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More adventurous than the average bear

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Monday, February 19, 2018

Links - 19th February 2018 (1)

How head chef Chomel Yang became a restaurant owner by age 25 - "Serving at S$95++ per person, the restaurant serves to provide “good quality food” at a “decent price,” as Yang hopes that people along the streets will be able to say “ ‘Oh, I can afford [to eat here].”"

The Associated Press and the Pronoun Wars - "As one overexcited activist argued in Slate in 2014: “With infant gender assignment, in a single moment your baby’s life is instantly and brutally reduced from . . . infinite potentials down to one concrete set of expectations and stereotypes.” If the movement has its way, asking “boy or girl?” would become as unacceptable as smoking—or maybe even legally proscribed... Instead of the expressions “sex change” or “transition,” writers are to use “gender confirmation.” This was a deep kowtow to the transgender movement, which believes that physicians don’t alter anything essential or fundamental when they perform a sex-change operation: Caitlyn Jenner was always Caitlyn Jenner. The operation merely confirmed this ontological fact... The editors are using the AP’s style authority to declare the transgender debate over. News articles on the transgender question—still the subject of heated scientific and political debate—will now reflect the assumptions and ideological preferences of one side... As for respecting individuals, surely there are ways to do that without violating journalism’s core truth-seeking function. To suggest that Jenner was never “born” male is absurd and illogical... Such language games will only discredit the media and underscore the Orwellian aspect of the transgender movement."
"Caitlyn Jenner was Caitlyn Jenner: Caitlyn Jenner had always been Caitlyn Jenner. A large part of the sports literature of four decades was now completely obsolete"

China's bike rental firms are actually secret cash cows - "Compare the combined US$4.8 billion of deposit money with the US$2.3 billion CB Insights estimates the duo have raised through outside funding and you realise that in reality, the unwitting venture capitalists in all of this are actually China's millions of bike riders. With only 7 million bikes but 100 million users, Mobikeholds 4,200 yuan cash per bike. Ofo's numbers aren't anywhere near as favourable. In theory, such funds are like callable deposits, but in reality, the process is a little more cumbersome — most users won't bother asking for their money back because they plan to keep renting bikes. Executives from both rental companies have said publicly that this cash isn't being used to buy extra bikes or fund operations. I have no way of fact-checking such an assertion, but assuming that it's true, this would be the smartest move possible. Instead of frittering away 32 billion yuan on unprofitable assets such as bicycles, the companies can easily funnel those funds into money markets and other investments that earn around 4 per cent annually"

Singapore is making cashless payments a key to its Smart Nation, and this is a mistake - "Pushing for mobile payments simply because it works in China is not only pointless, I would argue that it is a misguided allocation of resources that more directly benefits the wealthy in society and actively harms the poor."

Detroit's Black Firefighters Back White Recruit Fired over 'Racially Insensitive' Watermelon - "A group of black firefighters from Detroit are backing their white colleague after he was fired on his first day for bringing a “racially insensitive” watermelon to work... a number of black firefighters from the same department reacted to the incident with a big show of support for Pattinson, describing him as an “amazing dude” who had “good intentions.”"
And some people still claim political correctness is just about not being an asshole to others

Colonel suspended for not thanking homosexual serviceman’s ‘spouse’ - "God and Country pointed out official military policy. “The Department of Defense explicitly — and repeatedly — said no one would have to change their views on homosexuality nor violate their religious beliefs merely because homosexuals were allowed to serve,” the military watchdog blogged... First Liberty’s demand letter notes that “there is no legal right to a spouse certificate of appreciation” (emphasis in original). Rather, a thank you document “may be issued,” according to the official Air Force Service Requirements (36-3203). Furthermore, there is no requirement that the commander sign the certificate, so it’s not a legal entitlement."

How flying seriously messes with your mind - "15% of men and 6% of women said they were more likely to cry when watching a film on a flight than they would if seeing it at home. One major airline has gone as far as issuing “emotional health warnings” before inflight entertainment that might upset its customers."

Hollywood Confronts a Copyright Argument With Potential for Mass Disruption - "At this stage of the dispute, the studios can't dispute the truth of the allegations — not only did they use stolen technology, they did so knowingly. But Disney, Fox and Paramount ask, so what? Whatever shows up onscreen is primarily the product of human input, namely film direction and an actor's performance. The technology company simply can't own the output. "Indeed, if Rearden’s authorship-ownership theory were law, then Adobe or Microsoft would be deemed to be the author-owner of whatever expressive works the users of Photoshop or Word generate by using those programs," wrote Kelly Klaus, attorney for the defendants, who also nodded to an 1884 Supreme Court opinion, Burrow-Giles Lithographic Co. v. Sarony."

Jimmy Carter interview: Five memorable lines - CNNPolitics - "2. Players should 'stand during the American anthem'
3. Obama didn't live up to his 'wonderful statements'
4. 'I think the media have been harder on Trump'"

25 years later, Star Control 2 is getting a direct sequel - "Sins of a Solar Empire developer Stardock announced it had acquired the rights to Star Control from publisher Atari in order to create Star Control: Origins, a reboot of the space strategy series. Origins, which was recently delayed, is a prequel being made without the input of Star Control series creators Fred Ford and Paul Reiche III. Today, Ford and Reiche made it clear why: they were waiting for the right time to make a sequel of their own, and evidently that time is now."

21 Epic Pictures From The "Star Wars: Episode I" Premiere In 1999

Man Who Attacked Kissing Couple in Rome Was Actually From Mali, Not Malaysia - "Feeling insulted by their public display of affection, he then reportedly told the couple, “You cannot kiss in front of the mosque”. He then proceeded to push the woman and kicked her male partner!"

Why Cis Female Drag Queens Are A Form Of Cultural Appropriation - "One recent event I found out about was that of cis women dressing in “drag” by wearing dresses and excessive makeup while identifying as drag queens. They sum it up as a form of experimenting with “extreme femininity”. I was confused as to why cis women would choose to identify as drag queens when all they are doing is putting on dresses and makeup, which is something within their gender norm. I discussed this odd occurrence with some non-binary individuals and one of them quickly pointed out that this can even be considered homophobic"

Why You Can Focus in a Coffee Shop but Not in Your Open Office - "we know that workers’ primary problem with open or cubicle-filled offices is the unwanted noise. But new research shows that it may not be the sound itself that distracts us…it may be who is making it. In fact, some level of office banter in the background might actually benefit our ability to do creative tasks, provided we don’t get drawn into the conversation. Instead of total silence, the ideal work environment for creative work has a little bit of background noise. That’s why you might focus really well in a noisy coffee shop, but barely be able to concentrate in a noisy office... face-to-face interactions, conversations, and other disruptions negatively affect the creative process. By contrast, a coworking space or a coffee shop provides a certain level of ambient noise while also providing freedom from interruptions."

Rapes, sexual assaults by migrants increase dramatically in Germany and Sweden - "A German Twitter account, @XYEinzelfall (“individual cases”), has created a Google map to track police reports of crimes allegedly committed by migrants across the region. “Cologne was just the tip of the iceberg,” the page says. “Cologne is every day.”... The release of BKA’s report followed allegations by a number of women’s rights groups in Germany that a “culture of rape and violence” was developing in migrant centres, with many assaults going unreported to the police. After the Cologne attacks, which German authorities and media initially attempted to cover up, Justice Minister Heiko Maas described the incident as a “completely new dimension of organised criminality”... a poll conducted by Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet found nearly half of all women in the country are now scared to exercise alone at night."
If women are afraid of men, this shows men are sexist and need to improve themselves.
If women are afraid of migrant men, this shows women are racist and need to improve themselves.

All-girl, bikini-clad 'Groping Guards' vigilantes who patrol pools in Kalmar, Sweden - "Siri, 24, an assistant nurse, is one quarter of the ‘Groping Guards’ – an all-girl, bikini-clad vigilante group who monitor the swimming baths around Kalmar, Sweden, to stop women from being molested by young migrant men. Speaking exclusively to MailOnline, Siri revealed: 'Loads of women write to us and say that they have been groped by young men... groups of men 'formed rings around the girls and started molesting them'. 'They grabbed their breasts and genitals,' he told MailOnline. 'In some cases they tried to drag girls into a waiting car, but luckily those girls escaped'... Across Europe the number of women being attacked in swimming pools are increasing... In response to the attacks, copycat ‘Groping Guards’ are patrolling swimming baths in at least four towns - including Stockholm. Siri's friend and fellow guard Ella Sjoberg, 28, revealed: ‘When I was 16 and went to the swimming pool, you could see creepy old men staring. 'But for a 16-year-old girl today it is different. They are attacked by groups of boys. They charge them into corners which is totally disrespectful and must terrify them. 'Everyone knows that these attacks started after a lot of immigrants came to Sweden and everyone knows who the perpetrators are, but we can't really talk about the problem here in Sweden.' 'Integration is the most important issue we have to deal with in Sweden. But no one is talking about it. 'How will anyone be able to solve any problems if they are not discussed?' But the Groping Guards are not welcomed by everyone in Kalmar – and the swimming pool manager has objected to their presence, claiming they make people feel unsafe, and that the number of swimmers has dropped since they started patrols."

Oh My: Bernie Sanders Thinks Bread Lines Are a Good Thing - "Bernie Sanders promoted bread lines as a sign of a healthy, fair economy... 'the typical person in the bottom 5 percent of the American income distribution is still richer than 68 percent of the world’s inhabitants'"

Rolling stock to laughing stock: Why is Singapore’s metro struggling, when Hong Kong’s is a hit? - "The public scolding that Singapore’s public transport tsars handed down this week to a handful of rail maintenance workers over a large-scale breakdown is raising questions about where the buck stops in the management of the Lion City’s metro network, as rival Asian metropolises like Hong Kong and Taiwan pull ahead with superior train reliability... Singapore’s MRT network, once touted as one of Asia’s best, has been dogged by major breakdowns and delays in recent years... Last year, trains in Singapore travelled an average 174,000km before encountering delays of more than five minutes, compared to around 360,000km in Hong Kong, and around 800,000 in Taipei – seen as the global gold standard... “Perception of the ‘passing of the buck’ did not sit well – it was like the maintenance team was thrown under the train by their own management”"

Angry groom publicly shames bride by playing video of her cheating with another man at wedding dinner - "Guests at a traditional Chinese wedding dinner were watching a lovely montage of their relationship, before the tape was cut to reveal incriminating footage of the bride entering a hotel room with another man, with whom she was captured behaving intimately. It turns out that the groom, a local businessman, had wanted to publicly shame his wife at their wedding dinner after a private investigator he had hired to tail her captured evidence of his bride’s cheating."

Ikea removes picture of boy from store after Hitler comparisons - "Shoppers in Cardiff complained after seeing the image of a young boy with his finger held sideways across his top lip. Stevie Davies-Evans said he was left outraged by the picture, which appeared to show the boy pretending he had a moustache."

Paris Is Now Banning All Pre-1997 Cars - "these types of blanket policies still manage to anger residents. As with a similar ban in Mexico City, some people are outraged that older cars are targeted as they’re usually owned by the city’s poorest residents, who rely on those vehicles for their jobs."

Muslim workers at Paris airport sue after sacked for refusing to shave beards - "Securitas denies any discrimination, and argues that the ex-employees simply refused to adhere to company rules stating that facial hair needed to be kept short and well-groomed. The tribunal hearing is likely to be dominated by arguments over what length of a beard is "acceptable" and whether a beard can be considered a religious symbol."

Seventy Paris airport workers have security passes revoked over extremism fears - "dozens of airport staff had their security passes revoked after the terror attacks on Charlie Hebdo magazine in Paris in January, but others continued to work despite being on an intelligence watchlist as potential Islamist extremists. There has also been concern about radicalism among bus, metro and rail employees in the Paris region. Samy Amimour, one of the attackers who blew himself up in the Bataclan rock venue in Paris, had worked as a bus driver despite being on an intelligence watchlist"
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