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More adventurous than the average bear

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Tuesday, October 03, 2017

Links - 3rd October 2017 (1)

King Solomon's legendary fabulous wealth in hidden gold mines never existed, says historian - "Historians claim the Old Testament King’s story has been misinterpreted and King Solomon was in fact an Egyptian Pharaoh"

Journalists drink too much, are bad at managing emotions, and operate at a lower level than average, according to a new study

CA Educator: Algebra Is a 'Civil Rights' Issue. Get Rid Of It. - "a chancellor of the California community college system argued that since it may be too difficult for students, algebra, the single most failed course in community colleges across the country, should be eliminated from their requirements"

Ex-Hwa Chong scholar bounces back from retrenchment and learns humility - "At 36 years old, he was already earning $20,000 a month as an expatriate in Hong Kong. But two years later, Eugene Seah was retrenched from his investor relations job with Nomura, a top Japanese bank, in 2014. His world came crashing down. Until his retrenchment, he was leading the high life... reality hit him hard when he realised he couldn’t pay his credit card bill one day. He had remained jobless for nine months despite intensive job search after his return to Singapore. “I cried a few times… how could this happen to me? I was so successful in my studies and CCAs. I was the HCJC students’ council President for goodness sake,” he recalled his ordeal."

Public Service Announcement: You Should Not Force Quit Apps on iOS - "Not only does force quitting your apps not help, it actually hurts. Your battery life will be worse and it will take much longer to switch apps if you force quit apps in the background."

Teacher who allegedly took upskirt video of female commuter on train has "habit" of "leaving his handphone on the surface of his bag", says ex-colleague - "Ms Naidu, who knows Chua for five years, said he has a “habit” of “leaving his handphone on the surface of his bag at our home or when we are walking together in places where there are absolutely no people around.” “It’s a “habit” not a perverted purposeful act like what the Internet and viral video claims of him,” she said. She added that she has photos showing Chua “carrying the same bag and putting his stuff just on the surface of his bag”."

John Boyega criticises Game Of Thrones for having ‘no black people’ - "There are no black people in Game Of Thrones. You don’t see one black person in Lord Of The Rings. I ain’t paying money to always see one type of person on-screen
Some SJWs are saying that even though this was inspired by Medieval Europe, since you have dragons (i.e. it's a fictional universe) you should have black people. But then why do we expect a fictional universe to have the same racial diversity as a 21st century developed country on Earth?
They should have a perfect world with peace and happy people and no winter in Game of Thrones because it's fiction so you can write anything you like
Game of Thrones should have cast Jon Snow as a black guy. Then everyone would have known he wasn't Ned's son
I guess Grey Worm, Missandrei, Salladhor Saan, Xaro Xhoan Daxos etc don't count
Comment somewhere: "I'm willing to bet if the Lannisters were a black family there will be a different set of complaints about how black people are portrayed"

Duskirises Cinnacom & Rosslynpaladin Throwtime Throwtime I'm About to Have a Fun Afternoon So My Trainer's Bf Cheated on Her She Broke Up With Him He's Holding Her Stuff Hostage Until She Agrees to Talk With Him Which She Refuses - "I love this whole story"
I saw many many people cheering this (especially shared as A Thrilling Tale (That Font Is Terrible!) | WannaLOL, but basically they broke into his home, stole stuff and messed up his things. I hope he called the police.
If the genders had been reversed people would be doxxing him and sending him death threats.

He Said, She Said - "I have spent more than three decades collecting and analyzing thousands of examples of how women and men interact and have found that men's talk tends to focus on hierarchy—competition for relative power—whereas women's tends to focus on connection—relative closeness or distance. In other words, a man and woman might walk away from the same conversation asking different questions: he might wonder, “Did that conversation put me in a one-up or one-down position?” whereas she might wonder, “Did it bring us closer or push us farther apart?”... Parents tell me that recognizing these as gender-related patterns in their children helps them deal with otherwise baffling behavior... The contrasting focus on connection versus hierarchy also sheds light on innumerable adult conversations—and frustrations. Say a woman tells another about a personal problem and hears in response, “I know how you feel” or “the same thing happens to me.” The resulting “troubles talk” reinforces the connection between them. (Indeed, some women feel they have to dig up problems to tell friends to maintain intimacy.) Because this is not a conversational ritual he is used to, a man may well misread her conversational gambit as a request for help solving the problem. The result is mutual frustration: she blames him for telling her what to do and failing to provide the expected comfort, whereas he thinks he did exactly what she requested and cannot fathom why she would keep talking about a problem if she does not want to do anything about it. Similar scenarios play out at work, where mutual misinterpretations may have career-altering consequences... Which takes us back to the woman and man in the car who have different assumptions about asking directions. From her point of view, asking directions means making a fleeting connection to a stranger and getting where you are going without losing anything. From his perspective, he would be putting himself in a one-down position to a stranger—an uncomfortable experience. He might even believe the effort is counterproductive because a stranger who does not know the way will be similarly motivated by a reluctance to appear one-down and send them on a wild-goose chase. For both reasons, it makes sense to avoid this discomfort and spend 10 minutes—or 20 or 30—finding the way on his own."

Democracy or Republic? - Foundation for Economic Education - Working for a free and prosperous world - "Thus we have been transformed into a democracy. The most dangerous and insidious effect of majority rule is that it confers an aura of legitimacy, decency, and respectability on acts that would otherwise be deemed tyrannical. Liberty and democracy are not synonymous and could actually be opposites. If we have become a democracy, I guarantee you that the Founders would be deeply disappointed by our betrayal of their vision. They intended, and laid out the ground rules for, a limited republican form of government that saw the protections of personal liberties as its primary function."
It's quite funny how some Americans (who always seem to come from the Right Wing) have contempt for Democracy and proclaim that luckily the US is a Republic. For some reason they conflate Democracy and Mob Rule

An Overreaction to Food Allergies - "a diagnosis of allergies comes with a high price: a few years ago Ruchi S. Gupta, a pediatric allergist affiliated with the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, estimated the annual cost of food allergy at nearly $25 billion, or roughly $4,184 per child, with some of that attributed to medical costs but even more to a decline in parents' work productivity. There is a mental health price as well: children who believe they have a food allergy tend to report higher levels of stress and anxiety, as do their parents"

A Student Felt ‘Traumatized’ Because His Professors Did Not Silence Everyone He Disagreed With - "Fisher went on to accuse one of his professors of "perpetuating these systems of oppression in class." Why? The professor showed images of plantation slaves, and also permitted other students to "say ignorant comments." Fisher evidently told the professor that this wasn't OK—the professor had an obligation to silence other students in order to protect Fisher from mental anguish. The professor tried to console Fisher, but to no avail. As a result, Fisher stopped going to class. "I stopped going to his class for a month," he wrote. "With different emotions going through my head from not only this class but from the Trump election, I did not want to step foot into another white space until I made sure that my mental health was restored." Readers might find it incredible that a college student could remain a college student even after he stopped attending class for a month because he was offended by some of his peers. But the professor's flexibility wasn't sufficient for Fisher. "It is not enough that you gave your black students extensions on their papers because Trump got elected," he wrote. Nothing is enough, it seems..The College Fix reached out to Fisher for comment, asking him to elaborate on how he felt. Fisher evidently bristled at the suggestion that the answer wasn't obvious. "I get that you're always searching for us [minority students] to get the answer," he told The College Fix, "when all you have to really do is just shut up and listen." That's a frustrating non-answer: The College Fix was listening. People like me who read Fisher's column were listening. But no useful answer came. This of course makes it harder to take complaints bout marginalization and emotional trauma seriously. When students claim victim status, it often comes across like this is the goal in and of itself, rather than the means to some end."

From peanuts to shellfish... Why are so many adults suddenly getting allergies? - "animal studies have shown that regular exposure to such bacteria can reverse eczema, for instance. 'There are also trials running with various parasitic worms as treatments for allergies, because these are also involved in regulating the immune system,' explains Professor Rook. 'Again, these have been progressively depleted from humans in rich countries.' High use of antibiotics in children may also increase the risk of allergy later in life... A lack of vitamin D as a result of our paranoia about skin cancer could be to blame"

No need to be draconian over allergen sensitivity - "Peanuts are a common allergen in Western populations, including those born to Asian parents residing in the West. But the sensitivity to them is far rarer in Asians born and bred in the East. Asians are more likely to be allergic to seafood, fruits like apples, peaches, kiwis and strawberries, honey, chocolate, perfumes and a whole plethora of natural foods... those allowed on planes and, indeed, on any long-distance public transportation modes, should be unwashed, unperfumed and unshod. They also should not be served any food, if one is to be logical and draconian about allergen sensitivity... Many doctors do not see a single case of anaphylaxis during the entire tenure of their practice."

Justin Bieber banned from China in order to 'purify' nation - "Bieber joins fellow music acts including Oasis and Lady Gaga in being banned from touring in the country for being "unsuitable"."

Germany: Infectious Diseases Spreading as Migrants Settle In - "A new report by the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), the federal government's central institution for monitoring and preventing diseases, confirms an across-the-board increase in disease since 2015, when Germany took in an unprecedented number of migrants."

Is it real or Photoshop? People are bad at spotting fake photos - "even when participants correctly said that a photo was fake, they had trouble pointing out exactly what they thought was wrong with the image"

Genetics and intelligence differences: five special findings - "Intelligence is a core construct in differential psychology and behavioural genetics, and should be so in cognitive neuroscience. It is one of the best predictors of important life outcomes such as education, occupation, mental and physical health and illness, and mortality. Intelligence is one of the most heritable behavioural traits. Here, we highlight five genetic findings that are special to intelligence differences and that have important implications for its genetic architecture and for gene-hunting expeditions. (i) The heritability of intelligence increases from about 20% in infancy to perhaps 80% in later adulthood. (ii) Intelligence captures genetic effects on diverse cognitive and learning abilities, which correlate phenotypically about 0.30 on average but correlate genetically about 0.60 or higher. (iii) Assortative mating is greater for intelligence (spouse correlations ~0.40) than for other behavioural traits such as personality and psychopathology (~0.10) or physical traits such as height and weight (~0.20). Assortative mating pumps additive genetic variance into the population every generation, contributing to the high narrow heritability (additive genetic variance) of intelligence. (iv) Unlike psychiatric disorders, intelligence is normally distributed with a positive end of exceptional performance that is a model for ‘positive genetics'. (v) Intelligence is associated with education and social class and broadens the causal perspectives on how these three inter-correlated variables contribute to social mobility, and health, illness and mortality differences. These five findings arose primarily from twin studies. They are being confirmed by the first new quantitative genetic technique in a century—Genome-wide Complex Trait Analysis (GCTA)—which estimates genetic influence using genome-wide genotypes in large samples of unrelated individuals. Comparing GCTA results to the results of twin studies reveals important insights into the genetic architecture of intelligence that are relevant to attempts to narrow the ‘missing heritability' gap."
In other words, much of what many people believe about intelligence (that it mostly/totally depends on nurture, not nature, that it doesn't predict outcomes etc) is wrong
So much for IQ being rubbish and a social construct, and the only thing an IQ test predicts/measures is how well you do on an IQ test

Corrigendum to “RF fingerprint measurements for the identification of devices in wireless communication networks based on feature reduction and subspace transformation” [Measurement 58 (2014) 468–475] - "The Prof. JM Górriz and Prof. J. Ramírez regret to have missed to add the below note in their article
Note: Prof. Juan M. Górriz and Prof. Javier Ramírez do not share this view about using research outcomes as a protest against any democratic government.
The authors would like to apologize for any inconvenience caused."
In originl paper: "This work has been carried out despite the economical
difficulties of the authors’ country. The authors want to overall remark the clear contribution of the Spanish Government in destroying the R&D horizon of Spain and the future of a complete generation."

Allergies and food intolerances on flights – how do airlines react? - "A ban on food allergens isn’t the solution, says Holly Shaw, a nurse adviser at the charity Allergy UK, as it “creates a complacent society where people assume they are safe. Flying with an allergy is all about individual risk assessment, taking responsibility for your own safety and communicating with airlines at all stages.”"

some final thoughts on Oxley - "If Singapore ever faces a serious corruption problem at the top, we now know there are many Singaporeans who won’t bother. A corrupt leader may simply be able to waltz off with the family jewels. Think about it. The prime minister’s own siblings had accused him of abuse of power. Instead of simply being curious about the incident, never mind calling for an investigation, many Singaporeans shot the messengers—please don’t air your dirty laundry in public. Worse, there were suggestions that Singaporeans shouldn’t talk about this because it damages our country’s reputation. People were more concerned about face than abuse of power. Let’s just sweep everything under the carpet, now. That’s the mature way to deal with problems... Sarojini Naidu, a poet and political activist, once joked that it cost India a fortune to keep Gandhi in poverty. She was referring to, among other things, the fact that while he travelled in third-class in his homespun dhotis, lots of money had to be spent on buying up tickets to clear up the cabin and ensure his security... In almost every aspect of this case, from the ministerial committee, to the narrative that the government has tried to sell (“LKY did actually contemplate something else”), one observes a leadership unsure how to balance these competing impulses, forced on the back foot by accusations that LKY would have easily dealt with. All this is despite the fact that since GE2015 the government has become more centralised and repressive, according to most observers, journalists and civil society folk."

Crocodile returns with body of a dead man it killed - after it was summoned by a WITCH DOCTOR - "He added there was a local myth that anyone bathing with clothes on in the river would be fine - but bathing naked would result in a crocodile attack"

Punk rock vs the PC police - "Punk music and its performers have historically dissented from orthodoxies, often causing offence in the process. Basing itself on anti-authoritarianism, punk sought to react against hegemonic structures and to strike out for freedom and autonomy. It wasn’t just a sound, it was an attitude. But today its progressive, dangerous essence has all but vanished. It has become the latest target of the PC crackdown on artistic freedom"
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