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More adventurous than the average bear

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Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Links - 18th July 2018 (2)

BBC World Service - The Food Chain, This Food Will Save Your Life* - "People who have the ability to spend money on things like this and have a certain level of education, and who have a certain philosophical approach where they want to treat themselves with things that are "natural". And what we find is that having more education makes people feel more confident and makes them feel more open to what would otherwise be considered fringe ideas, but doesn't necessarily prepare them with the level of scientific knowledge that you would need or the critical thinking skills that you would need to then deconstruct those claims. You don't get that until you get to like a graduate level of science education. So at the highest levels, then belief in all this stuff drops off like a cliff...
What the wellness industry is, it's essentially the diet industry upgraded for millennials, and then what's gonna happen next is the wellness with industry will recognize the fact that it's getting bad press, so it'll be rebranded, to maybe something like the self care movement...
Your mommy was right, eat your vegetables. If you do that, that gets you like 95% plus the way to a perfect diet and then everything else is seriously diminishing returns. But I think the real problem is the multi billion dollar self help and dieting industry, because you can't make money off that message. It's too simple. There's gotta be enough complexity in there to fill book and to sell it."

BBC World Service - The Food Chain, Food Confidential - "Hershey's, notoriously... tries to recreate a production process which Mr Hershey had seen in operation in Europe and got the process slightly wrong and ended up with a rather sour tasting chocolate, but then that sold in their millions. So there's certain evidence in history of chocolate, that even if you haven't been able to steal the secret completely, but a half baked secret stolen can still end up being successful product...
Very often, many of the restaurant chains, the strength of their food product is not necessarily that it's the best: it's that there is consistency and you go into that restaurant be in it Beijing, or Birmingham, and it's the same product. And that consistency is the real value in many of the restaurant chains that we're all familiar with."

BBC World Service - The Food Chain, Claudia Roden: My Life in Five Dishes - "[In the 50s] When my children were at school or nursery I would go to the library and read up the history. And so when I went to the British library, I asked them for any books on Arab food, every one was 13th century. There was no contemporary book on Arab food in the British library. They usually have everything..
In Britain, people didn't really want to eat anything that came from the Middle East at that time. It sounded disgusting to them, the idea of the Middle East, because already they had been at war, but also the countries had been their colonies and they despised them. But also when the English at the time traveled, the English in Egypt would never eat anything local. They ate their own food. And even I remember reading about those who went to discover the Tutankhamun, the big archaeologist, they would have everything sent. Hampers from Harrods when they were the great archaeologist. But if they were a minor one, they would bring their tins"

BBC World Service - The Food Chain, Fussy Old World - "Food Neophobia. And that's really a fear of anything novel. So a new foods or not wanting to eat something that you haven't eaten before. And food neophobia is actually a pretty common normal developmental phase that most children go through from toddlerhood to the early school years, really. There is an evolutionary theory that children are most open to trying new flavors and new textures when around the weaning time. So it tends to be between four and six months. And if we think about our ancestors, what used to happen was that mom would pick those foods and try those foods and know what those foods are before she gave them to the child. So they were perfectly safe and fine to eat. By the time the child is about 20 months old, they're mobile. So started to walk. And they can go and forage for themselves and they can pick things up and put things into their mouth. And so at that point, the child needs to start to be a bit ... the foods that they tend to be most fearful about are vegetables, which taste bitter, which can be poisonous and can be harmful and protein foods, which also can harbor bacteria and viruses, which can also make them ill... On the other hand, the sorts of foods that children will not struggle to eat: biscuits, crisps, they're foods that very unlikely to cause the child harm. They're also very high in calories and children have very high energy requirements at that particular time because they're growing very quickly, and so it makes sense that children gravitate towards those foods and like them for it provides a survival advantage...
Mixed foods were more likely to be refused and refused in the neophobic period because you couldn't really tell what was in them... when you get to the neophobic it's a lot easier to see similarities between things like biscuits, to say, that's another form of biscuit. I can eat that one. Whereas fruit and vegetables don't look similar. Sources of protein don't look similar to one another..
It can take about 15 offerings with the same food on consecutive days to get a child to even put it into their mouth...
We know that fussy eating actually has a really strong genetic basis, and we know this largely from twin studies. Food fussiness and food neophobia are probably about 50% heritable in the early toddler years. But then by the time children are three, four years old, we're talking about 70 80% heritable, which means that the majority of differences between children's fussiness are explained by genetic differences between children"

'Crusader Kings 2' Used Alt-right Battlecry to Promote Free Steam Download - "Paradox Interactive, publisher of PC grand strategy game Crusader Kings 2, says it has “no tolerance for racist or nationalist organizations” after it faced criticism for using a battlecry of the “alt-right” in a tweet to promote a free download. The Latin expression— Deus Vult or “God wills it”—originated in 1095 in the time of the Crusades"
They need to ban Buddhists from using the swastika too

Confession: I'm A Feminist Who's Flattered By Catcalling - "It wasn’t the only time I’ve been flattered by street harassment — I’ve even happily obliged men who’ve asked me that most offensive of questions: Can you smile, pretty girl? — and it might not even be the last. Indeed, my affinity for catcalls has yet to dim, even as I’ve become more committed to women’s rights issues and more inundated in stories about harassment. When I watched that viral smash video of a woman being catcalled 108 times in a day, my first thought wasn’t, How terrible and sexist! but Wow, she must be really pretty; there’s no way I’d get catcalled that often in a day."

Woman Says Harry Potter Ride 'Fat-Shamed' Her Because She Couldn't Fit, Calls For 'Inclusive' Design Changes - "A plus-sized woman claims she visited the "Wizarding World of Harry Potter" and was denied entry onto the Hogwarts ride because her size did not meet safety standards... prior to Jana's entry, a plus-sized friend who previously made the venture cautioned her that this might happen. Jana, however, decided to take her chances... For Jana, the experience indeed "fat-shamed" her and she feels that some of that stemmed from how the Harry Potter series presents "big characters," which reflects the broader culture. "Upon further investigation, the books and movies have only a few big characters and most of them are antagonistic," she writes. "The Fat Lady painting is obnoxious and bossy. The Dursleys are lazy and entitled. Crabbe and Goyle are both fat dunces who follow the orders of the lithe, vampire-looking Draco Malfoy. Hogwarts absolutely condones this and so does the general public." Being unable to participate in the ride made Jana feel like a victim of "size-based discrimination" that she and her community have been combating for years. She claims this discrimination is so insidious that it made her actually wish she "were small enough to take the Hogwarts ride."... She rejects the idea that the Harry Potter ride and other experiences reject plus-sized people for "safety" reasons, instead theorizing that it is to keep the "general public safe from our fatness.""
If she goes on the ride and gets injured she can sue them. So it's a win-win scenario

"Less democracy, better government," says Mason professor - "According to Jones, less democracy would lead to better governance because politicians would be inclined to work on long term growth rather than spending to impress constituents during election season. Politicians try to please the public at the expense of neglecting long-term policies because they are elected through a democratic process... Jones’s overall message was a proposition that less democracy would be better for the economy, but that democracy should not be totally removed. The problem with democracy is that politicians cater to the ignorance of voters to get reelected. But the elimination of democracy could leave intelligent people with bad intentions in charge of the economy."

Mossad ran fake Arous resort in Sudan as front for 1980s operations - "A group of Mossad agents were tasked with smuggling thousands of Jewish refugees in Ethiopia, known as Beta Israelis, from Ethiopia to Israel in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Thousands of Ethiopian Jews were stranded in Sudan, a Muslim-majority nation hostile to Israel. The agents had to smuggle the refugees across Sudan, then sailed across the Red Sea or airlifted to Israel. And because Sudan and Israel were enemies, both the Ethiopian Jews and Mossad agents had to keep their identifies hidden."

Meghan Markle will get a fancy new title when she marries Prince Harry — but it's so weird that she'll never use it - "It is highly likely that Markle will become a duchess, like Kate Middleton did. But there’s another title she will gain from the marriage that she will almost certainly never use for anything. In keeping with royal tradition, after she marries Markle can technically be called Princess Henry of Wales. She gets that title from the days when royal spouses took their husband’s name (Prince Harry’s name is not actually Harry, but Henry)."

ISIS and the Intimate Kill - "ISIS’s jihad, as its progenitor Zarqawi well understood, isn’t about winning hearts and minds. It is about breaking hearts and minds. ISIS doesn’t want to convince its detractors and enemies. It wants to command them, if not destroy them altogether. And its strategy for achieving this goal seems to be based on destroying their will through intimate killing. This, in part, is what the group’s staged beheadings are about: They subliminally communicate ISIS’s proficiency in the art of the intimate kill. And this terrifies many people, because they sense just how hard it is to do."

Is there any special significance to beheading in Islam? - "Muhammad's earliest biographer, Ibn-Ishaq, describes how the prophet approved the beheadings of between 600 and 900 men from the Jewish Banu Qurayza tribe following the Battle of the Trench. * Decapitation of a dead enemy on the battlefield was the "primary form of symbolic aggression among Ottoman soldiers," according to this history of the Ottoman Empire... Outside the context of warfare, beheadings are accepted as a criminal sanction in parts of the modern Islamic world"

What is a bralette? Lingerie experts explain. - "A bralette is an unstructured bra. It’s usually unlined, unpadded, wire-free"

A new survey shows most women groom their pubic hair. Should we be concerned? - "3 percent of emergency-room patients presenting with trauma to the genital area had sustained their injuries through pubic hair grooming. There are plenty of legitimate reasons for removing pubic hair: to keep it from poking out of a bathing suit; to enhance stimulation during oral sex; to relieve the itching some women experience with a full bush. But implicit and explicit messages from friends, partners, pop culture, and porn still perpetrate the sexual ideal of a bare, prepubescent-looking pubic area... If women do groom their pubic hair for the pleasure and approval of men, it may be in part because there’s a tangible reward system in place. A 28-year-old Slate colleague told me she started waxing off all her pubic hair when her boyfriend “gently” suggested it. “At first I was like, ‘fuck the patriarchy!’” she says. “But I gave in, and then I liked it. Plus, he went down on me more.”"
Interestingly, the only "legitimate" reasons are those which benefit only an idealised self outside of society

Why do lesbians earn more than straight women? - "On average, for every dollar earned by a man in a heterosexual couple, a woman in a heterosexual couple earns 63 cents, while a woman in a same-sex couple earns 79 cents (same-sex coupled men earn 98 cents), according to an analysis by the Center for American Progress, which was based on findings in a 2013 report by The Williams Institute’s Gary J. Gates. This is true despite evidence that lesbians, along with gay men, experience more discrimination in the workplace than heterosexuals do; they also have less job satisfaction... lesbians seeking employment in male-dominated fields earn more interviews and are offered higher salaries than gay men are"
If lesbians earn more than straight women for the same reasons men do, that suggests that sexism isn't to blame

How the CIA encouraged citizens under occupation to sabotage their workplaces during World War II. - "The Office of Strategic Services (the CIA's World War II–era precursor) created this document in 1944, for use by operatives in Europe who were trying to recruit civilians living in occupied countries to commit sabotage"

“Hotness” affects student evaluations more than gender. - "some studies report a bias against women, but some note that female instructors receive slightly better ratings... people rely on stereotypes more if there is more uncertainty. If there is less uncertainty, as in an in-class setting, the effects of stereotypes could be expected to be much diminished. Indeed, there is usually no significant gender-based difference in student evaluations for in-class (not online) settings... we gathered data from RateMyProfessors.com... the correlation between RMP ratings and evaluations is surprisingly—and sufficiently—high... women are overrepresented in the tails of the distribution. In other words, there are relatively more women among professors who are rated as truly amazing and who are perceived as absolutely terrible, with an overrepresentation of male professors sandwiched in between. We want to emphasize how surprised and shocked we were when we saw this. That’s because in virtually all other domains anyone has looked—income, general life outcomes (e.g., having a powerful position vs. being homeless or incarcerated), and even number of offspring—men are overrepresented in the tails of these distributions, with women being overrepresented in the middle. These discrepancies are often attributed to the difference in men’s increased propensity to take risks... is the most important factor in student evaluations the professor’s physical appearance? We refuse to believe that people—even young students—are actually that shallow. As this is purely correlational, we can’t discern if attractive professors get good ratings or if professors who get good ratings are perceived as attractive. There are even other possibilities: Maybe professors who are good at their job are more confident than others and are thus perceived as more attractive. Maybe students “award” a pepper as a reward for a job well done. We can’t discern these possibilities here, but we don’t have to. We just wanted to illustrate what a strong effect looks like, and the effect of perceived physical attractiveness on student ratings is strong, whereas gender effects are not."
Feminist logic might be that due to patriarchy, females are disadvantaged so those who do become instructors are actually better than the men. So if the data don't show female instructors are rated significantly worse, that's still proof of sexism

More details emerge in story of cop who choked black teen after prom — and all is not what it seemed - "Police have been investigating a viral video featuring a Warsaw, North Carolina police officer choking and slamming a young black man up against a wall last week at a Waffle House after he’d taken his 16-year-old sister to prom. The young man, 22-year-old Anthony Wall, is still wearing his tuxedo during the arrest, which saw Wall wrestled to the ground... “The young man came into the township of Warsaw, went into a restaurant, he became disruptive, he brought on the issue, which called for an arrest,” he said. “This young man was irate and doing things and threatening employees.” According to Connors, Wall also started a fight prior to police arrival at the Waffle House. Connors noted that when law enforcement did arrive, Wall refused to cooperate"
It is racist to enforce the law

Male Student Accuses Female Student of Sexual Assault. She Says He Wanted Revenge. - "Roe also contends that it was ridiculous to find her guilty of nonconsensual sex because of Doe's drunkenness, but not find Doe guilty too: Roe was also drunk at the time, so under the rules she was just as unable to consent to sex as he was. While this might seem like a paradox—how can two young people rape each other?—it would actually be a straightforward application of affirmative consent, which requires all participants in a sexual encounter to proactively obtain freely given and unambiguous consent before proceeding... According to The Cincinnati Enquirer, Roe said that she was being punished for "engaging in the same sexual freedoms that men on the campus enjoy." It might be more accurate to say she is being held to the same standard—a standard that is, for many reasons, horrible... Here's an alternative theory: Doe woke up, realized they had engaged in sexual activity while they were both drunk, and feared that she would file a complaint against him, as she had done to his friend. Panic-stricken, he felt he had no choice but to beat her to the punch. Indeed, if you suspect you are going to become the subject of a Title IX investigation, the optimal strategy may very well be to file the first complaint. For reasons not completely clear to me, Title IX administrators often appear biased in favor of the initial complainant, and presume the other party is the wrongdoer."
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