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Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Links - 16th February 2016

Date with Dad [High Tea] - PLMGSS Registration, Sat, Feb 27, 2016 at 2:30 PM | Eventbrite - "Fee: $90^+ per father-daughter pair (Includes a Worth the Wait ring worth $25 for the daughter)"
Creepy Father-Daughter dating (complete with purity rings!) have come to Singapore

PETS - Basic Cat Behaviour & Training (C23993739) - "Feeling frustrated when it comes to communicating with cats? It is time to make your meow-ing experience a great one by enjoying a rewarding relationship with your cat. Understand the importance of knowing your cats intrinsic nature and they will heed your commands in no time!"
You can train cats?

Obama's Syria Diplomacy is Doomed to Fail - "Diplomacy only succeeds when backed by a credible threat of force, and few believe that the U.S. will exert anything beyond the bare minimum in Syria. The president has somehow failed to learn the most important piece of advice Machiavelli gave to the prince – "it is better to be feared than loved." In Syria the US lost its capacity to inspire fear in 2013 after Assad was allowed to cross with impunity Obama's "red line" on the use of chemical weapons. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel recognized the harm that would come from failure to follow through on the threat, but his advice to bomb Damascus was rebuked, leading to his departure from the administration. World War II was the last large-scale conflict to end in unconditional surrender. With the advent of the United Nations, conflicts have ended through diplomacy, which is to say that one side of a conflict has either agreed to compromise, pretended to compromise or was forced to compromise. Unless one side is defeated, or convinced that defeat is inevitable, the conflict persists. The UN has become a great facilitator of stalemates."

Richard Dawkins suggests Feminists May Have Caused His Stroke - YouTube - "When asked by his doctors if he had any stress recently, Dawkins states feminist attacks "does actually hurt me.""

Hernanday Oleary's answer to Why do some Caucasian men prefer Asian women? - Quora - "While western women play games, they move on to women from other places like Asia. I was amazed that when I went to Brazil, with my Portuguese friend, how women would openly flirt and come out right openly and say they like me, want to date me, ask if I was a gay man, and why won't I kiss them, after meeting them just for 10-15 minutes. The whole concept of "playing games" and pretending you are not interested in someone you are, or pretending you do not like someone you really do, doesn't exist in many other countries. Women will openly ask you in countries like Thailand will you marry me and sometimes even friend and parents say why don't you marry my daughter."

Singapore artist to illustrate 'God Epic' - "it was not a requirement for Choo to be Christian. “I’m not Christian, and it was a reason why they chose me - so I won’t be as influenced by current visual standards”"

Singapore's train system: What needs to be done to ensure a smoother ride? - "The MRT network itself has aged. It opened in 1987, making it the second-oldest system in Southeast Asia. To minimise cost and land use, authorities built just one heavy maintenance depot back then to support the maintenance of the North South and East West Lines."
It's expensive to save taxpayers' money

Akshay Kumar's son's name Aarav, GoT's Arya lead the pack of top baby names in India - "Game of Thrones has played a major role in deciding what kind of children people want and it seems the brave little Arya Stark has come out as the winner. Arya, meaning ‘noble’, a name that is normally used for baby boys is currently trending as a favourite for baby girls this year."

Rethinking Singapore's Defence Needs - "It is a little known fact that some 25 countries or about 13% of all United Nations member states do not have armed forces. Many of these countries are geographically small (as is Singapore) and a number of them have long-standing arrangements with former occupying powers for their defence, such as Monaco's arrangement with France or Micronesia, Marshall Islands and Palau's arrangements with the USA... it might be argued that the siege mentality under which Singapore operates, based on the Israeli model and bristling with offensive weapons, is actually counter-productive as it invites hostility from others and diverts valuable resources from social and other objectives. The unspeakable truth is that no matter how well prepared or well equipped the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) are, Singapore is probably indefensible because the real threat is unlikely to be a military one. Singapore has been built on confidence. Unpalatable as it might sound, the first hint of trouble (a few bombs in the financial district?) is likely to trigger a massive flight of both capital and people. In a globalised world, neither is tethered to permanent pegs. Capital flight will hit the financial sector and human flight, the property market. It doesn't take much imagination to see that the economy, built on a bedrock of property based lending, could buckle under such circumstances."

Democratic Tax Cheats Outnumber Republican, 72% v. 28% - "Republicans and Tea Partiers tend to shout the loudest when it comes to tax reform, and they’re also the most law abiding—when it comes to paying their taxes, anyway."
"Democrats... publicly obsess over "the rich" and demand that they "paying their fair share" of taxes. So who, in aggregate, cheats on taxes more? You know the answer already, don't you?""

Kai Peter Chang's answer to Have some liberals/progressives become intolerant of their opponents? If so, why? - Quora - "those who grandstand and publicly pat themselves on the back for Virtue [X] are almost certainly the most likely to be deficient in it. The Bard (Shakespeare) said it best - "Methinks the lady protests too much." The right-wing anti-gay politician/church leader who turns out to have a secret gay life is a overdone cliche at this point. Any time I see a public religious/political figure loudly denounce gay marriage/homosexuality, I just assume s/he is a deeply-closeted gay person using their public denunciations as a flimsy pretext for their own not-so-secret self-loathing... Progressives/Liberals aggressively and loudly pat themselves on the back for their "tolerance" and desperately want you know know just how goddamn tolerant they are... Nothing inspires the wrath of Progressives like a conservative of color... Conservatives like Asian-American Michelle Malkin are routinely denounced as a "race traitor" "Chinky doll" (even though she's Filipina. What the hell, all those slant-eyed Orientals look the same anyway) and other racist slurs from "tolerant" and "sensitive" Progressives... Conservative Blacks like surgeon Dr. Ben Carson who hold the "incorrect" opinions are pummeled with racist slurs by Progressives enraged that this uppity negro wandered off the Democrat plantation far enough to speak at CPAC"

Bad characters | The Economist - " learning to write is so arduous. Because Chinese uses ideograms, or characters, rather than an alphabet, to represent each syllable, it takes six years of primary education to master the 3,000 or so characters required to read a newspaper. Nowadays Chinese can use keyboards to type a word in pinyin, a Romanisation of Chinese words that reflects sounds but not appearance. They then select the right character from a list. This process does not reinforce how to write the separate strokes that make up a character, and may even disrupt the process of remembering, says Wai Ting Siok of the University of Hong Kong. Ms Siok predicts that on current trends literacy levels will begin declining within ten years. The problem is already evident. A government body helped to launch a popular television spelling show that pits middle-school students against each other to write difficult words; in one episode in July more than 50% of the adult audience incorrectly drew a two-character word meaning “gossip”, feiwen."

What happens when militant student feminists grow up? - Telegraph - "Twenty years on, the Matrix women have diversified across various professions. Farah Mendlesohn is an academic and sci-fi author, Zoe Lyons is a comedian. Shailja Patel is a playwright and spoken word artist while another, Helen Priddle, is a clinical embryologist. Wilby said the majority of the women she spoke to still described themselves as feminists, but in a less radical way: Vic Rayner, now a chief executive, said: "perhaps I wouldn't now use it as an opening conversational gambit.""

Saudi gift to Malaysia PM Najib Razak 'for election campaign' - "The secretive donation to Mr Najib was allegedly paid over in several wire transfers between late March 2013 and early April 2013, just ahead of the election on 5 May. The well-placed Saudi source, who has asked not to be named, told the BBC the payment was authorised from the very top - from Saudi Arabia's late King Abdullah - with funds coming from both his personal finances and state funds... The purpose of the donation was simple, said the Saudi source - it was to help Mr Najib and his coalition win the election, employing a strategic communications team with international experience, focusing on the province of Sarawak, and funding social programmes through party campaigning. But why should the Saudis care about an election in a non-Arab country more than 6,000 km (3,700 miles) away? The answer, the source said, lay in their concerns over the rising power of the Muslim Brotherhood, which they consider a terrorist organisation... So how unusual is it for the Saudi royal family to hand over this amount of cash in a personal donation? Not at all, said the Saudi insider, adding that Jordan, Morocco, Egypt and Sudan have all been beneficiaries of multi-$100m donations from the Saudi royal purse... However, questions are still being asked about the secretive and convoluted nature of the money transfer, and the fact that Malaysia's prime minister returned 91% of it just four months later. The remaining $61m has not been accounted for. A British corporate investigator with extensive experience of the Middle East told the BBC that the $681m was paid through the Singapore branch of a Swiss bank owned by the rulers of Abu Dhabi."
Then again, to some people anonymous = untrustworthy

Being the Free Black Thinker that I am, I did... - Leondre Spook Williams McBride - "Being the Free Black Thinker that I am, I did some digging on the Oscars winnings.
In the last 20 years:
15% of Best Leading Actors were black. [1]
10% of Best Supporting Actors were black.[2]
5% of Best Leading Actresses were black.[3]
20% of Best Supporting actresses were black.[4]
When you count an average percentage (15+10+5+20) you get the sum of 50/4 = 12.5%. (Link to a few percentage calculators will be below for those of you that are bad with math)
According to the US Census Bureau Data 2014, blacks are around 13.2% of the current population. In 1990 it was 12.1%. In 2000 it was 12.3%. In 2010 it was 12.6%. [5][6][7]
Guess what this means!!! Blacks are actually almost perfectly represented at the Oscars! But wait, that cant be because Jada Pinkett Smith and Spike said othwrwise! But yall just go back to making us look stupid because you get all emotional without fact checking anything. Let the news and social media decide when you get upset, then try and make people believe you aren't dumb."

Entrepreneurs don’t have a special gene for risk—they come from families with money - "the most common shared trait among entrepreneurs is access to financial capital—family money, an inheritance, or a pedigree and connections that allow for access to financial stability. While it seems that entrepreneurs tend to have an admirable penchant for risk, it’s usually that access to money which allows them to take risks... “Following your dreams is dangerous,” a 31-year-old woman who runs in social entrepreneurship circles in New York, and asked not to be named, told Quartz. “This whole bulk of the population is being seduced into thinking that they can just go out and pursue their dream anytime, but it’s not true.”"

The liberal media has no idea what to make of ‘clock kid’ Ahmed Mohamed anymore - "The boy who initially appeared to be the perfect embodiment of a popular liberal narrative — hard-working, good-hearted Muslims face bigotry that should make us all cringe — is suddenly, well, more complicated... Real people aren't perfect. Once their blemishes are revealed, their utility as pure political symbols is compromised. And when that happens, those who have been telling that symbolic story aren't so sure what to say anymore."

Douglas Smart - "This might be old, but it's the funniest thing I've watched in ages (you have to listen to the commentary)"

Success and Failure

"People often assume they have succeeded, when in reality they have not failed yet."

"This comment reminds me of a documentary I watched last night titled Solo. *spoiler alert* A man tried to kayak from Tasmania to New Zealand, made it like 90% of the way there, he could see dry land in the distance (NZ), thought he was good to go, then his kayak capsized and he drowned about 30km from the coast. What a shame."
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