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Friday, November 25, 2016

Links - 25th November 2016

50 Years Ago, Sugar Industry Quietly Paid Scientists To Point Blame At Fat - "an industry group called the Sugar Research Foundation wanted to "refute" concerns about sugar's possible role in heart disease. The SRF then sponsored research by Harvard scientists that did just that. The result was published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 1967, with no disclosure of the sugar industry funding... for the past five decades, the sugar industry has been attempting to influence the scientific debate over the relative risks of sugar and fat... "the authors applied a different standard" to different studies — looking very critically at research that implicated sugar, and ignoring problems with studies that found dangers in fat."

We need to call American breakfast what it often is: dessert - "companies like Yoplait and Chobani have built yogurt empires in America by saturating their products with sugar. Yoplait recently lowered the sugar in its classic 6-ounce strawberry yogurt from 26 grams to 18 grams (4.5 teaspoons), but that's still more than the 15 grams you’ll get in a standard brownie. And if you believe granola is any healthier, think again."

The secret to the immortality of McDonald’s food - "preservatives alone may not be responsible for the fungus-resisting powers of a Happy Meal. Marion Nestle, chairwoman of New York University’s food studies program, told us over e-mail that McDonald’s would have to use “really a lot of” sodium propionate to prevent bacterial or mold growth. McDonald’s French fries, for example, which have repeatedly proven their hardiness to spoilage, contain citric acid as a preservative. But a bigger factor might be the fat content of the fries. About 50 percent of the total 250 calories contained in a small order of fries come from fat. “Anything that is high in fat will be low in moisture,” says Barry Swanson, a professor at the Washington State University department of food science. And low moisture means less room for mold to grow. They’re crisper and thinner than regular fries, which means that they’re exposed to greater heat per surface area, killing pathogens and reducing water content. McDonald’s fries are also coated in a nice, thick layer of salt, something we’ve been using as a natural preservative for the last 2,500 years... A regular McDonald’s sesame-seed bun contains calcium propionate and sodium propionate — both preservatives. But the list of ingredients — down to the preservatives — is actually no different from what you’d find on the packaging of your average loaf of supermarket white bread... Ultimately, says O’Keefe, the McDonald’s haters have gotten their science wrong... A Happy Meal manages to stay unspoiled because it is fatty, salty and practically empty of nutrients — which, really, are all good reasons to avoid it anyway."

Don’t exempt non-Muslims from hudud, Muslim scholars suggest - "Non-Muslims should not be exempted from severe hudud punishments if the controversial Islamic penal law is implemented in Malaysia, religious scholars suggested in a forum discussing the issue today. According to the panellists, exempting non-Muslims from punishments prescribed for Muslims would create an unjust system, which would disturb the peace, ultimately defeating the original purpose of hudud itself... Mushaddad claimed that if criminals were given a choice, even a Muslim criminal would profess to be a non-Muslim to escape hudud punishments. In 1993, the PAS state government passed the Kelantan Shariah Criminal Code Enactment (II), allowing it to impose the strict Islamic penal code in the state. But the laws have not been implemented. The hudud punishments in Kelantan’s enactment are exclusive to Muslims, and the state’s deputy mentri besar Datuk Mohd Amar Nik Abdullah defended the disparity of punishments between Muslims and non-Muslims. “That is fair … because a Muslim has chosen his faith. When he chose Islam, he chose the entirety of Islamic teaching, including its laws,” said Mohd Amar. Although some Muslims in Malaysia chose to convert in, most of the adherents were born into the religion."

Hudud should apply to all Malaysians, Jakim paper suggests - "“It is wrong to think that non-Muslims cannot be [subjected] to Shariah-based laws. How can citizens of a country that exalts Islam as religion of the state assume that it is their human rights to not be placed under the influence of Shariah laws?” said the proposal. “This kind of thinking is the same as those who reject the nobility of the Constitution and the sovereignty of the laws,” it added, referring to two of the five Rukunegara, the Malaysian National Principles. The report also cited a Federal Court ruling in 2006 declaring moral policing laws as valid to be enforced in Malaysia... other hudud and qisas crimes such as theft, highway robbery, murder and causing physical harm were not included as the crimes are already covered under the Penal Code. Heavier punishments for the latter crimes cannot yet be implemented as Malaysia is currently under local and international scrutiny for its human rights record, it said."

Israel, Singapore more Islamic than Malaysia, study suggests - "Malaysia is behind Israel and Singapore in a ranking measuring the “Islamicity” of countries in which no Muslim country managed to break into the top 25 of the ladder. But the Southeast Asian nation is also the best-ranked among Muslim countries in the world, coming in at 33rd; the next highest-placed was Kuwait (42nd) while Saudi Arabia — the birthplace of Islam — was 91st. No Arab nation breached the top 50... Dubbed the “Overall Islamicity Index” and conducted by Hossein Askari, a professor of International Business and International Affairs at George Washington University, the survey applied the ideals of Islam in the areas of a society’s economic achievements, governance, human and political rights, and international relations."

Revealed: Labour MPs go to police over death threats after refusal to back Jeremy Corbyn
No true leftist puts sugar in his porridge

Panda Accused Of Faking Pregnancy To Get Better Food

Terminal cancer patient dies aged 91 after she refused chemotherapy and traveled the world - "'Miss Norma' had her first taste of lobster - and a particular highlight was a hot-air balloon ride and taking part in a St Patrick's Day Parade."

German court rules parents cannot stop girl, 15, from having relationship with uncle, 47 - "as the teenager is over 14 – the age of sexual consent in Germany – the court has ruled that her own wishes have to be taken into account, it has been reported... They reportedly added that while the relationship may be unacceptable socially, it was not covered by criminal law."

Catholic care home sued for refusing euthanasia
Maybe we need to revise the Hippocratic Oath

Tokyo restaurant refuses service to all-male groups of customers

Hardcore gamer refuses to let game save die, leaves his Super NES on for almost two decades - "Though it may be hard to believe now, with all our wonderful memory options for everything from computers to phones to handheld devices, back in the day, some game cartridges featured SRAM (Static RAM) coupled with lithium-ion batteries. As long as your battery stayed charged, the SRAM would hold your save data. Unfortunately, as soon as your battery ran out, your data would disappear as well. Of course, not all games used SRAM, but Umihara Kawase did, which means that if the battery in the cartridge were to die, @UMIHARAKawase would lose his replay data."

German member of 'Refugees Welcome' raped by Afghan tenant

Iraqi refugee who raped a boy in Germany has conviction overturned - "An Iraqi refugee who raped a 10-year-old boy at a swimming pool has had his conviction overturned because a court didn't prove he realised the boy was saying no. The rapist, identified as Amir A, 20, violently sexually assaulted the boy in the changing room of Theresienbad pool in Austria claiming it was a 'sexual emergency' because he had not had sex for four months. But an appeal court in the country accepted the defence lawyer's claim that the lower court had not done enough to prove he knew the schoolboy was saying no and overturned the conviction... He seized his moment at the pool and dragged the boy into the changing rooms and locked the door before raping him. The boy, known as Goran, required immediate medical treatment and has been suffering with post-traumatic stress disorder ever since."
Would this defence work for non-refugees?

Internet access as important as food, water to refugees, UN says - "Data plans are so expensive that refugees spend about a third of their incomes to get online, according to a UN Refugee Agency study published Wednesday. In Tanzania, some refugees are willing to sell up to 10 days worth of food rations to buy a month of data for their phones, the study found... internet access substituted for health care in some instances, serving as a digital instruction book for treating some illnesses"

Gay refugees say they have been 'bullied' in Dutch camps

Migrant Crisis: Where Have the Gulf States Been? - "Consider the financial means at the disposal of five energy-rich Arab countries: Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, and Bahrain. Their combined GDP is about $2 trillion a year, and their combined population is under 55 million people. That translates into a per capita annual income in the poorest member of this group, Bahrain, of more than $21,000 and a per capita gross national income in the richest, Qatar, of $90,000. It is not hard to imagine what 5 percent of their combined annual GDPs—so around $100 billion—might have done to avert the worst of the crisis... arguably, expectations ought to have been low to begin with. For a Syrian, Iraqi, Lebanese, or citizen of any other average Arab country, it is next to impossible to get even a temporary visa from some of these rich Arab countries, the same or worse for a work permit. Still, many people are prepared to criticize Western countries for not readily offering safe haven to Middle Eastern refugees... Government policies aside, it is also interesting to look at popular reactions to the unfolding drama. While many NGOs and large numbers of Westerners have urged their governments to act to help or accept the refugees, public responses have been more muted among rich Arab states. There have been no reported demonstrations to pressure those governments to accept refugees or find other, fundamental solutions. Part of the explanation might lie in the fear such countries have had regarding migration by “other” Arabs to their lands. They have sought jealously to safeguard their wealth from possible dilution. They have also appeared concerned about possible political instability if Arabs from other countries arrive and swamp their relatively small populations... Even recognizing all these concerns, though, it remains puzzling why five countries with a combined national income of $2 trillion have not offered credible assistance to solve the current refugee crisis. After all, they have all more or less been involved—directly or indirectly—in the Syrian civil war by virtue of having either encouraged or armed various groups."
Maybe Muslim solidarity is only for bashing Israel

Danish imam urges govt to accept child marriages among refugees - "A high-profile imam has urged the Danish government to accept child brides, as the practice is part of the culture of many refugees arriving in the country. It follows an announcement by Denmark that such couples will be separated under Danish law."

Gay, atheist student from Malaysia has refugee claim accepted - "An openly gay and atheist University of Winnipeg student who feared for his life if he was sent back to his home country, Malaysia, will be allowed to stay in Canada, as his claim for refugee status has been accepted."

Labour MP Rachael Mask tells Government 'take refugees until Britain BREAKS' - "Backbencher Rachael Maskell said Britons should just lie down and accept longer waits for hospital treatment and larger classes in schools in order to accommodate more Syrians and other migrants fleeing conflict overseas. She attacked David Cameron's plan to accept 20,000 more Syrians from refugee camps over the next five years as inadequate. Her outburst, which came at a rally to support refugees held in her York Central constituency on Saturday, was branded "dangerously out of touch". She told the gathering: "We need to shout so much more and say 20,000 is not enough, 30,000 is not enough. "We will keep going until we hit our saturation point because what does it matter if we have to wait another week for a hospital visit?... In a bizarre contradiction, he took to Twitter to write today: "No one should wait for healthcare.""

Transgender women 'attacked in the street' by north African teenagers in Germany - Telegraph - ""Before that they tried to hit on us. For them, that’s OK. But when they realised we were transgender, they felt their honour was hurt. That’s why they snapped"... Details of the incident emerged as police in the nearby city of Düsseldorf staged a major raid on a neighbourhood known as “Little Maghreb” for its large north African population on Saturday evening. Some 300 officers were involved in the raid on the area close to the main station, which police said targeted north African criminal gangs involved in “bag-snatching, luggage theft, street robberies and drug offences”"

Sex manual for immigrants sparks backlash in Germany - "Some commentators have praised Zanzu for its frank approach to sexuality, which they view as necessary to help refugees from conservative religious cultures integrate into Germany’s far more liberal society. Others have criticised it as being patronising towards migrants. Heinz-Jürgen Voss, a sex scientist at the University of Merseburg, told the Washington Post it was “racist” to assume that Syrians and Iraqis, for instance, were less schooled than Germans when it came to sex... Blogger Anabel Schunke argued that the site would do little to address the problematic attitudes towards women and sex found among many male migrants: “These men know exactly what is and isn’t allowed, and they just do not care because they have anyway never interested the laws and culture of this country,” she wrote. “It's also terribly naive to think one could sweep away the socialisation and cultural conditioning experienced since early childhood with some nice little pictures and an integration course.”"

Saudi Arabia offers Germany 200 mosques – one for every 100 refugees who arrived last weekend - "Saudi Arabia would build one mosque for every 100 refugees who entered Germany in extraordinary numbers last weekend. It would be unfair to suggest that the Gulf Arab states have done nothing to help the estimated four million Syrians who have fled their country since the start of the conflict in 2011. Just this week, the al Hayat newspaper reported that 500,000 Syrians had found homes in Saudi Arabia since the civil war began – as workers, not refugees. There have also been significant contributions from rich individuals towards the upkeep of refugee camps round the Syrian border, estimated by the BBC to total around $900 million (£600 million)"
Yay Wahhabi

Why Americans started treating Asian Americans with a little more respect

The real secret to Asian American success was not education

"For those who doubt that racial resentment lingers in this nation, Asian Americans are a favorite talking point. The argument goes something like this: If “white privilege” is so oppressive — if the United States is so hostile toward its minorities — why do census figures show that Asian Americans out-earn everyone?

In a 2014 editorial, conservative commentator Bill O'Reilly pointed out that Asian household incomes were 20 percent higher than white household incomes on average. “So, do we have Asian privilege in America?” he asked. Of course not, he said. The real reason that Asians are “succeeding far more than African-Americans and even more than white Americans” is that “their families are intact and education is paramount,” he said.

This claim has been with us since at least the 1960s, when it served as a popular rejoinder to the challenges issued by the civil rights movement. Many newspapers printed flattering portraits of Asian Americans to cast skepticism on the people marching for economic and social justice...

Hilger recently used old census records to trace the fortunes of whites, blacks and Asians who were born in California during the early- to mid-20th century. He found that educational gains had little to do with how Asian Americans managed to close the wage gap with whites by the 1970s.

Instead, his research suggests that society simply became less racist toward Asians...

Hilger discovered that the improvements in educational attainment were too modest to explain how Asians' earnings grew so fast.

The picture became much clearer when he compared people with similar levels of education. Hilger found that in the 1940s, Asian men were paid less than white men with the same amount of schooling. But by the 1980s, that gap had mostly disappeared...

In other words, the remarkable upward mobility of California-born Asians wasn’t about superior schooling (not yet, anyway). It was the result of Asians finally receiving better opportunities — finally earning equal pay for equal skills and equal work...

Postwar racial attitudes shifted differently for Asians than for African Americans. In the 1850s, newspapers in California complained that Chinese immigrants were the dregs of the laboring class, having “most of the vices and few of the virtues of the African.” Yet by the 1960s, attitudes had completely flipped. Journalists praised Asians for being hard workers who cherished education, kept their heads down and rarely complained...

If we take a page from Hilger and focus on people with similar educational backgrounds, the residual disadvantages become clear. Asians actually earn 5 percent less compared with whites who also have advanced degrees — while blacks and Hispanics earn 20 percent less...

Asian Americans — some of them at least — have made tremendous progress in the United States. But the greatest thing that ever happened to them wasn't that they studied hard, or that they benefited from tiger moms or Confucian values. It's that other Americans started treating them with a little more respect."

Problematic aspects of this article I found on reading it:

- Maybe "other Americans started treating them with a little more respect" because they showed they were worthy of respect, and not because Americans "became less racist"

- If the reason for Asian success was that "Americans "became less racist"", why did Americans "become less racist" only towards Asians? This is not explored by the article at all, but is just taken as a given.

- Just because Asians with similar levels of education earn a bit less doesn't mean they're discriminated against. There're qualities besides education that determine earnings. I forgot where I heard this recently but hard skills only give you success in the first 5-8 (?) years of your career. After that other skills - not traditionally prized in East Asian culture - become more important. See: What Happens to All the Asian-American Overachievers When the Test-Taking Ends?, which points out some reasons why Asian-American educational achievement does not neatly translate to workplace success

Furthermore, reading the cited paper, Upward Mobility And Discrimination: The Case Of Asian Americans by Nathaniel Hilger, a more nuanced picture emerges:

- "Asian history can therefore be interpreted as a novel, dynamic confirmation of the old hypothesis that earnings gaps driven by prejudice rather than productivity will not persist in sufficiently open and competitive labor markets" (also phrased as "large group earnings gaps appear hard to maintain in sufficiently competitive labor markets without large group productivity gaps"). In other words, the economic case against discrimination is supported (i.e. employers will not continue to discriminate against demographics with skills, but will pay them fairly - after a while). One corollary of this is that the observed earnings gap for other races today is not driven by prejudice.

- The paper uses AGCT (Army General Classification Test) test scores to measure skills. In other contexts, standardised testing gets condemned as useless and misleading (e.g. racial gaps in test scores are said to reveal how biased these tests are). If that is the case one should logically also question these results.

- The author observes that "Asians experienced similar or worse harassment and legal discrimination than blacks living in CA", which might be controversial. Controversy aside, it is interesting that despite facing worse harassment and legal discrimination, Asians managed to deal with said problems more effectively than blacks. This suggests that one needs to look at factors beyond mere discrimination by other people to explain underachievement.

- "all of these theories entail intra-group spillovers in which a group member’s earnings depend on her group’s market-wide or aggregate skill levels rather than just her own". In other words, if you're not fairly assessed because of the demographic group you belong to, you can blame other members of your group.

The original Washington Post article is thus misleading. I will rewrite its final paragraph to summarise what it should have said:

"Asian Americans — some of them at least — have made tremendous progress in the United States. The greatest thing that ever happened to them was that they studied hard, and/or benefited from tiger moms or Confucian values. And when other Americans realised that, they started treating them with a little more respect."

Addendum: The author has published a followup:

The real reasons the U.S. became less racist toward Asian Americans

After glossing over Hilger's research, the rest of the article contradicts itself. Various claims are made for why the US supposedly became less racist towards Asian Americans but not African Americans:

- If less racism against Asians (and not education etc) was the real reason why they succeeded, how could they be held as an example for blacks? You would need to have success to point to first before using that success to reduce racism against them. This puts the cart before the horse.
- If Asians tried to portray themselves as "good Americans" and got accepted, doesn't it imply that trying to integrate into society is a path to success?
- If the Chinese community embodied values that were prized by society (Confucian ethics etc) isn't it logical that society would accept them?
- Isn't one moral that if you focus on becoming a productive member of society rather of protesting, society will accept you (the article references some protesting but it's clear the emphasis wasn't on the protesting but the getting on with life)? One could also see the earlier examples of Poles, Jews, Italians etc who all faced discrimination but did not IIRC protest but got on with building society
- Isn't it striking that 25 years was all it took for Asians to not be coloured anymore?

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Links - 23rd November 2016

"There is a tendency on the left, to think if someone in any way disagrees with the left it must be for the lowest possible reason and if you found the lowest possible motive you have found the right one" - Christopher Hitchens

Apparently this is from a now unavailable YouTube video (quoted here)

Full quote:

"I would never make a political disagreement the cause of a quarrel with a friend. I think it’s silly to do that. But there is a tendency on the left—and I bet there are people here who know what I’m talking about—to think that if someone in any way disagrees with the left, it must be for the lowest possible reason, and that if you’ve found the lowest possible motive, you’ve found the right one. There’s this whole culture of: no one would leave us or quarrel with us if they weren’t a sellout. It’s actually a very sick mentality, and very widespread, and people who think like that or feel like that can dump me if they want, but that’s almost to as much as to say that they weren’t much of a friend."

Another version in Hitch-22: A Memoir: "I had become too accustomed to the pseudo-Left new style, whereby if your opponent thought he had identified your lowest possible motive, he was quite certain that he had isolated the only real one. This vulgar method, which is now the norm and the standard in much non-Left journalism as well, is designed to have the effect of making any noisy moron into a master analyst"


Shonky Choice awards: Samsung Galaxy, Nestle among this year's 'worst-performing products' - "A family favourite, the drinking chocolate Milo, was also criticised with Choice rejecting Nestle's claims it was a "core dairy product". Choice said at 46 per cent sugar, Milo's four-and-a-half-star rating should be downgraded to one-and-a-half star, describing the product as "delicious chocolate dirt"... Also in the firing line was Vanish Preen Powerpowder, a carpet cleaning product which Choice said was "outperformed by water"."

Singapore’s bar scene is one of the world’s best, say pundits

Annoyance Is a Sign of a Good Relationship - "The real death knell of a relationship is not conflict… it’s emotional withdrawal. When you’ve reached the point where you can’t muster any feelings about your partner – not even annoyance or frustration – that’s a sign that you’ve emotionally checked out of the relationship."

Kiwis have trust issues - "only 31% of Kiwi employees trusted all of their co-workers. In fact, 54% of respondents had their trust broken by a co-worker and those who had their trust broken were considerably less prone to have faith in their colleagues. The survey also showed that hearing colleagues talking negatively about others was the chief reason to have a lack of trust in the office."

What’s on the lunch menu for UK employees? - "UK staff rushing for time have confessed to spending an average of a paltry £5 (S$8.83) a day on lunch... Employees are going for sandwiches (59%), bringing food from home (54%), or settling on unhealthy choices such as burgers and fast food (eight percent), sweets (19%), pasties (seven percent) and cakes (15%)"

Almost 70% of neighbour disputes heard by tribunals involve ‘excessive noise’ - "Other common causes of disputes include littering and “interfering with moveable property”, with each representing about one-quarter of the cases. Some cases involved more than one type of complaint... The tribunal issued a protection order that prohibits a man from approaching and loitering at the homes of a woman and her mother, and using threatening and abusive words against them and the woman’s sister. The woman had complained that she felt sexually harassed by him. He would patronise the drinks stall she ran with her mother and sister, trail her home, and look at her “from top to bottom”. He also used vulgarities and rude hand signs in front of her stall. As part of the resolution, the woman had to reimburse him S$200 in medical fees for hitting and hurting him one time with a stick of sugarcane."

John Simpson in Singapore: absurd nannyism and superlative service - "Once, years ago, I plucked up the courage to suggest privately to the presiding spirit of Singapore, its great re-founder Harry Lee Kuan Yew, that he had created an overly nannified state. He gave me his knowing smile, showing wolfish teeth. “I rather agree,” he said, “but our people like it that way”... Some years back Singapore decided to license a Speaker’s Corner, as in Hyde Park, where people could say exactly what they liked. When my cameraman and producer and I turned up, we found it was taking place in the car park of a big police station. We, and everyone else who went there, had to put our names down in a ledger, and various characters in plain clothes wandered round with expensive little video cameras, taking an interest in the turn-out. Not surprisingly, Speaker’s Corner Singapore-style lacked something of the cutting edge of the original. No matter: I still like Singapore immensely. It may not be sharp and freewheeling like Hong Kong, but you can get just about anything you want there, and it has an unequalled culture of service... Somehow, the Singaporeans seem to get service just right: not obsequious, not impersonal, not intrusive, but ever-present when you want it. And the quality of service certainly isn’t restricted to the expensive hotels"
Maybe you must be white to get good service

Want to stop global warming? Then STOP having babies, says academic - "A radical concern for climate change is precisely motivated by a concern for human life – in particular, the human lives that will be affected by climate disruptions. A valuable philosophical contribution here is the distinction between 'making people happy' and 'making happy people.' .. I would argue that it is more 'anti-life' to prioritize creating new life over caring for, or even not harming, those who already exist."

Should the first in a queue be served last? - "Danish researchers have recently made a shocking suggestion - that queuing on the basis of last-come-first-served may sometimes be more efficient... They tend to arrive at staggered times, resulting in shorter queues. "It would be more risky for people to arrive early because it could mean that you may not be lucky enough to be served immediately, so you would have to wait for a long time until all those who arrive after you have been served," he says. "There will be some people trying their luck arriving early but on average people will arrive later and it means on average that everyone will be better off." At the airport departure gate, people would be more likely to stay in a cafe for a while, or sit reading a book rather than rushing to be first in the queue... "As long as everyone knows it from the beginning, in a sense it's fair that everyone faces the same rules and the rules apply to everyone. But it's true that many people would object to serving the last because it will result in some people having to wait for a long time. In that sense it's not fair and probably it's against many people's intuition about fairness in queues," Osterdal says. Abandoning the first-come-first-served principle would be easier in internet or phone queues though, Osterdal points out. People kept waiting a long time may not be happy, but at least they would not see people who arrived in the queue after them getting served first."
Keywords: queue last, last first

Children Can Predict the Outcomes of Elections Simply by Looking at Candidates’ Faces - "As the researchers note, (Charles) Darwin recorded in his autobiography that: “he was almost denied the chance to take the historic Beagle voyage — the one that enabled the main observations of his theory of evolution — on account of his nose. Apparently, the captain did not believe that a person with such a nose would possess sufficient energy and determination.”"

Man 'accidentally' gets hemorrhoid surgery while waiting for his wife to give birth - "The hospital said that it had made a mistake and offered to pay him 5,000 yuan in compensation. Though, the hospital did add that Wang really did have hemorrhoids."

The many (distinctive) faces of leadership: Inferring leadership domain from facial appearance - "We find that human judges can identify business, military, and sports leaders (but not political leaders) from their faces with above-chance accuracy. However, people are surprisingly bad at evaluating their own performance on this judgment task"

Lena Dunham Wants to Improve Men by Making White Straight Men Extinct

Lena Dunham supports that sushi is cultural appropriation

Lena Dunham Accuses Odell Beckham Jr. of Completely Ignoring Her at Met Gala - "Dunham continued, unofficially dubbing the event the so-called "Metropolitan Museum of Getting Rejected by Athletes" while slamming Beckham even further"
If it'd been a man, he'd have been blasted for male sexual entitlement

This Teen Is SUING Her Parents for Posting Her Baby Photos on Facebook

Just going on vacation may change gene activity - "Vacation and meditation seemed to turn down defense responses, inflammation response and innate immune response, Schadt said."

An anti-Islam leader staged a fake ‘Islamic invasion’ — featuring a camel — in Prague

7 Words That Came About from People Getting Them Wrong - "The confusion about which word the 'n' belonged to could end up swinging the other way too. A newt was originally an "ewt" ("The carcases of snakes, ewts, and other serpents."), but "an ewt" could easily be misheard as "a newt," and in this case, the 'n' left the "an" and stuck to the the "newt.""
Purists undoubtedly use these words

Jihawg Ammo: Pork-laced Bullets Designed To Send Muslims Straight ‘To Hell' - "“With Jihawg Ammo, you don’t just kill an Islamist terrorist, you also send him to hell. That should give would-be martyrs something to think about before they launch an attack. If it ever becomes necessary to defend yourself and those around you our ammo works on two levels”... The company’s website bills the bullets as “Peace Through Pork” and a “peaceful and natural deterrent to radical Islam.” There’s a related line of apparel that feature slogans like “Put Some Ham in MoHAMed” and a target poster that says “Give Em a Spankin with some Bacon.”... Shannon Dunn, assistant professor of religious studies at Gonzaga University, said South Fork’s concept is based on an inaccurate understanding of the Quran. “There is no penalty for coming into contact with pork given by the Quran,” she said, pointing to verses that prohibit the consumption of pork and carrion that are reminiscent of Jewish dietary laws outlined in Leviticus. “To my knowledge, Muslims, especially unknowingly, would not be banned from heaven for eating or getting hit by pork,” she said. “There are some interpreters who suggest that Muslims should eat pork rather than starve, if faced with that alternative.”"

Hindsight Bias - "researchers Martin Bolt and John Brink (1991) asked college students to predict how the U.S. Senate would vote on the confirmation of Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas. Prior to the senate vote, 58-percent of the participants predicted that he would be confirmed. When students were polled again after Thomas was confirmed, 78-percent of the participants said that they thought Thomas would be approved."

The Economics of ‘Slut-Shaming’ - "We would expect a patriarchy to weigh the trade-offs of maintaining power by repressing female sexuality against the option to easily satisfy a considerable carnal appetite. Given the high value ostensibly placed on both, any patriarchy’s optimal allocation of sexual repression and sexual objectification would not likely be as one-sided as observed in history and today. A society ruled entirely by misogynists would probably not discourage, or might even actively encourage, female promiscuity... Before the mass exodus of women into the public sphere, entering into lucrative sexual congress was a surefire way for shrewd suppliers to secure material well-being. Unfortunately, women’s natural endowments are as fleeting as their youthful competition is ever-regenerating. Even if a woman of yesterday managed to net a suitable husband, the spectre of wandering eyes and brazen temptresses haunted housewives. As such, there is a strong incentive for women to restrict competition, price-cutting, and client-stealing in the sexual mating market. Slut-shaming, prohibitions against paid sex work, censorship of pornographic images, and gender segregation are all tools that restrict supply in the sexual market. Anxieties and incentives cause women facing sexual competition to psychologically exhibit similar, although uncoordinated, cartelistic behaviors. Thrill-seekers and erotic entrepreneurs that buck the sexual syndicate find themselves at the mercy of moral indignation and exclusion. A review of the literature on sexual suppression suggests that the evidence is more consistent with the female cartel theory than the patriarchy theory: Periods of sexual restraint coincide with sellers’ markets. Although men historically enforced sexual norms, female self-interest shapes them."

Former Vietnamese refugee in Singapore on quest to find Norwegian rescuers from more than 30 years ago - "most of them were given shelter at the Hawkins Road Refugee Camp in Sembawang. The camp, which was run by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) from 1978 and 1996, was the first and only refugee camp here... From 1975 to 1996, Singapore hosted a total of 32,457 Vietnamese boat people. At that point, Vietnamese refugees who could prove they could go to another country afterwards were given food and temporary shelter here. Many were also able to find employment outside the camp as cooks, waiters and movers, among other jobs. Others were turned away, with restrictions on their influx keeping the camp free of the overcrowding and disease that plagued other camps in regional countries like Indonesia. The majority - 32,364 - were resettled in third countries, while the remaining were voluntarily repatriated to Vietnam in 1996 when the UNHCR decided to close all its camps in the region... Businessman Michael Bui, 55, has fond memories of the 90 days that he spent in the Singapore camp in 1979. They were allowed to work outside the camp in addition to the stipend, and he found a job as a labourer. "We went shopping, ate out and watched movies in Sembawang and Marsiling. It represented some of the best days in my youth which I never want to let go," said the US citizen who returned to Singapore for a visit in July. Mr Bui hopes that something can be built in the memory of the camp. He said: "She opened her arms to us...tired, poor and huddled masses yearning for freedom. Singapore is small but her heart is so big.""
So it's not true Singapore rejected refugees

Following the no makeup trend? Here's why it could be more expensive than wearing makeup - "women who wear makeuptend to out-earn women who'd rather let their natural beauty shine. This might be due to the fact that wearing makeup at work makes you feel confident, which in turn makes you appear more competent to your colleagues... Radiant Makeup-Free Skin Requires Expensive Prep... Effective Acne Scar Removal Costs Thousands of Dollars"

"HOLDING BACK": NEGOTIATING A GLASS CEILING ON WOMEN'S MUSCULAR STRENGTH - "women in fitness - particularly those who seek muscular strength in the weight room - may find their bodily agency limited not by biology but by ideologies of emphasized femininity that structure the upper limit on women's "success.""
According to feminism, biology doesn't exist

Futile attempts to buy medicine despite prescription - "How can a hospital refuse to sell to a patient medication prescribed by a certified medical practitioner? Until today, I have still not managed to purchase the medicine for my mother. Her infection has worsened and we have to submit a new urine sample to the lab to determine another course of treatment. My fear is that this whole process may start again."

Observations - 23rd November 2016

"You may have the universe if I may have Italy." - Temistocle Solera (Verdi's librettist)


"i think it's a privilege to be able to blame an externality, like being born a woman or an arab, for your own inadequacies. wish i had that."

"Boys will be boys" can be seen as a rejection of ethnocentrism (or its gender equivalent) and an acknowledgement that boys have their own cultural norms

Words speak louder than actions - the moral of offence culture

If you get offended all the time it just means you're insecure

Maybe unfriending "bigots" is just another form of virtue signalling

If you need to respect the customs of countries you travel to, if you go to Afghanistan must you accept the oppression of women?

Still not sure why it's considered courageous to go for a sex change. If I am a female and undergo massive surgery to turn myself into a human Barbie, am I courageous? Shedding of the face you are born with is courageous too. Michael Jackson got a lot of flak for his plastic surgery.

Are health warnings on cigarette packets smoker shaming?

Those people who said those who did jesuisparis were hypocrites because they don't mourn for the Third World should be pleased to note that the more the West is hit by terror, the less we mourn

Do the same people protesting the French burkini ban protest bans on female genital cutting (aka female circumcision)?

If women who willingly wear the hijab contribute to the oppression of women do those who do BDSM help male violence against women?

If you are selective in calling out hypocrisy then you are... a hypocrite

"Unfriending exercise is nothing to be proud of
It's an an announcement that one is incapable of managing input and dispassionately evaluating and accepting / rejecting views based evaluation of facts."

"Hair for hope is illness appropriation. Just because you look like them means you know what they are going through?"

Abortion is not the only issue which involves bodily autonomy. Others include food, encouraging exercise, quarantine, immunisations and other medical procedures. Yet we don't see them protected under the right to privacy, or any of the accompanying outrage

"Identity politics are an inevitable side-effect of embracing moral relativism."

"I love all these liberals. They want socialized medicine but then whine about how it's none of our business how big they are. If your unhealthy eating is going to put unnecessary cost on the healthcare system then damn right your health is my business."

Are women advertising for housemates who say they've a preference for single female professionals sexist, classist and singlist?

"Funny how the people who claim that masculinity is fragile just can't go a day without making fun of men in order to feel superior"

"If you want to protest, you decline to perform. If you want a sincere conversation, you invite the man backstage and voice your concerns privately. If you want to grandstand and make it about you, you do what [Hamilton] did"

If a restaurant refuses to cook Halal food for a Muslim customer, is it discriminating against Muslims? (as per the gay cake cases) What if a knife salesman refuses to sell a Muslim a knife because it will be used for Halal slaughter and he's against animal cruelty?

"i that what this elections really blew off is the reluctance of the reasonable class to criticise the libetard narrative
back then if you did so you would get hit with the 3 combo- racist, sexist, xenophobic
now it has lost it's power a fair but"

Just because a regime is native doesn't mean it is legitimate.

"People react to blackface like they do people mocking someone with a disability. This says more about their view of blackness than it does the one portraying a black person with makeup."

"I'm pretty sure before I die I'll see LGBTQIABCD+√EF"
"I'm assuming the + indicates you're positive for an STD. Eventually it'll be LGBTQIALMNOPFRYZXEU6VS+
Because y'know, there are 65 ways to identify your gender."

Telemarketer called me on behalf of ANZ
Then asked me if I was currently a customer
"If you don't know, you shouldn't be calling me"

The most preposterous phishing scams are the ones where they spoof your identity to send you the scam email. I feel violated.

"You are receiving this mail because we want to keep you updated on the latest fashion and lifestyle trends."
At least they're not lying I signed up for their mailing list

Telemarketer from Maybank called and offered me the Manhattan Card (Standard Chartered). She meant the Manchester United card.

Why would you send a spam email with "Download Virus" being the only text in the body, and linked? Is it a test of how stupid people are?

Europeans and Diversity

Re: On diversity, Europeans less positive than Americans | Pew Research Center

"Europe was being repeatedly attacked by Muslim Empires from the 7th Century until the 17th Century - with raiding for slaves not ending until the 18th and early 19th Century.

Entire coastal areas of Spain and Southern France were often abandoned to deter raids by Barbary Pirates. Eastern Europe lived under the yoke of the Turks.

All European 'colonialism' in North Africa and Levant was simply retaliation. A third of the Christian world was annexed (and is still held) by Muslims three centuries before the first Crusade. When Europeans grew strong enough to seize the power centres of these Empires they bitch and whine and moaned that we are 'crusading Imperialists' how dare we stop them taking us as slaves and ransoming our people."

"re: Poland, listed "unfavorably" in the Pew poll - she happened to be one of if not the most ethnically and religiously diverse counties in Europe in 1939, when her Western and Eastern neighbors conspired to socially and georaphically re-engineer her via genocide. With some awareness of history, it might be more understandable why Poland is not super excited about more German-led social engineering experiments."

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Links - 22nd November 2016

"Having to read a footnote resembles having to go downstairs to answer the door while in the midst of making love." - Noel Coward


Why Mandarin Won’t Be a Lingua Franca - "English is an inherently neutral language: There is no gender in English as there are in Romance languages. There are no class or generational distinctions baked into the language, as there are with so many languages that feature different you’s with different verb conjugations – the deferential you (boss, elder, stranger) versus the familiar you (friend, subordinate, child). Ours is a radically egalitarian and modern language, and it is simpler and more direct as a result. English is also more politically neutral than we think. Even Islamist Jihadist propagandists would concede that English, is a convenience in spreading their word... In what amounted to a telling parody of modern France, one grievance underlying a recent Air France strike was the airline union’s anger at the adoption of English as the default language for internal communications across its global operations... This cordon sanitaire containing China’s cultural (and if it comes to it, military) expansion is one of the lesser appreciated dynamics of today’s world, one that augurs well for the cause of the English language and American cultural influence"

Discharge pending for combat pilot who tried to halt lesbian officers' make-out session - "A special three-officer “show cause” board reviewed the punishment and unanimously ruled that the evidence showed he did not violate Army rules... A warrant officer had approached Col. Downey and complained that their prolonged French kissing, buttocks grabbing and disrobing of Army jackets violated Army rules against inappropriate displays of public affection while in uniform on base... “Astonishingly, the soldier who Lt. Col. Downey was alleged to have assaulted later stated that he was not the victim of an assault, and that he knew Lt. Col. Downey never intended to harm him,” Mr. Thompson said. The lawsuit states: “He simply sought to lower the camera and used no more than the slight movement necessary to accomplish this legitimate and lawful objective.”"
No wonder people complain about the gay agenda

Pushing white guys rightward on the political spectrum - "what did President Barack Obama and the Democrats do to hack off white guys so badly that we voted GOP by the widest percentage since Ronald Reagan wiped out Walter Mondale in 1984? For one thing, there have been incessant and noisy claims by Democrat higher-ups that Republicans are waging a "war on women"... In better times white guys let such mockery roll off their backs. But these are not better times, especially for the vast majority of guys not at the top of the economic pyramid"

Why You Should Stop Juicing - "If our bodies are our temples, juice is what we worship—and no form of prayer is more American than opening up our wallets... juice cleanses accomplish exactly none of their physiological or medical objectives; they fetishize a weird, obsessive relationship with food, and they are part of a social shift that reduces health (mental, physical, and, sure, spiritual) to a sign of status. They’re annoying as hell... after days of Googling I still have no idea WTF a toxin is. “It is far harder to kill a phantom than a reality,” wrote Virginia Woolf, another woman with a tortured relationship to food. The juicing industry is counting on that... Toxins are like cholesterol clogging an artery, except they block the path to woo-woo transcendence instead of the left atrium. Or, as Vanessa Grigoriadis puts it in New York magazine, “Food is the focus of an enormous amount of modern moralism ... One wants to be skinny because one wants to be healthy; one wants to be healthy because one wants to be good.” As religion declines among elite urbanites, a new scripture—“sprouting and enzymes and whatnot”—is swirling into the void"

Yishan Wong's answer to What does Twitter need to do to restart growth and reactivate its massive dormant user base? - Quora - "using Twitter for long periods of time is a fundamentally unpleasant experience... the more successfully you use Twitter, the more likely and more frequently the worst possible thing that can happen to you on Twitter is going to happen to you"

Should Buying Sex Be Illegal? - "The answer to the question of which law better protects women—full legalization or the criminalization of demand—is as much ideological as empirical. It depends on whether you see Anna as a trafficked, exploited woman mouthing sex-industry propaganda, or as a person with agency making the best choices she can given her constrained circumstances. It depends on how much regulation you’re willing to accept in the name of gender equality, and ultimately whether you think making it harder for some prostitutes to work is a worthwhile price to pay for reducing the number of women in prostitution overall."

STATS: Migrants Committing Disproportionately High Crime In Germany, Media/Govt Focus on 'Far Right' Thought Crimes - "according to the statistics, identified left wingers have had more confrontations with police (3,507 incidents), according to the statistics, than right wingers have (1,203 incidents). Left-wing activists have confronted more right wingers (4,276 incidents) than vice versa (1,406 incidents). These incidents include public protests like those of the PEGIDA movement. Nonetheless, the reporting from Western news agencies has focused on a “right wing” wave of violence."

Controversial New PETA Video Destroyed For Likening Animal Exploitation to Rape - "the group was forced to defend its president Ingrid Newkirk’s comment comparing women’s rights to those of chickens"

Christian children ‘singled out for bullying’ in Egyptian classrooms - ""No girl can show up with her hair showing. They all have to wear the hijab," explained Salem to her interviewer on a talkshow on an independent satellite channel earlier this month, when asked if exceptions were made for Christian girls... The Kafr el-Ashraf case is not isolated. A number of parents across the country have reported rising intolerance towards pupils who do not wish to wear the veil, and bullying of non-Muslim children by teachers and by pupils who follow their lead. On 18 October, Coptic newspaper Watani reported that another state school in the same province, Sharqia, was forcing all female students to wear a hijab. The director of al-Nassiriya School in Zagazig posted a large sign mandating Islamic dress on all girls as part of the school uniform. For years, Christians have complained of harassment in classrooms. Some of their complaints relate to government policy, such as having to memorise parts of the Qur’an to pass mandatory Arabic exams. Others are a result of an ever-growing societal pressure... Viola Samir, a seven-year-old Christian pupil at Kom el-Lufi Primary School in a village outside Samalout, in Minya province, 250km south of Cairo, told how the Islamic religious studies teacher had held eight Christian pupils in her class of 35 against their will, beating one who had not learnt the Qur’an by heart."

See The REAL Reason Denzel Refused To Kiss White Women In Movies - "It had been twenty years (in 1992’s Malcolm X) since Denzel had kissed a White woman on screen until more recently in the 2012 movie, “Flight.” He had his reason for not doing so and it had nothing to do with him disliking White women or anything like that, but it apparently had a lot to do with with his respect for Black women and his disapproval of how Black actresses were all too often not seen as the object of affection when it came to major motion pictures, so he didn’t want to feed into that stereotype... “Black women are not often seen as objects of desire on film. And they have always been my core audience.”"

Woman, 19, had skull fractured after man hit her near Rutgers campus - "A 19-year-old woman suffered a fractured skull after being punched in the face near a Rutgers fraternity house over the weekend, and her family is asking for help to identify the man who hit her... A video of the incident posted on social media and obtained by NJ Advance Media shows Rand take a swing at a man in the area of Robinson and Hamilton streets before the unidentified man punched her in the face."
Woman attacks man. Is still the victim

Love Me Tinder - "At 35, she's old enough to know what dating was like pre-Facebook and the likes of Tinder and OkCupid. "Before the Internet and mobile phones, men took time to get to know me," says the art gallerist. "We would go on at least three or four dates before either one of us decides it won't work out. But these days, that period has shrunk. Again and again, I find myself going on one-off dates where the men quickly decide within the hour - maybe even 30 minutes - that we shouldn't see each other again. "My other friends are experiencing it too - a shortened dating cycle. I don't know if it's because people are so hooked on their apps and the infinite choice they have that they feel they don't have to settle for anything less than perfect"... TW, a male undergraduate at the National University of Singapore, calls Tinder the "best thing ever". He says he's met about 20 women in the past six months through Tinder. Many of these dates got physical to some degree, and some were one-night stands. None of them developed into a serious relationship - but that's not something that concerns TW: "I'm still young. I'm not looking to settle down until I have a stable career. My plan is to make half a million before I'm 30 - and then I'll think about marriage." Meanwhile, Tinder gives him "all the romance I need". The converse is true for young women"
Maybe it's because she's 35

Autopsy reveals Omar Mateen died of “masculine toxicity” - "“At the time of his death, Mr Mateen had enough masculine coursing through his veins to kill 49 people,” said Amanda Marcotte, the forensic pathologist who conducted the autopsy."

Woman in China scalded with hot water over bad restaurant review gets $47,000 in compensation

Pakistan most dangerous country for the world: ex-CIA official - "A former CIA official has said Pakistan is probably the most dangerous country for the world as it is ripe with threats of terrorism, a failing economy and the fastest growing nuclear arsenal."

The last dating taboo: why can't a man ask a woman her weight? - Telegraph - "why is it acceptable for a woman to shirk away from a shorter man, but when that same man declines the advances of a 'larger' woman, he is labelled a superficial pig?... Generally speaking, a person's height is considerably more fixed than their weight – which makes it all the more unfair to judge a man on his vertical inches... Women are clearly stipulating their superficial demands, without fear of retribution. Many of the female profiles I encountered online included such blunt and bullheaded phrases as "don't bother messaging" or "don't expect a reply if you're under 6ft". "No short-arses", "the taller the better" and "I only date tall men" also cropped up."

Cats are rounded up off street so they can be slaughtered for meat and sold at Indian restaurants - "Shocking video footage captured the animals being skinned and boiled alive in the Pallavaram area in the city of Chennai... a particular nomadic tribal community in Chennai called the Narikuravas have a habit of eating cat meat"
Why can't people just sell it openly?

British parrot missing for four years returns speaking Spanish - Telegraph

Deepavali or Diwali debate explains unhappiness immigration influx has caused among some Sporean Tamils - "I too have an issue with our national broadcaster needing to translate Deepavali (as it is said in Tamil) into Diwali. My friend said: “Tamil is one of our National Languages. I would rather they stick to Deepavali. I am not Tamil myself but grew up with it. I know many don’t see it the way we do and that is their right, But i would like the media to stick with Deepavali.”
Given that North Indians have been in Singapore since the 1820s...
What do you do when a "minority" is being "oppressed" by another "minority"?

Facebook Lets Advertisers Exclude Users by Race - "Imagine if, during the Jim Crow era, a newspaper offered advertisers the option of placing ads only in copies that went to white readers. That’s basically what Facebook is doing nowadays... When we showed Facebook’s racial exclusion options to a prominent civil rights lawyer John Relman, he gasped and said, “This is horrifying. This is massively illegal. This is about as blatant a violation of the federal Fair Housing Act as one can find.”"
If I don't send junk mail to some people but to others, am I being discriminatory?
If my supermarket uses loyalty data to send me targeted diaper ads but not my neighbour, is it being discriminatory?

Fearing sway among Muslim youths, group demand church take down cross - "A group of about 50 residents staged a peaceful protest against a new church in Taman Medan fearing proselytization after the church’s congregation had put up a cross on the building. The Star Online reported that the group had gathered at the church at about 10am earlier today while Sunday mass was going on, claiming that putting up a cross in a Malay-majority area challenged Islam and could influence young Muslims... “After meeting with the priest, the church agreed to take down the cross by next Sunday. If they have the authority to run, we cannot stop it. But we ask out of concern, being a Malay area, that they take down the cross,” the group’s leader Datuk Abdullah Abu Bakar was quoted saying. Some of the protesters had also reportedly threatened a male reporter during the incident, demanding that he write “nice” things about the group. The report also claimed that some held on to the journalist’s shirt as he interviewed the protesters."
The next time I say Malaysians are stupid (and not just the politicians) I'll have additional material

Silly, stupid? No, something sinister in Malaysia's pretzel dog brouhaha - "It goes for other fast food franchises such as A&W with their iconic A&W Root Beer (which was renamed in 2009) or Coney Dog (which has also been renamed), and for that matter, food items such as beef bacon or turkey ham."
Addendum: This was for Auntie Anne's, but applies to hot dogs too

A sad day when logic goes to the dogs - "While members of the public voiced their bewilderment at this move, the Federation of Malaysian Consumer Associations (Fomca) stepped right in to support Jakim, saying the decision was in line with the teachings of Islam and the word “dog” in the menu, was inappropriate... Back in 2009, the much-loved A&W Root Beer was dealt a deadly blow when Jakim refused to certify any product with the word “beer” in its name, even if it was non-alcoholic. Yes, we do know beer, which is an alcoholic beverage, is prohibited in Islam, but we also do know there is no alcohol in Root Beer. All the same, the popular drink was renamed “A&W Sarsaparilla” so its halal certificate could be renewed. Its restaurant chains across Malaysia meanwhile began calling its root beer, “RB” in 2013 – and no, not Rhythm and Blues, in case music lovers got confused and started grooving at the counter while placing their orders. The same fate befell good old Ginger Beer sold in cans that also underwent a name change to “Ginger Ade” (we’ve heard of ale, but ade?) so that the word “beer” could be obliterated, effectively putting an end to any confusion regarding its halal status... Will a popular brand of shoes have to call itself Hush, My Little Kitty in order to keep selling its merchandise undisturbed by the religious authorities? Or will Jakim know better and let sleeping dogs lie? Already, a string of movies have faced the ban in our cinemas, simply because its posters either featured a pig, or its storyline dealt with God or his prophets, who took on a human form. In 1995, the movie Babe, essentially a feel-good movie targeted to families with kids, was banned because it featured the antics of a pig, and the very word “Babe” could be easily mispronounced in Malay as “Babi”, meaning well… err… pig, an animal prohibited for consumption in Islam. I hope Miss Piggy too does not feel slighted that she has been downgraded to non-halal status. In 2014, the movie Noah was banned on grounds it went against the prohibition in Islam to visually depict Muslim prophets."

US women have the biggest breasts in the world – study reveals

US women have the biggest breasts in the world – study reveals (the link is now a 404)

"Researchers analysed the breast size data of nearly 400,000 women born in 108 countries, comparing the mean volume and cup size of women from each nation...

Researchers excluded women with breast implants, those who were pregnant, breastfeeding or had been pregnant in the past 12 months from the study. “The analysis of the results also showed that the correlation between a woman's body weight and the size of her breasts is quite different from one country to another,” the study added.

“A typical woman born in the US or Canada has a very large breast volume regardless of her body weight”...

Breast size of women in different countries – top 15
US (Caucasian)
US (Non-Caucasian)
United Kingdom
The Netherlands
New Zealand

Breast size of women in different countries – bottom 15
The Philippines
Solomon Islands
Sri Lanka
Papua New Guinea

From the journal article,

"Women born in Africa and Asia, particularly in the East Asian countries, have the smallest breast volumes"

"The finding was in line with the previous study observations regarding the fact that women are aware of the positive correlation between their breast size and their prestige in relation to other persons."

"The five breast shape categories used in the study were: “hemispherical” i.e., “round”, “pear-shaped”, “hanging”, “hanging with narrow tip”, “hanging with wide tip” i.e., “saggy" and "flat""

""The statistical analysis revealed also that the average position of nipple of North American women differs significantly from the average nipple position of women born in the other parts of the world. The nipple of the average U.S. woman is pointing up with an angle of 24 degrees to the horizontal and it is placed 3.84 cm above the center of gravity of her breasts. Among women in the other countries the nipple is on the average placed 2.42 cm below the center of gravity and it makes an angle of-14 degrees to the horizontal"

"In the U.S.A. and Canada also sporty and fit women have very large breasts compared to women born in the other countries."

"The kinetic forces generated by the movement of a U.S. women's breasts are nearly 20 times higher than the forces generated by the breasts of a Filipino women"

"Virtually a bra for the Asian markets is to be considered more like an esthetic product, while a bra made for the U.S. market must be an advanced supportive product in order to meet the customer expectations."

"A woman's breast size correlates positively with her sexual attractiveness and social prestige"

"It has been shown that young women who come to the United States as exchange students have a very high incidence of mental problems related to their body image and self-esteem. In-depth interviews of the affected exchange students have revealed that one of the key reasons for the problems is that they feel anxiety, when they realize that their breasts are so substantially smaller in size than the breasts of U.S females."

"A number of previous studies have concluded that differences in breast size have a significant mental impact in adolescent girls, affecting self-esteem, emotional well-being and social functioning."

"The incidence of self-esteem related problems among the young first time travelers could probably be reduced by informing them properly about the geographically based differences in the breast size, before they leave their home country."

Learning points:

- A UK/European/Australian AA is a French/Italian A
- In the US cup sizes start at A - equivalent to UK/European/Australian C and French/Italian D
- There's an International Breast Shape Standard (IBSS):

IBSS International Breast Shape Standard - Breast Types Size

"IBSS Standard is the most widely established international reference system for classification of female breasts. The Standard is widely used in industrial R&D as well as academic research.

IBSS was originally created for the commercial needs of the lingerie industry as an effort to align product sizing over the country borders. In contrast to conventional bra labelling standards, IBSS offers a globally comparable basis for product development and international trade.

IBSS is not only an accurate methodlodgy to define the volume of female breasts in an internationally comparable way, but the Standars also covers a number of parameters related to the shape, consistency and physiology of breasts. This is of substantial value for the market adapted product development like design and dimensioning of garment, medical and personal devices and other products.

The Standard divides breasts into 16 different breast types based on clearly defined morphological and physiological characteristics."

Monday, November 21, 2016

Links - 21st November 2016

Dear White People, Your Safety Pins Are Embarrassing - "No. Just no. Please, take it off. Let me explain something, white people: We just fucked up. Bad. We elected a racist demagogue who has promised to do serious harm to almost every person who isn’t a straight white male, and whose rhetoric has already stirred up hate crimes nationwide. White people were 70% of the voters in the 2016 election, and we’re the only demographic Trump won. It doesn’t matter why. What matters is there’s a white nationalist moving into the Oval Office, and white people — only white people — put him there. We don’t get to make ourselves feel better by putting on safety pins and self-designating ourselves as allies."
Comments: "Well....isnt lumping all white people into one block kinda the same as lumping all Mexicans as rapists...or all African Americans as the 'inner city'...?"
"who gave you the authority to decide how other people should or should not show their support? are you going to tell me not to wear a rainbow to support gay rights? not to wear my feminist regalia to support women's rights?"
The left is still tearing itself apart

Trump to supporters harassing minorities: 'Stop it' - ""I am so saddened to hear that," Trump told CBS' Lesley Stahl on "60 Minutes" when she said Latinos and Muslims are facing harassment. "And I say, 'Stop it.' If it -- if it helps, I will say this, and I will say right to the cameras: 'Stop it.'"...
Trump said he's "fine" with same-sex marriage remaining legal across the country, and wouldn't appoint Supreme Court judges with the goal of reversing that ruling. "It's irrelevant because it was already settled. It's law. It was settled in the Supreme Court. I mean it's done," Trump said... He said relying on those lobbyists now while planning to eliminate them later is no contradiction. "I'm saying that they know the system right now, but we're going to phase that out. You have to phase it out," Trump said... Trump also signaled he has no real plans to change his tone -- even though it's seen by many as evidence of a man too combustible for the presidency. "Well, sometimes you need a certain rhetoric to get people motivated," Trump said. "I don't want to be just a little nice monotone character, and in many cases I will be.""
How come no one is asking the anti-Trump protestors to calm down?
Will the homophiles change their mind or will they continue being proud of their closed-mindedness?

Kellyanne Conway: It’s up to Clinton, Obama to calm anti-Trump protesters - "“If this is going to be a time of healing, we must first put the responsibility for healing where it belongs: at the feet of Donald Trump, a sexual predator who lost the popular vote and fueled his campaign with bigotry and hate,” Reid's statement read in part. “Winning the electoral college does not absolve Trump of the grave sins he committed against millions of Americans. Donald Trump may not possess the capacity to assuage those fears, but he owes it to this nation to try.” Conway cited Trump's victory speech as evidence that he was “off to a great start” in unifying the country, then turned her anger on Reid."

Media Warned Of Trump Riots, Now Covers Clinton 'Protests' - "NBC News ran a story about the “dangerous tone” of Trump-inspired election pranks in the weeks leading up to the election, but is now reporting on the “inspired” protests of his victory happening across the country. Clinton supporters across the country have been reported beating up white people, burning American flags, vandalizing private property, threatening to assassinate Trump, and shouting violent slogans such as “Die Whites Die” and “Kill Trump.”"

Muslim Scholars: Israel Is ‘Root Cause’ of All Islamic Nations' Failures - "Radical Iranian cleric Mohsen Araki said that destroying Israel and “countering the arrogant world” should be the two main priorities for “resistance clerics,” reports Iran’s state-run Taghrib News... Iran’s state-run Press TV reports that the Muslim scholars all agreed that Israel is a “root cause of economic, political and cultural problems facing Muslim nations in recent decades.”"

Love in China - "I have been told in China that a young person who dates many people may be seen as capricious or disloyal, which could lead to a bad reputation. In the west, by comparison, dating has practically become a sport. A westerner who dates only one person is seen as foolishly limiting their pool of candidates for love, and thus their chances of finding the ‘right’ person. Youngsters are generally advised to date as many people as possible, to look for that ‘ideal’ partner. Breakups can be difficult, but as the saying goes ‘there are plenty of fish in the sea’. Sexual activity also seems to occur much earlier among young people in the west, another result of a culture focused on personal pleasure and happiness."

Asian Philosophy and Critical Thinking: Divergence or Convergence? - "both India and China do have their own indigenous traditions of logical and argumentative thinking. Since the logical traditions within both Indian and Chinese cultures were perceived to be not conducive to their respective ideals, they were eventually supplanted by the more dominant traditions which did not emphasize criticism or argumentation as much as social harmony or intuitive insights"

The man who demolished Shakespeare's house - "the Reverend Francis Gastrell. He bought the house in 1753 but quickly got irritated with tourists wanting to see it, says architectural historian Gavin Stamp. He is also said to have been in a dispute over taxes with local officials. Gastrell was already in the town's bad books after chopping down a mulberry tree planted by Shakespeare in the garden. Then, in an extraordinary fit of spite, he demolished the whole house in 1759. It was never rebuilt and only the foundations remain. The people of Stratford-upon-Avon were horrified and Gastrell became so unpopular he eventually had to move out of the town, says Stamp. He wasn't the only property owner to begrudge tourists."

Melissa Chen - A few things to note about the state of secularism... - "The Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie is banned in this country, for sale and in public libraries. It is available at Yale-NUS college but a government agency has requested for the library's record of everyone who has ever checked out this book."

McDonald's fries into trouble over animal oil - "The chairman of the United Muslim Association of Hong Kong, Mohamed Alli Din, demanded the chain change its cooking ingredients. 'We've warned about its use of animal oil in our own community papers,' he said. 'There are 80,000 Muslims in Hong Kong. If McDonald's wants their business, it must adapt.' Mr Din said that in Malaysia and Singapore, foods prepared by McDonald's were halal , meaning they accorded with Islamic dietary principles... 'The original recipe for McDonald's hash browns and French fries uses pure beef tallow,' the company said. 'The original recipe is still used in Hong Kong because of the consumer preference in this market.'"

Sympathy for the terrorist - "For terror to work scaring people is necessary but not sufficient. Even all-powerful, naked, totalitarian terror requires more than fear to function. For the asymmetric terror of the weak — Basque, say, or Chechen or Uighur secessionists — fear serves as kindling to ignite an illusion of sympathy... Jerusalem Hebrew University scholars Eric. D. Gould and Esteban F. Klor looked at terrorist incidents between 1988 and 2006 in Israel (their 2009 study is entitled *Does Terrorism Work*?) to conclude that “terrorism appears to be an effective strategy in terms of shifting the entire political landscape to the left.” Bingo! Asymmetric terrorists hit the jackpot when they manage to convince their targets that they haven’t been swayed by fear of injury or inconvenience, but by a desire for justice. Once he has frightened his victim enough to do his bidding, what clinches the terrorist’s triumph is salvaging his victim’s self-esteem. Terror is victorious when it persuades the terror-stricken that they’re motivated by a sense of equity. When victims meeting the terrorists’ demands think they’re acting out of an abundance of goodwill rather than an abundance of caution, terror is triumphant... Terrorism’s great achievement isn’t hijacking jetliners, but hijacking the debate. Successful terrorism persuades the terror-stricken that he’s conscience-stricken. Once adapted and internalized by its targets, asymmetric terror can be as powerful as totalitarian terror. Ultimately, terror triumphs when it allows perpetrators to masquerade as victims"

Reasons U.S. not Japan dominates world software market - "Americans are more willing to make trade-offs between quality and time to market. In many other countries it is not suitable to put out a product before it is as good as you can make it. But in the fast-moving software industry, where the lifetime of given product may be only a year or two, getting products quickly to market is critical. By contrast, after a piece of software is written in Japan, the period for testing and quality assurance is typically one year. By that time the product is likely to be completely out of date."

Why Apple's products are 'Designed in California' but 'Assembled in China' - "iPhones aren't made in America because they just can't be. The infrastructure and labor force doesn't exist at the levels necessary to support Apple's operations -- it's not even close. The Chinese factory where most iPhones reach final assembly employs 230,000 workers. I just asked Siri how many cities in the US have a population higher than that, and the answer was a mere 83 cities -- and that's total population, not workforce"

Stop using toys to teach young boys unrealistic beauty standards!

Women bosses 'more depressed' than male counterparts - "Women are more likely than men to display symptoms of depression when in a position of authority at work, according to US scientists. In men, authority, such as the ability to hire and fire people, decreases depressive symptoms, the study said"
Perhaps this is another explanation for the gender gap in management

Saudi Arabia: Ban on women in restaurants draws praise and criticism - "One restaurant owner said he felt the need to ban women from the premises as a strict policy in order to avoid possible problems following a series of harassment cases. Saudis in posts on social networks welcomed the move, explaining that the presence of women in restaurants “caused several social issues”... “Restaurant managers are usually foreigners who do not know the right way to conduct themselves and their business when there are women without male custodians around. They would rather ban them than allow them in and face serious issues,” one blogger writing under the moniker of “Not A Simple Decision” said"

This is What Happens When You Order Ridiculously Cheap Clothing From Singapore - "This coat clearly was not going to work on me. Not only was it cut for a person with no boobs, the sleeves ended far above my wrists. I checked the label again. Size Large. Size Large?! “Size large for KIDS, maybe,” I snorted. And that’s when it hit me... How could this possibly be the dress I had seen in the photo? The “skirt” portion was only about two inches long! The only explanation was that the model was the size of an American Girl Doll!"

Pro StarCraft player disqualified after tweeting he'd 'rape' female opponent
Presumably if you say you'll pwn your opponent, you're saying you want to enslave him

HDB Flat Mystery: What Is Causing The Marble Dropping Sound From Above? - "the acoustics in HDB is such that, if someone were to really play marbles on the level above yours, you will not be able to hear anything (much). Or it will not be as loud. Because when real marble balls hit the floor and by the time it reaches the level below, it will not be very audible."

Scientists outshine arts students with experiments in creative writing - "They do not fall fatally in love with their work and will abandon experimental dead ends. Their killer work ethic sustains them through the endless revision that is essential to good writing... est of all, Imperial’s creative students are not obsessed with publication as an end goal. Like Junot Diaz‘s students at MIT, Imperial’s students are “not all trying to be novelists”. This makes them particularly exciting to teach, since they are completely absorbed in the creative process and spared the torment that afflicts so many students on creative writing degrees."

The problem isn’t that life is unfair – it’s your broken idea of fairness

Sweet Peach Probiotics Will Target Yeast Infections And UTIs, Not Vaginal Odor (UPDATE) - "It was previously reported, by this outlet among many others including Inc., Business Insider, BuzzFeed and ValleyWag, that “Sweet Peach” was designed by two men — Austen Heinz and Gilad Gome — and would make a woman’s vagina smell like ripe fruit. In reality, Sweet Peach is a personalized probiotic designed by 20-year-old student Audrey Hutchinson, that was created to help women manage UTIs and yeast infections"
I remember how outraged all the feminists were getting, raging about men controlling women's bodies and entitlement etc

Empathy Can Fuel Aggression - "Empathy can manifest as aggression, even when considering the plight of a stranger"

Kim Kardashian slammed for ‘offensive’ science shirt - “We at the European Space Agency are always scrutinised for how we look and what we wear. It’s nice for someone to focus on the science for a change.”

British couple fined for giving hotel bad review on Trip Advisor - "The hotel told them that it was its policy to charge for “bad” reviews"

How to Turn a Cool Moment Into a #ShirtStorm - "Taylor’s shirt may not have been in great taste. But the outcry against it is the latest, most blatant example of feminism turning into its own caricature: a Sisterhood of the Perpetually Aggrieved, far more interested in shaming and bashing men for petty offenses than in celebrating female achievement... If a scientist gives an interview in a custom-made T-shirt with a photo of his wife and kids, is he telling women their sole purpose in life is babymaking? To suggest that a heterosexual man is incapable of seeing women both as sexual beings and as people is insulting to men and rather sad for women—a feminist version, if you will, of the old Madonna/whore complex (call it the bimbo/brain complex). Besides, generally speaking, cultures that censor sexualized expression have not been particularly progressive about women’s rights... the Internet was in an uproar after a female computer specialist tweeted a photo of two men at a tech conference to chastise them for exchanging jokes about suggestive-sounding technical terms such as forking and dongle. A leading feminist blog, Jezebel, quickly branded the jokesters—one of whom lost his job for this offense—“sexist dudes.” The Jezebel author, Lindy West, actually admitted that she had repeatedly made similar jokes herself—but insisted that in the context of a male-dominated industry, such humor excludes women... Robin Thicke’s song “Blurred Lines,” in which a man seductively croons “I know you want it” to a woman, has been condemned as a “rape anthem” and banned from university campuses. Yet Beyoncé’s “Drunk in Love” and Nicki Minaj’s “Anaconda,” songs that glamorize alcohol- and drug-fueled sex—routinely equated with sexual assault in today’s feminist rhetoric—were hailed as female-empowerment anthems in the coverage of this year’s Video Music Awards. Such double standards exist in many environments. At a skeptic convention last year, feminist science blogger Rebecca Watson, a strong critic of sexism in the atheist/skeptic community—mostly in the form of men “sexualizing” women—gave a presentation consisting of a raunchy humorous tale in which a male ex-Mormon was ridiculed for not drinking before a casual hookup and for being overcautious about birth control. If a male speaker had dared to entertain an audience these days with similar crude humor at a woman’s expense, he would have been tarred and feathered for creating an unwelcoming environment for female attendees... Sadly, the brouhaha over Taylor’s shirt overshadowed not only his accomplishments but also those of his female teammates... More spotlight on Allweg, Grady, Alexander and the other remarkable women of the Rosetta project would have been a true inspiration to girls thinking of a career in science. The message of ShirtStorm, meanwhile, is that aspiring female scientists can be undone by some sexy pictures on a shirt—and that women’s presence in science requires men to walk on eggshells, curb any goofy humor that may offend the sensitive and be cowed into repentance for any misstep. Thanks for ruining a cool feminist moment for us, bullies"

Genital Cutting in Islam

Contrary to Reza Aslan's claims:

origin of circumcision


H2. Ahmad ibn Hanbal relates in his "Musnad" (5:75) from Abu al- Malih ibn `Usama's father that the Prophet (s) said: "Circumcision is sunna for men and an honorable quality for women"...


C1. Imam Nawawi said (commenting on the hadith of Abu Hurayra in Muslim): "Circumcision is obligatory (wajib) according to al- Shafi`i and many of the scholars, sunna according to Malik and the majority of them. It is further, according to Shafi`i, equally obligatory for males and females. As regards males it is obligatory to cut off the whole prepuce or skin which covers the glans or head of the penis, so that the latter is wholly denudated. As regards females, it is obligatory to cut off a minute part of the skin in the highest region of the genitals. The sound view in our school (Shafi`i), which is shared by the large majority of our companions, is that circumcision is allowed in a youthful age but not obligatory (at that time). One view is that the guardian must have the child circumcised before he or she reaches puberty. Another view is that circumcision is prohibited before the tenth year. The sound view according to us, is that circumcision is desirable on the seventh day after birth."

C2. Nuh Keller's Translation of al-Misri's "Reliance of the Traveller" (Shafi`i school) p. 59: "Circumcision is obligatory (Sh. `Umar Barakat: for both men and women). For men it consists of removing the prepuce from the penis, and for women, removing the prepuce (bazr) of the clitoris (Keller: not the clitoris itself, as some mistakenly assert). (Sh. `Abd al-Wakil Durubi: Hanbalis hold that circumcision of women is not obligatory but sunna, while Hanafis consider it a mere courtesy to the husband.)"

C3. Ibn Hajar said (commenting on the chapter-heading in Bukhari, Ghusl ch. 28 #291; English 1:174, which is identical with `A'isha's hadith in Tirmidhi): "What is meant by the dual form in the phrase "the two circumcised parts" is the circumcised genitals of the man and the woman respectively. Male circumcision (khatn) is the removal of the skin of the head or glans of the penis. Female circumcision (khifad, khafd) is the removal of a tiny piece of skin in the uppermost part of her genitals which resembles the crest of a rooster, and between it and the entrance of the penis there is a thin membrane" ("Fath al-Bari" 1:520).

C4. It is obligatory for women neither in the Maliki school nor in the Hanbali school. Both schools consider it merely recommended. See Al-Qayrawani's "Risala" p. 161, 305; and "al- Mughni" 1:85. Ibn al-`Arabi al-Maliki says in "Tuhfat al- ahwadhi" (1:167): "_Khifad_ for the woman is like _khitan_ for the man and consists in removing a piece of skin the size of a rooster's crest in the uppermost region of the genitals on top of the urine passage"...

C6. The so-called "Sudanese circumcision" which consists in removing the whole external genitalia, i.e. the labia minora and majora together with the clitoris, is a barbaric mutilation which has no basis in the shari`a (Islamic law) whatsoever. Legal baselessness is also the case for most cultural practices which revolve around the event of circumcision, both male and female.

C7. The recent "Mu`jam lughat al-fuqara'" (Arabic-English Dictionary of Legal Terminology" by Dr. Muhammad Rawwas Qal`aji and Dr. Hamid Sadiq Qunaybi (Beirut: Dar al-Nafa'is, 1985) p. 198 provides another illustration of the misinformation being propagated on this topic. The Arabic definition for "khafd al- mar'at" (women's circumcision) is correctly given as: "Removal of the uppermost skin at the top of her genitals" but the English word given is: "Clitoridectomy," i.e. ablation of the clitoris which is excision or mutilation, not circumcision. Finally, many or most of those opposed to female circumcision routinely refer to it as mutilation or excision. And Allah knows best."


» Religion or Culture?

"The data from Iraq and preliminary reports from other parts of the Middle East and Asia point to a relationship between the practice and specific law schools within Sunni Islam. The four main law schools – Shafi’i, Hanbali, Maliki and Hanafi – have been dominant in different areas of the Muslim world. They differ in their interpretations of the teachings and provisions of Islamic law and guidance. Whereas the Hanafis do not regard female circumcision as “sunnah”, the practice is recommended on religious grounds by the Maliki and Hanbali law schools and is considered obligatory by the Shafi’i school. Though not without internal dissent, the Shafi’i position is clearly expressed: “The official position of the Shafi’i School is that it is obligatory for a woman. There is also a weaker opinion that Imam Nawawi relates in Rawdah 10/180 that it is recommended.”"

Keywords: female circumcision, Indonesia, Shafi, female genital cutting
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