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Friday, April 13, 2012

Links - 13th April 2012

Poor and Muslim? Jewish? Soup Kitchen Is Not for You. - New York Times - "With steaming bowls of the fragrant broth soon passing through the crowd, Odile Bonnivard, a short-haired secretary turned far-right firebrand, climbed atop a dark sedan with a megaphone in hand and led the crowd in a raucous chant: "We are all pig eaters! We are all pig eaters!"... At first, she said, the group used pork simply because it was an inexpensive traditional ingredient for hearty French soup. But after the political significance of serving pork dawned on them and others, it quickly became the focus of their work. Made with smoked bacon, pigs' ears, pigs' feet and pigs' tails together with assorted vegetables and sausages, the soup is meant to make a political statement: "Help our own before others"... "Other communities don't hesitate to help their own, so why can't we?" she asked, noting that Europe's Islamic charities serve halal food to disadvantaged Muslims and that its Jewish charities operate kosher soup kitchens... This being France, most soup kitchens provide the downtrodden with a complete French dinner, including cheese and dessert. Ms. Bonnivard's group even throws in a glass of red wine with every meal. "The only condition required for dining with us: eat pork""

Racial and religious offence: Why censorship doesn’t cut it - "First, it is interesting that in almost all cases, state action was instigated by complaints from members of the public. This is quite unlike political censorship, where action is initiated by the government... In a string of cases involving racial and religious offence, however, it’s the netizens who tend to demand action, sometimes acting like a lynch mob. Second, it is striking that in many cases, the offensive messages were spread further by those reporting the offence... the people demanding government action, as if the offensive words were explosive, were also those who helped to spread them. It is like helping to spread a fire while calling for the fire brigade... their act of spreading the offensive content must mean that they did not actually believe that the expression was really that dangerous in the sense of prompting violence through reprisal attacks or riots... Those most likely to complain against any expression are the least tolerant members of each religious or ethnic community. Very quickly, therefore, the most dogmatic and extreme spokesmen set the tone for the rest of society... Usually, what looks like spontaneous and visceral reactions to offensive speech – angry demonstrations and so on – are orchestrated by activists who spot a political advantage in an outpouring of anger... There is also overwhelming evidence internationally that the effect of outlawing blasphemy – which many well-meaning Singaporeans might intuitively feel is a good idea – backfires by allowing religious majorities to persecute religious minorities"

ElectNext | Home - "It's time to take the guess work out of voting. Answer the questions about the issues that matter the most to you and we'll match you with the candidates that share your values. The more questions you answer the more accurate we can be."
My top match was Obama - at 54%

Reddit is fun pulled from Google Play - here's why it probably happened - "That's how the Internet works -- it thrives on controversy and only works well when not all the facts are known."

Michael Bay Signs $50M Deal To Fuck Up 'ThunderCats' | The Onion - "In the end, the studio decided only Bay could be relied upon to deliver a 220-minute cinematic clusterfuck with enough tedious performances, overblown cinematography, and CGI explosions to make even the most casual fan want to scratch their eyes out."

Poly student pleas with female coursemates to "wear more clothes" - "He said he had worked hard to enter the institution and he needed to concentrate on his studies without being distracted by girls... He also complained that the girls "loved to show off their cleavage and long legs". "It's okay if they are ugly. But they are all very pretty!" he wrote"

Michael Bay's Rejected "The Dark Knight" Script (Parody) - "RACHEL stretches against the open hood. The camera zooms in on her naked torso. It luxuriates on her toned stomach. Up it goes. Then down. Then up again. Slowly...slowly... Now counter-clockwise... She leans into the engine, exposing her breasts, covered in perspiration. The camera zooms in and out on them, emphatically, a number of times"

Singapore world's 5th-biggest arms importer

Justices Reject Patents for Medical Tests Relying on Drug Dosages - NYTimes.com - "Just before the argument in the case in December, Prometheus told the court that it had been bought by Nestlé in July. Justice Breyer’s wife owned stock in Nestlé, and that would have required his disqualification. She sold the stock on the morning of the argument, allowing Justice Breyer to sit and to write the court’s opinion in the case"

A Big Bach Download: The Complete Organ Works for Free

Vietnamese female undergraduate assaulted two Singaporean men on board Tiger Airway flight - "The young lady in her 20s was reportedly unhappy that one of the men kicked her seat accidentally from behind and stood up to scold them, after which she raised her fist to punch their chests, scratch their faces and even used a luggage bag to smash their heads. The two poor Singaporean men are 37 year old Cai De Guang and his friend Yang De Ji. It is not known if a police report was made over the incident"
Maybe the girl made a police report against the men saying they molested her

Man ordered to return $874k in wife's 'pay' - "A former company boss has been ordered by the court to return $873,959 to the firm, this being what his wife earned in her 17 years there - as a marketing executive who never showed up for work... Justice Steven Chong, in his 60-page judgment grounds, also rubbished Madam Lim's claims that she worked from 1992 to 2009 behind the locked doors of her husband's office, unseen by anyone, and that she also worked on weekends... Mr Yong retorted by alleging that Mr Loh had likewise put his own wife and even his mistress on Panweld's payroll. Mr Yong, defended by lawyers Singa Retnam and R. Nirmala, alleged that it was part of an agreement with Mr Loh to pay his wife... At this point, Mr Loh said through his lawyer Foo Maw Shen that he was prepared to refund the sums paid to his wife and mistress if the court ordered it. Justice Chong held that the court was not the correct forum to make such an order. In finding Madam Lim's testimony 'unsatisfactory and wholly unreliable', the judge noted that she claimed to have run surveys of the the price of goods sold by competitors but was unable to produce survey reports. When asked to name some of Panweld's competitors in relation to her claim that her job involved 'market research' into how these competitors priced their goods, she named Singapore Airlines. 'It seems to me she was merely repeating names, which she had memorised without understanding their significance,' said Justice Chong... the two directors had accused each other of putting various members of their families on the company payroll when 'none of them was ever truthfully employed in the strict sense of the word'. 'This case gives new meaning to the phrase 'family-run business''"

Jonas M Luster's answer to Restaurants: When is it a good idea for a restaurant to change its name? - Quora - "A decade ago my boss fell in love with a woman and, on a whim, changed his restaurant's name to her. They dated for six months then he found her in bed with his fry cook and in one split second lost a girlfriend, a fry cook, and a reason to name his restaurant after her. So we struggled to rename again and we lost a lot of clientele and goodwill over this."

The World’s Strangest Delicacies | Simonseeks - "Goat Head - Eaten in Southern Africa"

the pothole gardener | A guerrilla gardening blog…

Australia's pricey prices - "Why are we paying two, three and even fourteen times more for everyday items than the rest of the world? From cars to books, movies tickets, CDs, fruit and vegetables, to houses and parking - Australians are paying way over the mark... The price of Australia's most popular grocery item – bananas – was affected last year when Cyclone Yasi obliterated much of the country's crop, and prices started going bananas. They went up to just under $14 a kilo. At the same time New Zealand, the UK, France and the United States were all paying less than $2.50. “A report was done in 2006 that recommended we open the market, but nothing's been done, and I think this is because the Australian banana growers are really fiercely against it,” Gill said... “We've got a lower population, we've got more expensive transport costs, and we've got higher base wages, and our retailers have to pay higher rents,” she said. We've got even more to whine about when it comes to beer. In the UK they pay half what we do. And who would have thought Pitt St Mall is more exclusive than the Champs-Élysées?... At just under $35 an hour, it is cheaper to park in London and even New York. And while you're there, you're better off looking for a car as well... The Government regulations covering bookstores is also costing us. “We don't import books, so every book has to be published and printed in Australia," Gill said"
The bananas thing is indicative of agricultural protectionism in general

New and improved parks — now with no nature - "This move toward highly controlled spaces is also a reaction to the bad old days, not so long ago, when city parks were the realm of junkies and muggers"

About Jeff Haden | BlackBird Media - "With my extensive manufacturing, process improvement, leadership, management, etc experience it only made sense to become... a ghostwriter... I've ghostwritten almost forty books released by traditional publishers. Four hit #1 on Amazon's Business & Investing bestseller list. And I ghostwrite magazine articles, e-books, reports, white papers, web copy, newsletters, blogs... While I typically ghostwrite real estate, management, process improvement, finance, and investment books, I've written books on subjects as diverse as breastfeeding, hydroponics, horticulture, magic (I can explain the tricks but don't have the dexterity to pull them off), and even personal finance for um, exotic entertainers. (Don't ask. But it did sell really well.)"
Another example of how Experience is Overrated

Thursday, April 12, 2012

What can happen when you defy stereotypes for the sake of defying stereotypes

"Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn from the experience of others, are also remarkable for their apparent disinclination to do so." - Douglas Adams


Bakersfield Police: Attacker threatened baby during Rosedale rape
March 30, 2009

The woman kidnapped from the parking lot of the Babies “R” Us on Rosedale Highway and then robbed and raped told her attacker she learned not to hold onto hatred because she was molested as a child.

That’s just one of the details unsealed in police reports in Superior Court.

The woman told detectives she complied with her attacker’s requests because he repeatedly threatened to kill her 11-month old baby.

It is 17 News’ policy to withhold the names of rape victims.

The woman had just left the Babies R Us store on when she noticed a man in a tattered military coat lurking in the parking lot, she told police. The woman told detectives she was worried because the man looked like a thug, but she didn’t want to seem racist.

She had just purchased a princess hat for her daughter’s first birthday pictures when the man stepped up behind her and pulled a gun from under his coat.

“The suspect stated, ‘All I want is money. You will be fine. You don’t want anything to happen to your baby. Just listen to me,”’ the investigating detective wrote in his reports.

“She said she walked around her vehicle and opened the driver’s side door. She pushed the seat forward and the suspect got into the vehicle and sat behind the driver’s seat. The victim asked the suspect where they were going and he stated, ‘The closest bank that’s yours. If I see the cops, your baby’s dead.’”

The woman told detectives she was worried because the man looked like a thug, but she didn’t want to seem racist.”She said he had an odor of alcohol on his breath, and the subject stated, ‘Don’t freak out,’” the police report indicates.

The woman offered to give the man several hundred dollars she had in her car, and drove him to the bank to withdraw another $500. The man then demanded she drive to Fruitvale Junior High, where he raped the woman at gunpoint in front of her daughter.

“A car pulled up three spaces north of her vehicle and two women got out of the vehicle. She stated the suspect promised her that he would let her go soon. He stated, “It’s a matter of time” and began babbling about the time,” the police report said.

The suspect reportedly took her ID and stated he knew where she lived.

Then, the victim says there was a change in the suspect’s demeanor and he acted like he was asking her for a date, reports said.

“Once outside of the car, the victim said the suspect wanted a kiss, stating, “This time like you mean it. I want a real one.”

She advised she kissed him and got back in her vehicle. The victim said the suspect walked behind her vehicle to the right side of it. She sat in her vehicle for a minute, then started her vehicle, backed out of the parking stall and left. The victim said she looked back and saw the suspect who had a smirk on his face.”

Bakersfield Police booked Anthony Ray Graham, Jr. for the kidnap and rape about a month later. Graham has pleaded not guilty and has declined requests for a jailhouse interview.

Criminalists with the Kern County Crime Lab said they matched DNA from saliva on the victim’s breast to Graham’s DNA that had been entered into a criminal database following his arrest and conviction on a battery charge.

The victim also positively identified Graham in a photo lineup, reports indicate.

“Graham began his interview by stating, ‘Okay let me tell you what went down.’

”He stated this incident was not a rape, but was a ‘drug deal gone bad,”’ the detective wrote in his report. “He said he was just here in Bakersfield … because a friend of his, known to him only as ‘Carlita’ had asked him to go with her to sell some narcotics to a subject in Bakersfield.”

Detectives say they pressed Graham and he changed his story:

“Graham replied, ‘Well my DNA was in that vehicle because I sneezed and that’s why you have my DNA. He stated he sneezed while he was in the back seat. Graham continued to deny (his involvement) for approximately half an hour to 45 minutes. he then stated, ‘Okay, I’ll tell you what happened. Yes, I did kiss her breast, but she allowed me to.”

Rape experts with the Alliance Against Family Violence and Sexual Assault’s Outreach Center would not comment on this particular case, but said relying on instincts can often save a victim’s life.

“Pay attention to those gut feelings if something does not feel quite right to you. It’s OK to walk away from your car and go somewhere else,” said Alliance Outreach Center Supervisor Carrie Zerafa.

Graham is set to go to back to court Friday to set a trial date.

For more information and resources on sexual assault: http://www.kernalliance.org/

(This was originally from Kget but is no longer available.)

It's quite childish to go against something for the sake of going against something (as opposed to, say, doing it because of its inherent value) (see also: When overzealousness in rejecting stereotypes makes one less accurate).

Yet, it can go beyond (relatively) harmless immaturity to cause you serious harm.

As a side note, the Alliance Against Family Violence and Sexual Assault’s Outreach Center could be indicted for racism, since "as we all know" people have racist instincts.

Keywords: didn't want to be racist, afraid of being racist, scared of being racist, scared to be racist, rape, raped

The Victim Precipitation and Lifestyle Theories (aka "Victim Blaming")

"Sometimes it is harder to deprive oneself of a pain than of a pleasure." - F. Scott Fitzgerald



For many years criminological theory focused on the actions of the criminal offender; the role of the victim was virtually ignored. But more than fifty years ago scholars began to realize that the victim is not a passive target in crime but someone whose behavior can influence his or her own fate, someone who “shapes and molds the criminal”...

Victim Precipitation Theory

According to victim precipitation theory, some people may actually initiate the confrontation that eventually leads to their injury or death. Victim precipitation can be either active or passive.

Active precipitation occurs when victims act provocatively, use threats or fighting words, or even attack first. In 1971, Menachem Amir suggested female victims often contribute to their attacks by dressing provocatively or pursuing a relationship with the rapist. Although Amir’s findings are controversial, courts have continued to return not-guilty verdicts in rape cases if a victim’s actions can in any way be construed as consenting to sexual intimacy...

Lifestyle Theory

Some criminologists believe people may become crime victims because their lifestyle increases their exposure to criminal offenders. Victimization risk is increased by such behaviors as associating with young men, going out in public places late at night, and living in an urban area. Conversely, one’s chances of victimization can be reduced by staying home at night, moving to a rural area, staying out of public places, earning more money, and getting married. The basis of lifestyle theory is that crime is not a random occurrence but rather a function of the victim’s lifestyle

HIGH-RISK LIFESTYLES People who have high-risk lifestyles—drinking, taking drugs, getting involved in crime—maintain a much greater chance of victimization. For example, young runaways are at high risk for victimization; the more time they are exposed to street life, the greater their risk of becoming crime victims. Teenage males have an extremely high victimization risk because their lifestyle places them at risk both at school and once they leave the school grounds. They spend a great deal of time hanging out with friends and pursuing recreational fun. Their friends may give them a false ID so they can go drinking in the neighborhood bar; or they may hang out in taverns at night, which places them at risk because many fights and assaults occur in places that serve liquor. Those who have histories of engaging in serious delinquency, getting involved in gangs, carrying guns, and selling drugs have an increased chance of being shot and killed themselves.

Lifestyle risks continue into young adulthood. College students who spend several nights each week partying and who take recreational drugs are much more likely to suffer violent crime than those who avoid such risky academic lifestyles.53As adults, those who commit crimes increase their chances of becoming the victims of homicide. The Criminological Enterprise feature, “Rape on Campus: Lifestyle and Risk,” explores the relationship between lifestyle and victimization risk.

Rape on Campus: Lifestyle and Risk

Bonnie Fisher and her colleagues conducted a telephone survey of a randomly selected, national sample of 4,446 women who were attending a two- or four-year college or university during the fall of 1996...

Fighting Back

For nearly all forms of sexual victimization, the majority of female students reported attempting to take protective actions during the incident. Fisher found that those women who fought back were less likely to experience successful attacks, a finding that suggests the intended victim’s willingness or ability to take protective action might be one reason attempts to rape or coerce sex failed.

The most common protective action was using physical force against the assailant. Nearly 70 percent of victims of attempted rape used this response... Verbal responses also were common...

Who Gets Victimized?

Is lifestyle connected to victimization? Fisher and her colleagues found that four main factors consistently increased the risk of sexual victimization: (1) frequently drinking enough to get drunk, (2) being unmarried, (3) having been a victim of a sexual assault before the start of the current school year, and (4) living on campus (for on-campus victimization only)...

The Fisher research reinforces the lifestyle theory of victimization. Young college women are at greater risk than other women because of their lifestyle: They are more likely to associate with dangerous peers; that is, young men who are more likely to drink and live alone."

--- Criminology 9th Edition / Larry J. Siegel

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

New Blog Picture - 11th April 2012

It's a penguin! It's a banana peel! It's a flower!

Australia 2011 - Day 8: Pictures from MR

Driving in Kakadu National Park

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White cockatoos, with one playing (?) dead

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Mamukala Wetlands

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Mamukala Wetlands tree

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Small plant

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Mamukala Wetlands

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Me and my lousy Pink Umbrella from Sensodyne at Mamukala Wetlands

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Mamukala Wetlands

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Painted Rock by Bluey Iikgirr and his grandson Wilfred Nawirrid

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A "copyright infringement"

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Rock Art features

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Kakadu Bakery

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Crocodile in River

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Freaky tree

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Interestingly textured ground

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"The tree so high, there's batshit in my eye"

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Aboriginal rock art

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Aboriginal rock art of Tasmanian Tiger

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More sights

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More drawings of food

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More rock art

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Ubirr Lookout view

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Ubirr Lookout sunset

Ubirr Lookout Sunset

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Our room for the night, our most extravagant accommodations
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