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More adventurous than the average bear

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Wednesday, July 05, 2017

Links - 5th July 2017 (1)

BBC Radio 4 - Best of Today, Friday's business with Katie Prescott - "There don't seem to be public intellectuals in economics in the same way as there are for example in physics. People like Bryan Cox. Those figures don't exist and when we asked in the survey whether people knew of such figures and economists they couldn't think really of any. They thought of the chancellor of the Exchequer for example or Martin Lewis. Those were the people who came across as economists so I think that there is a failure of communication"

German Muslim students protest Holocaust remembrance, attack Israel - "Muslim students of Arab and Turkish origin protested participation in an International Holocaust Remembrance Day event in Germany, while their high school’s administration showed understanding for their criticism of Israel... The number of antisemitic attacks reported in Germany doubled from 2015 to 2016, according to a report the Diaspora Affairs Ministry released last Sunday. The actual number of attacks is believed to be higher because of the lack of standards to identify contemporary antisemitism in the Federal Republic."

Hotel ransomed by hackers as guests locked out of rooms - "Hotel management said that they have now been hit three times by cybercriminals who this time managed to take down the entire key system. The guests could no longer get into their hotel rooms and new key cards could not be programmed. The attack, which coincided with the opening weekend of the winter season, was allegedly so massive that it even shut down all hotel computers, including the reservation system and the cash desk system. The hackers promised to restore the system quickly if just 1,500 EUR (1,272 GBP) in Bitcoin was paid to them... the hackers left a back door open in the system, and tried to attack the systems again. On the fourth attempt the hackers had however no chance because the computers had been replaced and the latest security standards integrated, and some networks had been decoupled. The Seehotel Jaegerwirt, which has existed for 111 years, also has another innovative trick in store to keep the hackers out for good. Brandstaetter said: "We are planning at the next room refurbishment for old-fashioned door locks with real keys. Just like 111 years ago at the time of our great-grandfathers.""

Migrants claiming benefits in Switzerland take HOLIDAYS in countries they are 'fleeing' - "Four out of five Eritreans in Switzerland are claiming state benefits... dozens of Eritrean families arrived at Zurich-Kloten airport to travel home."

Wheelchair-bound woman is gang-raped by 6 refugees at Swedish asylum centre

Migrants burn down centre over 'lack of CHOCOLATE' during Ramadan - "While the centre cancelled ordinary lunchtime meals to the dismay of non-Muslims, hot food was still available during the early morning and late evening. A spread of cold food was also made available during the day for migrants who were not observing the religious holiday... It is believed the perpetrators were angry that Nutella and confectionary was being made available during daylight hours, meaning supplies were then limited during the night. As they lit fires throughout the centre, they shouted: “There isn’t enough Nutella, Gummibears and chocolate.”"

Lucasfilm Consider Ending Main Star Wars Movies & Focusing On Spinoffs - "The Expanded Universe began to feel rather more restrictive than it should have done, with original characters often standing in the shadow of the legendary main families. Worse still, it became less and less accessible as it went along; by the time of the "New Jedi Order" novels, you needed a phenomenal amount of background knowledge to make sense of many of the subplots. What's more, the movies face a challenge the novels don't. As strong as the Skywalker / Solo brand may be, sooner or later Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher are going to want to step out of the saga. That doesn't matter if you're writing novels; but if your ongoing Star Wars movie franchise is centered around these actors, then you have a real problem."

Japan's Oddest English Book Is Still Wonderfully Strange - "English is a tough language—especially for Japanese. In school, they learn all these stiff, formal expressions that might not be useful with dealing with "nama no eigo" (生の英語) or "native English." All of this is what makes English Words That Don't Appear on Tests so great. Since it goes so far astray of typical textbook words and is filled with memorable illustrations, it actually might end up being helpful if the goal is simply expanding one's vocab—or to giggle at silly sentences."

Dubai security chief: Independent Palestinian state would be another failed Arab state - ""Today, the Jews are heading the world's economy, without the Jews you Arabs would not have known how to deposit your money in the bank," Tamim continued. In light of what he described as Arab incompetence in running a state and the distinguished economic talents of Jews, Tamim claimed that a joint Jewish-Palestinian state will only prosper under Israeli leadership... In another tweet that spurred controversy, the Dubai security chief wrote: "We should not treat Jews as our enemies. We should treat them as cousins with whom we have a controversy over land inheritance. " In order to test the feasibility of his idea, Tamim asked his Twitter followers if they think Palestinians and Jews can live together in an Israeli-ruled state. Not surprisingly, 57 percent of the followers answered that "'Jews have no place in our country.""

No, A 'Supercomputer' Did NOT Pass The Turing Test For The First Time And Everyone Should Know Better - "It "beat" the Turing test here by "gaming" the rules -- by telling people the computer was a 13-year-old boy from Ukraine in order to mentally explain away odd responses"

Sweden: 70yo Woman Prosecuted For Complaining About Migrants Defecating In The Streets - "She's being dragged into court and threatened with jail for a two year old Facebook post which is factually correct"
Is it hate speech to say that the Crusades are the reason for Islamic terrorism today?
“Truth is treason in the empire of lies.” ― Ron Paul

Guy Sucks At Photoshop, Spends 10 Years Mastering Microsoft Paint To Illustrate His Book

Saida Grundy, Boston University professor: White males a 'problem population' - "Incoming assistant professor of sociology and African-American studies, Saida Grundy tweeted a slew of tweets over several months blasting white males which have drawn criticism on social media... "White masculinity isn’t a problem for America’s colleges, white masculinity is THE problem for America’s colleges"... "Every MLK week I commit myself to not spending a dime in white-owned businesses. And every year I find it nearly impossible"... David Horowitz, author of “Reforming our Universities” told Fox that he was “not surprised that Boston University is hiring a racist to teach African American Studies.” “Anti-white racism is rampant in Black Studies programs which are generally indoctrination programs in left wing politics""

‘I would love to teach but…’ - The Washington Post - "According to the rubrics set forth by the county, if they wrote a single word on their paper, related or not to the assignment, I had to give them a 48 percent. Yet, students chose to do nothing. Why? Because we are forced to pass them. “They are not allowed to fail,” remember?... if I graded students accurately on their poor performance, then I have failed, not them... I quit because I’m tired of being part of the problem, and as only one soul in the river Styx, it is impossible for me to be part of the solution."
This is a great argument for standardised tests (though naturally he condemns them too)

Study: Men who remarry really do prefer younger women - The Washington Post - "One in five men who remarry wed a woman at least 10 years their junior, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of Census data. By contrast, only one in 20 men on their first marriage pair up with someone that young. "There’s a common stereotype that American men who remarry are especially likely to walk down the aisle with a younger woman," Pew's Gretchen Livingston writes. She rates that stereotype "largely true.""

What ancient mummies tell us about one of the most vexing afflictions of modern life - The Washington Post - "the modern scourge of heart disease is not at all new, and that people who exercised more than we do as a matter of necessity, and whose diet was free from modern temptations, also suffered striking levels of heart disease, according to the researchers. In recent years, X-ray based scans of mummies from around the world - including the hunter gatherers of Kagamil as well as those from ancient Egypt, Peru and the American Southwest — found signs of heart disease or atherosclerosis, the plaque lining the arteries near the heart... "These ancient people didn’t have preservatives, everything was organic, they didn’t smoke and they got plenty of exercise. But ... the amount of atherosclerosis in ancient times isn’t much different from what you see in modern times. If you account for age, it looks like we’re in the same ballpark""

Lawyers who switch careers find happiness in baking, tech and other fields - The Washington Post - "Nationwide, 24 percent of lawyers who passed the bar in 2000 weren’t practicing law in 2012, according to an American Bar Foundation survey."

These researchers have discovered the perfect password that’s also easy to remember - The Washington Post - "by far the most secure and the most memorable method is creating a short rhyming poem of random words."

The unbearable whiteness of pumpkins: more po-mo lunacy - "as Halloween approaches, we have a new paper in the journal GeoHumanities called: “The perilous whiteness of pumpkins” (reference and free download below). And it’s not about pumpkins bred for a lack of coloration, either: it’s how this seasonal gourd bears a horrible burden of racism and oppression. This is right up there with feminine glaciology and racist Pilates as one of the craziest po-mo papers I’ve seen... Powell and Englehardt strive mightily to make [Pumpkin Spice Lattes] symbols of the privileged and affluent, ergo of whiteness. To do that they link them with Ugg boots because Buzzfeed once published an article showing PSLs, a candle, and Ugg boots as “signifiers of basicness,” which the authors take as an index of female consumerism seen as a sign of white superiority."

Hip pain may be 'hangover from evolution' - "As species evolved from moving around on four legs to standing up on two, for example, researchers say the so-called neck of the thigh bone grew broader to support the extra weight. And studies show that the thicker the neck of the thigh bone, the more likely it is that arthritis will develop"

Firms that Discriminate are More Likely to Go Bust - "The basic logic of employer wage discrimination was laid out by Becker in 1957. The logic implies that discrimination is costly, especially in the long-run, not that it doesn’t happen. A nice test of the theory can be found in a paper just published in Sociological Science, Are Business Firms that Discriminate More Likely to Go Out of Business? The author, Devah Pager, is a pioneer in using field experiments to study discrimination. In 2004, she and co-authors, Bruce Western and Bart Bonikowski, ran an audit study on discrimination in New York using job applicants with similar resumes but different races and they found significant discrimination in callbacks. Now Pager has gone back to that data and asks what happened to those firms by 2010? She finds that 36% of the firms that discriminated failed but only 17% of the non-discriminatory firms failed... the cause of the business failure might not be the discrimination per se but rather that firms that discriminate are hiring using non-rational, gut feelings while firms that don’t discriminate are using more systematic and rational methods of hiring"
And yet liberals mock the idea that wage differentials are justified by productivity since otherwise firms would choose to hire the equally productive but more poorly paid demographics (e.g. women, and that this helps to explain the gender pay gap)

Indonesian Islamist leader says ethnic Chinese wealth is next target - "The leader of a powerful Indonesian Islamist organisation that led the push to jail Jakarta’s Christian governor has laid out plans for a new, racially charged campaign targeting economic inequality and foreign investment. In a rare interview, Mr Bachtiar Nasir said the wealth of Indonesia’s ethnic Chinese minority was a problem and advocated an affirmative action programme for native Indonesians, comments that could stoke tensions already running high in the world’s largest Muslim-majority nation. “It seems they do not become more generous, more fair,” the cleric said, referring to Chinese Indonesians... He spoke calmly during the interview, identifying other religiously motivated objectives such as restricting alcohol to tourist areas, curbing prostitution and criminalising adultery and sodomy. He insisted he believes in a pluralist Indonesia... “The key is justice, and taking sides,” he said. “Justice can be applied if there is a preferential option for indigenous Indonesians from a regulation aspect and in terms of access to capital.”"

The Big Read: Softer attitudes towards drugs a headache for authorities (Facebook Comments)
Comments: "Thank you TODAY fr the article. As a 22 yr old feeble minded young singaporean id like to say this maybe the most convinving article to date against marijuana( the devils broccoli ) . Thank you for saving me from a downward spiral and securing me a good middle class stressful ( but worthit tho ) future. We dont want private sectors abusing the legalisation of said drug ofcourse. To gain financially from your poor citizens wld be such an immoral thang ( god forrbid ). But curious tho, why still allow ciggarettes with all the tax on it and all . Well i cld only assume that money is going into good use right. Or else who knows 100% increase in our water electricity bill happen than what to do . Thanks again govt . The unsung hero . The hero we need and deserve. *clapping hands emoji*"
"I just had the time to look at the lit review. How come it doesn't have the citations to the actual studies they were reviewing? At the end of the day, I just want to look at the studies they referred to when they came to each conclusion.
That was honestly a terrible lit review, regardless of what they were reviewing. You could change every instance of cannabis to popcorn and I'd still say the same."
When lit reviews are being used to push policy objectives, it's unsurprising that the literature reviewed would not be disclosed

The cases might be rare, but these are the killers cops fear most - LA Times - "Although most police shooters are white males, including Latinos, black men have been responsible for nearly 40% of the 232 ambush killings of police officers since 2002, according to a U.S. Department of Justice study last year. For their portion of the population, black men have ambushed and killed officers at a rate three times that of white men... At his trial last year, defense experts argued that Monfort had a delusional disorder that made him believe killing officers was a moral act protected by the Constitution because it would stem police abuse."

Academic research on police shootings and race - The Washington Post - "the per capita rate of officers being feloniously killed is 45 times higher than the rate at which unarmed black males are killed by cops. And an officer’s chance of getting killed by a black assailant is 18.5 times higher than the chance of an unarmed black getting killed by a cop"

5 Statistics You Need To Know About Cops Killing Blacks - "blacks were charged with 62 percent of robberies, 57 percent of murders and 45 percent of assaults in the 75 biggest counties in the country, despite only comprising roughly 15 percent of the population in these counties."Such a concentration of criminal violence in minority communities means that officers will be disproportionately confronting armed and often resisting suspects in those communities, raising officers’ own risk of using lethal force," writes MacDonald.MacDonald also pointed out in her Hillsdale speech that blacks "commit 75 percent of all shootings, 70 percent of all robberies, and 66 percent of all violent crime" in New York City, even though they consist of 23 percent of the city's population."The black violent crime rate would actually predict that more than 26 percent of police victims would be black," MacDonald said. "Officer use of force will occur where the police interact most often with violent criminals, armed suspects, and those resisting arrest, and that is in black neighborhoods"... 12 percent of white and Hispanic homicide deaths were due to police officers, while only four percent of black homicide deaths were the result of police officers. "If we’re going to have a 'Lives Matter' anti-police movement, it would be more appropriately named "White and Hispanic Lives Matter'... In the San Diego case, the unarmed black man actually "jumped the officer" and assaulted him, and the cop shot the man since he was "fearing for his life." MacDonald also notes that there was an instance in 2015 where "three officers were killed with their own guns, which the suspects had wrestled from them.""
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