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More adventurous than the average bear

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Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Links - 27th June 2018 (2)

Segregation at Comic Con: No Straight, White Males Allowed at Parties

Earliest Images of Breast Cancer Found in Renaissance Paintings - "there’s a perception that breast cancer is a modern disease. As the thinking goes, lifestyle, longevity and other factors have made the cancer much more prevalent in the industrial age. But recent research is showing that the disease was quite common all the way back to antiquity... it was culturally taboo for upstanding women of the day to undress for a painter. That meant artists would either pay women of a certain sort to model for them or they would use men as models and tack on breasts and a female head. That, plus a strong feeling that the male body was the ideal image of beauty, led to many paintings of women that look like “men with breasts.”

R v Oakes - Wikipedia - "David Edwin Oakes was caught with eight vials of hashish oil outside of a tavern in London, Ontario. He claimed he had purchased ten vials of hashish oil for $150 for his own use. He was also in possession of $619.45, which he claimed to have received from a government program. Despite Oakes' protests that the vials were meant for pain relief and that the money he had was from a workers' compensation cheque, section 8 of the Narcotic Control Act ("NCA") established a "rebuttable presumption" that possession of a narcotic inferred an intention to traffic unless the accused established the absence of such an intention. Oakes made a charter challenge, claiming that the reverse onus created by the presumption of possession for purposes of trafficking violated the presumption of innocence guarantee under section 11(d) of the Charter... The Court was unanimous in holding that the shift in onus violated both Oakes' section 11(d) rights and indirectly his section 7 rights, and could not be justified under section 1 of the Charter. This was because there was no rational connection between basic possession and the presumption of trafficking"
Meanwhile in Singapore...

Internet Rallies for Disabled Veteran Besieged by SJWs, Raises $21,000 and Counting - "Will Caligan, a conservative disabled veteran who lost his job after offending the Transgender Mafia with science. Caligan is a talented comics artist who found himself in a bigoted work environment run by people hostile toward anyone with conservative Christian views. Instead of tolerance, Caligan experienced public shaming, threats, a job loss, and colleagues turning their backs on him after he stated a man can not change his DNA based on wishes. Sane people everywhere were alarmed and dismayed that a person could lose his livelihood after one inconsequential exchange on social media... the project raised $21,000 and Caligan was becoming a hot commodity."

Chinese-made condoms too small, Zimbabwe’s health minister complains - "Zimbabwe is one of the countries in Sub-Saharan Africa worst affected by HIV/Aids, with an estimated 13.5 per cent of its adult population infected with the virus. The use of condoms is a key way to limit the spread of infection. The country has become one of the top five condom importers in the world"
Better to pretend that everyone's penis is the same size and to spread HIV than to offend people

'Black Panther': Why Wakanda matters - The Washington Post - "The film’s story is based on the iconic Marvel superhero created more than a half-century ago by two Jewish New Yorkers who crafted their comic-book legends amid the turbulent civil rights struggle in the United States... “Wakanda represents this unbroken chain of achievement of black excellence that never got interrupted by colonialism”... The country is rendered as a Pan-African pastiche; viewers of “Black Panther” can point to Ghanaian fabrics and Zulu headdresses, Ethiopian tribal body markings and a prominent Bantu tongue.
Apparently, sometimes cultural appropriation is a good thing and Africa is indeed a country (it wasn't even filmed in Africa)
Ethiopia was only colonised from 1935-1944 at most

‘Black Panther’: Why the relationship between Africans and black Americans is so messed up - The Washington Post - "We call ourselves Francophone Africa versus Anglophone Africa. We categorize ourselves based on who our oppressor was. I always find that a strange thing. Our identity is so deeply tied to our oppression... The accents are all over the place! It was jarring and annoying to me! They wanted to base the accents on Xhosa from South Africa, but some of it sounded Nigerian, others sounded more Ugandan. It was very confusing, and I understand perfecting an accent is difficult, but oh, my goodness, it was so messy! I really liked the costumes. They were great. But ultimately, Wakanda, at least in the film, is an approximation of African culture, an outsider’s version of what African culture might be like — the rituals, song and dance, the rites of passage... As an African, I didn’t feel accurately represented in “Black Panther.” There was only one African artist whose song played in the background — her name is Babes Wodumo, she’s South African. I have nothing against Kendrick Lamar, but it would be good to be more representative of African music... It was like African bingo of sorts!... You know the worst thing? There hasn’t been an African premiere for “Black Panther.”... this film that celebrates blackness has not had an African premiere!... Even today, African political parties have tribal vehicles. They will have a tribal chief who will have the power to determine elections. It is very rare across the continent to find a party that is national in nature. A lot of the conflicts across Africa are tribal. Look at Somalia, which has not had a functional government — so much about the clans. Killmonger, King T’Challa and the Jabari Tribe and how they all want different things — that is what goes on in Africa... A lot of people here supported Black Lives Matter and don’t think police should be shooting black people in the U.S., but they are perfectly okay with the Kenyan or Zimbabwean police cracking down on protesters violently. You speak out against an injustice half a world away, but when there’s injustice right on your doorstep, you’re okay with it because of the party or politician you endorse... Africa is a deeply patriarchal society. In this film, women are equal to the men."
The world language you speak has absolutely nothing to do with how you classify yourself
Maybe Black Panther is more helpfully viewed as an African-American conceit and fantasy than anything truly African
Is it still racist to call Africans tribal?

Tourist asked S’pore Marriott Tang Plaza Hotel for Jeff Goldblum pic in room, hotel obliged

Ubinites and boatmen help make unusual wedding bash a reality - "When the big day arrived, the sleepy island – which is currently inhabited by fewer than 40 residents – was transformed into a flurry of activity with a big wedding bash being held there, possibly in recent years... a tea ceremony and the cutting of the wedding cake took place at an Ubinite’s house, near the famous Ah Ma Drink Stall on the south side of Ubin. The party continued into the night, accompanied by the soundtrack of Chinese oldies, ethnic Malay music which played out on speakers powered by generators... The zi char (cooked food) restaurant on Pulau Ubin catered the food while chairs were borrowed from the temple. Guests were free to don casual attire to beat the humid weather, and some showed up in sarongs"

Mark Cuban: Philosophy degree will be worth more than computer science - "Cuban expects artificial intelligence technology to vastly change the job market, and he anticipates that eventually technology will become so smart it can program itself... To remain competitive, Cuban advises ditching degrees that teach specific skills or professions and opting for degrees that teach you to think in a big picture way, like philosophy."

The Cultural Diversity Case for Free Speech - "Speech codes often claim to protect ‘cultural diversity’ on campuses, but they often do the reverse. They impose narrow American norms of political correctness on foreign grad students, post-docs, and faculty who can’t realistically understand what Americans will find offensive... These foreigners are often attracted to America because we market our country as the bastion of free speech, political liberty, and open sexuality. They expect a promised land of free inquiry very different from the repressive government regimes that they may have left behind. Many countries criminalize various forms of ‘hate speech’, ‘blasphemy’, and wrongthink... At least in China or Saudi Arabia, there were clear and stable expectations about what they couldn’t say. On American campuses, there is no such consistency across issues or across time... The modern British were much more open than Americans about sex, drugs, and drinking, and didn’t have the American obsession with racial politics. But they had plenty of taboos about discussing class, money, the welfare state, and Muslim immigration that took a while to discover. I ended up living in Britain for 9 years, but kept discovering new quirks and sensitivities that were unwritten, unspoken, and unquestioned. When I worked at a Max Planck Institute in Munich in 1995, I had to learn a whole new set of German ideological taboos, centered around fascism and eugenics, construed in the broadest possible terms. Likewise, when I took a sabbatical in Brisbane in 2008, I had to learn the Australian sensitivities around the status of Aboriginal peoples, the history of British colonialism, and East Asian immigration... I tried to list the implicit ideological norms that faculty hires from abroad would be expected to internalize, but that Americans couldn’t even acknowledge were norms. The list grew so long that I realized the situation was hopeless. Many of our ideological taboos are so taboo that we can’t even list them publicly – much less explain them in new faculty orientations. Yet our universities continue hiring foreign faculty and accepting grad students – without ever giving them clear guidance on how to switch ideological cultures, and what they’re actually allowed to believe, say, and do on American campuses... When students come from China or Saudi Arabia to an American campus, they have to adapt to speech codes and norms that bear little resemblance to those shown in classic college comedy-dramas that they may have seen as teens, such as Animal House (1978), Revenge of the Nerds (1984), Good Will Hunting (1998), Legally Blonde (2001), or The Social Network (2010). Most of these movies dramatize a conflict between playful, irreverent, often offensive students and stuffy, repressed, traditional faculty and administrators. In those movies, the irreverent students always win, partly by pushing the boundaries of free speech and partly by humiliating the sanctimonious censors. Yet in the current American climate, it’s mostly the social justice activist students imposing repressive speech codes and norms on politically centrist, conservative, libertarian, or foreign students and faculty.. If the young kink enthusiasts of the Harvard College Munchstudent club want to have a party where the BDSM norms of pre-negotiation and safewords apply, rather than the usual campus policies of affirmative consent, shouldn’t they be able to enact the well-honed rules of their sub-culture rather than conforming to a vanilla administrator’s idea of ‘sexual respect’?"

Is Sleeping with Your Stuffed Animals into Adulthood a Problem? - "A study by researchers at UV University Amsterdam showed that touch—including even that of a Teddy Bear or other stuffed animal—has heath benefits, and can even help relieve existential angst... A recent survey by Best Mattress Brand shows Berry isn't alone in this sentiment. The brand polled 2,000 Americans and discovered 37.5 percent of respondents slept with a stuffed animal as a child. Of those, 7 percent of adults said they still slept with their stuffed animals at night, citing comfort and habit as the main reasons"

Sofie Hagen accuses Cancer Research UK of ‘fatshaming’ obese people - "People have accused Cancer Research UK of ‘fatshaming’ over a hard-hitting poster. The poster aims to warn people that obesity is the second biggest preventable cause of cancer, with only smoking being a higher risk factor... The charity says only 15% of people know about the direct link between weight and cancer so it is important to make them aware... Body positive campaigner Sophie Hagen tweeted: ‘Right, is anyone currently working on getting this piece of sh*t CancerResearchUK advert removed from everywhere? Is there something I can sign? How the f*cking f*ck is this okay?’"
And we're told it's the right that is anti Science
"If it’s all the same to you Sophie, I’ll take medical advice on obesity related illness from scientists rather than an offended fat comedian."

A woman’s place … is in the tenors: female singers revel in opera’s looser gender divide - "If a female singer’s vocal range dips with motherhood or age, she can simply switch to a lower voice, such as tenor"

The Spectacles of #MeToo - "Back in the 80s, I was in a Women’s Studies class when I had a revelation. The professor announced that a well-known feminist had uttered treacherous words, asserting women could “get over” rape. Pandemonium, complete with shrieking and wailing, made its way around the lecture hall like a stadium wave. I remember sitting quietly and thinking, but isn’t getting over rape a good thing?... Eventually, I came to see that course not as a course but as a recruitment drive animated by contrived spectacles, all meant to tip students into frenzies that would in turn tip them into action... young women were out in the world challenging expectations without understanding the risks. They were also hearing that real power lay outside themselves (rather than within) and disrupting gender norms, by any means necessary, was the way to claim it. Combining those messages–disregard your safety and fight like mad–turned many young women into obedient foot soldiers who of course suffered. That’s not to say their activism wasn’t productive, but they’ve given birth to a younger generation of feminists whose frame of reference is still stuck in the 80s. It’s that inattention to changed realities that’s made an unexpected menace possible: the razing sweep of the #MeToo movement... a misleading aspect of the #MeToo campaigners’ insistence that sexual harassment is ubiquitous. For many of us, the norm is living in the middle of that spectrum, a neutral place where, when it comes to men we’re not intimate with, nothing too daring or dastardly happens. It’s middle ground where we may roll our eyes at men or engage in low-level flirting, but where we co-exist with them harmoniously nonetheless... A look at the parade of recent scandals presents a troubling pattern: when social media isn’t being used to ruin careers, legal processes themselves, as disruptive and expensive as they are, are weaponized instead"
This revealing tidbit shows how feminists prize victimhood

Is a call for decent clothing sexist? - "Sexism means that you unfairly treat both genders differently. But consider now the principle of decency during a political discussion (PMP):
“During any political discussion, a person ought not to dress in a sexually arousing way if he or she wants to be taken seriously“.
This principle makes no mention of gender. It is valid for men, women, heterosexuals, and homosexuals alike."

Snopes 'Fact Checks,' Facebook Threatens Satire Site for Mocking CNN - "The Christian satire site Babylon Bee has been fact-checked by Snopes and threatened by Facebook after it published an Onion-style article about CNN about purchasing a washing machine to “spin the news.” The Babylon Bee openly advertises itself as a satire site... the Babylon Bee is more than willing to satirize their own among the Faithful. Naturally, none of this matters to our left-wing tech overlords, who are becoming increasingly desperate to censor free speech coming from conservatives, Christians, and the like... for the sin of tweaking CNN, not only is Facebook threatening the Babylon Bee with extinction, but those who share this satire are being flagged as spreaders of fake news."

SG academic at Oxford: Major “fake news” spreader is Govt – need to educate SGs to be more critical in thinking - "social media has proven adept at rapidly debunking untruths and hoaxes, with "fake news" often not merely debunked but also then mocked and ridiculed online... 'Fake news' is not a problem in Singapore — with one major exception: the People’s Action Party government has, historically, spread 'fake news' for narrow party-political gain." He gave examples of the numerous detentions sanctioned by the PAP government under the Internal Security Act."

Nobody Catcalls the Woman in the Wheelchair - "I don’t know the fear, embarrassment and/or anger that comes with unwanted sexual attention. A not insignificant part of me wishes I did, though... I envied my friends as they talked about how much it hurt to be reduced to nothing but a sex object... the way feminists tend to discuss street harassment as a given reinforces ableist ideas of womanhood... this assumption ignores a different form of harassment faced by those who are disabled. Harassment, after all, isn’t actually about sex, but about power — and my harassers hurt me through the power of desexualization. They use the same voice with me that they’d use with a 3-year-old. They pat my head like they would a dog. They stare at my chair while shushing their childrens’ innocent questions. It’s ableist rather than sexist street harassment (from all genders) that I experience... I did feel an undeniable thrill, just last year, when a guy messaged me on OKCupid with “suck my dick, sexy.” I didn’t respond, but I kept it in my inbox for a while. Its presence was almost comforting. Of course, that comfort was laced with unbearable guilt and self-hatred, but I clung to it nonetheless."
Is it discrimination to not catcall a woman in a wheelchair?
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