"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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Sunday, March 10, 2019

Links - 10th March 2019 (2)

Vegans 'take twice annual sick day total of the average Briton' - "Vegans take the most days off work due to cold, flu and minor ailments, a study claims.People on a meat-free diet take almost five days off work a year - twice the annual sick day total of the average Briton, the research shows.And it also found that millennial workers take three times more time off work than those aged 55 and over.The study by the vegan-friendly Fisherman’s Friend brand claims vegans are more likely to succumb to our wintery weather, taking almost double the average time off work due to cold-related sickness than their non-vegan colleagues"

A meta-analysis of the past 25 years of weight loss research using diet, exercise or diet plus exercise intervention | International Journal of Obesity - "weight lost through diet, exercise and diet plus exercise was 10.7±0.5, 2.9±0.4* and 11.0±0.6 kg, respectively. However, at one-year follow-up, diet plus exercise tended to be the superior program"
From 1997
As we know from elsewhere, for weight loss exercise doesn't really help. But for maintenance it does seem to contribute

The roles of altruism, heroism, and physical attractiveness in female mate choice - "women are attracted to men who display heroism and altruism, and this preference is higher when the male is attractive compared to unattractive. Furthermore, preferences for prosocial traits were higher when seeking a long-term compared to a short-term partner"

Somewhere in the brain is a storage device for memories - "Levin’s work on planarians, reminiscent of McConnell’s cannibal research, may even prod memory researchers to think beyond the brain. Planarians can remember the texture of their terrain, even using a new brain, Levin and Tal Shomrat, now at the Ruppin Academic Center in Mikhmoret, Israel, reported in 2013 in the Journal of Experimental Biology. The fact that memory somehow survived decapitation hints that signals outside of the brain may somehow store memories, even if temporarily."

Gavin Newsom, Bill de Blasio push for health care for illegal immigrants in California, New York - "California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced a more targeted push this week to extend health care benefits to young adult illegal immigrants, placing them on par with U.S. citizens who can stay on their parents’ plans under Obamacare. Taken together, the proposals reopen the thorny debate over providing taxpayer-funded benefits to people living in the U.S. illegally... Steven A. Camarota, director of research at the Center for Immigration Studies, said extending benefits could entice more people to stay in the U.S. illegally... California already has the nation’s highest income tax — 13.3 percent — and the highest state sales tax at 7.25 percent, not including local add-ons.“The question is, should California’s taxpayers bear the financial burden of bad immigration policies by progressives in the state of California and now at the national level?” Mr. Coupal said.“In the same inaugural address, [Mr. Newsom] talked about being fiscally conservative, so you’re getting mixed messages from the governor,” he said. “There’s simply no way he can expand all these programs and pay for it without significantly raising taxes.”"

Lucas Lynch - This idea that we just elected the first Palestinian... - "This idea that we just elected the first Palestinian member of Congress is nonsense. Justin Amash is Palestinian and has been in Congress for years. Why no celebrations? Because he's a conservative, and he ran as an American, not a hyphen. He's not somebody I would ever support, having first gotten elected to Congress as a tea party conservative. Does that make me racist for not supporting a person of color?"

Advocates of the Propagation of Science Literacy. APOSL - "A few years ago, my mind was blown when I discovered that cabbage, kale, broccoli, cauliflower, Chinese kale (kailan), kohlrabi, and Brussels sprouts are all the same plant: Brassica oleracea. They are just different breeds or subspecies. They are seen in the (b) half of the diagram.
Today, I found out that Chinese cabbage (wongbok), pakchoi (bokchoy), caixin, turnip, zicaitai, wutacai, mizuna, taicai, yellow sarson (mustard seed), and oil seeds (canola oil) are all the same species as well: Brassica rapa (a)."

Kirsten Gillibrand Tweets About Intersectional Feminism - "Intersectional feminism, which a small but vocal minority of people cares about passionately, and everyone else—even the host of a news program on national television—hasn’t heard of, is the most happening, most urgent form of feminism today. While its adherents often speak of the value of a collective, postcapitalist society, intersectional feminism is actually grounded in a rejection of the Marxist premise on which the modern women’s movement was founded... The desperate attempt of progressive young white women to kick free from their shameful racial heritage by emphasizing the taxonomic distinction of gender is responsible for much of the most incendiary language about white men: They are trash, monsters, simultaneously bumbling incompetents and the soul of evil itself... like many accomplished, progressive white women who are enchanted by the rhetoric and possibility of personal gain offered by feminist intersectional theory, Gillibrand has embraced an ideology that she assumes allows for a special carve-out for the very special venture capitalists of this world—the sensitive ones, who are promoting right think to their sons, even as they create the kind of ironclad wills and trusts that secure their pampered futures. She assumes, also, that if she inculcates these good values in her sons—whom she obviously loves deeply—they, too, will be spared come the revolution. They won’t."

Destined for War: Can China and the United States Escape Thucydides’s Trap? - "100 years on, World War I offers a sobering reminder of man’s capacity for folly. When we say that war is “inconceivable,” is this a statement about what is possible in the world—or only about what our limited minds can conceive? In 1914, few could imagine slaughter on a scale that demanded a new category: world war... The defining question about global order for this generation is whether China and the United States can escape Thucydides’s Trap. The Greek historian’s metaphor reminds us of the attendant dangers when a rising power rivals a ruling power—as Athens challenged Sparta in ancient Greece, or as Germany did Britain a century ago. Most such contests have ended badly, often for both nations, a team of mine at the Harvard Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs has concluded after analyzing the historical record. In 12 of 16 cases over the past 500 years, the result was war. When the parties avoided war, it required huge, painful adjustments in attitudes and actions on the part not just of the challenger but also the challenged."

White and male UK judiciary ‘from another planet’, says Lady Hale - "The judiciary needs to be more diverse so that the public feel those on the bench are genuinely “our judges” rather than “beings from another planet”, the president of the supreme court has said."
"If someone sees judges of a different race and thinks them less legitimate, I tend to think they have the problem. If you need to see your own skin color to say “those are our judges”, you are quite frankly racist."

Man told police 'it's okay in my culture' after punching girlfriend in the face - "A man who started an affair with his sister-in-law has been let off with a fine for hitting her at a funfair. Chaudhry Mahmood, 51, had been seeing her for five months causing tensions in their families... ‘He said it was Asian culture, an open hand to the back to the head to shut them up. When asked if he’d do anything differently he said “no”.’The victim declined to co-operate with the investigation."

Teenager is spared from time behind bars as she'd be 'a victim in jail' despite breaching bond - "A teenager who punched an unsuspecting woman in the back of the head has escaped time behind bars as the magistrate says she would be a 'victim in jail'."
Male privilege!

‘Impartial’ fact-checkers are revealing their partisanship against Trump - "Hyper-precision fact-checking that creates the impression that a Republican is misleading the public: For this, take Politico’s insinuation that Donald Trump was lying to the public about abuse of women at the border. During the State of the Union, Trump claimed: “one in three women is sexually assaulted on the long journey north.” This contention is only “partly true,” according to Politico, because a “2017 report by Doctors Without Borders” found that only 31 percent of female migrants and 17 percent of male migrants said they had been actually abused while traveling through Mexico...
Fact-checking subjective political assertions: The New York Times provided a masterclass in bad faith fact-checking by taking political contentions offered by the president and subjecting them to a supposed impartial test of accuracy. In his speech, Trump called the illegal border crossing “an urgent national crisis.” The New York Times says “this is false.” Why? Because illegal border crossings have been declining for two decades... We’ve seen a steep decline in gun violence over the past 30 years. Would The New York Times ever “fact-check” a Democrat who argued that gun violence was an “urgent crisis” of public safety?...
Partisan talking point masquerading as a fact check: “FACT CHECK: President Trump praised the record number of women in Congress, but that’s almost entirely because of Democrats, not Trump’s party,” NPR tweeted, correcting the record on a statement that the president never made...
Fact-checking meant to obscure actual facts: The Washington Post’s fact-checking page offered a number of egregious examples of outright misinformation. In one of them, reporter Meg Kelly claimed that, “Abortion legislation in New York wouldn’t do what Trump said.” There are a number of words in her post intimating that Trump lied about the New York and Virginia late-term abortion bills, but none of her words debunk Trump’s core contention...
Fact-checking a truthful statement by demanding that Trump highlight information that has absolutely nothing to do with his contention: An astute reader points out this PBS fact-check of a Trump tweet from a couple of weeks ago. I’ve noticed this genre, as well. In it, the president points out that a reputable Marist/NPR/PBS Poll had shown that his approval rating among Latinos had risen to 50 percent, an increase of 19 percent over a year’s time. After confirming that, yes, Trump had been precise in his assertion regarding their poll, PBS spends around 700 words taking Trump to task for failing to highlight other negative information in the poll. Will this be a new standard for all politicians?"

SERIOUSLY? Media Outlets Actually Fact-Checked Trump’s Fast Food Banquet - "Do left-leaning media fact-checkers show a bias against Republicans by over fact-checking innocuous claims from the Right while ignoring major blunders from the Left? Let’s let The Washington Post and Vox answer that question... The Washington Post did – I kid you not – a deep dive into the banquet to try and determine how much it all actually cost, complete with a “Detailed Washington Post analysis” of the spread. The chart of the layout of the food was most likely meant to be humorous.Nonetheless, after the Post determined that Trump likely spent between $2,437.11 and $2,911.44 on the feast, depending on whether he took advantage of McDonald’s 2-for-$5 menu, the outlet had to take some spiteful dings at the president. The Post notes that Trump originally said he bought 300 hamburgers, but later said he bought “1,000” burgers and later, “over 1000 hamburgers etc.”...
But the Post takes the cake for most absurd fact check. It may be a joke (I hope it is) but given how the paper covers this president it’s kind of hard to tell. Trump said at the banquet that he bought 1,000 burgers for Clemson and that “It was piled up a mile high.” The Post felt the need to fact check this, writing:
FACT CHECK: At two inches each, a thousand burgers would not reach one mile high.
Take note, Republicans: Don’t use commonly used hyperboles or you may be fact checked."

'Good Evening,' Says President Trump, Drawing Immediate Flurry Of Fact Checks | The Babylon Bee
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