"Malaysia Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad and the Sultan of Johor are seen in a blue Proton Saga... "When asked whether there is any tension with the sultan, Dr Mahathir said: “No, I don’t see anything because I went to see him and he drove me to the airport. I don’t want to comment on the sultans because if I say anything that is not good then it’s not nice because he is the sultan”"

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Thursday, July 26, 2018

Links - 26th July 2018 (1)

Спи Спокойно, Предок — your-uncle-dave: leonardio-brando-dicapriccio: ... - "I realized that the only people who truly get offended by Cultural Appropriation are Americans. Ask a Jamaican if you can wear dreadlocks and they’ll most likely say they don’t care. Go to Japan wearing a Kimono and no one will be offended. Please remember that these people have voices too and can speak for themselves. You the SJW may be well meaning, but you getting offended for these people is incredibly patronizing to them because you are speaking for them. They don’t need that, they can speak for themselves. Remember that."

University of Michigan's Diversity Office Has an $11 Million Payroll - "the University of Michigan’s diversity office has approximately 100 staffers and a payroll of $11 million before benefits... It is largely unclear why the University of Michigan needs such a large diversity department. Additionally, it’s unclear exactly what the department is responsible for. In a page on the university’s website entitled “Defining Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion” the department argues that they aim to make diversity and inclusion efforts a major part of the University of Michigan community."
Maybe this is why college tuition keeps rising

Snapchat’s decline and the secret joy of internet ghost towns - "When websites become useless, they become a reminder of what was lost when the internet gained purpose, function, and profit. We are all still searching for an online space where we can yell our secrets and be unseen and disappear. These opportunities now often exist only in dying online spaces, the last place where no one is looking."

Fasting diets may raise risk of diabetes, researchers warn

Celebs Meltdown over White House Laurel VS Yanny Parody Video: 'White Supremacists Are Bad At Comedy'
It's actually quite funny
I guess those slamming Trump for spending time on this video cheered when Obama went on SNL

Sweden and Denmark have highest rates of sexual harassment in Europe - "in Sweden and Denmark, 80 to 100 per cent of people said they were sexually harassed as adults – the highest anywhere in the continent. In the UK, France, Germany, and Finland, 60 to 79 per cent of people said they were sexually harassed."

I Asked an Expert if Thanos Is Right - "A drop in fertility doesn’t change climate forecasts very much. It’s just not that influential, especially on the time horizon that we need. We need a change in carbon output this century to avoid catastrophic global warming. The impacts of reducing fertility start to show up in like 2075 and aren’t really big until 2200—that’s too little too late...
I write a lot about family issues and fertility, and there are a lot of pejoratives thrown around—"breeders" is a phrase people like to use. Sit down with a family that has five or six kids and ask them what their experience going to the mall or going to the movies. The looks they get, the things that get said to them. It’s absurd what people feel they have license to say."
Apparently the short term is the only thing that matters

Why replacing politicians with experts is a reckless idea - "contemporary social science provides plenty of evidence that the educated are just as subject to groupthink as other people, sometimes even more so. The political scientists Larry Bartels and Christopher Achen point this out in their 2016 book Democracy for Realists: “The historical record leaves little doubt that the educated, including the highly educated, have gone wrong in their moral and political thinking as often as everyone else.” Cognitive biases are no respecters of academic qualifications. How many social science graduates would judge the question about immigration according to the demanding tests that Brennan lays out, rather than according to what they would prefer to believe? The irony is that if Brennan’s voter exam were to ask whether the better-educated deserve more votes, the technically correct answer might be no. It would depend on who was marking it... we set the bar too high in politics by insisting on looking for the best thing to do. Sometimes it is more important to avoid the worst. Even if democracy is often bad at coming up with the right answers, it is good at unpicking the wrong ones. Moreover, it is good at exposing people who think they always know best. Democratic politics assumes there is no settled answer to any question and it ensures that is the case by allowing everyone a vote, including the ignorant. The randomness of democracy – which remains its essential quality – protects us against getting stuck with truly bad ideas. It means that nothing will last for long, because something else will come along to disrupt it."
Keywords: epistocracy

Do aphrodisiacs work? The truth about foods like oysters and chocolate - ""To be a true aphrodisiac, the substance has to elicit sexual desire," sexologist Megan Stubbs explained via email. Many foods believed to be aphrodisiacs indeed have anecdotal or subjective evidence attached to them, which makes the effects of consuming known aphrodisiacs difficult to prove scientifically. "It is all subjective," Stubbs said. "The power of suggestion is a strong motivator for sexual desire and the placebo effect can come into play as well." However, many foods can "benefit your sexual wellness," and many foods thought to be aphrodisiacs "come with their own health benefits that can help support a healthy sex drive""

Joy Reid’s troubles, from homophobic blogs to hacking claims, explained - "Joy-Ann Reid on Saturday apologized for her past “hurtful” remarks about LGBTQ people, following the resurfacing of homophobic blog posts from the mid-to-late 2000s. But she also said that she still doesn’t “believe” that she wrote the blog posts, suggesting — without evidence — that they were the result of an elaborate hack."

Is everything we eat associated with cancer? A systematic cookbook review. - "DESIGN: We selected 50 common ingredients from random recipes in a cookbook...
RESULTS: Forty ingredients (80%) had articles reporting on their cancer risk. Of 264 single-study assessments, 191 (72%) concluded that the tested food was associated with an increased (n = 103) or a decreased (n = 88) risk; 75% of the risk estimates had weak (0.05 > P ≥ 0.001) or no statistical (P > 0.05) significance...
CONCLUSIONS: Associations with cancer risk or benefits have been claimed for most food ingredients. Many single studies highlight implausibly large effects, even though evidence is weak. Effect sizes shrink in meta-analyses."

Judge affirms decision to put cancer warnings on coffee in California - "Superior court Judge Elihu Berle said Starbucks and other roasters and retailers failed to show that benefits from drinking coffee outweighed any risks from a carcinogen that is a byproduct of the roasting process"

Cancer patients who choose alternative medicine are richer, smarter - "People who choose to get alternative treatments for cancer tend to have everything else going for them - being happier, younger, wealthier, and more educated. Yet those who try to treat curable cancers with alternative medicines - including crystals and homeopathy - are 5.68 times more likely to die than people who get traditional treatments... being more educated may make people like Dr Johnson more likely to go looking for alternative therapies because they fancy themselves competent to choose a good one... Dr Johnson decided to make the 'CRAP' test for crap science. His clever evaluation method uses scores for four factors to determine whether information about alternative 'medicines' can be trusted: conspiracies or claims too good to be true, requests for money, anecdotes, and publisher credentials."

Do firms underinvest in long-term research? Evidence from cancer clinical trials. - "We investigate whether private research investments are distorted away from long-term projects. Our theoretical model highlights two potential sources of this distortion: short-termism and the fixed patent term. Our empirical context is cancer research, where clinical trials - and hence, project durations - are shorter for late-stage cancer treatments relative to early-stage treatments or cancer prevention. Using newly constructed data, we document several sources of evidence that together show private research investments are distorted away from long-term projects. The value of life-years at stake appears large. We analyze three potential policy responses: surrogate (non-mortality) clinicaltrial endpoints, targeted R&D subsidies, and patent design."
Ahh... libertarianism

Canadian Man Legally Changes Gender To Take Advantage Of Discriminatory Car Insurance Policies - "How much for my auto insurance?: $4517. I was disappointed to say the least and this was after we did everything to bring the premium down. So I ask “Out of curiosity, how much would my premium be if I was a woman?” The broker comes back with a quote of $3423. Holy f***... it is illegal to discriminate on the basis of gender when it comes to basic auto-insurance. When it comes to collision, however, it’s still legal to discriminate against genders on the basis of contrast in driving-statistics."
Feminists are happy with discrimination when it helps women

Drowning Doesn't Look Like Drowning - "Drowning is almost always a deceptively quiet event. The waving, splashing and yelling that dramatic conditioning (television) prepares us to look for is rarely seen in real life."

This is why you should NEVER put toilet paper down on the toilet seat before you sit - "you’re better off not putting anything down on the seat at all, whether it be toilet paper or one of those handy paper seat covers. That’s because toilet seats are made from materials that prevent bacteria from spreading in the first place. Their shape and the smooth surface make it extremely difficult for germs to latch onto them. In contrast, toilet paper has a rough texture and is designed to be absorbent, making it a perfect material for bacteria to stick to and hang around on. And because in most public toilets it is right next to the loo, every time you flush, germs fly into the air and can cling on to the roll."

Rock Stacking, or 'Natural Graffitti,' and Its Ecological Impact - "Beyond the visual disturbance of natural environments, each rock in a stream is blooming with life. Everything from aquatic plants to micro-organisms are attached to those rocks. They also create habitat for crustaceans and nymphs. Crevices in the rocks hold eggs in salmon redds to be fertilized, supporting those eggs until they grow into fry and begin feeding off the very critters that were hatching off of and crawling around those same rocks. You could be lifting the roof off the home of a crawfish, or disturbing the cradle for the future generations of already dwindling salmon runs. Removing rocks from fragile stream habitats is essentially the equivalent to removing bricks from someone else’s home while raiding their refrigerator and food pantry."

It Was A Company With A Lot Of Promise. Then A Chinese Customer Stole Its Technology

Dalai Lama: Tibet wants to stay with China, says Dalai Lama - "He took a dig at the average Indian’s laziness as well — describing them as “lazier than the Chinese”. "I think Indian people are lazy but that may be due to the climate. But India is more stable and can play a role in the world stage," he added. "India has a tradition of living together. (It is) a living example of different traditions being carried together," the Buddhist monk said, adding: "I can proudly state the same about Tibetan culture.""

Zheng Guoqiang: Feng shui master buried alive by mudlside at Zhaoqing cemetery in Guangdong province, China - "A feng shui master was buried alive by a mudslide moments after declaring a cemetery plot ideal for a client."

Father tricked his daughter into 'sham holiday' to Bangladesh - " father deceived his teenage daughter into travelling abroad for an arranged marriage and threatened to 'chop her up in 18 seconds' if she refused... the victim, from Yorkshire, was taken out of her school during term time for what she was told was a family holiday to Bangladesh"

Dalai Lama - Posts - "I’m Tibetan, I’m Buddhist and I’m the Dalai Lama, but if I emphasize these differences it sets me apart and raises barriers with other people. What we need to do is to pay more attention to the ways in which we are the same as other people."
The Dalai Lama rejects identity politics

Mark Zuckerberg’s early motto was “companies over countries” - "Zuckerberg began using the language of states to talk about Facebook’s burgeoning power. “Companies over countries,” he told me once, as we discussed a blog post about Facebook’s goals. “If you want to change the world, the best thing to do is to build a company”"

"Sneering Leftwing Racists" Are Prejudging Sajid Javid's Appointment As Home Secretary - "Maajid Nawaz calls out Andrew Adonis, a Labour peer, who has come under fire for tweeting a cartoon depiction of Sajid Javid deporting his own parents... "It is the first time that anyone from Britain's ethnic minority communities has ascended to the position of Home Secretary in this country's history"... "Some left wingers even went as far as to start using and hurling racial pejoratives, prejudging Sajid Javid by his skin colour to say that perhaps he shouldn't have been a Tory.""
Liberals only like minorities in power when they are liberal

Scientists accidentally create mutant enzyme that eats plastic bottles - "The new research was spurred by the discovery in 2016 of the first bacterium that had naturally evolved to eat plastic, at a waste dump in Japan"
Maybe terrorists will weaponise this

Sometimes expressing anger can help a relationship in the long-term - "A popular research trend in recent years, positive psychology has offered the promise that with forgiveness, optimism, kindness, and positive thinking, people can turn around their relationships even after a serious transgression. But as James McNulty of Florida State University investigated positive psychology and well-being, he began to see a different trend: "I continued to find evidence that thoughts and behaviors presumed to be associated with better well-being lead to worse well-being among some people -- usually the people who need the most help achieving well-being."... "Believing a partner is forgiving leads agreeable people to be less likely to offend that partner and disagreeable people to be more likely to offend that partner," he says. Additionally, he says, anger can serve an important role in signaling to a transgressing partner that the offensive behavior is not acceptable. "If the partner can do something to resolve a problem that is likely to otherwise continue and negatively affect the relationship, people may experience long-term benefits by temporarily withholding forgiveness and expressing anger.""

From midlife to early old age: Health trajectories associated with retirement - "Longitudinal analyses of repeat data suggest that health status improves after statutory and voluntarily retirement, although the improvement appears to attenuate over time"
Based on a Whitehall sample

Age at retirement and long term survival of an industrial population: prospective cohort study - "Retiring early at 55 or 60 was not associated with better survival than retiring at 65 in a cohort of past employees of the petrochemical industry. Mortality was higher in employees who retired at 55 than in those who continued working."
Based on a Shell sample
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