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More adventurous than the average bear

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Friday, August 03, 2018

Links - 3rd August 2018 (1)

What's Behind Marvel's Campaign To Remove The X-Men From Merchandising? - "Where the feud has been most public recently has been through the sale of things that aren’t comics, however. The comics website Bleeding Cool has long kept track of merchandising changes — but recently there have been several egregious examples of Marvel excluding the X-Men and Fantastic Four from toys and clothes. Last year, a list of Fantastic Four-related characters that were allegedly not allowed to be used as part of a series of collectible cards celebrating the companies’ 75th anniversary got leaked to the site, but the latest (and most bizarre) alterations highlighted by Bleeding Cool have come from T-Shirts, funnily enough."

Did Marvel Comics Just Silently Kill the X-MEN? - "It looks like Marvel’s finally doing what we’ve long feared they would do: using the Inhumans to eradicate the X-Men once and for all. Why? Because unlike the X-Men, Marvel can bring the Inhumans to the big-screen, and they plan on doing so when they kick off Phase 4 with an Inhumans flick in 2019."

A giant indoor farm in China is breeding 6 billion cockroaches a year. Here's why - "The world’s largest cockroach farm is breeding 6 billion adult cockroaches a year and using artificial intelligence to manage a colony larger than the world’s human population – all for medicinal use. It is part of the production process for a “healing potion” consumed by millions of patients in China"

Bill’s fashion – Steven Seagal in the 80s, Hillary’s fashion – Steven Seagal right now

NEVER go full Tariq! Tariq Nasheed’s WOKE take on Cosby verdict is the WOKEST level of WOKENESS - "This Bill Cosby verdict is a perfect lesson for Black ppl. One Black person having money does NOT make you exempt from systematic white supremacy. They used the "I'm white and I say so" law to take Cosby down. Thats because white supremacists know the importance of being on code"
This is just the modern equivalent of OJ Simpson

5 criticisms of billionaire mega-philanthropy, debunked - "“Couple decides to give majority of their earnings to charity” is hardly a headline that you’d expect people to take umbrage at. But when you replace “couple” with “Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan,” suddenly everyone goes crazy. Even though the majority of commentators have been positive, a significant proportion of people have reacted with anger or even condemnation to the news this week that the first couple of social media will be donating 99% of their Facebook shares (some $45 billion) to a new charitable initiative."

Only woman MP in male-dominated S’pore Parliament voted against Abortion Act in 1969 - "Chan Choy Siong was one of the first few female politicians in Singapore, and she was the only woman MP in Parliament at that time. She was against the Abortion Act... Speaking to the male-dominated Parliament, she stated: “All of you are not women.” She explained that the MPs for the Abortion Act are not well aware of the effects and damages that will be inflicted upon a woman during the abortion process."
What would a feminist say?

Bullet trains and the economics of high-speed railways - "There’s a “sweet spot” for HSR success, according to David Walker, associate director of KPMG’s Infrastructure and Project Group, who was also involved in a 2013 feasibility study into HSR in Australia. “The sweet spot is where there’s a journey duration of less than three hours and greater than two,” he says. “You need major cities a bit over 150km away from each other so that people want to use HSR, but not too far apart that the journey time becomes arduous. It comes down to geographics and population density. It’s going to work very well in some countries and not so well in other countries.”"

Does Malaysia Need High-Speed Rail? - "Between March 2017 and February 2018, 4 million people flew the Singapore-Kuala Lumpur route. Yet as you note, HSR’s supporters would have us believe that 22 million people will ride the line by 2036. Even cut in half, such a projection is unrealistic. Which brings me back to costs. As many a tourist has learned, the Shinkansen is one of the most expensive ways to move around Japan — and that certainly is one factor that keeps it in the black. By contrast, China’s HSR is wonderfully inexpensive and egalitarian — and loses money on all but a handful of routes"

Judge calls for kitchen knives to be blunted amid crime wave - "Judge Nic Madge has suggested introducing a scheme whereby members of the public could get their kitchen knives modified. They would be taken to centres where they would be grounded down to have round ends"
Knives can't be used for slashing?

‘Reparations Happy Hour’ Invites White People to Pay for Drinks - The New York Times - "In Portland, Ore., organizers of the “Reparations Happy Hour” invited black, brown and indigenous people to a bar and handed them $10 bills as they arrived, a small but symbolic gift mostly funded by white people who were asked not to attend."
How much longer can people be guilt tripped?

How Does Submissive Sex Work in the Age of #MeToo? - The New York Times - "Her 25 years as a counselor have taught her what many women and men privately know, but are now too afraid to admit — the same truth that the success of “Fifty Shades of Grey” tells: Many women like to be dominated in bed. “Not in their lifestyle, not in their career, but in the bedroom, many women would like to surrender,” Dr. Boehm said. This may explain why, on Amazon’s list of best-selling erotica — a medium that, unlike pornography, is mostly produced and enjoyed by women — themes of male dominance tend to, well, dominate... separate research conducted by the sexologists Meredith Chivers and Marta Meana supports the idea that biology plays a supporting role. Moreover, a 2009 study by Patricia H. Hawley at the University of Kansas found that the more socially dominant a woman was, the more likely she was to enjoy fantasies of sexual submission... [the conversation] tends to ignore certain messy truths about sex — the fickleness and wide variability of female desire, for instance, or the inconvenient fact that good sex often defies logic, political values and social mores. This has put young feminists like Ms. Tallarico and Virginia Rand, a 24-year-old writer and actress in Los Angeles, in a tricky situation. Ms. Rand recalled one recent sexual encounter in which her partner asked for verbal consent “every step of the way.” A rape survivor, Ms. Rand is well versed in feminist theory; she understands just how important and vital a shift such behavior from a young man is when it comes to casual sex. Yet, in practice, she had mixed feelings. “It’s difficult because on the one hand you’re like, ‘Dude, if I didn’t want it, I would stop you,’” she said. “On the other hand, that can be used against you if it was assault.”... “it seemed we were going one way, and then all of a sudden we were not.” He asked her if she was sure she didn’t want to. “And then she said, ‘No, it’s O.K.,’” he said. They had sex. Now Mr. Mobley is plagued with a sense of uncertainty and guilt over the incident: “Was it wrong of me, to ask a clarifying question? Was that coercion? That wasn’t what I meant at all. I was just legitimately confused.” Mr. Mobley said that post-#MeToo he and many of his male friends have sworn off making the first move... We tend to expect sexually liberated women to act the same as sexually liberated men (or at least the idea of them — promiscuous, assertive and self-centered in their pleasure seeking). It makes sense: For most of history, we only had the male model as an example. However, in practice, women may choose to enjoy sexual liberation in significantly different ways than their male counterparts... the concept of prescriptive, universal guidelines is anathema to truly mind-bending sex. So is codifying it into a moral or political act"
In other words, yet more problems with affirmative consent and downsides to #metoo

Funny, Crazy Secrets of Animal Behavior Revealed - "Similar to penguins, pandas remind us of toddlers, in the way they sit and eat and hold their food, or stumble around helplessly. We have therefore totally infantilized these bears, creating a mythology that they somehow need our help to survive. But the infantilized pandas we see in zoos are nothing like wild pandas. For instance, there’s this idea that pandas are rubbish at sex and hopeless at reproduction, but this is simply not true. In the wild, pandas are virile, with sperm counts a hundred times higher than humans. They’ve been observed mating up to 40 times in an afternoon"

The Case for Lowering the Voting Age … to Zero

.Mixed IDF units to see lighter physical tests for female soldiers - "Six months after instructing that women in mixed brigades carry 4 full magazines rather than 6, Brig. Gen. Mordechai Kahane announces decision to do away with demand that female soldiers clear an obstacle wall as part of physical assessments; ‘In two wars in Lebanon and Gaza I never saw a need to clear this kind of wall.’"
Maybe in war the enemy won't shoot if they see female soldiers
If such requirements are really unnecessary why not align them for male and female soldiers?


The psychology of stealing office supplies - "Employees who experience broken promises tend to experience a series of very intense negative emotions such as anger, frustration and outrage, which in turn will lead to a higher desire to dominate, retaliate and get even with the employer."

Every story in the world has one of these six basic plots - "researchers at the University of Vermont’s Computational Story Lab, analysed data from thousands of novels to reveal six basic story types – you could call them archetypes – that form the building blocks for more complex stories. The Vermont researchers describe the six story shapes behind more than 1700 English novels"

Michael Jackson's Gravity-Defying Lean Continues To Fascinate - ""Several MJ fans, including the authors, have tried to copy this move and failed, often injuring themselves in their endeavors," reads the paper published in the Journal of Neurosurgery. Trained dancers can lean forward a maximum of 25 to 30 degrees, but even then, it can put serious strain on the Achilles tendon.""

How gut microbes are joining the fight against cancer

This settles it: Cold days are superior to hot days - The Washington Post - "Heat makes people miserable. Economists have found that people would generally be willing to pay 1 percent to 3 percent of their annual income to avoid a 1 degree Fahrenheit increase in summer temperatures... When you get colder, people's emotions start to dip, too, after a point — but by a lesser amount. And there's a lot more variation in how people respond to colder temperatures... You can always put on more clothes when you get cold — but after a certain point you can't take any more off when you're hot (this is especially true when you work in an office)... a one-degree increase in temperature has an effect on your happiness that's similar to living in an area with a median income that is $500 lower. This starts to have implications for what we know about the effects of global warming"

Hotter years 'mean lower exam results' - "Researchers calculated that for every 0.55C increase in average temperature over the year, there was a 1% fall in learning. Colder days did not seem to damage achievement - but the negative impact began to be measurable as temperatures rose above 21C. The reduction in learning accelerated once temperatures rose above 32C and even more so above 38C."
The tropics suck

The Dark Knight of the Soul - "descriptions of meditation's adverse effects have been collecting dust on bookshelves for centuries."

35 and flat broke? Money saving tips to go debt-free - "Across Singapore, 30-something career women with no kids or mortgages are chalking up dizzying amounts of debt. According to Credit Bureau Singapore, women aged 30 to 34 who have unsecured credit (this includes credit cards) owe an average of $5,445 each. And as of July last year, 62,830 unsecured credit customers had not made a minimum payment in two months – a striking 12.7 per cent jump from the previous year."

Africa's last absolute monarch renames Swaziland as 'eSwatini' - "He said the name “Swaziland” had caused confusion. “Whenever we go abroad, people refer to us as Switzerland,” the king said"

Gay marriage in Australia: Brisbane protest turns violent - "THE debate over same-sex marriage turned ugly last night when a protest by “yes” campaigners erupted into violent scenes. Protesters outside a Brisbane church claimed they were attacked with cars as they gathered to oppose a meeting they described as a “homophobic forum”. Police attended the gathering at St Michael’s Dorrington Catholic Church at Ashgrove and at least one woman was treated by paramedics."
Now conservatives have more than the Hamilton Square Baptist Church riots to talk about when talking about gay violence

Why South Asia’s majorities act like persecuted minorities - Banyan
Why grievance politics is dangerous

The economist manifesto - "Smith saw the task of political economy as the pursuit of "two distinct objects": "first, to provide a plentiful revenue or subsistence for the people, or more properly to enable them to provide such a revenue or subsistence for themselves; and second, to supply the state or commonwealth with a revenue sufficient for the public services". He defended such public services as free education and poverty relief, while demanding greater freedom for the in­digent who receives support than the rather punitive Poor Laws of his day permitted. Beyond his attention to the components and responsibilities of a well-functioning market system (such as the role of accountability and trust), he was deeply concerned about the inequality and poverty that might remain in an otherwise successful market economy"

I got kicked out of diversity training - "Things went south even before the workshop actually started, setting a poisonous tone. As the group got organized online, one member shared a screen grab from her Facebook feed, in which a stream of self-appointed diversity advocates pounced on a young woman who had shared her happiness about graduating from medical school. Almost immediately, someone minimized her accomplishment by attributing much of it to “white privilege.”... the workshop leader was the worst of all, egging on members of the forming group to charge “privilege” toward every accomplishment of every white woman. She was bullying and encouraging bullying, and I said so... this expert’s credentials existed only in her imagination... She told us that no woman of color could ever trust any white woman. She told us that every white woman owed every woman of color reparations — and then asked for donations through PayPal. (And yes, some women in the group were quickly guilt-tripped into donating money.) Every question from a group member was denigrated as an avoidance tactic. She shared a video clip of an on-site training in which she shamed and ridiculed a participant for eight minutes — no mention as to whether the participant gave consent for her “whipping” to be paraded in front of some 50 people. She whipped up derechos of blame. I stood up to it and was erased from the group. (A couple other women did the same and were tossed out too.)... I’m not black, Latina, Asian or Native American, and I don’t know what it’s like to move through life initially defined by the color of my skin. But I know what it’s like for people to judge me based on my appearance"
Diversity = bashing white people
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