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Thursday, November 08, 2018

Links - 8th November 2018 (2)

Metal straws and reusable bags may not be as eco-friendly as you think - "you have just unwittingly contributed to 2.8 billion pounds of toxic waste from mining metal, 20 per cent of marine litter from international shipping and over 2 million tonnes of waste from packaging... Keeping in mind the adverse effects these 'greener' options might have on the environment, it does seem that our pro-environmental initiative may not be as beneficial as we thought, especially when we do not continue to use the item incessantly."

Yoda actor and Bert creator Frank Oz denies Sesame Street character is gay and says 'I know what and who he is' - "MANY Muppet fans were left heartbroken when Sesame Street poured cold water over one of its writer’s claims that live-in characters Bert and Ernie were gay. Now Bert’s creator Frank Oz has also disagreed with Mark Saltzman, who said he based the characters on his own gay relationship, by tweeting: “I created Bert. I know what and who he is.”... Saltzman, who joined the iconic kids’ show in 1984, effectively “outed” Bert and Ernie in what proved to be a controversial interview with Queerty. He said he based them on his own relationship with film editor Arnold Glassman, ending a decades-long debate over whether the Muppets who shared a basement apartment on 123 Sesame Street, but slept in different beds, were lovers... “It seems Mark Saltzman was asked if Bert & Ernie are gay. “It’s fine that he feels they are. They’re not, of course. But why that question? Does it really matter? “Why the need to define people as only gay? There’s much more to a human being than just straightness or gayness.”... Jon Stone, another writer on the show, said they were based on the real life frienship between Oz and Henson. The idea behind the characters was to show that two people with wildly different personalities could still get on... Social media turned on Oz for shattering the hearts of millions so brutally and argued the characters have evolved beyond their original parameters into icons for gay young people... Saltzman... appeared to pull a U-turn last night, telling the New York Times his comments were misinterpreted. Saltzman said he and Glassman were like Bert and Ernie, opposites who found a way to love each other."
As usual those preaching love and tolerance are full of hate

Believe (Some) Women - "“believe women” may not actually apply to all women judging from the media cycle this week following a rare interview with Woody Allen’s wife Soon-Yi Previn published in New York Magazine last Sunday... she has been labelled a liar and/or a victim (of Allen’s), both labels serving only to undermine Previn’s story. One of her fiercest critics this week was her younger brother Ronan Farrow, the reporter whose story on Harvey Weinstein’s sexual abuse effectively launched #MeToo and earned him a Pulitzer Prize. Yet despite his leading role in a movement that demands “believe women”, Ronan published a statement in which he not only disputed his sister’s allegations, but erased her entirely from her own story. Chillingly, nowhere in his statement, which was published on Twitter, does Ronan mention Previn by name, instead reducing her to an anonymous “ally” of Allen’s... Previn’s treatment reveals two inherent contradictions in the #MeToo movement. The first is that #MeToo decrees that all women are victims (since all men are predators) thus denying them agency in their own stories... Previn is a 47-year-old mother of two adult children who last year celebrated her 20th wedding anniversary with Allen: she clearly does not consider herself a victim of anyone except Farrow. Such a scenario, however, does not sit comfortably with proponents of #MeToo who must cast her as a victim in order to further demonize Allen. Which brings us to the second inherent contradiction: #MeToo demands that all women must be believed — except where their stories upset the prevailing narrative. In this case, Previn is doubly damned, for not only does she refuse to demonise Allen herself but she instead goes on to castigate Farrow, who, with her numerous adopted children and political activism – not to mention her crusade against Allen – has become something of a modern-day apostle in the public consciousness. Previn, therefore, has upset the natural order of #MeToo, not least because if one woman accuses another of abuse and #MeToo demands we “believe women”, how do we automatically know which woman to believe? As the revelations concerning Asia Argento – one of Ronan Farrow’s key sources in his Weinstein story who was recently accused of sexually assaulting a teenage boy have also demonstrated, the reality is that the world is a complicated place... Ultimately, dividing the world into victims and villains, as #MeToo demands of us, fails to take into account the complexities of human nature. And the trouble is that it’s a much more difficult concept to believe"

Most racism is from disaffected blacks: FW de Klerk Foundation - "The FW de Klerk Foundation says it has submitted a complaint to the SA Human Rights Commission regarding 45 social media postings that incite extreme violence against white South Africans... Sparrow described black beachgoers as “monkeys” on her Facebook page, and has since been reported to the police. The foundation noted that most media commentators viewed Sparrow’s remarks and the subsequent far ‘less controversial’ comments of Chris Hart and Gareth Cliff as evidence of rampant and pervasive white racism... “The messages are replete with threats to kill all whites – including children; to rape white women or to expel all whites from South Africa”"
Presumably it is more racist to call black beachgoers monkeys than to threaten to kill white people, because white people have the power in South Africa
Addendum: Presumably blacks in South Africa have no political power and are a minority

Ian Buruma: victim of Sexual McCarthyism - "MeToo has officially entered its McCarthyism stage. The ousting of Ian Buruma from the New York Review of Books is confirmation, for those who still needed it, that this hashtag movement is more about vengeance and censorship than justice. For Buruma’s crime was not to touch a woman without her consent or verbally harass his female workforce. It was merely to publish an essay by a man (Canadian broadcaster Jian Ghomeshi) who was accused of sexual assault and then acquitted in a court of law. When an esteemed editor can be expelled from polite society for publishing the words of a man who has not been found guilty of any crime, you know we live in dark, ugly times. MeToo is the midwife of this medieval-style policing of dissenting speech... for commissioning an essay and defending the right of an individual to continue to have a public presence after he has been acquitted of criminal offences — Buruma has been driven out of New York’s literary circle. It is unclear whether he resigned or was sacked, but it’s clear that he’s out because he dared to suggest we need nuance in the discussion about sexual misdemeanours and harassment... It used to be considered socially conscientious to treat acquitted people, and even ex-cons, fairly and humanely. Now it is seen as a social crime. MeToo wants everyone who is merely accused to be punished forever. That is a nasty, Stalinist and utterly unjust approach to public life. Buruma is defending the pillars of the free, civilised society; MeToo is attacking them."

Racism and the American Pit Bull
Presumably the statistics showing pitbulls are responsible for a large proportion of attacks are racist

Where is incest legal in Europe? Map shows countries where family members can have sex
The France information is outdated

As Japan's JET Programme hits its 30s, the jury's still out

The Physics of a Star Wars Bomber Dropping Bombs in Space - "why does the bomb fall at all? The gravitational force from the asteroid is likely MUCH weaker than that on the surface of the Earth. However, the bomb "falls" down with an acceleration MUCH greater than it would on Earth. So, what's the deal? Really, there is no way of knowing for sure. One answer would be that the bombs aren't falling at all. Instead they are tiny little rockets with thrusters on them to push them down. Would that still be a bomb? Who cares—it still looks cool in the movie. Wait! There is another example of bombers in Star Wars. In The Last Jedi, the movie starts off with some Resistance bombers attacking a First Order star destroyer. SPOILER ALERT: only one bomber makes it close enough to drop the bombs. But the bombs do indeed drop. In this case, you can actually see the bombs falling out of the spacecraft just like they would fall out of a B-17 bomber in WWII. There are no rockets on the bombs. They are just bombs. It's a bit harder to justify the physics in this scene."

Cuban Doctors Revolt: ‘You Get Tired of Being a Slave’ - The New York Times - "In a rare act of collective defiance, scores of Cuban doctors working overseas to make money for their families and their country are suing to break ranks with the Cuban government, demanding to be released from what one judge called a “form of slave labor”... The legal challenges are all the more important because the doctors have lost a common backup plan: going to the United States. The American government, which has long tried to undermine Cuba’s leaders, established a program in 2006 to welcome Cuban doctors, with the aim of exacerbating the island’s brain drain. But in one of his final attempts to normalize relations with Cuba, President Barack Obama in January ended the program, which had allowed Cuban doctors stationed in other countries to get permanent residency visas for the United States."
So much for the success of communism

The 'Mandela Effect' and how your mind is playing tricks on you - "This form of collective misremembering of common events or details first emerged in 2010, when countless people on the internet falsely remembered Nelson Mandela was dead. It was widely believed he had died in prison during the 1980s. In reality, Mandela was actually freed in 1990 and passed away in 2013 – despite some people’s claims they remember clips of his funeral on TV."
Memory is treacherous

Nas Daily responds to S’porean criticism of his “almost perfect country” video with epic burn - "One thing my travels have taught me is that a lot of people lack PERSPECTIVE. And in Singapore, too many people lack it. I flew to Singapore from Papua New Guinea, on my own dime to promote my own beliefs. Now I’m in China making the same videos. I’ll happily take you along the ride and see how life is like outside of your bubble. But to be honest, I would never hire you. I don’t work well with crybabies.”
It's quite an achievement to so piss off someone whose brand is built on positivity

Ipswich woman 'terrified' by nursery rhyme alarm - "The "eerie" sound of a nursery rhyme which was used as a burglar deterrent "terrified" an Ipswich woman for about a year. The woman, from Bramford Road, heard the sound of "It's raining, it's pouring", but she had no idea where it was coming from... the song had begun playing continuously due to an itsy-bitsy spider... "Every time the spider went across the CCTV it set off the alarm"."

Why Brexitphobes are crap campaigners - "That these people have turned out to be lousy campaigners is, then, little wonder. Their instinct is to hector, dictate and direct, which clashes with one essential part of campaigning – listening. Asserting a monopoly on logic and morality, and insulting others in the process, is not the way to win people over."

I tried the Chinese practice of ‘sitting the month’ after childbirth - The Washington Post - "When my aunt learned I was pregnant with my fourth child, she begged me to respect the Chinese tradition of zuo yue zi, or “sitting the month.” Traced back to as early as the year 960, zuo yue zi is a set of diet and lifestyle restrictions practiced after birth to restore a woman’s “broken body.”... I could not resist examining the evidence relating to zuo yue zi — and I found inconsistent results. On the plus side were findings that a long recovery period improved a mother’s health-related quality of life and led to better bonding with her child. But a 2014 study of Chinese women found that limiting physical activity for a month was bad for muscular and cardiovascular health and increased postpartum depression."

The truth about a viral graphic on rape statistics - The Washington Post - "Among the tweets being circulated is a jarring graphic from December 2012 by the Enliven Project, intended to show the low rate of false reporting among rape victims. The Enliven Project is described as “a campaign to bring sexual violence out of the closet and lift survivors to their full potential”... When The Fact Checker asked Beaulieu why she did not change the graphic to fix errors she admitted, she said: “The original one is already the one that has gone viral and is the one that’s continuing to be circulated. I think what I did do was make sure that the link back to the site that’s on the graphic links to the full explanation that acknowledges the distinction.” Yet the link isn’t even a hyperlink, so the explanation is not readily accessible to those who may be scrolling through their news feeds. You literally have to type out a complex URL to find her explanations. Beaulieu said she intended the graphic to be a conversation-starter... the Enliven Project earns Three Pinocchios."
This is quite a consistent result - to feminists lying is acceptable to "start a conversation" (other examples include the gender wage gap)
Using more consistent methodology, since there're 2 falsely accused for every 10 jailed, we could conclude that 1 in 6 rape accusations is false

Police are being offered 'banter training' in a bid to tackle bullying and political incorrectness - "The three-hour course - which has been likened to "something out of The Office" - aims to reduce employment tribunal claims by "excluded and unhappy" staff... They also branded it a waste of cash as the force battles a 20 per cent increase in crime with 500 fewer officers due to cuts."

Fed-up residents create 'drug-dealer only' signs to highlight spiralling crime levels in their neighbourhood - "Guerrilla street artists have painted a parking bay marked 'drug dealers only' and installed six signs on lampposts after being commissioned by neighbours in Tower Hamlets, east London."
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