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Meesa gonna kill you!

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Thursday, July 20, 2017

Links - 20th July 2017 (1)

South Korea’s Jeju Island, paradise with a dark side - The Washington Post - "Islanders have a reputation for being more laid back than mainland Koreans, but Jeju also has a long tradition of fiercely resisting outside pressure"

He robbed banks and went to prison. His time there put him on track for a new job: Georgetown law professor. - The Washington Post

Guns, sex and arrogance: I hated everything about America — until I moved here - The Washington Post

Is the American diet too salty? Scientists challenge the longstanding government warning - The Washington Post - "according to studies published in recent years by pillars of the medical community, the low levels of salt recommended by the government might actually be dangerous. “There is no longer any valid basis for the current salt guidelines,” said Andrew Mente, a professor at McMaster University in Ontario and one of the researchers involved in a major study published last year by the New England Journal of Medicine. “So why are we still scaring people about salt?”... To understand how divided scientists are on salt, consider that even authorities with the American Heart Association, one of the organizations promoting the current salt limits, don’t agree."

New website allows white people to offer ‘reparations’ directly to people of color - The Washington Post - "the site isn’t about atoning for slavery, says its creator, Seattle-based artist Natasha Marin. “It’s about reparations for things that happened earlier today, for yesterday, for last Thursday,” she said. “This is for the present tense.”"
As if the Original Sin of Slavery wasn't enough

Quiet nights and dark homes at Sentosa Cove - ""There are usually more people around in the day. At night, the place does feel quite empty when the non-residents return home. "If I just look at my block alone, I'd say it is probably around 70 per cent occupied.""

Scientists have discovered the exact dance movements that catch a woman’s eye - The Washington Post - "women rated dancers higher when they showed larger and more variable movements of the head, neck and torso. Speed of leg movements mattered too, particularly bending and twisting of the right knee... arm movement didn't correlate with perceived dancing ability in any significant way."

University Of Washington Cheerleading Infographic Creates An Uproar - "The infographic says women should have a “bronze, beachy glow” and their hair should be “down” and “curled or straight” which is easy to pull off when you’re Caucasian. Plus, potential cheerleaders should have a “natural tan or a spray tan,” instead of just showing up with their god-given skin colors. Women are also required to have an “athletic physique,” when athletic ability should be the only requirement"
Somehow it's okay to discriminate based on nail polish, though

Scientists have discovered what causes Resting Bitch Face - The Washington Post - "One particular emotion was responsible for the jump: “The big change in percentage came from ‘contempt,’” Macbeth said."

Young South Koreans call their country ‘hell’ and look for ways out - The Washington Post - "Almost two-thirds of the young people who got jobs last year became irregular workers, according to Korea Labor Institute figures... “My boss always said, ‘The company comes first; your family comes second.’ ”... Most frustrating of all, many young people say, is that their parents, who worked long hours to build the “Korean dream,” think the answer is just to put in more effort."

A dangerous myth about who eats fast food is completely false - The Washington Post - "America's love for fast food is surprisingly income blind. Well-off kids, poor kids, and all those in between tend to get about the same percentage of their calories from fast food"

The zombie statistic about women’s share of income and property - The Washington Post - "“Women provide 66% of the work, produce 50% of the food, but earn only 10% of the income and own 1% of the property. We can change this.”
— graphic image promoted on Twitter and Facebook by Oxfam, citing the U.N. Development Program... the statistics are too good to be true. Oddly, these statistics have circulated for decades, persistently, despite the efforts of researchers to debunk them as ridiculously inaccurate. One reason is because the statistics have been promoted by supposedly reputable organizations, such as Oxfam and UNDP. But people also often want to believe facts that appear to confirm their own biases... she relied on “various UN statistics,” “available global data,” and “fragmentary indicators at the time.” As Cohen put it, the statistics turned out to be “a guess based on an extrapolation wrapped round an estimate.”... despite ample evidence that these are fishy figures, various organizations have willy-nilly cited them, often without attribution. And when attribution is provided, it usually leads back to a report by some U.N. agency, which then itself provided no attribution. It’s like a constant feedback loop... for the first time Oxfam and UNDP have acknowledged that they have peddled false information"

Women and money: Why is talking about and dealing with finances still weird for us? - "women comprise half the U.S. workforce and control more than 50 percent of the country’s wealth... 'I remember being a young girl and thinking that I could pick any career, regardless of how it paid, because I wouldn’t have to worry about making or managing money; I’d eventually have a boyfriend or husband who did that. And I was raised in a feminist household with two breadwinners.'"
At least this doesn't blame men

Maryland parents investigated by the police for letting their kids walk home alone. - "Danielle and Alexander Meitiv explicitly ally themselves with the “free range” parenting movement, which believes that children have to take calculated risks in order to learn to be self-reliant... Perhaps if they had been black and lived in South Carolina, they would have been arrested like Debra Harrell, the single mother who let her daughter go to the playground while she was working at McDonald’s. As white suburban professionals, the Meitivs experienced a lower level of intrusion, but still one that would make any parent bristle. The police asked for the father’s ID, and when he refused, called six patrol cars as backup. Alexander went upstairs, and the police called out that if he came down with anything else in his hand “shots would be fired,” according to Alexander. (They said this in front of the children, Alexander says.) Soon after, a representative from Montgomery County Child Welfare Services came by and required that the couple sign a “safety plan” promising not to let the children go unsupervised until the following week, when another CPS worker would talk to them. At first, the dad refused, but then the workers told him they would take the kids away if he did not sign... “Abductions are extremely rare. Car accidents are not. The number one cause of death for children of their age is a car accident.”"
If the parents had been black, doubtless the treatment received would've been called racism. But now it is cited as evidence of racism

Scientists are Creating Wolverine's Healing Factor IRL

The #BoycottByron mob don't want facts on immigration, just righteous fury - "In the post-fact world in which so many of us now languish contentedly (ignorance is, after all, bliss), Twitter blazed with accusations that Byron was happy to “exploit” illegal workers before throwing them to the wolves when it looked like it might get found out – the company was painted as a sort of Pied Piper of Hamburgers, leading innocents to their doom while posting handsome profits. This despite there being no evidence for these claims. Byron fulfilled its legal duty by checking its workers’ documents, which turned out to be false. The fakes fooled Byron but were picked up by the Home Office, which has the final responsibiliy to verify immigration status. The system worked. But the Boycott Byron movement is emblematic of a knee-jerk society where there is now only black and white, good versus evil; where you are right and anyone who doesn’t agree with you is not just wrong but wicked. Reality, of course, is more complicated than that, more nuanced than 140 characters will allow, but who wants nuance? For the Left, all immigrants are angels, even the illegal ones, while on the Right, all immigrants are criminals not to be trusted, even the legal ones"

Mainland manufacturer for MTR secretly recalls 35 trains from Singapore due to cracks - "problems have been found with C151A trains since they began service in 2011. Sources said the trains are of poor quality and that the glass next to passenger seats has repeatedly shattered due to shoddy workmanship. In 2011, one of the trains’ Chinese-made uninterruptible power supply batteries exploded during repair. While there were no injuries, Kawasaki Heavy Industries-CSR Sifang replaced all of the batteries made in China with ones made in Germany."

iPhone factory 'threatened to cut funding for disabled man' - "it called for a worker who was brain-damaged in an accident at its Shenzhen plant to report back for a disability assessment and threatened to cut off funding for his treatment if he didn't comply."

Pachelbel - Canon in D: the facts - "even before the public got hold of the piece, classical composers knew Pachelbel was on to a good thing – Handel, Haydn, and Mozart all used the iconic bass line in some of their compositions in the following years."

Since when were science toys just for boys? - "Toysellers today are sending out strongly gendered messages to an unprecedented degree. More toys are on the market than ever before and gender targeted selling is seen as profitable, but there's a high social cost. It's hard to measure the extent to which toy marketing affects children, but we can be certain that it affects them"
I like how they allege there's a high social cost, but are forced to admit that they have no idea what it is

Toys get a sex change - "There’s no gender equality on the toy shelf. Boys accounted for 90% of Lego sales — that is, until the Denmark-based company sold a version designed explicitly for girls. Though some questioned the need for a version with pink blocks, “Lego Friends,” introduced in January 2012, proved to be a huge hit. Girls now account for 25% of purchases... Lego is not the first toymaker to give a popular product a sex-change operation in an effort to boost sales. Nearly half a century ago, toymaker Hasbro found a way to sell dolls to boys: call them something else. “G.I. Joe” and Star Wars dolls were dubbed “action figures.”
Unlike feminism, profit numbers reflect reality
Feminist dilemma - is it better to market toys to girls based on "stereotypes" or to leave them gender neutral and have girls not play with them?

Wealth and sexual behaviour among men in Cameroon - " men in the richest third of the population were less likely to have used a condom in the last sex with a non-spousal non-cohabiting partner (OR 0.43, 95% CI 0.32–0.56) and more likely to have had at least two concurrent sex partners in the last 12 months (OR 1.38, 95% CI 1.12–1.19) and more than five lifetime sex partners (OR 1.97, 95% CI 1.60–2.43). However, there was no difference between the richest and poorest men in the purchase of sexual services. Regarding education, men with secondary or higher education were less likely to have used a condom in the last sex with a non-spousal non-cohabiting partner (OR 0.24, 95% CI 0.16–0.38) and more likely to have started sexual activity at age 17 years or less (OR 2.73, 95% CI 2.10–3.56) and had more than five lifetime sexual partners"

Brain training turns recall rookies into memory masters - "Just six weeks of training can turn average people into memory masters. Boosting these prodigious mnemonic skills came with overhauls in brain activity, resulting in brains that behaved more like those of experts who win World Memory Championships competitions"

Why China Can't Be Trusted - "The presence of offensive weapons contradicted Beijing’s public statements that the reclaimed islands are mainly for civilian purposes. Van Jackson at the Center for a New American Security calls the apparent disconnect between China’s words and actions, “strategic double speak.” But the worsening strategic environment of the South China Sea requires a more thorough reassessment of China’s diplomacy and security overtures. One key question must be answered: is this something new or do China’s words and actions frequently diverge? A brief review of how Beijing engaged its neighbors in the past two decades reveals the latter to be the case... Instead of looking at how Chinese actions have worsened the region’s security environment, it resorts to blaming other countries."

How AI will change the shape of organizations - "It will still need human workers to review the machines’ output and make decisions AI can’t, but the greater need will be for the middle-level employees who have the experience to make judgment calls. Here’s the problem, Engelbert says: “Where do [those middle-level employees] get that experience and judgment? That’s probably the number one thing I worry about as we shift our model”... All that grunt work is actually instructive for workers. And without any experience in the trenches to draw upon, that training will be hard to replicate."

Blacks Killed More Blacks than the KKK Did - "in one year, Blacks have murdered more of their own than the KKK killed in a century and a half of lynchings... While Black demagogues like to prattle on about white racism as the major problem for Blacks in America, as if the KKK is alive and well, the real problem is Black on Black crime... I picked the year 2004 because in that year Bill Cosby told Black parents that if they wanted to see their children succeed then they must educate their children on the many different aspects of American culture, not on "being Black" or blaming whitey for all their problems"
This is like how Saddam Hussein can kill tens of thousands of Iraqis in cold blood with nary a protest but the moment the US kills one by accident...

Does High Home-Ownership Impair the Labor Market? - "rises in the home- ownership rate in a U.S. state are a precursor to eventual sharp rises in unemployment in that state. The elasticity exceeds unity: a doubling of the rate of home-ownership in a U.S. state is followed in the long-run by more than a doubling of the later unemployment rate. What mechanism might explain this? We show that rises in home-ownership lead to three problems: (i) lower levels of labor mobility, (ii) greater commuting times, and (iii) fewer new businesses"

Repeat After Me (or Lose Your Job): 'White Men are Not Being Persecuted. And They Deserve It.' - "The Huffington Post ran a column by “Shelley Garland” that argued for depriving white males of the vote... after Roodt was outed, he lost his job. No, not the editors who published the outrageous article, thinking it was dead serious and a pretty good idea. They’re still working, still shaping American minds. But Roodt was stripped of his livelihood for daring to mock the pieties of the church of multiculturalism. His employer publicly denounced him. And The Huffington Post took down the post, under the rationale that it had turned out to be hate speech. Have you got that? At first, the article seemed to call in all seriousness for hundreds of millions of people (rich and poor, including coal miners and war veterans) to be denied the right to vote because of their sex and their race. So The Huffington Post had no problem with it. They defended it, in fact. But when it came out that the piece was in fact a satire of that position, now it amounted to hate speech. Wrap your mind around that. Try “mansplaining” that to yourself. No wonder some white guys are paranoid. People really are out to get them."

Why We Lost the War on Poverty - "From the end of World War II until 1964 the poverty rate in this country was cut in half. Further, 94% of the change in the poverty rate over this period can be explained by changes in per capita income alone. Economic growth is clearly the most effective antipoverty weapon ever devised by man... But we didn’t continue the trend. In 1965 we launched a War on Poverty. And as the graph shows, in the years that followed the portion of Americans living in poverty barely budged... We now know a lot about how behavior affects poverty. In fact, if you do these four things, it’s almost impossible to remain poor:
Finish high school,
Get a job,
Get married, and
Don’t have children until you get married...
So how does welfare affect behavior?...
The number of hours worked dropped 9% for husbands and 20% for wives, relative to the control group. For young male adults it dropped 43% more.
The length of unemployment increased 27% among husbands and 42% for wives, relative to the control group. For single female heads of households it increased 60% more.
Divorce increased 36% more among whites and 42% more among blacks. (In a New Jersey experiment, the divorce rate was 84% higher among Hispanics.)"
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