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More adventurous than the average bear

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Friday, June 15, 2018

Links - 15th June 2018 (3)

Christmas history quiz - History Extra - "Mexicans traditionally celebrate new years' eve by eating one grape with each of the twelve chimes of a clock during the midnight countown while making a wish with each one...
Baubles originated in Germany where they were spotted by FW Woolworth who started importing them to the united states. There they began to replace traditional apples on the Christmas tree. Christmas trees derived from European medieval paradise plays which feature a paradise bound representing the tree of knowledge in the Garden of Eden. This had apples and a snake on them. In nineteenth century Britain Christmas was promoted at a time to remind the Empire of the ties that bind them to their mother country. As such the only proper topping for the tree was the union flag question"

Mary Shelley and her monster - History Extra - "There's also a question about whether she fell in love with other women in her adulthood. Or indeed in her girlhood. And that's something that's almost impossible to decode I think because of the era's tendency for passionate female friendships. And you know terms in which they're expressed but she did tend to have one, one at a time. One terribly close woman friend or in the case of Jane Claire her stepsister."
Luckily unlike close male friendships we don't see these things through the lens of homosexuality today

BBC Radio 4 - From Our Own Correspondent Podcast, No Go Areas - "Israel honours more people from Poland than from any other nation for rescuing Jews...
[On Mozambique] The music is infectious, joyful and loved by the crowd but when I talk to band leader Matchume Zango afterwards, he tells me many of the lyrics are calling for investment in hospitals, education and culture. and asking why the government is still buying guns....
[On menstruating women being unable to enter a Hindu temple] Contradiction was embedded within the religion itself. There are certain times when human beings are considered ritually impure. Women are considered so during periods he said. That's Artha Hinduism - the kind of Hinduism found in the ancient Hindu texts. However, he went on, in Shakta Hinduism, which is the body of Hinduism that celebrates the feminine - the goddesses, menstration is considered purifying rather than polluting."

BBC Radio 4 - From Our Own Correspondent Podcast, Your Move! - "Since twenty eleven all children in Armenia from six to eight years old have compulsory chess lessons. It's the first country in the world to include it on the national curriculum... with a population of a little over three million Armenia currently has one of the highest proportions of chess grandmasters per capita in the world"

Thinking Is Expensive. Who’s Supposed to Pay for It? - Freakonomics Freakonomics - "TUFEKCI: There’s all these really smart engineers. They’re the brightest computer scientists, and all they’re thinking about is, “How do I keep someone on Facebook for 10 more minutes? What’s the exact combination of things that will keep them staying on the site as long as possible so that we can show them as much advertisement as possible?”...
Philanthropy, especially large philanthropy, in the form of a foundation or especially wealthy person represents the exercise of power in which they attempt to use their own private wealth to affect public outcomes or to produce public benefits or make social change. Power deserves scrutiny in a democratic society, not gratitude. I’d add on top of that that a foundation, in particular — which is a legal form that allows a wealthy person to create a donor-directed, unaccountable, barely transparent, perpetual, and tax-subsidized corporate form in order to use their private assets to affect the public — is an especially interesting and potentially worrisome form of power...
The top five Silicon Valley companies are amongst the largest sources of lobbying, greater even than the five top Wall Street firms in New York. There’s been a parallel ramping up of the philanthropy that’s associated with the tech firms. That philanthropy comes in a variety of different forms."
This puts the much welcomed news that "Philanthropist George Soros donates most of his net worth to charity" into perspective (since it was his own charity)

Yes, Google Uses Its Power to Quash Ideas It Doesn’t Like—I Know Because It Happened to Me [Updated] - "Google denied any role in Lynn’s firing, and Slaughter tweeted that the “facts are largely right, but quotes are taken way out of context and interpretation is wrong.” Despite the conflicting story lines, the underlying premise felt familiar to me: Six years ago, I was pressured to unpublish a critical piece about Google’s monopolistic practices after the company got upset about it. In my case, the post stayed unpublished... Deliberately manipulating search results to eliminate references to a story that Google doesn’t like would be an extraordinary, almost dystopian abuse of the company’s power over information on the internet. I don’t have any hard evidence to prove that that’s what Google did in this instance, but it’s part of why this episode has haunted me for years: The story Google didn’t want people to read swiftly became impossible to find through Google. Google wouldn’t address whether it deliberately deep-sixed search results related to the story... Google said it never urged New America to fire Lynn and his team. But an entity as powerful as Google doesn’t have to issue ultimatums. It can just nudge organizations and get them to act as it wants, given the influence it wields."

Are We Running Out of Ideas? - Freakonomics Freakonomics - "BLOOM: Moore’s Law goes back to an observation made by Gordon Moore, who is one of the co-founders of Intel back way, way, way back in 1965. And he noticed that the number of transistors per square inch on a circuit doubled roughly every other year.
VAN REENEN: And that’s led to something like, every year, 35 percent improvements of productivity in semiconductors. So enormous rates of improvements of technological progress in that sector driving the kind of digital revolution/computer revolution. So people often point to this. So what we did was we said, “Okay, that’s great. But to get that 35 percent improvement every year, how much research and development had to go into doing that?” And what we show — the amount of research going into semiconductors has enormously increased, but productivity growth in that sector hasn’t accelerated.
BLOOM: So back in 1965, there were a few teams around the country working on this. Now, there’s hundreds and hundreds of millions, billions, globally spent on trying to improve the speed of silicon chips. And as a result, we calculate the amount of resources has gone up by 25-fold. So we’ve had a 25-fold increase in inputs just to maintain the same speed... Yes, so we also looked at thousands of firms publicly listed in the U.S. And we looked at how much they spent in R&D and how that translated into gains in sales, gains in employment, and gains in market capitalizations. And in all cases there’s a positive relationship. The more you spend, generally the more you sell, and the more valuable you are. But that relationship has been falling over time. So for a million dollars of R&D in the ’60s, you got something like three times as much impact in terms of sales as you would in the ’80s. And again, it’s been falling ever since. The low-hanging fruit has all gone, and it’s becoming far harder... in every case huge inventions that have changed the world seemed to in history come from one or two individuals. And now it’s taking huge corporations, universities, and the government hundreds or typically billions of dollars to push it ahead."

BBC World Service - The World This Week, Putin calls the shots in Syria - "They are quietly and perhaps a bit smugly relishing the fact that all of the dire prediction that this would become another Afghanistan for Russia, they would get bogged down, there would be real. the huge losses that would cost at home, that hasn't happened. And for all the talk about there is no military solution in Syria, Russia brought about a military solution"

Padmaavat: India clashes as controversial film opens - "Hardline Hindu groups allege the film Padmaavat is disrespectful of their culture by depicting a romance between a Hindu queen and a Muslim king... The film tells the story of 14th Century Muslim emperor Alauddin Khilji's attack on a kingdom after he was smitten by the beauty of its queen, Padmavati, who belonged to the Hindu Rajput caste. Hindu groups and a Rajput caste organisation allege that the movie includes a scene in which the Muslim king dreams of becoming intimate with the Hindu queen. But director Sanjay Leela Bhansali has said the film does not feature such a "dream sequence" at all."
Singaporean logic: ban the film because it disrupts religious harmony

Padmavati row: Karni Sena threatens to cut off Deepika Padukone’s nose - ""Rajput Karni Sena is fighting to protect the image of women being portrayed in the films. We never raise a hand on women but if need be, we will do to Deepika what Lakshman did to Shurpanakha for violating the rules and culture of India."... Rajput community in Meerut has also announced a bounty of Rs 5 crore on the filmmaker’s head."

BBC World Service - The World This Week, Trump tweets target Britain - "It's is quite difficult to use it as a means of exchange. There was a flurry of organisations saying yes we accept bitcoin a few years back, but what's happened is the very fact that it's appreciated so rapidly has made it less useful as a currency. If you've got something in your pocket, if you've got a bitcoin in your pocket you're not going to spend it on a pizza today if tomorrow that bitcoin is going to be worth an awful lot more, so people tend to horde them. So it has become really an asset, a speculative asset that's caused a mania that some are likening to the seventeenth century tulip mania in the Netherlands... I was asked by a physiotherapist the other day what's this bitcoin thing. And I thought that's a moment when this bubble really is inflating"

Director David Yates defends keeping Johnny Depp in Fantastic Beasts 2 - "David Yates threw his support behind the actor, who was accused physical abuse by ex wife Amber Heard, saying that Depp is ‘full of decency and kindness’, and that Amber’s accusation ‘doesn’t tally with the kind of human I’ve been working with.’... He added that his strong defense of the actor comes from the testimonies of many of his exes"
Since women never lie, Amber Heard and Depp's exes' testimonies will cause a singularity

Grindr is updating its app to be more gender-inclusive
Why are women using Grindr?

networking - I have LOTS of TAP-Win32 Adapter OAS and TAP-Windows Adapter - "the TAP adapters will keep coming while you keep a KMS activator or a VPN client of sorts running, which can keep installing these adapters over and over (the reason for that I don't really know, bad programmers maybe? :P )."

Alarm suddenly turned off overnight. : iphone - "I set my alarm yesterday for 7:30 am and I naturally wake up 7:28 and expect my alarm to go off.
I check my iphone at exactly 7:30 and see the alarm is suddenly turned off?
I searched on the web but those issues arose when the overnight update of iOS turned everything off, but afaik I didnt update anything while I slept."
"Apple sucks when it comes to clocks, daylight savings and alarms. Seriously they just can't get it right. Same with WIFI."

No, Canada Will Not Take Your Child Away If You Disagree With Their Gender Identity
Comments: "Your headline: "No, Canada Will Not Take Your Child Away If You Disagree With Their Gender Identity"
Your Article: "Mere disagreement with a child about their gender identity or gender expression is not enough to bring the child into care. Instead, it has to be part of "a pattern of abuse, neglect or serious emotional harm" before removing the child can be considered, according to Akihito Tse, a spokesperson for the advocate's office."
Also: "The reasons a child may require protection are laid out in section 74(2) of Bill 89. There is no specific reference to gender identity or gender expression, but if a child is suffering sexual, physical, or emotional abuse, including "serious" psychological effects, child welfare agencies may intervene."
Most importantly: "One of the most noteworthy changes is around gender. Accommodating a child's gender identity or gender expression is now given the same protection as race, ethnicity, disability, or sexual orientation, bringing it in line with the province's human rights code."
You just noted that a child CAN be removed from their parents by law if eventually the parent doesn't bend to the whim of their child.
So, you lied."
"Isn't it reasonable to surmise that, pursuant to the purpose of the bill, if a child suffers anxiety or depression resulting from the lack of gender identity/expression consideration that it could potentially constitute the need for protection? Why do you do this Buzzfeed? Why do you have no integrity?"


Trump’s Road to 2024 - The New York Times - "I’d put the chances of impeachment at under 10 percent and of his re-election at about 25 percent. That’s partly because the Democratic Party has not yet begun a serious reckoning with its defeat last year. It hasn’t grasped the degree to which it lives, still, in a coastal echo chamber of identity politics and Trump-bashing. Just being anti-Trump won’t cut it. As Chuck Coughlin, a Republican political consultant who once worked for Senator John McCain, put it to me, “Somebody who speaks to common-sense American values — that is what the Democrats need.” I’m not sure who that person is, but I am pretty sure she or he does not reside in New York, Massachusetts or California."

In first, Hezbollah confirms all financial support comes from Iran

Bjørn Lomborg - Posts - "The world is mostly run on fossil fuels (81%). Nuclear makes up 5%, with 14% from renewables. Solar panels and wind turbines contribute 0.8%. When you hear 14% renewables, you will likely think 'wow, things are going pretty well with the switch to renewables'. But these renewables are not the ones you hear about. The biggest contributor is humanity's oldest fuel – wood... Contrary to the weight of news stories on how solar and wind is taking over the world, solar panels and wind turbines really make up a very small part of the global energy mix... Remember, this is *very* different from just electricity, which is how solar and wind is often described. Electricity makes up a smaller part of the total energy consumption, and global warming concerns go to *all* energy emissions, not just the smaller subset of electricity"

'Travel' without the hassle on Japan's 'flights' that don't go anywhere - "That's exactly what 12 passengers did at First Airlines in central Tokyo this week, where they relaxed in first-class and business-class seats and were served four-course dinners, before immersing themselves in 360-degree virtual reality (VR) tours of the City of Light's sights... the majority of First Airlines' visitors are older Japanese from around the country. Mr Abe added that domestic "flights" around Japan will be added soon, with meals highlighting the region's cuisine"

Diet and stomach cancer in Korea. - "An increased risk of stomach cancer was noted among people who frequently consume broiled meats and fishes, salted side dishes (salted/fermented fish products) and salty stewed foods, such as soybean paste thick stew. Frequent consumption of mung bean pancake, tofu, cabbage, spinach and sesame oil decreased the risk. Analysis by cooking method showed that risk of stomach cancer from the same foods varied with preparation. For meat and fish, pan frying was associated with decreased risk, whereas stewing or broiling was associated with increased risk. Pickled vegetables increased the risk, whereas fresh vegetables did not. In a recent cohort study in Seoul, green vegetables and soybean foods were associated with a decreased risk of stomach cancer. Case-control and cohort studies have reported that ginseng intake decreased the risk of gastric cancer."

Kenan Malik's lecture on the British debate on immigration - "Multiculturalism gave an institutional form to what we now call identity politics. Policy makers came to treat people less as British citizens than as members of particular racial, ethnic, cultural or faith groups, and to define policy largely in terms of the perceived needs and desires of those groups. And people came to see themselves in that way too - not as British citizens but as Muslims, or African Caribbeans, or Scottish. Two consequences flowed from these developments. First, there has been increasing conflict between identity groups. Britain today is less defined by confrontation between the state and minority groups, than by conflict between those groups. Because Britain is seen as a community of communities, so each group seeks to maximise its interests at the expense of others, creating animosity. Second, there is a greater disengagement between individuals and the political process. Because individuals are often treated not as citizens but as members of particular groups, so they feel less inclined to think of themselves as citizens or to see to political process as being of great value... 50 years ago the fear was of immigrants becoming permanently attached to Britain. Ironically, many of the initial immigrants were single men who expected to return home after a short time working here. But once the 1962 Immigration Act came into force they had no choice but to settle here and bring their families over, because if they left they might never have been able to get back in again"
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