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Meesa gonna kill you!

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Saturday, July 01, 2017

Links - 1st July 2017 (1)

Trump’s Deflections and Denials on Russia Frustrate Even His Allies - The New York Times - "Correction: June 29, 2017
A White House Memo article on Monday about President Trump’s deflections and denials about Russia referred incorrectly to the source of an intelligence assessment that said Russia orchestrated hacking attacks during last year’s presidential election. The assessment was made by four intelligence agencies — the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the Central Intelligence Agency, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the National Security Agency. The assessment was not approved by all 17 organizations in the American intelligence community."

Art Forgery: Lothar Malskat crossed the line that separates art restoration from forgery. - "“People like to be fooled today,” responded Malskat. “We just gave them what they wanted.” What people did not enjoy was knowing that they’d been tricked. On January 26, 1955, after more than five months of testimony, the court reached a verdict. “Although the ascertainable material damage done may not have been excessive, it seriously endangered the restoration of Marienkirche as a whole,” asserted the presiding judge. “The dishonest behavior of those engaged upon it undermined confidence in the proper execution of all the reinstatement work.” In other words, the offense was not fundamentally a crime of property damage. The infringement was psychological: Robbery of faith, theft of a miracle . After Fendrich and Dietrich-Dirschau had been sternly chastised, Fey was sentenced to 20 months in prison and Malskat to 18."

Why 'Batman Returns' Is the Ultimate Tribute to DC's Dark Knight

The Black Princess Who Isn't Black Enough - "You know, redheads aren't often "represented" in mainstream media -- or anywhere. Should I be up in arms?"
Comments: "I love the outcry about the whole "Not Black Enough" thing. One day, someone should explain to us, in concrete terms what would be a character who is "Black Enough". Do the average Gangsta-Rapper out there is too black? Do Condi Rice is not enough? He's a problem I see in the black-American community; they are unable to definite themselves outside of a racial context."
"a cartoon portraying historical American slavery but where there many white slaves too, and slavery was not race-based at all - it looks and feels absurd and out of place because our brains retain a strong recognition of the historical context, and say 'eh that thar don't belong there' - as if you suddenly saw a car in a movie set in the 1700s. It will *never* look right to our generation (black or white) - but now we're attempting to artificially re-engineer the historical cultural collective recollections of the next generation. Maybe it will work; maybe the next generation will imagine that historically European princesses were of many different races."
"There's an inferiority complex 5 miles deep behind all this Black Pride posturing & shouting. The irony is that there was a whole dynasty of black Nubian Pharaohs who ruled all of Egypt, and Israel besides, in the 8th & 7th centuries BC. They did great things, but nowadays no one's ever heard of Piye, Shabaka & Taharqa. On the other hand, everyone on earth knows about Cleopatra. So since the history & accomplishments of genuine black people are not good enough for the Afrocentric crowd, they have to steal someone else's. Trying to reason with people who have such deep psychological complexes is hopeless."
"I don't look for people (or cartoon people) to look like me. I relate to people on the humanity level, which is why I can see films from other countries and get something out of them."


Malaysia’s ‘Raja Bomoh’ says sorry, admits rituals were fake - "Ibrahim, who attracted international attention with his antics during Malaysia’s Flight MH370 crisis and diplomatic row with North Korea, claimed that he was ordered to put on the act. Ibrahim, however, said he could not disclose the identity of those who had given him the orders to conduct the rituals that were purportedly only aimed at creating a merry situation... Mr Abdul Aziz reportedly said Ibrahim had pleaded guilty after being charged under Section 7(a) of the Syariah Criminal Offences (Federal Territories) Act 1997. The date of the prosecution was not provided in the report. Section 7(a) covers the offence of insulting or bringing Islam into contempt and is punishable by a maximum RM3,000 (S$956.73) fine or a maximum two-year jail term or both."

Pokemon Go forbidden for Muslims: Malaysian mufti - "Muslims are forbidden to engage themselves in the virtual world of Pokemon characters and play the reality game of Pokemon GO due to the principles of maslahah (public interest) and harmful consequences."

Malaysia: JB Doctor Shocked When Bangladeshi Worker Used Medical Terms And Knew As Much As A Practicing Doctor - "The patient revealed that he was actually a pharmacist in Bangladesh, and even had his own pharmacy in the country. He has a MBBS (Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery) degree, and his brother is also a doctor... Astonished that the patient sitting in front of him was actually an accomplished pharmacist, he was overwhelmed with sorrow that someone with such esteemed qualifications had to flee his own country and work in Malaysia as a labourer. The patient however remarked that despite the long hours in our scorching heat, working in Malaysia was still better than living in Bangladesh as it is presently."

Not Only The Chinese, Malaysia's Growing Extremism Is Forcing The Malays Away Too - ""I don't feel safe in this country anymore," the researcher said. "It's like you are guilty until proven innocent. Anyone can make a phone call to accuse another person out of malice or vengeance and, without proof or investigation, the religious authorities will come to your place."... "This fear of extremism drives Malays out of the country," Zaid said. "We (Muslims) are having more and more laws. In the state of Kelantan, a person can be arrested and jailed if he fails to attend Friday prayers three times in a row," said Zaid, adding that a lot of moral issues have been criminalised. "Before, they (religious authorities) tell you gambling is sinful. Now you can be arrested for buying a four-digit lottery.""

Christians out to convert Muslims through Christmas, Islamist hardliners claim - "Muslims nationwide must beware the “dangers” of Christmas next week as it is allegedly a ploy by the Christian community to attract Muslims into accepting Jesus as the Son of God, the local chapter of international hardline Islamist group Hizbut Tahrir alleged today. According to the group, Christmas celebrations try to condition Muslims into accepting “Western values”, allegedly through festivals of vice, free mingling, illicit sex, and excess that it said pervade the year-end celebrations...
“Any Muslim who refuse to offer a greeting of merry Christmas or celebrate it will be seen as intolerant, and maybe extreme,” it claimed. “Based on this, some Muslims without shame and guilt, and even proudly and happily, celebrate Christmas just because they don’t want to be seen as intolerant among Christians. Whether they realise it or not, they have sold out their faith!” Christmas is also seen as a ploy to plant the seeds of “religious pluralism” into the minds of Muslims so Christianity can be considered as a religion equal to Islam, the group said as it warned Muslims of idolatry... The National Fatwa Council has decreed on 2005 that Muslims are prohibited from attending Christmas celebrations if there are “Christian symbols” on display, such as Christmas trees, Santa Claus-like red attires and Christmas carols. Two years later in 2007, the same council decreed that Muslims cannot greet non-Muslims during their festivities if the greetings involve issues of faith or recognise that other religions are of equal position with Islam."

BBC Radio 4 - From Our Own Correspondent, Chips and Mayonnaise - "[On Denain, Northern France] Life expectancy at 58 is the same as in the Democratic Republic of Congo...
The Dutch are proud of their directness. It's part of their self identity, much like liberal tolerance, riding bicycles and eating mayonnaise with their chips... [Pim Fortuyn] had nothing against Moroccan men. In fact he quite enjoyed sleeping with them... he was also liberal - he claimed to prefer having public sex in nightclubs to going to church... he was killed by an activist who feared Fortuyn was a threat to the rights of minorities in the Netherlands - the contradictions of Dutch tolerance laid bare in the most brutal way... the man I'm drinking tea with complaints that compare to Han Chinese the Uighers are stubborn, lazy and lack ambition. But he adds they're also more moral and more united
Protecting minorities through murder

Caffeine the hallucinogen? - "Five coffees a day or more was found to be enough to increase the participant’s tendency to hallucinate says Professor Crowe. ‘High caffeine levels in association with high levels of stressful life events interacted to produce higher levels of ‘hallucination’ in non-clinical participants, indication that further caution needs to be exercised with the use of this overtly “safe” drug’"

Japanese man dies after daily heavy consumption of caffeinated beverages

Negative Electricity Prices Are Not A Sign Of Renewable Success - "the tendency of some advocates to point to specific periods of low prices, rather than overall prices. The best example is in Germany, with its aggressive promotion of renewable power. One advocate argued that, “Even as GE’s Chairman griped that a German steel mill pays four times the typical U.S. industrial power price (perhaps reflecting a confusion between U.S. and Euro cents), the average German wholesale price for June 2013—essentially the price such big industries pay—fell to a record low of 2.8 Euro cents or 3.7 U.S. cents per kWh, well below his 5-cent U.S. benchmark.” Compare and contrast with a report from Der Spiegel in September 2013: “For society as a whole, the costs have reached levels comparable only to the euro-zone bailouts. This year, German consumers will be forced to pay €20 billion ($26 billion) for electricity from solar, wind and biogas plants -- electricity with a market price of just over €3 billion.”

High Costs and Errors of German Transition to Renewable Energy - "It is only gradually becoming apparent how the renewable energy subsidies redistribute money from the poor to the more affluent...

In Sweden, the system ensures that the electric utilities' investments automatically flow into the technology they see as the most cost-effective. This doesn't always have to be the cheapest technology at a given time. But like any normal company, the Swedish utilities have an interest in maximizing their return on investment. This is different in Germany, where the most inefficient technology at a given time is the most heavily subsidized, based on the bizarre logic that it has to be brought into the market over a particularly lengthy period of time"
More on the disaster of Germany's renewables policy - "protecting" the planet is more important than protecting people

Facebook Has Been Intentionally Crashing Its Android App on Users - "Facebook has tested the loyalty and patience of Android users by secretly introducing artificial errors that would automatically crash the app for hours at a time, says one person familiar with the one-time experiment. The purpose of the test, which happened several years ago, was to see at what threshold would a person ditch the Facebook app altogether. The company wasn't able to reach the threshold. "People never stopped coming back," this person says."

Myth 5: The private sector is more efficient than the public sector - "The largest study of the efficiency of privatized companies looked at all European companies privatized during 1980-2009. It compared their performance with companies that remained public and with their own past performance as public companies. The result? The privatized companies performed worse than those that remained public and continued to do so for up to 10 years after privatization"

Disney World: 'Star Wars' starship luxury resort hotel is in the works - "The survey also highlights the unique experience you would get out of the two-night, all-inclusive package that will cost roughly $900 to $1,000 per guest, including a two-day story set in the the "Star Wars" universe, personal interactions with "Star Wars" characters, live performers throughout the starship, plus the ability to engage in the story by doing flight training, ship exploration, lightsaber training, and personalized secret missions (both on the starship and throughout Star Wars Land)."

The New Star Wars Theme Parks Coming to Disney Look Out of This World

Disney Just Opened A Dress Shop For Adults And It’s Freaking Amazing

Screw ‘science’ — Disney princesses are not demeaning - "This week brought details of a laughable BYU academic “study” that generated paranoid headlines like “Disney Princesses Are Bad Role Models for Girls” and “This Is the Latest Evidence That Disney Princesses Are Hurting Young Girls.” The study finds a correlation between feminine behavior and fondness for Disney princesses. But which way does the causation go? Is it more plausible that girly girls are simply attracted to Disney princess movies, or that watching “Cinderella” magically rewires your brain? If the latter, how is this belief different from the “Pray away the gay” school of thought that holds that fervent Bible study, and maybe a few John Wayne movies, will turn your homosexual nephew straight? The study’s lead author, family-life professor Sarah M. Coyne of BYU, is a professional media scare-monger. Among her papers: “It’s a Bird! It’s a Plane! It’s a Gender Stereotype!: Longitudinal Associations Between Superhero Viewing and Gender Stereotyped Play” (Finding: Boys who liked superhero movies tended to behave like boys.) A 2011 paper Coyne trumpeted to the media to generate headlines like “profanity on TV linked to kids’ aggression” was dismissed by a neutral observer, psych prof Christopher J. Ferguson of Texas A&M International, who noted to Reuters that the study “isn’t enough to show a robust correlation, let alone cause and effect.” That’s a major whoopsie, as the whole point of this line of research is to show causation , not just correlation."

Tourists Destroy Grounds Surrounding Shanghai Disneyland Before It Even Opens

The Real Reason Chinatown Produce is Crazy Cheap - "“Chinatown’s 80-plus produce markets are cheap because they are connected to a web of small farms and wholesalers that operate independently of the network supplying most mainstream supermarkets.” While most of the rest of New York's markets get their produce from the Hunts Point Market in the Bronx, Chinatown sellers work directly with small neighborhood warehouses. Since they're operating in close geographic proximity, they can get fresh produce throughout the day from wholesalers, and therefore don’t need a store with refrigeration or a lot of storage space. Markets also cut costs by eschewing extra technology and certain aesthetic choices—the Journal points out that shelves “are typically made of plywood and lined with newsprint,” prices are scrawled on cardboard instead of printed on stickers, and credit cards are not always accepted. Chinatown retailers also manage to cut costs by “negotiating bulk discounts from wholesalers,” Kadet notes... she has visited more than 75 of these farms and saw very little exploitation; in fact, they were happy to be working for Chinatown wholesalers “because they could cultivate an array of crops, leading to economic and agronomic stability.”"
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