"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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Saturday, July 20, 2019

Links - 20th July 2019 (3)

Rationally Speaking | Official Podcast of New York City Skeptics - Current Episodes - RS 195 - Zach Weinersmith on "Emerging technologies that'll improve and/or ruin everything" - "something like a fifth or a quarter of elite scientists will admit to taking nootropic drugs, brain enhancers like modafinil or Adderall. I've heard cocaine. So there's already an arms race happening... Once 25% of people are doing it, you're pretty highly incentivized to do it too, and not just peer pressure. Economic pressure...
'Of the technologies you looked at, which do you think is least risky, and which do you think is most risky to society or civilization as a whole?'
'I would say least risky has got to be organ printing or maybe precision medicine. Any of the medical stuff. To the extent we can come up with some way it's bad, the good so outweighs it. With organ printing you could say well, it's going to change the way we think about our bodies, and that's probably true. I don't know if it's negative but it's weird. On the other hand there's, whatever it was, 122,000 people in the US waiting for an organ. It's very hard to say, "Well there's an ethical conundrum with giving you an immediate exit from dialysis."'...
'Safe Is Not an Option: Overcoming the Futile Obsession with Getting Everyone Back Alive that is Killing Our Expansion into Space.'...
'A lot of times, risk aversion doesn't actually mitigate risk. He discussed some cases I think with the Space Shuttle, where basically escape hatches were built in the design, which actually make it substantially more dangerous, because it's just one more thing to break.'...
My wife is a parasitologist, for example and there are all sorts of stories about parasitologists who want to bring ... I probably shouldn't repeat this, but who want to bring some species home from South America or Africa, and they bring it in their bodies to get it through customs...
Gell-Mann amnesia... there's this funny thing that happens where if you read anything in the popular press about a subject that you personally happen to be an expert in, you discover how off-base it is. And you're like, "Oh god, they're just misrepresenting everything and misunderstanding everything."And then when you read about anything that you're not an expert in, you kind of forget that. And you just take it as truth. And you forget that there's no reason to expect that your particular field should be an exception and maybe you should be more uncertain about everything."

2506 Sidearms of the Great War | The History Network - "Artillery is estimated to have caused 90% of Battlefield casualties in the Great War

2507 William ‘Billy’ Bishop pt.1 | The History Network - "Landing was not a strength for him, and he soon would gain reputation for causing more damage to his planes by landing than did any fight with the enemy"

EPISODE 100! Meme Fest: The Art of Memes — The Art History Babes - "The art movement continuously rejected the ruling art conventions and questioned the status of art. The Dadaists embodied the essence of anti-art. So that being said, Dadists never had a clear goal with their own art intentions, they were just making art that made no sense. But it reflected the social situation of the time"

Episode 117: Art History BB: The Swing — The Art History Babes - "During this time in France, a swing was considered a symbol of infidelity. Between the rhythmic movement of the swing to the position of the body, it was considered a metaphor for sex… additionally the fountain she faces and kicks her shoe toward could be a nod to Cupid, the Roman god of desire and lust. Cupid raises his finger to his lips. Is this an attempt at hushing the barking dog? The hardly visible but obviously aggravated dog is barking at the man pushing the swing but to no avail. The pup’s warnings are going unnoticed by this oblivious man. And desire is overpowering fidelity in the scene. And just the cherry on top, if peering up her skirt isn't kind of scandalous enough, the angle of his outstretched arm is just undeniably phallic."

Episode 102: Vinny Van Gogh — The Art History Babes - "‘I wonder how many times doctors told Van Gogh to do cocaine about his epilepsy.’...
‘They used to smoke cigarettes when women were pregnant, to keep them from gaining too much weight.’"

BBC Radio 4 - Best of Today, Friday's business with Rob Young - "This is a weird scene to say the least. Workers are celebrating being fired. Car manufacturer Ford announced that they’ll be closing down its factory after 50 years of operation in Brazil. These workers are celebrating that they got a very good severance package"

IVITA 4600g/pair Silicone Breast Forms TG Crossdress Large Fake Boobs H/HH Cup Cup by IVITA - Shop Online for Baby in Australia - "Product Material: 100% medical liquid silicone Suitable for people£º
1: Breast cancer (Unilateral mastectomy)
2: Small breasts girl
3: Cross dressers"

Biden Suggests Starting ‘Physical Revolution’ To Deal With Republicans - "Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden appeared to suggest using violence against Republicans on Monday in response to a question about how he as president would deal with opposition to his agenda in the Senate from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell."

Joe Biden 2020 Campaign and Democratic Party Miscalculations - "'Fifty-six percent of Democrats self-identify as “moderate” and 9 percent even embrace “conservative,” according to an April poll from the Judy Ford Wason Center for Public Policy at Christopher Newport University. While leftist activists pine for the end of the legislative filibuster to grease the skids for partisan legislation, a December GW Politics poll found that 66 percent of Democrats said they prefer elected officials who “make compromises with people they disagree with” over those who “stick to their positions.” Only 36 percent of Republicans said the same.'...
key candidates have made such extreme statements in the effort to appeal to what turned out to be the Democratic minority that they’ve rendered themselves more vulnerable in the general election. It’s hard to walk back pledges to wipe away private health insurance or tear down border walls, for example. It turns out that dreams of a united, energized progressive tidal wave may well die in the face of a more-moderate electorate that mainly seeks a return to normalcy, modest reforms, and an end to daily political drama. We’ll see, of course, and I freely acknowledge this take could age badly, but at the very least there is a real recognition that the Online Left is out of step with the bulk of the Democratic electorate. That fact alone could help diminish the power of angry online activism and the reduce the influence of Twitter tirades. If that happens, win or lose Joe Biden will have made an important contribution to American political discourse."

Opinion | Dear Millennials: The Feeling Is Mutual - The New York Times - "a video of Joe Biden saying he had “no empathy” for “the younger generation” that “tells me how tough things are” resurfaced on social media. The video was over a year old, but it elicited predictable howls from members of the dissed demographic. “Nothing says ‘perfect candidate to lead the most powerful nation in the world’ like ‘I have no empathy,’” wrote someone with the Twitter handle @anarchopriapism.My own reactionary reaction was different. O.K., I thought, I could definitely vote for Joe — provided he has the mettle to stand his ground.I’ve been saying for a while now that both parties could use a Sister Souljah moment, in which a candidate shows the intestinal fortitude to rebuke some obnoxious person or faction within his political base... The signature move in each of these instances (and there are so many more) is to allege an invisible harm in order to inflict an actual one. In place of an eye for an eye, we have professional destruction for emotional upset. Careers and reputations built over decades come to ruin, or nearly so, on account of a personal mistake or a disfavored opinion. All of these struggle sessions play to the sound of chortling twenty-somethings, who have figured out that, in today’s culture, the quickest way to acquire and exercise power is to take offense. This is easy to do, because the list of sins to which one may take offense grows with each passing year, from the culturally appropriated sombrero to the traditionally gendered pronoun... He could make a virtue of the defect by emphasizing his distance from everything that defines the worst aspects of millennial culture — the coddled minds and censorious manner and inability to understand the way the world works. Does it ever occur to some of our more militant millennials that the pitiless standards they apply to others will someday be applied pitilessly to them?"

Turns Out NASA Creates Posters For Every Space Mission And They’re Hilariously Awkward

Professor Who Published Fake Gender Studies Papers To Prove Point Now Targeted By His Own University - "PSU philosophy professor Peter Boghossian is being investigated by his employer for committing a “human subjects” ethics violation by contributing to the hoax, which itself was an academic study."
Strange how sending out fake resumes to study discrimination isn't an ethics violation

15 Gross Medieval Foods That People Actually Ate In The Middle Ages - "During the Middle Ages, it was believed that beaver tails were "cold" and thus could be eaten on fast days. In the 17th century it was no longer just the tail that was allowed on fast days but the whole beaver itself. Apparently, when the Bishop of Quebec asked his superiors whether his parish could eat beavers on Fridays during Lent, the church declared that indeed they could for the beaver was a fish due to the fact that it was an excellent swimmer.
Ever wondered how to roast a cat? According to one Medieval recipe, you start off by cutting off its head and throwing it away “because it is not for eating, for they say that eating the brains will cause him who eats them to lose his senses and judgment.” Then, you cut the cat open and clean it. At this stage, the feline may look ready to be roasted but alas - you must first bury it in the ground for a day and a night before you do so. You can serve the roasted cat by soaking it in broth and garlic.
Forget swans and peacocks that looked as if they were alive. The singing chicken was so much more impressive. It was prepared by tying the bird’s neck with quicksilver and ground sulphur, which, when the bird was reheated, made it sound like it was singing. It was also not uncommon to have a swan, pig or fish breathe fire, an impressive feat that was achieved by soaking cotton in alcohol and then lighting it inside the animal.
A sheep's penis was a rather curious medieval dish that was prepared by washing and cleaning it and then stuffing it with the yolks of ten eggs, saffron, milk, and fat. The whole thing was then blanched, roasted and sprinkled with ginger, cinnamon, and pepper.
There's no denying that medieval chefs were extremely innovative - they not only prepared scrumptious dishes from real-life beasts but also created their very own unique creatures that did not even exist. This creature was known as "Cockentrice" and was prepared by boiling a rooster, cutting it in half and sewing it to the bottom of a pig. The whole thing was then stuffed, roasted, and covered in egg yolks and saffron before being served to the very lucky dinner guests.
Medieval dinner parties were spectacles in themselves. People liked to be amused at the table and so medieval chefs came up with the idea of serving live animals that appeared to be dead at first glance but that would then run off once served at the table. Take the live chicken for example – a chicken was plucked alive in boiling water and glazed which gave it the appearance of it having been roasted. When the chicken fell asleep in the kitchen, it was brought out onto the table along with other dishes. But just as the chicken was about to be carved it would make off down the table, leaving chaos in its wake. Similarly, live frogs would often be placed inside a pie. When the top of the pie was cut open, the frogs would leap out and spring down the table, causing as much alarm as laughter among the guests"

The Data-Driven Guide to Sane Parenting

The Data-Driven Guide to Sane Parenting (Ep. 376) - Freakonomics Freakonomics

"If you’ve ever had a child, or ever been a child, you know there’s a lot of parenting advice out there. Much of which is not very nuanced.

Emily OSTER: No one’s in the middle. People are yelling. The first person is like, “Well, I did that, and my kid’s amazing.” And then someone will be like, “Well, actually, if you do that, there’s a very good chance your baby will die, and only someone who hates their baby would do that.”...

Oster went back and started reading the underlying studies that contribute to the conventional wisdom on pregnancy and child-rearing. She found that a lot of the studies were built around small sample sizes or incomplete data. A lot of the analysis didn’t control for things like income and education level. Consider, for instance, one of the most controversial topics of early motherhood: breastfeeding...

OSTER: There are some small but not zero benefits in the short run, particularly around improving digestive health, lowering episodes of diarrhea, and maybe some evidence that it lowers rates of ear infections in the first year of life. But many of these claims that people make — breastfeeding is going to give your kid an I.Q. bump, breastfeeding is going to make your kid thin, it’s going to prevent allergies or asthma later — these things are just not supported in the data... this is the one long-term effect where it looks like maybe we have some good evidence, it suggests that it may actually lower breast cancer risks for the mother.

DUBNER: What’s the mechanism for that?

OSTER: Mechanisms are always hard, but in this case, I think we have some sense that it changes some of the composition of the cells in the breast in a way that may help protect against breast cancer... I am constantly comparing things to getting in a car, because getting in a car is very risky. And I think that there are many kinds of risks that people talk about in pregnancy and childhood which are far less risky than getting in a car, where people are like, “Oh, only somebody who’s a terrible parent would even consider doing that.” It’s like, “Well, actually, do you get in the car?”...

The advisors — doctors, primarily — aren’t necessarily practiced in risk-reward calculations.

OSTER: There is relatively little training on data analysis in medical school...

It is definitely true that drinking a lot of alcohol is very bad, and even one or two times having a large amount of alcohol can be very dangerous. But the data does not support the conclusion that occasional alcohol consumption — say, no more than a glass at a time, a few times a week — is dangerous for your baby...

Caffeine, again, the restrictions are very, very stringent. And I think some people take that to mean none, no caffeine. The truth is, there’s certainly no evidence that having two cups of coffee a day is dangerous. And there really isn’t much evidence that going up to, say, three or four cups a day, has any negative impact either. When you get into eight cups a day, that data is a little more complicated...

DUBNER: You write the following about going back to work yourself, as an economist: “The eighth hour at my job is better than the fifth hour with the kids on a typical day. And that is why I have a job, because I like it. It should be okay to say this.” Is it not okay to say this among certain friends or family members?

OSTER: Yeah, I think sometimes it’s not. I think it can feel often in these conversations that parents have with each other, and particularly moms, that if you work, you’re supposed to say, “Oh, well of course I have to work. I’d love to spend more time with my kids.” And if you don’t work, you sort of say, “Well, I have to stay home.” And I think you get a lot of judgment on both sides in a way that I think is really not helpful...

We do have good evidence from policy changes in the U.S. and from other places that that is good for infant health, that having some maternity-leave opportunities, some ability to be home early in life, is good.When we then think about going from four months to, say, two years, there we don’t see much evidence that that influences long-term outcomes. I think that going to everybody having a year is probably not as important as trying to make sure that people have a few months.

DUBNER: You write the following: “By the time I had Penelope” — which was your first kid — “I was 31. Up to that point in my life, there had been surprisingly few instances in which I could not defeat a problem with hard work.”"

Links - 20th July 2019 (2)

The $1.5 Trillion Question: How to Fix Student-Loan Debt? (Ep. 377) - Freakonomics Freakonomics - "Between 2000 and 2010, undergraduate enrollment at U.S. colleges increased by 37 percent. As demand rose, so did the price: from 2000 to 2016, the average annual cost of college more than doubled, from around $15,000 a year to nearly $32,000. Over the past 20 years, only two other goods or services have risen as much as college. One is hospital services; the other is college textbooks.Since 1985, college costs have risen four times faster than the Consumer Price Index. Why? There are a number of reasons. One has to do with what economists call Baumol’s cost disease. That’s what happens when salaries rise — in this case, the salaries of college administrators and faculty and staff — without a commensurate rise in productivity. You also see this in the performing arts — and in hospital services, by the way...
DANIELS: When I suggested maybe just a one-year pause [in rising tuition fees], there were those among the enrollment professionals here who very genuinely said, “Oh my gosh, if we stand still while everyone else goes up again, people will think we don’t have confidence in the quality of our product.”
And they did it beyond that one year; tuition at Purdue has been frozen at least through the 2021 school year. The cost of room and board was also cut, by five percent.
DANIELS: And so the all-in cost, in nominal dollars, of attending our school in 2021 will be less than it was in 2012...
There has probably always been a leftist tilt in the academy. I can remember a French intellectual — this is 25 years ago now — saying Marxism is so discredited over there, where they’ve seen it close up. He said, “When we need a Marxist, now we have to import one from an American university.”... the advance of knowledge requires the collision of ideas. And that’s what’s beginning to trouble, I think, even people of more liberal or leftist persuasion. Where you get this complete homogeneity, this just dreary conformity. And then the free inquiry stops being the driver of new discoveries and ideas... the first requirement of self-government is to be able to govern oneself. That is, if you want to live in a country that is free, where people come together and decide about their common future, it presupposes that people have some measure of autonomy and are happy about that, and want to live their own lives... on some of the original coinage of the American republic, there was the Latin phrase “Exitus in Dubio Est.” “The outcome is still in doubt.” At the very beginning, people said, “Boy, this experiment in governing ourselves is really unproven, and it might not last.”"

23andMe (and You, and Everyone Else) (Ep. 378) - Freakonomics Freakonomics - "GEDmatch lets anyone upload raw DNA data from home-genetics testing companies like 23andMe and Ancestry.com. It turned out that at least 24 relatives of the suspect were included in the GEDmatch database. The police, by cross-referencing the suspect’s DNA data against Census data and cemetery records, were able to confirm that they had the right guy."

BBC World Service - The Food Chain, When breast isn't best - "Breastfeeding is what responsible societies and communities expect their new mothers to do. But given so many don't, why has the stigma around formula fed babies stuck so fast? This week, we brought together three mums in different parts of the world. All of them either gave up on exclusive breastfeeding, or decided to not even start... You do find that when you are giving your child formula, feeding him formula, it does help to you know, get the husbands involved... in terms of support, I actually found a lot of sort of judgment from acquaintances. A lot of them are men... A lot of them are just like, you know, do whatever you feel like you need to do. You the mother. So you know best...
In the UK, at least our health visitors and midwives have really got it into their heads that it's such a big thing. And also some of our hospitals, they have a UNICEF baby friendly rating, which means that they only recommend breastfeeding. They don't stock any baby milk. So I knew that I was going to probably bottle feed, you could get a kit for a bottle feeding. And you have to take that in with you...
‘A lot of people don't talk about the benefits of putting your child on formula. And they’re definitely benefits for you as a mother. Maybe because everyone's pushing this you have to breastfeed thing that people don't consider’
‘Happy mother happy child.’
‘Yes... you can plan your day is better. There's just so much flexibility I feel now that I'm putting my son on formula.’"
Is it sexist to say the mother knows best? Do women who never want to have a kid get an opinion on breastfeeding? Post-menopausal women?

Sibling Study Finds No Long-Term Breastfeeding Benefits For Kids - "in this study spanning 25 years of data on more than 8,000 children ages 4 to 14, the long-term benefits of breastfeeding dwindled down to virtually nothing? “Nothing. Exactly.”... We know moms are able to pass immunity through breast milk to babies, and that in the very short term, it makes sense biologically that this boosted immunity can protect their intestines or their lungs from infections. But this is likely to wear off fairly quickly during that first year"

Research shows we shouldn’t always recommend breastfeeding. - "In July 2002, the results of a large study were published that showed that women who took HRT were more likely to develop breast cancer. They also had a higher incidence of heart attacks, strokes, and blood clots. Nearly everything that health care providers had believed about HRT was disproved. It was a formative experience of my career. How did good people with good intentions get things so very wrong? They made a mistake common in the field of preventive health. They based their recommendations on small, early studies that showed benefits without waiting for larger studies to demonstrate that the benefits were real, and that no risks had been overlooked. Even the professional societies failed to wait for definitive evidence. We don’t seem to have learned from that debacle. In fact, we are currently engaged in repeating it. In this case, the practice being aggressively promoted is breastfeeding. Every major professional organization and society, from the World Health Organization to the American Academy of Pediatrics, insists that breastfeeding has significant health benefits for babies, that increasing breastfeeding rates will improve infant health, and that breastfeeding save lives.In 2010, breastfeeding advocates confidently predicted that raising breastfeeding rates would save lives, reduce disease, and lower health care costs. Nearly nine years later, none of that has come to pass, even though the breastfeeding rate in the U.S. has almost quadrupled... There has never been any proven association between breastfeeding rates and infant health: Many countries with very high breastfeeding rates have high rates of infant mortality, and many countries with low rates of infant mortality have very low breastfeeding rates. That’s just what you would expect if breastfeeding had very little impact on infant health... aggressive breastfeeding promotion has significant risks. There has been an increase in babies falling from their mothers’ hospital beds or suffocating. There has been a rise in serious harms to babies including dehydration, starvation, brain injuries, and even deaths. Indeed, exclusive breastfeeding on discharge is now the leading risk factor for hospital re-admission... the known benefits for most babies—slightly fewer colds and cases of diarrhea—are so minimal... up to 15 percent of first-time mothers will not be able to produce enough breast milk to fully nourish an infant, especially in the first few days after birth. The relentless emphasis on exclusive breastfeeding instead leaves frantic new mothers to cope with starving babies who won’t sleep because they are so hungry...
1. Nearly all benefits of breastfeeding come from extrapolation of small studies that have never been replicated at larger scale. This is the same thing that happened with hormone replacement therapy.
2. Breastfeeding is closely associated with higher socioeconomic status. That means the benefits we’ve attributed to breastfeeding may actually accrue from greater wealth and better access to health care, not from breastfeeding itself.
3. White-hat bias, a cognitive bias promoting what are believed to be righteous ends"

The cost and value of breast milk. - "It’s only free if your time is worthless. And even then, it is only free if we all turn the blind eye to some obvious economic realities... Among women who were employed in the year before their first child, those who breast-feed for six months or longer experienced a steeper decline in their annual income, on average, than mothers who breast-fed for shorter durations or not at all"

Do Tongue Ties Really Cause Breastfeeding Problems? - "Moms might start worrying about tongue tie when breastfeeding fails to be the peaceful bonding experience they envisioned, when they’re dealing with cracked nipples and the pain of trying to nurse a baby who can’t latch properly.They might call a local lactation consultant to help. If the consultant suspects a tongue tie, she’ll typically refer mom and baby to a pediatric dentist or an otolaryngologist (an ear, nose, and throat doctor), who will perform a procedure to “clip” the stringlike piece of tissue underneath the tongue. In some cases, the child’s pediatrician is not involved in the decision... While the popularity of frenotomies has exploded in recent years, many medical professionals and researchers say it’s not totally clear whether they address the issues they’re supposed to—or whether a lot of babies are having an unnecessary procedure... While the popularity of frenotomies has exploded in recent years, many medical professionals and researchers say it’s not totally clear whether they address the issues they’re supposed to—or whether a lot of babies are having an unnecessary procedure... Many parents seek tongue-tie treatment for their babies in the weeks and months following birth, after experiencing difficulty breastfeeding... “Today, people are trying to find reasons why it isn’t working, whereas in the past, if it didn’t work, people just went to formula and it was fine”... Today, women face pressure to breastfeed from the moment their babies are born. Yet, they might not be taught about proper latching, or the fact that—unsurprisingly—attaching a tiny suction machine to your nipples for hours each day can be painful. Instead of working through the natural learning curve, parents might look for a problem they can fix to make it better. Enter tongue tie... I can still remember the annoying, singsongy refrain: If it hurts, you’re doing it wrong. Guess what? It really, really hurts, just like several other aspects of expelling a human being from your body... much of the research on the subject relies on mothers self-reporting the effect a frenotomy had on breastfeeding, which is highly subjective. In short, moms might see a change post-frenotomy because they want to... An errant tongue-tie diagnosis can obscure a more serious issue... only 10 percent of pediatricians think tongue ties affect breastfeeding, compared with 30 percent of ENTs and nearly 70 percent of lactation consultants"
What a religious obsession with breastfeeding does

Why this lactation consultant told a new mom to stop breastfeeding - "the day I gave her permission to stop breastfeeding was the day she felt a shift. The tears stopped. She started enjoying the little moments with her boy and their bond grew. She said she still has moments when she feels sad that she and her son missed out on the nursing experience, but she knows that stopping is what her family needed... As much as I like #fedisbest, I think it should evolve into new movement: #momsmentalhealthmatters"
What trans inclusive term for mom could we use? People who have given birth to babies? #mentalhealthofpeoplewhohavegivenbirthtobabiesmatters

BBC Radio 4 - From Our Own Correspondent Podcast, Airstrikes and Sirens - "There are no air raid sirens or shelters for the ordinary residents of Gaza. Only the militants it is said can escape to their underground bunkers"

BBC Radio 4 - Moral Maze, The Morality of Leadership - "Politicians may have been left wrestling with an irreconcilable conflict between direct and representative democracy. Their fractious fumbling may reflect how rancorous and divided all the rest of us are. But there are many who see this as a moral failure of leadership, an entire political class seemingly unable to define objectives that attract support, act in the wider public interest rather than their own. Is that as much about the nature of leadership itself? Do we want visionary leaders or leaders who listen? Idealists or pragmatists? Messiahs or managers?...
I feel like one of the things that I think is a duty of a leader, is that at anytime we have a crisis, whether it's at the beginning or the middle or the end, a leader should try and unite a people, whatever, however, the leader does that. What we've seen in the current Premiership, is that Theresa May has spectacularly failed to unite either parliament, party or people. That can’t all be down to circumstances...
We have a Labour Party, which doesn't seem to be pretty interested in winning power, because it's obsessed with its own kind of activist base...
‘Jimmy Carter, in the 1970s. Said we need to use less energy, we need to spend less, we need to balance the budget. The American voters kicked him out, they elected Ronald Reagan instead and they had a great party in the 80s. But really, who historically was great? The man who saw the troubles to come or the man who just provided a short dose of sugar.’
‘Well, Reagan is dead. And Jimmy Carter continues to try and negotiate, getting people free and so forth. Carter was, could be a great man without being a great leader.’...
'If the leader is the smartest person in the room, the assertion in the book is that they're in the wrong room. The leader’s job is to make other people feel like they're the smartest people in the room and draw out the talents of the team themselves... there are well known leaders that have been particularly good at certain times in our history, such as Churchill in wartime, but who didn't turn out to be good leaders in peacetime. And so we use these pejorative terms as being right or wrong or good or bad, when in reality, it's about the right fit of the right leader at the right time, the right place... It’s often said that management is doing things right. And leadership is doing the right things'"

New Classical Tracks: Guitarist Thibaut Garcia takes deep dive into Bach's legacy with new album | Classical MPR - "The recordings' possibilities were very short, because the length or the size of the vinyl or LP... the size of the recording was very short, he had to play very fast to fit the whole piece on it"

'Mighty boutique orchestra' celebrates diverse women composers in 'Project W' | Classical MPR - "I couldn't get my Green Card after 911. My lawyer said to me: well man you only have two choices, because they have changed the rule. Having a doctorate degree not necessary qualify you for Green Card. So she said to me, either marry an American, which is quicker to obtain the Green Card, or go win an international competition. I didn't know which was harder"

Historian James Holland's New View of D-Day

Historian James Holland's New View of D-Day | History Extra Podcast - History Extra

"‘Should it have been earlier, as for example, Stalin had been agitating for some time?’

‘Yeah, I just don't think the Allies were ready in 1943. I mean, you know, Sicily was a massive operation. And there were very good reasons for going into North Africa before that. You know, America was so new to war. I mean, you know, when we look at the huge sort of material wealth of the Americans by 1944 it's easy to forget that back in 1940, they literally had nothing.

You know, Roosevelt in June 1940, you know, after the fall of France was staring at a US armed forces that were languishing behind in the world ratings, they were kind of 19th largest army at the start of the Second World War, had a tiny Air Corps, not even Air Force. You know, Navy was sort of okay.

But you know, there wasn't a single manufacturer of explosives in the United States of America in 1939, they had to build up from nothing. And that meant that not just a question of building up all the material, it's also kind of training people and learning the lessons and North Africa enabled them to get onto the ground, get into multi service, try service operations, test it, see what was going on, without having a particularly stiff opposition to start off with, although it's different once they got into Tunisia.

So there were very, very good reasons for going into North Africa. And that helps knock the Axis forces out of the entire North Africa which then is a stepping stone to freeing up the whole of the Mediterranean and getting into the soft flank of Europe, all of which are perfectly good reasons.’...

‘You often hear this idea that the German defenders, were these elite soldiers far superior to the Allied troops, do you think that holds much truth?’

‘No. I think it’s absolute nonsense. If you have a sort of, you know, a straight line as your kind of sort of average, not bad division, I think American and British divisions sort of, you know, creepy beside that line. Whereas I think the German ones, it's much more exaggerated. The kind of, you know, the poor divisions are really poor, the better divisions are really good, but I mean, you know, probably the best division in the whole of the German Armed Forces is the Panzer Lehr... incredibly well equipped. It's incredibly well led. It’s full of really highly experienced officers and NCOs. And this is the kind of, you know, the shining beacon of what German militarism can be.

And yet when they come up against the Sherwood Rangers Yeomanry and the Durham light infantry, when they arrive at the front in the sort of ninth 10th 11th of June, they get absolutely nowhere. You know, so the disparity is not that great. You know, if they were any good they would have been able to break through a kind of what is effectively a TA division and a regional regiment of the line, and yet they don't, they don't make any headway at all. So I think it's pretty massively exaggerated.

I just think we're all kind of a bit dazzled by tactical chutzpah. But you know, this idea that all German troops are brilliant is just nonsense. What the Germans have is discipline, because if you don't do what you're told you're going to get executed. And we don't have that of course in the Allied forces, but that doesn't mean to say they're well trained or they’re superior. And, you know, yes, it is true that, you know, officers in the first part of war, you know, what you had to do was earn your stripes, to become an NCO. And then eventually you'll be sent to Creek school, all that's gone by the kind of middle of 1942. You know, people are just been promoted in the field… they're brought up into a militaristic state, they do the Hitler Youth. They do, their kind of Labor Corps, and then they get put into the front. They're already imbued with a sense of discipline that is not there in in the conscript troops of the Western democracies.

But in actual fact, the vast majority of Allied troops are considerably better and longer trained than any of the Germans by 1944. I mean, there isn't a single soldier on D day who has been training for at least two years. And there's plenty of German troops where who've only been in the front line for a matter of weeks. The troops that are defending the crust, the actual Atlantic Wall are actually on the coast, are among the very worst. You know, they’re in static divisions, they’ve got no equipment, they're under resourced.

There's lots of Ost battalion troops, you know, basically pressed troops from the east who don't want to be there. You know, you're reaching the dregs of the very young or middle aged, who, because all the first flush of youth, young men have already been killed, you know on the Eastern Front and elsewhere in the war. This idea that they're on a kind of different pedestal to the Allies is just nonsense, is because they seem to be able to act swifter and with greater flexibility.

But that's because of the freedom of their material poverty. It is because they don't have very much so it's quite easy to organize them. When you're only organizing a handful of disparate troops you can click your fingers and they'll all be in line pretty quickly. You know, you haven't got to coordinate those operations with air power or naval power, but the Allies are very long tail heavy, they're fighting a big war, a big industrialized war. And that takes longer to organize. So it appears stodgy. But actual fact it's a much more effective way of fighting. And it is much more mindful of the lives of the young men of that of those particular nations"

Links - 20th July 2019 (1)

Scent-free policies generally unjustified - "The list of symptoms people with scent sensitivities attribute to chemical fragrances is a lengthy one that includes everything from coughing, sneezing, gagging, shortness of breath, rhinitis and asthma attacks, to debilitating headaches, anxiety and dizziness.As a result, many workplaces and institutions — schools, hospitals and other government buildings — have some sort of scent-free or scent-reduction policy in place, which asks people entering the building not to wear perfumed products.But the science supporting such policies is fuzzy and inconclusive. While scents can trigger both physiological and psychological symptoms in some individuals, there is no reliable diagnostic test for fragrance allergies... simply telling people that an odourous material is going to cause an adverse reaction is enough to make the test subjects feel poorly, even if the odour is entirely innocuous... Noel also urges people to maintain an arm’s-length policy when using scented products. If you can smell a perfume, body wash or deodorant from more than an arm’s-length away, that person is wearing too much"

How prevalent is far-right extremism? - "Before the latest attack, both New Zealand and Australia said their main security risk was from Islamist terrorism.And New Zealand's Security Intelligence Service's most recent annual report makes no reference to far-right extremism... Europol, the European Union's law enforcement agency, recorded five right-wing terror plots in 2017, all of which were in the UK.This was out of a total of 205 potential or successful attacks recorded by European intelligence agencies, with 137 "separatist", 24 "left-wing" and 33 "jihadist" plots among them.In 2017, a total of 1,219 terror suspects were arrested. Of these, 20 were classified as far-right extremists (705 were "jihadists")... of the 18 attacks foiled in the UK since March 2017, four came from the extreme right wing... In 2017-18, there were 7,318 [PREVENT] referrals across the country, 1,312 of which related to the extreme right... In Germany, "politically motivated" crimes are recorded by the governmentIn 2017, 39,505 such offences were recorded, of which half were attributed to people with right-wing ideologies, including 1,130 acts of violence (although more acts of violence were attributed to the far left)... Historically, it has been more difficult to detect right-wing terrorism in the West because of its scattered nature, according to Raffaello Pantucci, director of international security studies at the Royal United Services Institute.His organisation's research highlights the tendency for right-wing terrorists in Europe to be "lone actors" who are less likely to exhibit noticeable changes in behaviour or discuss plans with friends or family than their Islamist extremist counterparts... "[The intelligence agencies] still see it as a lesser threat and the scale of it is not as big as Islamic extremism.""

A possible weight loss strategy: Skip breakfast before exercise - "Exercise burns calories, but in many past studies, people who begin a new exercise program do not lose as much weight as would be expected, because they often compensate for the energy used during exercise by eating more later or moving less."

Cutting Carbs in Morning Equals Better Weight Loss, Waist Size - "He described the rationale underpinning the novel diet, which restricts the amount of carbohydrate consumed before lunchtime. "Normally, overnight we fast and in the morning, with breakfast, our insulin rises and then drops again towards lunchtime. As insulin drops, the fat stores tend to mobilize and act as energy substrates," he explained."Theoretically, inducing a lower insulin response after a low carbohydrate breakfast should mean we can prolong the low [overnight] insulin and fat mobilization state, resulting in a net effect on weight and fat loss.""

Joe Keskold on Twitter - "Had a fight with my poly partner today. The f word was used. I found out she's been making love to another man during our sex strike, and got unfairly angry. When she noted how many female selfies I've faved, I realized we're even. And it's important to recognize my own toxicity."
Being a male feminist means having no self-respect

Belief in Learning Styles Myth May Be Detrimental - "Many people, including educators, believe learning styles are set at birth and predict both academic and career success even though there is no scientific evidence to support this common myth... the essentialist group members were more likely to state that learning styles are heritable, instantiated in the brain, don’t change with age, mark distinct kinds of people, and predict both academic and career success. The nonessentialist group held looser beliefs about learning styles, viewing them as malleable, overlapping and more determined by environmental factors... Psychological essentialism is the belief that certain categories of people have a true nature that is biologically based and highly predictive of many factors in their lives. People with essentialist opinions about learning styles may be more resistant to changing their strongly held views even when they learn that numerous studies have debunked the concept of learning styles... Previous research has shown that the learning styles model can undermine education in many ways. Educators spend time and money tailoring lessons to certain learning styles for different students even though all students would benefit from learning through various methods. Students study in ways that match their perceived learning style even though it won’t help them succeed. Some teacher certification programs incorporate learning styles into their courses, which perpetuates the myth for the next generation of teachers. Academic support centers and a plethora of products also are focused on learning styles, despite the lack of scientific evidence supporting them... Previous surveys in the United States and other industrialized countries across the world have shown that 80% to 95% of people believe in learning styles. It’s difficult to say how that myth became so widespread"

Apple Is Finally Killing iTunes - "The move, which has been rumored for years now, will align Apple’s media strategy across the board: iPhones and iPads already offer separate Music, TV and Podcast apps in lieu of the centralized iTunes app that lives on Macs and Macbooks. Users can expect the new Music app to offer some of the same functionalities that iTunes currently does — such as purchasing songs and syncing phones — just with a sleeker interface that’s free of the outdated and oft-bemoaned features of the heritage product, and more closely bundled with streaming service Apple Music."

Sexual orientation and psychiatric vulnerability: a twin study of neuroticism and psychoticism. - "we tested whether apparent sexual orientation differences in psychiatric vulnerability simply mirrored sex differences-for our traits, this would predict nonheterosexual males having elevated Neuroticism scores as females do, and nonheterosexual females having elevated Psychoticism scores as males do. Our results contradicted this idea, with nonheterosexual men and women scoring significantly higher on Neuroticism and Psychoticism than their heterosexual counterparts, suggesting an overall elevation of psychiatric risk in nonheterosexuals. Secondly, we used our genetically informative sample to assess the viability of explanations invoking a common cause of both nonheterosexuality and psychiatric vulnerability. We found significant genetic correlation between sexual orientation and both Neuroticism and Psychoticism, but no corresponding environmental correlations, suggesting that if there is a common cause of both nonheterosexuality and psychiatric vulnerability it is likely to have a genetic basis rather than an environmental basis."

Home | Gay Horney | Long and Foster - "I have been a full-time Realtor since 1976 and specialize in Relocation buyers from all over the world"

District judge rapped for copying too much from prosecution in ruling over meth case - "In his ruling over a drug consumption case, a district judge copied the prosecution’s closing arguments so substantially that the High Court has said it could not be relied on to justify the accused’s conviction and sentence... Justice Aedit also noted that while he was not provided the reasons why the district judge had copied the prosecution’s submissions so substantially, the “pressures of work are not a sufficient reason”, as “all jobs these days are stressful and demanding”."

BBC Radio 4 - In Our Time, The Gordon Riots - "The word, the mob, could be used in a very positive way. I mean, Charles James Fox, for example, said that it's better to be ruled by a mob than a standing army. You know, and he put it another way when he said better to be ruled by an ill dressed mob than a well dressed mob. So this idea that what EP Thompson called the moral economy of the crowd existed, this kind of unwritten contract between the rulers and the people, that at various times, these kinds of violent outbursts would happen, for very good reasons. Usually, if, you know, there was socio economic grievances, and there's a kind of venting of this, and then in the wake of that, usually the authorities will give a, you know, would give us a kind of response, will give something back. Whether it's a transitional point, even Thomas Paine in the Rights of Man, you know, that great revolutionary text that, you know, for publishing that you could be thrown in jail, and people were, he still referred back to the Gordon rights in terms of a mob...
It has been said that there was six times more property damaged in the London riots, in the Gordon riots than in the course of the French Revolution in Paris. So that puts it into some sort of perspective."

BBC Radio 4 - Best of Today, Rape victims & mobile data - "‘The person has been the victim of rape has already been through a very difficult experience, and then being asked to hand over the phone can seem like another violation’...
[On being accused of rape] ‘I was innocent, I was asked to give over my phone. So does that mean, I lose all my rights to privacy because I was accused? But I'm innocent, I'm now a victim, because somebody has made it a horrible accusation. So, but I have the understanding of, but I need that, you know, there's going to be something that they may find in there that may assist the prosecution. But there's also going to be something in there that will assist the defense side of things. And it works, has to work both ways with that, that ideology of it all... gathering as much evidence as possible. That is what the police are there to do’"

The Most Interesting Fruit in the World (Ep. 375) - Freakonomics Freakonomics - "the economist Douglas Southgate, an emeritus professor at Ohio State University. He started studying bananas because:
SOUTHGATE: Well, the short answer is that my wife is from Ecuador, which happens to be the leading exporter of bananas, and has been for the last 65 years. Even though the country is no larger than the state of Colorado...
SOUTHGATE: Bananas are far and away the most widely traded fruit, fruit or vegetable.
Andrew BILES: Basically, there are 135 countries that grow bananas...
[He] until recently worked at Chiquita, one of the world’s largest banana companies. His title at Chiquita was C.E.O. of bananas and pineapples...
BILES: In the world, it’s the fourth most-important crop after rice, wheat, and corn. The economic value generated by the banana industry is some $52 billion. And there are some 400 million people that rely on bananas for a staple food or a staple source of income. There are many countries if they did not have bananas, they would go short of food.
The Cavendish banana accounts for just under 50 percent of global banana production but, again, almost 100 percent of exported bananas. And Ecuador alone accounts for more than a quarter of all Cavendish exports...
For the early American banana companies, the transition from luxury fruit to mass import was a strategic move.
SOUTHGATE: The key to the strategy or to understanding the strategy was to realize that they made more money from having a smaller margin on a much larger volume than they would have had continuing to treat bananas as a luxury item... as is always the case, or practically always the case, the major beneficiaries of this efficiency were in fact consumers. Prices were slashed, and within a few years, bananas were no longer a luxury item. They were instead a fruit of poor people. The first food that a lot of poor babies ate after weaning were mashed bananas, in the days before canned baby food...
In the United States and other countries, lots of kids used to die from drinking raw milk — raw milk that had been exposed to flies or whatever. Pasteurization came along, that entire source of mortality went away, and yet there were people who swore up and down that they were never going to consume pasteurized milk. They claimed it didn’t have the same nutritional properties, didn’t taste the same, it was in one way or another undesirable... Most people ended up drinking pasteurized milk and I just have a hunch that if we produce a substitute for the Cavendish, or if we improve the Cavendish by moving in a gene from some other banana people will have a tough time telling the difference, and the product will win acceptance."

Gros Michel or Cavendish, which is the yummiest banana? : Under the peel | The banana knowledge platform of the ProMusa network - "46% of the 113 participants gave a higher score to the taste of Cavendish, compared to 38% who preferred 'Gros Michel'. The remaining 16% expressed no preference. Several participants told us they were surprised there was so little difference in taste. This contrasts with the reaction of a small group of people at a blind taste test held two days before the botanic garden event. They didn't agree which of the two samples was the best, 7 people preferred 'Gros Michel' and 4 the Cavendish cultivar, but they all said that they tasted a difference. Two days after the botanic garden event, we organized another small blind taste test with the remaining bananas, which by then had entered stage 7 (see chart). This time, 7 people preferred the Cavendish and 4 'Gros Michel'. Most commented that the difference in taste between the samples was subtle. The deciding factor was often the texture."

Friday, July 19, 2019

Links - 19th July 2019 (2)

*Quote placeholder* ***Genetic ancestry highly correlated with ethnic and linguistic groups in Asia - "their study conducted within and between the different populations in the Asia continent showed that genetic ancestry was highly correlated with ethnic and linguistic groups... The researchers noted that the geographical and linguistic basis of genetic subgroups in Asia clarifies the need for genetic stratification when conducting genetic and pharmacogenomic studies in this continent, and that human genetic mapping of Asia has important implications for the study of genetics and disease and for research to understand migratory patterns in human history.
Related: Genetic Structure, Self-Identified Race/Ethnicity, and Confounding in Case-Control Association Studies
So much for race being a myth

Keywords: Race is a myth, race was a myth

How Science and Genetics are Reshaping the Race Debate of the 21st Century - "we as a species have been estimated to share 99.9% of our DNA with each other... the long history of racism is a somber reminder that throughout human history, a mere 0.1% of variation has been sufficient justification for committing all manner of discriminations and atrocities"

Bonobos Join Chimps as Closest Human Relatives - "Chimpanzees now have to share the distinction of being our closest living relative in the animal kingdom. An international team of researchers has sequenced the genome of the bonobo for the first time, confirming that it shares the same percentage of its DNA with us as chimps do. The team also found some small but tantalizing differences in the genomes of the three species—differences that may explain how bonobos and chimpanzees don't look or act like us even though we share about 99% of our DNA. "
Presumably it's a myth that humans and chimpanzees are separate species

How to stop human trafficking? Stop watching porn, Game of Thrones, activist says - "Her mission: to abolish slavery everywhere forever, and one of the ways she is doing that is by encouraging people to stop watching porn. She believes pornography is fueling human trafficking, and she believes people should do their part to help stop it.Caine, who spoke last Saturday at the "Heaven Come" conference, a Christian worship gathering, said the porn industry is funded by slaves -- young women and children."

Tigers Are Orange Because Their Prey Sees Them As Green, Study Says - "deer, which is the main prey of tigers, are only capable of seeing blue and green light, which effectively renders them color-blind to red. Therefore, to deer, the tigers are seen as green, which gives them an ideal cover against the backdrop of forests and canopy jungles when hunting for prey."

Why Don't Women Vote For Feminist Parties? - "From the beginning, Britain’s only feminist political party shared an odd sort of fellowship with UKIP, which was, until recently, Britain’s leading anti-EU party. Both purported to represent roughly half of the population: women, in the case of the Women’s Equality Party (WEP), and those who wanted to leave the EU in the case of UKIP. Both were orientated toward a single issue. And both were plucky outsiders in an electoral system that is notoriously hostile towards new parties. Although their policy positions could hardly have been more different, founding members of the WEP looked to UKIP as a model of what a small party could achieve. But in terms of electoral success, the two parties diverged some time ago... its lack of success is by no means unusual among women’s parties, dozens of which have been founded worldwide in the last century. The party with the greatest influence to date has been Sweden’s Feminist Initiative (FI). In the 2014 European elections, FI campaigned under a slogan of “replace the racists with the feminists!” winning 5.3 percent of the vote and becoming the first feminist party to send a Member of the European Parliament to Brussels. However, its success was short lived. The migrant crisis has changed the Swedish political landscape and in the most recent European election FI lost their only MEP along with 80 percent of their 2014 voters... Democracy is a team sport and we choose our teams based on our identities, but with the exception of gender. On the whole, if you know a person’s class, race, education, profession, and region—perhaps also their first language and religion—you will have a good idea of their voting behavior. Working class Londoner of South Asian heritage? Labour. Middle class public sector worker living in Brighton? Green. White stockbroker living in the Home Counties? Definitely Tory. These groupings may change over time... When it comes to electoral politics, however, women are not an identity bloc and they never have been. Gender has a small impact on voting behaviour, in that women tend to lean left and are also less politically engaged on average. But, on the whole, knowing a person’s sex gives you very little insight into how they are likely to vote. Although the gender gap is enough to influence an election result, sex has much less of an impact than other demographic factors. Simplistic references to “the women’s vote” overlook this fact... The dream of a minority of Second Wave feminists that women would leave their husbands en masse and establish female-only communities never came to pass. Women are not an isolated group—they not only live among men, but also often love them as spouses, sons, fathers, and brothers. And that’s as it should be."

Fake nurse in Quebec discovered and fired — after 20 years on the job - "the woman managed to get hired and keep her job by providing the nursing licence number of someone with the same name.Her ploy was discovered a few weeks ago when she enrolled in a training course. An official noticed that the age listed on her licence number did not match up with her actual age... Savard was at a loss to explain how someone with no formal training had lasted in the job so long. Perhaps she had worked as a nurse’s aide and had absorbed the necessary skills, she suggested. It is also possible that because she was surrounded by competent people at the hospital, her shortcomings were never detected"

Do scenic spots benefit our health? - "people feel healthier when they live in more scenic locations, and this holds across urban, suburban and rural areas. Crucially, we also found that scenic areas were not simply green areas. While our analysis confirmed that people do report better health in areas with more green land cover, we found that reports of health can be better explained when considering ratings of scenicness, rather than purely by measurements of green space... We discovered that features such as “Valley”, “Coast”, “Mountain” and “Trees” were associated with higher scenicness. However, some man-made elements also tended to improve scores, including historical architecture such as “Church”, “Castle”, “Tower” and “Cottage”, as well as bridge-like structures such as “Viaduct” and “Aqueduct”. Interestingly, large areas of greenspace such as “Grass” and “Athletic Field” led to lower ratings of scenicness, rather than boosting scores... It appears that the old adage ‘natural is beautiful’ seems to be incomplete: flat and uninteresting green spaces are not necessarily beautiful, while characterful buildings and stunning architectural features can improve the beauty of a scene"

Wellbeing enhanced more by places than objects, study finds - "Volunteers looked at images of 10 places and 10 objects meaningful to them. Ten images of everyday places and objects, and 10 positive and 10 negative images that had been quantified for their emotional content were also shown. Each image was presented three times."

Are we there yet? Australians’ attitudes towards violence against women & gender equality (2019)
Naturally, gender equality is defined as whatever benefits women, women are only presented as victims, and empirical positions (e.g. "Women prefer a man to be in charge of the relationship", "Many women mistakenly interpret innocent remarks or acts as being sexist", "Sometimes a woman can make a man so angry that he hits her when he didn’t mean to" are taken as ideological ones)

The Magna Carta, 1215 (translated from the Latin) - "54. No one shall be arrested or imprisoned on the appeal of a woman, for the death of anyone except her husband.
Since people valorise the Magna Carta so much...

Cosplayers who were arrested in Malaysia have been released - "Malaysia's immigration authority, Jabatan Imigresen Malaysia (JIM), conducted a raid on March 23 at the event and 12 people were detained, including the event organiser and three Singaporeans.The participants in the event had entered Malaysia on social visit passes. According to JIM's website, professional visit passes are issued to foreign stage artists who wish to perform in Malaysia"

The nation's favourite: The history and unlikely origins of fish 'n' chips - "Fish and chips is considered Britain’s national dish but it wasn’t until the middle of the 19th century that the double act emerged. Until then the fried fish and cooked potatoes trades had existed separately.It’s thought chipped, fried potatoes originated in Belgium, while pescado frito (fried fish) was a Spanish import... The dish, which was hot, cheap and nutritious, became a working-class staple and was especially popular with factory worker... Workers loved the idea of emulating “posh people” by eating affordable fish and chips with all the trappings of fine dining – white table cloths, cutlery and china plates... During the Second World War Winston Churchill recognised the crucial role of fish and chips, referring to them as “good companions”. Fish and chips were two of the few foods not subject to rationing because the government feared the dish was so embedded in the nation’s culture that any limit would damage morale.British soldiers identified one another during the D-Day landings by calling the word fish. The response was chips, signifying an ally.The origins of mushy peas as the perfect accompaniment probably dates back to the 1970s. The side order is made by soaking dried marrowfat peas in water and baking soda, with a little mint, to produce a thick soupy texture. There are about 10,500 fish and chip shops in the UK, compared to about 1,200 McDonald’s restaurants. There’s hot competition between fish and chips and Indian food for the accolade of nation’s favourite. There are about 9,000 Indian restaurants in Britain... EU rules mean the term fish and chips is gradually disappearing from menus. These days restaurants are meant to specify the precise type of fish rather than using the more vague description, which could include any fish including cheaper substitutes such as pollock and coley.Wrapping fish and chips in newspaper fell foul of health and safety watchdogs in the 1980s.Actress Kate Winslet and footballers Wayne Rooney and John Terry all served fish and chips at their weddings... The Chinese like theirs sprinkled with sugar while New York has four British-style fish and chip shops.Fish and chip shops account for about 10 per cent of the nation’s potato crop and 30 per cent of all the white fish sold in the UK. The industry is worth approximately £1.2billion a year and employs 61,000 workers. Britons consume 382 million portions of fish and chips every year – that’s about six for each adult and child in the country... In one survey fish and chips beat frying bacon as the nation’s favourite smell... Waste fat from fryers has become a fuel source used to power buses in many UK towns.UK chippies traditionally use a simple flour and water mix to make batter, adding a little baking soda to make it bubble and perhaps a dash of vinegar. Other recipes may substitute beer or milk to create a tastier batter.Aficionados say the batter should protect the fish during frying so it’s actually steamed. The fish should be flaky, rather than soggy which signifies the use of frozen rather than fresh fish."

LEAKED: BBC plan next Doctor Who - a muslim transgendered lesbian in a wheelchair : The_Donald

Does sunshine make us happier? - "The happiest region of the whole UK is the most northerly - Shetland, Orkney and the Outer Hebrides. Some islands see only around 1,000 hours of sunshine a year compared to a UK average of 1,340 hours.And when one reads those international lists of the happiest countries, top of the league tend to be places like Norway, Sweden, Canada, Denmark and Finland. There is no correlation between well-being and warm weather - if anything it looks like the opposite.In 1998, psychologists David Shkade and Daniel Kahneman decided to test the theory that a sunny climate equates to a sunny disposition in a paper entitled Does Living in California Make People Happy?... Californians were no happier than people from the Midwest with its wind and rain; second, of all the factors that affected people's life satisfaction, weather was listed at the bottom. Midwesterners moaned about the weather more than Californians, but that didn't appear to make much difference to their overall contentment.The scientists ended their paper with a homily. "It is not unlikely that some people might actually move to California in the mistaken belief that this would make them happier," they wrote. "Our research suggests a moral, and a warning: Nothing that you focus on will make as much difference as you think.""

Twitter Users Freak Out After Single Charlize Theron Says She's Waiting for Someone to 'Step Up' and Ask Her Out - ""It really isn't. I've been single for 10 years. It's not a long shot," Theron said. "Somebody just needs to grow a pair and step up. I'm shockingly available. I have made it very clear.""
Female entitlement!

What happened to Evidence-based medicine?

Rationally Speaking | Official Podcast of New York City Skeptics - Current Episodes - RS 174 - John Ioannidis on "What happened to Evidence-based medicine?"

"scientists who have absolutely no conflict — at least financial conflict, we all have our own conflicts where our theories, whatever we have proposed for whatever has made us famous. Consciously or subconsciously, we will try to defend it, so it's very difficult for a scientist, really, to just kill his or her main achievements with new evidence.

Even other entities that may seem to be totally unconflicted and seemingly just wishing the best for research and for outcomes and patients… for example, physicians — we give an oath to try to help human beings, but nevertheless, we live in an environment where we need to make a living. Making a living for a physician nowadays means that they need to get more patients that they see, and more tests that they order, and more drugs that they prescribe, and more hospital care that they offer.

This may not necessarily be towards improving the outcomes, the real, important, patient-relevant outcomes, in these people. Sometimes, specialists, they have to decide: if I get some evidence that shows that what I do and what I make a living from is not useful, that it's not effective and maybe it's even harmful, this will mean I will practically need to lose my job, and maybe retrain in my 50s to do something completely different. Would they do that?...

I fear that, just like alternative medicine and other kinds of pseudoscience have managed to sort of mimic the trappings of good science, by doing RCTs and stuff like that, I worry they'll also learn how to mimic the trappings of revising and changing their mind. But they’ve already written the bottom line (of the argument).I'm ethnically Jewish, so I'm sort of familiar with the way that Talmudic debate seems to encourage open-mindedness, and questioning assumptions and so on — but still, you're never supposed to actually end up concluding God doesn't exist...

Currently, what happens is that we have lots of people who try to be principal investigators. They run their small team and they work behind closed doors. They try to protect their "privacy" of their science and their competitiveness in a way by not sharing information with others... What we get eventually is a fragmented universe of tons of mostly small, underpowered, biased studies. Then you have a systematic reviewer or a meta-analyst who comes forth and says, "Now I'm trying to piece these together, trying to understand what that means. If I get 50 or 100 or 500 small, underpowered, biased studies together, let me see how that looks." Obviously, that doesn't look very nice most of the time. So instead of that paradigm, what I have argued is that we should think more about cumulative agendas of team science, where we are trying to attack interesting questions as a large scientific community... There's many fields that have already done that and have even gone a step further.

If you look at high energy physics and particle physics, this is exactly what's happening. You have 30,000 scientists working at CERN and practically designing their experiments in common and having a common research agenda, and then they can come up with a discovery like the Higgs boson. If we had not done that and we had followed the current paradigm, then what we would have done would be what is happening in current biomedical research, which means you have 30,000 principal investigators. Each one of them has to send in a grant application, get reviewed, get funded. They have to promise that they will find Higgs boson. Within four years actually because if they don't find it within four years how are they going to renew their grant? If you do that, what you end up getting is 30,000 Higgs boson “discoveries,” and none of them will be the real Higgs boson."


Since doctors have financial conflicts of interest, we can't trust anything they say and we should ignore medical advice

Links - 19th July 2019 (1)

Sorry, keto fans, you're probably not in ketosis - "The diet gets billed as a miraculously enjoyable diet—eat all the fat you want, just cut out the carbs. But the ketogenic diet (also called keto) was never supposed to be fun. It was supposed to treat severe epilepsy. And as a medical treatment, it was only intended to be administered under the supervision of trained nutritionists and physicians... because staying in true ketosis is exceptionally challenging for adults... the real problem isn’t going over your carb limit—it’s the protein...If you give your body any more than the absolute minimum amount of protein that it needs, it will immediately break it down into carbs. This is why keto sites often give a guideline for not eating too much protein. The problem is that there’s no one guideline that works for everyone, and without specifically tailoring keto to your body it’d be easy to accidentally ingest too much protein. On the other hand, you can’t eat no protein. You need it to keep your muscles functioning and to build hair and nails and to manufacture hormones.This is why epilepsy patients have to get prescribed diets from profession nutritionists. Without getting into true ketosis, dieters risk ingesting an enormous amount of fat—and potentially a lot of saturated fat, if you’re eating animal meat—without any of the fat-burning effects of ketosis... Of course, ketosis itself comes with its own risks. Circulating ketone bodies make your blood too acidic, and your body will draw calcium from your bones as a buffer. This also happens in ketoacidosis, which is when you have so many ketone bodies that it becomes dangerous and will draw far more calcium out of your bones. Giancoli notes that dieters usually aren't in such an extreme starvation mode that they develop ketoacidosis. There are few to no studies on healthy adults undertaking a non-therapeutic ketogenic diet, but studies of epileptic children on the diet show increased bone demineralization and high calcium levels in the blood... Without the fiber from whole grains and fruits, you’re also likely to get constipated and have other digestive issues. Plus you need fiber to maintain a health gut microbiome, which tends to come from the kind of whole grains that you can’t eat on the diet, and though it is possible to get enough fiber from vegetables on the keto diet you have to carefully monitor your eating to ensure that. Neither Giancoli nor Fung any of the other dietitians and nutritionists who evaluated keto for a recent US News & World Report diets ranking would recommend it. Many of them said they had serious concerns about long-term safety of doing keto"

This Is How 30 Places That ‘GoT’ Was Filmed In Look In Real Life

Mark Zuckerberg’s Call for Regulation Will Only Benefit Facebook - "With increased government oversight, Facebook’s leadership will finally be able to pass the buck to someone else. The government will provide them with a clear set of rules that they will be accountable for. Any negative press coverage that occurs outside of those guidelines, will not be attributable to their company but to the rule-making body of the government. This will allow Facebook’s leadership to regain credibility within a clearly definable framework that they are not responsible for creating.But perhaps Zuckerberg’s appeal for regulation is even more cunning. Government regulation will undoubtedly be met with higher costs. Internet companies will have to spend more on staffing to be in compliance with the increased burdens implemented by the rule-making body. We saw this play out in the banking industry after the Great Recession. A study conducted last year found that since 2009, banks have been fined a total of $345 billion dollars in penalties and noncompliance costs. Further, another study found that in 2016 banks spent $100 billion dollars on regulatory compliance alone.Large internet companies like Facebook and Google will easily absorb the strain of increased regulatory costs. It is the smaller businesses that will feel the financial squeeze. With increased regulatory compliance spending, smaller startups will face an even bigger hill to climb to compete with the likes of Facebook. Ironically enough, in an age when presidential candidates such as Elizabeth Warren are clamoring against tech monopolies, Zuckerberg is appealing to the government to help him create one. It is a clear move towards regulatory capture"

GDPR After One Year: Costs and Unintended Consequences - Truth on the Market Truth on the Market - "GDPR can be thought of as a privacy “bill of rights.” Many of these new rights have come with unintended consequences. If your account gets hacked, the hacker can use the right of access to get all of your data. The right to be forgotten is in conflict with the public’s right to know a bad actor’s history (and many of them are using the right to memory hole their misdeeds). The right to data portability creates another attack vector for hackers to exploit. And the right to opt-out of data collection creates a free-rider problem where users who opt-in subsidize the privacy of those who opt-out...
Compliance costs are astronomical
Prior to GDPR going into effect, it was estimated that total GDPR compliance costs for US firms with more than 500 employees “could reach $150 billion.” (Fortune)...
“About 220,000 name tags will be removed in Vienna by the end of [2018], the city’s housing authority said. Officials fear that they could otherwise be fined up to $23 million, or about $1,150 per name.” (The Washington Post)
Other reports claim that GDPR does not require removing name tags from buildings, but it is telling that ambiguity in the law caused the Vienna housing authority to believe it did (derStandard)...
“Hundreds of companies compete to place ads on webpages or collect data on their users, led by Google, Facebook and their subsidiaries. The European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation, which took effect in May, imposes stiff requirements on such firms and the websites who use them. After the rule took effect in May, Google’s tracking software appeared on slightly more websites, Facebook’s on 7% fewer, while the smallest companies suffered a 32% drop, according to Ghostery, which develops privacy-enhancing web technology.” (WSJ)...
Startups: One study estimated that venture capital invested in EU startups fell by as much as 50 percent due to GDPR implementation. (NBER)
Mergers and acquisitions: “55% of respondents said they had worked on deals that fell apart because of concerns about a target company’s data protection policies and compliance with GDPR” (WSJ)
Scientific research: “[B]iomedical researchers fear that the EU’s new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will make it harder to share information across borders or outside their original research context.” (POLITICO)...
GDPR has been the death knell for small and medium-sized businesses
SMBs have left the EU market in droves (or shut down entirely)"

Husband should not get any part of $2 million marital flat, judge rules - "A judge has ruled that a husband should get nothing from a divorcing couple's $2.05 million flat, taking the unusual step of departing from the usual formula when splitting matrimonial assets.Justice Choo Han Teck reversed a family court decision that gave the 46-year-old husband $363,960, according to a formula which gave him 18 per cent... The wife's lawyer Foo Soon Yien argued that the husband had contributed nothing, including financially, to the buying of the flat. The husband's lawyer Tan Yew Fai, however, pointed to the family car and sofa set the husband had bought, and highlighted his efforts in raising their child."
Gender equality!

Planned Obsolescence is largely a myth, besides a few blatant examples. There ar.. - "There are a few factors that drive consumer perception of planned obsolescence
-Demand for cheaper products: Consumers tend to prefer cheaper products. This means cheaper materials and a product that doesn't last as long. Common household appliances cost much less than they did in the earlier half of the 20th century, and people act surprised when they don't last as long as an appliance from the 1950s that cost more than twice as much
-Survivor bias: Only durable products from the past survived, broken and unrepairable products were sent to the landfill. Therefore people only see the most durable products of the past and assume everything made back then was just as durable.
-Technical obsolescence: Old products become less useful as technology progresses. Why use a 100 year old still functional device when it is inefficient and technologically obsolete?
The article even mentions some of these factors with regards to the so-called planned obsolescence of light bulbs. Longer lasting bulbs are dimmer and less efficient, so it makes sense to design them in such a way to maximize light output over a certain timespan. "
On "The Great Lightbulb Conspiracy"

Professor accused of ‘hostile learning environment’ for assigning male authors - "A 22-year old female University of Utah student reported her business professor to campus administrators for, among other things, assigning too many historical texts written by influential male economists of the past.“I understand the importance of studying the work of those before us and the importance of context,” wrote the student in a complaint to the university’s bias reporting system, where she labeled the professor’s transgressions “derogatory,” “degrading,” and “intimidating,” thereby causing a “hostile learning environment.”... “I believe it to no longer be necessary when teaching the foundations of our country’s economic system and those who helped build [its] ideals to be presented in conjunction with their sexist beliefs that have already planted their roots within our global and local communities,” the student stated in her complaint, filed in December 2018 and recently obtained by The College Fix through a public records act request.The complaint was among 27 bias reports lodged at the public university in the Fall 2018 semester, according to the results of the request. The documents provided by the University of Utah redact all personal identifying information.In the female student’s bias report, she stated that while her professor “never applauded these philosophers on their sexist beliefs,” he “never outright said they were wrong” and “continued to place them upon a pedestal.”... She continued that she began to “fear” his sexist banter and said she “also began to fear the readings and I could not even finish one assigned reading due to its clear sexist message.”...
other bias incidents reported last semester include:
· A student in the College of Social Work complaining about racial bias by a professor who indicated students of color should be able to speak first in class in order to “decenter the whiteness” of the classroom.
· When a black male student walked into the student union office, an employee appeared “visibly taken aback” and called out, “can we help you?” The student responded he had a meeting scheduled there, and he had never had to explain himself when he previously walked into the office...
A communications professor discussing concealed-carry of weapons likened the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution to the First Amendment, arguing that since a university can set up “free speech zones” on campus, he would be setting up a “Second Amendment zone” in his classroom. The professor had taped off a three-foot by three-foot square in the back of the room that he said students can “share with all other gun carriers.”“As a person who has my CCW and carries a weapon daily, this is discriminatory and illegal under Utah Code 76-10-500,” wrote the student.
On September 7, a group of four male students were sitting at a table studying. A female student just finishing up a group project noticed the table of male students being “loud and distracting.” At one point, a young man wearing a black shirt and khaki shorts complained that his laptop computer battery was dying. One of the other men at the table offered his charger to the student but he says the charger is incompatible with his laptop. The student offering the charger says it will definitely work if you “just force it.” The student put his hands around his mouth and loudly whispered, “That’s rape. I’m not raping my computer.”"

Bias report filed against professor for defending Brett Kavanaugh - "In a University of Oregon classroom in October of 2018, a professor was finishing his lecture when he made a rhetorical aside. The professor was discussing a PowerPoint slide that referenced “Potiphar’s Wife,” a Biblical story in which a married woman makes an offer to have sex with one of her husband’s slaves, Joseph, only to have him turn her down. To punish him, Potiphar’s wife then accuses Joseph of rape.“This is an issue in our society,” the professor allegedly said. “Now that you all know what this phrase means, you can go use it to describe the Kavanaugh trial,” he is recounted as saying... According to one incident report, a lesbian student was in her dorm room with her bisexual girlfriend one October night, watching videos and studying, and heard someone yell “Shut the fuck up, you fucking faggot” in the hallway. The student opened the door, looked out, and didn’t see anyone in the hallway, but said she was “80% sure” the slur came from the room next door to hers. She knocked on the door three times and no one answered.“I don’t necessarily believe the slur was directed at me, but it still stressed me out to hear it used so loudly and freely,” the student reported. Nonetheless, she reported the name of the student living next to her to the university, based on suspicion alone."

Student files bias complaint against dorm roommate for watching Ben Shapiro video - "a Michigan State University student awoke from his nap to see his roommate sitting at his computer. There was a video playing, and the student realized his roommate was watching a video of conservative commentator Ben Shapiro.The newly awoken student then took to his own computer to file a complaint with the administration’s bias reporting system against his roommate for watching the Shapiro video... Young was unable to give an estimate of costs to run the bias reporting program, although she noted the campus Office of Institutional Equity has one employee dedicated to following up on reports of bias."

Making jokes at Portland State gets you reported to its bias response team - "Portland State has long been a hotbed of progressive activism. In just the past few weeks, psychology student Lesley Guerra attempted to testify before the university Board of Trustees in favor of armed police officers on campus, but was repeatedly shouted down by protesters.Earlier in March, pro-gun activist Michael Strickland came to speak on campus but was prevented from doing so by a bell-ringing activist who stood next to Strickland as he attempted to speak. Campus police later said they were unable to do anything to restrain the disruptive bell-ringer.

Off-campus road rage incident reported to university’s ‘Hate or Bias’ system - "a student-athlete approached a professor to have a sheet of paper signed for the athletic department. The professor allegedly recognized the student right away, saying “Oh yeah, the minorities are always easiest to remember.” The student-athlete conceded in the report that he or she is the only minority in a class of 15 people. The professor was then reported to the “Hate or Bias” website."

‘Cry Closet’ installed at University of Utah - "An art student at the University of Utah has built a “Cry Closet” designed to allow the campus community a private and safe space to blow off some steam during finals.The tall wooden box, complete with stuffed animals inside, is officially titled “Safe Place for Stressed Out Students Otherwise Known as The Cry Closet,” and it went viral on Twitter after a student there tweeted images of it out and said: “so my school installed a cry closet in the library LMFAOOOOOOOOO what is higher education.”"

Monday, July 15, 2019

Links - 15th July 2019 (2)

The UK needs to spend more on researching green energy | Coffee House - "Climate policy has been littered with broken promises ever since the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro. Indeed, the core promises written into the Paris Agreement are not being met. A recent study revealed that only 16 countries — the likes of Samoa and Algeria — are living up to their vows to reduce carbon emission growth, and they’re only doing so because they promised to do very, very little... Despite governments encouraging the roll-out of green energy technology, renewables still have two big problems.First, they take up an amazing amount of space which often replaces nature. To produce the energy equivalent to a one-hectare gas-fired power plant you would need 73 hectares of solar panels, 239 hectares of on-shore wind turbines, or an unbelievable 6,000 hectares of biomass.Second – and more importantly – solar and wind power are intermittent or unreliable... We often hear that wind and solar energy are cheaper than fossil fuels, but at best that is only true when the wind is blowing or the sun is shining. On a windless dark night, the cost of wind and solar power is literally infinite. That is also why it is deeply misleading to compare the energy cost of wind or solar to fossil fuels only when it is windy and sunny. Since all solar energy is captured around the same time, the value quickly drops dramatically — one study shows that in California, when 30 per cent of the market share is solar energy, it will lose two-thirds of its value. What’s more, because modern society requires 24 hours of power, even when solar or wind is introduced, it’s still necessary to pay for back-up service from fossil fuels (for when there’s no wind or sun). Only, these are now more expensive because fossil fuels have fewer hours to pay back the capital.Battery technology is far from ready to help solar and wind energy last longer: in the US, total battery storage could power the nation for just 14 seconds... The International Energy Agency‘s newest report finds that when adjusting for the unreliability of solar and wind, existing coal will be cheaper than new solar and wind in all the major regions until at least 2040."

College Admissions: Shaky Ethics - "the University of California at Berkeley made decisions on two of our students this year, both Californians. Student A was ranked in the top third of his class, student B in the bottom third. Student A had College Board scores totaling 1,290; student B's scores totaled 890. Student A had a record of good citizenship; student B was expelled this winter for breaking a series of major school rules. Student A was white; student B was black. Berkeley refused student A and accepted B. One wonders what messages about effort, ethical behavior and action-and-consequence each of those students received. One wonders if we have moved from a position of equal opportunity to - in this case, at least - affirmative-action cubed."
From 1988

Liberal education and the moral homicide of America -- Society's Child - "Mr. D'Souza provides numerous examples of the results of this scramble for minority candidates. Florida Atlantic University offers free tuition to every black student who is admitted, while at Pennsylvania State University black students who maintain a grade point average of C to C+ get a cash bonus of $580 a year; if they do better, they receive $1,160; neither white nor other minority students are eligible for this reward. As one observer remarked, "Everybody wants a piece of these students. The competition for them has become very keen." A black graduate from Stanford was rejected from Harvard Law School only to receive a flurry of phone calls a few days later from embarrassed administrators who offered him admission: with your grades, they explained, "We assumed you were white."Not surprisingly, there have also been numerous calls for revising the Scholastic Aptitude Tests and other objective measurements of accomplishment in order to make them less culturally "elitist." A professor of religious studies at the University of Tennessee whom Mr. D'Souza quotes epitomizes this attitude: "when you see the word 'qualifications' used, remember that this is the new code word for whites." And what is meant by an alternative to traditional "white" academic "qualifications" (the ability to read, write, and compute fluently, a good stock of general historical and literary knowledge, etc.)?"
From 1991

The myth of male homosexual monogamy - "Male sexuality, whether oriented toward females or other males, craves variety. But whereas almost all heterosexual men, perhaps after “sowing wild oats,” settle down with one woman, homosexual men do not settle down. Ever. A classic, large-scale study by Bell and Weinberg conducted during the 1970s and published by the Kinsey Institute found that forty-three percent (43%) of white male homosexuals had had sex with 500 or more partners, and twenty-eight percent (28%) had had sex with 1,000 or more partners. Seventy-nine percent (79%) said that more than half of their sexual partners had been strangers.[i] In 1985, Pollack found that gay men averaged “several dozen partners a year” and “some hundreds in a lifetime” with “tremendous promiscuity.”[ii] In their 1997 study of the sexual profiles of 2,583 older homosexuals published in the Journal of Sex Research, Paul Van de Ven, et al., found that “the modal range for number of sexual partners was 101-500.” In addition, 10.2 percent to 15.7 percent had between 501 and 1,000 partners. A further 10.2 percent to 15.7 percent reported having had more than one thousand lifetime sexual partners.[iii]These numbers are extraordinary, to put it mildly.[iv] Outside of a few privileged categories—such as rock stars, movie stars, elite professional athletes, and royalty—heterosexual men do not have sex with hundreds or thousands of women. Straight men may want to behave, and sometimes fantasize about behaving, in this way, but very few actually do. A 2011 survey conducted by Britain's National Health Service found that the average number of lifetime sex partners for heterosexual men was 9.3; only 25% of men had been with more than 10 women in their entire lives. A 2007 survey in the U.S. found that the median number of lifetime sexual partners for men was seven.The reason heterosexual men do not have sex with hundreds of partners is that straight men have to seduce women, and the idea that there are hoards of promiscuous, easy women is itself an absurdly false myth... The British NHS survey found that women averaged 4.7 lifetime sex partners, and 24% of women had been with only one man in their lives. The 2007 U.S. survey found that the median lifetime number of sexual partners for women was four (4); only 9% of women reported having had more than 15 sexual partners... A study of homosexual relationships in Amsterdam found that steady partners contribute more than casual partners to HIV infection, because gays tended to engage in risky behavior (unprotected anal intercourse) more often with steady partners than with casual partners... A famous study conducted in 1983 by Pepper Schwartz and Philip Blumstein of the University of Washington found that only a third of lesbians in relationships of 2 years or longer had sex once a week or more frequently. Almost half of these lesbian couples (47%) had sex once a month or less. Schwartz and Blumstein also reported that lesbian couples seemed more limited in their range of sexual techniques, and less sexual as couples and as individuals, than either heterosexual couples or homosexual males. These findings led Pepper Schwartz to coin the term “lesbian bed death.”"

What Does Teaching ‘White Privilege’ Actually Accomplish? Not What You Might Think (Or Hope) - "nearly everybody has at least some advantages in life. It feels perverse for someone who has suffered so much [with her husband killing their sons, then himself] to be confessing their perceived advantages... it’s not even clear that being white in any way constituted a form of privilege. Recent research has found a huge surge in white working-class suicides. In 2017, whites in the United States had a suicide rate of 17.8 per 100,000; for Hispanics, that rate was 6.9; for African-Americans, it was 6.9. The only group with a higher suicide rate than whites was Native Americans, at 22.2.The phenomenon of suicide is not perfectly understood, but it is generally believed that loneliness and alienation are driving factors... among social liberals—i.e., participants who had indicated that they hold liberal beliefs about social issues—reading a text about white privilege did nothing to significantly increase their sympathy toward the plight of poor blacks. But, as Cooley told me, “it did significantly bump down their sympathy for a [hypothetical] poor white person.” (Among conservative participants, there was observed no significant change in attitudes at all.) What accounts for this? One possibility is that social liberals are internalizing white-privilege lessons in a way that flattens the image of whites, portraying all of them as inherently privileged. So if a white person is poor, it must be his or her own fault. After all, they’ve had all sorts of advantages in life that others haven’t... If we extend the logic of privilege beyond the issue of race, it’s easy to see the flaws with this approach. We know, for instance, that 93 percent of people in U.S. federal prisons are men. In nearly every part of the criminal justice system, in fact, men on average have it worse than women do. But does that then mean we should be discussing “female privilege”?... Asking whites to publicly confess their white privilege—in a manner that often resembles a religious ritual more than anything else—may lead us to unfairly flatten the experience of whites while, ironically, actually shifting attention away from those who are underprivileged. The Cooley study shows that this isn’t just a hypothetical concern; it’s a reality that has been demonstrated through research. One alternative to white-privilege discourse would be to focus on the causes and consequences of deprivation rather than on naming groups of people we believe to hold special advantages—and to stop referring to things that we should expect for all people as “privileges.”"

Evan Horowitz: IQ rates are dropping in many developed countries and that doesn't bode well for humanity - "One potential explanation was quasi-eugenic. As in the movie “Idiocracy,” it was suggested that average intelligence is being pulled down because lower-IQ families are having more children ("dysgenic fertility" is the technical term). Alternatively, widening immigration might be bringing less-intelligent newcomers to societies with otherwise higher IQs.However, a 2018 study of Norway has punctured these theories by showing that IQs are dropping not just across societies but within families. In other words, the issue is not that educated Norwegians are increasingly outnumbered by lower-IQ immigrants or the children of less-educated citizens. Even children born to high-IQ parents are slipping down the IQ ladder."

How Did a Tortoise Survive 30 Years in a Box? - "Tortoises are famous for living to a ripe old age. One giant tortoise named Adwaita is said to have lived 255 years in the Calcutta Zoo—he finally died of liver failure in 2006.But news of a tortoise that lived 30 years in a shed suggests that the survival skills of these hardy creatures may be even more astounding than we had imagined. A red-footed tortoise named Manuela mysteriously “disappeared” from a home in a suburb of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in 1982. The Almeida family assumed that their pet had lumbered out of the house after builders at the site left the front door ajar, according to Brazil’s Globo TV. (Watch turtle and tortoise videos.)Recently, Leandro Almeida was cleaning out a storage shed and threw away an old wooden box... red-footed tortoises have been known to go without eating for two to three years in the wild—but 30 years is off the known charts. He speculated that Manuela had survived by eating termites and other small insects and licking condensation... In the dry forests and grasslands of South and Central America where they live, red-footed tortoises will consume virtually anything: fruits, flowers, leaves, dead animals—even feces."

How Anti-Humanism Conquered the Left - "Whether it’s Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez questioning the morality of childbearing, a birth-strike movement that encourages people to forego parenthood despite the “grief that [they say they] feel as a result,” or political commentator Bill Maher blithely claiming, “I can’t think of a better gift to our planet than pumping out fewer humans to destroy it,” a misanthropic philosophy known as “anti-natalism” is going increasingly mainstream... Various prominent environmentalists, from Johns Hopkins University bioethicist Travis Rieder to science popularizer and entertainer Bill Nye, support the introduction of special taxes or other state-imposed penalties for having “too many” children. In 2015, Bowdoin College’s Sarah Conly published a book advocating a “one-child” policy, like the one China abandoned following disastrous consequences including female infanticide and a destabilizing gender ratio of 120 boys per 100 girls, which left around 17 percent of China’s young men unable to find a Chinese wife. Even after that barbaric policy’s collapse, she maintains it was “a good thing.” Modern-day anti-humanism emerged in the 1970s, midwifed by a doomy strain of environmental pessimism led by Stanford University biologist Paul Ehrlich (but with intellectual antecedents dating back to Thomas Malthus in the eighteenth century)... Undeterred, Ehrlich and many likeminded doomsayers are still claiming that disaster is imminent, despite their previous predictions repeatedly failing to materialize. Just last year, Ehrlich compared human population growth to the spread of cancer... Once anti-humanism had infected the environmental movement, it soon spread through the political Left. Robert Zubrin’s book Merchants of Despair gives an overview of the Left’s reversal of its traditional commitment to advancing the human condition, in favor of a project that viewed humanity as a plague upon the Earth... The late University of Maryland economist Julian Simon rejected the idea of overpopulation as a problem. He believed that, on the contrary, more people in the world means more people to solve problems, and less resource scarcity"

PutLocker - Watch Free Movies Online on Putlockers in FULL HD Quality - "Watch Movies Online for Free on Putlocker. All Your Favorite Movies & TV Series Full in HD-720p Quality are Here."

Choa Chu Kang cemetery to be redeveloped again - "The concrete crypts complement a burial policy introduced in 1998, which limits the burial period to 15 years. After this period, graves will be exhumed and the remains cremated or re-interred, according to religious requirements.These measures have lengthened the life of the cemetery, which is expected to be kept open till 2130.Under the new project, 33,684 crypts for Muslim fresh burials and 4,700 for Muslim re-interment will be built. For Chinese fresh burials, 2,847 crypts will be built. For Christian or lawn fresh burials, 1,451 will be built.Religions such as Islam require their dead to be buried."
So non-Muslims in Singapore can still get to be buried

Female fruit bats take food from males in exchange for sex, study finds - "Male Egyptian fruit bats will allow female bats to take food straight from their mouths and scientists believe they know why: the bats are trading food for sex."
Damn patriarchy, making female fruit bats prostitutes!

Philippines’ Duterte says he used to be gay, but then ‘cured himself’ - "Philippines’ president Rodrigo Duterte made a rather unexpected admission while visiting Japan, saying he used to be gay before he met his ex wife… then he “became a man again.” Duterte is something of a self-styled expert on the question of who is and isn’t gay, if the frequency with which he makes the accusation is any indication. After accusing "most" priests in the Catholic church of being homosexual earlier in the year, during a speech Thursday he decided to ‘out’ a political opponent, and then himself... While he has never been quite so explicit, this is not the first time Duterte has hinted about his proclivities: In 2017, he joked about having considered bisexuality so he could “have fun both ways.” That is apparently not the only thing he wants both ways, as he has also flip-flopped on the issue of legalizing gay marriage in the predominantly conservative Catholic country"
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