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Monday, July 24, 2017

Links - 24th July 2017 (1)

Fossil fuels are far deadlier than nuclear power - "“There is no question,” says Joseph Romm, an energy expert at the Center for American Progress in Washington DC. “Nothing is worse than fossil fuels for killing people.” A 2002 review by the IAE put together existing studies to compare fatalities per unit of power produced for several leading energy sources. The agency examined the life cycle of each fuel from extraction to post-use and included deaths from accidents as well as long-term exposure to emissions or radiation. Nuclear came out best, and coal was the deadliest energy source. The explanation lies in the large number of deaths caused by pollution... When, in 1975, about 30 dams in central China failed in short succession due to severe flooding, an estimated 230,000 people died. Include the toll from this single event, and fatalities from hydropower far exceed the number of deaths from all other energy sources."

Deaths Draw Attention to Wall Street’s Grueling Pace - NYTimes.com - "Goldman introduced a policy for the 2,900 undergraduate summer interns in investment banking: Leave the office before midnight each day. No more all-nighters. “The policy is consistent with our goal of providing each intern with a challenging and meaningful experience,” said Michael DuVally, a Goldman spokesman. As for its full-time junior bankers, Goldman tells them to stay out of the office from 9 p.m. Friday to 9 a.m. Sunday. It closely monitors violations; only senior partners are allowed to authorize exceptions, and generally just for deals that need to be completed before the markets open on a Monday morning. Of the 1,500 analysts and associates in Goldman’s investment banking business, 15 or 20 at a time are permitted to work through the weekend. Other firms have instituted their own version of these rules. Barclays forbids analysts to work more than 12 days in a row. JPMorgan Chase has given analysts the option of having one “protected weekend” each month — meaning no work on Saturday or Sunday — as long as it is scheduled in advance. After Mr. Erhardt’s death, Bank of America put in place measures to improve supervision and ensure that its employees take off a minimum of four weekend days a month... he was told of a game junior bankers play called “Misery Poker,” in which they sit around and perversely brag about their workload. “It’s a badge of honor, and that culture is one reason why I am not at all hopeful about these rules that put caps on how much people are allowed to work, because in many cases the severe culture is being self-imposed,” he explains.... Mr. Hughes wonders why Wall Street doesn’t just hire more people and pay everyone a little less?"

Risk expert: Why radiation fears are often exaggerated - "Nuclear radiation ticks all the boxes for increasing the fear factor. It is invisible, an unknowable quantity. People don’t feel in control of it, and they don’t understand it. They feel it is imposed upon them and that it is unnatural. It has the dread quality of causing cancer and birth defects. Nuclear power has been staggeringly safe, but that doesn’t stop people being anxious about it, just as airplanes and trains are an amazingly safe way to travel but people still worry far more about plane crashes than car crashes... One of the biggest risks from radiation is the psychological damage it causes. After events like the 1979 partial meltdown at Three Mile Island, Pennsylvania, and the Chernobyl accident, there was substantial psychological trauma, even among people who were not affected, because there is such a fear of radiation and its long-term consequences."

Animals feel the pain of religious slaughter - "Brain signals have shown that calves do appear to feel pain when slaughtered according to Jewish and Muslim religious law, strengthening the case for adapting the practices to make them more humane. “I think our work is the best evidence yet that it’s painful,” says Craig Johnson, who led the study at Massey University in Palmerston North, New Zealand... His team also showed that if the animal is concussed through stunning, signals corresponding to pain disappear... Ghanem cites a 1978 study relying on EEG measurements led by Wilhelm Schulze of the University of Hanover, Germany, apparently concluding that halal slaughter was more humane than slaughter following stunning. But Schulze himself, who died in 2002, warned in his report that the stunning technique may not have functioned properly."
Finally, something building on and contextualising Schulze's results, which Muslims like to throw out when promoting Halal slaughter

Man, 44, fitted with bionic penis after childhood accident loses his virginity to a sex worker and says a 'big burden' has been lifted - "He first met Charlotte, who specialises in disabled clients, for a dinner date and then got to know each other better over a few days and stayed in a central London hotel. Mohammed was nervous and on the first attempt, his penis malfunctioned with one side of the pump failing to properly inflate... After their session together, which lasted for an hour and three quarters, Charlotte said she was 'impressed'."

Edinburgh man with 'bionic penis' has scores of women contact him for for sex - "Since it was fitted in March the man-made organ has given Mr Abad, who lost his natural penis as a boy in a road accident, 50 sexual offers from intrigued women. But despite the deluge of interest the Edinburgh man hasn't activated his pride and joy since sleeping with sex worker Charlotte Rose eight months ago. He said working 14-hour shifts meant he is 'just too tired for sex'... Mr Abad's memorable night with Miss Rose came after the 35-year-old escort waived her usual £160-an-hour fee. "

There’s a museum for everything. Even Civil War battles — depicted by cats. - The Washington Post - "We have far more museums than other countries, somewhere between 28,000 and 35,000, depending on which museum organization is counting. (Most likely, we have more museum organizations, too.) This is more than double the number since the 1990s, according to the Institute of Museum and Library Services... “The growth in museums,” says Marjorie Schwarzer, who teaches museum studies at the University of San Francisco, “comes from nostalgia, nerds and natural collectors. Most people can’t collect a Renoir, but they can collect old hammers.”"

Taiwanese woman with terminal illness fulfils wedding photo shoot dream - alone

What’s the goal of “women’s studies”? - "one future pedagogical priority of women’s studies is to train students not only to master a body of knowledge but also to serve as symbolic “viruses” that infect, unsettle, and disrupt traditional and entrenched fields. In this essay, we first posit how the metaphor of the virus in part exemplifies an ideal feminist pedagogy, and we then investigate how both women’s studies and the spread of actual viruses (e.g., Ebola, HIV) produce similar kinds of emotional responses in others. By looking at triviality, mockery, panic, and anger that women’s studies as a field elicits, we conclude by outlining the stakes of framing women’s studies as an infectious, insurrectional, and potentially dangerous, field of study. In doing so, we frame two new priorities for women’s studies - training male students as viruses... Links (fixed, post from here) (bulk here so no slowdown) (newer).. This is one area of academia, it seems, where a scholarly discipline not only has explicit political goals, and a point of view that it must inculcate into students, but makes these things public. I can’t think of any other disciples with such a nakedly obvious agenda, except other areas of “cultural studies.”"

White nationalist 'asked black staff member for help' during row at gym - "Christine Fair, an associate professor at Georgetown University, recently spotted Mr Spencer while working out at the gym in Alexandria, Virginia. She approached him and challenged him, at which point, she says, Spencer appealed for a gym employee - a black woman - to come to his aid... Dr. Fair, who specialises in peace and securities studies, also wrote: "As a white woman, I find his membership at this gym to be unacceptable. I found his membership at this gym to be an unfair burden upon the women and people of color–and white male allies of the same." Mr Spencer later received a message from the gym informing him his membership was being terminated... Of the confrontation with Dr Fair, he said: "I don't come to the gym to do politics. But she started screeching and yelling all this stuff."
So if you're a liberal, you can harass someone in public who's minding his own business - and he will get thrown out, not you

Georgetown prof who harassed pro-Trump colleague brags about harassing alt-right leader at the gym - "Fair can’t resist showing off her superior vocabulary, calling Spencer a “pendulous poltroon” (floppy coward), “flaccid, sorry excuse of a man” and “pusillanimous shitbird.” She can’t resist joking about violently raping him as if she were criminally hazing a Greek pledge:
Also..fuck him again. With a giant strap-on and no lube... She even threatened to organize a lawsuit against the gym on behalf of its employees, as well as a boycott, if it didn’t ban Spencer and fire the general manager who tried to protect a customer who did nothing more than work out by his lonesome, unlike a certain shrill elitist with no self-restraint... The professor, of course, conflated harassing someone in public with the civil rights movement of the 1960s... “I told the fellow, ‘I think we can have a deal here: You don’t let any more Nazis in, and I won’t be making a scene.’ ”"
If a liberal threatens someone who disagrees with her with rape, does it count as rape culture?

Georgetown prof who confronted Richard Spencer at gym not shy attacking opponents - "C. Christine Fair, an associate professor at the Center for Peace and Security Studies at Georgetown vented her anger on social media back in 2016 when she went after a former friend, Asra Nomani, a "lifelong liberal" who wrote an op-ed in the Washington Post about her decision, as a Muslim immigrant, to vote for Donald Trump. That conservative Daily Caller said that led Fair to go "on a 31-day screed against Nomani spanning across Twitter and Facebook." "I've written you off as a human being," Fair wrote in one message, according to The Washington Post. "Your vote helped normalize Nazis in D.C. What don't you understand, you clueless dolt?""
One response to college excesses is to say that we shouldn't take 20 year olds seriously. But with so many professors doing this... (See: Lars Maischak, Robert Weide, Marcellus Andrews, Kevin Allred, Melissa Click etc
Addendum: Charles H.F. Davis

'F**K YOU': Georgetown Prof Loses It On Muslim Trump Voter - "Nomani sent the formal complaint Dec. 23, the same day Fair called her an atheist on Twitter. Publicly stating a Muslim is an apostate by calling them an atheist on Twitter could have serious repercussions. Radical Islamic extremists often declare civilians apostates before attacking them, because in their interpretation of the Quran, renouncing Islam is punishable by death... Fair’s personal website says “she can cause trouble in multiple languages,” and her YouTube features videos like “Introducing the Pussy Avenger” and “Tales of My Pussy.” Other notable commentary on Fair’s public Facebook includes calling future first lady Melania Trump a “soft porn star,” lamenting that “gun nuts don’t shoot each other,” and supporting Black Lives Matter."

Tibetan nun becomes fetish queen after Indian massage 'reawakened her sexuality'

My Quest To Seduce The Grim Reaper In The Sims 4

Cannes: Boo Netflix, But Studios and Theaters Are Killing Movies - "Cannes is the home of the elite, but we no longer live in a world in which most filmmakers are free to pursue their visions, backed by fawning movie studios. In fact, despite the explosion of outlets and interest, it’s harder than ever to get a studio to back an original movie out of the gate. More and more, only when a movie is independently financed and finished do studio execs consider distributing it, and often, that’s just to get their names on Oscar contenders. Instead, studios have become obsessed with massive franchises that can produce sequel after sequel, ancillary products like toys and theme parks, and can be sold to the massive overseas audience without much translation; this is why the Minions are really the future of studio entertainment... Critics get to see most movies for free, and if they miss the press screenings, they usually live in cities where all new movies are out in theaters. The specialty indie-theater scenes in New York, L.A., and Austin, along with a few other cities, are thriving, making it feasible to see any notable new foreign release on the big screen. But for the most part, indie theaters across the country are shutting down, victims of digital conversion costs and ticket prices as much as the competition in people’s living rooms."

The jumbo jet transformed into a hostel at Stockholm, Arlanda

Fixing the Singapore transport system will take some guts - "If you want to keep telling people that they should aspire to be rich, and that means living a high-life and getting multi-tasking work done quickly in the world’s most expensive city, they’ll never consider taking life in the slower lane, both figuratively and literally."

Gay Activists Leave Venezuela Because People Are Too Starving To Care About LGBTQ Rights

Are Tories the workers' party? Labour polling figures suggest they are - " Jeremy Corbyn appears in this election campaign to have achieved something even Ed Miliband was unable to do: lose the majority support not only of Britain’s skilled workers, dubbed social class C2 by the pollsters, but also the DEs – the semi-skilled, unskilled and unemployed."

Biracial Asian Americans and Mental Health - "34 percent of biracial individuals in a national survey had been diagnosed with a psychological disorder, such as anxiety, depression or substance abuse, versus 17 percent of monoracial individuals. The higher rate held up even after the researchers controlled for differences between the groups in age, gender and life stress, among other factors."
This might be due to an obsession with identity politics, since mixed race people don't fit anywhere

Why Don’t the Japanese Give Priority to the Elderly on Public Transportation? | Japan Info - "I asked my neighbor – (an elderly lady who is also my landlord) about what I saw when I used public transportation and she explained that whenever she get on the bus and someone offers her a seat, she would come up with the thought: “Ah~ Am I becoming so old that I need a young man to give me priority?” This would remind her, “You’re getting old!” Also, she was sure that there are many other people in the same situation. I myself once suffered the same awkwardness when I offered my seat to a woman and her children in the bus, but the result was, no matter how much she kept saying thank you to me, she resisted sitting on that seat. Recently, a Japanese friend just told me: “Even if you have the good will of offering your seat, it doesn’t mean other people have to accept that kindness of yours”. There are some people who are afraid they will cause you “inconvenience or trouble” or simply “don’t want to receive your pity”. As a matter of fact, because Japan is a country which has a growing population of the elderly, their perspective on giving priority to “elderly” somehow different from most other Asia countries"

This is why I don't ride public transportation - 9GAG

Why we do not sleep around all that much any more - "in agricultural societies the populations rapidly expanded, so an infection in a polygynous group would quickly spread and become endemic. A critical mass of people would ensure STIs stay around... Land became increasingly scarce in agricultural societies. Splitting it up among numerous heirs would reduce its value. Social monogamy provided a solution, as only true heirs would inherit their parents' estate."

Bike lock developed that makes thieves immediately vomit - "A thief could also simply return to the spent lock, though Idzkowski insisted this would not be easy, because the noxious spray clings to skin and clothing. “You’re basically just puking on yourself the entire time,” he said. “They could change all their clothes, shower, if the bike is still there come out and cut the remaining 75% of the lock. You can’t prevent a theft 100%, so that’s why we call it a deterrent lock, not a solution. “All you have to do is be better than the bike across the street.”"
"Don't tell me to lock my bicycle, tell bicycle thieves not to steal them"
According to feminists, rape prevention tips just mean the would-be rapist will just rape someone else

Innocent man burned to death by vigilante neighbours who mistook him for paedophile - "Bijan Ebrahimi, a keen gardener, had taken photographs of youths vandalising his hanging baskets and intended to hand them to police as evidence. But someone saw him with the camera and told police that the 44-year-old, who was registered disabled and unable to work, had taken pictures of children. Police went to his flat. As officers took Mr Ebrahimi away for questioning, other residents on his estate gathered in the street and chanted, ‘Paedo, paedo’... James, 24, beat Mr Ebrahimi unconscious and then with the help of another neighbour, Stephen Norley, dragged Mr Ebrahimi into the street, doused him in white spirit and set him on fire."
When you have a moral panic about "protecting children"...
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