"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, November 13, 2017

Links - 13th November 2017 (3)

Scott’s suicide reveals tragic side of city’s glitzy scene - "While the chasm between Scott’s marketed life and her actual life came as a shock, she was just one of countless New Yorkers who secretly fake their fabulous lives."... he closer their proximity to wealth and fame, the higher the pressure — recall celebrity photographer Annie Leibovitz, one-time owner of three conjoined West Village townhouses who found herself $24 million in debt in 2009... And the more high-profile the job, the less a model is paid — if she’s paid at all. “It’s a little-known fact that most designers don’t pay models to walk,” Ziff says. “They’ll pay in trade: a tank top, or samples from their last collection. Of course, you can’t pay your rent with a tank top.” To make ends meet, models commonly agree to shoots they’d otherwise never do, Ziff says, or submit to “inappropriate offers.”"

'DC's Legends of Tomorrow' producer admits Muslim character 'Isis' a response to Trump - "The Television Critics Association press tour held this week in Beverly Hills, California, briefly touched on U.S. politics when “Legends of Tomorrow” executive producers Marc Guggenheim and Phil Klemmer discussed the character Isis, who will be played by actress Tala Ashe... Ms. Ashe’s character has nothing to do with the terrorist group ISIS, or Islamic State. The superhero existed for years as a woman who draws power from an Egyptian amulet, although Mr. Guggenheim said the injection of religion into the television version’s origin was inspired by his sister-in-law."
A scantily clad Muslim woman named ISIS who draws power from pagan sources. FAIL!

Food Rest: Why Some Dishes Taste Much Better The Next Day - "Take a deep dish of paprika-spiced lobster mac n' cheese, for instance. Or a pot of braised pork belly in a thick sweet gravy. For one, these dishes are loaded with fats, so the richness of all the flavours hold up well with time. The spices used to lace the sauces also get better over time — strong spices like star anise and cloves might be too overwhelming on the palate the first day the dish is made, but their aroma and taste tends to mellow given some time, thus balancing out the richness of the dish... Often, cheaper cuts of meat such as brisket or tendons are left to simmer in pots of bubbling gravy and slow-cooked for hours to break down their chewy texture. Once cooled, or left in the fridge overnight, the collagen in these cuts breaks down into a gelatinous consistency that absorbs all the flavours of the gravy and infusing it into the meat. And while spices might be king of the food rest game, an exception to the rule is chilli, best eaten fresh. Over time, the heat dulls and tapers off, leaving behind a mere shadow of its former self. Even grilled steaks benefit from food rest, though the temptation to sink your teeth into fresh meat is hard to resist. Celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay himself is a big believer in letting a seared steak cool for a good few minutes before slicing it open and revealing tender pink slices of meat"

Singapore’s Very Own Soy Sauce Makers Tell Tales Of Survival - "For most companies, the idea of scaling up and hitting the global stage is an opportunity too good to miss. But not for Simon Woo, second generation owner of Kwong Woh Hing Sauce Factory, a 70-year-old Singaporean soy sauce brand with a factory located in the industrial estate of Defu Lane... High quality soy sauce takes time, at least a year in fact, to ferment. His fear? Generating such volume might jeopardise quality, unthinkable for the business which even precedes Singapore’s independence."

The people who challenged my atheism most weren't priests, but homeless addicts and prostitutes | Chris Arnade - "They have their faith because what they believe in doesn't judge them. Who am I to tell them that what they believe is irrational? Who am I to tell them the one thing that gives them hope and allows them to find some beauty in an awful world is inconsistent? I cannot tell them that there is nothing beyond this physical life. It would be cruel and pointless"
Basically the Noble Lie

The Effect of Court-Ordered Hiring Quotas on the Composition and Quality of Police - "My best estimate of the effect of court-ordered affirmative action on workforce composition is a 14 percentage point gain in the fraction African American among newly hired officers. Evidence on police performance is mixed. Despite substantial black-white test score differences on police department entrance examinations, city crime rates appear unaffected by litigation. However, litigation lowers slightly both arrests per crime and the fraction black among serious arrestees"

FYI: Do Men Really Fall Apart When A Female Soldier Gets Killed? - "There are no empirical studies that can substantiate the linkage between one's belief system overriding one's military training"

Gender and Depression - "more people were likely to identify depression in the scenario featuring Kate than the one featuring Jack—even though the only difference in the two scenarios was gender... Citation: Swami V (2012) Mental Health Literacy of Depression: Gender Differences and Attitudinal Antecedents in a Representative British Sample. PLoS ONE 7(11): e49779. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0049779"
In other words people are more likely to think women are depressed than men

More than a body: mind perception and the nature of objectification. - "According to models of objectification, viewing someone as a body induces de-mentalization, stripping away their psychological traits. Here evidence is presented for an alternative account, where a body focus does not diminish the attribution of all mental capacities but, instead, leads perceivers to infer a different kind of mind. Drawing on the distinction in mind perception between agency and experience, it is found that focusing on someone's body reduces perceptions of agency (self-control and action) but increases perceptions of experience (emotion and sensation). These effects were found when comparing targets represented by both revealing versus nonrevealing pictures (Experiments 1, 3, and 4) or by simply directing attention toward physical characteristics (Experiment 2). The effect of a body focus on mind perception also influenced moral intuitions, with those represented as a body seen to be less morally responsible (i.e., lesser moral agents) but more sensitive to harm (i.e., greater moral patients; Experiments 5 and 6). These effects suggest that a body focus does not cause objectification per se but, instead, leads to a redistribution of perceived mind."
This questions the alleged harm of objectification

Transgender children: what’s behind the spike in numbers? - "Adelaide-based psychiatrist Dr Rob Lyons, who also reports a dramatic rise in patient referrals, is more circumspect. “Obviously there’s a combination of factors; there is increasing acceptance, high-profile transgender adults are coming out, we now have a word for it and treatments available, there have been social changes in child-rearing, but we just don’t know for sure. My suspicion is that something else is happening but there is strong political pressure from the transgender community not to find out.”"

Gender differences in the locus of control construct - "This article presents a synthesis of research in the last two decades that has explored the relationship of gender to locus of control measures. In the main, this nsearch suggests that both males and females are becoming more external. Females, however, tend to be more external than males on most locus of control measures."
Apparently there are mixed results on this

Jordan B Peterson's answer to What is more beneficial in all aspects of life; a high EQ or IQ? This question is based on the assumption that only your EQ or IQ is high with the other being average or below this average. - Quora - "There is no such thing as EQ. Let me repeat that: "There is NO SUCH THING AS EQ." The idea was popularized by a journalist, Daniel Goleman, not a psychologist. You can't just invent a trait. You have to define it and measure it and distinguish it from other traits and use it to predict the important ways that people vary. EQ is not a psychometrically valid concept... Scientifically, it's a fraudulent concept, a fad, a convenient band-wagon, a corporate marketing scheme... IQ is a different story. It is the most well-validated concept in the social sciences, bar none. It is an excellent predictor of academic performance, creativity, ability to abstract, processing speed, learning ability and general life success... It should also be noted that IQ is five or more times as powerful a predictor as even good personality trait predictors such as conscientiousness. The true relationship between grades, for example, and IQ might be as high as r = .50 or even .60 (accounting for 25-36% of the variance in grades). Conscientiousness, however, probably tops out at around r = .30, and is more typically reported as r = .25 (say, 5 to 9% of the variance in grades). There is nothing that will provide you with a bigger advantage in life than a high IQ. Nothing. To repeat it: NOTHING. In fact, if you could choose to be born at the 95th percentile for wealth, or the 95th percentile for IQ, you would be more successful at age 40 as a consequence of the latter choice... IQ is king. This is why academic psychologists almost never measure it. If you measure it along with your putatively "new" measure, IQ will kill your ambitions. For the career minded, this is a no go zone. So people prefer to talk about multiple intelligences and EQ, and all these things that do not exist. PERIOD... By the way, there is also no such thing as "grit," despite what Angela Duckworth says. Grit is conscientiousness, plain and simple (although probably more the industrious side than the orderly side). All Duckworth and her compatriots did was fail to notice that they had re-invented a very well documented phenomena, that already had a name (and, when they did notice it, failed to produce the appropriate mea culpas. Not one of psychology's brighter moments)"
Comment: "while hard work and brilliance clearly beats hard work, hard work is still a profoundly useful force. I have had a number of clients who were smart, but unconscientious. They’re known colloquially as “underachievers.” It’s not a destiny to be covetous of. Not only does the intelligence fail to manifest itself, but it becomes acutely aware of its failure. That leads to nihilism or to self-hatred. So if you genuinely have an average IQ (as 94 is in clearly in the average range), you can increase your life outcome through hard work by an amount equivalent to 15 IQ points. That’s about the average consequence of being a second generation immigrant North American Asian child — and they work very hard (this Asian advantage through hard work and conscientiousness disappears in North America once thorough integration occurs. I am not being cynical about this, either — I think the relative looseness of North American society may allow for more creativity)"

Final Report: Stapel Affair Points to Bigger Problems in Social Psychology - "three investigative panels today collectively find fault with the field itself. They paint an image of a "sloppy" research culture in which some scientists don't understand the essentials of statistics, journal-selected article reviewers encourage researchers to leave unwelcome data out of their papers, and even the most prestigious journals print results that are obviously too good to be true... That climate made it possible for Stapel's fraud to go undetected for many years, the report says"

Bible Codes debunked in Statistical Science - "The only paper published in a refereed scientific journal that claims to find evidence for the reality of the Bible Codes is the paper Equidistant Letter Sequences in the Book of Genesis, by Doron Witztum, Eliyahu Rips, and Yoav Rosenberg (WRR), Statistical Science, Vol. 9 (1994) 429-438. We are now happy to announce that, after review by four senior statisticians chosen by the journal, Statistical Science has published a thorough rebuttal: Vol. 14 (1999) 150-173. The new paper is Solving the Bible Code Puzzle, by Brendan McKay, Dror Bar-Natan, Maya Bar-Hillel, and Gil Kalai."

Only 6 in 10 F&B businesses last beyond 5 years: study - "almost half the 369 cafes, coffee houses and snack bars registered in 2011 have since closed down. A study has also found that the average business runs at an annual loss of 8 per cent, and it takes an average of 2 1/2 years to recoup one's initial investment... The study found a positive relationship between the age of a business and its productivity level. F&B businesses less than a year old have on average a value-added (that is, total profits and labour costs) of about S$6,700 per worker; businesses that have been operating for more than 20 years have an average value-added exceeding S$17,000 per worker... Smaller F&B businesses that were successful tended to maximise the profitability of their menus by dropping the items that were performing poorly or which yielded low profit margins. The design and presentation of the menus were found to be a factor in drawing customers' attention as well. Also key to the success of the business was how sound bookkeeping practices were, and whether vendors were regularly assessed."

Recreation and Amusement Association - Wikipedia - "The Recreation and Amusement Association (特殊慰安施設協会 Tokushu Ian Shisetsu Kyōkai (Special Comfort Facility Association) (RAA) was the largest of the organizations established by Occupied Japan to provide organized prostitution to prevent rapes and sexual violence by American troops, and to create other leisure facilities for occupying Allied troops immediately following World War II. The RAA "recruited" 55,000 women and was short-lived, lasting just over four months until January 1946."
In the light of how the Japanese got Japanese comfort women for American soldiers, their having comfort women during World War II takes on a different light

How a vote in Venice could change the face of Italy - "“People ask how we can abandon the poorer regions for the south, but we see this as a stabilizing measure on an Italian bureaucracy that is out of control,” he said. “What Italy needs is real rationalization, but this will never happen as long as regions like Veneto are bailing it out. “Carrying on would be no different than giving heroine to a drug addict who doesn’t want to end his addiction.”"

Muslim convert who held up 'hug trust' sign now faces jail over MP bomb threat - "Craig Wallace, also known as Muhammad Mujahid Islam, used a sign as Stop the War protestors came to Westminster for the vote on British airstrikes in war-ravaged Syria. It read: "I am Muslim, I am labelled a terrorist, I trust you, do you trust me enough for a hug?" But Wallace, 23, could be now facing up to six months in jail after he trolled MP Charlotte Leslie on Facebook saying he would "drop a bomb on her house". He threatened to find Ms Leslie and "show her what it's like to murder innocents, you dirty pig f*****g whore.""

Frontex chief: 42% of rejected asylum seekers are deported from the EU - "Less than half of migrants whose asylum applications have been rejected are deported, according to new statistics from EU border agency Frontex"

EU mulls 'migrant' terminal at Kabul airport - "The EU and Afghanistan are looking into creating a new terminal at Kabul's airport designed specifically for migrants rejected by EU states."

The end of corruption? - "Why is cousin marriage bad? Because large interrelated clans can create sets of societies within societies. Here’s a Bedouin proverb: “I against my brother, my brothers and I against my cousins, then my cousins and I against strangers” Like polygyny hyper-endogamy as a normative practice is corrosive to the institutional and civic skeleton which a liberal democracies rest upon. Remember, these are societies where you don’t need to look outside the family for friends or marriage partners. The incentive for nepotism and corruption becomes very strong, and every extended family unit is operationally a “firm,” analogous to the mafia."

Understanding Genetics: Relatedness - "Men and women are actually a bit more similar as the Y chromosome has about 5% of its DNA sequences in common with the X chromosome. This would change the number to 98.4% the same. If the 98.7% number for chimp-human similarity is right, then by this measure, men and women are less alike than are female chimps and women. (More recent data suggests that chimps may be 95% instead of 98.7% the same, but this is still up in the air.)"
Putting the "race does not exist because we share most of our genes" claim into perspective. We also share half of our genes with a banana

Game of Thrones Season 7: The Night's Watch capes are actually IKEA rugs - "The rugs were cut, shaved, dyed, and then subjected to the rigorous breakdown process that makes the costumes on Game of Thrones look as worn-in as real medieval clothes, she said."
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