"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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Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Links - 11th September 2018 (1)

What happened to Tim Hortons? The downfall of Canada's brand - "“In an era where people are questioning what it means to have a national identity, what makes Tim Hortons Canadian?” Lloyd asks. “Is it the fact that the coffee is quite bland?”"

Expat Kids Open Up About Culture Shock When Doing National Service - "his life at an international school was very globally focused; it prepared students to pursue higher education outside of Singapore, focused on non-profits and inequalities that existed in countries like Cambodia, and Ladakh (in India), almost disregarding the more complex injustices and differences that exist in an everyday Singapore. “We live in Singapore, but we’re thinking outside of it the whole time,” he adds."

Hot Chili Peppers, War, and Sichuan Cuisine - "For years culinary detectives have been on the chili pepper’s trail, trying to figure out how a New World import became so firmly rooted in Sichuan, a landlocked province on the southwestern frontier of China... Food historians have pointed to the province’s hot and humid climate, the principles of Chinese medicine, the constraints of geography, and the exigencies of economics. Most recently neuropsychologists have uncovered a link between the chili pepper and risk-taking. The research is provocative because the Sichuan people have long been notorious for their rebellious spirit; some of the momentous events in modern Chinese political history can be traced back to Sichuan’s hot temper... Paul Sherman and Jennifer Billing found a correlation between the mean temperature of a country (or region) and the number of spices called for in recipes representing the “traditional” cuisine of that region. The equation was simple: The hotter the temperature, the more spices consumed. Their theory: Spices performed an anti-microbial function especially useful in tropical or subtropical regions where meat was likely to go bad quickly... To appreciate how deeply the hot pepper has become embedded in southwestern Chinese culture, says Gerald Zhang-Schmidt, an Austrian cultural anthropologist who lived for three years in Hunan, look at the vigorous rhetorical competition between the Hunanese and the Sichuanese on the question of which province is less afraid of the hot pepper. Both provinces, the core of China’s “chili belt,” exalt the stereotype of the “spicy girl” (la mei zi) who is “at least as irascible as the chili is hot”... the act of eating chili peppers is an acquired taste in Mexico. Children do not come out of the womb craving a scorching hot cuisine. They’re trained, by their families, to handle the chili’s burn with small doses that gradually increase... Byrnes found a significant correlation between people who scored high on a “sensation seeking” scale and people who liked the burn"

Amazon’s share of the US e-commerce market is now 49%, or 5% of all retail spend

On the 10th anniversary of the App store, it’s time to delete most of your apps - "The concept of “digital hoarding” is still mostly a colloquialism at this point, but the idea that a large quantity of apps and data prevent us from effectively finding and utilizing utilities that are actually useful becomes painfully apparent when scrolling through page after page of superflous downloads. And the underlying mechanism for keeping them around likely touches on the brain’s ability to create illogical, emotional attachments to things we think we might need later. Breaking the connection is hard, but has tangible benefits. While cleaning up your apps will make your phone more appealing to use and look at, it can also make it more secure"

Feeling les bleus: China firm to refund US$12 million after France World Cup win - "The company is an official sponsor of the French national football team. It had offered the deal to buyers of its "championship package" - which is valued up to 16,100 yuan and includes gas stoves, water heaters and dishwashers - from June 1 to July 3 as part of a marketing campaign."

Guess Which 4 Cities In Malaysia Were Listed As Asia's Most Dangerous? - "According to worldatlas.com, the following cities are some of the most dangerous places in the Asia continent:
1. Karachi, Pakistan
2. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
3. Petaling Jaya, Malaysia
4. Gurgaon, India
5. Klang, Malaysia
6. Dhaka, Bangladesh
7. Ulaan Baatar, Mongolia
8. Manila, Philippines
9. Quezon City, Philippines
10. Johor Bahru, Malaysia...
Kuala Lumpur - Petty and serious crimes by opportunists and criminals who try to "loot a tourist or a local".
Petaling Jaya - Frequent cases of robberies, thefts, and murders, and violent gang wars.
Klang - A large number of criminal gangs.
Johor Bahru - High number of pickpocketing and car thefts cases"

Malaysia Ranks Number 1 In South East Asia For Highest Crime Rate - "In the 2016 crime index by Numbeo, numbers have shown that Malaysia is ranked at a jaw-dropping top 15th in WORLD"

WeWork Tells Employees Meat Is Permanently Off the Company Menu
That's one way to cut costs

For Your Own Good, Stop Making RI the Scapegoat of Singapore’s Elitism - "When the national broadsheet publishes the headline “Can a taxi driver’s or hawker’s son still make it to Raffles Institution?” for an article with a completely different angle locked behind a paywall, it clearly demonstrates an intent to drum up anti-Raffles sentiment and steer the conversation on elitism and inequality towards a certain populist direction. (PM us for an ST Premium login.) Yet I don’t recall any classmate who thought they didn’t belong in RI simply because they felt overwhelmed by the number of students from high-SES families. It didn’t matter whether our parents were doctors, taxi drivers, or even ministers. We all formed our cliques and support groups based on personality and interests, not because of SES. And when it came to the events that mattered, like inter-class or inter-house competitions, everyone banded together... Never mind that there are 16 other schools offering the IP. RI, with its sister school RGS (Secondary), is always the de facto piñata for public pummelling."

Ontario’s sex-ed backlash isn’t about children’s safety - "I, too, was once a vocal supporter of the updated sex-ed curriculum, but watching how its unscientific claims about gender identity have spread so prevalently has dampened my enthusiasm. The curriculum promotes the idea that there are more than two genders and that gender identity is socially constructed. The fact that few people have pointed out how these teachings aren’t based in science should raise a red flag in parents’ minds. According to one survey, less than 1 per cent of people in the United States identify as transgender. That means for over 99 per cent of us, our biological sex is our gender. A curriculum that teaches gender fluidity is misleading and will impair a child’s ability to have an accurate understanding of the world... The backlash is emblematic of a disdain for those who lean right politically, and a desire to rally against Mr. Ford for the sake of political divisiveness."

WATCH: Ocasio-Cortez Says Low Unemployment Is 'Part Of The Problem,' Makes False Claims - "Socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said in a recent interview that the low U.S. unemployment rate is "a part of the problem" that she is looking to solve, then proceeded to make multiple false claims. Ocasio-Cortez joined Margaret Hoover on PBS's "Firing Line" where she attacked Israel, calling them the occupiers of Palestine, before admitting that she had no idea what she was talking about despite having a degree in economics and international relations."

Emotion shapes the diffusion of moralized content in social networks - "Political debate concerning moralized issues is increasingly common in online social networks... the expression of moral emotion is key for the spread of moral and political ideas in online social networks, a process we call “moral contagion.”... the presence of moral-emotional words in messages increased their diffusion by a factor of 20% for each additional word. Furthermore, we found that moral contagion was bounded by group membership; moral-emotional language increased diffusion more strongly within liberal and conservative networks, and less between them. Our results highlight the importance of emotion in the social transmission of moral ideas and also demonstrate the utility of social network methods for studying morality"

Paedophilia a 'sexual orientation - like being straight or gay' - "Asked “can paedophiles actually change?”, the expert wrote: “I believe Paedophilic Disorder is a sexual orientation with individual that are attracted to child features. In other words, an individual with paedophilia has the same ingrained attraction that a heterosexual female may feel towards a male, or a homosexual feels towards their same gender... “Treatment, to me, isn’t about modifying the orientation per se, but getting the individual to find more appropriate behaviours to engage in”... research from the National Crime Agency suggested 250,000 men in the UK could be considered "true paedophiles" - adults who are attracted to pre-pubescent girls less than 12 years old. Talking to The Independent in the wake of the research, one psychologist working said they should be treated as victims rather than offenders... In July 2010, the Harvard Mental Health Letter of July 2010 stated that "paedophilia is a sexual orientation and unlikely to change. Treatment aims to enable someone to resist acting on his sexual urges"."

Opinion | What Elon Musk Should Learn From the Thailand Cave Rescue - The New York Times - "Silicon Valley moguls seem to believe they can fix most anything, and they appear befuddled when their attempts to do so aren’t met with unbridled enthusiasm... when the head of the rescue operation, Narongsak Osottanakorn, declared that Mr. Musk’s contraption was impractical for the task at hand — a task that had been completed, at that point, by some of the world’s top cave divers — Mr. Musk responded with irritation. He insisted on Twitter that leaders of the operation had in fact welcomed his assistance and that Mr. Narongsak was not the “subject matter expert.”... The Silicon Valley model for doing things is a mix of can-do optimism, a faith that expertise in one domain can be transferred seamlessly to another and a preference for rapid, flashy, high-profile action. But what got the kids and their coach out of the cave was a different model: a slower, more methodical, more narrowly specialized approach to problems, one that has turned many risky enterprises into safe endeavors — commercial airline travel, for example, or rock climbing, both of which have extensive protocols and safety procedures that have taken years to develop... Silicon Valley moguls seem to favor spending money on improbable but impressive-sounding long shots... Silicon Valley also tends to ignore problems in its own house"

A Diver Who Rescued Boys From The Flooded Thai Cave Said Elon Musk's Submarine Plan Was "Just A PR Stunt"

Elon Musk Calls Diver in Thai Soccer Team Rescue a Pedophile - "Tesla CEO Elon Musk on Twitter this morning accused British diver Vern Unsworth of being a pedophile, after Unsworth criticized Musk’s proposal to use a small submarine to rescue a trapped soccer team in Thailand."

A Brief History Of Elon Musk Trying To 'Help'

We tend to empathize with our online avatars. So let's get rid of white emojis | Jess Zimmerman
This doesn't help counter claims of white genocide

Look at What’s Going to Happen to Sweden’s Fabled Welfare State - "Sweden’s population is forecast to grow by 10 percent over the next decade, reaching about 11 million, due mostly to a recent rise in immigration (the Scandinavian nation accepted more asylum seekers than most of its European partners during the 2015 refugee crisis). An aging population and the growing need to integrate foreigners are also piling pressure on its welfare state, widely regarded as one of the world’s most generous."

'It all came to nothing': 'Gangster lawyer' Josephus Tan on his political ambitions - "It clearly came as a shock when he realised in 2015 that his silky long hair, which is the stuff of shampoo commercials, and his tattoos could be working against him. Concerns on the ground about his public image crushed his political ambitions. He claims this was one of the reasons he was ultimately not fielded in 2015. His public image, in fact, seemed like a selling point up till then. He’s probably the only lawyer in Singapore who looks the way he does. It made him stand out... "
If I’m going to remove my tattoos, change my hairstyle just because I want to get into politics, there’s an element of hypocrisy to it"... “Often, there are reasons for their behaviour. Out of the hundreds of cases I’ve handled, only maybe one or two involve perpetrators who have are born evil. They are psychopathic or sociopathic and have no remorse for their actions.”
For others, there will be a form of explanation for what they did and mostly it’s a circumstantial factor. They are either lowly educated or in a financially difficult position, or they have medical or mental illnesses, or they come from a broken family nucleus, all sorts of problems. It’s almost like a social problem and the legal problem is just one part of it.”... “Singapore has never been a very litigious society so we lack knowledge compared to our peers in other countries. I think most Singaporeans engage in what we call 'kopitiam laws'. They believe more in vigilante justice or they have this lynch mob mentality."
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