"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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Wednesday, June 05, 2019

Links - 5th June 2019 (1)

BBC Radio 4 - Best of Today, Knife crime - "When there was last a knife crime spike in the mid 2000s, there were many, many more officers on the streets. And we don't see, when we're looking at the rates of serious violence, they don't, there's no sort of natural correlation between that and the numbers of police on the streets"

BBC Radio 4 - From Our Own Correspondent Podcast, From Our Home Correspondent 24/03/2019 - "Often as is already well known across the United Kingdom, [knife crime] offenders and victims tend to be mirror images of each other, a toss of the coin which ends up in the dock and which in A&E or the morgue...
[On auditioning for Game of Thrones] I needn’t have worried about the fact I'd never ridden a horse before as I was told I wasn't handsome enough to be a knight, or scary enough to be one of the savage free folk. But in many ways, I dodged an arrow. I heard of extras having to play dead bodies lying face down for 10 hours a day in Ulster's finest mud. So desperate were people to get a part in the show, I knew one man who got a horse and real swords to shoot an audition tape"

London teens sent to Africa to escape knife crime - "Hundreds of British teenagers are being sent by their parents to East Africa to avoid knife crime in the UK, representatives of the Somali community say... Of the 100 people stabbed to death in the UK so far this year, 8% were of Somali heritage, according to the Rise Projects which works with young British Somalis in north London... "One of the things I'll never forget, is the fact that when you walk in the streets in Kenya you don't have to look over your shoulder."Here I could travel in and out of the city, go and visit whoever I wanted, and it was good. I felt a sense of freedom."But for these kids [in London that can be] life and death."... The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advises against all travel to Somalia, including Somaliland, and highlights a heightened threat of terrorism and kidnappings, across Kenya.But Amina sent her 15-year-old son to Somaliland, when she was worried about the new friends with whom he was mixing.In his year there, she says he became a studious child again.He had even wanted to stay in East Africa.But within 17 days of being brought back to the UK in November 2018, he was stabbed four times."He's been completely traumatised by the experience," she says."They damaged his bladder, his kidneys, his liver. He's got permanent damage."He was safer there [in Somaliland] than he was here… 100% more safe than in London." The new mayor for Islington, Rakhia Ismail - a mother of four who came to London from Somalia as a refugee - believes that some areas of the city are unsafe for young people."Does the parent wait for her child to be killed? Or does the parent take a decision - quite a drastic decision - to take him all the way back to wherever that child is from originally?"She says she knows families who are waiting for their children to finish primary school so they can leave the UK.She estimates that out of every five Somalian families, two are taking their children back home."
Maybe Somalia should offer all British people asylum

BBC Radio 4 - Best of Today, Knife crime - "‘Many, many, perhaps a majority - who knows - of young people who carry knives do so not because they want to attack somebody, but because they are afraid themselves of being attacked.’
‘Absolutely. And of course, the research tells you, if you're likely to carry a knife, you're more likely to have it used against you. So it's sort of contrary to reality, what they should be doing.’"
Knives don't kill people. People kill people. The solution to knife crime is to give everyone a knife!

CBO Report: 1.4 Million Lost Health Insurance Since 2016 — And Obamacare Is To Blame - "The number of uninsured climbed by 1.4 million from 2016 to 2018, according to a report out last week from the Congressional Budget Office. Naturally, this led those on the left to blame the Trump administration for its Obamacare “sabotage.”But the data in that report — which was released on the same day the Mueller report came out and largely ignored — tells an entirely different story.All of the increase in the uninsured over the past two years — all of it — is the result of the massive rate increases Obamacare’s mandates and regulations caused. According to the Health and Human Services Dept., premiums in the individual insurance market doubled from 2013 to 2017. They shot up again in 2018... thanks to the booming job market under President Trump, the number of people getting coverage through work climbed by 2.2 million over those two years.But the number of people in the unsubsidized individual insurance market? From 2015 to 2018, it plunged from 9.7 million down to 6.2 million — a 36% decrease.Before Obamacare went into effect, there were more than 10 million people buying insurance on their own, without any government subsidies... Yet, incredibly, when Sarah Kliff at Vox.com (the self-proclaimed “explanatory news” site) looked at the same report, she tried to blame the Trump administration for the increase in the uninsured... while Obamacare succeeded in making millions of people dependent on the government for health insurance, it’s done so at the expense of middle-class families who were specifically promised relief from high insurance costs."

Microsoft admits expiring-password rules are useless - "Microsoft has admitted that one of the great scourges of our time, the password reset rule, is bunk."When humans are assigned or forced to create passwords that are hard to remember, too often they'll write them down where others can see them," Microsoft's Aaron Margosis said in a blog post Wednesday. Worse, Margosis wrote, when people are forced to change their passwords, too often they make a "small and predictable alteration to their existing password" so they won't forget it. (Duh.) Microsoft isn't the first to ring this alarm. Security experts and normal thinking people have complained for years that mandatory password changes aren't worth the trouble. Two years ago, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) said it was time to rethink this practice. "It is important to assess the risks and benefits for your organization, as well as alternative ways of increasing security," the FTC said in a blog post. And that was after the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) criticized the practice a decade ago... Unfortunately, Microsoft isn't simply yanking the password reset feature, which would be the humane thing to do. In the end, it'll still be up to your company's tech team whether to listen to reason or continue living in the security Stone Age... "Periodic password expiration is an ancient and obsolete mitigation of very low value""

Aurélien Emmanuel's answer to Why do people troll? - Quora - "I do troll sometimes to make people think about themselves, other times to let them realise they are guilible, or to present them something absurd but with similar flaws than their theories, or simply to catch their attention.Most of the time, trolling is just another tool to my Socratic method."

Escort reveals how his family reacted to the news he quit his job in finance - "Calling his job 'rewarding work', Mr James also shared his most popular request with the ladies on his payroll. 'It's definitely the dinner date I offer,' he said... He previously spoke to FEMAIL about what women are typically looking for throughout these experiences - and it's not just sex... 'From what I see, men are more focused on the sexual side of things. Women are focused on the sex too, they wouldn't come to see me without it, but we spend a lot of time talking as well.'Mr James said that most people would be surprised at the range of women he sees as clients.'Many of the women I see could easily go to a bar and pick a guy up and have sex that way,' he explained. 'But they want a different experience... 'The youngest client I've had was 20,' Mr James explained. 'It's rarer for a client to be in their 20s but still happens regularly.'... 'The way I describe seeing an escort is any girl could go into a bar and ask a guy to go back to hers and get a back massage. A lot of guys would say yes,' he said.'But he's not a massage therapist. She might enjoy it, but he's not a professional. If you want a certain sexual experience, it's much harder to find exactly what you want, but an escort can provide that.'"

Single-Parent Families Cause Juvenile Crime - "The Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency reports that the most reliable indicator of violent crime in a community is the proportion of fatherless families. Fathers typically offer economic stability, a role model for boys, greater household security, and reduced stress for mothers. This is especially true for families with adolescent boys, the most crime-prone cohort. Children from single-parent families are more prone than children from two-parent families to use drugs, be gang members, be expelled from school, be committed to reform institutions, and become juvenile murderers. Single parenthood inevitably reduces the amount of time a child has in interaction with someone who is attentive to the child's needs, including the provision of moral guidance and discipline. According to a 1993 Metropolitan Life Survey, "Violence in America's Public Schools," 71 percent of teachers and 90 percent of law enforcement officials state that the lack of parental supervision at home is a major factor that contributes to the violence in schools. Sixty-one percent of elementary students and 76 percent of secondary children agree with this assessment."

Redditor Raises His Adopted Asian Son in Chinese Culture for 17 Years, Then Realizes He's Actually Korean - "“Around about eight months we start to feel a little bit of guilt about not raising him in his on ethnic culture and given that we live in an area with a major Chinese population, it would be very easy to introduce him to his roots.”They decided they would do everything in their power to foster a strong Chinese identity. “So for the next seventeen years we do everything we can to honor his ethnicity. We send him to Chinese language courses and by five he’s fluent in Mandarin and English, he gets an ‘adopted’ by a Chinese aunt and uncle (they taught him cultural things and celebrate certain holidays and take him for dim sum every couple of weeks). We’ve been taking him to China every two years since he was eight.”

[Marvel] What's the difference between Boom Boom, Dazzler, and Jubilee? : AskScienceFiction - "Jubilee could generate, at whim, small-level explosions of brightly colored "plasmoids."
Dazzler could convert sound vibrations into light. As in, literally light, rather than some form of energetic matter.
Boom Boom's ability is similar to Jubilee. She can create orbs of plasma which explode with concussive force. Jubilee seems to have more control or variation of these, while Boom Boom's are more powerful in terms of explosive power."

Northwestern students want a controversial scholar off their campus - "Describing the program's old vetting process for visiting scholars as “weak,” Holloway said that “the department was unaware of Kanazawa’s controversial views or his flawed scholarship.”He added, “I applaud this change, and I expect this same level of basic rigor to be applied in every department at the university.”But Holloway said that Kanazawa will remain on campus until the end of his appointment, at the end of the academic year.While the university “is firmly committed to diversity, equity and inclusion,” Holloway said, at a “comprehensive research university, there will unfortunately be occasions when offensive ideas emerge and when people advance arguments that run afoul of well-established, peer-reviewed research findings.”In meantime, he said, Kanazawa’s “scholarship presents ideas that are antithetical to values that Northwestern holds dear.”Holloway said that Kanazawa is a visiting scholar on sabbatical with less than year left at Northwestern, and that he isn’t teaching, “collecting research data, or getting paid.” And like “all guest research scholars, he is entitled to express his personal views, including on his personal web pages, as long as he does not represent such opinions as the views of the university.”"
So much for academic freedom

Spaghetti bolognese does not exist, says mayor of Bologna, Italy - "Spaghetti bolognese does not exist and is in fact "fake news."The bombshell was dropped by Virginio Merola, the mayor of Bologna, Italy, which is the supposed home of the pasta dish.And Merola is now launching an awareness campaign to teach people the truth... "Spaghetti bolognese doesn't actually exist, yet it's famous the world over," Merola told Italian broadcaster RAI."What we'd prefer the world to know is that Bologna invented tagliatelle, tortellini, and lasagne."Rather than "spaghetti bolognese," what you'll actually find in Italy is Ragù alla Bolognese, which is their equivalent meat-based sauce. However it's rarely served with spaghetti — Italians tend to go for a stronger pasta type with a greater surface area to hold the sauce, such as tagliatelle"

Bella Blue Shares Photo of Child Stuffing Bills Into Her Lingerie - "A New Orleans-based burlesque dancer stirred up controversy this week after sharing a photograph of a young girl stuffing dollar bills into her lingerie and touting the scene as a constructive example of body positivity, feminism and the destigmatization of displays of sexuality... The performer, who on her website identifies as a “femme presenting unicorn,” gushed over the progressive mindset exhibited by the girl’s mother."

Don't Freak Out About That Viral 'Milk Duct' Image, It's Not Actually Correct - "A vivid anatomical image of the "female muscle system" and "milk ducts" has been doing the rounds courtesy of a viral tweet, popping up everywhere from Buzzfeed to BBC. But if you're freaking out about this sudden unveiling of the inner world of the human breast, fret no more - the image and its context are not… entirely correct... that is not the female muscle system. For starters, breasts don't actually contain skeletal muscle. (There are some cells and tissue in there that's sort-of like smooth muscle, but that's not what this diagram claims to be depicting.)... those flower-shaped things are definitely not ducts. They probably represent the lobules, except in a real human breast they are not arranged in such a neat pattern at all... Since the anatomy app [from which this came] is not the work of a reputable medical or educational publisher (in fact, we couldn't find any scientific references in it at all!), it's wise to take its imagery with a grain of salt."

‘Not a bot from China’: Meet the man behind commentary blog Critical Spectator - "Dressed in slacks and a blue jacket with sleeves folded to the elbows over a tee, 33-year-old Michael Petraeus was hunkered over the menu as I stepped up to introduce myself.The Polish national is the man behind Critical Spectator, a commentary blog which caught the attention of the Singapore public at the tail-end of 2018 and beginning of 2019."
"Aren't his inflammatory posts on Malaysia stoking neighbourly tensions. He's not even a resident here so isn't that enough grounds to consider his participation as foreign influence. Mere physical presence in socio-political events is considered foreign interference by the authorities but not running a socio-political blog in Singapore?"
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