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More adventurous than the average bear

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Tuesday, March 06, 2018

Links - 6th March 2018 (1)

"Finland breakfast" sounds like what everyone needs this morning

Student 'forced to leave' university after saying extremist Islamic groups kill LGBTI people - "Alfred MacDonald left University of Texas at San Antonio after feeling ‘difficult to stay motivated’. He had made the comments during an out-of-class conversation with another graduate student. They had been discussing the ‘religious leanings of philosophy professors.’ He pointed out that in some Muslim countries, he could be executed for being bisexual. A few days after the conversation, he was called in for a meeting with Dr Eve Browning. She is the Chair of the Department of Philosophy and Classics at the University of Texas at San Antonio. MacDonald studied here at the time."

PSYCHOANALYSIS Q-and-A: Steven Pinker - "CRIMSON: Were President Summers’ remarks within the pale of legitimate academic discourse?
PINKER: Good grief, shouldn’t everything be within the pale of legitimate academic discourse, as long as it is presented with some degree of rigor? That’s the difference between a university and a madrassa.
CRIMSON: Would it be normal to hear a similar set of hypotheses presented and considered at a conference of psychologists?
PINKER: Some psychologists are still offended by such hypotheses, but yes, they could certainly be considered at most major conferences in scientific psychology... the truth cannot be offensive. Perhaps the hypothesis is wrong, but how would we ever find out whether it is wrong if it is “offensive” even to consider it? People who storm out of a meeting at the mention of a hypothesis, or declare it taboo or offensive without providing arguments or evidence, don’t get the concept of a university or free inquiry."

NHS pressured our kids to change sex - "Doctors fear being sued after the NHS signed a ‘memorandum of understanding’ banning staff from challenging patients who believe they are born the wrong sex...
‘The universal experience [of the parents] is that whether the child has been diagnosed with autism, depression or ADHD, the therapists are completely discounting any other symptoms’...
Messages promoting being transgender are being shared widely among young people on popular social media sites such as Instagram and Tumblr... Anonymous writers encourage teenagers to harm themselves or even to threaten suicide if their parents refuse to allow them to swap gender. Parents have blamed these messages for sparking a ‘social contagion’, which has resulted in the rapidly increasing numbers of young people identifying as transgender...
Many of the parents are ‘terrified’ to speak out about these views for fear of being accused of transphobia and bombarded with online abuse by ‘trans activists’... ‘I’ve known my child for 15 years and he only saw her for 40 minutes yet he thinks he knows everything about her and is blindly accepting that she wants to be a boy.’ The mother-of-three said the therapist refused to listen to her worries that her daughter had been ‘groomed’ by a gay, male friend. The schoolgirl had been bombarded with hundreds of Instagram messages from the boy accusing her of being ‘ugly’ as a girl, encouraging her to bind her breasts and to start taking testosterone. The therapist dismissed the messages as ‘jokes’ and continued to insist on the child being referred, the mother said"

Transgender charity Mermaids 'told mum to force son to live as girl' - "Mermaids UK has also been criticised for advertising ‘same day’ cross-sex hormone treatments for children – a treatment banned by the NHS, because it causes irreversible changes and can compromise fertility later in life for anyone under 16."

Men should avoid sleeping with women who've drunk alcohol - "If a young man and a young woman are equally drunk, and have sex, if the young man wakes in the morning and says: ‘I really didn’t want that’, little will, or does, happen to the female lying next to him. However, if a female wakes in the morning and says the same thing, she can make an allegation of rape to the police — even if the young man believed she consented to what happened the night before... With drink-driving, we all know if you blow into a breathalyser and are over the 35 micrograms limit, you can be prosecuted. There is no such guidance for consensual sex."

Brown U Free Tampon Program Hits A Snag After Students Accuse Company Of Cultural Appropriation - "A Brown University program designed to provide male and female students with free feminine hygiene products has hit a snag after students complained the tampon company Brown selected was "culturally approriating" from Native Americans... It was not immediately clear whether the University Council of Students had any more important topics to consider."

FACT CHECK: Was a Transgender Woman Convicted for Raping a Young Girl in a Bathroom? - "WHAT'S TRUE: A transgender woman named Michelle Martinez was convicted of sexually assaulting a young daughter of a friend in a bathroom in a private home."
Aka Miguel Martinez

Twitter turns on CNN reporter for 'mocking Donald Trump' - "A CNN political reporter has come under fire for a tweet that appeared to be mocking polio survivor Sen. Mitch McConnell as he held hands with President Trump after a press conference in the Rose Garden."

Female rulers are 27% more likely to wage WAR than males - "over the past 500 years, queens have been more likely to wage war than male rulers – and were more likely to win new territory... In their paper, published in the US National Bureau of Economic Research, the researchers, led by Ms Oeidrilla Dube and Mr S P Harish, wrote: 'A common perspective posits that women are less violent than men, and therefore states led by women will be more peaceful than states led by men.' The researchers believe that the territorial success of female rulers was largely down to their style of management. Married queens – who were especially war-like – often waged war alongside their allies, and tended to get their husbands to help them rule. And while husbands managed the state, queens were left in charge of foreign and war policy. The researchers wrote: 'Greater division of labour under queenly reigns could have enabled queens to pursue more aggressive war policies.'"
Feminist dilemma: claim that women are more peaceful than men and so superior, or that women are more successful than men (at waging war) and so superior?

California To Have Harsher Penalty For Pronoun Violations Than For Knowingly Spreading HIV - "California Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation on Friday lowering the maximum penalty for knowingly infecting or exposing a person to HIV to six months in prison — down from a maximum of eight years. Also last week, Brown signed legislation allowing for penalties of up to one year in jail for health care workers who “willfully and repeatedly” use the “wrong” pronouns to refer to a senior transgender patient"

“Well-Beings Are Being Put On The Line”: Berkeley Protesters Interrupt Class To Protest The Midterm Exam As Too Stressful - "UC Berkeley Professor Harley Shaiken probably did not expect to be denounced as a tool of the racist establishment when he came to class recently. After all, he was simply giving a midterm exam when protesters appeared to demand that he checked his “privilege” and cancel his exam due to the stress that it was causing for students. Instead, the students demanded that he assign a “take-home essay with significant time to prepare.”... The students further objected that Shaiken could not teach workers rights in Mexico as a white man... rather than speak with Shaiken outside of class, the protesters took their complaints to the Department of Ethnic Studies. However, they remained long enough to denounce the students who waited to take their midterm exams as fostering white supremacy . . . because they were at Berkeley for an education."

Google removes Maps feature showing calories and mini-cupcakes after huge online backlash
Promoting health is fat shaming

Australian police sting brings down paedophile forum on dark web - "Australian police secretly operated one of the dark web’s largest child abuse sites for almost a year, posing as its founder in an undercover operation that has triggered arrests and rescues across the globe. The sting has brought down a vast child exploitation forum, Childs Play, which acted as an underground meeting place for thousands of paedophiles... The forum’s community expected a monthly post from Faulkner. If it did not come, members would know the site was compromised. Each of the posts was to end with an image of child exploitation, a measure thought to create a legal hurdle for undercover police. But no such hurdle exists in Australia, where legal protections allow police to post abuse material. It puts them in an uncomfortable position. To prevent harm to children, detectives must share images of child exploitation"

Hong Kong man who drank colleague’s breast milk given probation after getting treatment for gambling issues - "A man who drank his colleague’s breast milk because he was feeling stress from gambling debts was given 12 months’ probation by a court on Friday, to be served while undergoing psychological and psychiatric treatment... he admitted to drinking some of her breast milk out of curiosity."
If breastfeeding isn't sexual why such a harsh penalty? Or if that has nothing to do with it, can we prosecute all office fridge raiders?

Mun-Heng Tsoi's answer to Why hasn't the Singapore government found a way to solve the MRT issue by now? Can't they tell that people are frustrated? - Quora - "there are examples of complex systems that work reliably. The difference is people. Or more specifically, their knowledge, skills and attitudes. At the centre of this are the engineers and technicians who keep the hardware running. And here is where the answer lies. We allowed the MRT system to be run on economic (or profit making) considerations, assuming that somehow the market will result in “efficient allocation of resources”. We know what happened. Engineering and maintenance was sacrificed to maintain profitability. Knowledge and skills were allowed to leak out. Over time, attitudes deteriorated. That fatal accident involving irregular release of people to work on a live track is a symptom of an attitude problem... The original NS/EW MRT system is not a true city subway or metro system for getting around town. It is actually a commuter or regional train system to bring in the masses from the suburbs into the city (The NE line is also a regional line serving a separate region). The bus system was modified to reduce duplication with the MRT system. That means putting all the eggs in one basket. It worked well when it was still reliable, and became a victim its own success. The more people relied on the MRT, the bigger the problem a breakdown causes."

London now more dangerous than New York City, crime stats suggest - "you are almost six times more likely to be burgled in the British capital than in the US city, and one and a half times more likely to fall victim to a robbery. London has almost three times the number of reported rapes and while the murder rate in New York remains higher, the gap is narrowing dramatically... Scotland Yard would not even bother investigating a large number of low level offences as part of a major cost cutting drive. In addition a huge amount of police resources have been poured into high profile and politically sensitive cases, such as a the flawed VIP child abuse inquiry and the phone hacking inquiry... “It has been suggested by academics that bobbies on the beat do not reduce crime, but it is quite clear that a uniformed presence on the streets will act as an effective deterrent."

British Police Arrest At Least 3,395 People for 'Offensive' Online Comments in One Year - "Figures obtained by The Times through the Freedom of Information Act reveal that 3,395 people across 29 forces were arrested last under section 127 of the Communications Act 2003, which makes it illegal to intentionally “cause annoyance, inconvenience or needless anxiety to another”, in 2016. The true figure is likely to be significantly higher, as thirteen police forces refused to provide the requested information and two did not provide usable data. Around half of the investigations were abandoned before being brought to prosecution, which critics say is an indication that the authorities are being excessively strict in their interpretation of the law’s restrictions on freedom of speech. Nevertheless, many forces have massively stepped up their focus on so-called trolls, with the number of arrests by West Midlands Police having increased by an astonishing 877 per cent since 2014. With Home Secretary Amber Rudd’s announcement of a special national police hub focused on online hate last week, it is expected that these numbers will only increase... The seeming inconsistency in the enforcement of free speech restrictions has also been a source of contention, with the Metropolitan Police — who detained 867 people in 2016, according to the Times figures — appearing reluctant to investigate people such as Nadia Chan, the self-described Islamist who was revealed as having made a number of deeply racist remarks about white people on social media after an appearance on public broadcaster Channel 4... Similarly, people who reported mixed race transgender model Munroe Bergdorf for saying “the white race is the most violent and oppressive force of nature on earth” in a segment produced and aired by the publicly-funded BBC — an apparent violation of the laws against ‘inciting racial hatred’ — were met with official indifference."

16 rapists among hundreds of London sex offenders let off with a caution

Court records: Man charged with spray-painting swastika at UMD is African American - "Court records show the man accused of spray-painting a swastika inside a residence hall at the University of Maryland in September is African American."

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee taken off Mississippi school reading list - "To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee’s classic novel about racism and the American south, has been removed from a junior-high reading list in a Mississippi school district because the language in the book “makes people uncomfortable”... An email to the Sun Herald from a concerned reader referred to the book’s use of the word “nigger” when it said the school board’s decision was made “mid-lesson plan”."

Jeremy Corbyn 'ethical' £19 T-shirts have been made by Indian workers who earn just 55p an hour - "Tory MP Andrew Bridgen said: “This demonstrates once again the rank hypocrisy of the left.”"

Greek Island Bans All Foreign Weddings After Couple's Photo - "In the picture, Carly can be seen kneeling in her wedding dress in front of Matthew, seemingly replicating a sex act as Matthew punches the air."
If this were an anglo country maybe someone would sue them for discrimination

Teenage fan screamed so hard at a One Direction concert her lungs collapsed: Reports

Niu Ba Ba - World's Most Expensive Beef Noodle Soup - "The menu has eight beef noodle soups available: #1 is the “Beef Father Beef Noodle Soup” being the cheapest at 500 New Taiwan dollars (roughly $16) and #8 is the coveted “Presidential Beef Noodle Soup” at 10,000 New Taiwan dollars... He began raising his prices on his cheaper items until less people showed up. Once he came up with the right price point, he moved into a smaller venue with just four tables. This allowed him to serve the highest quality product and cut down on labor costs while maintaining great margins."
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