"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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Monday, September 24, 2018

Links - 24th September 2018 (2)

Army Ants Attack Wasp Nest By Building Giant Hanging Bridge With Their Bodies

The Case for Sustainable Meat - "From Pimental’s total, we can calculate that such a cow uses over 12 million litres of water during its lifetime – equivalent to an acre of land under ten feet of water. But cows typically drink only 50 litres of water per day, which leads to a figure of 200 litres per kilo or just 0.2 percent of Pimental’s value. How did the agronomist create such a monumentally inflated figure? Astonishingly, Pimental included all of the rain that fell on the land on which the beef was reared, ignoring the fact that that rain would have fallen whether cattle were there or not... Another anti-meat statistic is some variation on the claim that it takes 20kg of grain to produce a kilo of beef. This notion hangs on the false assumption that all farms raise animals in feedlots. In the UK, however, cows and sheep spend most of their life on grass... virtually all the grain used for animal feed is grain deemed unfit for human consumption, either because it was spoiled or contaminated... As well as providing meat for human consumption, cows, sheep and pigs produce leather, wool, grease, blood and bones in substantial quantities which are used for a huge number of industrial processes, including making fertilisers for organic farming and even – for a brief time at least – the new five-pound notes. Almost nothing goes to waste... Ploughing up grassland actually releases carbon from long-term soil stores, which makes the idea of switching from livestock to arable farming look decidedly un-green. Ploughing also increases soil erosion, runoff, and nutrient depletion – all factors that are ignored in the AMPAG narrative... Taking into account the reality of the whole farm cycle as well as human protein needs, New Zealand researchers recently found that in temperate climates dairy farming is actually the most environmentally sound way to feed a population."

Indiana University student triggers scare after mistaking priest for KKK man - "In addition the belt around his waist was mistaken for a whip, prompting one of the residential officers at the university to issue a warning to other students."

uhhhhhhh (video)
Giraffe deep throat

Jessica Price is Not a Martyr For Workers’ Rights – David Cole - "when you publicly advertise yourself as part of a company and then publicly deride a fairly well-known member of that company’s greater community, then you can probably expect that company to retaliate. You may think, then, that this was all very sudden. That if this was the first offense Price had committed, then there should have been discussion, not punishment. What if I told you it wasn’t?... when all is said and done, I believe Jessica Price is a bad person. You do not celebrate a person’s death, period. But even if we were to walk around that statement and argue that certain people’s deaths are worth celebrating (an opinion I do not hold), then John Bain was not one of those people."
Of course the usual "gaming press" is sympathetic to her and blames toxic fans

Extremist Muslim father at New Mexico compound was training kids to carry out school shootings - "The Muslim extremist father arrested at a New Mexico compound with 11 starving children had been training them to carry out school shootings, new legal documents claim. Siraj Wahhaj, 39, was arrested at the compound in Amalia on Friday with his brother-in-law, wife and two sisters"

Venezuela's Nicolás Maduro survives apparent assassination attempt - "Some in Venezuela, however, are questioning the government’s version of events. Firefighters say the incident was caused by a gas tank explosion in a nearby apartment, according to the Associated Press. Some local journalists have backed up the claim, posting photos on Twitter of smoke billowing from the Residancias Don Eduardo apartment building on the street where the apparent attack took place. Rocío San Miguel, a military expert and the head of Control Ciudadano, an investigative website focused on security, said that at least one drone belonged to the military, who lost control of the device inflight. Soldiers then shot it down... “I am alive and victorious,” the socialist president said in a bellicose televised address. “Everything points to the Venezuelan ultra-right in alliance with the Colombian ultra-right, and that the name of Juan Manuel Santos is behind this attack.” A spokesperson for the Colombian president, who leaves office on Tuesday, quickly denied the allegations. “The president is focused on the baptism of his granddaughter and not on bringing down foreign governments,” the official said... Some Venezuela experts raised suspicions about what had actually happened on social media. “The official ‘investigation’ of today’s alleged assassination attempt against president Maduro takes the usual course: begin with the conclusions and work backwards,” Phil Gunson, a consultant with the non-profit Crisis Group, tweeted. “In a country where 98% of crime goes unpunished, government sleuths resolve this kind of case in a matter of hours.” Venezuela, which has the largest proven oil reserves on the planet, has been in economic and political turmoil for several years"

Activated charcoal is an actual detox product, which is why you should avoid it - "Actually using activated charcoal on your teeth, though, could potentially end up damaging your enamel — and, because you’re scouring the protective layer of your teeth right off, the teeth become more susceptible to staining."

Small Dogs Pee Higher to Lie About Their Size, New Study Concludes

Commentary: In the Philippines, the pitfalls of an education aimed at exporting people - "Most people assume that migration occurs when young people are unable to find jobs to fit their training and qualifications. But in the Philippines, a large number of Filipinos actually choose their college majors based on what jobs are supposedly available abroad."

Claire Lehmann on Twitter - "Every time I get a random abusive tweet, I check the bio of the author and lo and behold their pronouns are listed."
Coincidentally, those with funny pronouns always claim to receive abuse and be the victims of persecution

Seth Rogen Apologizes After Being Criticized For Putting A Child Actor In Blackface - "TMZ released images from set showing a stunt-double wearing body padding, a wig and makeup to make his skin tone darker than it naturally was. The boy was a stand-in and stunt-double for child actor Keith L. Williams, who is heavier and has a darker skin tone than the stand-in. Both boys are black, but Keith's skin is darker... The child's father also happens to be a long-time stunt double who was on set. He says he's offended that anyone is making complaints regarding his son and nothing was done outside of what is standard."
I guess the Deadpool 2 diversity death wasn't enough

Belfast airport turns away wheelchair user due to repair kit - "A disabled man was unable to board a flight from Belfast because his wheelchair repair kit was deemed a security risk"
Security as theatre not just doesn't make you safer but has real costs

Lim Biow Chuan made a valid point – awkwardly - "Lim Biow Chuan, made a valid point of how the elderly should keep active and busy. Unfortunately, his argument was couched in an awkward example of his father running a fruit stall... It is commendable that Mr Lim would accept the losses from the fruit stall as long as it could stave off his father’s onset of mental illness. Of course, not everyone can do what Mr Lim did and accept such losses. But that is not the point which actually is this: do everything you can to help your elderly loved ones to stay healthy, whether physically or mentally."
Also: "My mum, about 10 years ago, worked in a coffeeshop as a cleaner. Because she is bored at home. And she asked me, would it embarrass you? I said no, I mean it is a decent job, you want to go and work, I won’t stop you from working. Because if you think it is a decent job, so be it. She is not robbing someone, she is not relying on charity, she wants to work as a coffeeshop cleaner because she gets to do something, she mixes with people, she is happy and I am happy. So now that she is older, she is retired.", i.e. not all old people who are working need the money

Korea’s ‘One a Day Banana’ is Pure Brilliance - "E-mart in Korea is now selling the "One a Day Banana" pack, containing several bananas of different ripeness so that you can eat them over several days"

Leave those kids alone - "teachers across Scotland are all set to have exactly this discussion. Children in Primary One – that’s five year-olds – are to be taught that it is up to them to decide if they are a boy or a girl... If a boy enjoys being a boy and wants to grow up into a man, is that really so bad?"
Sex education class being indoctrination was not a paranoid right wing conspiracy theory after all

A feeling of apartheid in Holland - "The vision of a globalised society, wherein Moroccans, Persians, Eritreans, Scandinavians and Latin-Americans or what-have-you live in the same street, shop at the same stores, and drink at the same bars, presumably in a land of perpetual sunshine is a fantasy so flawed, so objectively failed, that one would have to spend one’s days in an ivory tower, locked away from reality, in order to believe it. The harsh reality in Holland now is that people have their own barbers, their own shopping markets, their own foods, their own places to socialise, their own worlds. They are not comfortable living around one another, and where they are forced to do so by the rental market, they are not comfortable sharing the space. This is not an opinion – this is a fact backed by government research. The latest findings by the Dutch government explicitly state that feelings of mistrust and loss of identity rise in parallel with an increase in societal diversity."

Alex Jones Claims 5.6 Million New Infowars Subscribers Since Big Tech Blacklisting - "Alex Jones claims 5.6 million people have subscribed to his free Infowars newsletter and podcast over the last 48 hours. These 48 hours have been crucial for Jones, as the Big Tech monopolies and left-wing news outlets like CNN and BuzzFeed have joined forces to blacklist/erase Infowars from the public square. Jones and Infowars have had their accounts canceled – have been effectively purged and erased – from YouTube, Facebook, Apple, LinkedIn, Spotify, Stitcher, and Pinterest. Even the emailing service MailChimp blacklisted Jones, in what has been a highly effective and coordinated media/Big Tech campaign to silence a vocal Trump supporter... As of now, no tech company has explained why they are blacklisting Jones. While Jones has spread his share of wild conspiracy theories, so has CNN’s Brian Stelter, and so has much of the rest of the media regarding Trump’s non-existent collusion with Russia. CNN’s Jake Tapper repeatedly lies about Trump mocking the handicap of a New York Times reporter and just last week, CNN’s Chris Cuomo spread a wild conspiracy theory about Trump and the number 17."

Cannibal restaurant 'with roasted human heads on the menu' shut down by police - "Police arrested 11 people and closed a restaurant after two human heads wrapped in cellophane were discovered at a hotel restaurant that had been serving human flesh. A tip-off led police to the macabre discovery in Anambra, Nigeria, with 11 people being arrested and AK-47 guns and other weapons being seized."

Desiree Akhavan: ‘The only mainstream queer female stories have been directed by men – it disgusts me’
"Representation" isn't enough. Why even bother?

Where’s the Nearest Starbucks? Sex Differences in Wayfinding - "men rely more on spatial cues like distance and direction when navigating (i.e., they use Euclidean properties). Whereas women are more likely to use landmarks when navigating... It’s not just a couple of studies that demonstrate these sex differences in spatial abilities. Not even just a dozen. We’re talking hundreds... men’s and women’s differences in mental rotation and object location abilities are highly replicable and real... increasing gender egalitarianism was associated with larger sex differences in object location memory... Anthropologists have examined spatial abilities in many other pre-industrial cultures, usually with similar results... In real-world tests of spatial ability, numerous studies have confirmed men’s superior ability at mental rotation (Lawton, 1996). For instance, several studies of parking ability have shown men park more accurately than women... Postma et al. (2012) investigated men’s and women’s spatial memory of their parking place during an incidental visit to a shopping mall. As expected from an evolutionary perspective, women reported more landmarks in their route descriptions than men, whereas men used metric terms more often than women. Men also outperformed women in estimating the exact Euclidean distance to their car. In actually locating their car in the real world, 14% made a substantial detour, most of them women... In one ingenious study, researchers were able to test pre-verbal infants who were only 5 months old using habituation and mirror images. They found male infants, but not female infants, showed the ability to rotate and recognize mirror image objects... Silverman et al. (1999) found among men that mean levels of testosterone are related to mental rotation abilities, but not to other non-navigation related cognitive traits. Other researchers have found similar results (e.g., Kimura & Hampson, 1994). General circulating levels of estrogen, in contrast, appear to improve performance on object memory games, but reduce performance on Euclidean spatial tasks... Experiments in which hormones are manipulated also tend to confirm evolutionary perspectives on sex differences in cognitive abilities. For instance, in a double-blind placebo-controlled study, a single sublingual dose of 0.5 mg of testosterone significantly improved healthy young women’s performances on a mental rotation task... Several studies have found the level of testosterone a girl is exposed to in the womb predicts her subsequent spatial abilities... among bisexual men, Cohen (2002) found the less the men had homoerotic orientations (finding male bodies attractive), the better they did on mental rotation tests"
Testosterone Rex strikes again
Patriarchy must be very powerful since the effects of gender discrimination are visible on 5 month old babies

#MeToo: female spotted hyenas can show us how to smash the patriarchy
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