When you can't live without bananas

Get email updates of new posts:        (Delivered by FeedBurner)

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Links - 11th March 2017

Watch the Original Pink Ranger Interview the New Power Rangers

Man gets stuck inside a statue of a vagina in Germany

I set up a Tinder account for Edward Snowden, these are my favorite interactions with the matches so far

Every Women's Magazine, In One Cover

Intelligent women enjoy sex more than 'bimbos', research finds - Telegraph - "A study of more than 2,000 female twins showed that those with greater emotional intelligence had larger numbers of orgasms."

Women 'better at picking up on emotions than men' - Telegraph - "women were better than men at processing facial expressions and completing assessments, something that had always been suggested but never conclusively proved"

Rio Olympics 2016: Meet Oksana Chusovitina, the 41-year-old gymnast competing in her seventh games - "The usual lifespan of a gymnast is one or two Olympics. The very luckiest get three. To compete at seven is almost beyond the realms of comprehension. It would be an impressive enough achievement in a more sedate sport such as shooting or archery. But this is gymnastics, a pursuit that places inconceivable stresses on the body and exerts an even greater toll on the mind... unlike young gymnasts, who need to spend hours on end training their muscle memory and aerial awareness, she had been doing it so long she barely needed to train."

Chickens exhibit Machiavellian tendencies, scientists discover - "Scientists have found they are capable of greater logical reasoning than children, have distinct personalities, and even exhibit Machiavellian tendencies."

Facebook 'censors' nude statue of sea god Neptune, the well-known Renaissance symbol of northern Italian city - "The sixteenth century Renaissance statue dominates Piazza del Nettuno, a grand square in the heart of Bologna... In a statement, Facebook told her: “The use of the image was not approved because it violates Facebook’s guide lines on advertising. “It presents an image with content that is explicitly sexual and which shows to an excessive degree the body, concentrating unnecessarily on body parts. “The use of images or video of nude bodies or plunging necklines is not allowed, even if the use is for artistic or educational reasons”... it was accused of censoring photos of Copenhagen’s Little Mermaid statue... In 2015, Facebook published a rule book telling users the type of content they are not allowed to post, including images of genitals and bare buttocks. The company said it restricts nudity because “some audiences within our global community may be sensitive to this type of content”. It said images of female nipples were forbidden unless a woman’s breasts were “actively engaged in breastfeeding” or where the image showed “breasts with post-mastectomy scarring”."

Facebook forced to apologise for censoring burn victim's birthday photo - "Mr Lindeblad, a meditation teacher, said he did not understand why his post was removed on Sunday. He only came to suspect it had been deliberately censored when he heard the same thing had hapened to other burn victims. He added in a Facebook post: "At first, I was flabbergasted. Then several burn victims contacted me and explained that photos of burn victims are often classified in the same category as sexist and racist photos on Facebook. Oh dear." Mr Gustavson said he also knew of other people with scars who had their photographs taken down."

French town to get 'Brexit street' to pay 'tribute to the sovereign British people' says Front National mayor

Saudi man who called for end to 'guardianship of women' is jailed - "The man, who was also fined 30,000 riyals (£6,500) by a court in the eastern city of Dammam, was convicted of "inciting to end guardianship of women" in statements he posted on Twitter and in public posters, the Okaz daily said."

Brexit: Middle class liberals were only social group to emphatically back Remain, analysis shows - "Middle class liberals were the only section of society to wholeheartedly support remaining in the EU according to a wide-ranging analysis by social research institute NatCen... Brexit was far more popular among voters who didn’t vote in the 2015 general election than those who did... These findings will come as a blow to those trying to argue that the EU appeals to more people than the supposed metropolitan liberal elite... curiously, one in 50 Ukip supporters actually voted for Remain."

Sex will be just for special occasions in the future as robots will satisfy everyday needs - "Questions that will face regulators involve how much data to allow robots to collect about their human partners and send back to their manufacturers. Others include whether to legislate for purely passive robots, or to allow devices which entice humans to have sex, and whether robots would have to make clear that they are machines rather than humans. Kate Devlin, computing expert at Goldsmiths, University of London, said it was probable future sex robots would be designed to learn their human partner’s sexual preferences to improve performance. “Companion” devices such as the Pepper robot are being increasingly used to provide stimulation to elderly people, particularly in Asian countries such as Japan."

Junk food kills bacteria that protect against obesity, heart disease and cancer, study finds - Telegraph - "“Before I started my father’s fast food diet there were about 3,500 bacterial species in my gut, dominated by a type called firmicutes. “Once on the diet I rapidly lost 1,300 species and my gut was dominated by a group called bacteriodetes. The implication is that the McDonalds diet killed 1,300 of my gut species”... Professor Spector’s findings appear to support existing research which indicates the problem is far more complex than simply eating too much... transferring bacteria from an obese human to a mouse led to the animal gaining weight, while lean mice placed in cages with obese ones also became fat... Excluding fat and sugar are less important to a healthy diet than making sure the food one eats is as diverse and natural as possible, Professor Spector said. His advice chimes with studies suggesting that Belgian Beer, garlic, coffee, leeks and celery are ideal foods for promoting healthy gut flora. Professor Spector said: “Fifteen thousand years ago our ancestors regularly ingested around 150 ingredients in a week. “Most people nowadays consume fewer than 20 separate food types and many, if not most, are artificially refined. “Most processed food products come, depressingly, from just four ingredients: corn, soy, wheat or meat”"

Sassy misandry is good for business – but assault on men is never funny - "Female 'empowerment' is about giving men a good, slapstick pasting. In addition, of course, to buying clothes from Bonmarché... sassy misandry, once justified as a ‘necessary corrective’ to the patriarchy and women’s subjugation, is so common these days it has become a corporate cliché. Which in turn would suggest that it’s no longer quite so necessary – that instead it’s shaded into abuse. And that’s not very empowering. Or ‘bloomin’ awesome’. Whatever that is."

The meals your parents made for you are now too calorific for modern lifestyles - "the obesity crisis is largely driven by modern lifestyles, which have allowed people to become so inter-connected that they barely need to leave their desks or sofas to work, socialise or shop... Trade deals between countries have also caused food prices to tumble, creating virtually unlimited access to unrestricted calories for most people, while on-tap entertainment through television, smartphones and personal computers has replaced many traditional hobbies and activities... The authors found a strong association between globalisation and obesity; a one standard deviation increase in globalisation was associated with a 23.8 per cent increase in obesity within the population and a 4.3 per cent rise in calorie intake."

Behold the ROBOT RECTUM... medics' relief - "Spare a thought for the only Rectal Teaching Assistant in the UK who has lost his livelihood to a cold, metal bastard."

Foxconn replaces '60,000 factory workers with robots'

Canada’s hitchhiking robot is brutally decapitated after two short weeks in the US

Singapore is using robot swans to monitor water quality

Engineering Terror - NYTimes.com - "engineers represented a fifth of all militants from every nation except one, and nearly half of those with advanced degrees... Gambetta and Hertog found engineers only in right-wing groups — the ones that claim to fight for the pious past of Islamic fundamentalists or the white-supremacy America of the Aryan Nations (founder: Richard Butler, engineer) or the minimal pre-modern U.S. government that Stack and Bedell extolled. Among Communists, anarchists and other groups whose shining ideal lies in the future, the researchers found almost no engineers... The engineer mind-set, Gambetta and Hertog suggest, might be a mix of emotional conservatism and intellectual habits that prefers clear answers to ambiguous questions — “the combination of a sharp mind with a loyal acceptance of authority.”"

13 Questions to Ask Before Getting Married - The New York Times - "The following questions, intimate and sometimes awkward, are designed to spark honest discussions and possibly give couples a chance to spill secrets before it’s too late"

From scents to sex: The business of Japan’s high school girls for hire - "The JK entertainment industry (JK being short for Joshi Kousei, or female high school students) sells access to these girls through a bizarre range of services that include consultation sessions, dates, the chance to smell or tickle a school girl – and, increasingly, prostitution. In Tokyo alone, police figures show that there are more than 170 JK businesses, with many concentrated in the Akihabara district, a mecca for fans of electronic goods, anime and maid cafés... “This is one way to reduce the stress I experience at work,” said one such café customer. “I get to talk to teenagers about unusual topics, like make-up products”... one JK reflexology shop offers massages as a cover for other, less innocent, services. “The moment I entered the room and was alone with the girl, she immediately explained the ‘secret options’ while touching between my legs,” he said. Although there were notices in the room saying that sexual acts were prohibited, the girl pleaded with him to pick those options, saying that otherwise she would only receive the same pay as for other part-time jobs... Such businesses exploit loopholes in Japan’s regulations on underage sex, which while stating that the minimum age of prostitution is 18, retain an archaic law that allows girls above 13 to consent to sex. Lawyer Tohru Okumura explained that during Japan’s Meiji era (1868-1912), girls were thought to be mature enough to make decisions on their own, and some were married at the age of 13... Referencing a headline case where men paid to look up the skirts of school girls as they folded paper cranes, Mr Okumura said that JK businesses keep inventing new ways to bypass existing laws. “The Japanese way of thinking is that, if prostitution is forbidden, everything that is not prostitution is allowed,” he said. “They are doing something that verges on but does not qualify as prostitution.”"

Tiramisu has a sexy history in Italian brothels - "Tiramisu was invented inside brothels in the gorgeous northern Italian town of Treviso, renowned for its sexually relaxed mores and pleasure-seeking inhabitants. In Italian, tiramisu literally means “pull me up, lift me up”, or, more literally, “pull it up”... In Treviso, visiting a brothel regularly was like a status symbol. It was part of the local culture, the get-together of VIPs. If a gentleman never showed up to take part in the Tiramisu tasting sessions and sexy evenings, he was a loser and an outcast."

Chinese Lack of Empathy in Development | Dr. Stephen F Myler - "Empathy isthe ability to understand the feelings of others by recognising their emotions, behavioural action and situation. This method of cognitive ability is lacking inChinese thinking styles and causes social impairment and behavioural problems in notrecognising or understanding another person’s perspective when they interact socially.The findings show two possible conclusions, the first, the one-child policy of Chinacausing interference with normal sibling learning experience and secondly, over- population, parenting advice and social learning situations"

Chicago Torture Reveals the side America Doesn’t want to see - "The rise of the Alt-Right and the emergence to the public sphere of characters like Richard Spencer both represent a threat to which we can no longer shut our eyes. Increasingly empowered by narratives of white victimization, they seek converts from disaffected white Americans — disproportionately poor and uneducated — to fill their ranks. These individuals thrive on what some have called the “persecution complex” — the idea that whites constitute an oppressed group of their own, whose misfortunes are ignored by mainstream society. The similarities between this dynamic and that of the disaffected and marginalized Muslims who can fall prey to groups like Islamic state is all too clear... If we don’t want race relations in America to spiral out of control and into a series of perpetual backlashes of racist violence, we have to act decisively. We have to speak honestly and candidly about racial violence in America — and we have to call out double standards when we see them."

This Barbie’s Instagram account is the ultimate mockery of hipster culture - "I created the account to make fun of the people who were using the ‘liveauthentic’ hashtag on Instagram, all their pictures looked alike to me and I couldn’t tell them apart anymore so it just didn’t seem all that authentic"

America Revisited

BBC World Service - The Documentary, America Revisited, America Revisited: The West

"[On camping in the desert] 'It's quiet. I read 30, 40 books a week. Sometimes I have phone service, sometimes I don't. I like the ones that I don't better'

'And did we mention the rattlesnakes?'

'I just catch em by hand'

'Why would you catch rattlesnake by hand?'

'When we were young and didn't have a lot of beer money, and we wanted to go to the pub or the bar, we'd get 2 or 3 rattlesnakes and put em in a barrel in the back of the pickup and we'd go in and make bets. And the bet is, you reach in that barrel with 2 or 3 and you get one out. And then you just put em in your shirt.

You tuck your shirt in real tight and you just push em all the way around. And that freaks people out. They can't bite you. They've got to have a certain amount of extension in order for their fangs to come out. And if your shirt's tucked in tight, they can't get their mouth open enough to bite you, and that gets little interesting...

I always try to give private industry the first shot at it. But with, they're proving that they're misusing it. Where you're getting a real problems with our medical, is the fact that our insurance companies. Let's say I go into a clinic and get some stitches and I say I'll just pay the bill. Well it's $800. I turn that in to the insurance and they pay it, all of a sudden it's $2,800"

BBC World Service - The Documentary, America Revisited, America Revisited: The East

"[On West Virginia] With its thickly forested mountain slopes, it's hard to believe that coal was once king here. In fact, it's so central to the state's psyche that there's even an image of a miner on the state flag...

'The comments that she had made in an earlier interview that she was gonna put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business was not taken very well in our area and we were told she was there as a friend and I told her she wasn't viewed as a friend'

'And I gather it made you a bit of a local hero'...

According to the state's largest emergency food provider, 1 in 6 West Virginians will visit a food panty, soup kitchen or shelter in 2016. It's a startling statistic...

Junior hails from a family of miners. He too worked in the industry It was either do that, join the military or deal drugs, he says...

Drug overdoses kill more Americans than car crashes or guns"

BBC World Service - The Documentary, America Revisited, America Revisited: The Discussion

"'Mass shootings have claimed... over a 100 times according to Time more lives on American soil than terrorist attacks in our country, and yet we are focused so predominantly on these outsiders, these terrorists, when really the biggest perpetrators of mass killings on American soil are white males shooting up cinemas and schools'

'Well, you know that's a bunch of garbage... We had over 3,000 shootings in Chicago and that wasn't all white males shooting theatres'"

BBC World Service - The Documentary, Change in America

"The other way that social media has changed the conversation is one that I don't think is a healthy development and this is how people can swarm and bully using social media. So I look at university campuses where you have what we call cry bullies these days. This very vocal group of people trying to define the parameters of what is acceptable conversation... you have a sort of a silent majority that just doesn't want to get into it. Doesn't want to talk about it and doesn't want to be socially ostracised...

'Cable TV. Where you have left wing shows, you have right wing shows feeding this kind of idea of my way is right, the other way is wrong. And we didn't have that as much 8 years ago and I think that's changing a lot'

'There's sort of a fascinating statistic that the more informed you are about news, in fact the more biased you are... we just hunt out facts that agree with us... This is the angriest I can remember anyone ever being and over the past few years I feel like I have watched the web really turn into a high percentage of give me something to hate'...

44% of prime aged males who are not in the labour force said that they took a painkiller the day before they were asked. And 2/3 of the 44% said we are talking prescription drugs...

Healthcare jobs have obviously taken the place of manufacturing jobs. They are the steady, good paying jobs that you wanna get if you wanna say raise a family in a pretty comfortable middle class life... it's a growth field and you'll never be out of work...

[On the flip side of energy independence] There is another argument that says actually it kinda helps to buy stuff. Because people listen to their consumers. And how much sort of animosity can you have when you are buying and selling products from one another?...

We don't want whatever we have. If you've got Jimmy Carter everyone wants someone who's gonna stand up and be more authoritative, and then you get Ronald Reagan in there and oh my god this is crazy... in the same way that the President gets blamed for how the economy goes, the American President gets blamed for how world security goes. Whatever happens, fundamentally it's felt we either did too much or should've done something to prevent it. But you know the reality is bad things are going to happen whatever the US does. The President cannot fix every problem"

Thursday, March 09, 2017

Links - 9th March 2017

'The moment I realised I was asexual' - Telegraph - "one in 100 people is asexual, although many may not realise they are. Most asexuals are female. In one study, using data collected in the 1990s from 18,000 British people, Prof Bogaert found that about 70 per cent of asexual people were women... Some asexuals are disgusted by the idea of sex and remain virgins for life, but others may masturbate and be capable of feeling pleasure sexually and having orgasms."

France demands that its future leaders must speak English - Telegraph - "A spokesman said all "énarques" – as ENA graduates including President Francois Hollande are called – needed fluent English "in order to cope with their future roles"... "We fight for our language," said Mr Chirac, after leading a walkout from a European Union summit in Brussels after a French business leader spoke in English... Ms Loiseau said it was important for students to revise their vocabulary away from French words which are stuffy and outdated. "The usual words such as 'sacrifice', 'vocation' and 'commitment' sound half religious, half military," said Ms Loiseau."

Cheese: the secret to a longer life and faster metabolism? - Telegraph - "those who ate cheese had higher levels of butyric acid, a compound which has been been linked to reduced obesity and higher metabolism. The higher butyrate levels were linked to a reduction in cholesterol. This, Bertram says, "suggests a role for gut microbes and further shore up the connection between cheese and the French paradox.""

Men are happier when their wives don't go out to work, study finds - Telegraph - "even in instances where one partner worked over 50 hours every week, the rate of divorce and relationship dissatisfaction was still not as high as when a female partner out-earned her husband... "When you look at men’s relationship satisfaction, it’s at its highest when their wife is not in the workforce. It does seem that that’s what is behind it; those traditional gender roles die hard. I guess all things being equal, men would prefer their wife at home and managing the household." Indeed, a study published last year concluded that husbands who work long hours are likely to have happier and healthier wives while hardworking women's spouses tend to suffer."
Women have no agency

Men's happiness in later life is determined by the age of 27 - Telegraph - "Women were similarly found to attach importance to life achievements, but different ones to those valued by men. Whilst a stable and established career topped the list of factors conducive to male happiness, female participants were found to be most satisfied and contented once they had reached a high level of education or experienced upward social mobility."

Man angered after ordering a mild curry and getting a receipt marked 'white ppl' - "Stuart Lynn spent nearly £30 in his local Indian restaurant, and asked for his venison curry to be served very mild. This is quite a normal request, so he was shocked when his curry order came with a receipt marked 'VERY MILD, WHITE PPL'. The 44-year-old believes the note was a slur, suggesting that white people can't handle curries that are not mild... The owner of the restaurant, Ruby Kandasamy, clarified what they meant by "white ppl": "Under white ppl, we don't mean white people, but a white sauce made from milk, single cream, coconut milk and spices we add to our dishes when a curry is requested mild. "'Ppl' means 'milk.' "However, we have decided to change the way we inform the kitchen and will mention 'add white ppl' or 'with white sauce' to avoid any confusion with our customers."

Isil jihadist Omar Hussain complains of rude Arabs who steal his shoes and can't queue - Telegraph - "A British jihadist with Isil has moaned that his Arab comrades are rude, do not know how to queue and eat like schoolchildren. In a bizarre rant, Omar Hussain also complained that his fellow terrorists talk loudly when he is trying to sleep, invade his space and steal his shoes. Their bad driving, habit of staring at people and using his charger for their mobile phones also come under fire"

Google to make driverless cars act more like humans after complaints they are too polite - Telegraph - "Google's driverless cars are to drive more like humans by cutting corners and edging forward into junctions, after the vehicles' cautious nature were seen as potential factors in accidents involving human drivers"

Student 'driven from campus' after speaking out against rape seminar - Telegraph - "A student who caused a furore when he spoke out against sexual consent workshops fears for his academic future after a fierce campus backlash. George Lawlor, 19, claims he has been driven out of lectures and bars at Warwick University by feminist campaigners who shout "rapist" wherever he goes... he had been attacked on Twitter and Facebook by student activists branding him a "rapist" and "misogynist"... "The bus to university was the worst. I heard people talking to each other saying, 'I really want to hit that kid'. It got really nasty"

Bradford father 'living in fear after converting from Islam to Christianity' - Telegraph - "Father-of-six Nissar Hussain, 49, suffered a shattered knee cap and broken hand when two hooded thugs battered him with a pickaxe handle outside his home. He was hit 13 times with the weapon and repeatedly punched and kicked by the attackers who leapt from a car as he left his house in Bradford, West Yorks... He converted to Christianity in 1996 and said problems started after he and his family appeared in a Channel 4 TV documentary about mistreatment of Muslim converts in 2008."

Testosterone and sex role identification in lesbian couples. - "Within the lesbian community there exists a common perception that lesbians comprise two types, "butch," having more masculine characteristics, and "femme," having more feminine characteristics. The present study investigated the question of whether these perceptions are reflected in different levels of the predominantly male hormone testosterone. Salivatory testosterone levels and "butch/femme" ratings were obtained from 28 lesbian couples. Individuals within couples tended to be opposite in "butch/femme" ratings [intraclass r(26) = -0.77, p < 0.0001] but similar in testosterone levels [intraclass r(26) = 0.47, p <0.01]. Also within couples, individuals with higher "butch" ratings had significantly higher testosterone levels, although across all individuals as a whole (ignoring couple pairing) there was no correlation between testosterone and "butch/femme" ratings. The results indicate that testosterone is related to "butch/femme" characteristics, but only when regarded within the couple relationship." Stereotypes persist and endure because they are often true

Ringling Bros. circus closing after 146 years - "The iconic circus declined in recent years due to high operating costs and long, costly legal battles with animal rights groups, such as the one to eliminate elephant acts. Ticket sales had already fallen, but they dropped more significantly than anticipated after the elephants were retired last May, according to the statement."

Bernie Sanders’s claim that ‘36,000 people will die yearly’ if Obamacare is repealed - "Sanders has tweeted as a definite fact an estimate that a) assumes Republicans will gut Obamacare without a replacement b) assumes the worst possible impact from that policy and c) assumes that data derived from the Massachusetts experience can be applied across the United States. Those are three very big assumptions. Take away any one of them, and Sanders’s claim that repeal of the law will cause 36,000 people to die a year falls apart. Ordinarily, this sort of fuzzy math would be worthy of at least Three Pinocchios. But ThinkProgress, in calculating the number, at least said this many people “could” die. Sanders instead stated it as a definitive fact — that 36,000 will die. That tips this claim into Four-Pinocchio territory."

Number of asylum seekers claiming refuge in Britain due to their sexuality rockets by 450% in just five years - "The rise sparked fears some migrants are using lesbian, gay, bi or transgender status as a way of staying in the UK"

Daughter Starts Fundraising After She's Cut Her Off for Who She’s Dating— Dad Says ‘It Has Nothing to Do with Race’ - "Allie decided to find someone else to come through with the money she needed to pay for school tuition by sharing her story on GoFundMe. The Tennessee teenager has raised thousands of dollars using her story of the heartbreak her parents have caused her, with strangers donating $13,230 towards the $10k goal she initially set... “Sending a white girl from a middle-class family to college is not fighting racism. In fact, expecting to avoid work, student loans, etc. and be treated like a hero for dating a black guy seems pretty racist to me.”"

Slang and swear words 'helped soldiers survive the First World War' - "The military jargon was inherently exclusive, and intended to distinguish soldiers from civilians. Soldiers also cursed to relieve themselves from the discipline and stress of warfare. Swearing became habitual without the customary need to tone down vulgarities in the presence of women and children, and lewd songs acted as an expression of masculinity that forged bonds of camaraderie."
Ditto for the culture of promiscuity

Koran Verse Denying Divinity of Christ Sung at Episcopal Cathedral Service - "The cathedral praised the reading in a Facebook post, calling it a “wonderful event”. However, retired Anglican bishop Michael Nazir-Ali strongly condemned it, saying it was especially inappropriate for the feast of the Epiphany, which celebrates the revelation of Christ as the Son of God... The cathedral’s Facebook page also proudly publicises a press report on the provost’s Christmas sermon, in which he compared U.S. President-Elect Donald Trump to the biblical King Herod, who ordered the massacre of children."

Masturbating at work is a doctor-approved stress reliever - "39 percent of male readers reported masturbating in the office... According to Arnall, however, masturbation breaks shouldn’t be driven by lust or fantasizing about a colleague as this would “likely result in cognitive impairment.” Such breaks should only be taken if they’re motivated by a genuine desire for stress relief."

When good people do bad things: Being in a group makes some people lose touch with their personal moral beliefs - ""Although humans exhibit strong preferences for equity and moral prohibitions against harm in many contexts, people's priorities change when there is an 'us' and a 'them,'" says Rebecca Saxe, an associate professor of cognitive neuroscience at MIT. "A group of people will often engage in actions that are contrary to the private moral standards of each individual in that group, sweeping otherwise decent individuals into 'mobs' that commit looting, vandalism, even physical brutality.""

How antioxidants can accelerate cancers, and why they don't protect against them - "in several trials antioxidant supplementation has been linked with increased rates of certain cancers. In one trial, smokers taking extra beta carotene had higher, not lower, rates of lung cancer... therapies that raise the levels of oxidants in cells may be beneficial, whereas those that act as antioxidants may further stimulate the cancer cells. Interestingly, radiation therapy kills cancer cells by dramatically raising levels of oxidants. The same is true of chemotherapeutic drugs -- they kill tumor cells via oxidation."

Woman spared jail after she raped daughter's 13-year-old boyfriend - "A woman has been spared jail after she admitted to raping her daughter's 13-year-old boyfriend. Elaine Goodman, 46, faced up to 15 years in prison but was sentenced to two years' probation. But while a judge at Kent County Superior Court in Delaware said her action was "an aberration", he did not think jailing her was the answer... Passing the light sentence Judge Robert Young said she had been compassionate in looking after her elderly parents and community members... "The crime has affected the victim in many ways. He's hurt, embarrassed and it is affecting his schooling."
The reaction compared to Brock Turner is notable. Perhaps it's because of white privilege and male privilege

EU tries to ban selfies at landmarks like the Eiffel Tower over copyright

Liberal churches are dying. But conservative churches are thriving. - "because of their conservative outlook, the growing church clergy members in our study took Jesus’ command to “Go make disciples” literally. Thus, they all held the conviction it’s “very important to encourage non-Christians to become Christians,” and thus likely put effort into converting non-Christians. Conversely, because of their liberal leanings, half the clergy members at the declining churches held the opposite conviction, believing it is not desirable to convert non-Christians. Some of them felt, for instance, that peddling their religion outside of their immediate faith community is culturally insensitive"

Archaeologists Carbon-Date Camel Bones, Discover Major Discrepancy In Bible Story - "Using carbon-dating to determine the age of the oldest-known camel bones, the researchers determined that camels were first introduced to Israel around the 9th century BCE. The Hebrew Bible, or Old Testament refers to camels as pack animals as early as the story of Abraham"

A Short Story for Engineers - "A toothpaste factory had a problem: Due to the way the production line was set up, sometimes empty boxes were shipped without the tube inside. People with experience in designing production lines will tell you how difficult it is to have everything happen with timings so precise that every single unit coming off of it is perfect 100% of the time. Small variations in the environment (which cannot be controlled in a cost-effective fashion) mean quality assurance checks must be smartly distributed across the production line so that customers all the way down to the supermarket won’t get frustrated and purchase another product instead."

Joshua Robinson

A case that has raised a furore:

Public prosecutor decides not to appeal Joshua Robinson sentence

"The public prosecutor has decided not to appeal against the four-year jail sentence for the MMA instructor who had sex with two 15-year-old girls and filmed them, Singapore's Attorney-General's Chambers (AGC) said on Wednesday (Mar 8).

Robinson's sentence last Thursday sparked an online petition, which has garnered nearly 27,000 signatures to date. The person who started the petition called the sentence "unacceptable and absolutely intolerable".

Most of the outraged do not understand the law. Nor do they understand precedent.

There is a claim that Robinson is getting off lightly (some allege that it's because he's white, aka AMDK).

Let us look at 3 other cases where men were sentenced for having sex with 15 year old girls, and we will see that Robinson is not being treated very leniently:

1) Former journalist jailed 18 months for having underage sex with 15-year-old

Teo got 18 months "only" for having sex with a 15 year old girl.

This is even though there was "exploitation" (he was in a mentor position and arguably took advantage of her mental illness) and she was traumatised and tried to kill herself.

In light of that, 4 years for Robinson doesn't seem too far off (depending on how you weight the child porn, having sex with another 15 year old and showing the 6 year old porn).

2) Man sentenced to 12 months' jail for having sex with 15-year-old girl

Riduwan "only" got 12 months for having sex with a 15 year old girl.

Notice the sentence is less than in the first case because he was not in a mentor position and did not take advantage of her, and the victim was not traumatised (presumably).

3) Deliveryman jailed 20 months for having sex with 15-year-old girl

Shamil was jailed for 20 months.


He didn't care about the girl (he wanted to give her abortion pills and said he only "liked her a bit"), and she got pregnant and thus suffered.

And apparently he did a lot of bad things in a short period of time.

Note that this sentence was given even though she initiated the relationship.

In the case of Robinson, there're some points to consider:

He didn't get sentenced to caning (that's for those under 14).

He had consensual sex with the 15 year old girls.

We don't penalise child porn particularly because normal porn is already illegal.

He had sex with 15 year olds, which is less serious than if they were 14.

We don't know what kind of "child porn" he had. For all we know, most of it was videos put up by 17 year old teens on Tumblr themselves; consider that sexual crimes involving a 15 year old, a 12 year old and a 4 year old would all be lumped together under "pedophilia" or similar categories - even though they are all manifestly differently.

He was a first time offender (which is why he had been featured by Contact Singapore).

Also Robinson seems to have had lots of positive testimonials, which would've mitigated his sentence.

Originally, I thought that we also didn't have the moral panic about "protecting" "children" that they have in, say, the US. Which wasn't necessarily a bad thing. Yet the "disquiet" that has gone up suggests that we may indeed be moving in that direction.

And now it turns out that the laws might be reviewed:

Relook sentences for offenders like Joshua Robinson: K Shanmugam

One thing that should be kept in mind - but unfortunately might not - is that 'Hard cases make bad law'

"'Hard cases make bad law' isn't so much a universal proverb as a legal adage. It came to light in a comment made by Judge Robert Rolf in the case of Winterbottom v Wright in 1842:

This is one of those unfortunate cases...in which, it is, no doubt, a hardship upon the plaintiff to be without a remedy but by that consideration we ought not to be influenced. Hard cases, it has frequently been observed, are apt to introduce bad law.

The case required a judgment on whether third parties are able to sue for injury. The unusual nature of the case caused the judge to realise that, in the true sense of the expression, exceptions prove the rule and that, unfair as it might have appeared in some circumstances, the law was better drafted under the influence of the average case rather than the exceptional one.

The point was made explicitly in 1903 by V. S. Lean, in Collectanea:

Hard cases make bad law. that is, lead to legislation for exceptions."

Addendum: According to the AGC press release possession of obscene films got him 6 months and exhibiting an obscene object to a young person another 6

Tuesday, March 07, 2017

Links - 7th March 2017

Swap driving licence for cheap noodles, Japan urges older motorists - "Under a scheme launched last week in Aichi prefecture in central Japan, elderly drivers will be given discounts on ramen noodles at 176 outlets of the Sugakiya restaurant chain, but only after they surrender their driver’s licence. The move comes after the prime minister, Shinzo Abe, called for more action to address the steep rise in road accidents, some of them fatal, caused by drivers in the over-74 age group."

Truth is Clinton stole Sanders’ nomination & was bad candidate – ex-CIA officer Kiriakou (EXCLUSIVE) - "The reluctance to release proof of alleged Russian hacking aimed at swaying the US election in Donald Trump’s favor indicates it “doesn’t exist,” former CIA analyst John Kiriakou told RT, arguing that the Democratic Party’s defeat should be pinned on Clinton"

Jeremy Corbyn is showing how left populism fails - "Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of the UK’s Labour Party, is the most authentically left-wing politician currently leading a major party in the industrialized world. He is also presiding over that party’s historic political collapse... Prime Minister Theresa May had higher approval ratings than Corbyn among Labour voters... “It's a totally idiotic, unworkable idea,” Danny Blanchflower, a Dartmouth professor who used to serve on Corbyn’s economic advisory council, tweeted. “Interesting that we haven't heard from any UK Labour MPs or a single economist who think that @jeremycorbyn idea of a pay cap is a good plan.”

The problem with English - "The English language used to be an asset of the US and UK. Now it has become a weakness... Being an English-speaking society is like living in a glass house: it makes you transparent. Conversely, foreign countries are opaque to mostly monolingual Britons and Americans. Foreigners know us much better than we know them... Just as English let down the anglophone powers in Iraq, so did their other traditional weapon of influence: warfare. They have given up on invasions. The US now spends $597bn a year on its military and still can’t stop Russian adventuring."

Board game and luxuries discovered in Crusader castle in the Galilee - "among the things that evidently never change is the European appetite for pork. The archaeologists discovered bones from domestic European-type pigs inside the castle, as well as remains from turtles, deer, sheep and cattle."

This PrEP campaign is urging people to ‘F*ck Without Fear’
This is a great way to combat stereotpes about gay men and prevent moral hazard

Did the Greeks Help Sculpt China's Terra Cotta Warriors? - "prior to the appearance of the terra cotta warriors, Chinese sculptors did not have a tradition of producing life-size statues. The leap from having no experience to creating armies of the artworks indicates they may have had some outside influence or help."

Math Department Releases Classification of Safe Spaces - "The classification, which details over 200 different safe spaces, differentiates them by their properties along different “axes,” a term which the math department recently picked up from activist literature. Such properties include whether a space preserves an identity, respects the limits of its members, or is sufficiently intersectional. A safe space must also have carefully chosen boundaries, limits, and norms. One familiar safe space is the Möbius strip, as it is impossible to impose a preferred orientation upon it."

The right look: Conservative politicians look better and voters reward it - "We show that politicians on the right look more beautiful in Europe, the United States and Australia. Our explanation is that beautiful people earn more, which makes them less inclined to support redistribution"
This is additional evidence for feminists being ugly

Was a Norwegian Cartoon Banned from Twitter and Facebook? : snopes.com - "Rumors that a political cartoon featuring Donald Trump was banned from the social media sites were likely started in an attempt to spread the image to a wider audience."

‘Is this what the west is really like?’ How it felt to leave China for Britain | Xiaolu Guo - "I used the first-person plural too much in my everyday speech. In the west, if I said “We like to eat rice”, it would confuse people. They couldn’t understand who this “we” was referring to. Instead, I should have said “We Chinese like to eat rice”. After a few weeks, I swapped to the first-person singular, as in “I like to eat rice”. But it made me uncomfortable. After all, how could someone who had grown up in a collective society get used to using the first-person singular all the time? The habitual use of “I” requires thinking of yourself as a separate entity in a society of separate entities. But in China no one is a separate entity: either you were born to a non-political peasant household or to a Communist party household. But here, in this foreign country, I had to build a world as a first-person singular – urgently."

Hillary Cabinet plans leaked: Sheryl Sandberg at Treasury, Starbucks CEO at Labor. - "the job of running the Environmental Protection Agency was "likely" going to go to "an African American." Which “African American,” apparently, didn't really matter. And that is how United States politics work."

The U.S.-Canada Border Runs Through This Tiny Library - "While Canadians are guaranteed safe passage to the library, it’s a bit of a harrowing journey. To enter they have to walk past a series of security cameras on Church Street and then past the U.S. border guard stationed out front. As long as they collect their books and walk back the way they came, everything is fine. But if they walk out and continue into the U.S. they’ll be picked up for illegal entry. “We pretend that no one left Canada,” Rumery explains."

Nutella maker fights back on palm oil after cancer risk study - "The hazelnut and chocolate spread, one of Italy's best-known food brands and a popular breakfast treat for children, relies on palm oil for its smooth texture and shelf life. Other substitutes, such as sunflower oil, would change its character, according to Ferrero... Any move away from palm oil would also have economic implications as it is the cheapest vegetable oil, costing around US$800 a ton, compared with US$845 for sunflower oil and US$920 for rapeseed oil, another possible substitute... High temperatures are used to remove palm oil's natural red color and neutralize its smell, but Ferrero says it uses an industrial process that combines a temperature of just below 200C and extremely low pressure to minimize contaminants. The process takes longer and costs 20 percent more than high-temperature refining, Ferrero told Reuters. But it said this had allowed it to bring GE levels so low that scientific instruments find it hard to trace the chemical."

Woman has lived at Changi Airport for 8 years: Report - "She is among more than 10 "regulars" at the airport, the Chinese evening daily reported. The woman in her 50s, who preferred to remain anonymous, told the paper that she rented out her three-room flat in Tampines eight years ago and moved to the airport... She eats at the airport food court and finds living there quite convenient as there is a supermarket, showers, air-conditioning and free Wi-Fi, Wanbao said. She has rental income of more than $1,000, and is not in financial difficulty, but hopes to have a roof over her head... Another regular, a man in his 60s, told Wanbao he has a rental flat in Beach Road but fell out with his roommate. To avoid his roommate, he started sleeping at the airport recently, but goes home in the day. He also prefers to sleep in air-con on hot nights"

Singapore’s forgotten age of innovation - "Kallang Airport... was an art deco dream and one of the most advanced airports of its time, built in anticipation that Singapore would become an important global aviation hub... in the 1930s it could boast of a public trolley bus system that was the world’s largest, and which officials came from around Asia to see... In 1879, Singapore became the first city in the East to have a telephone system. It made international headlines in 1937 with the first phone call between Singapore and London - involving a father and his homesick young daughter. And then there was the Causeway, the largest engineering project in Malaya of its time, which took 2,000 men and five years to complete."
Some fishing village

Oymyakon, the coldest village on earth: Temperatures drop to -71.2C, locals can't wear glasses because they freeze to their faces and the school only shuts if it falls below -52C - "Locals are said to leave their cars running all day for fear of not being able to restart them. Even if there was coverage for mobile phone reception the phones themselves would not work in such cold conditions."

Decline of the dentist's drill? Drug helps rotten teeth regenerate, trial shows - "The therapy works by enhancing the natural ability of teeth to repair themselves through the activation of stem cells in the soft pulp at the centre. Normally, this mechanism is limited to repairing small cracks and holes in dentine, the solid bulk of the tooth beneath the surface enamel. Now scientists have shown that the natural process can be enhanced using an Alzheimer’s drug, allowing the tooth’s own cells to rebuild cavities extending from the surface to the root."

Too many chiefs | The Economist - "Not that long ago companies had just two or three “chief” whatnots. Now they have dozens, collectively called the “c-suite”. A few have more than one chief executive officer; CB Richard Ellis, a property-services firm, has four. A growing number have chiefs for almost everything from knowledge to diversity. Southwest Airlines has a chief Twitter officer. Coca-Cola and Marriott have chief blogging officers. Kodak has one of those too, along with a chief listening officer. Even so, chiefs are relatively rare compared with presidents and their various declensions (vice-, assistant-, etc). Almost everybody in banking from the receptionist upwards is a president of some sort. The number of members of LinkedIn, a professional network, with the title vice-president grew 426% faster than the membership of the site as a whole in 2005-09. The inflation rate for presidents was 312% and for chiefs a mere 275%"

Do French women embrace cheaters? - "Some women accept a cheater “because the qualities they appreciate in him surpass fidelity,” clinical psychologist Maryse Vaillant told the paper. “These are strong women, not victims…. [They are] capable of distinguishing what’s essential from what is secondary. They know their husbands need conquests to feel confident in themselves, and they accept it,” she said. This way of thinking derives from a “maternal attitude” under which certain women “take pleasure in their husbands behaving like little boys who chase skirts and then return, rather than like men who feel responsible for the security and well-being of their families,” added Bernard Voizot, a member of the Societe psychanalytique de paris (Paris Psychoanalytic Society). “A Woman who doesn’t forbid her husband from having sex with others can also get an illusion of omnipotence. In authorizing it, she places herself in a position superior to him.” This latter reason appears to play a role in Sinclair’s case. In 2006 when L’Express magazine asked if she suffered from her husband’s reputation as a seducer, she responded that she was “proud” of it. “It’s important for a politician to seduce,” she said. “As long as I seduce him and he seduces me, that’s enough for me." Competition can also play a role. Some women “need the rivalry of another woman to love a man. They want to feel triumphant over a rival, just as young girls fantasize about eliminating their mothers to have their fathers to themselves,” child psychologist Samuel Lepastier told Le Monde. He added that this sentiment also motivates women who have affairs with their friends’ husbands, or with other married men. “Often the day the man divorces, they lose all interest in him,” he said, having achieved their conquest... Others accept the dalliances because they feel that men’s sexual needs are stronger than their own, and they would prefer not to have sex too often"

Cobra's severed head bites, kills chef - "Chef Peng Fan, of Guangdong Province in China, cut off the head of a spitting cobra as he prepared to dice its body for a soup, the Daily Mail reports. But 20 minutes later, as Peng was tossing the head in the trash, the head was still functioning. That's when the venomous creature bit the chef, who died before anti-venom could be provided. "We ... could hear screams coming from the kitchen," says one restaurant guest."

Malaysian women join Middle East jihadists as ‘comfort women’, reveals intelligence report - "Malaysian women are believed to have joined the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (Isis) forces to offer Jihad Al-Nikah or sexual jihad"

Thefts of Tide detergent on the rise - "Tide has become a hot commodity among thieves at supermarkets and drugstores in at least some parts of the country. For a variety of reasons, the detergent in the familiar flame-orange bottle is well-suited for resale on the black market: Everybody needs laundry detergent, and Tide is the nation's most popular brand. It's expensive, selling for up to $20 for a large bottle at stores. And it doesn't spoil... Other popular items for thieves include baby formula, razor blades and over-the-counter medication."

The untold story of how a culture of shame perpetuates abuse. I know, I was a victim - "When I first told my mother about the abuse I’d suffered, she was absolutely devastated. The root of her anger was clear: I was heaping unbound shame on to my family by trying to bring the perpetrator to justice. In trying to stop him from exploiting more children, I was ensuring my parents and my siblings would be ostracised. She begged me not to go to the police station... Although Sohail and I had removed a proven paedophile from the community and helped empower another woman to end her torture, we were not celebrated. On the contrary, we were shunned."

Women Have The Midas Touch, Not Men - "both men and women respond positively to warmth and friendliness from women, but not necessarily from men."

Somebody Kept Driving Over This Trump Supporter’s Sign. The Trump Supporter Got Revenge. It’s Awesome. - "Tallah attached over 30 nails facing upward to the base of one of her three signs so when an unsuspecting "peaceful" Leftist made a bee-line for them, at least one side of their car would need new tires"

Meet China’s Most Famous Single Dad | Foreign Policy - "Li argues that Confucius’s era was more tolerant than people realize and that some mistakenly confuse Confucius’s ideas with those of neo-Confucian conservatives who took his precepts to extremes. He writes that Confucius was compassionate and lacked the "hypocritical moralism of the philosophers in the Song and Ming dynasties." He notes that in ancient China, new brides could chose to leave their marriage within the first three months if they didn’t get along with their spouse. Scholars in Confucius’s time were more hedonistic, he writes, and unabashed about their fondness for food, drink, and sex: "Passion between a man and a woman was considered natural." Li also argues — not terribly convincingly — that Confucius showed something of a feminist side in the Book of Rites when he noted that men should lie with their concubines, even the older ones, once every five days until the woman reaches her 50th year. This showed that Confucius believed the sexual needs of mature women "ought to be met," Li explains"

MH370 and the Secrets of the Deep, Dark Southern Indian Ocean | Foreign Policy - "Not that there are other options besides Perth: There simply isn’t anything closer by — let alone inhabited lands. The closest spit of land is the French archipelago of Kerguelen, uninhabited but for a rotating staff of what must be the world’s most bored meteorologists. In the 19th century, the French government even decided against establishing a penal colony on the Delaware-sized island because it would be too cruel on the inmates"

As Shariah Experiment Becomes a Model, Indonesia’s Secular Face Slips - NYTimes.com - "Indonesia as a whole has drifted in a conservative direction, and Aceh, once an outlier, has become a model for other regions of the country seeking to impose their own Shariah-based ordinances, alarming those who worry about the nation’s drift from secularism. “Whenever Aceh issues a law, saying it’s the highest order of Shariah, it provokes others to do the same thing”... A recent study found that more than 442 Shariah-based ordinances have been passed throughout the nation since 1999, when Jakarta gave provinces and districts substantial powers to make their own laws. These include regulations concerning female attire, the mixing of the sexes and alcohol. But for local officials, the spread of Shariah from Aceh is a point of pride, and delegations from areas with a history of embracing conservative Islam regularly visit to see how it has been carried out here."

377A (again)

377A: Majority not always right | TODAYonline
From Martin Piper

In the report “Govt has no plans to repeal section 377A for now” (March 2), the Prime Minister said: “I believe if you have a referendum on the issue today, 377A would stand.”

But I expect that if there had been a referendum on creating the Women’s Charter back when it was discussed, or on the Stop at Two policy, the majority would have voted against those.

If there were a referendum on lowering taxes, I expect the majority to vote for it. The majority are not always right, especially when they do not understand the effects of racism, sexism or taxation.

Leaders should be more learned and realise the ramifications, so it is up to elected governments to do what is logically and morally correct, not what is popular.

Repealing 377A would lead to higher economic productivity and fewer health issues, logically and morally speaking.

It would demonstrate strong leadership and put the population’s needs before notions of what might be popular with other sections of society.

Voodoo economics ("Repealing 377A would lead to higher economic productivity") and imperious rhetoric ("logically... speaking") aside, there're no benefits to repealing 377A - only disadvantages.

Politically, from the PAP's point of view, liberals still won't vote for them (the liberal wishlist is too long), and conservatives will be pissed off.

Furthermore, Singapore already benefits from the gay dollar and de facto tolerance of homosexuality.

So repealing 377A would have only symbolic impact.

Indeed, hand wringing about 377A is a self-fulfilling prophecy - the more activists complain about it, the more they feel victimised by it (actual gay people's feelings about it are another story).

In any event, if we did one day repeal 377A, even this symbolic impact would not be felt, because the activists would then move on to their next shibboleth - gay marriage.

And then the very same arguments that are deployed against 377A today would be mustered to push for gay marriage.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Latest posts (which you might not see on this page)

powered by Blogger | WordPress by Newwpthemes