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Friday, November 20, 2015

Links - 20th November 2015

Man jailed 10 months for sex with underaged girl in Changi Beach handicapped toliet - "the girl had gone to Changi Beach at about 7am that day Khairulsabirrin, who was then in a shelter along the beach with his father, invited her to join them. While chatting with the victim, he learnt that she was a Secondary 3 student. They chatted until about 4pm before she decided to go home. Khairulsabirrin offered to send her off. When they arrived at a handicapped toilet, he suggested going into the cubicle and she agreed. He then committed the offence. They remained there for about 30 minutes to an hour and then went their separate ways. The offence came to light when the victim's aunt lodged a police report last December stating that the victim had been talking about sex with unknown persons on Facebook."
Like that also can

Sulaiman Daud - I want to thank well-meaning non-Muslims who, in... - "as a Muslim, I wish that we weren't so quick to emphasise that this has nothing to do with us. While I personally have never killed anyone and none of my friends and family have ever resorted to violence, radicalism has everything to do with Islam. And the failure to address that out of a well-intentioned commitment to tolerance is making the problem worse. ISIS is a Muslim organisation, and it is an Islamic problem. Let me say it again to be perfectly clear. ISIS is a Muslim organisation, and they are a cancer at the heart of Islam. And the problem will not go away until Muslims confront that... There are no Christians in ISIS. There are no Buddhists, Jews, Pagans, Taoists, Houngans, Catholics, Wiccans, Hindus or even Scientologists in ISIS. ISIS is a Muslim organisation and they kill in the name of Islam. So don't say that ISIS aren't 'true Muslims' or that they are 'not really Muslims'... you also have pious professionals, businessmen, and academics who read their Qur'an cover to cover, pray every day, were seduced into radicalism, and truly believe that the Islamic State's goal of conquest is a noble one. The so-called 'Caliph' Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi has a doctorate in Islamic studies. So if you feel that Muslims are being oppressed or killed in Muslim countries, I expect you to also be just as outraged by ISIS. Because they have killed more Muslims in Iraq, Syria and Jordan than the entire US army. They have done more damage to the name and reputation of Islam than any Western nation. ISIS is Islam's biggest enemy... We have to own the problem... ISIS is not America's problem, nor the British, nor the French. ISIS is not Syria or Iraq's problem. ISIS is a problem for Muslims. And if you can't admit that, you're not really a good Muslim either."

iLove Shariah-compliant Deposits | Maybank2u.com Singapore

Marine study finds all-male infantry units outperformed teams with women - ""If you were to turn down a request for a waiver like that I guess the political machine in the White House would be saying we don’t care about the effectiveness of the ground combat units," said Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., a member of the Armed Services Committee who served in the Marine Corps and ha expressed concerns about opening up all positions to women... The Marine study is the first effort to measure what impact gender integration could have on combat effectiveness. "This is unprecedented research across the services," Marine Col. Anne Weinberg said... The all-male units outperformed gender-integrated units on 69% of the 134 tasks that were evaluated, according to the summary. The integrated teams performed better in two machine-gun related tasks than the all-male teams. There was no difference on the remaining tasks... Marine infantry units are required to walk long distances carrying equipment weighing more than 100 pounds and be prepared to fight once they arrive at their destination. The study concluded that all-male squads moved faster than integrated units, particularly when carrying heavy weapons, such as machine guns and mortars... On marksmanship, men who had not been through infantry school hit targets 44% of the time with M4 rifles, besting infantry-trained women, who hit targets 28% of the time. Women also struggled with obstacles designed to test upper body strength in simulated combat... The rate of injuries to muscles, tendons and ligaments was 40.5% for women, compared to 18.8% for men."
Addendum: Marine Corps Study: All-Male Combat Units Performed Better Than Mixed Units - "The summary of the Marine Corps study quotes a 1992 report from the Presidential Commission on the Assignment of Women in the Armed Forces. That was the last time the government studied the effect of gender integration on ground combat units. According to that commission, winning a war is sometimes "only a matter of inches." Back then, the commission concluded: "unnecessary distraction or any dilution of the combat effectiveness puts the mission and lives in jeopardy. Risking the lives of a military unit in combat to provide career opportunities or accommodate the personal desires or interests of an individual, or group of individuals, is more than bad military judgment. It is morally wrong."
Keywords: women in combat, mixed squads, opening combat roles to women

Putting Women in Combat -- Ineffective, Terrible Idea - "A recent study, for instance, by Britain’s Tri-Service Review found that mixed-gender combat units have “lower survivability,” a “reduced lethality rate” and reduced deployability. This study, along with countless others done over the last 40 years, demonstrate that combat capabilities are so heavily weighted toward men that the gap cannot be closed. As Marine Corps captain Lauren Serrano put it in a September 2014 article in the Marine Gazette: “Acknowledging that women are different (not just physically) than men is a hard truth that plays an enormous role in this discussion”... the last 40 years of aggressive integration efforts by the U.S. military have shown that women cannot meet the same rigorous standards as men — and the answer has been to implement different standards for women, while lowering the standards for men, too... the military’s physical and psychological toughness standards for men have also declined. The military as whole — even in basic training — has become kinder and gentler, partly in order to accommodate women. In one of the more ridiculous examples of this, Army drill instructors were required to wear “empathy bellies” and fake breasts to better empathize with pregnant women... The women who have died in service to their country need to be honored, but they should not be honored by increasing the chances that other servicemen and women will die as well. As former Marine Jude Eden writes in the April 2015 edition of Military Review, “Being in the combat zone, dangerous as it is, is still worlds away from the door-kicking offensive missions of our combat units.” Being killed in a crash or by an IED is not the same as surviving physically demanding combat patrols carrying combat loads of 60 to 140 pounds, which challenge even men’s superior endurance and strength... In terms of reflexes and reaction times, men significantly outperform women. When confronted with immediate danger, studies suggest men are “more likely than women to take action.” Women are far more likely to experience motion sickness and vertigo. In the Navy women go on sick call 60 to 70 percent more frequently. For the kind of violent events and situations found on the battlefield, women are far more likely to develop post-traumatic stress disorder and experience the symptoms for a longer duration than men. Despite the gender-specific ability to handle the pain of childbirth, “study after study” conclusively shows that men have a much higher overall tolerance for pain than women... Blows to the head or other concussive events that a man can shrug off will stun or render a woman unconscious, reducing her unit’s chances of survival, especially in hand-to-hand combat. Units will have to deal with feminine-hygiene issues that significantly reduce unit effectiveness... A Royal Society of Medicine study on the British military found that that injuries skyrocketed for women “when they undertake the same arduous training as male recruits”... The U.S. military is already awash in discipline and morale problems coming out of female–male interactions"

Reader Story: I Quit My Passion and Took a Boring Job - "I realized that the job I loved so much was actually destroying me... It took some painful life lessons and some hard financial times to learn that doing what you love is, in fact, absolutely not the paradigm we need to follow as individuals or a society. Instead, get out there and grab what affords you the most opportunities to be the best overall person you can be."

Was This Old-School Meme the First Ever "Netflix and Chill"? - "There's also another element at play in the "would you like to come up and see my etchings?" phenomenon: It requires that the asker have a removed space for their suitor to visit . And, according to Sherman, during and before the Restoration era, most people did not have access to any private space at all. In fact, he said that while Shakespeare and Restoration comedy abounded in sexual innuendo, almost none of it was in private. "All of the seduction happens on the public streets," Sherman said. Here's the thing about private space: It was a rarity before the 18th century. Back then, even royalty had public rooms. "Kings and queens often had public levees where they would wake up in the morning and courtiers would attend to them in the room," Sherman said. "That's to say that there are walls and a door, but basically where we have separate rooms, they had huge public shared rooms." Innuendo has clearly titillated us for centuries, and sexual invitations have existed as long as we've had private space, but the question remains: Why can't we just ask for a good fuck? Or, as Sherman put it, "Isn't it interesting that people would still want euphemisms of any kind at a moment when a kind of open, blatant language is available for sex?""

Language as a window into human nature - "Language has to do two things: It’s got to convey some content such as a bribe, a command, or a proposition; at the same time it’s got to negotiate a relationship type. The solution is to use language at two levels: the speaker uses the literal form to signal the safest relationship to the listener while counting on the listener to read between the lines to entertain a proposition that might be incompatible with that relationship. And politeness is a simple example... Why we resort to indirectness even when there is no real uncertainty? For example, when the listener knows the speaker’s intent people aren’t naive and it’s hard to believe that any grown woman can be fooled by the line about the “etchings”... if Harry would say, “Would you like to come up and see my etchings?” and Sally says, “No!” then Sally knows that she’s turned down an overture and Harry knows that she’s turned down a sexual overture. But does Sally know that Harry knows? She could be thinking, “Maybe Harry thinks I’m naive!” And does Harry know that Sally knows that he knows? He could be wondering, “Maybe Sally thinks I’m dense!” There’s no mutual knowledge and they can maintain the fiction of friendship. Whereas if Harry would say, “Would you like to come up and have sex?” and Sally turns him down now Harry knows that Sally knows that Harry knows that Sally knows they cannot maintain the fiction of a friendship."

We Want It All Or Nothing At All When It Comes To Living The High Life, Study Says - "It turns out you can buy happiness after all -- you just can't rent it. It's no surprise that driving flashy cars, dripping in diamonds, and carrying the latest "it"-bag can all bring us joy, but a new study suggests it's only if the luxuries are ours to keep"

Africa expert: ′Sustainable living is a luxury′ - "When talking about sustainability we have to explain what is meant by that. 'Sustainable' only means that a situation continues over a long period. And that can also be negative! Just think about sustainable poverty and social imbalance...
How can Kenyan people overcome poverty?
First of all, they have to leave victimhood. I mainly work with young people in very poor circumstances. They believe that they can only leave those poor conditions with development aid. They expect someone to help them. We try to explain to these people that they can help themselves and that they have to utilize the resources that they have. A farmer who works only one acre of his land and leaves the other acre untouched, has to learn that land is valuable. And that he is not as poor as he thinks."

No Uncircumcised Man Will Ever Know the True Pleasure of a Blow Job
"are they saying that they circumcise the kids so that they can get blowjobs next time?"
"well its jezabel"

The Circumcision Wars: What's a Parent to Do? - "The twins’ parents, who both have advanced degrees, based their original decision to circumcise not on sound reasoning, as one might expect, but rather on what was the most common deciding factor we heard—whether or not the father had been circumcised. When our pediatrician told us that this is also the most common reason she encounters, I started referring to this as the golden rule of penises: Do unto your son what was done unto you... Almost half of our friends admitted that they considered the best way to help their sons procure oral sex as adults when making their “circumcision decision.”"

Why not let kids walk home alone? - "When I started secondary school in 1985 aged 11, it was taken for granted that I’d make the hour-long journey there and back on my own... The Scottish government plans to take this suspicion a step further and formally appoint a so-called named person, such as a teacher, social worker or health visitor, for every child. These state-sanctioned officials will have responsibility, above and beyond that of the parents, for safeguarding children’s development and wellbeing. As Josie Appleton has pointed out on spiked, such an arrangement inserts ‘a surveying, coercive authority – a spy – in the midst of every family’. The message behind the named-person proposals is clear: the state does not trust parents to bring up their own children. Many interactions between grown-ups and children are now characterised by this lack of trust and conducted defensively, with adults seeking to cover their own backs rather than spontaneously act in the best interests of the child. Sadly, if children are out in public on their own, some adults are more likely to call the police than talk to either the children or their parents... Children who grow up sheltered and suspicious of others move from wariness about ‘stranger danger’ to a fear of ‘rape culture’."


"Beyond just famous faces, ROTK also has an immense backstory to draw upon - we are talking about several centuries of experience here. Most original gaming franchises initially suffer from a lore perspective since there is an immense amount of things to establish and explain. ROTK handily skips this complication altogether, especially since its numerous overlapping plots are almost perfect for a genre that requires extensive background information, and a MMORPG like the upcoming ROTK Online predictably takes advantage of this. The added plus is that, with the author long dead and buried, the franchise is public domain and hence free to be tweaked and modified to include (amongst other things) gothic lolitas, dragons, ghosts and zombies. without costly copyright fees. Speaking of gothic lolitas, the free licensing of ROTK has spawned some offspring including one ROTK hentai game. Developed by the ever perverse Japanese, it thankfully avoids the very scary possibility of massive guy-on-guy action by magically turning everyone into pre-pubescent schoolgirls"

--- GameAxis Unwire, Oct 2007, on Romance of the Three Kingdoms

Monday, November 16, 2015

Links - 16th November 2015

Harrison Ford Talks About "Star Wars: The Force Awakens” in a Hotdog Costume - YouTube

Has Bernie Sanders Peaked?

Kim Davis Uproar Shows How Lawlessness Is Only Okay When Liberals Do It - "Take, for example, Democrat Gavin Newsom, who is currently the California lieutenant governor. Back in 2004, when gay marriage was banned under California state law, Newsom openly defied the law and used his power as the mayor of San Francisco to force taxpayer-funded government clerks to issue gay marriage licenses... Just like Kim Davis, who is an elected Democrat, Newsom justified his lawlessness by citing his own conscience and beliefs about right and wrong rather than deferring to the actual laws of his state. If you look for evidence of gay rights advocates chastising Newsom for his blatant lawlessness, you won’t find it. Because it doesn’t exist. You similarly won’t find any evidence of these principled law enforcement purists chastising California state officials for refusing to enforce or defend the Prop 8 ballot initiative in California, which was passed overwhelmingly by California voters."

'Fake alcohol' can make you tipsy - "participants in an experiment who were told they were drinking vodka, but were not, were more swayed by misleading information and more certain their memory was correct than those who were told they were drinking tonic water... "Even on plain tonic water, the male students flirted with Seema as she conducted the experiment and the girls giggled a lot.""

How young women in China become mistresses - "Shanshan never referred to Wu as her boyfriend; he was her ‘man’, her ‘lover’, and occasionally her ‘uncle’. When she said ‘boyfriend’, she meant the man her own age back in Sichuan with whom she spent much of her free day exchanging text messages and whom she saw twice a year... K
eeping a woman is common among powerful Chinese men. A study by the Crisis Management Centre at Renmin University in Beijing, published this January, showed that 95 per cent of corrupt officials had illicit affairs, usually paid for, and 60 per cent of them had kept a mistress. Until recent crackdowns forced greater discretion, Chinese official life had two social circles. As the mobster Henry Hill puts it in the filmGoodfellas (a key reference point for Chinese provincial officialdom): ‘Saturday night was for wives, but Friday night at the Copa was always for the girlfriends’... ‘If you’re an official, you have to have a mistress, or at least a girlfriend,’ Xiaoxue said, ‘otherwise you’re not a real man. I used to have this friend who was a fake mistress. She was best friends with a gay guy — not a “duck” [male prostitute], just a normal gay guy — who was an official’s boyfriend. So the official would pay her to come out with him and pretend to be his mistress’... She distinguished being a mistress from short-term hostessing, where you had to be a perfect servant, always putting the man’s needs first. ‘If you’re too nice to him all the time, he’ll know it isn’t true,’ Xiaoxue said. ‘If he looks at another woman, you should be jealous and sulk all evening until he apologises, so he knows you care’... ‘I liked him so much I even arranged a threesome for his birthday. And I paid the other girl!’... Shanshan and her friends seem less like victims and more like players, aware of the limits of their work and astutely using the vulnerabilities of powerful men for their own ends"

Search Folder for all Meeting related messages - MSOutlook.info

PRODUCTIVITY IN SINGAPORE’S CONSTRUCTION SECTOR - "Japan's construction productivity levels averages 0.44 square—metres per manday (Table 1.3). This is from data obtained by the Management Research Society for Construction Research, Japan for more than 900 building projects of various types. The level of finishes and building services between Japan and Singapore can be considered to be similar although Japanese high rise buildings have to be designed for earthquake protection and higher wind loads. Broadly speaking, therefore, Japan’s productivity levels are about 30 percent higher than Singapore (based on an average 0.34 square—metres per manday... If we consider a highly industrialised country like Finland, we find a very high construction productivity level averaging 0.55 square-metres per manday (Figure 1.5). This is 60 percent higher than Singapore’s productivity levels"

These Famous Authors Made It Okay To Commit Grammar No-No's - "Jane Austen did not neglect to use double negatives in her writing. Often, as in the example above, she used redundancy to denote a character's snootiness. To show that the grand dame of Highbury was hesitant to act excited about a dinner party, Austen chooses to express her support convolutedly. The effect, more often than not, was to note the humor in the pretentiousness of high society."

Jamie Bartlett: How the mysterious dark net is going mainstream - "every single vendor on these sites uses a pseudonym, naturally enough, but they keep the same pseudonym to build up a reputation. And because it's easy for the buyer to change allegiance whenever they want, the only way of trusting a vendor is if they have a good history of positive feedback from other users of the site. And this introduction of competition and choice does exactly what the economists would predict. Prices tend to go down, product quality tends to go up, and the vendors are attentive, they're polite, they're consumer-centric, offering you all manner of special deals, one-offs, buy-one-get-one-frees, free delivery, to keep you happy"

Timeline Photos - Inclusive Mosque Initiative - "
"I never wear my hijab the same way, just because my mood changes all the time. I love the turban, I love the Arab style hijab, I love wearing a simple woolly hat and I love wearing a nice Panama hat. Covering my head is a part of me. And just to disturb the Islamophobic system I would keep doing it. I also decided to shave my head. You wanna see what’s under that hijab? Sorry boo, no long black hair soft and shiny like you may imagine in your 1001 Nights fantasy. I’m not Jasmine from Aladdin."
[The image shows a self described black arab woman standing in front of a wall and some foliage wearing a black turban, red lipstick, black hoop earrings, beaded braclets and a sleeveless denim dress. Her body is turned at a slight angle, She has tattoos across her right upper arm and across the top of her chest]"
Shouldn't you cover your arms before your hair? Aren't tattoos haram?

Study shows US liberals think WEIRD (in a good way) - "American liberals are significantly more likely to think analytically, and American conservatives think more holistically — so holistically that conservative thought styles are more similar to Chinese survey participants than American liberals. This led Talhelm to call liberals, in what was for me the sweetest twist of irony when reading this, “extreme Americans.”... in order to have a productive debate, analytical liberals need to realize that conservatives aren’t necessarily ignoring facts. Instead, they are thinking about things in a fundamentally different way. Encouraging analytical thinking by conservatives, and holistic thinking by liberals, or at least encouraging both sides to recognize their cognitive differences before fighting about their political ones, could lead to more amicable (and productive) debates; and maybe, in the long term, a friendlier democratic discourse."

Associations, Civic Norms, and Democracy: Revisiting the Italian Case - "By exploring associational life in early modern Italy, which the arguments of neo-Tocquevillians such as Robert Putnam explore, this article critically reconsiders the effects of associations upon democracy. By revealing how rich associational life resulted in the establishment of Fascism, I argue that associations do not necessarily contribute to the stabilization of democracy"

Phenylthiocarbamide Detection and Political Ideology - "Phenylthiocarbamide (PTC) is an organosulfur chemical with the distinctive property of tasting very bitter or being virtually tasteless, depending on the genetic makeup of the taster. The ability to taste PTC is a dominant genetic trait controlled by the gene TAS2R38, located on chromosome 7. Since previous research has indicated that conservatives tend to be more attentive to their environments than liberals, including reacting more strongly to disgusting, harmful and threatening stimuli, they may be more likely to fall among those that can taste the bitter PTC. Here we test for a linkage between PTC detection and political orientations. Preliminary results indicate that there is a relationship between these variables, suggesting that the presence of TAS2R38 has an indirect relationship with political orientation."

Cereal Killer cafe owner says he had to barricade door to protect children from anti-gentrification protesters - "The Cereal Killer cafe in Shoreditch was attacked with paint and had the word "scum" daubed on it by demonstrators taking part in a "F*** parade" protest against renewal and rebuilding in the area accompanied by an influx of more affluent residents at the expense of poorer people. Alan Keery, who opened the cafe with his brother Gary last year, was in the shop with several customers at the time of the attack. He said he had to barricade the doors to stop the demonstrators entering. He told Sky News: "It was just crazy. Two hundred people turned up with torches, throwing paint and stuff at the window."

Surprise findings in sexual abuse victim study - "people who are sexually abused as children... are five times more likely than other members of the population to be charged with some sort of offence"

When Can Kids Walk to School Alone? - "There has been a huge drop in the number of kids who walk or bike to school regularly. According to the National Center for Safe Routes to School, in 1969, 48 percent of K-8th grade students walked or bicycled to school. But by 2009, only 13 percent did. But according to a 2012 report from Safe Kids USA, streets are actually getting safer for kids. The child pedestrian injury rates are down significantly since 1995 -- mostly because of increased education to parents and better traffic infrastructure surrounding schools, such as sidewalks and crossing guards."

The Real Reason Why Asian Americans Are Outmarrying Less - Speakeasy - WSJ - "“This may sound weird, but when I was in my 20s, I really thought I should marry a non-Asian because I wanted to have mixed race children,” says Mina Lim, an editor and writer who lives in Baltimore. “I thought the human race needed to evolve, and I wanted to be part of the ‘beige-ing’ of the planet.” Lim’s first marriage, which ended in 2003 — a half-decade after it began — was to a non-Asian, and she says that during their relationship, she constantly felt self-conscious. “If there happened to be another Asian girl-white guy couple, it always seemed awkward, especially if we got seated at adjacent tables,” she says. “And one of the worst experiences I had was traveling to Asia back in the late 1990s. Everyone we met thought I was his translator. Meanwhile, he expected me to have some kind of miraculous, mystical connection with my ‘homeland.’” A few years after she and her first husband divorced, Lim met and then married an Asian American guy, and they’ve been happily together ever since. “It’s easier,” she says. “With him, I feel like I can just be myself.” Mina says that that’s the case despite the fact that she and her husband aren’t of the same ethnic background. Although her family is Filipina and his is Taiwanese, there’s enough that’s just “understood” about their respective backgrounds that, in her words, “there’s no having to explain things” — important stuff, like the centrality of family and the significance of education; silly stuff, like taking your shoes off when you enter the house... more Asian Americans seem to be marrying Asian Americans that aren’t their particular flavor of Asian American... More Asians are marrying Asians because there are more of them around."

More Asian-Americans Marrying Within Their Race - The New York Times - "Because she had never dated an Asian man before, her friends tried to discourage Stephen Arboleda, a Filipino-American engineer, when he asked whether she was single. “She only dates white guys,” they warned. But Mr. Arboleda, 33, was undeterred. “I’m going to change that,” he told them."

The Rise of Intermarriage - "About 24% of all black male newlyweds in 2010 married outside their race, compared with just 9% of black female newlyweds. Among Asians, the gender pattern runs the other way. About 36% of Asian female newlyweds married outside their race in 2010, compared with just 17% of Asian male newlyweds. Intermarriage rates among white and Hispanic newlyweds do not vary by gender... Couples formed between an Asian husband and a white wife topped the median earning list among all newlyweds in 2008-2010 ($71,800). During this period, white male newlyweds who married Asian, Hispanic or black spouses had higher combined earnings than did white male newlyweds who married a white spouse. As for white female newlyweds, those who married a Hispanic or black husband had somewhat lower combined earnings than those who “married in,” while those who married an Asian husband had significantly higher combined earnings... Several studies using government data have found that overall divorce rates are higher for couples who married out than for those who married in"
When the man in an interracial marriage waas Asian, the combined earnings were highest. Obviously....

The Pains of Being an Islamic Terrorist

It must be incredibly frustrating as an Islamic... - Faisal Saeed Al Mutar

"It must be incredibly frustrating as an Islamic terrorist not to have your views and motives taken seriously by the societies you terrorize, even after you have explicitly and repeatedly stated them. Even worse, those on the regressive left, in their endless capacity for masochism and self-loathing, have attempted to shift blame inwardly on themselves, denying the terrorists even the satisfaction of claiming responsibility.

It's like a bad Monty Python sketch:

"We did this because our holy texts exhort us to to do it."

"No you didn't."

"Wait, what? Yes we did..."

"No, this has nothing to do with religion. You guys are just using religion as a front for social and geopolitical reasons."

"WHAT!? Did you even read our official statement? We give explicit Quranic justification. This is jihad, a holy crusade against pagans, blasphemers, and disbelievers."

"No, this is definitely not a Muslim thing. You guys are not true Muslims, and you defame a great religion by saying so."

"Huh!? Who are you to tell us we're not true Muslims!? Islam is literally at the core of everything we do, and we have implemented the truest most literal and honest interpretation of its founding texts. It is our very reason for being."

"Nope. We created you. We installed a social and economic system that alienates and disenfranchises you, and that's why you did this. We're sorry."

"What? Why are you apologizing? We just slaughtered you mercilessly in the streets. We targeted unwitting civilians - disenfranchisement doesn't even enter into it!"

"Listen, it's our fault. We don't blame you for feeling unwelcome and lashing out."

"Seriously, stop taking credit for this! We worked really hard to pull this off, and we're not going to let you take it away from us."

"No, we nourished your extremism. We accept full blame."

"OMG, how many people do we have to kill around here to finally get our message across?""


Comment: "White guilt is the best invention the regressives have come up with.
that is until they try to whitesplain to us brown people about why its their responsibility"


"Le verbe aimer est difficile à conjuguer : son passé n'est pas simple, son présent n'est qu'indicatif, et son futur est toujours conditionnel."

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Links - 15th November 2015

Ong Keng Sen 'embarrassed' talking about Singapore in front of international artists - "Ong: in '88, when I left law school - I graduated - things were pretty buoyant. It wasn't a very saturated scene. While right now actually, you can see that there is saturation in the arts scene, because we're all pushed to overproduction. Every company is doing four plays a year, or four productions a year, but there's no audience out there. This is a crazy thing where the country is saturated with production. We're producing, but there's no demand.
Bharati: Why are you producing so much?
Ong: Because our arts council is saying that you have to produce these KPIs. Therefore, very often, people are over producing beyond their desire. If you ask artists how much they really desire to make they will say that well, if I didn't have to support the company with KPIs and all these indicators, I'd do only one work.
Bharati: Why are there so many KPIs?
Ong: Because the arts is used to show productivity, and I think that this is one of the few countries where the arts is actually supported by EDB. Because the government has to show that they are productive, including when it comes to the arts. Only if you are productive then you get state funding from taxpayers' money. For me, the arts is never going to be economy. I think the arts can become an industry at a certain point when there is a market, but now, we're putting the cart before the horse. So we're saying there must be an industry, even though there's no audience, so this for me, is over-production...
Ong: There is no way in which the system can change if the economy is stacked against it. I tend to be quite pessimistic. I think that we are all pretending that an arts scene can exist in Singapore when it doesn't – when there's no viability.
Bharati: So what would you suggest then? Tear it all down? Make Singaporean artists go overseas and practice?
Ong: No, no, no - first of all, I believe that you can make art with very little money if there is a desire. But there is very little desire in Singapore. So, whenever I hear an artist saying, “well if I get this grant, I'll do it”. For me that’s not a true passion, it's not a true desire. I'm completely with this belief that Singaporeans have no desire and we are really machines working. And we are wound up in a certain way. I think for example, the arts in Singapore has a hard time because people want to just see the arts as somewhere to relax. But it cannot be. The arts is meant to be provocative, the arts is talking about issues in society."

Japan's hidden caste of untouchables - "The caste system was abolished in 1871 along with the feudal system. Yet barriers to their integration remained. Marginalised Burakumin communities were widespread across Japan... In the mid-1970s, a Buraku rights group discovered the existence of a 330-page handwritten list of Buraku names and community locations that was being sold secretly to employers by mail order. Many big name Japanese firms were using the list to screen job applicants... "Nowadays it's still a well-known fact that people are buying this information, but rather than corporations, it's individuals buying it to check on future in-laws ahead of marriage. That's one of the biggest examples of discrimination that we frequently face."... a third of yakuza come from Buraku communities, drawn to the organization when other doors were closed to them. A yakuza leader justified his organisation to Adelstein on the basis that it gave people who had suffered discrimination a family and discipline. "It's true - the yakuza is a meritocracy," Adelstein says. "If you are willing to be ruthless and a bully and pledge your loyalty to your boss, they'll take you."

You're a Vegetarian. Have You Lost Your Mind? - "Entirely vegan diets are unknown among traditional human cultures. Back in the early part of the 19th century, dentist and explorer Weston Price went looking for vegans, but found only cannibals (link is external)*. Since vegan diets in nature provide no vitamin B12 and very little in the way of usable long chain omega3 fatty acids, it is not surprising that humans have continued to eat animals and animal-derived products. Nowadays one can obtain algae-derived DHA (the major long chain omega3 fatty acid present in the brain). and supplement B12. That wasn’t possible until a few years ago, and there’s little evidence that supplementation with DHA alone is helpful for the brain (link is external)... in all but two studies done in the past, vegetarianism has been linked with higher rates of depression, anxiety, and particularly eating disorders (link is external) (bingeing, restricting, and purging behaviors)... I don't think it is a coincidence that the two positive studies were done by the same group of researchers in the Seventh Day Adventist population... when the researchers went down the line of depressive disorders, anxiety disorders, somatoform disorders (things like body dysmorphic disorder, health anxiety and hypochondriasis), and eating disorders, the mostly vegetarian were more likely to be afflicted, and the strict vegetarian even more likely... Compared to the general population, the vegetarians were more likely to have mental disorders, and compared to the sex and education and population and age matched controls, the risk of mental disorders in vegetarians really shot up, with odds ratios hovering around 2 fold increased risk, some as high as 3 fold... participants in the study with depressive, anxiety, somatoform, and anxiety disorders consumed less meat than people without a mental disorder"

The search for talent - "an anti-elitist ethos prevails in many Western countries, especially amongst New Left groups in Britain. They glorify mediocrity into a cult. They condemn excellence as elitism. They advocate wild programmes to dismantle their own institutions of excellence because the children of manual workers are under-represented in these institutions"

How Does Parental Leave Affect Fertility and Return to Work? Evidence from Two Natural Experiments - "We find that mothers who give birth to their first child immediately after the reform have more second children than prereform mothers"

What Is the Case for Paid Maternity Leave? - "We assess the case for paid maternity leave, focusing on parents' responses to a series of policy reforms in Norway which expanded paid leave from 18 to 35 weeks (without changing the length of job protection)... the expansions had little effect on a wide variety of outcomes, including children's school outcomes, parental earnings and participation in the labor market in the short or long run, completed fertility, marriage or divorce. Not only is there no evidence that each expansion in isolation had economically significant effects, but this null result holds even if we cumulate our estimates across all expansions from 18 to 35 weeks. Our third finding is that paid maternity leave is regressive in the sense that eligible mothers have higher family incomes compared to ineligible mothers or childless individuals. Within the group of eligibles, the program also pays higher amounts to mothers in wealthier families. Since there was no crowd out of unpaid leave, the extra leave benefits amounted to a pure leisure transfer, primarily to middle and upper income families. Finally, we investigate the financial costs of the extensions in paid maternity leave. We find these reforms had little impact on parents' future tax payments and benefit receipt. As a result, the large increases in public spending on maternity leave imply a considerable increase in taxes, at a cost to economic efficiency. Taken together, our findings suggest the generous extensions to paid leave were costly, had no measurable effect on outcomes and regressive redistribution properties. In a time of harsh budget realities, our findings have important implications for countries that are considering future expansions or contractions in the duration of paid leave."

Does Maternity Leave Induce Births? - "If women are actually induced into the labor force as a result of available maternity leave, the possibility for a negative relation between maternity leave and fertility arises. In fact, Winegarden and Bracy (1995) find that a national program for paid maternity leave increases labor force participation, which subsequently reduces fertility. This possibility clearly indicates the need for additional study on the topic of the fertility effects of maternity leave"

Is Eating Your Boogers Good For You? - "One of the more credible sounding proponents of the habit is Scott Napper, a professor of biochemistry who made waves around the world’s media outlets in 2013 when he half-heartedly proposed to a group of his students that eating one’s boogers allows our bodies to safely develop anti-bodies to the weakened pathogens present in our snot and noses. He also suggested that the reason boogers have a sugary taste is to entice children to eat them, thus helping bolster their immune systems… It’s evolution. You can’t fight it."

Anonymity and aggressive driving behavior: A field study.
"Convertible drivers with their tops up behaved more aggressively than convertible drivers with their tops down"

Languages of Vanuatu - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - " there are over one hundred local languages spread over the archipelago. Vanuatu is considered to be the country with the highest density of languages per capita in the world, with an average of about 2,000 speakers for each indigenous language; only Papua New Guinea comes close."

Is it Chantilly or whipped cream ? - "“Chantilly” is a French word for sweetened whipped cream flavored with vanilla. Originally “Chantilly” is the name of a beautiful castle near Paris where sweetened vanilla flavored whipped cream became famous in 17th because served to the King Louis XIV th on August 17, 1661 on the occasion of a dinner supervised by Vatel, France’s pre-eminent chef. In 17th kitchens no food processor to whip cream but boxwood branches !"

Your MP is not the Chief Social Worker. He’s supposed to raise issues and make laws - "In Singapore, it seems MPs have to be all things to all men - and women, and children too. We want MPs to run town councils. They have to be financially trained too, to get accounts right. We want them to step in to sort out disputes, so they must be skilled mediators and negotiators. We want them to listen to our problems, so they have to be counsellors. We want them to help the poor and needy and the elderly and link them up with available resources, so they have to be social workers. We go to them to write letters of appeal to government agencies to waive fines or speed up/ review/ reverse a decision, so they are glorified scribes. We want them to get government agencies to put a playground here, or a bus stop there, and take away a funeral parlour elsewhere, so they are political lobbyists. But in fact, the core of an MPs’ role is as a legislator."

Transtheology - "Transtheology is an emerging area of religious study that is ancient and historied; it relates the human as imago Dei (image of G*d) beyond the polarized dualities of gender and sexuality, inviting human and Divine into liminal cohabitation. It is queer, postcolonial and sex-positive; we can't talk about G-d(s) without talking about sex or looking at the relationship between gender binarism and sexualized oppressions in economics and politics. If humanity is imago Dei and humanity is infinitely diverse and plural, then God must be, too. If humans reflect God and humans are in transition, then God is in transition, too. While it is fully appropriate for each individual to see themselves in the face of God, it is insufficient and dangerous to declare that one type of reflection alone is the only true reflection of God."

Australian PM Tony Abbott: No 'Vegemite watch' - "Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott has warned against restricting the sale of popular toast spread Vegemite in remote indigenous communities after reports it was being used to make moonshine... "This is a deregulatory Government and the last thing I want to do is to have a Vegemite watch ... because Vegemite, quite properly, is for most people a reasonably nutritious spread on your morning toast or on your sandwiches," he said, when asked whether sales of Vegemite should be monitored"

Is it racist to ban alcohol from some Aboriginal communities?

Video: Drone catches man sunbathing on wind turbine in Rhode Island, US - Telegraph

Foreign countries view Malaysia as anti-corruption role model: Anti-graft agency

Support a Survivor | Know Your IX - "When a survivor comes out about having been sexually assaulted or abused by an intimate partner — whether it be their first time telling anyone or their hundredth — recognize that the process can be extremely difficult and that you should be as supportive as possible. When a victim comes out to you, remember that they have chosen to trust you with a part of themselves. Respect this."
Can you be a "survivor" if whatever you "survived" couldn't have killed you?


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Note that there're already 3 names for this service: AsianBeauties, OrientBeauties and AsianDate. And the motto for AsianDate is "Love Knows no Boundaries" (well, if you're looking for Asian women at least).

At least of the 5 ladies in Singapore, 1 has a photo which was taken at Wisma Atria and another has one which looks like it could've been taken in an HDB estate.
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