"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 04, 2019

Links - 4th March 2019 (1)

Roughly 80% of all voters say U.S. needs secure borders, including 68% of Democrats: Harvard poll - "eight out of 10 of all U.S. voters — 79 percent — say the U.S. needs secure borders; 93 percent of Republicans, 80 percent of independents and 68 percent of Democrats agree with that. Another 79 percent of voters overall say immigration priorities should be granted on a person’s “ability to contribute to America”; 87 percent of Republicans, 79 percent of independents and 72 percent of Democrats agree... 61 percent overall say U.S. border security is inadequate; 84 percent of Republicans, 64 percent of independents and 40 percent of Democrats agree.Another 54 percent overall support building a combination physical and electronic barrier between the U.S. and Mexico; 85 percent of Republicans, 54 percent of independents and 30 percent of Democrats agree"
Open Borders are very unpopular

Man wrote obscene message in Christmas card to neighbour - "A man who wrote an obscene message in a Christmas card to a female neighbour has been jailed for two months.Allan West, 64, posted the card through the woman's door on Christmas Day afternoon... West, of Grangemouth, admitted sending a sexual written communication without the recipient's consent."
Singapore got its laws from the British after all

Thinking of going vegan for the new year? Think again - "Most of us should eat less red meat, yes. But less is not none. That too much is bad doesn’t imply that none is best. Indeed, most things that are good in small doses – red wine, vitamins, fat – are bad in large ones. So personal health alone does not argue veganism. The cruelty arguments are also complicated... if killing animals for food is wrong, why not also killing plants? Scholarship increasingly reveals that trees, at least, communicate things very like emotions... Given that it’s barely two centuries since we considered animals in sentient, it is surely possible that we’ll soon regard plants as similarly deserving respect... If, on the other hand, we acknowledge the eternal truth that life consumes life and if - as is wholly possible - animals get to live in relative safety and fulfilment and die without pain or fear, I think the cruelty charge fails... Grazing doesn’t require treelessness. Indeed, pastoral ruminants delight in paddock trees for shade and fodder. Compare your average paddock of chickpeas or soy, a clear-felled monoculture that requires annual ploughing (denaturing the soil and killing its microbial culture) and broadscale poisoning of “weeds” before planting, not to mention petroleum-based fertilisers. Fifty years of this and what soil remains is thoroughly dead.Regenerative grazing, by contrast, can produce beef that is carbon-neutral or even carbon-negative... A recent US study found that “adaptive multi-paddock grazing” sequesters so much carbon that “emissions… were completely offset". NSW practitioner Martin Royds says this not only benefits the environment but can increase profits by 230 per cent. Plus, you get the odd hamburger. By all means go vegan if you want, but don’t do it for the planet. Remember, too, the vast clouds of methane from several billion new human bean-eaters. Ruminate on that."

WSJ: Hundreds of Crypto Projects Show Signs of Plagiarism, Fraud and Improbable Returns - "16 percent — or 513 — of the aforementioned white papers showed signs of plagiarism, identity theft and promises of implausible returns. White papers of more than 2,000 of the 3,291 projects contained sentences with luring terms such as “nothing to lose, guaranteed profit, return on investment, highest return, high return, funds profit, no risk and little risk.”... the WSJ claimed in a study that cryptocurrency price manipulation was largely conducted by organized “trading groups” using services such as Telegram. The WSJ suggested that coordinated “pump and dump” schemes had seen traders inflate and crash the prices of various cryptocurrencies this year."

Crypto Winter Is Here and We Only Have Ourselves to Blame - CoinDesk - "his story was quite simply that if you hang onto this thing – never mind understanding it – you too can get rich like me... This mania was the making of crypto enthusiasts everywhere. They fostered a blind faith in the Midas touch of their industry. Remember, this was a time when an iced tea producer’s executives briefly showed that they could produce a miraculous share price increase simply by adding the word “blockchain” to the corporate name."

Special Report: Little known to many investors, cryptocurrency reviews are for sale - "Self-proclaimed social media personalities charge thousands of dollars for video reviews. Research houses accept payments in the cryptocurrencies they are analyzing. Rating “experts” will grade anything positively, for a price.All this is common, according to more than two dozen people in the cryptocurrency market and documents reviewed by Reuters... So-called “influencer marketing” is common on social media, where celebrities and others tout anything from shoes to cars. Also common in these plugs is a lack of disclosure, which may mean the buyer is unaware of a conflict of interest. When it comes to cryptocurrencies however, stricter rules may apply. In July 2017, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) published a report on its investigation into digital currencies and warned participants in the market that “virtual coins or tokens may be securities and subject to the federal securities laws.”"

Did Mozart REALLY transcribe Allegri’s Miserere aged 14? - "the piece was once closely guarded, only ever sung during the days of Easter within in the hallowed confines of St. Peter’s Rome – and never published for performance anywhere else... When he returned to his lodgings — where he had to share a bed with his dad and was getting no sleep at all – Mozart wrote the entire piece out from memory, perfectly.Here’s where some people begin to doubt the story – for how could a 14-year-old remember an entire choral composition, consisting of five voice parts, that he had only heard once that day?It does seem a little implausible. But let’s remember that Mozart wrote his first composition, a charming Minuet and Trio in G major, aged five.It is also said that after having transcribed the piece, the young Mozart went back to St Peter’s to hear the work again, probably the same week, to compare his own score with the sung version."

BEAUTY of music | Le tombeau de Couperin - "Despite being written while Ravel witnessed the horrors of war and endured the death of his mother, Le Tombeau de Couperin has been considered a light-hearted, reflective work rather than a somber one. Ravel agreed, observing, "The dead are sad enough, in their eternal silence.""

Ellen Barkin - "i hope louis ck gets raped
and shot at"
Being a blue checkmark means you can break Twitter's TOS and nothing will happen to you, while those who question the liberal consensus get banned

Dr Shawn Baker ©️ on Twitter - ""Your ad wasn't approved because it focuses on an ideal physical body image. Images that show a type of body as being perfect or undesirable (ex: focusing on abs or belly fat) are not accepted"
"This is insane! Being in shape is now considered offensive? We are normalizing being sick and it’s truly disturbing"

Do you have to be smart to be rich? The impact of IQ on wealth, income and financial distress - "How important is intelligence to financial success? Using the NLSY79, which tracks a large group of young U.S. baby boomers, this research shows that each point increase in IQ test scores raises income by between $234 and $616 per year after holding a variety of factors constant. Regression results suggest no statistically distinguishable relationship between IQ scores and wealth. Financial distress, such as problems paying bills, going bankrupt or reaching credit card limits, is related to IQ scores not linearly but instead in a quadratic relationship. This means higher IQ scores sometimes increase the probability of being in financial difficulty."

A Fashion Twist:Asians See Hair to Dye For - The New York Times - "Makers of hair dye report double-digit sales increases in Asia's wealthier countries. Today, about 60 percent of the women in Japan and South Korea color their hair, according to Vianney Pivet, marketing manager for Asia at L'Oreal, the world's leader in hair-coloring products. That is roughly the same level as in Europe and the United States and includes people who dye their hair black to cover up the gray. Trendsetting Japanese women and some men began coloring their hair about five years ago... Japanese fashion gurus describe the trend as liberating, adding a new variety and flair to notions of beauty and fashion where there was once only black... From 30 percent to 40 percent of the women in Singapore color their hair, according to Mr. Pivet at L'Oreal. The same proportions apply to Hong Kong and Taiwan. In less-developed countries like Malaysia, Indonesia, China and Vietnam, less than 20 percent of women color their hair. Hair issues are social lightning rods in most societies around the world, whether among military recruits, high school students or police officers.But the politics of hair is perhaps more meaningful in East Asia. The fact, for example, that Asian children in a school yard can appear almost identical from the standpoint of hair can foster homogeneity. Hair issues are social lightning rods in most societies around the world, whether among military recruits, high school students or police officers.But the politics of hair is perhaps more meaningful in East Asia. The fact, for example, that Asian children in a school yard can appear almost identical from the standpoint of hair can foster homogeneity... A school principal in Singapore, who in January sent home students with colored hair, was more explicit. "We want them to be proud of the hair color they were born with," Marcel Lee, head of the Assumption English School, told the Straits Times. "We also want to stress discipline and conformity."... "The biggest change in Japan in the past 10 years has been the diffusion of mobile phones and the coloring of Japanese hair."... Although many bottles of hair dye sold in East Asia today portray Western women on the labels, the formulas are usually different from the European or American products.When stripped of its natural pigment, Asian hair has reddish undertones, according to Mr. Pivet of L'Oreal. Caucasians' hair, by contrast, has yellow or orange undertones.To compensate for this, chemists use green in Asian formulas to cancel out the red, while violet is added to Western hair dyes to cancel the yellow-orange undertones. The result is a more pleasing color... "Nowadays, if you don't color your hair you're the one who's different,""
From 2001

The Muslim World Remains Largely Mute on Uyghurs’ Plight | The Diplomat - "An American Muslim scholar, Omar Suleiman, recently told Al-Jazeera that the Muslim world’s response to the mass detention of Uyghurs and others in Xinjiang amounts to a “complete abandonment.”... Part of the reason may be that the region and its people are on the periphery of the global Muslim community, isolated and far removed from most Muslims’ awareness. As Suleiman put it, “They’re ironically being tortured for being too Muslim by China while the Muslim world seems to not see them as Muslim enough to fight for.”However, China’s enormous economic influence across the Middle East, Africa, and Asia surely plays a critical role in Muslim leaders’ calculations... Moreover, the governments of many Muslim-majority countries may fear that challenging China on its human rights abuses will cast a spotlight on their own violations... The general population in the Muslim world seems to be largely unaware of the abuses in Xinjiang. Unlike the Danish cartoon affair, the mistreatment of Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities by Chinese authorities is almost ignored by the Arabic media. Al-Jazeera has offered some coverage on the issue, but it remains mostly alone in doing so. Earlier this year, Hassan Hassan, a senior fellow at the Tahrir Institute for Middle East Policy in Washington, told Bloomberg that “even jihadis don’t dwell on it as much as they do about other conflicts.” Restricted access to information within Xinjiang, home to one of the world’s most oppressive surveillance systems, has contributed to the scarcity of media coverage abroad. Earlier in November, James Palmer, the Asia editor for Foreign Policy, explained why it’s so difficult to cover the situation: “I cannot talk to people because they’re gone, I cannot reach them. Even Han Chinese in Xinjiang who were sources for people I knew have been arrested while talking to them.”Despite these difficulties, international media outlets have widely publicized the treatment of Muslim minorities using the limited data available"
So basically only evil racist islamophobic white people protest Uigher persecution

Two sisters from Latvia, only one week in Singapore., Singapore Central Region Mobile - "When we were 16, we sow the “Memories of a Geisha” movie and since that time we were dreaming of being true Geishas. And now our dream becomes real course we are in Singapore, the city of opportunities!"

Low-dose radiation from A-bombs elongated lifespan and reduced cancer mortality relative to un-irradiated individuals | Genes and Environment | Full Text - "The US National Academy of Sciences (NAS) presented the linear no-threshold hypothesis (LNT) in 1956, which indicates that the lowest doses of ionizing radiation are hazardous in proportion to the dose. This spurious hypothesis was not based on solid data. NAS put forward the BEIR VII report in 2006 as evidence supporting LNT. The study described in the report used data of the Life Span Study (LSS) of A-bomb survivors. Estimation of exposure doses was based on initial radiation (5%) and neglected residual radiation (10%), leading to underestimation of the doses. Residual radiation mainly consisted of fallout that poured down onto the ground along with black rain. The black-rain-affected areas were wide. Not only A-bomb survivors but also not-in-the-city control subjects (NIC) must have been exposed to residual radiation to a greater or lesser degree. Use of NIC as negative controls constitutes a major failure in analyses of LSS. Another failure of LSS is its neglect of radiation adaptive responses which include low-dose stimulation of DNA damage repair, removal of aberrant cells via stimulated apoptosis, and elimination of cancer cells via stimulated anticancer immunity. LSS never incorporates consideration of this possibility. When LSS data of longevity are examined, a clear J-shaped dose-response, a hallmark of radiation hormesis, is apparent. Both A-bomb survivors and NIC showed longer than average lifespans. Average solid cancer death ratios of both A-bomb survivors and NIC were lower than the average for Japanese people, which is consistent with the occurrence of radiation adaptive responses (the bases for radiation hormesis), essentially invalidating the LNT model. Nevertheless, LNT has served as the basis of radiation regulation policy. If it were not for LNT, tremendous human, social, and economic losses would not have occurred in the aftermath of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant accident. For many reasons, LNT must be revised or abolished, with changes based not on policy but on science."
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