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More adventurous than the average bear

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Friday, June 22, 2018

Links - 22nd June 2018 (2)

BBC World Service - The World This Week, Turkey moves on Syrian Kurds - "President Duterte's current trust and approval rating here in the Philippines makes him far the most approved and trusted president in nearly a decade and that's backed up by numerous conversations I've had with taxi drivers, people living in poor areas. Even expats I've spoken to who say that the incidences of bag snatching, crime on the street have come down. People say that the capital manila is a lot safer now under President Duterte so he has a lot of support in this country, something that people outside of the Philippines really struggle with"

BBC World Service - The World This Week, New nightmare for Yemen - "A physically attractive person is more likely to vote Republican - that is on the right - than Democrat. Why? It's something they describe as the halo effect - put crudely the idea that by and large better looking people are treated better, have better lives and therefore think the world is less messed up and therefore requires less lefty staff such as wealth redistribution and state intervention generally. Not surprisingly this research has produced - to put it mildly - an avalanche of reaction."

BBC World Service - The World This Week, Germany nears a new government - "However tempting it may seem to treat retirement as the chance finally to do nothing, if we can afford it, and stop dead, metaphorically, if we try it we might indeed stop dead - literally. And if the sudden absence of workplace stress doesn't bring on a heart attack the absence of mental stimulation may lead to dementia. A recent study of civil servants in Britain found that stopping work and putting your feet up causes a marked and rapid decline in brain function... verbal memory, which gets worse as you get older anyway, got worse far quicker in those who retired than in those still turning up to the office every day. Deprived of the stimulus of work, these highly educated folk used to thinking for a living risked their brains atrophying"

BBC World Service - The World This Week, South Africa gets a new leader - "In certain parts of India where there were certain packages being offered. You could have the basic package on cheating, you could have the luxury package on cheating with someone actually sat your exam for you...
There're rumors about teachers giving students the answers, there're loud speakers in exam halls dictating the answers to children...
There was actually an anti cheating lawn in Uttar Pradesh which was reversed by a previous Chief Minister because there was so much public pressure against it"
Racist stereotypes about India!

"Eden Ang Kept Fingering Me, Even When I Pushed Him Away. Then, He Penetrated Me."
For an outlet with journalistic pretentions, it's strange that Rice doesn't even bother to contact Eden Ang to get his side of the story (or probe deeper)
If 18 year old girls are really so innocent, naive and easily manipulated (as many people claim), why do we let them have sex, drink, smoke and 3 years later vote? We need to raise the ages of consent to protect them

The Delicious Pleasure of Name and Shame Posts - "we want the perpetrator to pay, no matter the cost. And the ‘best’ part about the court of public opinion is that the person being ‘shamed’ is deprived of a voice. They are irrevocably guilty until proven innocent (if ever). Many of us like to think that we’re doing a public service by sharing name and shame posts for the greater good. But let’s be real, the main goal in naming and shaming, or sharing name and shame posts, is because they make us feel better about ourselves. They are essentially self-indulgent ways of seeking justice. And there’s nothing wrong with being honest about this. Naming and shaming feels good because it simplifies a complicated world and separates it into black and white, right and wrong."
Ironically this was written by the same writer as the above less than 2 months before

The problem with Rice Media’s exposé of Eden Ang - "a media outlet who gains popularity for enterprisingly riding on the #MeToo wave without the burden of the need to be responsible in their reporting. Only they know what their real agenda is, but is this the type of media that we truly want/need in Singapore? Ultimately, we have to decide for ourselves, rather than blindly follow a trend that is happening overseas."

Condoleeza Rice Says Keep Monuments to Slave Owners - "When you start wiping out your history; sanitizing your history to make you feel better? It's a bad thing"
White Supremacy!

What Are the Defining Ingredients of a Culture’s Cuisine? - "For the majority of cuisines, the most common ingredient is a cooking lubricant like butter or oil. Northern and southern European cuisines display a clear divide on butter and olive. Butter for the Germans, English/Scottish and Scandinavians, and Olive Oil for the Spanish/Portuguese and Greek. In most other cuisines, the most common ingredient is a condiment or a seasoning: soy sauce, fish sauce, garlic, onion. The one exception to the trends is Jewish cuisine, in which eggs are the most common ingredient. This is perhaps due to the unique place of eggs in Jewish dietary restrictions... Thai food is distinguished by the use of galangal, also called siamese ginger, and it just might be why you like those curries so much. Galangal is found in over 10% of Thai dishes, but in only 0.1% of the dishes of other cuisines."

The Invention of the Chilean Sea Bass - "In the seventies, seafood dealers renamed the slimehead, a fish named for its “distinctive mucus canals,” the “orange roughy.” Sales of the goosefish -- long thrown back by fishermen -- skyrocketed in the 1980s and 1990s once rechristened the monkfish. Rebranding sea urchins -- once known by Maine lobstermen as “whore’s eggs” -- under its Japanese name “uni” helped it catch on as a popular sushi ingredient now achieving popularity in other cuisine... Celebrity chefs embraced it, enjoying, as Knecht writes, it ability to “hold up to any method of cooking, accept any spice,” and never overcook. The Four Seasons first served it in 1990; it was Bon Appetit’s dish of the year in 2001."

SPLC Declares Voice for Men a Hate Group - "for the first time, the SPLC added two male supremacy groups to the hate group list: A Voice for Men, based in Houston, and Return of Kings, based in Washington, D.C. The vilification of women by these groups makes them no different than other groups that demean entire populations, such as the LGBT community, Muslims or Jews, based on their inherent characteristics."
I look forward to Everyday Feminism being added to the list too

Christina Sommers on Twitter: "The Factual Feminist has been denounced by the Southern Poverty Law Center as enabler of male supremacy. Oy vey. Last year leader of MRA group denounced me for being a female supremacist Both wrong. I’m a facts & logic supremacist."

Do you know the state of your country? Take the test, as poll reveals perception gap - "People worldwide tend to exaggerate the proportion of foreign-born prisoners, overestimate teenage pregnancies and underestimate the health of the nation... “Our brains handle negative information differently and store it more accessibly,” he said. “We overestimate what we worry about: the more we see coverage of an issue, the more prevalent we think it is, especially if that coverage is vivid and threatening.”"

What is it like to have a Japanese girlfriend? - Quora - "My ex of 3 years would always send me furniture, toiletries, clothes, etc in the mail whenever she knew I needed it, without asking. I guess you could say they're very nurturing and supportive. In general they're really feminine, much more so than women in the West. They are usually thinner, and wear more/better make-up than their Western female counterparts. But, they are the same socio-economic status, so they're less likely to steal or commit petty crime than other Asians. Japanese women care about their family and tradition... Many Japanese men complain about the stark change from their sweet and giving girlfriend into their demanding, sexless wife after marriage. At least your wife will still be slim and look good though!"

Why does my Japanese girlfriend say 'dame, dame' when she's experiencing sexual pleasure? - Quora - "I understand "da me" to mean "No" or "stop" However, when I'm fooling around with my Japanese girlfriend and she gets really turned on from sex, she always says "dame, dame." She repeats it many times during sex when she is really really passionate. She tells me that she's not saying "stop" but she can't explain the meaning of it. She says that "dame" can sometimes mean "yes" even if it usually means "no.""
"to some extent, I think we can regard this as kind of reflection of Japan's "Shame Culture" (恥文化)。.. Japanese woman says "dame" during the sex with her husband/boyfriend, just a Natural Reaction because it is clearly kind of "shame" in her mind that naked in frond of a man (even he is boyfriend/husband). and she has to do/say sth to convince she already gets this, otherwise, she will be regarded as "not feeling of shame" even by herself. which is Inconsistent to her "standards" since educated. And of course, this "dame" doesn't mean she wants her boyfriend to stop sex. (and in addition in Japan, a country with very big male chauvinism , it may be kind of pleasure for the man to hear the "dame" during the sex. the pleasure of conquest ...)"
"I was taken aback and wondered for a moment if I should pause...but then the girl's violent hip thrusting and tongue assaults (excuse the graphic imagery) left little choice but to carry on...
I think these are the possible implied meanings:
"No, we shouldn't/it's improper" (...though it's awesome)
"No, you're making me into a dirty girl...""
When a (Japanese) lady says no, she means...

'Blacked up' carnival bobsleigh team cleared of racism by police - Wales Online - "Four carnival revellers who “blacked up” to look like a Jamaican bobsleigh team have been cleared of racism - after a six-month police investigation."

How a love of Japan led me to stop dating its women - "90 percent of Western male scholars of Japan, when they had a wife, tended to have a Japanese one. I can’t argue with his observation: Nearly all the heterosexual Western men I know in Japan have Japanese wives. Indeed, the overwhelming attraction of Western men to Japanese women has over the past 50 years been much commented on.... Somewhere in the cultural differences between Japan and the West I felt that I could define my own personal sense of self. Having a Japanese partner, I repeatedly discovered, unbalanced this sense of freedom. No longer was I in control of my relationship with Japan; now I tended to feel more like a prisoner in a relationship with a foreign culture from which I could not escape. The only way I could truly enjoy and develop my love for Japan, I concluded, was by excluding my love life from that cultural relationship... Like so many other Western men in Japan, I soon discovered that at the age of 25 I was dating a drop-dead gorgeous Japanese girl of such loveliness that I had to pinch myself to believe she could be interested in my shabbily dressed self... My feisty Korean girlfriend was a constant source of cultural bewilderment to me, exploding into a fury if I did not fulfill her strange demands — she once took off a stiletto and hurled it across a train station foyer at me — and yet suddenly switched to mawkish tenderness. The Nepalese girlfriend would tell me about her “uncles” in the Himalayas and leave me dreaming about making hazardous trips into Kathmandu airport to visit her family. After all the excitement of these girlfriends, my periodic return to the arms of Japanese girlfriends seemed like interludes of Zen-like stillness. And yet pursuing a relationship with someone from another East Asian country was never really an option — I was too devoted to my studies in Japan to have time for another major cultural commitment. I eventually moved out of my East Asian period and into my “New World” phase, dating American, Canadian and Australian girls. I found my New World girlfriends exciting and stimulating and yet never mentally tiring or a distracting cultural commitment... The New World girlfriend, I concluded, was the perfect match for me. I found that the nationality of the girl I was dating greatly affected my mental mood and how I thought about things."

Flying taxis? Uber has a competitor in Chinese drone maker Ehang - "the electric-powered flying taxi has a limited range, but Ehang said it is stable enough to fly in thunderstorms and even typhoon conditions. In the event that something goes awry, a human pilot in a control centre can take over piloting of the drone remotely."

Inside the OED: can the world’s biggest dictionary survive the internet? - "Every lexicographer I spoke to made clear their distaste for “word-lovers”, who in the dictionary world are regarded as the type of person liable to scrawl “fewer” on to supermarket signs reading “10 items or less”, or recite “antidisestablishmentarianism” to anyone who will listen. The normally genial John Simpson writes crisply that “I take the hardline view that language is not there to be ‘enjoyed’”; instead, it is there to be used."

Instagram ban on emoji has sexters searching for fruity alternatives - "Instagram has launched a surprise crackdown on the symbol for an eggplant, or aubergine, which the Guardian can reveal is employed by some users to represent a penis when posting a message with their pictures... The illustrations for the banana and the peach remain unaffected... Some enterprising Instagram users have also started using the banana to direct users to images of the eggplant emoji"

Jennifer Lawrence responds to 'sexist' dress criticism: 'It was my choice' - "An article in Jezebel had the headline, Please Give Jennifer Lawrence a Dang Coat, showing the actor’s co-stars, Joel Edgerton and Jeremy Irons among them, wearing large coats and scarves... One tweet that called it “quietly depressing and revealing” received over 12,000 likes."

Eric Weinstein on Twitter: "Thug-Review, n: a post Peer Review practice where threats of violence to life, limb, reputation & livelihood determine academic publication."
On Bruce Gilley's The case for colonialism being withdrawn due to "serious and credible threats of personal violence", "linked to the publication of this essay". Probably those issuing those threats believe they are "speaking truth to power"

Association between rainfall and diagnoses of joint or back pain: retrospective claims analysis - "no relation was found between rainfall and outpatient visits for joint or back pain"
On weather and pain

East London primary school backs down over hijab ban - "A primary school that controversially banned pupils from wearing hijabs appears to have backed down after the chair of governors announced his resignation following complaints from parents. St Stephen’s primary school in Newham, east London, hit the headlines at the weekend after the Sunday Times reported it had banned Muslim girls under the age of eight from wearing headscarves... That decision, along with curbs on children fasting on school days during Ramadan, upset many parents"
Actually banning hijabs being worn by under eights and stopping them from fasting are pro-Islamic moves, since they're only supposed to do all these when they hit puberty

Extremists who bullied head into hijab ban u-turn exposed - "a deluge of poisonous emails — totalling several thousand — have swamped her personal inbox. One was headed ‘You horrible vile rat’. Another was signed: ‘Yours disrespectfully and may you never be happy.’ Others have branded her a ‘paedeophiliac person’, the ‘scum of the earth’, and an ‘Islamophobe’ and ‘racist’ who ‘deserved what was coming’... the campaign of intimidation against Miss Lall culminated with her even being compared to Adolf Hitler in a video uploaded to YouTube... ‘If pupils choose to wear the hijab, it should be their freedom of choice . . .’... An organisation repeatedly accused of extremism, MEND gloated on Twitter that their hijab victory was an ‘important step towards resolving concerns about structural Islamophobia’. The organisation insists it champions Muslim involvement in public and political life while fighting Islamophobia, but it has links to speakers who have promoted jihad, anti-Semitism and homophobia. At least one former official has legitimised the killing of British troops in Iraq. A group of Labour councillors, including three who attended a MEND event in 2016, played an instrumental part in the campaign against Neena Lall. They are unlikely to face censure from the party for any ties with MEND... ‘A couple of years ago I asked the children to put their hands up if they thought they were British,’ she said. ‘Very few put their hand up. They thought they were Indian, they thought they were Pakistani, but very few thought they were British.’"
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