"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, March 11, 2019

Links - 11th March 2019 (2)

The lifesaving food 90% aren’t eating enough of - "it reduces the chances of debilitating heart attacks and strokes as well as life-long diseases such as type-2 diabetes.And it helps keep your weight, blood pressure and cholesterol levels down.I should mention it's cheap and widely available in the supermarket. Fibre - it's not the sexiest thing in the world but a major study has been investigating how much fibre we really need to be eating and found there are huge health benefits... there is concern people are turning their back on fibre, with the popularity of low-carb diets."

I Made My Shed the Top-Rated Restaurant on TripAdvisor - "writing fake reviews on TripAdvisor. Restaurant owners would pay me $13, and I'd write a positive review of their place, despite never eating there. Over time, I became obsessed with monitoring the ratings of these businesses. Their fortunes would genuinely turn, and I was the catalyst... companies start using the estimated location of The Shed on Google Maps to get their free samples to me. Then people who want to work at The Shed get in touch, in significant numbers. Then I get an email from the council, which wants to relocate us to a site in Bromley it's developing. Then an Australian production company gets in touch, saying it wants to exhibit us across the world in an aircraft company's in-flight videos... On TripAdvisor's website, the company says it dedicates "significant time and resources [to] ensuring that the content on TripAdvisor reflects the real experiences of real travelers." So I get in touch when the whole process is finished to ask how it is that I've managed to sidestep the rigorous checks."Generally, the only people who create fake restaurant listings are journalists in misguided attempts to test us," replies a representative via email. "As there is no incentive for anyone in the real world to create a fake restaurant, it is not a problem we experience with our regular community—therefore this 'test' is not a real-world example.""

Opinion | Australians Have More Fun - The New York Times - "Part of the beauty of the way Australians hang out isn’t just how relaxed it is, but the inclusive, rolling nature of how they socialize. I showed up for a drink at a friend’s place one evening last month and within an hour four people had turned into eight and by the time I left more were en route... My local cafe here closed the day before Christmas. It reopens on Jan. 15. And no one here thinks that’s strange. January here is like August in France. The only labor taking place in summer seems to be tunneling into coconuts to sip from by the pool."

The culture war Down Under - "Australia’s culture war is alive and real. Just days after Weiss left Australia, the annual Australia Day kerfuffle emerged. On one side, are the cosmopolitan, highly educated cultural elites, who believe that Australian history is nothing but a damning series of mistakes and crimes. They argue that the national day should be moved from 26 January, marking the arrival of the First Fleet, or ‘Invasion Day’, as they call it. These critics, who will take any opportunity to disparage Australia, were out in force on Twitter following Weiss’s article.On the other side, are the 70 per cent of Australians who oppose changing the date"
"However in 2 independent polls close to 80% of Aussies said keep the 26th, only 8% desired change. The Australian Greens are like mosquitoes, they come out when the conditions are right, pester the hell out of you until the famous Australian mozzie coil comes out."

‘I Love My Skin!’ Why Black Parents Are Turning to Afrocentric Schools - The New York Times - "“I love myself!” the group of mostly black children shouted in unison. “I love my hair, I love my skin!” When it was time to settle down, their teacher raised her fist in a black power salute. The students did the same, and the room hushed. As children filed out of the cramped school auditorium on their way to class, they walked by posters of Colin Kaepernick and Harriet Tubman.
Apparently racial segregation is good

The Sounds That Haunted U.S. Diplomats in Cuba? Lovelorn Crickets, Scientists Say - The New York Times - "Diplomatic officials may have been targeted with an unknown weapon in Havana. But a recording of one “sonic attack” actually is the singing of a very loud cricket"

When Report Cards Go Out on Fridays, Child Abuse Increases on Saturdays, Study Finds - The New York Times - "Researchers were surprised to find an association between verified reports of abuse and report cards only when the grades were released on a Friday.On weekdays, caregivers may have been too “distracted” to punish their children, researchers speculated. Dr. Bright added that children might have been spared punishments on weekdays because they would be attending school the next day, and teachers are legally bound to report evidence of abuse. Alcohol use by caregivers on weekends might also have played a role"

As Facebook Raised a Privacy Wall, It Carved an Opening for Tech Giants - The New York Times - "For years, Facebook gave some of the world’s largest technology companies more intrusive access to users’ personal data than it has disclosed, effectively exempting those business partners from its usual privacy rules.. Facebook allowed Microsoft’s Bing search engine to see the names of virtually all Facebook users’ friends without consent, the records show, and gave Netflix and Spotify the ability to read Facebook users’ private messages.The social network permitted Amazon to obtain users’ names and contact information through their friends, and it let Yahoo view streams of friends’ posts as recently as this summer, despite public statements that it had stopped that type of sharing years earlier... By 2013, Facebook had entered into more such partnerships than its midlevel employees could easily track, according to interviews with two former employees. (Like the more than 30 other former employees interviewed for this article, they spoke on the condition of anonymity because they had signed nondisclosure agreements or still maintained relationships with top Facebook officials.)"
So much for anonymous sources being non-credible

After police warning, cyclists continue riding on pavement - "The New Paper reported on the cycling situation on Woodlands Avenue 9 after a resident complained about cyclists riding on the pavement, causing accidents and near-misses... TNP observed the hour-plus operation by the Traffic Police to catch errant cyclists from as early as 6.45am. Cyclists who did not dismount at pedestrian crossings or on the crowded pavement were pulled over by the police officers.More than 100 cyclists had their particulars taken after being warned not to flout road safety regulations.Fifteen of them were found to have cycled in a disorderly manner and were issued a summons with a $20 fine each. The rest were let off after the officers educated them on road safety regulations. Many of them were pushing their bikes with a road safety brochure in hand.But once they were a distance away from officers, most of them continued cycling on the pavement. Hardly anyone wore helmets or protective gear. On the pavement where there is a cycling lane, many cyclists were seen encroaching onto the pedestrian walkway while some cycled on the roads against the flow of traffic."
Looks like in 2014 cyclists were more errant than drivers. Even if they can ride on pavements now, the attitude likely persists. No licensing probably has a large part to do with it

The original Ghostbusters franchise is getting a new film in 2020 - "Fire up your proton packs, people, because there's going to be another Ghostbusters movie from Sony Pictures, according to Entertainment Weekly. Jason Reitman (Juno, Thank You For Smoking) will direct the new film, which will be set in the same fictional universe as the 1984 original and its sequel—unlike Paul Feige's 2016 all-female Ghostbusters.Reitman is a fitting choice, seeing as how he's the son of Ivan Reitman, director of the 1980s films. You may have glimpsed Jason, his mother, and his sister in the original Ghostbusters, as residents fleeing their haunted skyscraper. Jason even had a line in the 1989 sequel: he was the birthday boy who told the 'Busters, "My dad says you guys are full of crap."Reitman resisted following in his father's footsteps for years, but it seems he's finally succumbing to the call. “I’ve always thought of myself as the first Ghostbusters fan, when I was a 6-year-old visiting the set. I wanted to make a movie for all the other fans,” Reitman told EW. “This is the next chapter in the original franchise. It is not a reboot. What happened in the ‘80s happened in the ‘80s, and this is set in the present day.”"
So much for Ghostbusters 2016 heralding a new, more diverse and inclusive era

Al-Azhar: to leave Islam is ‘treason’ - "To convert away from Islam is “treason” that should carry the death penalty, according to Sunni Islam’s topmost religious authority.“The penalty for an open apostate, departing from the community, is well stipulated in Sharia,” Al-Azhar’s Grand Imam Ahmed el-Tayyib declared on Egypt television last week.“An apostate must be pressed upon to repent within a variable period of time or be killed,” el-Tayyib stated, reiterating Islam’s traditional position during a 16 June episode of a daily TV program featuring him... “[Preaching] apostasy stems from a hatred against Islam and a premeditated desire to work against it. As such it constitutes in my belief high treason and a departure from the community and what it holds sacred,” the official portal of Al-Azhar quoted el-Tayyib as saying. Started over a millennium ago as a centre of Shiite power, Cairo’s Al-Azhar Mosque has since become renowned as “Sunni Islam’s most prestigious university”... “The broad consensus of Islamic theology, including the Prominent Scholars of [Sunni Islam’s] Four Schools, judge apostasy to be criminal,” el-Tayyib said. “They are all in agreement that an apostate must be pressed upon to repent within a variable period of time or be killed.“One is to employ dialogue and debate in the hope the apostate would repent, which in itself speaks for a measure of flexibility in that an apostate is not killed outright,” el-Tayyib said, describing converts from Islam as “blind at heart” for leaving “the Religion of Original Nature”... Preceding the start of the Muslim fasting month, the country’s fatwa issuing authority (Darul-Ifta) said on 6 June that to eat or drink in public during Ramadan “cannot be included within the realm of personal freedoms, but is a type of anarchy transgressing the sanctity of Islam”.Stressing that “in the Islamic world, apostates are not being strung from the gallows in public squares,” the Grand Imam stated that the issue was being handled with “a flexible theology that emphasizes creativity of thinking based on Sharia’s ethos.”The published statement by el-Tayyib concluded by blaming the West for “repelling people away from Islam,” describing concerns over women issues, apostasy, and Jihad as “defamation of Islam and Muslims”."

Palestinian-American gets life in prison by Palestinian Authority for selling home to Jews - "A Palestinian court in Ramallah sentenced a Palestinian-American to life in prison with hard labor on Monday, after finding him guilty of selling a house in the Old City of Jerusalem to a Jewish Israeli organization... The Palestinian Grand Criminal Court found Akel guilty of “attempting to cut off a part of the Palestinian land and adding them to a foreign country.”... It remains unclear how he was arrested by PA security forces. As a resident of east Jerusalem, he holds an Israeli ID card that gives him immunity against being arrested or prosecuted in a PA court. Some reports said that Akel was arrested while he was staying in Ramallah. Other reports, however, claimed that he had been kidnapped from east Jerusalem and taken to Ramallah... The court ruling is part of the PA’s campaign to deter Palestinians from selling properties to Jews – a practice that is punishable by death in accordance with Palestinian law."
Apparently this is a sincere peace partner

Acute aerobic exercise helps overcome emotion regulation deficits

Exercise therapy improves both mental and physical health in patients with major depression
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