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Saturday, June 16, 2018

Links - 16th June 2018 (3)

Russian women should not sleep with World Cup guests, warns MP - "Russian women should refrain from sleeping with visiting World Cup fans so as to avoid becoming single mothers with mixed-race children, a lawmaker who heads the parliament's family committee said"

Radical plan to split California into three states earns spot on November ballot

How women have ALWAYS been better dressed than men - "Women often wore better quality clothes than men in the Middle Ages, an archaeologist has discovered. She studied scraps of cloth from between 400 and 1,000 AD from clothes worn by women and men, to reveal that while females were buried in robes made of linen, males wore garments of lesser twill.

Man jailed 24 months for sex with 15-year-old sugar baby - "As her sugar daddy, he provided her with a monthly allowance of $1,600 and also had sex with her despite knowing that she was underaged. On Tuesday (20 February), 45-year-old Adrian Tan Lee Guan was sentenced to 24 months’ jail after he pleaded guilty to three counts of having sex with a minor under the age of 16... After taking her to dinner at the Pan Pacific Hotel, the pair then proceeded to the Capella Hotel on Sentosa. Tan brought the girl to the first tier of the hotel’s cascading swimming pool where he asked the girl to perform oral sex on him. She complied... a former business development director drawing a salary of $10,000 a month – has since lost his job. Tan’s wife has also filed for a divorce and he has also been forced to move to a rental flat. The lawyer said that his client had faced increasing credit card debts – amounting to $37,000 – in the period leading up to the offence and was depressed as a result."
If I had $37,000 in credit card debts, blowing $1,600 more a month wouldn't be my first course of action

Spending Patterns of Chinese Parents on Children’s Backpacks Support the Trivers-Willard Hypothesis: Results Based on Transaction Data from China’s Largest Online Retailer - "Treating backpack cost as a proxy measure of parental economic status, such results indicate that parents of high economic status invest more heavily in sons whereas parents of low economic status invest more heavily in daughters, as predicted by the Trivers-Willard hypothesis. The discovery of a third group, between the high- and low-status parents, who invest equally in sons and daughters further strengthens the argument."

New York Times Opinions: Conservatives Finally Welcome - "Two days after the election, its executive editor Dean Baquet told the paper’s media columnist Jim Rutenberg, “If I have a mea culpa for journalists and journalism, it’s that we’ve got to do a much better job of being on the road, out in the country, talking to different kinds of people than the people we talk to — especially if you happen to be a New York–based news organization — and remind ourselves that New York is not the real world.”"

Young Sikh Men Get Haircuts, Annoying Their Elders - The New York Times - "While there are no hard data, Jaswinder Singh, a lawyer and leader of a “turban pride” movement, estimates that half of India’s Sikh men now forgo the turban, compared with just 10 percent a couple of decades ago... A “Smart Turban 1.0” CD-ROM offers step-by-step instructions to create fashionable looks and guides new turban wearers on how to choose the most flattering style according to face shape. To promote the turban as a fashion item, Sikh leaders have also started holding Mr. Singh International pageants. Contestants are judged by looks, moral character, personality, knowledge of Sikh history and principles, and turban tying skills"

Should You Shower in the Morning, or at Night? Yes - The New York Times - "For those who have a hard time waking up, a morning shower can make a big difference, said Dr. Janet K. Kennedy, a clinical psychologist and sleep expert in New York. It can boost alertness, she said, but she recommends a somewhat cooler, not cold, shower to avoid raising your body temperature dramatically. For those who struggle with insomnia, Dr. Kennedy said she’d suggest showering at night, about 90 minutes before bed. “The body naturally cools down as bedtime approaches, in sync with the circadian rhythm,” she said. “Showering artificially raises the temperature again and allows for a faster cool down, which seems to hasten sleep.” Showering is also a good way to unwind and release muscle tension, she said, which aids sleep.But don’t get carried away. Those long, steamy showers spent unpacking the day and draining the water heater could damage your skin... “Humans tend to perspire at night,” Dr. Goldenberg said. “When you wake up in the morning, there’s all this sweat and bacteria from the sheets that’s just kind of sitting there on your skin.”"

The Art of Changing a City - The New York Times - "Another initiative in a small area of the city was to replace corrupt traffic police officers with mime artists. The idea was that instead of cops handing out tickets and pocketing fines, these performers would “police” drivers’ behavior by communicating with mime — for instance, pretending to be hurt or offended when a vehicle ignored the pedestrian right of way in a crosswalk. Could this system, which boiled down to publicly signaled approval or disapproval, really work? We had plenty of skeptics. At a news conference, a journalist asked, “Can the mimes serve traffic fines?” That is legally impermissible, I answered. “Then it won’t work,” he declared. But change is possible. People began to obey traffic signals and, for the first time, they respected crosswalks. Within months, I was able to dissolve the old, corrupt transit police force of about 1,800 officers, arranging with the national police service to replace them."

Why I No Longer Identify as a Feminist - "I criticized sexist attitudes at work, which were still quite unapologetic in the 90s, informing my boss that he was a “good boy” when he called me a “good girl” and refusing to say anything apart from “cheep” to any man who referred to me as a “bird.” Liberal feminism was aggressive then, but a quite different quality of aggression to the spiteful malevolence we see now. It was optimistic, almost playful. We were confident that we were winning. It was fun seeing how we could disconcert the perpetrators of sexist stereotypes and challenge casual sexism, often humorously. We did not think older men (or women) with sexist assumptions were terrible people or want them punished. We simply wanted them to realize the times had changed and catch up... the academic shift in the humanities and social sciences towards postmodernism began, and gradually filtered through to feminism in praxis. Intersectionality was forming... The right to criticize one’s own culture and religion is seemingly restricted to white westerners (The best analysis of “The Racism of Some Anti-racists” is by Tom Owolade). Universal liberal feminists were horrified by this development. Our old adversaries, the radical feminists, looked positively rational in comparison. They might tell us we are culturally conditioned into internalized misogyny, and they certainly had a pessimistic and paranoid worldview but at least it was coherent. The intersectional feminists were not even internally consistent. In addition to the cultural relativity, the rules change day by day as new sins against social justice are invented. We opposed the radical feminists for their extreme antipathy towards men but at least they shared a bond of sisterhood with each other. The intersectional feminists not only exhibit great prejudice against men but also turn on each other at the slightest imagined infraction of the rules. Having not the slightest regard for reason or evidence, they vilify and harass those imagined to have transgressed. In addition to their failure to support the most vulnerable women in society, intersectional feminism cultivated a culture of victimhood, negatively impacting all women in society but particularly young women... Like many universal liberal feminists of my generation and above, I decided to hang on and try to tackle, from the inside, the problems of cultural relativity, science denial, raging incivility and the disempowerment of women by feminists. This resulted in my being blocked by feminists, told I am not a feminist, called an “anti-feminist,” a “MRA,” a “misogynist” and even a “rape apologist” (I had suggested that the men who invented date-rape drug detecting nail polish were well-intentioned). I have been told to fuck myself with a rusty chainsaw, and that I am a confused middle-aged woman who does not understand society. Following one encounter with a feminist in which I said I did not get death and rape threats from men, a new account with a male name was suddenly set up which began sending me some."

Can you enjoy romance fiction and be a feminist? - "‘I am of the opinion that a genre that is written by women, for women, about women, about the female experience, even if that experience is codified and structured within patriarchal, established boundaries, is inherently feminist,’ says Sarah Wendell, co-founder of Smart Bitches, Trashy Books, a US-based website devoted to reviewing romance novels through a critical lens."

Does too much pornography numb us to sexual pleasure? - "In 1969, Denmark became the first country to legalise pornography. In the years that followed, onlookers watched with interest and trepidation: what would happen to Danish society? As it turns out, nothing – or rather, nothing negative... rates of sexual aggression had actually fallen... in many ways, pornography is no different to a scary movie or a bungee jump. We just view it differently because it happens to involve sex. ‘There is a general idea that porn is special or unique in the brain. But frankly, it doesn’t look that different from other rewards,’ she says. ‘Lots of other things are as powerful. For someone with lower sex drive, for instance, watching porn evokes the same magnitude response as eating chocolate, in similar brain areas.’... When Prause and the psychologist James Pfaus of Concordia University in Quebec recently measured sexual arousal in 280 men, they found that watching more pornography actually increased arousal to less explicit material – and increased the desire for sex with a partner. In other words, it made them more, not less responsive to ‘normal’ cues, and more, not less, desirous of real physical relationships. In a 2014 review, Prause likened pornography addiction – the notion that, like a drug, the more you watch, the more, and higher doses, you crave – to the emperor who has no clothes: everyone says it’s there, but there is no actual evidence to support it... viewing pornography increased couples’ desire to be with their significant other, whether they’d seen the film alone or together... A 2012 review of studies that, since 2005, have looked at the effects of internet porn on adolescents’ social development and attitudes found that the prevailing wisdom that pornography leads to unrealistic sexual beliefs, more permissive attitudes and more experimentation is not founded on replicable research... We see pornography as a socially destructive force, but there’s nothing inherently destructive about it. It becomes so only when it is the one thing adolescents see as they discover sex: they use it as a learning script. It’s not a problem of pornography as such, but rather, a problem of the absence of a competing script, something that contextualises porn as a fantastical, not real-life, experience... pornography has been shown to improve acceptance of homosexuality, birth control and extra-marital sex."

Begging Gangs Hire Babies and Drug them to Sleep - "The infants are drugged for two reasons – it makes adult beggar’s work easier, and also succeeds to earn from the sympathy of unsuspecting public. In such cases, the adult beggar is not even the actual parent of the child, the child is in fact hired – rented on a day to day basis. It was shocking to learn that the infants were given doses of depressants like cough syrups, sleeping tablets and even injected with narcotic substances. The adult beggars take these drugged babies in alms and carry out their begging business throughout the day, under hot sun and extreme weather. Under the influence of these drugs, the children sleep for days and end up dying sometimes... When you find a lonely mother on streets with a sleeping baby in her arms, you may sympathize with her and simply lend a helping hand in the form of some money. But you may be missing to see the broader picture behind that child’s fate. There can be more more complicated issues going on behind their cute faces and pathetic clothes, and unknowingly you may in fact be doing them harm by encouraging begging. When you give money to those begging kids on street, you are in fact paying them to not be in school. Their parents too get used to this money their child earns from begging, and encourage begging and other crimes – spoiling the future of the child. Begging discourages the parents to make honest efforts of finding a good work, and it comes to be regarded as work. This way begging has become a legacy for majority of families involved in the ‘business’. The parents train their children and engage them into begging and even crimes like stealing. Unfortunately, that is the kind of education they give their children. And this legacy goes on, making begging families into groups and then gangs. In these cases, the money you offer out of sympathy can also go to criminal gangs that run the operation from behind the scenes."

After Barcelona: Let the Denial and Excuses Begin - "the usual excuse makers will still be trying to blame the Iraq war, or the Crusades, or the fact the perpetrator may have been unemployed as the motivations for the atrocity. I worked for several years as a youth worker with unemployed young British men from many ethnic and racial backgrounds. None of them ever resorted to driving over their fellow citizens to quell the boredom and frustration of being jobless... I read one post on social media. It was written by the type of person who had harped on continuously about Charlottesville for the past few days. But when it came to Barcelona, they described these attacks as nothing but a footnote in the weekly news that should be given less attention. I doubt the victim’s families see the murders of their loved ones as nothing to cause a fuss about."

How bloody was medieval life? - "though violence was common, people were not simply inured to it. On the contrary – they really cared about it. This is not to say that violence was simply deemed to be wrong: rather, it was a problem about which people worried and talked"

Millennials have a new attitude about cleavage that's forcing 'breastaurant' Hooters to close locations and change its strategy - "People from the age of 18 to 24 are 19% less likely to search for breasts on pornographic website Pornhub compared to all other age groups"

The best way to charge your phone - "It turns out that the batteries in our smartphones are much happier if you charge them occasionally throughout the day instead of plugging them in for a big charging session when they're empty. Charging your phone when it loses 10% of its charge would be the best-case scenario"

Violent video games 'reduce crime' - "rather than violent crime rates soaring when new violent video games are released, they actually drop as gamers are 'too busy' at home playing the games, adding: "Time spent gaming cannot be spent on other activities, both legitimate activities and illicit violent activities.""

Malaysian deputy minister says potholes fixed after photos of him 'praying' went viral

The City of New York Uses Yelp to ID Foodborne Illness

Watch a bombardier beetle escape from a toad’s stomach - "Once inside a predator’s stomach, the beetles eject a hot chemical spray that induces vomiting... the beetles walked away unscathed, some after bathing in the toad’s stomach juices for more than an hour... the chemical spray was key to the escape plan, because “pretreated” beetles—which had already sprayed out much of their chemical supply—were unlikely to survive. Only 5% came back from a trip down the toad’s gullet"
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