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Thursday, November 01, 2012

UNESCO World Heritage Site Tally October 2012

"Politics is perhaps the only profession for which no preparation is thought necessary." - Robert Louis Stevenson


World Heritage List

Australia: Great Barrier Reef; Tasmanian Wilderness; Sydney Opera House; Kakadu National Park; Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park; Royal Exhibition Building and Carlton Gardens
Austria: Historic Centre of the City of Salzburg; Palace and Gardens of Schönbrunn; Historic Centre of Vienna
Belgium: Flemish Béguinages; La Grand-Place, Brussels; Belfries of Belgium and France; Historic Centre of Brugge; Major Town Houses of the Architect Victor Horta (Brussels)
Cambodia: Angkor
China: Classical Gardens of Suzhou; Historic Centre of Macao; Imperial Palaces of the Ming and Qing Dynasties in Beijing and Shenyang; Mount Taishan; Peking Man Site at Zhoukoudian; The Great Wall; Temple and Cemetery of Confucius and the Kong Family Mansion in Qufu; Ancient City of Ping Yao; Summer Palace, an Imperial Garden in Beijing; Temple of Heaven: an Imperial Sacrificial Altar in Beijing; Yungang Grottoes; West Lake Cultural Landscape of Hangzhou
Czech Republic: Historic Centre of Prague
Estonia: Historic Centre (Old Town) of Tallinn; Struve Geodetic Arc
France: Palace and Park of Versailles; Pont du Gard (Roman Aqueduct); Cathedral of Notre-Dame, Former Abbey of Saint-Remi and Palace of Tau, Reims; Paris, Banks of the Seine; Historic Centre of Avignon: Papal Palace, Episcopal Ensemble and Avignon Bridge; Chartres Cathedral; Mont-Saint-Michel and its Bay; Palace and Park of Fontainebleau; Bourges Cathedral; The Loire Valley between Sully-sur-Loire and Chalonnes; Provins, Town of Medieval Fairs; Routes of Santiago de Compostela in France; Strasbourg – Grande île; Historic Site of Lyons; Arles, Roman and Romanesque Monuments; Roman Theatre and its Surroundings and the "Triumphal Arch" of Orange; Canal du Midi; Historic Fortified City of Carcassonne; Episcopal City of Albi
Germany: Aachen Cathedral; Museumsinsel (Museum Island), Berlin
Greece: Acropolis, Athens; Archaeological Site of Delphi; Meteora; Archaeological Site of Olympia; Archaeological Sites of Mycenae and Tiryns
Holy See: Vatican City
Indonesia: Borobudur Temple Compounds; Prambanan Temple Compounds; Sangiran Early Man Site
Italy: Church and Dominican Convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie with "The Last Supper" by Leonardo da Vinci; Historic Centre of Rome, the Properties of the Holy See in that City Enjoying Extraterritorial Rights and San Paolo Fuori le Mura; Historic Centre of Florence; Venice and its Lagoon; Historic Centre of Naples; Early Christian Monuments of Ravenna; Archaeological Areas of Pompei, Herculaneum and Torre Annunziata; Portovenere, Cinque Terre, and the Islands (Palmaria, Tino and Tinetto)
Japan: Buddhist Monuments in the Horyu-ji Area; Himeji-jo; Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto (Kyoto, Uji and Otsu Cities); Hiroshima Peace Memorial (Genbaku Dome); Itsukushima Shinto Shrine; Historic Monuments of Ancient Nara; Shrines and Temples of Nikko; Sacred Sites and Pilgrimage Routes in the Kii Mountain Range
Latvia: Historic Centre of Riga
Lithuania: Vilnius Historic Centre; Curonian Spit; Kernavė Archaeological Site (Cultural Reserve of Kernavė)
Luxembourg: City of Luxembourg: its Old Quarters and Fortifications
Malaysia: Kinabalu Park; Melaka and George Town, Historic Cities of the Straits of Malacca
Netherlands: Mill Network at Kinderdijk-Elshout; Rietveld Schröderhuis (Rietveld Schröder House); Seventeenth-century canal ring area inside the Singelgracht, Amsterdam
Spain: Cave of Altamira and Paleolithic Cave Art of Northern Spain; Las Médulas; Monuments of Oviedo and the Kingdom of the Asturias; Mudejar Architecture of Aragon; Roman Walls of Lugo; Route of Santiago de Compostela; Santiago de Compostela (Old Town); Tower of Hercules; Vizcaya Bridge
Thailand: Historic City of Ayutthaya
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland: Castles and Town Walls of King Edward in Gwynedd; Stonehenge, Avebury and Associated Sites; Studley Royal Park including the Ruins of Fountains Abbey; City of Bath; Frontiers of the Roman Empire; Westminster Palace, Westminster Abbey and Saint Margaret's Church; Canterbury Cathedral, St Augustine's Abbey, and St Martin's Church; Tower of London; Maritime Greenwich; Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew; Durham Castle and Cathedral; Old and New Towns of Edinburgh; New Lanark
United States of America: Grand Canyon National Park; Independence Hall; Statue of Liberty; Yosemite National Park
Viet Nam: Central Sector of the Imperial Citadel of Thang Long - Hanoi; Ha Long Bay

Total: 115
Current number of sites: 962

Originally I was going to post this after finishing my travelogues, but it seems I add new ones faster than I can talk about them - it seems the last time I did an update like this was in March 2009

It seems in 3 1/2 years I've added almost 50 sites (a few due to the listing of previously-visited places).

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Links - 28th October 2012

"You couldn't even prove the White House staff sane beyond a reasonable doubt." - Ed Meese, on the Hinckley verdict


Singapore radio needs more than a Kiss of life - "Kiss 92 is promising the ubiquitous “familiar tunes and the best new music” along with “experts (to) share their knowledge both On-Air and Online on a range of topics including travel, food, relationships and family matters, shopping and entertainment, health and wellness, fashion and beauty, financial planning, and more.” (I think that covers everything, how much more could there be? Oh politics, they missed politics.) “It will also offer listings of family-friendly and community events,” which sounds very sexy…just what your average 30 year old Singaporean girl wants, their parents on the radio!... Kiss 92 seems too obvious in its efforts, too unsophisticated for the audience that it is trying to connect with and reach. Basically it’s not doing its marketing in a very female friendly way. Its launch marketing efforts are more throwing the kitchen sink than targeted sophisticated marketing. Their strapline of “all the great songs in one place” could be applied to any radio station in Singapore, especially the top two, Gold and Class. So where’s the brand and product difference? Surely a strapline that talks to women directly and reflects a female’s aspiration would be better? It’s trying to be all encompassing rather than be specific and targeted. How does this strapline only pitch to women?"

Housing Shortage in Paris? Blame the Foreigners! - "Parisians think foreign buyers drive up housing prices, waste precious space, and detract from the liveliness of the city. The French government, judging by the legislative record, seems to agree. Last year, a student at the Ecole d’Economie de Paris wrote her mémoire on the subject, and she clarifies the culprits. "It’s the buyers – foreign and French – who live abroad that drive up the price," writes Aurélie Sotura, "not foreigners who live in Paris""

Samut Prakarn Crocodile Farm: Depressed woman 'fed herself to crocodiles' at popular Thai tourist attraction

Woman who falsely claimed she was raped by three men because she regretted having sex with them jailed for two years
"In the US even if the sex had been consensual, in some states she could have still claimed rape by "coercion" because of the alcohol and the three men would have been on trial"
"It's nice to see that in Britian a woman who lies about rape suffers some sort of punishment.In America they are never given any time behind bars and are usually never charged with anything."

EU working group produces the stupidest set of proposed Internet rules in the entire history of the human race - ""We really didn’t expect that people would publish a document that clearly says ‘not for publication’—that really surprised us," he said. "I don’t know if it’s naive. Why can’t I trust people?""

Infographic: How Do Social Network Users Lean Politically? - "Pinterest, which is dominated by women is still up for grabs in the political spectrum but they are not politcally engaged... Angry Birds users have low political engagement."
"Romney voters are busy with important activities and are not numbing their minds with apps"

Women Who Prefer Longer Penises Are More Likely to Have Vaginal Orgasms (but Not Clitoral Orgasms): Implications for an Evolutionary Theory of Vaginal Orgasm - "Women who prefer deeper penile-vaginal stimulation are more likely to have vaginal orgasm, consistent with vaginal orgasm evolving as part of a female mate choice system favoring somewhat larger than average penises"

Natural myside bias is independent of cognitive ability - "We defined the participant’s perspective as their previously existing status on four variables: their sex, whether they smoked, their alcohol consumption, and the strength of their religious beliefs. Participants then evaluated a contentious but ultimately factual proposition relevant to each of these demographic factors... we found very little evidence that participants of higher cognitive ability displayed less natural myside bias. The degree of myside bias was also relatively independent of individual differences in thinking dispositions"
Intelligence doesn't save you from the confirmation bias - which is one good reason not to fall prey to groupthink

Myside bias in thinking about abortion - "people fail to search for arguments on both sides. This causes them to neglect counterarguments that undercut the claims they make to others and themselves... Some subjects (in pilot studies) argue along the following lines: “I believe that the fetus is a person because, once it ‘starts,’ nothing can naturally stop it except for abortion; thus it is equivalent to murder.” Nicholas Maxwell (personal communication) called this the moldy-bread argument: if you let bread sit out, nothing will naturally stop it from becoming moldy and inedible; therefore, eating bread is equivalent to eating moldy bread... isolated arguments can be good if they are warranted, even if they are subsequently overwhelmed by good arguments on the other side. Typically (outside of mathematics or logic), no single argument is decisive, and we must consider the total weight of evidence and the possibility of even stronger arguments on the other side. A good argument, however, stands on its own. It can be overwhelmed but not undermined... people can be easily prompted for additional arguments on the other side, although prompting for further arguments on their favored side is less effective. So the failure to think of arguments on the other side is typically not the result of not knowing them... people consider one-sided thinking to be better than two-sided thinking, even for forming one’s own opinion on an issue. It is possible that this standard is found only for controversial issues like abortion, but this is where it also may have its most damaging effect. Where does this standard come from? One possibility (Baron, 1991) is that people confuse good thinking with expertise. Experts do not need to think, and consideration of the other side suggests that expertise is lacking. It is also possible that certain institutions, such as organized religions, promote the idea that seeing two sides is “confusing.” Institutions that do this might be more likely than other institutions to keep their followers. Another possibility is that people overextend the idea that commitment is a virtue. Surely it is in marriage and, more generally, in the honoring of vows, promises, and contracts of all sorts. But the formation of a belief or a political opinion is not a contract... The evidence on effects of education is mixed. Perkins (1989) found some effect of graduate training on a measure of bias, but no significant effect of college or high school. Perkins, Bushey, and Faraday (1986) observed only small effects of various courses that emphasized thinking, but a 16-session course for high-school students that they designed nearly doubled the number of otherside arguments concerning issues not discussed in the course (with a slight increase in quality as well, and no effect on the number of myside arguments)."

Formula One Races On in Singapore - Southeast Asia Real Time - WSJ - "Other critics, including opposition politicians and social commentators, say the grand prix encourages conspicuous displays of wealth and consumption while failing to improve the livelihoods of low-income Singaporeans."

Chinese Hospital Provides ‘Automatic Sperm Extractor’ Which Operates Like a Masturbate Machine (Video)

Public transport tactics: How to deal with shoulder sleepers - "One speaker has perhaps the best idea of all. According to this person: “When the sleeper is just about to hit shoulder, I just whisper ‘do you feel tired’ and they jerk right awake”

Naked German Monk Likely a Victim of Hallucinogenic Berries - "Hallucinogenic berries, not religious experience, likely caused the strange behavior of a scraped-up monk who was discovered stumbling naked through a German forest"

If nothing else, 'Jesus's wife' papyrus shows how Christianity created an authorised history - "Our sources for the ancient past are often the merest shreds and patches, and peculiarly challenging is to trace the evolution of religions. Invariably, the process by which one particular orthodoxy succeeded in establishing itself as definitive was a complex and protracted one. Then, once cemented as canonical, back stories for it would come to be written, from which any lingering sense that the religion might once have been an inchoate swirl of competing doctrines and beliefs was effectively purged. The consequence is that histories told by believers about the early centuries of their own faith tend to serve as monuments to the obliteration as well as to the preservation of the past.

Confessions Of A Young Banker - The Day I Snapped - "Banking is brutal. I knew this after my internship, but I didn't care. I wanted money. I wanted respect. I wanted to be a somebody in the eyes of myself and others. But most of all, I wanted money. Why ? Because money is freedom. Money means I can wear what I want, live where I want, go where I want, eat what I want, be who I want. Money would make me happy. Right ? Well... not exactly I'm afraid. In fact, money didn't seem to make any of the bankers happy. Not one person in the roughly 200 I got to know in banking were happy. Yet all earned multiples of the national average salary... I personally didn't find the work interesting, and that placed me in the 95% majority. You're not golfing with CEOs, talking about strategy, then driving your lambo home at 3.30pm to have sex with your hot girlfriend. No, you're sat at your computer, haven't spent more than 5 minutes in the sun in weeks, you're out of shape, bad skin, tired, overworked, and you're facing yet another office dinner before calling yourself a cab somewhere between 1am and 5am to take your lonely ass to your empty bed. In those rare moments you do get out your tie to go talk to a client, you're not having a nice interesting chat with an interesting person, you talking finance to some other depressed office drone in some corporate office, who either pretends to give a shit or, more often than not, doesn't pretend"

Juliet Willow- deaf pornstar does anal -
This was linked from the Quora question, What sounds do deaf people make when they're having sex?

Zombie-proof architecture: When the dead start to walk you'd better start building | The Economist - "A zombie-proof house needs to be secure—not only structurally strong but also with limited openings on its perimeter that are all closable, lockable and impenetrable"

Nice Guy Sweet Girl Jerk | WeKnowMemes

Text Fixer - Online Text Tools - "Remove Line Breaks from Text
Alphabetize Text
Capitalize the First letter of Sentences
Remove Whitespaces
Uppercase Text or Lowercase Text"

How to get a discount in China (image)
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