When you can't live without bananas

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Saturday, June 07, 2014

Links - 7th June 2014

Al Nelson's answer to Sexism: What are some common forms of sexism that men face? - Quora - "In the bad, old days there were fewer women in colleges than men and that was not good. Lately, that situation has reversed and it has long term implicaitons for our economy... As the only "non-minority" minority, men qualify for far fewer aid and assistance programs or incentives. Again, we're expected to be stronger, handle things on our own and tough it out.
This reminds me of two life-changers in my own experiences:
1. As a very poor high school senior with good grades and top 2% scores on the SAT, the counselor wished me "luck in the fast food industry" because there were "no scholarship dollars for broke white guys". So, I was never able to go to college.
2. After a calamity rendered me destitute, homeless and seriously ill, I visited the local goverment aid office and discovered, as a 21 years old male, I was eligible for a one-time-only food assistance payment of $8.11. I nearly died that year. Had I been a female, I could have qualified for housing assistance, food and medical care."

At Colleges, Women Are Leaving Men in the Dust - NYTimes.com - "Professors interviewed on several campuses say that in their experience men seem to cluster in a disproportionate share at both ends of the spectrum — students who are the most brilliantly creative, and students who cannot keep up...In the 1990's, even as women poured into college at a higher rate than men, attention focused largely on their troubles, especially after the 1992 report "How Schools Shortchange Girls" from the American Association of University Women... "The idea that girls could be ahead is so shocking that they think it must be a crisis for boys," Ms. Mead said. "I'm troubled by this tone of crisis""
This is in keeping with the "men have greater variance" theory which got Lawrence Summers fired
The idea that boys could be ahead is so shocking that feminists think it must be a crisis for girls

Cory Doctorow: Collective Action - "If patent trolls manage to make derivatives traders look good by comparison, then copyright trolls make even the patent trolls look upstanding. One German firm specifically targeted members of the clergy, staff at Arabic embassies, and cops, on the grounds that these people would be especially vulnerable and so likely to pay with a minimum of fuss. Finally, there are the out-and-out copyfraudsters, companies who claim to hold copyrights they don’t own – sometimes copyrights that expired decades ago, though that doesn’t stop them from threatening people who use ‘‘their’’ copyrights without paying for a license. The best example of this is probably ‘‘Happy Birthday’’, which Warner/Chappell claims to own a copyright over. Anyone who researches the matter – as plenty of credible scholars have – will tell you that ‘‘Happy Birthday’’ wasn’t written when Warner says it was, that its copyright wasn’t renewed when they say it was, and that in any event, the renewal wasn’t correct – and that there is absolutely no question that ‘‘Happy Birthday’’ is in the public domain. None. And yet, people pay for it. Millions... Why has Warner gotten away with its theft of ‘‘Happy Birthday’’ for so long? Because the interests of all the people who pay the license fee are diffused, and Warner’s interests are concentrated... Imagine a Kickstarter-style service for a new kind of class-action lawsuit: the class-action defense."

A Scientific Look At Why You Hate Hawaiian Shirts - "The authors, interpreting the mess of documents in front of them--and there is a stunning amount of scholarly research on various cultural aspects of Hawaiian shirts, if you want to fall down a Google Scholar pit today--clustered feelings on the shirts into three groups: them versus us (tourists wear the shirts, and are ridiculed for it), different versus same (they're a symbol of casual living and working, breaking conformity), and culture versus commerce (the shirt is romanticized as a symbol of true Hawaiian culture). All of which leads to this table, gorgeously, improbably titled "Table 1. Paradigmatic Structure of Iconic Meanings Attributed to the Hawaiian Shirt"... , the shirt was banned for employees of City, State and Federal offices and from banks and corporate offices on grounds that its appearance would induce sloppy work habits." By the 1950s, during a tourism boom, the shirt continued its association with tourists, along with all of the "characteristics typically attributed to the tourist, such as being fat, badly dressed, and unattractive became associated with the shirt." Later, a "petition to the State Legislature generated by the local garment industry (along with a gift of two Hawaiian shirts to each legislator) ultimately resulted in a Legislative resolution that promoted Hawaiian shirts as appropriate business wear on the last day of the workweek." On the Islands, that became "Aloha Friday"; elsewhere, it was "Casual Friday.""

A golden opportunity, squandered - "Golden Rice offers the potential to make contributions to human health and welfare as historic as those made by the discovery and distribution of the Salk polio vaccine. With wide use, it could save hundreds of thousands of lives a year and enhance the quality of life for millions more. But one aspect of this shining story is tarnished. Intransigent opposition by anti-science, anti-technology activists – Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth and a few other radical groups – has provided already risk-averse regulators political ‘cover’ to adopt an overly precautionary approach that has stalled approvals... In spite of its vast potential to benefit humanity – and negligible likelihood of harm to human health or the environment – a decade after its creation Golden Rice remains hung up in regulatory red tape with no end in sight... It should be noted that the commonly cultivated and consumed varieties of rice – all of which have been developed with conventional techniques – are the product of wide crosses and, therefore, are ‘transgenic’ by any reasonable scientific definition"

Autism occurs more often in families of physicists, engineers, and mathematicians

Diabetes Can Be Cured by Drugs That Mimic Gene Mutation

Fifteen toyboys in a year at the age of 60 - "we older women are often better in bed. We are less inhibited, more experienced. As my wannabe toyboy put it: ‘Older women know what men want in bed, but they also know what they want.’ Younger women, by contrast, are often only after one thing. The C-word. Commitment. After three dates, according to one young man, it’s endless text messages, pestering phone calls, adoring pictures posted on Facebook and relentless pressure — when all the boy wants, as he put it, is a ‘quick sh**’. There’s no danger an older woman would want him to meet her parents the next morning (they’re more likely already dead). And as for commitment, Ms Mature is glad her young lover leaves before morning, as she has her own routine and is probably on duty to take the grandkids to school. For young men, then, older women are the best option, usually because they are the least complicated option."

Techies flock to Mission Control, S.F. members-only sex club - "San Francisco State University adjunct instructor Michael Shannon had been the dungeon master a few weeks earlier when some attendees were talking about how they would use consumer electronics cords in sex play. "If you've never tied (someone) up with an Ethernet cable," Shannon once said, "you're not geeky enough."

Bucking convention is routine for her - "TALES of brutal murder, sex crimes and missing children seem incongruous alongside the rational realm of fund management. But the two worlds collide in Allianz Global Investors (AllianzGI) chief executive Elizabeth Corley, whose working day is immersed in the often frenetic world of money management. Her free time, however, is consumed by a passion - writing crime novels... Corley does not believe there is a proverbial glass ceiling reining in women in the workplace, even though statistics have shown consistently that women lag behind men in salary and are in the minority in top jobs... "I don't think it's a glass ceiling. I think there are practical problems," she says. In AllianzGI's Asia operations, 55 per cent of the staff are women. In Singapore, the proportion is 50 per cent. In management level, at vice-president position and above, 47 per cent are women. "The issue is that when the career is asking the most of you, that is when you are wanting to start a family. The second stage when the career asks the most of you is when you may be looking after elderly parents or relatives. "Both those things fall heavily on women. It's a practical problem of how do you engage in a career conversation with very talented women that says that the choice between your corporate and personal family is not an either/or situation.""

Egypt army criticized for claim of a device that cures AIDS - "According to the army, devices called C-Fast and I-Fast detect hepatitis C and the virus that causes AIDS through the use of electromagnetic waves. A patent filing with the World Intellectual Property Organization has already been made by the Egyptian Defense Ministry for C-Fast. The army also identified a device that treats both viruses, as well as psoriasis, called Complete Cure Device. The research, however, has not been published in any international medical papers or approved by global entities... The announcement was seen by many as an army attempt to win further political support in a country that has one of the world's highest hepatitis C infection rates."

Malam Baranda: Nigeria man asked goat's permission for sex - "The 20-year-old is said to have been caught having sex with the goat ten times because they ‘satisfied his demand’. He said he took goats into the forest near his home to ‘avoid embarrassment’ and did not know it was an offence to have sex with them."

Beard transplants latest fad for Brooklyn's hip young men - "Young men wearing pork-pie hats, knitted snoods and stylishly drab clothing are crowding doctors' waiting rooms in a burgeoning trend: Brooklyn hipsters seeking beard transplants... New York's coolest go as far away as Florida to undergo the one-day transformation without raising suspicion... Some smooth-faced young men ask for bushy beards, others are looking for a chic square of hair under the lower lip, known as a soul patch"

Russian snowboarder's iPhone crashes from photos of naked women after he puts number on helmet - "He turned the brightness of the screen to full blast and focused on one particular girl in what can only be described as the tightest dress in human history. And where was she from? "Russia," he said. "Yesterday, some guys from USA and Canada sent (text messages). Some girls sent me photos. But Russian girls: The best!""

Confucianism, Good Samaritans in China and Cultural Authenticity

A: "What accounts for China’s lack of good Samaritans? Theories vary, and point to factors as variable as the lack of obligations to strangers under the Confucian value system,,,"


B: Korea can refute that comfortably.

C: oh please, how post cultural revolution China can still be considered Confucianist, is totally beyond me.

Me: A lesson of Marxist social engineering schemes is that changing human culture (let alone human nature) is not easy.

Ask a Korean!: Confucianism and Korea - Part VI: The Korean on Confucianism in Modern Korea

"Ability to deal with strangers

Korea's driving situation is notorious: it is disorderly, erratic and fatal. Korea's rate of traffic fatality is over twice of the OECD average, coming in third-to-last among the 29 member countries. The streets of Korea often approach a state of total lawlessness, with cars jumping onto and driving on pedestrian sidewalks and motorcycles whizzing by between lanes.

Korea also has a bad track record of discrimination. As the Korean chronicled a number of times on this blog, xenophobia and racism are rampant in Korea. Even among Koreans, there is still lingering discrimination against homosexuals, disabled, children born out of wedlock, people from certain regions, etc.

What do these two social ills have to do with each other? They are both examples of how Confucianism never evolved to fit the modern life. Remember that Confucian worldview is relational, based on the five specific relations -- parent-child, ruler-subject, husband-wife, old-young, friend-friend. But what about people who do not fit in one of those relations? If you are a serious Confucian, what are you supposed to do when you encounter a total stranger who does not fit the existing set of relationships?

Bad driving and discriminations are two examples that show Confucianism's failure to deal with strangers. (There are certainly many more examples.) When a Korean person meets another person, they spent the first few minutes asking each other how old they are, what they do, where they are from, etc. in order to figure out their relational positions. But you can't do that when you are driving a car. Behind the wheel, all the markers that matter to a Confucian are hidden. Because of that, the survivalist tendency takes over again, which leads to crazy and selfish driving. Similarly, discrimination against other people ultimately originates from failure to relate. When a person does not fit a set of existing social relationship, that person matters less than other persons who do fit. This is true everywhere, but particularly truer in a society that takes a relational understanding of humans.

A crucial characteristic of an industrial and capitalistic society is the ability for people to move around and constantly deal with strangers. Without this characteristic, modern society is not possible. But Confucianism is not very good at teaching people how to deal with strangers, although it may be excellent with teaching people how to deal with your parents, for example. Since Korea would prefer to have modernity than Confucianism, Confucianism must yield on this aspect."

D: This has nothing to do with Confucianism or any other philosophical ethos. It comes down to being human and are you willing to help your fellow men. China has issues in the past where good samaritans were chastised and sued. Then again, if you have a society filled individuals with an "only child mentality" - you can imagine how that would affect a country in general.

E: Lack of obligations to strangers under the communist system - it's the government's job.

Me: So philosophical ethoses are impotent since they do not affect human behavior

E: Culture affects people. Politics affects culture. Philosophy/theology is too hard for most people - they follow the pop version of their religion or official cultural philosophy.

Philosophy can affect people if first popularised through art for easy consumption e.g. existentialism.

Me: Does philosophy affect culture ?

E: Confuciansim was supposed to be the philosophy for the ruling class of China. Taoism was the religion and life guide for peasants.

A simplified and distorted philosophy can affect culture, similar to how the religion that most people follow is simplified and distorted and far from their religious texts.

The general public didn't understand empiricism until after they watched The Matrix.

The general public has a distorted view of the philosophical implications of the quantum uncertainty principle, due to its misuse in pop culture.

Me: So what is "true" Confucianism? Is fundamentalist (hah) Confucianism the only Confucianism worthy of the name? Mencius and Xun Zi developed Confucian philosophy in different ways - should we repudiate everything they said as "corrupted" Confucianism and go back to the source ? Note that here we are not blaming Confucius per se but Confucianism

Cultural influences are always mediated. Doesn't mean they don't exist. For example Buddhism in china was different from Buddhism in India. But you can't say Buddhism in India has nothing to do with Buddhism in china. Or that it's not Buddhism.

E: I know my limits. Don't know much about Confucianism. But what I'm saying is that your average Chinese follows his culture (you might call this a circular argument) and doesn't really know what Mencius actually wrote.

My point was not about splits within a religion. I'm saying that most Indian Buddhist don't know much about Indian Buddhism. I'm extrapolating from my experience with Christians. I don't know many Buddhist but I had a colleague who thought she was Buddhist but she was actually following a Buddhist/Taoist mix.

Me: Most Indian Buddhists don't know much about *traditional Indian Buddhism* (if that can be defined). What they practise is Indian Buddhism, by definition, and that is based on traditional Indian Buddhism.

In any event, traditional Indian Buddhism is also contested.

If you want to talk about Christianity, most Christians don't know about the early history of Christianity. But early Christianity is not necessarily the most "authentic" version. There were many competing versions.

Friday, June 06, 2014

Links - 6th June 2014

Answer to Why is Singapore so sexist? - Quora - "Perhaps because there are organizations that get more funding by propagating that impression?"

The Manipulated Man - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - "The Manipulated Man (German: Der Dressierte Mann) is a 1971 book by author Esther Vilar. The main idea behind the book is that women are not oppressed by men but rather control men to their advantage"

Janese Boots's answer to Teachers: As a teacher, what's the funniest thing you've confiscated? - Quora - "I confiscated a packet of M&M's and put them on my table at the front. I told the kid that everytime I saw them ignoring their work or talking, I would eat one. It worked quite effectively, they finished their work and I only ate 2."

80% of Singaporeans Are Poorer Than A Cleaner In Norway | The Real Singapore - "what is perhaps most shocking is how cheap Pampers diapers are! They cost only about $2 in Norway but it is more than 10 times more expensive in Singapore!... public housing in Singapore is as expensive as private housing in Norway. And private housing in Norway is actually twice as cheap as private housing in Singapore, on a relative basis... Taking note that the average Singapore earns only half of what a Norwegian earns and a low-income earner in Singapore earns less than one-fifth what a Norwegian earns, it might be clear at this point that the standard of living in Singapore is way off the mark – our livelihoods are very much dampened... the Norwegian government would first provide free education for its citizens, then extend it to international students. In Singapore, it is the other way around – more than 50% of international graduate and under-undergraduate students are on scholarships, however only 6% of Singaporean students are on scholarships... even though Singapore is now the most expensive place to live in the world, Singaporeans earn the lowest wages among the high-income countries. But of course, we haven’t forgotten about tax and social security. It is a common assumption that Norway has one of the highest tax and social security rates in the world. However, this is not true. For a low-income earner in Norway, he/she only needs to pay 35.2% into tax and social security. In comparison, a low-income earner would need to pay 37% into CPF."

lesbian swagger | miss halfway - "I have noticed that there are always these tells that lesbians give that tell the world about their gayness. I’ve referenced these things before – short nails, zip-up hoodies, etc. – but this time, that is not what I mean. I’m talking about the way that lesbians walk. And I named it.
Lesbian swagger.
Lesbian swagger!!
It’s a thing. Lesbians just walk a cut above the rest. It’s this cool, confident thing that comes from being comfortable with oneself enough to just own a damn room upon entrance, or own the street in which they walk on because THEY’RE HERE, THEY’RE QUEER, AND DON’T YOU WANT THEM!? Yes. Yes, you do. Lesbian swagger was the thing that attracted me to my future girlfriend when I first met her. She stood up and walked over to introduce herself and I found myself immediately turned on; immediately into her. What?! But how!? Lesbian swagger. That’s how."

How Did You Hear About The YMCA? | WeKnowMemes

Now is the time to switch back to Firefox - "I switched back to Mozilla Firefox in the middle of last summer, when it first became a better browser than Chrome, at least for me. Chrome was crashing too often, and in particular, Chrome's built-in Flash was crashing multiple times per day. When it was working, Chrome often failed to display web pages: where the text and images should have been were pale blue blank screens. I put this down to Chrome's heavy consumption of memory and other resources. (Yes, it's my fault for opening too many tabs, but that's how many people work.) In March 2013, I wrote about OneTab, a small utility that would close all the tabs and recover memory. But while that was a temporary answer, it was the wrong answer. Firefox supports 80 or more tabs on the same PC. What's more, Firefox keeps the tabs the same size, so I can still read them. Also, after Firefox crashes, it doesn't try to load all the old tabs at once, so you don't have to wait for it to catch up. Firefox only reloads tabs when you click on them. Perhaps surprisingly, Firefox is now roughly as fast as Chrome, and sometimes loads pages a lot faster. It used to be slow, but Tom's Hardware published a test last June (Chrome 27, Firefox 22, IE10, And Opera Next, Benchmarked) which said: "Firefox 22 pulls off an upset, replacing the long-time performance champion Google Chrome as the new speed king!" There's not a lot in it. However, if you switched to Chrome for its speed, that may no longer apply. While using Firefox, I've discovered many other ways in which it's better than Chrome. In particular, it's much easier to find the tab you need. First, tabs always stay big enough to read, and you can set a minimum size. Second, there are arrow keys you can click to scroll through open tabs. Third, if you hold the mouse pointer over the tabs, you can use the mouse-wheel to whiz through them really quickly. Fourth, one click provides a drop-down menu of all your tabs. Fifth, you can organise tabs into groups and save or reload groups of tabs: this is very handy if you switch between several tasks. Sixth, you can have Tree Style Tabs that work like a folder tree in Windows Explorer. Indeed, you can even have tabs tiled if you want, using Tile Tabs 11.5. Another way to find a tab is to start typing the address in the address bar: you'll be offered the option to "Switch to tab"."

What Japanese history lessons leave out - "Japanese people often fail to understand why neighbouring countries harbour a grudge over events that happened in the 1930s and 40s. The reason, in many cases, is that they barely learned any 20th Century history. I myself only got a full picture when I left Japan and went to school in Australia. From Homo erectus to the present day - more than a million years of history in just one year of lessons. That is how, at the age of 14, I first learned of Japan's relations with the outside world. For three hours a week - 105 hours over the year - we edged towards the 20th Century. It's hardly surprising that some classes, in some schools, never get there, and are told by teachers to finish the book in their spare time... Having experienced history education in two countries, the way history is taught in Japan has at least one advantage - students come away with a comprehensive understanding of when events happened, in what order."

Des policiers chinois à Paris, un symbole dérangeant - "Cet été, ne soyez pas surpris si vous croisez un policier chinois en uniforme sous la tour Eiffel. En Chine, le budget annuel du maintien de l’ordre dépasse celui de l’armée pour écraser toute velléité de révolte. En France, ces policiers viendront « faire de la prévention » face aux pickpockets. Cette semaine, le ministère de l’Intérieur a annoncé cette mesure surprenante – voire choquante, compte tenu de la nature du régime chinois – dans le cadre de son plan annuel pour la sécurité des touristes. « Des patrouilleurs chinois, – policiers pour la plupart – effectueront des rondes sur les sites touristiques », en collaboration étroite avec la police française. Les voyageurs chinois en visite à Paris sont régulièrement victimes de vols, souvent accompagnés de violences, à la sortie des boutiques de luxe, devant les monuments ou au restaurant. Les autorités françaises préféreraient éviter que Paris traîne une sale réputation dans toute l’Asie... Le traité de Prüm, signé par sept Etats de l’Union européenne en 2005 (puis élargi), autorise depuis 2008 des policiers allemands, néerlandais, roumains, belges, espagnols, etc. à patrouiller en France et assister les ressortissants de leurs Etats respectifs."

RUSI - Extracting Counterinsurgency lessons: The Malayan Emergency and Afghanistan - "At the highest political levels, the key was working with prevailing currents. As with American policy in post-2003 Iraq, Britain started with idealistic ideas of introducing Western-style politics, with ethnic groups to be mixed into policy-driven parties. But the British soon compromised with ethnically-defined politics. For example, the Malayan Chinese Association (MCA) played a vital role in screening detainees, and the British eventually accepted that an alliance between the MCA and the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) would dominate, with the latter calling the shots in a system of 'elite accommodation'. In more general terms, the British lost insurgencies where they failed to win a major local political ally (Cyprus, Palestine, Aden), and won where they allied with core local groups such as with key factions of the Kikuyu in Kenya. In Northern Ireland, meanwhile, Britain's escape from defeat was linked to Loyalist interest in supporting the security forces, while the ultimate peace agreement had more to do with a stalemate of murder between different local factions, than with any new or increased British military success."

Head butt! Goat Simulator to become a real Steam game - "The news that Goat Simulator will become a real playable video game is another grand instance of a glorified joke becoming reality, much like when ThinkGeek's April Fools tauntaun sleeping bag became an actual product due to popular demand."

Soda Drinker sim has all the fizz, none of the calories - "The world's first first-person soda game will also hopefully be the world's last. Welcome to a bizarre world where you wander about in a haze of cheap graphics while sipping a virtual soda."

The 15 worst PC games of all time - "Aside from classic gods and fantasy, games typically avoid religion in the name of an easy life. The You Testament... goes a different direction. So bad, yet apparently so sincere, philosophers could argue for years about whether it’s actually the best troll ever, but that doesn’t change the fact that it’s a game about following Jesus around, and occasionally punching him in the face by accident. Sometimes he turns the other cheek, sometimes he threatens to kill you dead. That's what you get when the combat comes straight from a wrestling game. Later, you gain religion-themed superpowers, like terrain manipulation and seeing the world in wire frame mode. No, really. The best thing about all this craziness? There’s a sequel. Same basic game. About Mohammed. Talk about actual giant, steel-plated balls."

The Pathology of Classical Sculpture - Neatorama - "I walked down one side of one of the enormous Vatican halls that extend seemingly unto infinity, each side of which is lined with sculptures, paintings and tapestries, and did an SPL count on a consecutive series of 50 sculptures of males with genital exposure—whether the subjects be adults, children, angels, or putti. To my amazement, almost 80% had lost their sexual termini... far fewer noses were lost than penises: just over 20%... I did a final recount of my small sample group of sculptures, and to my delight—never believe a scientist who claims to be unconcerned about what is found—the number of broken noses, if you include those missing and those repaired and replaced, was over 70%, similar to the number of broken-off penises."

Sperm that attract ants. What does it mean? - Doctor's insight on HealthcareMagic - "Semen contains fructose in it, its a type of natural sugar to keep the sperms nourished. Obviously the ants get attracted because there is sugary substance on your cloth"

Neo Tiew - Abandoned Housing Estate - "In Lim Chu Kang, there is a small public housing area known as Neo Tiew Estate (or Lim Chu Kang Rural Centre). The whole area was en-bloc in 2002, with the residents shifted to Jurong West. The estate was vacated since then, and is currently used for FIBUA (Fighting in Built-Up Areas) trainings by the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF)... Built in 1979, there are three 3-storey flats in the estate, numbered 3 to 5. The abandoned flats are accompanied by a wet market and a playground. Lacking maintenance, the flats are left with dirty walls with paint peeling off and rusty windows. Overgrown bushes nearly cover the entire neighbourhood."

▶ Japanese Girl Spends Over $100K on Plastic Surgery to Look Like a 'French Doll' - YouTube

Conversations - 6th June 2014

Me: haha you are friends with jeraldine phneah

Someone: yes indeed
i consider it an honour to be friends with someone *** lee and her civil society coterie called a bimbo

*** "check your privilege" lee and her friends
civil society activists

"liberals" like ***

when called out on the irony of them using sexist demeaning language, *** told me and the eidtor of TOC - you're all male chauvinists thinking you've gone to the rescue of a poor sweet defenseless creature
card carrying member of Aware, that ***

Me: did you pull the 'check your straight privilege' card on her?

Someone: heh. nope. i didn't bother.
she pulled the i know what feminism is, and if you disagree with me, please go and read your beauvoir, butler, etc and come back to me
i can't be bothered with crazies like her

Someone else: i think humanists can be freaking proud and they don't listen to people with expertise

they think just because they read a lot and are supposingly good in logic they know it all

humanists/rationaists/ whatever. that kind

ppl with knowledge in IT, events-organising, media, finance etc, law, they don't listen to them

and sometimes these ppl who have experience and expertise in specific skills may not be very very free or may not express them in a very scientifically watertight manner u know
but that doesn't mean they don't know their shit

Me: I think it's an identity thing
When your identity revolves around something you get uptight
And exclusionary

Someone else: that is i think the biggest weakness of many of them
they don't listen!

Someone: recently someone asked me if he should go to Singapore
He is polyamorous/bisexual himself. Specifically he asked about how sexually liberal Singaporeans are
I told him if such things matter a lot to him then he should go elsewhere
(And I cited the results of the survey conducted by the SG govt in January regarding Singaporeans' attitudes towards various lifestyle choices)
Always handy when there are official numbers quantifying just how narrow-minded a population is

Someone else: the guy should check all the boxes on my list of criteria

Me: This list thing is a very girl thing Tsk

Someone else: Well growing up in this day and age people tell you not to compromise

Me: Compromise is a fact of life

Someone else: Yea that's why so many educated women are left on the shelf
I think that's what happened to my aunt

Me: If you can't compromise in what you want in a partner, how will you compromise in a marriage ?

Me: How long a wait is necessary before spoiler tags no longer need to be put?

Someone: Infinity. Spoiler tags are always needed. It's just courtesy really. Given everyone's lack of time, one can sometimes take months to catch up with shows.

Me: Spoiler: Darth Vader is Luke's father

Someone else: i was just telling my dutch friend how i get a lot of racist commments thrown at me on a daily basis. like i cycle past some stupid teens and they shout chingchong at me
and he didnt believe me

Me: do you? hmm
I think I got that all of once

Someone else: he said dutch people are very tolerant and open minded
and im like why dont you believe me

Me: seriously I didn't experience that... maybe once or twice

Someone else: and i always tell him oh somebody called me chingchong again etc etc. he NEVER believes me
and claims it might be german or tourists.

Me: google glass

I dont think anyone has ever called me chingchong

though related
like keep konnichiwa me even though I tell them I'm not jap
or in a club it was gangnam style (this was may 2013) then one guy came up to kachiao me

Someone else: so the other day we went clubbing and one of his friends started, for no reason, totally unprovoked, calling me loempia OVER AND OVER again. and i was drunk so i got very violent and started shoving him and my friends had to pull me away

Me: :/
stuff a loempia in his mouth

Someone else: and it was then he realised fuck this really does happen, and that person happened to be HIS friend
and he was very shocked and said i reallllyyyyy didnt believe you

usually my friends call me loempia or bamishijv or bamiblok or bsian or all those jokes and it's fine cos it's in context and it's funny and i like my friends.
i totally didnt know who he is

Me: Yeah. I send my black friend racist jokes
it's not a racist thing. It's politeness

Someone else: the worst was i kena 3 people shout at me on a single 10min bike home

it's social bonding

anyway. the day i kena 3 people shout at me right, usually they are in packs of teens and cos theyw anna look cool etc
but one time this SINGLE teenage GIRL just rode by me on her motor scooter and stuck her head out in my direction and shouted at me

honestly, it was rather admirable. this girl got guts. she got the balls to just be racist without having to prove a point to her idiot friends.

i was just like wow hmm not bad got balls

ya can blame belgians etc but this is The South. ie fucking hicks

Me: Haha. Damn Catholics

Someone else: it's only teenagers though. the old people/uni kids are always very nice and polite to me.

Me: Aiyah teens everywhere like to be like that

Adults how

Someone else: most are alright, but at the risk of sounding a bit shallow and stupid, ive learnt to judge based on the clothes they wear. if they are well-dressed/ uni student -looking, then tend to be nice to me. but if they dress like eurotrash almost 80% of the time they will be a complete dick.

i was just telling my friend how i have come to hate girls who wear this http://media2.onsugar.com/files/2012/11/47/3/192/1922261/5e421a19e5ecabe2_OPalermo112112.xxxlarge_1.jpg

because i always kena shit from people who wear coats like this

Me: Stereotypes persist and endure because they are often true

Marshmallow man!

Someone else: yeah. i mean, i have to learn who i can approach, right?

Me: What shit do they give you

Someone else: the shinier the coat (like, garbage bag sort of shiny), the shittier they are
matte puffy coats like that arent as shitty

the usual yknow. shout racist shit, talk very loudly, hang out in groups in public places and make a scene

between 2 girls who wear matte and shiny coats, if i need directions/translation/any sort of help, i will not approach any of them hahaha

Thursday, June 05, 2014

Links - 5th June 2014

How People Get Tall - "While about 80 percent of height is determined by genes, auxologists (those are height scientists) now believe that nutrition and sanitation determine much of the rest."

How to Give Someone a Hickey: 15 Steps (with Pictures) - wikiHow
The pictures are especially funny

Statistics Don't Back Up Claims About 'Rape Culture' - "Activists claim that reform is urgent because one in five women will be raped during her time at college. I have yet to see an article lamenting the campus rape culture that does not contain some iteration of this alarming statistic... Christina Hoff Sommers of the American Enterprise Institute explains that the study often cited as the origin of the "one in five" factoid is an online survey conducted under a grant from the Justice Department. Surveyors employed such a broad definition that "'forced kissing" and even "attempted forced kissing" qualified as sexual assault. The Bureau of Justice Statistics' "Violent Victimization of College Students" report tells a different and more plausible story about campus culture. During the years surveyed, 1995-2002, the DOJ found that there were six rapes or sexual assaults per thousand per year. Across the nation's four million female college students, that comes to about one victim in forty students. Other DOJ statistics show that the overall rape rate is in sharp decline: since 1995, the estimated rate of female rape or sexual assault victimizations has decreased by about 60 percent... Bolstered by inflated statistics and alarmist depictions of campus culture, advocates have been successful in initiating policy changes designed to better protect victims of sexual violence. Duke, Swarthmore, Amherst, Emerson and the University of North Carolina are among the many institutions that have recently reviewed and revised their policies. It is not clear that these policies have made campuses safer places for women, but they have certainly made them treacherous places for falsely accused men. In January 2010, University of North Dakota student Caleb Warner was accused of sexually assaulting a fellow student. A UND tribunal determined that Warner was guilty of misconduct, and he was swiftly suspended from school and banned from setting foot on campus for three years. Yet the police – presented with the same evidence – were so unconvinced of Warner's guilt that they refused to bring criminal charges against him. Instead, they charged his accuser with filing a false report and issued a warrant for her arrest. Warner's accuser fled town and failed to appear to answer the charges. Despite these developments, the university repeatedly rejected Warner's requests for a rehearing. Finally, a year and a half later, UND reexamined Warner's case and determined that their finding of guilt was "not substantiated" – but only after the civil liberties group FIRE intervened and launched a national campaign on Warner's behalf... At Swarthmore College, volunteers are now being solicited via email to serve on the Sexual Assault and Harassment Hearing Panel. Such a panel is far more likely to yield gender violence activists than impartial fact finders. In a court of law, we rely on procedural safeguards to ensure unbiased jury selection and due process. But on the college campus, these safeguards have vanished. What's more, campus judiciaries operate under a dangerously low standard of proof for sexual assault cases, thanks to federal mandates... advocates for due process, rules of evidence, basic justice and true gender equality need to speak louder than the "f*ckrapeculture" alarmists."

Feminist blogger announces ban on male commenters : MensRights
Comment: "Turnabout is fair play. I think it's perfectly reasonable for them to put men on the receiving end. Think about it! In the entirety of human history, it's only been the past two decades that women have finally been allowed to comment on mens' blogs."

Here's What Happens When You Leave a Guy Alone With Booze and Your Cat

The Original Star Wars Concept Art Is Amazing

So Portland's Not Flushing That Urine-Tainted Reservoir After All - "Remember when Portland was gonna dump 38 million gallons of drinking water because that one dude peed in it? Well, it turns out the city has had a change of heart, and the water won't be flushed—at least not just yet... The crazier thing (could it get crazier?) is that this is actually not the first time this has happened to poor Pee-D-X. In 2011, 21-year-old Josh Seater did the same thing at the same reservoir, causing the city to drain over eight million gallons of drinking water... A dribble of pee is seriously a few drops in the bucket—birds do all sorts of unspeakably grody things to the drinking water in open reservoirs, for example. But this kind of episode—in addition to serious threats like terrorism—is one of the reasons that many cities are being required to take their open-air reservoirs offline."

China Exclusive: China's "first emperor" banned Buddhism, expert says - "Though the book, written between 104 B.C. to 91 B.C., provided no evidence of temples destroyed or monks exiled, Han said he believed the ban had been very effective. "Buddhism never appeared again in historical documents until 2 B.C.," Han said. Emperor Qin Shihuang's ban on Buddhism indicated the religion was already popular in China's interior regions in his reign, said Han, whose thesis on the subject was published Friday in Xi'an. Han recommended that textbooks be changed to reflect his discovery. Historians generally believed Buddhism was introduced into China around 67 A.D. in Han Dynasty that succeeded Qin. But Han held it must have spread to China from today's Xinjiang Ugyur Autonomous Region and central Asian countries, along the ancient Silk Road, more than two centuries earlier. "

Studying the Studies on the Minimum Wage - "Neumark and Wascher are long-time opponents of the minimum wage. I have, for a long-time, been a supporter of regular, moderate increases in the minimum wage. So, who are you going to believe? Well, fortunately, we have statistical techniques designed to use objective criteria to sift through and evaluate situations where there are a large number of separate statistical studies on the same topic. These "meta-study" techniques are widely used in medicine, for example, where they help doctors to draw more reliable results from a large number of clinical studies than is possible from any individual study... What is most striking about the chart is that all of the most precise estimates are at or very close to zero — the point where the minimum wage has no effect on teen employment. Doucouliagos and Stanley's more objective approach leads them to conclude that the minimum wage has "an insignificant employment effect (both practically and statistically)." And these results do not depend on anyone's subjective judgment of the “credibility” of the underlying studies."

Not quite the real thing: Coca-Cola's 'secret formula' is out of the bottle - but can the famous flavour be recreated at home? - "This week, the American historian Mark Pendergrast published a formula for the world’s most prolific soft drink – and this is not just any recipe. This is the original “secret formula”, as used by pharmacist John Pemberton when he first mixed the drink in 1886, in Columbus, Georgia. Now, more than a century later, there are only two places in the world where you cannot buy Coca-Cola: North Korea, and Cuba. Despite this, and with the help of Pemberton’s formula, I am attempting to recreate it from scratch... acquiring the necessary ingredients is far more of a challenge than expected. My local grocery store does not stock neroli oil. Caffeine is not visible in the aisles at Sainsbury’s and, despite a cursory wander through my local market for a Peruvian vegetable stall, coca leaves are nowhere to be seen. The ingredients required for the Coca-Cola flavour itself is a mix of seven essential oils. After hours of hunting, I have only vanilla... Food-grade essential oils, it transpires, are not only very difficult to get hold of at short notice, but also quite poisonous if used incorrectly. Likewise pure caffeine, not to mention the coca leaves, which I can tell you now did not form part of The Independent’s reicpe"

Tests find traces of alcohol in Coke, Pepsi and other sodas - "Scientists who tested 19 different kinds of cola found trace amounts of alcohol in 10 of the samples. However, the amounts were so small that you'd have to consume nearly 13,000 cans to qualify for a DUI."

A taste of adventure | The Economist - "The spice trade, once the stuff of legends, has become a market much like any other. And a taste of luxury beyond the dreams of almost every human in history is available to almost everyone, almost everywhere"

Gilbert Goh burns effigy of himself in Labour Day protest! - "It is plausible that he may be charged for not only burning an effigy, but also for attempted suicide."

Losing our religion: Your guide to a godless future - "Until quite recently, it was widely assumed that people had to reason their way to atheism: they analysed the claims of religion and rejected them on the grounds of implausibility. This explained why atheism was a minority pursuit largely practised by more educated people, and why religion was so prevalent and durable. Overcoming all of those evolved biases, and continuing to do so, requires hard cognitive work. This "analytical atheism" is clearly an important route to irreligion and might explain some of the recent increase in secularity. It certainly flourishes in places where people are exposed to science and other analytical systems of thought. But it is by no means the only flavour of irreligion. In the US, for example, among the 20 per cent of people who say they have no religious affiliation, only about 1 in 10 say they are atheists; the vast majority, 71 per cent, are "nothing in particular". "There are many pathways and motivations for becoming atheist," says Norenzayan. "Disbelief does not always require hard cognitive effort." So if people aren't explicitly rejecting religious claims, what is causing them to abandon god? To Norenzayan, the answer lies in some of the other psychological biases that make religious ideas so easy to digest. One of the main motivations for abandoning god is that people increasingly don't need the comfort that belief in god brings. Religion thrives on existential angst: where people feel insecure and uncertain, religion provides succour. But as societies become more prosperous and stable, this security blanket becomes less important. By this reckoning it is no coincidence that the world's least religious countries also tend to be the most secure. Denmark, Sweden and Norway, for example, are consistently rated as among the most irreligious. They are also among the most prosperous, stable and safe, with universal healthcare and generous social security. Conversely, the world's most religious countries are among its poorest. And within countries, poorer segments of society tend to be more religious... after the 2011 Christchurch earthquake in New Zealand – normally a stable and safe country with corresponding low levels of religiosity – religious commitment in the area increased... In comparison to other rich nations, the US has high levels of existential angst. A lack of universal healthcare, widespread job insecurity and a feeble social safety net create fertile conditions for religion to flourish... even people who claim to be committed atheists tacitly hold religious beliefs, such as the existence of an immortal soul... the link between religion and health is nowhere near as well established as is often claimed. A meta-analysis of 226 such studies, for example, found a litany of methodological problems and erroneous conclusions... if you think an atheist world would be a paradise of rationality and reason, think again. "When people no longer believe in god, it doesn't mean they don't have intuitions that are powerfully connected to the supernatural," says Norenzayan. "Even in societies that are majority atheist, you find a lot of paranormal belief – astrology, karma, extraterrestrial life, things that don't have any scientific evidence but are intuitively obvious to people." That, however, isn't necessarily a bad thing. "It is important to appreciate that there are powerful psychological reasons why we have religion," says Norenzayan. "We can't just say 'it is a superstition, we need to get rid of it'. We need to find alternative solutions to the deep and perennial problems of life that religion tries to solve. If societies can do that I think atheism is a viable alternative.""

(Black) Humour and Offensiveness

When John Cleese stopped in Singapore on his Divorce Tour, he talked about Black Humour. Black Humour typically covers topics like death, religion, sex, cartoon/extreme violence.

An example of black humour from Jim Dale:
"What is black and white and crawls along the ground?"
"A wounded nun"

In the next weeks, Cleese thought of that 13 times after hearing that when walking down the street or when in his bathroom, and each time he laughed at it.

Since 1973, he has watched Monty Python and the Holy Grail 15 times with audiences and every time the part that gets the biggest laughs is The Black Knight.

It was also the part that all the producers wanted to cut because they thought it was going to offend people.

Similarly, when he made A Fish Called Wanda, he did test screenings and they would fill in evaluation cards.

The 3 funniest scenes were:

Killing the dogs
Otto eating Ken's fish
Otto being steamrollered by Ken

Meanwhile, the 3 most offensive scenes were:

Killing the dogs
Otto eating Ken's fish
Otto being steamrollered by Ken

Cleese's theory about why Black Humour works was that it deals with taboo subjects. While all humour can seem unkind - because you are laughing at humanity - in Black Humour there is some anxiety around these subjects.

For some people there is a lot of anxiety around these subjects. They are offended, and think others shouldn't make jokes or laugh about them. However most people have only a tiny bit of anxiety.

So if you make a good Black Humour joke you get the most laughs - you get the laughs you'd get anyway, and also the extra laughter which comes from the extra energy which is the anxiety being released when people laugh at the taboo. This is why he loves Black Humour.

In my summary, complaining about offensive humour is besides the point, since the offensive aspect is what makes it more funny. Indeed, I assert that if you get rid of offence (or potential offence) you get rid of humour - the only inoffensive jokes are puns.

The one word he used to describe Monty Python was "silly".

Personally I'm not a fan of the Flying Circus since much of it is a puzzling non-sequitur. However I did appreciate the fish slapping dance:

Tuesday, June 03, 2014

Links - 3rd June 2014

5 facts about Fox News | Pew Research Center - "Fox News was very tough on the last Democratic candidate for president. (But MSNBC was even tougher on the Republican). During the late stages of the 2012 presidential campaign, a Pew Research analysis found that Barack Obama received far more negative coverage than positive on the Fox News Channel. Yet Fox found its ideological mirror image in MSNBC. In the final stretch of the campaign, nearly half (46%) of Obama’s coverage on Fox was negative, while just 6% was positive in tone. But MSNBC produced an even harsher narrative about the Republican in the race: 71% of Romney’s coverage was negative, versus 3% positive."

Fox and MSNBC Viewers Largely Misinformed: Fairleigh Dickinson University Poll - "Compared to people who didn't follow the news, Fox News viewers were 18 percentage points less likely to know that the Egyptian protesters had overthrown Mubarak and six percentage points less likely to know that the Syrian protesters had thus far failed to overthrow Al-Assad. The margin of error was plus or minus 3.5 percentage points. Because of the controls for partisanship, we know these results are not just driven by Republicans or other groups being more likely to watch Fox News, Dan Cassino, a professor of political science at Fairleigh Dickinson and a PublicMind poll analyst, said in a press release. Rather, the results show us that there is something about watching Fox News that leads people to do worse on these questions than those who don't watch any news at all. Conversely, people who got their news from MSNBC -- which is widely seen as the liberal counterpart to the conservative Fox News -- were more likely to know the results of the Arab Spring protests but less likely to know that the Occupy Wall Street movement is composed primarily of Democrats. MSNBC viewers still knew less about the Arab Spring than people who didn't follow the news -- they were three percent less likely to know that the Egyptian protests had been successful and two percent less likely to know that the Syrian protests had been unsuccessful -- but they performed significantly better than Fox News viewers on those questions... Fox News and MSNBC viewers both fared poorly overall, but on different issues... On the majority of the questions, though, less partisan sources were better. The best-informed people on the Arab Spring questions were those who watched Sunday morning news shows. These viewers were 16 percentage points more likely to know the Egyptian protests were successful and eight percent more likely to know the Syrian protests were unsuccessful... It helps that Sunday shows and NPR tend to be less partisan than Fox News or MSNBC, but they have an edge even over other nonpartisan sources, like The New York Times or USA Today. The primary factor, said Woolley, is more the format of a news source than its partisan leaning... Sunday shows are also less likely to degenerate into people shouting at each other, said Cassino. Viewers pick up more information from this sort of calm discussion than from other formats. Unfortunately, these shows have a much smaller audience than the shouters."

The Fox News Effect: Media Bias and Voting - "Our estimates imply that Fox News convinced 3 to 28 percent of its viewers to vote Republican, depending on the audience measure. The Fox News effect could be a temporary learning effect for rational voters, or a permanent effect for nonrational voters subject to persuasion."
The bias here is not stated (at least not in the abstract): rational voters do not vote Republican

Women in science, is pregnancy a “disability”? - "My entering class of 2002 at Emory University consisted almost entirely women with the exception of maybe 2-3 men in a large group of maybe 15 or so people. This super-sized class was a complete fluke–almost everyone who received offers from Emory chose Emory as their top pick that year to the chagrin of many fine graduate neuroscience programs. In retaliation, other schools moved their deadlines up the following year. I felt lucky to have such a large diverse class, like I had a better sampling of the population of future neuroscientists."
Almost all women = diversity?!
Presumably she'd rather maternity leave not be classified as disability leave, so new mothers will have to take unpaid leave

Is This the World's First "Sexual Home Appliance?" Probably Not! - "The updated version is also Bluetooth enabled. You can control the A10 Cyclone SA's rotation speed as the data is written in CSV files—meaning you can customize the rotations to match whatever you are watching. The evening news, for example. Baseball. Whatever. Then, you can upload that data to the internet and share with others. Because sharing is caring. The hope is that adult video companies will also release data to go with their films."

Watch The extraordinary moment a snake eats its OWN TAIL after mistaking it for a rival predator

Abortions outnumber live births among NYC's black community

Second man jailed for underage sex with drunk girl at *Scape skate park - "

This Is How Much It Costs to Own a Vagina: An Itemized List - "Were you aware of the fact that in your 20s alone, you will spend over $26,000 on vaginal maintenance? Herewith, we do the math on just how much that cooter is costing you. "
Comment on Jezebel's questionable assumptions: "My vagina is overly cheap compared to the American ones who seem to swim in luxury:
No pill.
One pack of pads a month (2.50 euros)
Free testing.
Free medicine.
No abortion so far.
No hair removal.
1/2 a toilet paper roll a week (2?? Are you serious? What kind of vagina do you guys have? The Mariana Trench?)
Condoms (5 euros for a box of 12, shared with sexual partner)
No antibiotics.
No pain killers (tweeking with my diet to avoid cramps instead. Veggies work wonders)
If I do get pain, the painkillers I use are free.
Just sayin'."

One of the most powerful women in the world won’t speak at Smith College after protests - "The commencement speaker purity bug has hit Smith College. The Northampton, Mass., women’s college announced Monday that International Monetary Fund managing director Christine Lagarde has withdrawn as the school’s 2014 commencement speaker due to faculty and student protests over the IMF’s policies... Lagarde is one of the most accomplished and powerful women in the world. She has made history several times — as the first female head of the IMF, the first female finance minister of a G8 nation and the first female chairman of international law firm Baker & McKenzie. Critics of the IMF argue the organization has had a damaging influence on the economies of developing nations... At colleges and universities, particularly liberal arts institutions like Smith, these moments often raise uncomfortable questions about what, if any, responsibility they have to protect or foster dissident viewpoints. In her statement announcing Lagarde’s decision with “regret,” McCartney, the Smith president, was deliberate in including a fair amount of chastisement:
I want to underscore this fact: An invitation to speak at a commencement is not an endorsement of all views or policies of an individual or the institution she or he leads. Such a test would preclude virtually anyone in public office or position of influence. Moreover, such a test would seem anathema to our core values of free thought and diversity of opinion. I remain committed to leading a college where differing views can be heard and debated with respect... In a recent editorial, Sandra Y.L. Korn, a Harvard undergraduate student, went so far as to suggest the concept of academic freedom should give way to “justice”... Will ousting Lagarde as Smith commencement speaker undo the perceived ills of the IMF? Probably not. But it all but ensures that Lagarde’s perspective won’t be represented at Smith on Sunday."

A Woman’s Sexual Experience Means Nothing - "Men should be less concerned with finding a chaste wife than finding a loyal one. Consider the following about virgins: Either she is a virgin because she is young, or she is a old prude who wants to use men with her sexuality. In the former case, she is but a young girl with plenty of time for her to turn into a slut, since all sluts are born virgins, or in the latter case, she is the worst type of relationship material possible as she is unable to open up to a man’s love, only using her sexuality as a means to some end, always placing her interests above any man’s."

Nadya Hutagalung admits she left Singapore so her kids 'could be kids' - "This is why we left Singapore. Kids need to be kids. The youth suicide rates are high & unreported."

Angkot Gets the Hollywood Treatment in New Video Game - "The angkot is one of the country’s most notorious forms of public transportation. Loved for its price but loathed for its relentless habit of innocently stopping anywhere it pleases. The long-existing minibus is, for better or worse, an intrinsic part of Jakarta’s urban experience... Aside from that tradition of picking up, dropping off, and simply just stopping to stock up on passengers anywhere and anytime it pleases, the angkot is prone to running at its own speed — tortoise slow, thunderously fast (or at least as fast as its rusted engines allow), or an egregious mix of the two for the benefit of those riding behind. These characteristics make the angkot the perfect subject for a video game; a fact not lost on the guys behind Indonesian developers Oray Studios and Inmotion."

Survey asks Japanese women at what age they had their first kiss - " LC Love Cosmetic notes that part of the reason for these three prefectures having such young ages for women’s first kisses was that many of their kissing partners weren’t lovers but rather friends or cousins. Apparently, these women were so curious about smooching that they started experimenting with whomever was available... The national average, according to this survey at least, puts the average age for first kisses at 17.7 years old. Just in time for high school graduation. In addition to finding out about Japanese women’s early romantic adventures, LC Love Cosmetic has looked at other areas of Japan’s feminine side, including studying the country’s average bust size by prefecture. We couldn’t find any correlation between how big women’s breasts were and their ages at their first kiss, but maybe we’re not looking hard enough. And if you’re wondering why LC Love Cosmetic is so interested in Japanese women’s kissing habits, we can only guess that it has something to do with market research for their “kiss beautifying liquid.”"

Everything is Haram

Muslims ban Manchester United shirts over red devil image
(article from 2010)

"The Johor Religious Council adviser and the Mufti of Perak both state that images of crosses, liquor brands and devils on football shirts are an insult to Allah and should not be worn by Muslims.

Manchester United is a hugely popular brand in the Muslim-majority country.

The club's summer tour last year included two games against a Malaysia XI played in front of capacity 40,000 crowds.

Other football shirts deemed unacceptable by the religious leaders include Brazil, Portugal, Serbia, Barcelona and Norway because their crests all carry images of a cross.

"There is no excuse for wearing such garments because it means, as a Muslim, you are idolising the symbol of another religion," Datuk Nooh Gadot, the Mufti of Johor, said.

"On this matter there is absolutely no compromise in the name of entertainment, fashion or even sports."

The Mufti of Perak, Tan Sri Harussani Zakaria, said that Muslims wearing such football shirts "leads to a path of sin" because displaying the symbol of another faith means the wearer is prioritising that faith over Islam.

In March, Manchester United signed a five-year sponsorship deal with communications group Telekom Malaysia, further raising their profile as the leading sports team in the country.

"Anyone who went on our tour of the Far East last summer knows the strength of feeling that Malaysians have for the club," David Gill, Manchester United chief executive, said.

The warnings about "sinful" red devil shirts have sparked furious reactions on the many Malaysian fan sites.

"Soon, they will suggest changing the arithmetic symbols such as "+" and "x", because these symbols are not halal," commented on computer on a fans' website.

Malaysia's reputation as a moderate and progressive Muslim nation has suffered this year after the firebombing of churches in January and the caning of three Muslim women for adultery in February."

Monday, June 02, 2014

Links - 2nd June 2014

Singaporean lodges police report over spicy fried rice - "He believed the cook put too much chilli in the rice. Lau said his mouth continued to feel “uncomfortable” the next day. So he decided to return to Johor Baru to lodge a report at the city’s South area police headquarters “in case there is a need for a check-up later”... Checks by The Star have shown that there were no restaurants or stalls along Jalan Bukit Timbalan and that there was only a bank located along the road. Lau has refused to reveal the name of the shop or describe how it looked like."

Stars boycott Beverly Hills Hotel over Brunei 'sharia' - "Christopher Cowdray, the chief executive of the Dorchester Collection chain, said those protesting have ignored local hotels owned by countries with poor human rights records. "There are other hotel companies in this city that are owned by Saudi Arabia... you know, your shirt probably comes from a country which has human rights issues," Mr Cowdray said, adding a boycott would hurt local employees the most. Badrul Chowdhury, a waiter who has worked at the hotel for 14 years, told Reuters news agency that events in Brunei were far removed from the lives of hotel workers. "We work. We take care of our families," he said."

9 out of 10 Indian customers face poor service: Survey - "Painting a poor picture of customer service in India, nearly 90-95 per cent consumers in utilities, financial services and telecom segments have faced a service problem within the past six months, according to the survey conducted by research firm Ipsos, a release said today. Taking too long to resolve problems (21 per cent) and unknowledgeable staff that cannot help (20 per cent) were two main reasons cited for poor consumer service experience."

Why India outsourcing is Doomed - "Indian IT outsourcing has become a commodity business with no innovation and nothing to offer other than questionable rate savings. This not an attempt to write a scientific paper or predict future. This simply an opinion I have formed based on 15+ years of working with various providers in India and all over the world... People with no technical background or any interest in the field are becoming software engineers because that’s where the money is. You project will be a training ground for all this new engineers. Training you’ll be paying for. Training you will offer only so your provider can move this person after 6-12 month to a different project where they will be billed at a Sr rate and help provide the same training to others...
Ask your potential provider what is their current employee turnover rate. You will likely hear a number somewhere in the 8-10% range, which they will pronounce proudly. Now ask them what is their turnover rate on projects, which would include people moving from project to project within the same company. Watch them cringe and dance around, but never answer that questions. It’s not uncommon to see turnover rates on a given project exceeding 50%. See ‘Resource Quality’ section above to know why...
Employees in India are extremely difficult to motivate. You’ll notice that weeks and months go by with very little progress being made. Indian outsourcing employees seem to have a natural talent for working hard while producing little. Many developers seem content with what would be considered stagnant projects... Indian people will not question their boss. As a customer you are their boss. They will not say “no”. However ‘Yes’, doesn’t mean what we are used to. – “We need this project to be done by the end of the week” -”Yes”. This ‘yes’ doesn’t mean that it will be done. it simply means an acknowledgement that you need it by that time. Making excuses seems to be an art that many Indian outsourcing companies have excelled at. They are so good at it that at times you begin to question yourself...
When you add productivity loss and overhead costs of running offshore in India you may actually be spending more than you were before."
If you pay peanuts, you get monkeys. If you pay rupees, you get Indians.
Someone: last time my friend was telling me story about indians programmer. i was laughing and say sure anot. will have such pple. now i am nodding and agreed with what she said
she told me last time the indians programmer just have a method but inside the method there isn't code to process the logic. and said that the program is done and it is working fine
i was like. sure anot
they are gd at making execuses and pushing the blame
NATO. no action talk only

For ‘Millennial’ Voters, a Tide of Cynicism Toward Politics - NYTimes.com - "Today, only 39 percent of young voters trust the president to do the right thing, as opposed to 44 percent in 2010. Just 18 percent of voters under 30 trust Congress, compared with 25 percent in February 2010... Young voters seem disappointed with both political parties, although Ms. Anderson, the Republican pollster, said her party appears to be taking the brunt of millennials’ dissatisfaction. Mr. Obama had a 52 percent approval rating in the Harvard poll — slightly better than his approval ratings in polls of older adults nationwide — but down from his approval rating of 58 percent in a Harvard poll of millennials in 2009. “They are disappointed with him, yet many question the motives of Republicans even more,” Ms. Anderson said."
It's amazing how many young voters are racist

Gender Differences in Five Factor Model Personality Traits in an Elderly Cohort: Extension of Robust and Surprising Findings to an Older Generation - "In college and adult samples, women score higher then men on the Five Factor Model (FFM) personality traits of Neuroticism and Agreeableness. The present study assessed the extent to which these gender differences held in a sample of 486 older adults, ranging in age from 65-98 (M = 75, SD = 6.5), using the NEO-Five Factor Inventory. Mean and Covariance Structure models testing gender differences at the level of latent traits revealed higher levels of Neuroticism (d = .52) and Agreeableness (d = .35) in older women than older men. The consistency of these findings with prior work in younger samples attests to the stability of gender differentiation on Neuroticism and Agreeableness across the lifespan. Gender differences on these traits should be considered in personality research among older, as well as middle age and younger adults."

Why fit women have much BETTER SEX - "female study participants were 169 per cent more aroused (as indicated by blood flow in genital tissue) while watching a short porn flick after 20 minutes of vigorous cycling than when they watched it without riding beforehand... During a single strength workout, a woman's body produces higher levels of growth hormone and testosterone, hormones that play a pivotal role in muscle growth - and sex drive. A 2013 study found that hitting the weight room regularly (three days a week) keeps levels of these hormones higher... Women who exercise frequently and report higher levels of personal fitness are more likely to rate their desirability and sexual performance high above average. But it's not necessarily because of a slim physique. Researchers found that women of all sizes who report greater body appreciation (for their physical abilities, such as progress in the weight room) were more easily aroused, enjoyed sex more and had more orgasms... Women who take short, quick breaths as they reach climax - rather than holding their breath - may reduce carbon dioxide in the blood, possibly intensifying vaginal contractions. Yoga can help women focus on their breathing, while high-intensity interval training increases lung capacity, ensuring much better breathing control during your pleasurable experience."
Is this why so many women like Yoga?!

Should the UK make buying sex illegal? - "Though Sweden's anti-prostitution law is typically celebrated as a means of "ending demand" for commercial sex, it's proven to do no such thing. No meaningful data exists on the size and scope of Sweden's sex trade before their anti-prostitution law was adopted in 1999, and according to Swedish law enforcement, some sectors of the sex trade may even be expanding. In Norway, also heralded as a success story by anti-sex work advocates, sex workers have faced evictions from their homes and working flats under Operation Homeless. This March, when three Nigerian sex workers in Norway were assaulted in their motel by men posing as customers, they sought help from the police – who then had the women deported. Criminal laws against commercial sex – like those in Sweden and Norway, as well as the United States – do not protect sex workers, and in reality, these laws expose them to violence. This is why they are opposed by Human Rights Watch, by the United Nation's Global Commission on HIV and the Law, and World Health Organisation. Amnesty International has proposed a policy supporting the full decriminalisation of sex work as a means of ensuring sex workers' human rights and, earlier this month, their UK membership voted to reject the Swedish-style criminalisation of sex work. But most critically, it's the people most likely to face the consequences of these laws who oppose them: women who currently sell sex."
Tellingly, the pro-criminalization advocate doesn't look at actual results - just rhetoric

‘Game of Thrones’ meets Google in interactive map of Westeros - "A slider lets you set the map for a specific program episode or — for the more literary — a chapter from the “A Song of Ice and Fire” novels the show is based on. Now select Joffrey Baratheon, Jaime Lannister or any other character, to show exactly where they were at that point – or click through the episodes to track their journey. There’s a host of other features — towns, domains, death sites — to explore, too."

Hong Kong schools get it all wrong on sex and dating - "I was recently informed by sex education materials offered at my kids' school that as parents, my wife and I should praise masturbation and encourage it. The way a booklet puts it, we should "celebrate" - their word, not mine - when boys have their first masturbation experiences. Perhaps my wife and I should have bought champagne for the occasion, on the odd chance that our kid might inform us of the celebratory event."

Children who have a TV in their bedroom ARE fatter - even if they rarely watch it - "U.S. experts blame disrupted sleep, or possibly greater exposure to food advertising aimed at children."

Another non-Mexican, non-Brazilian Latin American place bites the dust

Supply & Demand on Facebook:

"Yes, we had removed the Peruvian dishes gradually since February and launched a newly updated menu last fortnight. The reason is due to the difficulty in getting the fresh Peruvian ingredients we need for the dishes, we have had air flown ingredients direct from Peru. Sorry to disappoint but we are proud of our Italian Menu as well and have just introduced a Southeast Asian Menu - the Complete Food Menu is attached on our FB Page. Look forward to have you dine with us soon."

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