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More adventurous than the average bear

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Friday, July 06, 2018

Links - 6th July 2018 (1)

[UPDATED] Katy Perry Kissed a Boy On The 'American Idol' Premiere, And He Didn't Like It - "The audition started with 19-year-old Benjamin Glaze talking about the cute girls he talks to while working as a cashier. Judge Luke Bryan then asked Glaze if he’d ever kissed a girl and liked it, to which Glaze responded, “No, I’ve never been in a relationship. I can’t kiss a girl without being in a relationship.” Surprised, Perry stood up and demanded he come kiss her. Fellow judge Lionel Richie encouraged it and waved him over to the panel. After hesitating and saying no a few times, Glaze went in for a kiss on the cheek, but didn’t make a kissing sound — to Perry’s great disappointment. So he went in for a second attempt, which is when Perry pulled a switcheroo and landed a big one on his lips. She cheered, “I got him!” High fives were exchanged between the judges while Glaze fell to the ground with his mouth wide open in shock"
Actually he was right that it wasn't sexual harassment - it was sexual assault. (as a feminist might say when she wants to make sexual assault seem like a huge problem

Is an unwanted hug and kiss sexual assault? Not always, judge rules in trial of ex-Yukon MLA - "During a two-day trial in August, several witnesses — including Laxton’s common-law wife — testified it was no uncommon for Laxton to be seen hugging and kissing his female friends and that the relationship between Laxton and his accuser during her days as a waitress was flirtatious. Laxton testified he had previously hugged and kissed the woman on a number of occasions. Laxton’s lawyer, Andre Roothman, homed in on how long it had taken the accuser to report the incident and reportedly quipped there should be a ban on French, Portuguese and Italian immigrants because of their proclivity for kissing... Asked Friday if Laxton planned to continue his habit of kissing and hugging his female friends, Roothman said he couldn’t comment on his client’s intentions. “My advice to any man would be to avoid kissing any women, other than his own mother!” he wrote in an email."

Vacuum Wars: Xiaomi vs Roborock S50 Robot Vacuum Review - "Xiaomi has consistently been placed on the must buy list of robot vacuums since the debut of the Mi Robot Vacuum 2 years ago, and it’s any wonder, really. Aside from having some of the best navigational routines and cleaning abilities of any robot vacuum out there, the Xiaomi Mi Robot Vacuum is also one of the least expensive robot vacuums around"

Why They Hate Margaret Atwood - "literary critic Carmine Starnino once noted, Atwood is the “best-known English-language novelist of contemporary sexual politics.” She more or less invented the modern Anglo Canadian feminist fiction genre, specializing in what Starnino aptly describes as “salty post-Freudian satires on gender inequalities, the oppressiveness of marriage and the historical animosity of women.”... the ideological mobbing of Atwood and other well-established writers has become a mass-participation phenomenon among young Canadian literati who mobilize daily on social media... the closest comparison I can offer would come by way of imagining the late Edward Said being denounced by Palestinian-rights advocates as a febrile Zionist—or Black Lives Matter protestors savaging the work of Ta-Nehisi Coates. As magazine writer Alicia Elliott put it recently, the world of Canadian literature (“CanLit,” as it’s known within the treehouse) has become “a raging dumpster fire” of embittered identity politics and ideological tribalism... As one B.C. author told me, “If you’re having sex with someone to get a poem published in a magazine, then there are bigger problems to deal with [in your life] than regret.”... In her 2017 book The Perils of Privilege, Toronto-based writer Phoebe Maltz Bovy noted that the call-out culture of Twitter metes out especially cruel treatment to successful women—a phenomenon she traces to “the fetishization of powerlessness.”... hierarchies of merit can be understood in purely political terms, which means that successful writers such as Atwood are guilty of taking up “space” that should be given over to others—even if those others are commercially obscure and possess less talent... to understand the CanLit feminist attack on Atwood is to understand how the very concept of literary merit came to be understood in a radically different way. “I kind of blame the university creative-writing programs,” a prominent Canadian writer and former professor told me. “Students come out of these programs without any clue about how hard authors have to work to produce a good novel.” “That’s because the students don’t get honest feedback. University life is now customer-focused. Hurting a person’s feelings—by telling them they’re not a good writer—now can be characterized as a form of harassment... an entire generation of fiction writers has come through creative-writing programs thinking that they’re skilled auteurs with important, luminous stories to tell the planet—especially in the case of female, immigrant or Indigenous writers, who constantly are being bombarded with well-practiced aphorisms about the special moral urgency of their message. When they graduate, and there’s no market for their work, these writers naturally conclude that dark forces are at work... “they somehow have this weird idea that if they get some famous author ‘canceled’ by shaming him [on Twitter], then that author’s spot [on bookshelves] will open up in the market for their own book. But of course, it doesn’t work that way.”... When one of their kind focuses on an ethnic group that doesn’t match his or her own skin hue, he or she often is accused of racism or cultural appropriation. So everyone “stays in their lane.” For the most part, their only real subject of daily concern is the purported injustices within their own tiny professional subculture. “It is increasingly common for academics to see and teach literature as fundamentally a kind of activism, and their role as critics as an activist one as well,” a successful Ontario-based novelist told me. “And there is really a very easy way of determining [a book’s value]. It is not by its content or form. It is in the identity of its author... Our country has long been vulnerable to “tall-poppy syndrome,” by which mediocrities in a particular métier will work together to cut down the reputation of an outlier who has achieved success beyond Canada’s borders. And thanks to the modern fixation on gender and race, these poppy cutters can now cynically present their scythes as tools of social justice."

MIT Librarian: Star Trek Posters Discourage Women from STEM Fields - "As the Fix noted, nearly half the attendees of the Creation 40th Anniversary Star Trek convention were women. What’s more, a 2010 survey of 5,014 Star Trek fans found that 57 percent of them were female... it seems as though the main stereotype being reinforced here is the one that Star Trek fans are exclusively male — and Bourg is the one reinforcing it"

How Taipei Metro turned itself around - and the lessons for Singapore's MRT system - "the Taipei Metro, which opened in 1996, was not always a success story. In 2003, six delays of over an hour had a major impact on commuters and affected its image... The Taipei Metro is nationalised and is majority-owned by the Taipei City government... “If profit is the only criterion … then very quickly, the public transport will break down.”"

Immigrants Are Getting the Right to Vote in Cities Across America - "With a tie-breaking vote from the mayor, the City Council in College Park approved the measure to allow undocumented immigrants, student visa holders and residents with green cards to vote in local elections"

Bizarre video of turkeys circling dead cat goes viral - "The recording shows what appears to be 17 turkeys circling the cat."

FB touted its elections impact as Zuckerberg called the idea 'crazy' - "Facebook had apparently been proudly documenting the influence it had on politics, and even reportedly had a section in the "Success Stories" tab on its business site that showed how much of a role the platform had played in elections around the world"

Facebook, Twitter: Russian actors sought to undermine Trump after election
Funny, I thought he was a Russian agent

Revealed: Which degrees could earn you the highest graduate salary - and the lowest - "Medicine has been revealed as the degree subject attracting the highest graduate salaries according to figures from the Department for Education... At the other end of the spectrum people graduating with creative arts degrees had the lowest average salaries, standing at just £20,200 five years after graduation... While medical students had the highest median salaries after five years, those who studied economics were earning more at the higher end of the scale. The top quarter of earners among economic graduates earned in excess of £54,500 after five years, compared to £52,100 among medical students... Other than law, the top eight subjects for pay progression were all science based."
Law was actually below average

$100 Billion Chinese-Made City Near Singapore 'Scares the Hell Out of Everybody' - "The scale of the projects is dizzying. Country Garden’s Forest City, on four artificial islands, will house 700,000 people on an area four times the size of New York’s Central Park. It will have office towers, parks, hotels, shopping malls and an international school, all draped with greenery"

Opinion | Pope Francis Is Beloved. His Papacy Might Be a Disaster. - The New York Times - "They aren’t usually paying close attention to the battles between cardinals and theologians over whether his agenda is farsighted or potentially heretical. Nor are they focused on his governance of the Vatican, where Francis is a reformer without major reforms, and the promised cleanup may never actually materialize... Francis has allowed a tacit decentralization of doctrinal authority, in which different countries and dioceses can take different approaches to controversial questions... The church’s approach to assisted suicide is traditional if you listen to the bishops of Western Canada, flexible and accommodating if you heed the bishops in Canada’s Maritime Provinces... there is no sign as yet that Francis’s liberalization is bringing his lapsed-Catholic admirers back to the pews; from Germany to Australia to his native Latin America, the church’s institutional decline continues. And sustaining a for-the-time-being Catholicism, as his immediate predecessors did, is not an achievement to be lightly dismissed. Whereas accelerating division when your office is charged with maintaining unity and continuity is a serious business — especially when the eventual resolution is so bafflingly difficult to envision or predict."
Perhaps this shows that most religious people aren't really looking for a modern, liberal form of religion

The Agency - The New York Times - "Russia’s information war might be thought of as the biggest trolling operation in history, and its target is nothing less than the utility of the Internet as a democratic space."

Vice Media Replaces CEO With Nancy Dubuc, Following Era Of Sexual Harassment Culture - "Vice Media, under the helm of CEO Shane smith, was supposed to usher in a feminist-friendly atmosphere; a culture themed around progressivism and Liberal-leaning content. However, what Smith fostered is a culture that many former female employees labeled as a culture of sexual harassment. Multiple journalists and former executives at Vice have been fired for sexual misconduct, including some of the executives. The company is also facing down against a gender pay-gap lawsuit, spurred on by multiple female employees who discovered that they were being paid less for the same job positions as their male counterparts. The real irony was that those who were fired claimed to be male feminist allies, and even their most outspoken journalists who stood against #GamerGate were fired for sexual misconduct."

Flashing your finger is no middling matter - "flashing a middle finger, as per the aforementioned law, is considered ‘an indecent gesture in pubic and a crime related to breaching a victim’s pride, privacy and/or modesty’... The cassation and supreme courts in the UAE handed out several precedents and landmark rulings in which any form of public indecency — including the act of flashing a middle finger — has been considered and is treated as a crime of breaching a victim’s pride, honour and modesty... "deportation is obligatory against those who are incriminated of committing an indecent gesture in public such as flashing their middle finger, kissing, cuddling or hugging""

More evidence essential oils 'make male breasts develop' - "The American study found that key chemicals in the oils boost oestrogen and inhibit testosterone... The plant-derived oils are found in a number of products such as soaps, lotions, shampoos and hair-styling products. They're also popular as alternative cleaning products and medical treatments... lavender and tea tree oil had properties that competed with or hindered the hormones that control male characteristics, which could affect puberty and growth"

Our Society Needs More Masculinity, Not Less - " 26 out of the last 27 deadliest mass shooters were fatherless. That’s why boys who grow up in single-mother homes are twice as likely to commit crimes than those who grow up with a present dad. That’s why both sons and daughters are more likely to become depressed without a strong relationship with their father. That’s why 71% of high school dropouts are fatherless. Not because they had too much male strength in their lives, but because they didn’t have enough. If masculinity were truly toxic, then wouldn’t boys and girls who grow up without dads be happier and healthier? If it were better that men were more like women, wouldn’t kids be just as content with a mom than with having a father, too?... Those without a strong father tend to act out in aggression in their adolescent and adult years– not because they’re oversaturated with maleness, but because they’re starving for it. The void caused by fatherlessness, along with its consequential damage, should be a pretty good indication that it’s not less or weaker men that we need, but more strong ones. If the family deteriorates because of a lack of a strong male figure, doesn’t it follow that society, too, falls apart without strong, honorable men?"

Infamous Google memo author shot down by federal labor board - "In explaining the board's reasoning, NLRB member Jayme Sophir points to two specific parts of the controversial memo circulated by Damore in August: Damore's claim that women are "more prone to 'neuroticism,' resulting in women experiencing higher anxiety and exhibiting lower tolerance for stress" and that "men demonstrate greater variance in IQ than women.""
Science is discriminatory and sexual harassment

African gangs in Melbourne are a problem, police admit, as Victorian Government defends strategy - "Victorian police have conceded Melbourne has a problem with African street gangs, after earlier insisting there were no gangs in the city"

Police hunt after 'gay men punched and told you are not welcome in homophobic attacks' in Walthamstow

Gal Gadot of 'Wonder Woman' called 'ableist' for Stephen Hawking tweet - ""Rest in peace Dr. Hawking. Now you're free of any physical constraints.. Your brilliance and wisdom will be cherished forever," Gadot tweeted."
Not to mention the pro-Palestine crowd
Medicine is ableism

“Can we stop classifying ‘realistic proportions’... - ""This Is What Disney Princesses Would Look Like If They Had Realistic Proportions"
"“Can we stop classifying ‘realistic proportions’ as fat please? Like seriously? Do these people really think a mermaid who swims constantly would be fat? Or a woman living in France before the French Revolution would be fat?* Or a Native American girl who constantly runs around and maybe helps to carry heavy things and hunt would be fat? Every time I see articles like this one it makes me so mad. They boast about ‘oh think of all the little fat girls that look at these skinny princesses and hate themselves!’ but fail to think about the little skinny girls who hear people talk about how being skinny isn’t ‘normal’ or ‘realistic’ and feel bad about themselves. There are two sides to every coin, skinny and fat kids get picked on for being skinny and fat. This type of shit isn’t for ‘teh liddle gurls’ it’s for fat, vain adult women who feel insecure because of a freaking cartoon.”"
"Realism" = Glorifying obesity
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