"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, February 12, 2019

Links - 12th February 2019

How China Is Rewriting Its Own Script - The New York Times - "China’s booming box office and seemingly inexhaustible cash reserves have provided a much-needed boost to Hollywood as it faces slowing ticket sales in the United States and challenges from Amazon and Netflix.But Hollywood’s embrace of China has not come without strings attached.So when the creators of “Pixels” wanted to show aliens blasting a hole in the Great Wall of China, Sony executives worried that the scene might prevent the 2015 movie’s release in China, leaked studio emails show. They blew up the Taj Mahal instead... As recently as two decades ago, major Hollywood movies were sharply critical of China... At stake for China is more than just the validation of Hollywood’s powerbrokers and celebrities. In speeches and at forums, President Xi Jinping has repeatedly emphasized the need to “tell China’s story well” — to make sure a coherent, compelling and, most important, Communist Party-sanctioned narrative of China’s rise to power reaches global audiences... It is difficult to tell whether China’s push to soften its image through movies, media and cultural projects has been successful."

How to Talk to People, According to Terry Gross - The New York Times - "“Tell me about yourself,”
a.k.a the only icebreaker you’ll ever need...
The beauty in opening with “tell me about yourself” is that it allows you to start a conversation without the fear that you’re going to inadvertently make someone uncomfortable or self-conscious. Posing a broad question lets people lead you to who they are..
The secret to being a good conversationalist?
Be funny (if you can).
Preparation is key.
Take control by pivoting to something you want to talk about.
Ms. Gross doesn’t want you to dodge questions.But if you’re going to, here’s how.
Terry pays attention to body language.Be like Terry.
When to push back,and when not to"

Santa sacked ahead of Sunday's Christmas parade after 'inappropriate' comments on women - NZ Herald - "Organisers of Auckland's Christmas parade are ditching its longstanding Santa, after the man behind the beard said he wouldn't hire women to play Father Christmas... A spokesperson for the Human Rights Commission said sex was a "prohibited ground of discrimination" under the Act.But there were a number of circumstances where it would not be unlawful to discriminate on the ground of gender, like if the role involved counselling on personal matters, or a combat role in armed forces."For reasons of authenticity" was also included in the list."
Does this mean it's okay to 'whitewash' roles?

Apple Sucked Tumblr Into Its Walled Garden, Where Sex Is Bad - "the Supreme Court heard arguments in a case that claims Apple holds illegal monopoly power over iOS’s App Store and thus over the apps that are used on iPhones. Today, Tumblr announced that it would no longer allow porn on its platform after December 17. With its massive distribution and strict rules, Apple’s App Store has had a broad homogenizing and sanitizing effect on the internet... there are fewer and fewer mainstream sites and services that support porn and adult content, and much of that attitude has grown out of Apple’s strict controls over the App Store and the iOS ecosystem... In 2016, Apple famously deleted all third-party Reddit apps that allowed users to toggle NSFW posts on and off; even now, it is impossible to access porn on an iOS Reddit app unless you jump through various hoops... Tumblr’s decision is even more disappointing because it’s obvious in D’Onofrio’s explanation that Tumblr leadership does not understand the important role that Tumblr held in the adult content community... This is yet another example of a platform ignoring adult content when it helps the platform flourish, and then leaving those users out to dry when it’s time to crack down for some monetary gain or face-saving. In addition to being a terrible way to treat your user base, banning adult content on Tumblr will stifle a lot of creativity... “As someone who makes computer-based art, I worry a lot about preservation, and it kinda makes me wonder how much art and culture is getting destroyed here. Erotic art and sexuality is especially over-policed by platforms, by credit card companies, by fucked up laws like FOSTA.” The communities that will feel this change the most will be the already-marginalized. “Tumblr banning adult content is a huge loss for the LGBTQ community, especially those with overlapping marginalized identities”"

Vienna Symphony violist has finger broken by subway thugs - "Michael Buchmann, a viola player in the Vienna Symphony Orchestra, was catching a U4 Karlsplatz train home at midnight when he smelt smoking. He pointed out to three young men, reportedly of Middle Eastern appearance, that smoking was forbidden on public transport. One of them responded with a karate kick aimed at his hand, breaking his ring finger."

Asylum seeker crime spikes in Austria, official statistics show - "There has been a steep jump in the number of criminal incidents involving asylum seekers over the past few years, according to preliminary data from the Austrian interior ministry.The figures vary by nationality. According to the statistics, released by the Federal Ministry of the Interior after a request from Rupert Doppler of the right-wing FPO party, Syrians are relatively unlikely to come into contact with law enforcement, while Afghans, Nigerians and Moroccans are far more likely."

RAPES SOAR IN AUSTRIA: HALF BY FOREIGNERS - "The Austrian government has released new crime statistics that show sex attacks have risen by more than 25 per cent since last year and that migrants make up close to half of all known suspects in sex crime cases...
Austria has just elected an anti-immigration government. Any surprise?"

Alice Smith on Twitter: "Thanks … " - "Being fat isn’t your fault.
Getting pregnant as a teen isn’t your fault.
Flunking out of high school isn’t your fault.
Having STDs isn’t your fault.
But having an ancestor half a millennium ago whose feudal lord owned a slave, that’s totally on you."
Technically they claim that it's not your fault, but they still hate you as if it were. More accurate would be changing "fault" to "responsibility"

Sex ratio effects on reproductive strategies in humans - "even within a single ethnic group, male mating effort varies in predictable ways with the ASR. At male-biased sex ratios, men's and women's investment in mating effort are indistinguishable; only when men are in the minority are they more inclined towards short-term, low investment relationships than women. Our results support the behavioural ecological tenet that reproductive strategies are predictable and contingent on varying situational factors."

Imam Tawhidi on Twitter - "My situation:
1. They say Islam has nothing to do with terrorism.
2. As a Muslim, I say “Okay”, and begin to criticize extremists and terrorists.
3. I am then accused of insulting Islam.
But you just said terrorists have nothing to do with Islam!?

The Trans Women Who Become Lesbians After Years as Gay Men - "There aren't many people who are fortunate enough to have lived their lives first as gay men and later as lesbian women. Alison* is one of them... once she got testosterone out of her system, she no longer felt like she absolutely had to have sex—or, as she puts it, that "cloud of incessant horniness dissipated.""Having testosterone in my body made me need sexual release to an extent I found embarrassing and shameful," Alison said, explaining that some days her sexual urges would cause her to masturbate multiple times... Today, Alison is primarily attracted to cisgender women, but she can also be into trans women. In a way, sex with trans women is easier for her. "I've noticed that my sexuality is more into ass stuff and dick than most cis dykes are usually into, which can be a bit of a pain," Alison explained, "so being into trans girls makes that work for me.""
Funny, I thought sexual orientation was fixed and any talk of it changing was unethical conversion therapy. And that it was patriarchy that determined male sexual behavior

Why Single-Payer Health Care Delivers Poor Quality at High Cost - Foundation for Economic Education
Funny how this doesn't actually look at countries with single payer healthcare (or indeed an actual single payer health care system)
Libertarian logic: "It works in practice. But it doesn't work in theory. Therefore it cannot work ever"

Comparing the Costs of the Veterans' Health Care System with Private-Sector Costs | Congressional Budget Office - "One useful analytic approach, which was most carefully and comprehensively employed by researchers in 2004, estimates what costs would be if private-sector doctors, hospitals, and other health care providers supplied the same number and types of services as those actually delivered by VHA. Similar to earlier studies, those researchers concluded that the health care provided by VHA generally cost less than would equivalent care provided in the private sector, even though the comparison used Medicare's relatively low payment rates for private-sector doctors and hospitals."

Examining the Quality and Cost of VA Health Care - "Most evidence presented supports the assertion that VA is less expensive than both Medicare and private healthcare solutions
The report states that it relies on data analytics between 1999 and earlier, and is unable to confirm that the same cost saving conditions still exist. It also mentions VA’s overhaul in the early 1990’s, the reform that was led by then Undersecretary for Health Kenneth Kizer that transformed VHA into the world-class healthcare system that it is today, but fails to point out that the reports that support VA’s cost savings analyses were conducted after this transformation, which represents one of the largest public investments in VHA in history.
The analysis indicates that VHA represents a cost savings when comparing physician care, and pharmaceuticals, but was unable to compare “other medical goods and services”.
CBO recognizes that private-sector physicians are financially motivated to deliver a larger amount of services which typically represent duplication or unnecessary expenses, and further finds that private-sector providers have strong financial incentives to provide more expensive care than VHA providers, who have no such incentives[4].
While providing more services and reimbursements, VA costs are lower than Medicare costs “but they still found that they “could not price many services...for which a private sector system would charge.”[5] The costs of those services were still counted as costs for VHA but were not included when calculating costs at Medicare’s payment rates, which means that VHA’s cost advantage may have been underestimated.”
The full range of services that VHA provided in 1999 would have cost about 21 percent more if those services had been delivered through the private sector at Medicare’s payment rates (pg. 5).
Inpatient care (excluding costs for nursing homes and rehabilitation facilities) would have cost about 16 percent more if it had been purchased at Medicare’s rates (pg. 5).
The outpatient care provided by VHA would have cost about 11 percent more if it had been provided at Medicare’s prices (pg. 5).
Prescription drugs would have cost about 70 percent more using a combination of Medicaid’s and Medicare’s payment methods (pg. 5)."

The Screen - Posts - "Breathless: I Rang In My 30s With a Foursome" - 2015
"How Did I Become the Last Single Person in My Friend Group?" - 2017

So many times patients have accused ER nurses of... - Tammera Bain Jordan - "So many times patients have accused ER nurses of not paying attention to them in the waiting room...
That "poor lady" that I just let lay there screaming and "having a seizure on the waiting room floor" was a VERY frequent flyer and drug seeker that I had already seen earlier in the day and 3 times that week. Her seizure was fake. She didn't need another full work up or IV Valium/Ativan nor did she need to go to the back before the quiet gentlemen with the ever so slightly ashen skin that was having a silent MI (heart attack) in my waiting room.
The "little white girl" that there "ain't nothin' wrong with" I chose to take back immediately and well before the people who had been waiting an hour...well she wasn't actually white at all. She was a faint shade of blue. The newer nurses didn't notice. Her PO2 was 22 and she had a bilateral fungal pneumonia. She ended up with bilateral pneumothoracies (collapsed lungs) and bilateral chest tubes and was transferred by helicopter to Children's where she died after a few days on ECMO. To this day I just don't understand how she was conscious and able to answer my questions. It doesn't make sense.
And that hysterical woman who "passed out" that we "made sit out in the waiting room" was faking it. A little noxious stimuli was all she needed. We weren't ignoring a critical syncope patient. We were prioritizing the sickest first.
And, by the way, I'm sorry you have a kidney stone. I know it hurts like hell and I wish I could do two things at once. But I have to keep this man with a heart rate of 20 alive. Just because he's quiet and not screaming doesn't mean he's not dying. It's often the quiet ones, you know. I DO care about your pain. But death trumps pain."
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