When you can't live without bananas

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Sunday, April 24, 2016

Links - 24th April 2016

Bernie Sanders' Superdelegate-Flipping Strategy Is Doomed - "my pro-math record is well-established, even though diehard Sanders supporters don’t care. Back in ‘08, it was Clintonistas sending me hate mail over it. This year, Clinton wised up and hired many of Obama’s nerds to help her navigate the process. Personally, I respect politicians who learn from their mistakes instead whine about life being unfair. If Team Sanders goes all in with the superdelegate strategy, it will almost certainly flop. Elections are, after all, popularity contests"

Is Hillary Clinton more dangerous than Donald Trump? - "On many issues, particularly trade and foreign policy, Clinton is to the right of Trump, with an inclination toward militaristic belligerence that more closely resembles a neoconservative war hawk than the progressive she claims to be. For evidence, look no further than the neoconservatives themselves, who are so petrified of Trump’s noninterventionist approach to foreign policy, they are ready to line up behind Clinton... After Gaddafi’s especially gruesome public lynching by US-backed Libyan rebels in 2011, Clinton could barely contain her excitement, gleefully telling CBS News, “We came, we saw, he died.” Libya predictably descended into a lawless haven for extremist groups from across the region, including the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS."

Scarlett Johansson in 'Ghost in the Shell': Japanese Industry, Fans Surprised by "Whitewashing" Outrage - "in the home of the manga and anime cult classic, the reaction to the media firestorm was mostly surprise, as many Japanese had already assumed that the lead role in a Hollywood version of the story would go to a white actress... the reaction has been somewhat muted and distinctly lacking in the vitriol spewing forth elsewhere... The original manga, written by Masamune Shirow, was published in 1989 by Kodansha, which licensed it for Mamoru Oshii's seminal 1995 anime feature, a number of Japanese spinoff films and anime series, and most recently for the Hollywood live-action version. "Looking at her career so far, I think Scarlett Johansson is well cast," Sam Yoshiba, director of the international business division at Kodansha's Tokyo headquarters, tells The Hollywood Reporter. "She has the cyberpunk feel. And we never imagined it would be a Japanese actress in the first place." He added: "This is a chance for a Japanese property to be seen around the world." Yoshiba recently returned from a visit to the New Zealand set of the movie, where he says he was impressed by the respect being shown for the source material. Many ordinary Japanese manga fans are also nonplussed by the outrage over the casting. "If you want a Japanese cast, then a Japanese company should make the film in Japan," said longtime manga fan Tetsuya Kataoka... "at least they didn't cast a Chinese actress, like they did in Memoirs of a Geisha," said Ai Ries Collazo, another manga fan... Japanese manga and anime fans pointed out that similar "racebending" casting takes place in reverse for domestic productions. Two live-action movies based on the Attack on Titan manga, also originally published by Kodansha, were released last year. The characters in the manga by Hajime Isayama were Western, but the cast for the movies was all Japanese. Meanwhile, some Japanese commentators on Twitter suggested that not too much attention should be paid to the physical appearance of the actress, because the dominant themes in Ghost in the Shell are the nature of identity and cyborgs used to host cyber-brains... some said the casting could draw people to cinemas"
The Japs are too stupid to know they're being oppressed!

Do consumers from Međimurje region recognize their autochthonous Turoš cheese? - "The aim of this study was to determine whether consumers from the Međimurje region recognise and distinguish the autochthonous cheese called Turoš from similar cheeses like Prgica and Kvargl originating from regions neighbouring to Međimurje. Chemical, textural and microbiological properties of all three cheeses were given. Preference tests with 200 consumers using a face-to-face survey and a two-step procedure were performed. The blind taste test showed that 97 % of the respondents recognised differences between the tasted samples, and almost half of them preferred the Turoš cheese. Similarly, the informed test showed that a significantly higher number of the respondents preferred the Turoš cheese in comparison to Kvargl and Prgica. Statistical analyses showed no significant differences between respondents’ preferences in the blind and the informed tests"

BBC World Service - The Food Chain, Whose Food is it Anyway?:
Authenticity itself is an imaginary construct. People talk about authentic Thai food and you'd assume that authentic Thai food involves chilis but chilis didn't get to Thailand till the 16th century so for thousands of years people in Thailand were cooking without chillis... recipes aren't set in stone and dishes aren't set in stone... No one can agree on any of these things, even within those cultures. So if you go to Genoa and you ask 10 people how you make pesto, you'll get 10 different answers...
Geographical indication schemes are legally binding within Europe. But the EU is also negotiating with its trade partners to expand the schemes outside its own borders. This is a complicated process. For one thing, many people in other parts of the world come from European backgrounds and say the heritage represented by the geographical indication schemes belongs to them, too... 'you cannot go beyond reason in protecting whatwas made hundreds of years ago'"

‘Halal’ elevators at four-star hotel - "PETALING JAYA: The Crystal Crown hotel here has signboards erected next to three elevators which state that only “halal” goods can be transported in the lifts and the hotel management has not commented."

Phileas Fog - "question de point de vue"

Effects of chicken essence on recovery from mental fatigue in healthy males - "We showed that daily intake of essence of chicken could be effective for the recovery from mental fatigue and is a promising candidate for use as an anti-fatigue food"

BBC World Service - The Food Chain, Food Technophobes v Technophiles - "If progress is going to be halted with every scintilla of doubt, then it's going to be a different world, I think. That hasn't been the arc of human history over the last several hundreds of years with respect to progress... GM technology was actually discovered from something that was observed in nature. And it was a case of a scientist who noticed something on a plant and they went in to the gall, which is a sort of tumour on the root of a plant, and when they extracted it they realised oh what do we have here. It's not even the DNA of a plant. And by doing this extraction in the aftermath of learning more about DNA, they said we have a plant here that when that plant then is resown from its own seed, it grows this thing again. And so the discovery moment was that bacteria from the soil had actually uplifted their own DNA into the DNA of a plant"

Watch People Try Nutraloaf, The Controversial Prison Food That's Been Called 'Cruel' - "In many American prisons, punishment can come in the form of a bland mashed up block of food known as a “Nutraloaf” — a controversial “food product” that’s fed to inmates who have been cited for bad behavior. Prisoners often have to eat the punitive loaves for days or even weeks at a time... There’s a rice, oatmeal and mashed garbanzo bean version, a non-dairy cheese and raisin combo and one that includes applesauce, garlic powder and spinach. Regardless of the combination, Nutraloaf is universally reviled. Prisoners in several states, including Illinois, Maryland, Nebraska, New York and Washington, have even sued over Nutraloaf or its equivalent, claiming that the punitive food is so awful that it’s unconstitutional. Following a 2008 lawsuit in Vermont, the state’s supreme court ruled that inmates have to be given a hearing before Nutraloaf is doled out as punishment."

As Obesity Rises, Chinese Kids Are Almost as Fat as Americans - China Real Time Report - WSJ - "Even the country’s armed forces have been getting fatter, with the People’s Liberation Army facing challenges as its soldiers have begun to have trouble fitting into traditionally-sized tanks."
Amused that more US girls are overweight than US boys

Parts Of 'Knights Of The Old Republic' Just Became Canon In The 'Star Wars Rebels' Season Two Finale

39 Photos That Show Why Everyone Misses George W. Bush

Gender Differences in Personality Are Larger than Previously Thought - "Italian cognitive psychologist Marco Del Giudice and his collaborators compared the personality traits of men and women in a sample of over 10,000 people and found huge differences. Women scored much higher than in men in Sensitivity, Warmth, and Apprehension, while men scored higher than women in Emotional Stability, Dominance, Rule-Consciousness, and Vigilance. When many personality traits were considered simultaneously, there was only a 10% overlap between the distributions of these traits in men and women. Essentially, the study suggests that when it comes to personality men and women belong to two different species... This is an extremely large effect by any psychological standard, which suggests that the sex differences in personality are of the same magnitude as the sex differences in aggression or vocational interests."

Bowdoin Students in Therapy After 'Culturally Appropriating' Tequila Party - "Bowdoin College, a private liberal arts college in Maine, has offered counseling to students who felt “injured and affected” by a group of classmates who attended a Tequila-themed birthday party on campus wearing miniature sombreros"

Francis' Friends May Be Numbered in the Vatican -- And the 'Vatileaks' Scandal Is a Testament to That
Yet, to some nonreligious people what he's doing is still not good enough and he's bad as all his predecessors because he's still Catholic

Why the federal government spent $3 million to study lesbian obesity - "nearly three-quarters of lesbians are overweight or obese. The rate is 25 percent higher than heterosexual females and almost “double the obesity risk of gay men,” the summary said... lower athletic self-esteem among lesbians may lead to higher rates of obesity and that lesbians are more likely to see themselves at a healthy weight when they are not... gay and bisexual males had a “greater desire for toned muscles” than straight men. This apparently helps explain why gay men are generally more fit than lesbians."
"Stereotypes" are true after all

The unfriendliest city in the world is... - "While only 3 percent of people considered Rome unfriendly, most of those who replied in the negative were men"
Italian men love women

The History Behind Britain’s Debate Over Immigrants Learning English - "This is not just about tolerance or intolerance of minorities; it also touches on questions of individual freedom and citizenship raised during the French Revolution. Cameron insists that teaching English to immigrants is also about individual freedom, that without knowledge of the common language, individuals are denied access to the choices enjoyed by the majority. The abbé Grégoire’s opposition to linguistic diversity in France had similar roots. Grégoire feared that the interests and rights of ordinary people would never be recognized unless they could read and write enough French to participate in politics. As Grégoire argued in his speech before the Convention in 1794, the collective rights of minorities to have their culture respected conflicted with the rights of individuals to participate fully in society. These individual rights could be secured only through the intervention of the state."

BBC World Service - The Food Chain, Breast Practice - [On Indonesia] "Why so many children were getting sick in rural areas is because women were spending their hard earned money on formula milk and then mixing it with dirty water and actually hurting their children when they had a very ready supply of breast milk... culturally in some parts of Indonesia you feed your children bananas when they're very little, as early as sort of a week old... there was a nursing room there, because the government stipulates that you must do this. And the nursing room had been converted into a smoking room because you're not allowed to smoke in government offices. I was outraged and I said to the attendant, a female attendant, I said: 'This is the law'... 'There's nowhere for them to smoke. So they've got to do it somewhere'...
[In Ivory Coast] boobs are very celebrated. They're out a lot, they're not taboo in any way - legs are taboo here. So whenever I'm out and about feeding, the reaction I get from people, straight off, is bon appetit...
It's often touted as something's that free. It's only free if women's time is worth nothing. It's only free if women don't have to lose their jobs over it"

Sugar In Diet Linked To Type 2 Diabetes Rates, Study Finds - "Lustig points to research that shows that as many as 40 percent of people who are at a healthy weight, as defined by their BMI score, have some aspect of metabolic dysfunction, such as hypertension, high cholesterol or Type 2 diabetes. On the flip side, 20 percent of obese people do not have any associated metabolic condition. He holds diets with an excess of sugar, or lack thereof, responsible for this discrepancies. His study tried to isolate the direct effect of sugar in the diet on countries’ rates of Type 2 diabetes. It found that every 150-calorie increase from a sugar source — cane sugar, high fructose corn syrup and other sweeteners— correlated with a 1.1 percent increase in the Type 2 diabetes rate over a 10-year period, from 2000 to 2010. In other words, the more sugar in the food supply, the more cases of Type 2 diabetes were diagnosed"

Fighting Crime with Nutrition - "They studied the behavior of 231 inmates at a maximum-security prison in the U.K. Half of the group received daily capsules containing vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids, while the other half took dummy pills. Antisocial behavior among inmates was recorded before and during the trial. The supplement group broke prison rules 25 percent less than those on the placebo. The greatest reduction was for serious offenses—instances of fighting, assaulting guards or taking hostages dropped 37 percent. There was, however, no significant change in the control group."
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