photo blog_head_zpsfscr4tie.jpg
More adventurous than the average bear

Get email updates of new posts:        (Delivered by FeedBurner)

Saturday, July 01, 2017

Links - 1st July 2017 (2)

Why McDonald's McRib Isn't Available - "Turns out that not that many people actually like the McRib. Or rather, McDonald's is so huge that it needs all its items to be massively popular in order to keep their place on the menu. Those who do like the McRib, love it. But in the broader scheme, "It's not a mass play year-round," McGuinness says. Thus McD's deploys the McRib strategically, when the calendar leaves the company without a natural hook for its products — like at Christmas time"

A programmer wrote scripts to secretly automate a lot of his job — including to automatically email his wife and make himself a latte - "The guy wrote one script that sends a text message “late at work” to his wife and “automatically picks reasons” from a preset list of them, says Narkoz. It sent this text anytime there was activity with his login on the company’s computer servers after 9 p.m... He wrote a script that waits exactly 17 seconds, then hacks into the coffee machine and orders it to start brewing a latte. The script tells the machine to wait another 24 seconds before pouring the latte into a cup, the exact time it takes it takes to walk from the guy’s desk to the coffee machine. And his coworkers didn’t even know the coffee machine was on the network and was hack-able."

Record number of people leave Sweden - "The sheer number of emigrants now matches the massive wave of people who left for the US in the 1880s, Statistics Sweden noted."

The High Price of a Free College Education in Sweden - "85% of Swedish students graduate with debt, versus only 50% in the US. Worst of all, new Swedish graduates have the highest debt-to-income ratios of any group of students in the developed world (according to estimates of what they're expected to earn once they get out of school)--somewhere in the neighborhood of 80%. The US, where we're constantly being told that student debt is hitting crisis proportions, the average is more like 60%... Swedes, like other Nordic Europeans, have an independent streak. They leave their parental homes earlier than almost all their southern neighbors... One of the more fascinating theories is that the differences in the strength of family ties in northern and southern Europe is a faint echo of invasions by the Roman Empire and Islamic caliphates in the Mediterranean region versus the Germanic-Nordic dominance in regions further north.
Or it could reflect the fact that back in the middle ages, young people in northern Europe were often sent out to work as servants outside the family home. Others simply argue that it's the economy, with low wages and high housing costs conspiring to keep southern Europeans living at home. Whatever the reason, ideas about youthful independence are embedded in the system Sweden devised to pay for higher education... In a broader sense, student debt is just our solution for an age-old problem. It's society's way of financing a restructuring period for the currently unproductive assets it will depend on in the future: young people."

How Sweden became an exporter of jihad - "Many of their parents fled war-torn countries in search of safety and found it in Sweden. They appear grateful for what the country has offered them. Their children, however, often feel they've been discriminated against and left out of the system. Many young people I spoke to said they felt disconnected from the country where their parents came from - but didn't feel they were Swedish either... The imam, who came to Sweden from Syria three years ago, urged them to respect Swedish laws and customs and to assimilate as much as they could into mainstream society. But I was told that on one occasion two men stood up and verbally attacked him for condemning extremism, before they were escorted out."

University students told essays will be marked down if they fail to use 'gender-sensitive' language - "Students at Hull University are being told to use gender neutral language in their essays – or risk losing marks. According to documents obtained by the Sunday Times, students are told to "be aware of the powerful and symbolic nature of language and use gender-sensitive formulations. Failure to use gender-sensitive language will impact your mark"... "This linguistic policing is used as a coercive tool to impose a conformist outlook. The alternative is to pay a penalty of being marked down.”"
It starts with being sensitive. Then it becomes compulsory. The next step is for failure to comply to be considered hate speech

Whooping should be banned beause it excludes deaf people, Nation Union of Students say- "Students who whoop, cheer and clap should face “consequences” because they are excluding deaf people, delegates at the National Union of Students conference said. Audience members were repeatedly warned that they must cease whooping to express support for a speaker, because it has a “serious impact” on the accessibility of the conference. Delegates at the NUS annual conference in Brighton were encouraged to use “jazz hands” instead of clapping - where students wave their hands in the air - as this is deemed a more inclusive form of expression... The motion calls for “reduced cheering or unnecessary loud noises on conference floor, including whooping and clapping” and warns of “consequences for those who ignore this requirement”. In the past, NUS events have banned clapping on the grounds that it might “trigger anxiety”."
Apparently it's better to exclude blind people

Gay Pride flag removed from high school at transgender student’s request - "the University of British Columbia’s Gay Pride flag was burned on the flagpole by a trans student who feared increased public awareness and acceptance of lesbians and gays might result in transgender people being associated with homosexuals. Hate crime charges against the arsonist were dismissed by law enforcement, who seemed confused by the whole thing."
The left consumes itself

Why Are White People In Denial About What Gender They Are? - "Most black people out there have got bigger worries on their mind. There are some Uncle Toms out there that are too busy trying to fit in with white people by trying to jump on the gender fluid bandwagon. Your ancestors would be rolling in their graves if they seen this whole ‘I’m gender fluid’ bullshit."

Civil wars and Restoration England | Podcast | History Extra - "As I went through the examples of the US "Civil War" I found very quickly that it had many different names during the conflict itself. It wasn't officially until nineteen oh seven i think that the US Congress officially decided that it should ever after be called the US civil war. Up to that point after the defeat of the Confederacy it was known as the Rebellion... it was highly political act to define a conflict as a civil war or as a rebellion and these uses of terms are almost always about legitimacy and authority. War is a highly formalized indeed legally defined form of conflict. More orderly, more prestigious in a paradoxical way than riots or rebellions or other kinds of violence...
Two sides fighting for control of a single political community I think is the longest running conception of civil war. It gets much murkier and much more complicated especially in the twentieth century when most civil wars are what scholars of international relations and pop political science call internationalized civil wars. That is they don't happen just within the boundaries of a single state nor necessarily between only two parties. They often draw in neighbors, neighboring countries or increasingly as we know in the contemporary middle east they draw in fighters, terrorists from far far away and also they drag in or they attempt to drag in external powers... Contemporary civil wars at least three quarters of which we would call internationalized because both they draw in outside powers and they spill over the borders of the contending country especially through refugee flows...
One of the clearest patterns it seems in terms of if not direct causation and certainly correlation in the origins of civil war is the proximity of exiting an empire or secession. And that tends usually within a year to five years to generate another conflict for control or another secessionist group within that territory... In Latin America especially Spanish America in the 1810s, 20s and 30s. Those anti colonial anti imperial conflicts led in almost all cases to civil wars for control within particular countries or the fission of existing parts of the Spanish empire which have become independent and then broke down into ever smaller units. In a way I think we can see the US Civil War as a very very slow motion version of exactly that process. The thirteen colonies break away in seventeen seventy six. They wait more than eighty years, nearly ninety years to have their Civil War but the pattern is almost identical again to what happens in Spanish america in the intervening decades and then what happens across the world in the latter part of the twentieth century"

Victorian burials and the history of psychology | Podcast | History Extra - "Maybe the pendulum is swinging a little bit too far the other way. That to nowdays we have this whole raft of celebrities who are very keen to step forward and talk about their bipolar disorder or their autism or their Asperger's syndrome. And it's almost become a little bit of a fashion accessory... Now there's much more a feeling that you know there must be a solution, there must be a cure for everything. And perhaps people are treating minor discomforts of life as something which is actually pathological. Which is something which has to be treated. Something which is of danger in itself. And I just you know wonder that we're kind of sort of setting the standard of what life should be like and if we are moving to the position where we think that life should be universally happy and untroubled then I think we're kidding ourselves. You know we have to accept that life has its ups and downs and psychology, psychiatry, psychotherapy for all the good it does can never iron those out... IAPT really is for the common cold of mental illness, which is depression. You know we all suffer from it., we're all on a spectrum of being depressed or not being depressed
Mental illness as a badge of honour
I thought depression was supposed to be very serious

Amanda Fristrom's answer to Why do some women prefer to have male friends instead of female ones? - Quora - "girls often have so much drama involved with any activity that it can be exhausting to be with them all the time. We all seem to recognize this, yet we can't seem to be able to stop it. When girls are with girls there is drama. It's odd... Men rarely have double-meanings when women tend to say one thing and mean another"

Maintaining an active sex life may lead to improved job satisfaction, engagement in work

Indonesian village Toraja dig up dead relatives and give them new clothes in ritual - "Families in Toraja in South Sulawesi dig up the bodies of their dead relatives before washing, grooming and dressing them in fancy new clothes. Even dead children are exhumed - two of these photos show the skeleton of a baby wrapped in a print dress with a doll laid next to it. Damaged coffins are fixed or replaced, and the mummies are then walked around the province by following a path of straight lines. The ritual is called Ma'nene, or The Ceremony of Cleaning Corpses."

Living with the dead: The Indonesian village treating relatives' corpses as if they’re alive - "family members typically pose with their deceased relatives for fresh family portraits... The biggest funerals in the Torojan culture are typically held in the dry season months of July and August, according to Lonely Planet. Tourism to the area typically sees a boost during the summer months, with many travellers looking to experience Torojan rituals around death first hand"

When Death Doesn’t Mean Goodbye - "His wife and children will speak to him as they bring him food four times a day—breakfast, lunch, dinner, and mid-afternoon tea. “We do this because we love him and respect him so much,” Yokke says. Elisabeth adds, “Before, we used to eat together. He’s still at home—we should feed him"... archaeologists concluded that there are Torajan death practices that date back at least as far as the ninth century A.D... Christianity has tried more or less successfully to partner with traditional practices: Nearly every step of a Torajan death is greeted with prayers, readings from Matthew or John, and a recitation of the Lord’s Prayer... Tourists—mainly Europeans and Australians—who go to Torajan funerals are often welcomed as evidence of the family’s importance. Larger funerals feature viewing pavilions where the guests are served tea, coffee, and snacks"

BBC World Service - The Documentary, Living with the Dead - "We also need to prepare a great deal of things for the funeral so we need to have a lot of buffalos ready. And we've got six buffalos ready for his funeral but we need many more. So there's a whole process that we need to go through before the funerals can take place, to make sure we do it right for him. He's already had one ceremony, the first ceremony and we sacrificed a hundred and fifteen buffalos at that ceremony. That was about six months after he died and then now were preparing and still saving up all the things we need for his final funeral... families spend most of their lives saving for these rituals
Is it ethnocentric to point out that if they didn't spend so many resources on funerals they would be able to develop the living better?
Apparently this helps the process of coping with death

BBC Radio 4 - From Our Own Correspondent, Excitement and Disgust - "[On Caracas] People are desperate... when a store gets a new supplies of, say, diapers, they ask me for police protection. It could be a gang raid or fist fights outside. There are always problems... The regime's crisis management has become increasingly surreal. For example all bakeries are now subject to raids by crack squads of pastry police. Bakers found to be selling too many profitable pastries and cakes rather than bread are closed down. For many Venezuelans, fresh bread is the stuff of memories and dreams...
Last year something happened in Seville that may never be seen again. An indulto. This is when a Matador so impressed by a bull's tenacity spares its life. It's happened only four times here since 1749...
[On stereotypes] Why not report on Somali American nurses providing good health care. That seems a less solid point. After all no one expects us to cover Korean or Indian nurses doing good work - it's really not news...
In Ecuador now and again you'll encounter a Lenin at the supermarket checkout or on the other side of the Cold War in names a Kennedy driving the bus
Venezuela's problems can all be blamed on American sanctions/colonialism. Just like all the world's problems can be blamed in Jews

BBC Radio 4 - From Our Own Correspondent, Stamina of the Strongmen - "[On Turkey] We drove... into the path of a police car... They'd received a tipoff from a local, suspicious of what he called 'foreign agents'... it was an all too common illustration of the bleak climate of conspiracy that has engulfed Turkey and which is stoked by the President as he seeks more power...
While he labelled Dutch and German leaders Nazis and fascists for blocking attempts to campaign for expat votes there, pro-government media hit out daily at enemies plotting to destabilise the country. An aide to the President recently warned that TV chefs from Europe coming to make cooking programmes in Turkey were spies. The paranoia has reached absurdity. But Erdogan supporters adore it, fired up by the old nationalist image of a mighty Turkey fighting off outside forces.. simply being blessed by their hero was enough. The level of devotion to President Erdogan is something I've never seen in the democratic world. Populist leaders often have a hard core following - the fan base of Donald Trump or Marine Le Pen is passionate but this is different... [Erdogan is] comparing those who plan to vote no in the referendum with terrorists. In swathes of Turkey it's virtually impossible to find an opposition poster. They've been removed or destroyed or their campaigners attacked. It's created a deep sense of fear as I wandered through the centuries old maze of Istanbul's grand bazaar this week. I spoke to dozens of traders. Around half said they'll vote no but not a single one accepted to be interviewed. They'll shut down my shop, a jewelry seller told me...
[On Kashmir] India's efforts to ensure there was no disruption this time round might well have put some voters off. Kashmir is the most militarized region in the world. There are more personnel per capita here than in Iraq or Syria. We drove through streets lined with heavily armed officers to get here - one for every three eligible voters"
blog comments powered by Disqus
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Latest posts (which you might not see on this page)

powered by Blogger | WordPress by Newwpthemes