"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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Friday, March 08, 2019

Links - 8th March 2019 (2)

London Underground bans dating app ad featuring topless man, 58, for ' sexual objectification' - "AN advert featuring a topless model in his fifties has been banned from the London Underground over claims it sexually objectified him. The advert, for an over-50s dating app, showed 58-year-old Paul Orchard wearing just braces, holding a phone with the tagline: “Pull a cracker this Christmas.” However Transport for London’s advertising agent, Exterion Media, has demanded that it be changed to feature a clothed model with a “less suggestive” tagline.It claimed the advert for Lumen, the first dating app exclusively for the over-fifties, was “not compliant” with Committee of Advertising Practice guidelines and said it “could be seen as objectifying the man and his physique”.The Committee of Advertising Practice declined to comment on the advert. From June next year it will ban adverts which reinforce gender stereotypes, like men struggling with household tasks or women as bad drivers. The Lumen advert will now appear as a toned down version on the Tube, with the man fully clothed in a red suit and the tag line "Santa, Baby".It comes amid a wider clamp down on body shaming adverts by tube bosses following furore over Protein World's "Are you beach body ready?" campaign... "Our app is all about anti-ageism, body confidence and being yourself, so to have this banned is a bit depressing. It’s ridiculous and absurd.”Mr Orchard, who appears as the model in the adverts, said: “I’m surprised these ads have been banned, especially when you consider the other images you regularly see on the Underground of younger people wearing much less than I am. "We worked hard to ensure the photographs were tasteful as well as fun, and it’s a shame TfL don’t see it that way.”"

Dreaming of a World More Like Wakanda - "@KamalaHarris: “We know that if we want to live in a world that looks more like Wakanda, the first step is you invest in some women and girls.”...
I mean, look, the real lesson of Wakanda is "find a giant magical space rock and keep it hidden from the rest of the world while you advance your technology" but I guess "be nice to girls" is a close second. That being said, does Harris really want a world that looks like Wakanda?... It's a society that allowed its African neighbors to be ravaged by the rest of the world while it hid behind its walls. Imagine being a nation on a continent where the people are being enslaved and where the resources are being strip mined and doing nothing to stop this oppression by foreign hordes even though you had the military might to do so. Imagine further watching this negligence and thinking "yes, that's a model society, we should be more like them." That's bananas. Emulating Wakanda would be bananas."

'Europe is finished,' leading lawyer says as he leaves UK for Israel - "A top British lawyer and his partner immigrated to Israel this week, citing rising anti-Semitism in Europe. “Europe in my view is finished. Every day you see people being attacked in one way or another across Europe,” Mark Lewis told Israel’s Channel 10 news, which accompanied his arrival, together with partner Mandy Blumenthal, at Israel’s Ben Gurion Airport... Lewis, 54, one of the UK’s leading libel lawyers, said he has been increasingly subjected to hate speech and threats for being Jewish, including being subjected to regular abuse and death threats online... “We’ve accelerated our decision of moving to go to Israel because of anti-Semitism being so institutional and accepted in mainstream life""

Lena Dunham has apologised for disbelieving a rape allegation – and made matters worse - "you can’t blame all your cock-ups on the patriarchy. You can’t slander a woman, spin the situation into PR for yourself, use it as evidence of how you have grown and matured, and then blame the dominant male agenda. You have to take some responsibility for what you did wrong – and taking meaningful responsibility seems something Dunham is incapable of doing."

Starbucks bathrooms are free, but good luck finding an open stall - "Finding a usable Starbucks toilet in the Big Apple might actually have gotten harder since last spring’s announcement — and not just for non-customers... A half-dozen toilets were locked or barricaded for no clear reason. Others were closed for prolonged “cleaning,” which an insider said was needed after extreme soiling caused by drug-using, incontinent vagrants.“Letting everybody in has resulted in nobody getting in,” an employee at one branch fumed... A rope and traffic cones barred the way at 38 Park Row. When a desperate visitor asked if the loo would reopen any time soon, a barista directed him to a Dunkin’ Donuts nearby."

WALSH: Remember When Starbucks Caved And Opened Their Bathrooms To Non-Customers? Here's How That Worked Out. - "a Starbucks manager at a location in Philadelphia came under heavy fire last spring after refusing restroom privileges to two non-customers. The men, who happened to be black, asked to use the restroom... Certain Starbucks locations, less than a year after announcing this enlightened new restroom philosophy, now must install special disposal boxes for used heroin needles. They'll also be removing regular trashcans from some bathrooms after employees expressed concern about getting pricked with needles while changing out the bags. There have been reports of condoms, alcohol bottles, and blood stains on the floors... It may be fairly pointed out that Starbucks probably had many of these problems even before the new policy. Yes, and that's exactly the point. That's why the policy existed in the first place. A spacious, private, single-stall bathroom at a Starbucks in an urban area is an attractive place for drug addicts, drunks, vagrants, and other assorted characters. Most businesses are not interested in becoming de facto homeless shelters or halfway homes. Historically, that's why they reserve their bathrooms and their tables for people who are actually interested in purchasing their products. It's not a fail-proof plan, but it's relatively effective. There's a reason why these needle disposal boxes only became necessary after they changed the policy."

The scientists persuading terrorists to spill their secrets - "High-stakes interrogations take place in secret, and have rarely been available to objective researchers. In place of cool analysis, colourful but unreliable stories of vital secrets wrenched from fearful suspects have prevailed. In reality, well-run interrogations are rarely dramatic: drama thrives on conflict – something professional interrogators strive to avoid... Watching and coding all the interviews took eight months. When the process was complete, Laurence passed on the data to Paul Christiansen, a colleague at Liverpool University, who performed a statistical analysis of the results. The most important relationship he measured was between “yield” – information elicited from the suspect – and “rapport” – the quality of the relationship between interviewer and interviewee. For the first time, a secure, empirical basis was established for what had, until then, been something between a hypothesis and an insider secret: rapport is the closest thing interrogators have to a truth serum... Moran’s premise was that even the most implacable prisoner had a story that he wanted to tell; the interrogator’s job was to create an atmosphere in which he felt willing and able to tell it. The surest way to do that is to treat him as a fellow human being, rather than an enemy... Today, most experienced interrogators agree... Today, interrogations still get framed as accusatory moral dramas, and not just on TV. American police officers are trained in the Reid Technique, developed in the 1950s by John Reid, a former Chicago cop. In a pre-interrogation interview, the detective assesses a suspect’s credibility by observing his body language, such as fidgeting or eye movements. (There is no evidence these are reliable cues to deceit.) Once he decides that a suspect is lying, the interrogator moves into confrontational mode, in an effort to break the suspect’s resistance. The technique has been consistently associated with false confessions. It survives, at least in part, because it makes the interrogator feel in control, positioning him as a heroic protagonist... Studies of interrogation are often preoccupied with the question of how to detect deception, but even a lie is information; the hard problem for an interrogator is a suspect who says nothing... children know exactly which buttons to press. “I tell (the police), if you can deal with teenagers you can deal with terrorists”"
The fact that many people cheer when terrorists are shot demonstrates that they are not interested in investigation and deeper causes of the problem - just retribution

Women’s groups: Cancel law charging women with rape! - "The Knesset Law Committee on Tuesday decided to postpone a vote on second and third reading of a bill to add the crime of rape by a woman to the statute book after women’s organizations warned that it would lead to a situation where women would be afraid to charge men with rape... representatives of women’s organizations unanimously opposed it."
Feminism means that women can't rape men

Do Higher Salaries Lead to Higher Performance? Evidence from State Politicians by Mitchell Hoffman, Elizabeth Lyons - "Higher salary is associated with statistically significant, but economically small, increases in electoral competitiveness and legislative productivity, the latter proxied with bill-passing and missed roll call votes. Salary has no effect on politician quality, corruption, or fiscal policy... Despite small impacts on performance, higher salary is significantly correlated with behavior on another margin, namely time-use; time-use data suggests that politicians in higher wage states spend greater time on fund-raising and on constituent services, but no more time on legislative activities. Our results lend caution to common claims that increasing politician salary would significantly increase the quality of U.S. state government"

Scientists engineer shortcut for photosynthetic glitch, boost crop growth by 40 percent

Young Girls Creeped Out By Older Scientists Constantly Trying To Lure Them Into STEM - "“They’re always hanging around our classrooms and sending us targeted messages online—they sometimes even offer us money if we’re into their sort of thing. It’s so desperate,” said 13-year-old Tessa Levin, recounting the several times she and her friends had been approached by the type of much older chemical engineers or web developers who frequent science fairs with the hopes of involving girls in non-profit mentorship programs or computer programming sleepaway camps. “They always try to treat us like we’re special, but the truth is, they’ll go after pretty much any girl under 18 who can draw a simple parallel circuit diagram. They’re clearly trying to groom girls for their weird lifestyle from a young age. At first it was kind of funny, but the more we learn, the more it just seems gross.” The poll also revealed that some scientists also seem to have a thing for young black and latino boys."

Scientists invent a wearable testicle-chilling device to try and boost men's fertility - "The CoolMen gadget is attached to a belt and should be worn for 12-16 hours a day for up to a month to boost men's sperm count, its manufacturers say."

Beekeepers Sick Of Vegan Diet Hypocrisy Shut Them Down With Facts - "All the fruits and vegetables that vegans *do* eat couldn't exist without bees"

Still just 1 g: Consistent results from five test batteries - "In a recent paper, Johnson, Bouchard, Krueger, McGue, and Gottesman (2004) addressed a long-standing debate in psychology by demonstrating that the g factors derived from three test batteries administered to a single group of individuals were completely correlated. This finding provided evidence for the existence of a unitary higher-level general intelligence construct whose measurement is not dependent on the specific abilities assessed. In the current study we constructively replicated this finding utilizing five test batteries. The replication is important because there were substantial differences in both the sample and the batteries administered from those in the original study. The current sample consisted of 500 Dutch seamen of very similar age and somewhat truncated range of ability. The batteries they completed included many tests of perceptual ability and dexterity, and few verbally oriented tests. With the exception of the g correlations involving the Cattell Culture Fair Test, which consists of just four matrix reasoning tasks of very similar methodology, all of the g correlations were at least .95. The lowest g correlation was .77. We discuss the implications of this finding."
The "myth" of IQ

The power of cognitive ability in explaining educational test performance, relative to other ostensible contenders - "The paper examines the relationship between cognitive ability at thirteen years of age and children's academic performance assessments at aged nine. Alongside cognitive ability, other variables considered predictive of academic success were assessed including personality measures, birthweight, handedness, socio-economic background, parental education, home language, and child-rearing practices such as breast-feeding and access to video-games... Linear multiple regression identified five variables which significantly explained both reading and mathematics test scores: two cognitive ability measures, birthweight, wealthier households, and high attendance at parent-teacher meetings. Gender, parental education, and home language also made a contribution to reading test scores, while a general factor of personality was significant for mathematics. Overall the cognitive ability measures accounted for almost all of the explained variance, and other factors, while sometimes statistically significant, were of relatively minor importance."
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