"Malaysia Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad and the Sultan of Johor are seen in a blue Proton Saga... "When asked whether there is any tension with the sultan, Dr Mahathir said: “No, I don’t see anything because I went to see him and he drove me to the airport. I don’t want to comment on the sultans because if I say anything that is not good then it’s not nice because he is the sultan”"

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Monday, August 28, 2017

Links - 28th August 2017 (1)

CNN faced $100M lawsuit over botched Russia story - "The specter of a $100 million libel suit scared CNN into retracting a poorly reported story that slimed an ally of President Trump’s — and forcing out the staffers responsible for it... a CNN insider said staffers are furious at “having lost the moral high ground because of this story.” Sources said Zucker tried to rally his staff during a Tuesday morning conference call. “Zucker stressed that this issue was a ‘lapse in editorial standards’ and said it was a lesson to all reporters and editors to continue to strive for strong, accurate reporting,” a source said... The retracted story was based on a single, anonymous source who claimed the Senate Intelligence Committee was probing ties between the Trump administration and a Russian government-owned investment fund."

Twinkie diet helps nutrition professor lose 27 pounds - "For 10 weeks, Mark Haub, a professor of human nutrition at Kansas State University, ate one of these sugary cakelets every three hours, instead of meals. To add variety in his steady stream of Hostess and Little Debbie snacks, Haub munched on Doritos chips, sugary cereals and Oreos, too. His premise: That in weight loss, pure calorie counting is what matters most -- not the nutritional value of the food. The premise held up: On his "convenience store diet," he shed 27 pounds in two months... Haub's "bad" cholesterol, or LDL, dropped 20 percent and his "good" cholesterol, or HDL, increased by 20 percent. He reduced the level of triglycerides, which are a form of fat, by 39 percent... Before his Twinkie diet, he tried to eat a healthy diet that included whole grains, dietary fiber, berries and bananas, vegetables and occasional treats like pizza. "There seems to be a disconnect between eating healthy and being healthy," Haub said. "It may not be the same. I was eating healthier, but I wasn't healthy. I was eating too much"... To avoid setting a bad example for his kids, Haub ate vegetables in front of his family. Away from the dinner table, he usually unwrapped his meals... To curb calories, he avoided meat, whole grains and fruits. Once he started adding meat into the diet four weeks ago, his cholesterol level increased."

Army warns of new threat: Energy drinks - "soldiers in the field were more likely to fall asleep on duty if they consumed multiple beverages a day... "doctors don't know what the effects of (energy drink) ingredients are in larger doses.""

Hong Kong's Tai O fishing village torn between tourism and decline - "Tai O is separated from the rest of Hong Kong by steep, rocky hills. Before 1990, the only way to get to Tai O was by boat. Permits to drive on the town's single road are only granted to villagers and public buses. A sense of isolation still pervades the village's tight-knit community, which many locals say they are keen to keep to themselves. As visitors are drawn to the Venice-like village with homes largely built on stilts, the pathways are dotted with signs warning "Private Property" and "No Entry." To circumvent the signs, tour guides now row tourists on boat down the river and having a look at the houses from the water."

Australia to cut benefits if kids aren't vaccinated - "Parents who refuse to vaccinate their children can lose up to $11,000 of welfare benefits a year under a new government policy... The number of children in Australia who have not received immunization against measles and other diseases has almost doubled in the past decade... Existing exemptions on medical or religious grounds will continue said Abbott, but guidelines on religious exemptions will be tightened"
If giving single mothers fewer benefits is punishing the children...

Hidden cameras show airport workers stealing from bags - "these insider thefts just don't happen in Miami. A CNN analysis of passenger property loss claims filed with the TSA from 2010 to 2014 shows 30,621 claims of missing valuables, mostly packed in checked luggage. The rest occurred at security checkpoints. Total property loss claimed: $2.5 million."

Jihadi John: The bourgeois terrorist - "The diagnosis that poverty, lack of education or lack of opportunities have much to do with terrorism requires a fundamentally optimistic view of human nature. This diagnosis leads to the prognosis that all we need to do to solve the terrorism problem is to create societies that are less poor, better educated and have more opportunities. The fact is, working stiffs with few opportunities and scant education are generally too busy getting by to engage in revolutionary projects to remake society. And history, in fact, shows us that terrorism is generally a bourgeois endeavor. This was just as true of the Russian anarchists of the late 19th century as it was of the German Marxists of the Baader-Meinhof gang of the 1970s and of the Japanese terrorist group Aum Shinrikyo in the 1990s... if it's clearly not deprivation that is driving much Islamist terrorism, what is?
For that we must turn to ideology, specifically religious ideology. And this is where the Obama administration has to perform some pretzel logic. It is careful to explain that the war on ISIS is not a war on Islam and that ISIS' ideology is a perversion of the religion. Fair enough. But the administration seems uncomfortable with making the connection between Islamist terrorism and ultra-fundamentalist forms of Islam that are intolerant of other religions and of other Muslims who don't share their views to the letter.
ISIS may be a perversion of Islam, but Islamic it is, just as Christian beliefs about the sanctity of the unborn child explain why some Christian fundamentalists attack abortion clinics and doctors. But, of course, murderous Christian fundamentalists are not killing many thousands of civilians a year. More than 80% of the world's terrorist attacks take place in five Muslim-majority countries -- Afghanistan, Iraq, Nigeria, Pakistan and Syria -- and are largely carried out by groups with Islamist beliefs... The Taliban and other Islamist terrorist groups are not, of course, secular organizations. To treat them as if they were springs from some combination of wishful thinking, PC gone crazy and a failure to accept, in an increasingly secularized era, that some will kill in the name of their god, an all-too-common phenomenon across human history."
The people who suffer most when one refuses to acknowledge that Islamist terrorism has something to do with Islam - Muslims

Why I put World of Warcraft on my resume - "Symantec's chief operating officer, Stephen Gillett, has an impressive resume that includes executive stints at Starbucks, CNET and Best Buy. He's also a level 70 paladin and priest with a particular focus on healing abilities... he includes his World of Warcraft achievements on his resume, because it's not just about role-playing games. It shows he exercises leadership in both the physical and virtual realms. Plus, he understands the current societal fascination with earning points and interactive entertainment. As a guild master, his current duties and responsibilities include organizing dungeon raids and managing the group's virtual bank. And he has a knack for recruiting key talent. Think mages and warlocks. Those skills transferred to his position as Starbucks' CIO, Gillett says. In that role, he was tasked with saving the company's suffering technology assets. Cash registers were outdated. Computers were scarce. Customer sales were down. Gillett's answer: Take Starbucks executives on a field trip to the Irvine, Calif., headquarters of World of Warcraft maker Activision Blizzard (ATVI, Tech30). The goal was to expose them to a business model that capitalizes on gaming"

Teen to government: Change your typeface, save millions - "Suvir figured out that by using Garamond with its thinner strokes, his school district could reduce its ink consumption by 24%, and in turn save as much as $21,000 annually."

Ronald McDonald to limit appearances in light of clown scares - "His appearances will be limited due to the rise in clown-related disturbances in the US and more recently around the world."

Clown Lives Matter March Canceled Over Death Threats - "The Clown Lives Matter march scheduled to take place tomorrow in Arizona has been canceled after the event's organizer said she received death threats on social media. The march was organized in response to the increase of creepy clown sightings and threats in recent months. Participants were encouraged to wear clown masks, full makeup and costumes and families were invited to "meet a clown and get a hug!" "This is a peaceful walk to show clowns are not psycho killers," a flier for the event said. "We want the public to feel safe, and not be afraid"... The Rev. Reginald Walton, chairman of Black Lives Matter Phoenix, said he was "glad" the march was canceled and called the Clown Lives Matter movement "insensitive" considering the "serious problem we are facing in this country" regarding police brutality... The uptick of scary clown incidents and sightings has rattled the nation in the months leading up to Halloween. The issue has become so severe that it prompted the White House to issue a statement saying the creepy clown incidents should be taken "seriously" by law enforcement."
So much for whataboutery being a problem

More than 100 Nobel laureates are calling on Greenpeace to end its anti-GMO campaign - "The laureates also take Greenpeace to task for seeking to block Golden Rice, a strain of not-yet-approved rice that has been genetically enhanced to produce beta carotene — which, its creators hope, might one day alleviate the Vitamin A deficiency that’s causing widespread death and blindness in the developing world... Greenpeace tends to take very seriously what scientists are telling them. Their website refers frequently to the scientific consensus that the world is getting warmer and humans are the cause. By contrast, Greenpeace’s public statements on GMOs tend to be startlingly unscientific... Will Saletan wrote a damning piece on how incoherent Greenpeace’s campaign against Golden Rice was. As research advanced, the group kept shifting its position"

Imgur: The most awesome images on the Internet - "Live long and prosper, First Prime Minister of Singapore, Lee Kuan Yew, leader of the Singaporean people... The Iron Fist: Cities do not rebel nor revolt. Can reclaim coastal tiles into land tiles. Population grows 5 times quicker when allied with a city state, but at double the unhappiness. Roads and railways are maintenance free"

Man takes ridiculous route between Newcastle and London because it's cheaper than public transport - "British rail passengers spend six times more on train fares than their European counterparts... Furness found that Newcastle to Menorca (one of Spain’s Balearic islands), and then on to London Gatwick came to only £26. You can see where he's going with this. So fly to London via Menorca he did, which gave him a 12-hour-stop-over to soak up some sun and indulge in a cocktail or two."

FRIENDS NO MORE? Black Lives Matter Slams Gay Pride Parade - "Black Lives Matter NYC published an open letter slamming NYC Pride for the huge numbers of police helping protect their parade and the NYPD vehicles displaying Pride decals. The letter demanded “the removal of uniformed police and PRIDE-detailed vehicles from the NYC Pride parade ... a commitment to transform the culture and events of PRIDE to center the lives of those most marginalized — queer and transgender Black communities ... the honoring of our ancestors and elders with true integrity of their radical existence.""
If this is the new civil rights movement, maybe civil rights aren't such a good thing after all

Extremism experts are starting to worry about the left - "Levin says that since December 2015, he’s documented nearly two-dozen episodes in California where political events turned violent because of agitation on both sides, something he says he hardly ever saw before. Now, there are violent clashes on college campuses involving groups like Antifa, the anti-fascist group, taking on the alt-right; and aggressive anti-Trump rallies attended by members of the Redneck Revolt, a new pro-minority, anti-supremacist group that encourages its members to train with rifles. Online, hard leftists increasingly discuss politics in dire terms, and rationalize violence as a necessity— even the true inheritor of traditional progressive activism. (Or, in the case of the “Punch a Nazi” meme, a fun game.)... in the years after 9/11, Segal says, the largest source of extremist violence was from the Left: eco-terrorists and animal rights activists"

Men Legally Allowed to Finish Sex Even If Woman Revokes Consent, NC Law States
This conflates a change in the circumstances of the agreement (like violence) with its unlilateral abrogation

Hillary Clinton wishes happy birthday to HERSELF in bizarre Twitter post - "Perhaps worried she wasn't going to receive many good wishes from anywhere else, Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton decided to wish herself a happy birthday, while proclaiming she would be the first woman president... 'Shouldn't this have come from one of the campaign accounts?' asked another potential voter, while another summed the whole episode up pointedly stating: 'The saddest birthday tweet comes from yourself.'"

Study: Unattractive Men Not Viewed As 'Dating Material,' No Matter How Great Their Personality - "Maybe nice guys really do finish last, after all. Women don’t view unattractive men as “dating material,” no matter how exceptional their other qualities are, a new study finds. Researchers at Eastern Connecticut State University looked at the mate preferences of 80 young women, aged 15 to 29, while also having 61 of their mothers weigh in... Simply put, men viewed as unattractive were not viewed as potential suitors, no matter the level of other redeeming qualities that accompanied their photos. Those with favorable personality traits that were ranked highly were at least moderately attractive... Mothers, however, didn’t shut the door on their offspring dating a relatively unattractive guy if he outperformed in other departments. But the younger participants wouldn’t budge... Although women will go on record to say that they prioritize personality characteristics over handsomeness in a partner, “they [still] assume that the potential mates at least meet a minimally acceptable standard of physical attractiveness”"

Tennis Legend Triggers Millions After Stating Serena Williams Would Rank 700th If She Faced Men - "Retired tennis legend John Patrick McEnroe Jr. has caused quite a stir online over his insistence that Serena Williams would be nowhere near as successful if she were competing against men. According to The Guardian, McEnroe made his remarks during an interview with NPR on Sunday, stating that while Williams is the “best female player ever – no question,” she would probably rank around 700 in the men’s league. The Guardian further reports that McEnroe stood by his statement in the face of the subsequent “REEEEEEEEEEEE”-ing of SJWs deluded enough to believe that men and women are on the same level when it comes to physical ability. “Have the women play in the men’s circuit,” he said on The Dan Patrick Show today. “We’ll see what happens. Have them all play for the next two years and see what the ranks are”... Serena Williams herself has lashed out at McEnroe over his statement, insisting that he leave her alone and describing his words as “not factually based”... SJWs have rushed to Williams’ defence, crying sexism and misogyny... USA Today sports writer Josh Peter argues McEnroe was actually being generous in his guess of where Serena Williams would rank among men."
When interviewers continually prod people to say apparently controversial things just to kick up a shitstorm...

John McEnroe says Serena Williams would be 700 on the men’s tour. Is he right? - "Given the speed at which men pick up returns in their game, the velocity and power of their serves and the fact that the men’s side focuses on aces and ace returns, Williams would be facing a wholly different sort of challenge at a men’s event. (The women’s game sees more rallies and volleys.) In addition, the high-speed lateral movement required would specifically test Williams as a player since she’s struggled with injuries below her knees over the last few years. Finally, Williams’ personal game — as is the case with all women’s players — is wrapped around the three-set format of the women’s tour. The men’s game goes to five sets."
Even Salon grudgingly admits that men and women aren't built the same way. Though of course the Jedi mind trick follows

Serena tells Letterman she’d lose to Andy Murray in ‘five or six’ minutes - ""Actually it’s funny, because Andy Murray, he’s been joking about myself and him playing a match. I’m like, ‘Andy, seriously, are you kidding me?’ For me, mens’ tennis and womens’ tennis are completely, almost, two separate sports. If I were to play Andy Murray, I would lose 6-0, 6-0 in five to six minutes, maybe 10 minutes. No, it’s true. It’s a completely different sport. The men are a lot faster and they serve harder, they hit harder, it’s just a different game. I love to play women’s tennis. I only want to play girls, because i don’t want to be embarrassed. I would not do the tour, I would not do Billie Jean [King] any disservice. So Andy, stop it. I’m not going to let you kill me."... The mens’ and womens’ games are different things. It’s always forgotten, but Bobby Riggs was 55 years old when he played Billie Jean King in 1974. And back then, the men’s and women’s game were closer than they are today."
Internalised sexism!

How to... beat both Williams sisters in one afternoon - "It was the 1998 Australian Open and the Williams sisters, Venus and Serena, had seen some of the male players practising. On the basis of what they saw, they were convinced that they could beat a man ranked around 200 in the world and wanted to set up a game. At the time I was ranked 203 so the men's tour manager mentioned the possibility of a challenge to me, thinking that I was the perfect candidate... In the end I won, but neither myself, nor Venus or Serena took the game too seriously - we were just having a bit of fun. Apparently, after the game, Serena and Venus immediately told the press they wanted to challenge a male player again. This time they revised the ranking of the man they wanted to face, to 350 in the world... when I saw Venus a few months later at the French Open she came up to me with a big smile on her face and said, 'You know that thing in Australia - it never happened!'"

HuffPost: White Gay Men Are Not Allowed To Have Racial Dating Preferences
Presumably straight men who refuse to have sex with gay men are being homophobic
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