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Wednesday, September 05, 2018

Links - 5th September 2018 (1)

Women's Health Magazine Slammed for Putting 'Severely' Obese Woman on Cover - "Self, a women's magazine that focuses on "health, wellness, beauty, and style" is facing criticism for putting plus-size model Tess Holliday on the cover of its first digital issue."
The glorification of obesity continues

It’s not fine to be fat. Celebrating obesity is irresponsible | Lizzie Cernik - "Fronted by plus-sized models and social media influencers, the fat acceptance movement aims to normalise obesity, letting everyone know that it’s fine to be fat. With terms such as “straight size” and “fat pride” proliferating, some influential figures are now even likening the valid concerns of health officials to hate crimes... According to the NHS, we’re in the grip of an obesity epidemic, which has led to increased pressure on the struggling health service. The latest figures reveal that weight-related hospital admissions have risen by 18% in the past year, with more than a quarter (26%) of British adults now classified as obese. Another recent study, which measured the metabolic health of more than 17,000 respondents, showed that overweight people who exercise regularly and consider themselves “fat but fit” still had a 28% increased risk of heart disease, compared to their slimmer counterparts... Smoking is an addiction that many struggle to control, but we don’t celebrate it with viral social media campaigns about smoking pride. Although we acknowledge that some smokers can run 10 miles or live into their 90s, we recognise that the overall risks of tobacco inhalation are high, and vastly increase the odds of a premature death. So what makes obesity different? Whether we want to gorge on 3kg of chocolate, drink until we vomit in the bathtub or line our lungs with carcinogenic tar, informed adults are free to make their own choices. But while your own body is your business, actively encouraging unhealthy lifestyle choices and denying health risks in a public space isn’t promoting body positivity – it’s just giving the green light to different kinds of eating disorders."

Body-positive movement contributing to obesity - "the number of overweight people who who underestimate their weight has increased over time, from 48.4 percent to 57.9 percent in men and 24.5 percent to 30.6 percent in women between 1997 and 2015... people with lower income were more affected by exposure to overweight bodies."

Multiple Studies Explain Why Women Love Fat Guys - "Husky men are better in bed (and not just because they occasionally bring snacks) according to a survey of 2,544 British women. Thirty-eight percent reported that overweight or plus-size men were superior lovers. It’s not totally clear why extra cushion improves the pushing, but research suggests stamina might have something to do with it. Men with noticeable bellies and higher BMIs last 7.3 minutes longer in bed than slimmer men... People consider heavier male politicians more trustworthy than thin ones"

“Palestinians” have the 8th highest obesity rate in the world; third highest among women - "Far left and antisemitic activists often claim that Israel cuts off food and other humanitarian supplies to Gaza and that as a result Gaza’s go without food, clothing and suitable water. Ironically the largest contributor of humanitarian aid to Gaza is Israel."
Worst. Genocide. Ever.

Things to Help You Sleep: Room Temperature, Sleep Problems, Brown Fat - "Wearing a cooling cap helped insomniacs snooze almost as well as people without sleep problems... there’s also some evidence that yawning helps your brain offload heat before bedtime. In fact, there’s lots of evidence for the cooler camp. A drop in your core temperature triggers your body’s “let’s hit the sack” systems... sleeping in a cool room could have some calorie-burning health benefits. Healthy men who spent a month sleeping in a cool (but not cold) 66-degree room increased their stores of metabolically active brown fat... keeping your head nice and cool is conducive to good sleep. To achieve that, set your thermostat somewhere around 65 degrees, research suggests. And layer up until you feel the Sandman creep closer."

Lessons From Singapore's Progress Through The Words Of Philip Yeo - "Looking at today’s management in the parliament, he likened them more to administrators rather than leaders. This is because ministers today easily overwork themselves, getting involved in every single day-to-day matters when these issues could be solved by the chairman of the different agencies and organisations. This has also brought undesired repercussions to Admin Officers and permanent secretaries who, in his time, were…well, permanent. Today, he calls them “temporary secretaries” who do not have the same wealth of experience as those before them, as they are rotated every few years."

Summary of "The Straw Vulcan" - "A “Straw Vulcan”—an idea originally defined on TV Tropes—is a straw man used to show that emotion is better than logic. Traditionally, you have your ‘rational’ character who thinks perfectly ‘logically’, but then ends up running into trouble, having problems, or failing to achieve what they were trying to achieve. These characters have a sort of fake rationality. They don’t fail because rationality failed, but because they aren’t actually being rational. Straw Vulcan rationality is not the same thing as actual rationality."

Islamophobia: What Is Really Wrong With It - "As former editor-in-chief of Charlie Hebdo Stéphane “Charb” Charbonnier states in his posthumous Open Letter: On Blasphemy, Islamophobia, and the True Enemies of Free Expression, the phenomenon gained traction by the “mostly idiotic complicity of the media”, because of “laziness, then for novelty, and lastly out of commercial interest.”... People expect Muslims to have some fundamental connection to the people of the Middle East, and Middle-Easterners and meant to be Muslim. Equally worrying is that Muslims and Middle Eastern people are seldom seen by the aforementioned as capable of holding other religious ideologies or fundamental worldviews, such as the so-called humanist world view borne post-enlightenment. This is a form of Orientalism that not only plays on longstanding stereotypes, but systematises it under the guise of political egalitarianism. By conflating an ideology with a group of people, these people are not only essentialised but are judged by a lower set of moral standards... When a group of people and an ideology are conflated, those in that very group who dare modify the ideology, are met with scepticism. Indeed, progressive Muslims who argue that, for example, feminism and democracy are perfect compatible with Islam, are often accused of not being “real Muslims” and not speaking on behalf of the Muslim community. Many such progressives are often deemed ‘uncle toms‘, and colonial gambits... The important liberal principles of free speech and open enquiry are being threatened by a wily – and let’s face it, ingenious – new form of censorship. I say ‘censorship’ but many would be inclined to call it by another name: ‘blasphemy’."

Why Thanos From 'Avengers: Infinity War' Gets Sustainability So Wrong - "Research published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences showed that even a catastrophic mass mortality event of 2 billion deaths in the mid-21st century would still leave around 8.5 billion people by 2100. One child policies similar to China’s would have even less of an impact. Population control doesn’t control the population for long."

Employees Who Stay In Companies Longer Than Two Years Get Paid 50% Less - "Staying employed at the same company for over two years on average is going to make you earn less over your lifetime by about 50% or more. Keep in mind that 50% is a conservative number at the lowest end of the spectrum. This is assuming that your career is only going to last 10 years. The longer you work, the greater the difference will become over your lifetime."

'They All Look Alike': The Other-Race Effect - "we humans are notoriously poor at distinguishing between the members of races different from our own. The Other-Race Effect, as this psychological shortcoming is called, has been studied for decades... "Studies have found that racial attitudes don’t predict performance in cross-race identification tasks; prejudiced and non-prejudiced people are equally likely to fall victim to the other-race effect"

German Mass Migration: A No-Win Situation? - "The recent decision of Essener Tafel, a food bank in the city of Essen, Germany, temporarily to stop issuing membership cards to non-Germans has triggered an outcry among German politicians, journalists and activists, who have accused the charitable organization of "racism"... a "large number" of local elderly women and single mothers had stopped coming in for food... A female client of the Essener Tafel told a journalist that many Arab men just walked past the queue and "pretend that they don't understand German". Another woman said that she had stopped coming for a while because she had been tired of the "pushing and shoving". Her daughter added: "This is really bad. The men who cut the line don't even react when they are spoken to."... Although the recent media coverage revealed that problems at the food banks are widespread, there were, until now, few reports. An exception was the food bank in Bochum-Wattenscheid, where problems spiraled so out of control in February 2015 that 300 out of 430 volunteers quit... Baasner said that he was "afraid to say" that it was "almost entirely people from Southeastern Europe and exceedingly also refugees" who behaved that way. A volunteer described the situation: "I gave three apples to a young immigrant. When I told him that other people wanted apples, too, he brutally hit me in the face." While politicians of the ruling CDU and SPD parties unequivocally condemn Sartor's decision, polls show that more than 60% of the German population support it, while only 27% percent think it was wrong... the food banks' problems with migrants "don't fit into the fairy tale ideal of all those who are never faced with such problems". Indeed, Sartor has an entirely different social and cultural background than almost everybody who criticized him. Most high-ranking German politicians have never held a job outside the political sphere"

Germany: Migrant Rape Crisis Still Sowing Terror and Destruction - "The director of the Criminal Police Association (Bund Deutscher Kriminalbeamter, BDK), André Schulz, estimates that up to 90% of the sex crimes committed in Germany do not appear in the official statistics. German police frequently omit any references to migrants in crime reports. When they do, they often refer to migrant criminals with politically correct euphemisms... This practice, apparently aimed at delinking the attackers with Islam, makes it virtually impossible for German citizens to help police identify suspects. "There is a strict order by the authorities to not report on crimes committed by refugees," a high-ranking police official in Frankfurt told BildGermany's migrant rape crisis has continued into 2018. Despite the mounting human toll, many of the crimes are unreported or downplayed as isolated incidents (Einzelfall) by German authorities and the media, apparently to avoid fueling anti-immigration sentiments."

Study: Kids from affluent families more likely in IP, GEP schools
This is mostly an issue only if you assume ability is uniformly distributed in the population

Do pigmentation and the melanocortin system modulate aggression and sexuality in humans as they do in other animals? - "Pigmentation of the hair, skin, cuticle, feather and eye is one of the most salient and variable attributes of vertebrates. In many species, melanin-based coloration is found to be pleiotropically linked to behavior. We review animal studies that have found darker pigmented individuals average higher amounts of aggression and sexual activity than lighter pigmented individuals. We hypothesize that similar relationships between pigmentation, aggression, and sexuality occur in humans. We first review the literature on non-human animals and then review some of the correlates of melanin in people, including aggression and sexual activity. Both within human populations (e.g., siblings), and between populations (e.g., races, nations, states), studies find that darker pigmented people average higher levels of aggression and sexual activity (and also lower IQ). We conceptualize skin color as a multigenerational adaptation to differences in climate over the last 70,000 years as a result of “cold winters theory” and the “Out-of-Africa” model of human origins. We propose life history theory to explain the covariation found between human (and non-human) pigmentation and variables such as birth rate, infant mortality, longevity, rate of HIV/AIDS, and violent crime."
From 2012. This wouldn't be published today

Law professors voice opposition to Persky recall - "More than 90 law professors from throughout California, including 29 from Stanford University, signed a letter this week expressing their opposition to a campaign to recall Santa Clara County Superior Judge Aaron Persky. Calling the recall a threat to judicial independence, the letter defends Persky's sentencing judgment, including his most controversial decision — the six-month sentencing of former Stanford student Brock Turner, who was convicted of sexually assaulting an unconscious woman on campus in 2015. This case was the catalyst for the recall effort, which is being led by Stanford Law School professor Michele Dauber... "the core values of judicial independence and integrity require the judge to make a decision based on the record (including, in this case, the recommendation of a skilled professional, a probation officer) -- not on public outcry about a controversial case." The professors also argue that other sentencing decisions the recall campaign has pointed to as evidence of judicial bias "followed the equally common and legitimate practice of accepting a recommendation agreed on by the prosecution and defense."... the bar association said it opposes the recall and "has seen no credible assertions that in issuing the (Turner) sentence, Judge Persky violated the law or his ethical obligations or acted in bad faith. Nor is the SCCBA aware of any other complaints or allegations of impropriety against Judge Persky during his 13 years on the bench."... "Law professors are by nature pretty much individualistic in our views, but this large and diverse variety of signers (including scholars of criminal law, feminist jurisprudence, and constitutional law) reflects our utmost concern about this judicial recall attempt""

Feminists hailing Stanford rape case judge recall should think again (opinion) - "The backlash against Turner, and by extension, Persky, came mostly from women's rights activists. It looked and sounded a lot like Attorney General Jeff Sessions' renewed tough-on-crime agenda announced in 2017: calls for mandatory minimum sentences for sex-based crimes and a sustained effort to remove a judge for, of all things, showing leniency... Knowing that incarceration does little to rehabilitate people, I don't think Turner or society would have benefited from his spending any more time behind bars other than what Persky ordered. Removing a judge who's known for independence and mercy -- however misapplied you think that mercy was -- only strengthens the prison industrial complex. In order to find easier ways of putting men in prison, including new judges who will sentence convicted sex offenders in prison for long terms, the campaign to stop rape -- at least how it's manifested with the Persky recall -- is starting to side more with police and prosecutorial power than women's rights... people familiar with the inner workings of the criminal justice system know recalling a judge for perceived leniency is problematic. Nearly one-third of graduating students at Stanford Law School signed an open letter opposing Persky's recall in 2016. Public defender Sajid Khan, a San Jose public defender and co-host of the "Aider & Abettor" podcast, warned on his blog that the plan to take down Persky may have a "a chilling effect on judicial courage and compassion." Many feminists may have forgotten -- or may have never known -- that judicial mercy ultimately helps women, because it challenges a punitive system that's rooted in patriarchy... Locking up 2.3 million people (according to the Prison Policy Initiative) has not greatly reduced the number of acts that offend us and harm us. The idea that harsh punishment and long terms of incarceration imposed under unyielding sentencing laws deter crime has been debunked, yet these are the tactics many women rely on in their plan to address gendered violence. Not only will it not work in the long term, it will ultimately backfire on women."
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