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More adventurous than the average bear

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Sunday, July 29, 2018

Links - 29th July 2018 (2)

Neil DeGrasse Tyson: Racism and Sexism in Science - "when Neil DeGrasse Tyson was on a panel about science education and was asked by an older white male, “so, what’s up with chics in science?” his answer was absolutely brilliant... before we start talking about genetic differences you gotta come up with a system where there’s equal opportunity, then we can have that conversation"
Before we start talking about how genetic differences affect how different ethnicities react to the same drug, certain ethnicities are more prone to diabetes to others or how the symptoms of heart attacks in women are different from men, we gotta come up with a healthcare system and society which treats different ethnicities equally, then we can have that conversation

Fury after Morrisons wouldn't sell couple meat pies before 9am - "Linda and Tony Gilkes were left piping hot with fury after their local Morrisons refused to sell them meat pies before 9am. “I wanted eight large sausage rolls and two steak bakes,” said Linda, 62, from Thorntree. “It was 8.45am and there were no pies at all displayed. “I could see bags and bags of pies, all wrapped up on cages behind the counter. The trolley was ready to be pushed out. “But when I asked for the pies, I was told: ‘We can’t sell the pies until 9am’. I could have had a fruit pie, but not a meat pie.”"
???

Intellectual property rights and innovation: Evidence from the human genome - "Celera’s IP led to reductions in subsequent scientific research and product development on the order of 20 to 30 percent. Taken together, these results suggest that Celera’s short-term IP had persistent negative effects on subsequent innovation relative to a counterfactual of Celera genes having always been in the public domain."

New York art museum refuses to remove 'voyeurisic' painting of girl, after thousands sign petition - "New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art has refused to remove a 1938 painting by the artist known as Balthus that depicts a young girl in what some are saying is a sexually suggestive pose. The painting, entitled Therese Dreaming, shows the girl leaning back with her underwear visible. The late Polish-French artist, born Balthasar Klossowski, is known for his erotically-charged images of pubescent girls. An online petition that had garnered thousands of signatures on Monday urged the museum to rethink its decision to display the painting in light of today's climate around sexual assault... The petition's author, Mia Merrill, suggested that the painting be replaced by one created by a female artist of the same period."
Combining censorship with affirmative action!

Playboy Is Naked Again And It Is Awesome - "In 2015, the magazine, faced with competition from the internet where anything goes when it comes to sex, stopped running images of unclothed young ladies. By all accounts, including my own, the results were terrible. Now, Playboy Enterprises is back in the skin game with its March/April 2017 issue... The nude photos feature breasts and buttocks -- that's it. No one's going to confuse this publication with Penthouse or Hustler. Playboy and Co. know if readers want something more explicit, they know exactly where they can find it: on the internet. As a consequence, Cooper's business strategy with his Playboy is that he isn't trying to compete. He's aiming to own a very specific space, one his father created, with a cool mix of politics, sex, and anti-establishment attitude. This issue isn't just about the skin"

Hong Kong's brain drain: Why its young are losing hope and leaving - "“We earn HK$10,000 to HK$20,000 (S$1,710 to S$3,430) a month, and an apartment is HK$5 million upward … If you buy an apartment, you have to pay for it for the rest of your life.” To them, the city is not only dying – it is already dead... Former lawmaker Kenneth Chan, who teaches political science at Hong Kong Baptist University, spoke about what Chinese President Xi Jinping once told Hongkongers: That instead of the city having separation of powers, the government, legislature and judiciary should work together. “This is a direct attack on one of our core values”"

Abbas turns screw on Hamas by cutting Gaza's electricity
But when Israel cuts the electricity...

There's a Suicide Epidemic in Utah — And One Neuroscientist Thinks He Knows Why - "Living in Utah means packed powder in April, canyoneering in the clouds, snow-capped vistas so vivid they look Photoshopped — and the shortest average work week in the country... Renshaw believes that altitude has an impact on our brain chemistry, specifically that it changes the levels of serotonin and dopamine, two key chemicals in the brain that help regulate our feelings of happiness... a group of researchers, including Renshaw, analyzed state suicide rates with respect to gun ownership, population density, poverty, health insurance quality and availability of psychiatric care. Of all the factors, altitude had the strongest link to suicide — even the group of states with the least available psychiatric care had fewer suicides than the highest-altitude states, where psychiatric care was easier to find."

Indian govt employee declares himself reincarnation of Vishnu, skips work to go to '5th dimension' - "A senior engineer at an Indian government agency has been a no-show at work for eight months as he was busy performing his duties as a deity, namely the 10th reincarnation of Vishnu, the man explained in a letter to his employer... The man said his restless work has not been without success, taking credit for India's recent "good rains."... The orders he is being given frequently make little or no sense, such as travelling by train without a ticket or buying cheap electronic devices, but Fefar does not appear to second guess them."

Doctor Who Slipped Girlfriend Abortion Drug Sentenced to Three Years - "A doctor who slipped his girlfriend the abortion pill in her tea has been sentenced to three years in prison after pleading guilty to fetal homicide."
Yet if she'd taken it herself...

China fines Muji for packaging that lists Taiwan as a country - "The Muji packaging violated Chinese advertising law which warns against hurting China's dignity and interest... Its Shanghai unit also pulled a catalogue in January after authorities complained that it had published an "inaccurate" map with wrong borders and missing islands."

Snake sneaks into college dorm room, ends up being caught, cooked, and eaten by students - "Upon seeing the animal, some male students at the Chongqing Institute of Mechanical & Electrical Engineering did not flee their dormitory in terror. Instead, they caught the snake, skinned it, and chopped it up before placing it in a lovely-looking stew along with red dates, ginseng, orange peels, Angelica, and leeks... another snake was purportedly more fortunate after being discovered lurking inside the squat toilet of a 6th floor flat in a Chengdu residential high-rise. The snake had made its way there after escaping from an upstairs neighbor who planned to use it in the making of some medicinal “snake wine” to help heal her ailing lower back."

French Girl Marries Chinese Guy Saying She Does Not Need a Car or Apartment, But Only Love - "young newly wed couple, 26-year-old French woman named Emilie and 24-year-old groom Xie Donglin got married by doing what’s known to be a “naked marriage”. The term “naked marriage” in Chinese basically means getting married before owning your own car or apartment... The two met and Emilie boldly asked for his contact information. Later, she confessed to him that she liked him and they began dating"

Where does the magic in D&D come from? - "when Gygax and Arneson were designing D&D, they needed a system to handle magic. Their inspiration was directly from Jack Vance’s The Dying Earth, which is why the now ubiquitous magic system used on most RPGs is called Vancian Magic... magical spells get more powerful as the wizard advances in level. Whereas a 1st level wizard can’t do much more that cause a candle to flicker, a higher level wizard can bend the entire fabric of reality with a wish spell. In fact, the leveling of a wizard’s power has been given a name and charted on a graph: “Linear Warriors, Quadratic Wizards.”"

Baby 'accidentally decapitated inside mother's womb' during delivery - "Dr Vaishnavy Laxman, a consultant gynaecologist who was working on an NHS maternity unit, is said to have ignored the woman giving birth’s requests to stop and failed to provide pain relief. The obstetrician at Ninewells Hospital in Dundee is accused of wrongly going ahead with a vaginal labour in spite of several complications that meant a Caesarean delivery would have been safer because the premature infant was in a breech position... Two other doctors consequently carried out a C-section on the woman to remove the infant’s head. It was ‘’reattached’’ to his body so his mother could hold him before she said goodbye"

'Too expensive' to delete millions of police mugshots of innocent people, minister claims - "Millions of police mugshots of innocent people cannot be deleted because it would be too expensive, a government minister has claimed – despite a High Court ruling that the practice is unlawful"

'I missed a lot': Bill Gates regrets not partying and going to football games at Harvard

Inside Plaza Singapura's blogshop cluster - "At Fayth, there is a corkboard where customers can leave feedback and an arrangement of chairs affectionately called the "Boyfriend Corner" for men to rest while their girlfriends shop."

Greg Mankiw's Blog: A Real World Giffen Good - "we find strong evidence that poor households in Hunan exhibit Giffen behavior with respect to rice. That is, lowering the price of rice via the experimental subsidy caused households to reduce their demand for rice, and removing the subsidy had the opposite effect."

Dear Well-Meaning Parents and Educators: Stop Giving Girls Self-Esteem Problems - "Kids love fantasy. They love imaginary play. Here, we've got a whole movie about a girl with a fairy godmother and a pumpkin turning into a carriage and mice turning into coach drivers... but the only thing that parents worry is "unrealistic" is Lily James's waist? Likewise, we've got parents who are "banning Barbie" in favor of Barbie's more "realistic" cousin, Lammily. Lammily has "average proportions," and, for $7, you can even buy "marks" to put on her -- so your doll can have scars, acne, stretch marks, moles and cellulite. So, show of hands! Who knew what stretch marks and cellulite were when you were eight?... kids don't look at her and compare their (pre-pubescent) bodies to Jasmine and Ariel. Kids don't look at Barbie and feel bad about themselves. Unless... (wait for it)... adults tell them to... Not to mention the whole sexist double standard. I don't hear people complaining about how unrealistically strong and handsome Gaston (Beauty and the Beast) and Christoff (Frozen) are... how come you didn't complain about how unrealistically wealthy Bat Man and Iron Man are? (After all, there are a hell of a lot more size 0's than there are multibillionaires in this world.)"

Students of 2016 Are Exposed to Fewer and Less Provocative Ideas Than Students of 2014. - "Cultural differences in how people feel they should respond to traumatic (and "traumatic") events can explain why many Americans receive a PTSD diagnosis after a fender bender, while genocide survivors in Rwanda are able to manage their trauma and recovery without psychological assistance. (Instead, they prefer practical asistance -- help finding jobs, assistance with the visa application process, etc.) ...
The healthiest thing you can feel is autonomy. One of the most unhealthy things you can feel is helplessness... It's well-demonstrated that students and adults alike are heavily influenced by our expecations for them. When professors profess that half of their students are victims of some kind or another, you remove responsibility from them. When you set up safe spaces and trigger warnings, you tell students that you don't think they can handle content without assistance from a higher authority. You don't think they are able to manage their own emotions. You don't think they can or should be exposed to certain viewpoints... Need more proof that objectivity in academia is in danger? Consider the "emerging field" of autoethnography. It's basicaly like a blog where you write about yourself... except it's published in a scholarly journal. And! These "scholars" claim that, because their work is so personal, it should only be subject to certain kinds of criticism"

it's all one thing: The Problem with Privilege Theory - "In the US’s most recent social struggle, the fight for GLBTQ rights, no one argues that serving in the military or getting married are privileges. We argue that they are human rights which every human deserves—and that continues to be the winning argument."

Investigating the Potential for Miscommunication Using Emoji

The secret to the Uber economy is wealth inequality - "There are only two requirements for an on-demand service economy to work, and neither is an iPhone. First, the market being addressed needs to be big enough to scale—food, laundry, taxi rides. Without that, it’s just a concierge service for the rich rather than a disruptive paradigm shift, as a venture capitalist might say. Second, and perhaps more importantly, there needs to be a large enough labor class willing to work at wages that customers consider affordable and that the middlemen consider worthwhile for their profit margins."

China’s facial-recognition cameras keep catching fugitives at pop star Jacky Cheung's concerts - "A friendly reminder to Chinese fugitives: Just don’t go to Jacky Cheung concerts."

World traveler assures mom he's safe with hilarious 'Mom, I'm Fine' photo series on 9GAG

Brides are so scarce in China, some men are even considering divorced women, state media says - "Some poor rural men are “ready to do anything to find a woman,” it goes on. Even women with “with physical disabilities or mental retardation” are being targeted by matchmakers, a rural lawyer tells the paper."

Marijuana eaten by mice, say Argentina police officers - "Investigators discovered 540kg (1,191lb) of marijuana missing from a police warehouse in Pilar, north-west of Buenos Aires."

What’s free in your country – but not in mine? - "Northern India and Pakistan
Pretty much every grocery shop in this part of the world offers a free and generous side of fresh coriander and green chillies, common local ingredients in curries and chutneys...
in India, people enjoy an unlimited supply of advice... "In other countries, you need to pay for consultations, but in India you can get it free of cost at tea stalls, [during] marriages or family functions, [on] trains, buses by almost anyone," said Kanchan Saxena, who currently lives in the United States. "We love giving advice."
Fast food may have originated in the US, but the free condiments that generously accompany meals haven't always translated to their counterparts overseas...
To accompany Australia's great outdoors, the country offers plenty of free things to enjoy outside."Many public parks and national parks have free barbeque hot plates"... In the Northern Territory, residents can enjoy a unique respite from the heat. "As the waters are croc infested, residents can cool down by using free water slides"...
Tap water might be free in some countries, but true mineral water usually comes at a premium. Not so in Slovakia, where mineral springs are everywhere...
[Norwegian laws] allow residents to have free movement on roads, rivers and lakes; to forage for berries, mushrooms and wildflowers; and to camp overnight ­– as long as its 150m from the nearest building."
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