy Corbyn is just a symptom of a party that still doesn’t get why it lost - "under its current leadership the party has haemorrhaged former voters (half of those voting Labour at the last election wouldn’t now) and not gained nearly enough new ones, putting it on track to lose barrowloads of seats at the next election. If you don’t hold Corbyn in any way responsible for that, one more article won’t change your mind. But for those who imagine Corbyn alone is guilty of doing this to the Labour party, a little history may be useful. For 1997 wasn’t just the year of Labour’s unstoppable rise, but of the Tories’ descent into the wilderness. The political landscape is infinitely more complicated now, but the one advantage of being old enough to have had a ringside seat on reporting it is the ability to draw some parallels."

Gaza sisters smuggled explosives labeled medicine - "Explosive materials used to manufacture explosive devices were found in the belongings of two sisters who entered Israel from the Gaza Strip on Wednesday for the purpose of receiving cancer treatment."

BBC World Service - The Documentary, Extreme Selfies Russian Style - "A girl and the boy decided that she would stand on the roof of a high building. He would be down below on the ground. She would jump and he would take a picture of her jumping. She said to him at the time: in the evening we can see how many likes we have on Facebook for that photo... it was sixteen floors up... In psychiatry it's called partial cognitive inconsistency. So this is where an intellectually developed person with a normal intellect paradoxically in some elements of his behavior does not fully think through the situation"

BBC World Service - The Food Chain, Wheelchair Fajitas and Talking Scales - "When your disability affects the way you eat it matters and it can cause social tension for some. For example in Japan, where a person's ability to use chopsticks is at the heart of cuisine and society...
'If you can't use chopsticks you have to use a spoon or a fork to eat and that would make you embarrassed. People with disabilities tend to want to hide the fact that they cannot use chopsticks'"

BBC World Service - The Food Chain, Post-Truth Food - "[On running out of food] Caviar is very very expensive but you cannot say there is no caviar. There is caviar but you have to pay seven thousand pound for it perhaps. UK pound. Per kilo. The same caviar about twenty years ago you would have bought for two thousand pound... there's always somebody who is willing to pay and you pay more and you get it... it comes to the cost of making choices about whether you want to use the land for food or you want to use it for buildings or roads"

BBC World Service - The Food Chain, McAsia? - "Traditionally eating out in India was not considered safe because of the conditions in which food is made or sold, usually by the street side...
'The frequency of eating out in India even in a city like Mumbai is only eight times a, month out of which about fifty percent of the time people go for Indian fast food or they go for roadside hawkers. Effectively consumers in one hundred eating out occasions are going to McDonald's one, one and a half times'"

BBC World Service - The Food Chain, The Plankton Problem - "Usually the seafood tastes delicious with these toxins in fact that's almost a sign of having had ciguatera...
'You love your plankton here'
'We have plankton charades... when we looked at some of the plant plankton you saw they were quite distinct shapes, so people would act out those shapes with their arms and say what am I?'"

BBC World Service - The Food Chain, The Food We Breathe - "In economics we always think about tradeoffs. I tell my students that well we don't really want a society when we have zero level of pollution because that actually means that we don't do anything. So we need to find the right balance here"

Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan 'ban' lacy underwear - "A customs union made up of the three post-Soviet countries introduced a regulation, which requires clothing in contact with skin to contain at least 6% of cotton, for safety reasons... The regulations say this is designed to protect consumers against synthetic garments which don't absorb enough moisture. That could cause skin problems. However, most luxury lingerie is made of materials with less than 4% cotton -- and will not be allowed"

Russian underwear ban to wipe out ninety per cent of ladies' lingerie - "30 women protesters in Kazakhstan were arrested and thrown into police vans while wearing lace underwear on their heads and shouting 'Freedom to panties!'"

British Muslims want to ‘fully integrate,’ but believe ‘worrying’ conspiracy theories - "British Muslims tend to live more separately than other significant minorities... Thirty-one percent of Muslims blamed the US for the September 11th attacks in New York City, while 7 percent blamed Jews and 4 percent blamed Al-Qaeda. The majority, 52 percent, said they did not know. In comparison, 71 percent of the general population blamed Al-Qaeda for the attacks, 10 percent blamed the US and just 1 percent blamed Jews... When asked what they would do if someone close to them was “getting involved with people who support terrorism in Syria,” only 52 percent said they would report them to the police... Some 53 percent said they wanted to “fully integrate with non-Muslims in all aspects of life”"

Inside Jobs and Israeli Stooges: Why Is the Muslim World in Thrall to Conspiracy Theories? - "Conspiracy theories are rife in both Muslim-majority countries and Muslim communities here in the west. The events of 9/11 and the subsequent “war on terror” unleashed a vast array of hoaxers, hucksters and fantasists from Birmingham to Beirut... A Pew poll in 2011, a decade after 9/11, found that a majority of respondents in countries such as Egypt, Jordan and Lebanon refused to believe that the attacks were carried out by Arab members of al-Qaeda. “There is no Muslim public in which even 30 per cent accept that Arabs conducted the attacks,” the Pew researchers noted. This blindness isn’t peculiar to the Arab world or the Middle East. Consider Pakistan, home to many of the world’s weirdest and wackiest conspiracy theories. Some Pakistanis say the schoolgirl Malala Yousafzai is a CIA agent. Others think that the heavy floods of 2010, which killed 2,000 Pakistanis, were caused by secret US military technology. And two out of three don’t believe Osama Bin Laden was killed by US navy Seals on Pakistani soil on 2 May 2011. Consider also Nigeria, where there was a polio outbreak in 2003 after local people boycotted the vaccine, claiming it was a western plot to infect Muslims with HIV. Then there is Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim-majority country, where leading politicians and journalists blamed the 2002 Bali bombings on US agents... As the former Pakistani diplomat Husain Haqqani has admitted, “the contemporary Muslim fascination for conspiracy theories” is a convenient way of “explaining the powerlessness of a community that was at one time the world’s economic, scientific, political and military leader”. Nor is this about ignorance or illiteracy. Those who promulgate a paranoid, conspiratorial world-view within Muslim communities include the highly educated and highly qualified, the rulers as well as the ruled"

"The Sons of Pigs and Apes": Muslim Antisemitism and the Conspiracy of Silence - "many in the West refuse to recognize this issue. The growing epidemic of hate has been largely ignored, misunderstood, or downplayed, Kressel reveals, because of apathy, ignorance, confusion, bigotry, ideology, purported pragmatism, and misguided multiculturalism. Those who value human rights ignore antisemitism at their own risk, he cautions, noting that no antisemitic regime or movement has ever been otherwise reasonable or progressive"

11-year-old casually hacks into security experts' Bluetooth to control teddy bear - "“IoT home appliances, things that can be used in our everyday lives, our cars, lights refrigerators, everything like this that is connected can be used and weaponised to spy on us or harm us.” Reuben, who when he was just 8 delivered the closing keynote address at the 2014 Houston Security Conference, later tweeted that his mission was to warn people how Internet of Things devices could easily be hacked"

Ovulatory cycle effects on tip earnings by lap dancers: economic evidence for human estrus?☆ - "Normally cycling participants earned about US$335 per 5-h shift during estrus, US$260 per shift during the luteal phase, and US$185 per shift during menstruation. By contrast, participants using contraceptive pills showed no estrous earnings peak. These results constitute the first direct economic evidence for the existence and importance of estrus in contemporary human females, in a real-world work setting. These results have clear implications for human evolution, sexuality, and economics."

Saudi cleric urges FIFA to ban Christian players from making the sign of the cross after scoring - "it has received a backlash from footy fans pointing out Muslim players regularly make religious gestures on the pitch... Meanwhile, controversy erupted after Real Madrid agreed to remove a Christian cross symbol from its kits on sale in the Middle East."

Hong Kong Muslim community critical of police report warning of Islamic State-inspired attack | South China Morning Post - "Malik said such statements by police and government officials, and published by the media, sowed “Islamophobia where there was no Islamophobia”... Malik believed such information should not be made public because it would create unnecessary panic"
Ignorance is apparently bliss

“The Muslims killing other Muslims therefore they are not real Muslims” fallacy - "First: Within some schools of Islamic thought, the penalty for apostasy is death.
Second: Within some schools of Islamic thought, mainly salafist and Wahabi schools there is a concept called "Takfeerism" تكفيريين in Arabic, in which it gives the permission to declare people who call themselves Muslims to be Kafirs or Apostates therefore it is permissible to kill them.
Third: the leader of ISIS has a PhD in Islamic studies."

World's First Lesbian Bishop Calls for Church to Remove Crosses, to Install Muslim Prayer Space - "The Bishop of Stockholm has proposed a church in her diocese remove all signs of the cross and put down markings showing the direction to Mecca for the benefit of Muslim worshippers... The bishop insisted this wasn’t an issue, after all airports and hospitals already had multi-faith prayer rooms, and converting the dockyard church would only bring it up to speed... Describing the ‘no-go’ zones that have sprung up around [Malmo] and calling for greater border controls to get criminal migration under control, Chief Superintendent Torsten Elofsson said:
“Years ago you could go with two officers, no problem. Now you have to send four officers and two cars – if the fire brigade want to go, they have to take a police escort. They throw stones and try to stop the fireman from putting out fires. “They sabotage the police cars. You can’t leave them unguarded – when you come back to it you find the windows smashed and the tyres deflated. It isn’t quite a no-go zone, but we have had to develop special routines to go there”."
Is it Islamophobia to ask a mosque to remove their Muslim symbols?

Lesbian bishop wants to remove church crosses so Muslims 'won't be offended' - "Geller's thoughts were echoed by Seamen's Mission Director Kiki Wetterberg, who said removing Christian symbols is a completely unnecessary act. "I have no problem with Muslim or Hindu sailors coming here and praying. But I believe that we are a Christian church, so we keep the symbols. If I visit a mosque, I do not ask them to take down their symbols. It's my choice to go in there"... Patrik Pettersson, priest of the Oscars parish in Stockholm, said people of other faiths already have designated prayer areas. "The church chapel cannot reasonably be equated with prayer rooms at airports and hospital chapels anyway. The Christian churches and chapels are not public areas at any time""

Serbia Asks People To Please Stop Throwing Their Grenades In The Garbage

Valve is not your friend, and Steam is not healthy for gaming - "it took the better part of a decade for enough people to start noticing that Steam's refund policy wasn't so much a “policy” as the words “eat shit and die” printed in huge size 72 font and to start raising hell about it... Steam never provided that luxury, and it still doesn’t... Never one to shy away from a little thing like "breaking the law,” Good Guy Valve quickly came up with a solution: an entirely new EULA custom made for the good gamers of the European Union, which specifically acknowledges that they have a legal right to a refund ... and then immediately forces them to waive it if they want to purchase the game... Judge Edelman blasted Valve for “overkill” and issued the most politely worded legalese version of “go to hell” that anybody has ever committed to paper... Valve themselves eagerly trumpeted that they had paid more than $57 million to Steam Workshop creators over four years — an enormously impressive figure until you realize that it's only 25 percent of the sale price, which means Valve just made $171 million profit from ... setting up an online form where you can submit finished 3D models... When you decide to support Dota 2, Good Guy Valve takes your money, puts 25 percent into the prize pool for the players and keeps the rest for himself, and even then the prize pool was nearly $20 million in 2016. I'm sure you can do the math... Their famous internal handbook "leaked" in 2012, painting a beautiful picture of a free-spirited workplace where genuine creativity and absolute, unchecked innovation bubbled out like a freshwater spring in a magical forest. Much like the ones on their famously mobile desks, the wheels on that particularly romanticized notion appear to have fallen off. Former Valve employees have come out to slam the internal culture as being a high-school like mix of cliques and backstabbing, with another engineer saying it was "the worst experience of my life" and with desk setups similar to a "panopticon prison"... This, then, is Good Guy Valve — a corporation which employs precision-engineered psychological tools to trick people into giving them money in exchange for goods they don't legally own and may never actually use while profiting from a whole lot of unpaid labor and speculative work ... but isn't “evil.”"

Introducing Steam Gauge: Ars reveals Steam’s most popular games - "about 37 percent of the roughly 781 million games registered to various Steam accounts haven’t even been loaded a single time... a few huge ultra-hits are driving the majority of Steam usage"

Protesters bum-rush Berkeley College Republicans, try to swipe life-size Trump cutout (VIDEO) - "“Slurs such as racists, bigots, and ‘pieces of sh**’ was yelled out by the protestors,” Diaz added. “They demanded that the cut-out be removed due to the perceived offensive nature that it represents towards them. At the same time of this confrontation, one of our members attempting to film the incident was physically harassed by one of the protestors and had his phone taken.”"
If you look bad next to "racists", "bigots" and "pieces of shit", what does that say?
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