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Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Links - 29th April 2015

Traffic cop jailed 15 months for underage sex with 13-year-old girl - "He is the third man to have been convicted and sentenced for having sex with the girl, who was in Secondary 1 at the time. "
Some victims just keep getting victimised

Local erotic thriller Lang Tong the first of a trilogy - "most of the cast had strong reactions when asked if they would ask their family - especially their parents - to watch the film. Said the male lead William Lawandi, 38, who has acted in the HBO Asia series Serangoon Road (2013) and in various short films, "Hell no, it'll be very weird." One of the female leads, Angeline Yap, 27, said: "I won't ask my parents, but I will ask my younger sister and friends. I don't regret taking the role. After all, it's just acting, and know I can't satisfy everybody." Another female lead, Vivienne Tseng, 27, who is pregnant now, said she posted a comment on Facebook about the film, and her father liked this post. "Maybe he will watch it," she said light-heartedly... Neither is she afraid of being typecast for such roles. Said Tseng: "If people want to stereotype me, go ahead. After all, it's guaranteed work. "And it's fun," she added with a smile."

Botched execution brings use of firing squads into the discussion - "Any protracted lethal injection "undermines the idea that this is a fast, sure procedure, like putting animals to sleep," Alex Kozinski, chief judge of the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco, said in an interview Thursday. Executions, Kozinski wrote Monday in Wood's case, "are brutal, savage events, and nothing the state tries to do can mask that reality. ... We should be willing to face the fact that the state is committing a horrendous brutality on our behalf." Kozinski suggested that if executions are to be carried out, death in front of a firing squad would lessen that brutality. "Sure, firing squads can be messy, but if we are willing to carry out executions, we should not shield ourselves from the reality that we are shedding human blood," he wrote. "If we, as a society, cannot stomach the splatter from an execution carried out by firing squad then we shouldn't be carrying out executions at all.""

Genetic Structure, Self-Identified Race/Ethnicity, and Confounding in Case-Control Association Studies - "Subjects identified themselves as belonging to one of four major racial/ethnic groups (white, African American, East Asian, and Hispanic) and were recruited from 15 different geographic locales within the United States and Taiwan. Genetic cluster analysis of the microsatellite markers produced four major clusters, which showed near-perfect correspondence with the four self-reported race/ethnicity categories. Of 3,636 subjects of varying race/ethnicity, only 5 (0.14%) showed genetic cluster membership different from their self-identified race/ethnicity. On the other hand, we detected only modest genetic differentiation between different current geographic locales within each race/ethnicity group. Thus, ancient geographic ancestry, which is highly correlated with self-identified race/ethnicity—as opposed to current residence—is the major determinant of genetic structure in the U.S. population."

Solange and Jay-Z: it's simply not the same if a man is hit by a woman | Barbara Ellen | Comment is free | The Guardian
Ahh... feminism!

People Who Use Firefox or Chrome Are Better Employees - "Cornerstone’s researchers found that people who took the test on a non-default browser, such as Firefox or Chrome, ended up staying at their jobs about 15 percent longer than those who stuck with Safari or Internet Explorer. They performed better on the job as well... browser choice isn’t something that Cornerstone’s clients consider when hiring—that’d be seen as too intrusive. They do, however, track other variables that correlate with high rates of employee retention. Giving employees raises can help, but their positive effects dissolve after about a month. More important is getting along with one's boss, which is more responsible for getting people to stick around than all of the other variables combined... people who use “boozy” or “sexy” in their email addresses make for worse employees"

How We Balance Good and Bad Deeds - "Doing a good deed can lead some people to more kind acts while spurring others to backslide. But how people respond depends on their moral outlook, according to a new study. People who believe the ends justify the means are likelier to offset good deeds with bad ones and vice versa. By contrast, those who believe right and wrong are defined by principle, not outcome, tend to be more consistent, even if they're behaving unethically. Some studies show that people maintain a kind of moral equilibrium, meaning that giving money to charity may lead them to skimp on the tip at dinner, whereas partying too much may inspire a volunteer day at the soup kitchen... For people who are keeping a mental balance sheet of their good and bad deeds, one bad act can be an offset in their minds with a nice one, Cornelissen said.
But for those with rule-based morality, that bad deed can cause a slippery slope, Cornelissen said."
Deontologists are more consistent than utilitarians?

Public Prosecutor v Heng Swee Weng[2009] SGHC 275 - "The Respondent agreed to give her a free ride home... the Respondent used his left hand to touch the right hand of the Victim. The Victim eventually alighted from the taxi along Harvey Avenue. As soon as the Victim alighted from the taxi, the Respondent also got out of the taxi, and went over to her and hugged her. The Victim struggled and managed to break free from his grasp. The Respondent then left the scene in his taxi. Eventually, the Victim found her way home... Having considered the overarching policy concerns and individual features unique to this case, I was satisfied that a term of eight weeks’ imprisonment would be an appropriate sentence in the circumstances."
I previously linked to this story when the punishment was a fine with the comment "Hugging someone can be considered outrage of modesty in Singapore?! Wth. Women's bodies must be sacred."
But he got sentenced to 8 weeks in jail for hugging someone?

Bonobos and chimpanzees exhibit human-like framing effects - "Humans exhibit framing effects when making choices, appraising decisions involving losses differently from those involving gains. To directly test for the evolutionary origin of this bias, we examined decision-making in humans' closest living relatives: bonobos (Pan paniscus) and chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes)... male apes were more susceptible to framing than were females. These results suggest that some human economic biases are shared through common descent with other apes and highlight the importance of comparative work in understanding the origins of individual differences in human choice."

Only 500 private driving instructors - "Private driving instructors used to ply the roads in the thousands during the 1970s and 1980s - often with a nervous student behind the wheel. But these instructors, who teach out of their own cars, are dwindling in numbers. The Traffic Police, who issue teaching licences, said there are just over 500 of them on record today. "That's nothing compared to the 4,000 or so we had in our heyday," says Mr William Low, a private instructor of more than 30 years. The assistant secretary of the Singapore Driving Instructors' Association says about 30 of his comrades drop out each year, mostly due to old age. And there is no new blood to replace them because the Traffic Police stopped issuing licences for them in 1987. This was to encourage learner drivers to enrol for "more structured, rigorous and regulated training" at driving centres, the first of which was set up in 1983. It also does not help that most instructors, many of whom are in their 50s and 60s, must turn in their licences once they hit 70. "In 10 to 20 years, you can only learn from driving schools," says Mr Low, who is 63. "But don't you think it's better if students had a choice?"... Learner drivers, however, are still flocking to these older private instructors, mainly because of their lower fees and flexibility in scheduling. Lessons at driving centres average $37 to $45 per hour, while private instructors charge between $30 and $38. An added perk is that they sometimes even meet or pick up students from their homes, schools or workplaces for lessons... "A private instructor can tailor the number of lessons you need," adds student Philip Tan, 22. "It will be cheaper than going to a centre where there is a fixed number of stages you have to pass before your final practical test.""
Ahh... protectionism!

Would you call 911 on another parent? - "Stories are mounting of people calling the cops on parents who let their older kids attempt a bit of independence. The parents are suddenly subjected to arrests, regular visits from Child Protective Services, a media storm and in one case, losing a job because of the attention. Their children become afraid to step outside, and so do they. These parents are charged with being neglectful, even though they have thoughtfully made the decision that their children are capable of accomplishing these tasks safely... The usual argument defending these callers is: “The world is a dangerous place,” as one dad told CNN. And the usual counterargument is that the world is actually a less dangerous place, statistically, than it was a generation ago, when no one batted an eye at a child walking home from school solo... The real issue? We can’t rely on our neighbors to help look out for our kids, and that’s why our neighborhoods don’t feel safe enough. When you let a 10- and 6-year-old walk home on their own, it feels scary because they’re fully responsible for their own safety. What’s missing is the sense that we’re all responsible for everyone’s children. Jared Diamond’s latest book, about how traditional cultures manage themselves, talks a lot about the differences when people know each other vs. don’t know each other. A small village, for example, doesn’t create a complex court system to settle disputes; people are expected to work it out."

What living in a dumpster for a year taught this professor about the things we don’t need

The craziest OkCupid date ever - "Exactly one month and two weeks after meeting online, Jeff and I nervously booked two luggage-free flights to Istanbul. This was either the best idea ever or the beginning of a brutal, three-week long demise. As Mark Twain so aptly put it, “There ain’t no surer way to find out whether you like people or hate them than to travel with them.”

Japanese cook trains for 6 months in Clementi coffeeshop to become mee pok hawker - "Patrons of a Clementi coffee shop are getting an unusual sight when they order their mee pok. With a cloth headband wrapped around his forehead, Japanese hawker Naoji Kuribara, 47, wields a noodle strainer and wok, among other tools, with flair... the Japanese man ran a donburi (Japanese rice bowl dish) stall while Mr Chia sold mee pok. Captivated by the taste of Mr Chia's mee pok, Mr Kuribara asked to learn how to make it."
"its v value for money...and really good
2 medium sized prawns, 3 meatballs, 3 pieces of abalone, a lot of bak chor, moderate serving of noodles
all for $4.50
really good and filling, though queued for 15 min"

Man jailed seven years for strangling, raping, poisoning and slashing ex-GF - "He pinned her down on the bed, pressed a pillow over her mouth and choked her with his other hand, to make her feel his "pain". He stopped choking her only when he realised she was gasping for breath and her eyes were closed. Failing to rouse her, he thought he had killed her and called his friends for help. In his panic, he tried to stuff her into a suitcase but she did not fit into either of the two he had. Aw then decided to die with her. He squeezed air freshener liquid into her mouth, which made her throw up. To clean up, he took off her stained clothing, but became aroused and raped her. After the rape, he took a utility knife and cut her wrist and belly, even when she cried out in pain. He then lay down next to her, cut his own wrists, drank the air freshener and took some pills. Some time later, the friends he had called earlier rang the doorbell and he left with them. Shortly after, the woman left the flat and went back to Johor Baru. She returned to Singapore the next day to make a police report. A medical examination found that she was pregnant, although the paternity of the child remains unknown."
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