When you can't live without bananas

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Thursday, August 20, 2020

Links - 20th August 2020 (2)

Vegan Hit Girlfriend Because She Came Home Smelling of Bacon - "Mr Ellam then became a fanatical vegan — eschewing all animal products — with Miss Smith telling the court her then-boyfriend pressured her into becoming a vegan, as well... Mr Ellam cut up his then-girlfriend’s clothes, and harshly criticised her for eating one cheese and onion crisp, with cheese being forbidden in veganism... Veganism is on the rise in the UK, with activists calling for more extreme protections of what they claim is a belief system akin to a religion. In February, the Vegan Society called on employers to shield vegans from jokes about their dietary choices and that vegans should be given the top shelf of workplace kitchens’ refrigerators to keep their food. The guidance note coming out after an employment tribunal judge declared the month before that ethical veganism is a “philosophical belief”."

REPORT: Vegans Walking 'Cabbages' Instead of Dogs in Trend to Cure Depression - "Spanish Dog Lover website Lomunidad found the practice rather amusing, but signaled, according to psychiatrist Wen Chao, that the trend may carry health benefits for those involved.Chao said, “It’s a wonderful anti-stress therapy, given that walking cabbages over dogs is a win-win.”He continued, “The idea is simple: you feel as lonely and as simple as a cabbage, so you begin to act like one and befriend one. And in that acceptance comes change.”"
I'm sure this will help improve the image of vegans

The Kynd Butcher - Concrete Playground - "In an unlikely twist, meat is off the menu at this neighbourhood Ascot Vale butchery. In fact, you won't find any animal products at all. Rather, Union Road newcomer The Kynd Butcher embraces a cruelty-free stance — it's Melbourne's first-ever all-vegan butcher shop."
Can they be sued for false advertising?

Choose your fighter
"THE CLASSES BROKEN DOWM Penis = Soldier, Rapes U = Enforcer, Anal Services = Engineer, Sucks = Support, Jerking Authority =Lawman, Ass Doctor = Medic."

Pewdiepie Submissions - Posts - "POOR PUSSY The Children Are Seated in a Circle. One Child Who Is Chosen to Be "Poor Pussy" Stands in the Center. Poor Pussy Kneels Before Some Child and Meows Three Times Every Time He Meows the Child Whom He Is Facing Must Say Poor Pussy Without Laughing if He Laughs He Becomes Poor Pussy if He Doesn't Laugh the Pussy Must Try Someone Else"
From a 1956 textbook apparently

Razorblade Snowflake (Keffy R.M. Kehrli) on Twitter - "The 120 Days of Sodom... Parents might wish to discuss with their children how views on race have changed before allowing them to read this classic work."
"I feel like there are other things you may also wish to discuss with your children before allowing them to read this classic work."

Blackburn Asian women councillors deselected by local Labour party - "Blackburn's first two Asian women councillors have been deselected for speaking out against old-fashioned attitudes, it has been claimed.Saima Afzal and Maryam Batan are understood to have alleged the selection process on 7 February was unfair and broke Labour party rules.Sources say they were replaced with Asian women who would be less independent minded and toe the line."
Minorities are only good when they do what they're told

Why Cats Show You Their Butt, According to Science - "cats aren’t trying to gross you out — in fact, they’re trying to be nice.“For cats, it’s normal for them to sniff each other’s butts as a way to say hello or confirm another cat’s identity,” Delgado tells Inverse. “It’s hard for us to relate to, but for them, smell is much more important to cats and how they recognize each other than vision is. So cats may be ‘inviting’ us to check them out, or just giving us a friendly hello.”"

How Dogs Went From Wolves to Man’s Best Friend, According to Scientists - "wolves became good boys behavior-wise before they started looking more like domesticated dogs than wolves... behavioral traits changed before anything else. Behaviors like a reduced fear of humans and overall tameness were among the first changes, and changes in physical appearance — like smaller jaws and floppy ears — came after."

Why We Should Think Twice About Colonizing Space - "in a colonized universe the probability of the annihilation of the human race could actually rise rather than fall. Consider what is likely to happen as humanity hops from Earth to Mars, and from Mars to relatively nearby, potentially habitable exoplanets like Epsilon Eridani b, Gliese 674 b, and Gliese 581 d. Each of these planets has its own unique environments that will drive Darwinian evolution, resulting in the emergence of novel species over time... expanding across space will also result in ideological diversification... different species will find it increasingly difficult over time to understand each other’s motivations, intentions, behaviors, decisions, and so on. It could even make communication between species with alien languages almost impossible. Furthermore, some species might begin to wonder whether the proverbial “Other” is conscious. This matters because if a species Y cannot consciously experience pain, then another species X might not feel morally obligated to care about Y... how can actors extricate themselves from the security dilemma if they can’t fully trust each other? On the level of individuals, one solution has involved what Thomas Hobbes’ calls the “Leviathan.” The key idea is that people get together and say, “Look, since we can’t fully trust each other, let’s establish an independent governing system—a referee of sorts—that has a monopoly on the legitimate use of force... If conflict were to break out in some region of the universe, could the relevant governing authorities respond soon enough for it to matter, for it to make a difference?Probably not, because of the immense vastness of space... if species A cannot convince species B that if B strikes it, A will launch an effective and devastating counter strike, then B may take a chance at attacking A. In fact, B does not need to be malicious to do this: it only needs to worry that A might, at some point in the near- or long-term future, attack B, thus making it rational for B to launch a preemptive strike (to eliminate the potential danger). Thinking about this predicament in the radically multi-polar conditions of space, it seems fairly obvious that conflict will be extremely difficult to avoid."

Dating in America is so casual. In France, men tend to commit instantly. But do they really mean it? - The Washington Post - "For the first six months of our relationship, David and I had several fights over the phone about exactly this. I didn’t necessarily want to sleep with anyone else, but he was in France and I was in Spain, so it seemed impractical to have an exclusive long-distance relationship with someone I’d only spent four days with. Plus, my history of trysts or one-night stands in America was much like Clark’s — they never led to anything serious. David just couldn’t comprehend why being exclusive was such a big deal, or why this American girl he loved was obsessed with the notion of freedom. It took me six months to finally agree to be exclusive, and that’s only because another woman was trying to move in on him... Cathline Fermet-Quinet, a French psychologist and sexologist in Lyon, confirmed that, yes, dating in France is different. “We don’t have this causal dating period when it’s okay to date several people at the same time and keep your options open,” she said. “Things end up going faster because we’re all in. It’s pretty common to go on three or four dates a week with someone you just met.”Meeting friends usually happens after a few dates, she said, and meeting the parents within one to three months. Caroline Conner, an American who runs wine tastings in Lyon, has had similar experiences. “American men will do anything to avoid calling you their girlfriend. For some reason that’s terrifying to them,” she joked. “But French men seem to want girlfriends. If you have sex once or even just make out — Bam! You’re together!” The only exception, she said, seems to be if you meet on a dating app and discuss being “sex friends.”This all-in approach isn’t always smart, Fermet-Quinet said. “Signing a contract too early and under the influence of love hormones is a little risky.” She said she believes couples who dive right in don’t stop and ask themselves whether they share the same vision of love or whether they are even compatible... one-night stands aren’t as common in France, or they don’t seem like one-night stands because people are too polite to cut off contact without a discussion. Unless you’ve discussed being “sex friends,” not calling or texting someone back after a night together is disrespectful, even if you don’t want to go any further... “They treat you with too much respect for someone who just wants to shag”... Although we both enjoy the romantic gestures and being treated like cherished human beings, it stings much more when they disappear. Neither of us has a clue who wants to date and who is just grooming us for a sexual friendship because they act the same regardless... Dating in the country known for love may be exciting and romantic, but it can also make you even more cynical and cautious about dating than back home. Because in the United States, when someone finally does say “I love you” and goes “full boyfriend,” you actually believe them."

Ghana's dancing pallbearers: life after becoming THE meme of Covid-19 - BBC Africa - YouTube - "In 2017 this troupe of Ghanaian pallbearers went viral following BBC Africa's coverage of their flamboyant coffin-carrying dances, garnering millions of views.Three years later and the group has experienced a second round of internet fame, with social media users adopting the troupe as a dark-humoured symbol of death in the time of Covid-19.BBC Africa's Sulley Lansah met up with the leader of the troupe to get his reaction to his new-found fame, and to see how he's coping during the pandemic."

Five-year-old pulled over in US while driving to California - "A police officer in the western US state of Utah was stunned after stopping what he thought was an impaired driver on a highway only to find a five-year-old behind the wheel.The Utah Highway Patrol said the boy told the trooper who pulled him over on Monday (May 4) that he left home following an argument with his mother who had refused to buy him a Lamborghini. "He decided he'd take the car and go to California to buy one himself," the Highway Patrol said in a tweet. "He might have been short on the purchase amount, as he only had $3."... the boy, who was not identified, had managed to drive about two to three miles (three to five kilometers) from his home before he was stopped and his parents contacted."

Maid who hid $5,002 stolen from employer in her vagina jailed 16 weeks - "A total of $5,002 of the stolen sum was recovered after the maid underwent a body scan while in Changi Women’s Prison. She had hidden the money in a sanitary pad and a plastic bag before placing it inside her vagina.Bajo Nelgielyn Bobita, a 28-year-old Filipino, was jailed 16 weeks after she pleaded guilty to two counts of theft as a servant."

Kim Jong Un may be holed up with his 'Pleasure Squad': report - "If Kim Jong Un is holed up in his luxe seaside hideaway in the port city of Wonsan, he may have plenty of company — a harem of 2,000 sex slaves... The North Korean dictator resurrected his late grandfather’s “Pleasure Squad” of secret sex entertainers in 2015... some reports say he fled to a luxury resort in the port city located along the eastern side of the Korean Peninsula to avoid catching the coronavirus — and the UK paper speculates that he might have his harem with him... "The 2,000-strong harem is said to be made to sing and dance for the nation’s elite — but also take part in bizarre sexual games and orgies.” Kim is widely known for his love of booze and fine food — and the Pleasure Squad provides him with kinky carnal pleasures as well.Some members are said to have been as young as 13 when they were taken out of school and forced into sex work. Defectors from North Korea even say the girls have to undergo invasive medical examinations to prove they’re virgins before they can join... Kim Il-sung especially liked virgins because he believed having sex with them allowed him to absorb the girls’ “ki” or life-force.Authorities would tell the girls’ parents their daughters were on an important mission to serve Kim Il-sung, and they had no say in the matter."

Naked Painter Shows It All Off!! | Croatia's Got Talent | Got Talent Global - YouTube

Divorce among doctors isn’t as common as you think, study finds - The Washington Post - "physicians were less likely to divorce than dentists, health-care executives and nurses.The researchers also found divorce was less common among physicians than lawyers, who are comparable to physicians in income and education. Only pharmacists had lower rates."If you talk to physicians, there seems to be this conception or notion that doctors are more likely to be divorced, not only more than other health-care professionals, but the population at large," said the study's senior author, Anupam Jena, of Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School. Indeed, non-health-care workers and non-lawyers were more likely to have been divorced or become divorced... divorce was more likely for women who worked longer hours, but the reverse was true of male physicians... Physicians had a 24 percent likelihood of divorce; it was 23 percent for pharmacists; 25 percent for dentists; 31 percent for health-care executives; 33 percent among nurses; 27 percent among lawyers; and 35 percent for non-health-care workers."

Muslim vs British Dominion in India

B: Delete if not allowed, but I can't believe that this is actually catching steam #GenghisKhanIsOverParty: Cancel Culture Has Come for Genghis Khan

A: I'm most disturbed by the comparison with Islamic invaders of India. There was no fucking India at the time, just a bunch of kingdoms. Incidentally, this Islamic invasion of India is the standard Right-Wing spiel we're getting in India.

Me: ironically when it comes to bashing the British everyone ignores how before the British there was no India at the time either, just a bunch of kingdoms

C: I know Anglo Saxon enthusiasts who hate William the Conqueror, a thousand years later.

Simply because of 400 years of being second class citizens. Even though Britain is based on the improvements Norman leaders made to the Wessex-based Anglo Saxon kingdom.

While Anglo Saxon England may have been a minor power until modern times, it was the Normans who made Britain possible.

Most Indians I talk to have complicated views.

I think it’s perfectly fine for a country that was abused for hundreds of years to keep the best of what evolved, without having to recognize too many positive qualities in their overlords. They have the same issues in terms of the Mughals, earlier.

And this is just the Hindu culture. Dozens of minority cultures in the south have been treated no better by the dominant Hindu culture, than all of them were treated by invaders.

A: nothing ironic about it. British empire came as traders and due to a series of circumstances and guile, colonised the kingdoms of modern India, using the wealth of the land to enrich itself, impoverishing the land, and dismantling existing socio-economic structures in the bargain. The Ottomans who invaded Hindustan settled there and built their empire which became the nation of India. They did not loot the land as much as they became of the land. That's the difference.

Your irony appears misplaced 🙄

Me: the irony is in India not existing at either time but the Muslim invasions being excused but not British dominance

There was no "nation" of India thanks to the Muslim invasions. It was the British who led to it

I'm amused you think it's worse to come as traders and consolidate power by guile than to invade and kill many people

A: your amusement pales in significance to the recorded experiences of my native ancestors. Re-read my earlier comment to note the difference I pointed out. Empire-building for natives versus empire-building for colonisers. I can't break it down further. Oh, the guile also resulted in killing many people so that's scarcely a parameter.

Me:I'm sure the invaded Indians at the time regarded the Muslim armies as "natives"

A: I don't know or really care what you're sure about, but if the difference I pointed out still isn't clear, feel free to read more on the subject before presuming to argue. And I'll tell you this. Many Brits, French and even Africans came to the sub-continent as traders, and opted to mingle and live here as natives. They did not enforce bizarre laws to foster native dependence on the coloniser, nor did they create artificial famines to prove a point. Do go and learn a bit more before rattling away like a pebble in a can.

Me: ah. I presume you are propagating myths of the bengal famine, among other things


"“Churchill was not responsible for the Bengal Famine,” Sir Martin replied. “I have been searching for evidence for years: none has turned up. The 1944 Document volume of the official biography [Hillsdale College Press] will resolve this issue finally”... “The idea that Churchill was in any way ‘responsible’ or ‘caused’ the Bengal famine is of course absurd. The real cause was the fall of Burma to the Japanese, which cut off India's main supply of rice imports when domestic sources fell short, which they did in Eastern Bengal after a devastating cyclone in mid-October 1942""


"The Bengal famine was caused by a cyclone and exacerbated by the Japanese invasion of Burma. It is true Churchill prioritised feeding the Indian army. Given what had happened elsewhere in Asia, can we say with confidence that he would have been wiser to let the soldiers go hungry and risk a Japanese conquest?"


‘His actions, or perhaps lack of during the Bengal Famine of 1943 is one of the things that people often talk about when criticizing Churchill. So, throughout, 3 million people died during this famine. How culpable was he for this and could he have done more, do you think?’

‘He was absolutely not culpable in the slightest. It's appalling, this myth that has been created about this. In October 1942, huge cyclone hit, hit eastern India and it destroyed the rice crop. And it also destroyed lots of the roads and railways to which, which were needed in order to, to feed the population, which was therefore going to starve as a result. Now, in the past, we were able to bring huge amounts of rice, this isn't the first time a cyclone had done this. In the past, in peacetime, we were able to bring in rice from Burma, and Thailand and Malaysia, and various other places to feed the populations, none of which we could have access to, because the Japanese wouldn’t let us.

We also had Indianised the administration from 1935 onwards. And so local governments which were Indian, dominated by Indians, were responsible for the famine relief, and as well as the British Raj. And the viceroy Lord Linlithgow didn't do a very good job, neither did Lord, Lord Wavell at the beginning either. And so there is an element of British culpability.

There's also Indian capability. Because they didn't, they refused to sell rice to the Bengal government. There were any number of things that did go wrong. But we actually had Japanese U boats in the Bay of Bengal. And the idea that, that huge amounts of grain could be, could be shipped in there was, was, frankly, strategically wrong.

Churchill wrote desperate letters to, to Franklin Roosevelt and others to try and get as much grain in there as possible. And the idea that he, that he was happy to see people starve is a complete libel on him.’

A: oh goodness! British pro-establishme

nt publications protecting one of their own. Remarkable! My eyes are indeed opened. Where were you all my life, you amazing enlightenment-monger? Do you want me to toss out peer-reviewed articles too? Nah, do your own labour. Or enjoy your one-sided ignorance. Or any option you prefer, for it isn't skin off my nose

Me: it's OK, I'm not a fan of nationalistic xenophobic racist ignorance

For those interested in what the literature says:

"Like the turko-afghan sultans of Delhi, the mughals were also foreign conquerors"

--- Vol. Iii: Medieval Indian Society And Culture / J.L. Mehta

"the Mughals were foreign invaders of India"

--- Mughal India / Giles Henry Rupert Tillotson

"Nadir Shah’s invasion did no more than reveal the real weakness of the Mughal Empire to the whole world – the Marathas had long been aware of it. But it brought home to the latter the danger of a foreign conquest of India. This called forth an interesting proposal from Baji Rao. He proposed that all the nobles, high and low, should join together with their armies in a kind of confederation as it were to reduce the affairs of the Timurid line to a better order, and to oppose “the enemy”, i.e., the foreign invader"

--- Medieval India: From Sultanat to the Mughals Part - II / Satish Chandra

"There have been pre-Islamic foreign invasions of India... But the Muslims were different... there was no question of assimilation into the local culture"

--- Indian Sociology Through Ghurye, a Dictionary / S. Devadas Pillai

"northern India was not spared foreign invasion... Islam brought a new pattern of life... the Mongols contributed to this assimilation [of foreign Muslims]"

--- A History of India / Romila Thapar

"In the early medieval period, the Rajputs belonging to north India were floating around restlessly looking for a home before finally settling down in the Rajputana (mostly today’s Rajasthan) area. Then, they pushed themselves into the political arena and established numerous small monarchical kingdoms. In addition to these fiefdoms, large states arose elsewhere in India between 750 CE and 1000 CE—the Palas in eastern India, the Pratiharas in western India and the upper Gangetic valley, and the Rashtrakutas in the Deccan. The feudatory pattern of relationships played a key role in the political and economic developments of those times and also in the rise and fall of small and big kingdoms. It also made these states incapable of withstanding the foreign invasions. In the absence of a paramount power in the country, it was comparatively easy, first, for the Arabs in 712 CE and a hundred years later for the Turks who had settled down in what is today known as Afghanistan to undertake expeditions into India. The Turks, a Central Asian people, later led conquests beyond the frontiers of India and from thence advanced into the Indian mainland.

By the beginning of the twelfth century, Delhi with its strategic location had begun to surface as the new power centre from where the fresh entrants marched into the fertile Punjab and the Ganges valley. What emerged from there was a period in Indian history that triggered prominent trends in thought and institutions. It is during this period that the Arabs, Afghans, Turks and Persians gained a firm foothold on the Indian soil and made it their permanent abode...

The foreigners brought with them a new faith, hitherto unknown military practices, love for gardens and lakes, passion for building palaces, forts, mosques and other kinds of structures, fascination for delectable foods, ideas and philosophies, and traditions and customs that India had never been through in the past"

-- A Comprehensive History of Medieval India: From Twelfth to the Mid-Eighteenth Century / Farooqui Salma Ahmed

A: goodness, aren't you all over the place... From Churchill to being an authority on the Ghulams and their successors. And yet, the difference I pointed out still eludes you, between a coloniser and an invader.

I haven't the faintest idea whence came xenophobia and racism but I would add false equivalence to that charming list.

Also, you might like to enjoy Meenakshi Mukherji, R C Majumdar, and Abraham Eraly. Even thr Cambridge history volumes understand the difference I mentioned. But you don't want to, hey, it's all cool.

Me: so in your book invasion is good but colonisation is wrong? Maybe the British should have invaded instead

Last I checked, dismissing people you disagree with as "British" could count as both racism (if you are dismissing them because of their race) and xenophobia (if you are dismissing them because they are foreign)

A: um. Would you like to look up Ganga-Jamuni tehzeeb?

And.. do look up the pedigree of the Tughlaq sultans for more 'assimmilation' stories. Also the Mughals.

And yet, and yet, these invaders were not colonisers. They established massive kingdoms right there, from Delhi, from Agra. Not much looting and dismantling of structures happening there. Wanna go through what these books say about the rule of these dynasties, as well? Or do you want to stop at the 'invader' word and fight from that trench?
oh dear, you stil didn't get it. Lotsa people came as invaders. Romila Thapar notes invasions in ancient India too, when kingdoms warred. The difference, sigh, for the final time is - in opting to settle down among the people invaded and becoming of them, as versus using the invaded land as your personal bank.

If you cannot get this, please, do desist from tagging me further. I can't explain or break down the concept further.

Me: I will note that even A's preferred sources don't say what A claimed at one point about "Empire-building for natives" vs "Empire-building for colonisers" as they clearly describe the Muslim invasions as foreign

"The Mughal empire was founded by Zahir-ud-din Muhammad Babur, a Chaghatai Turkih ruler... The Mughal intrusion displaced the indigenous Hindu Rajputs...

Babur bequeathed to his successors a distinguished lineage stretching back to the great Central Asian conqueror Timur, and also through the Chaghatai Turks back to Chingiz Khan. Through Timur, the Mughal dynasty claimed impeccable credentials as rulers and conquerors of extraordinary luster. (Hence the term Timurid used synonymously for Mughal in this volume). In addition Babur’s legacy included Central Asian horsemanship and battle tactics, life lived comfortably under canvas in tents, and the Turki language. He left a persistent and abiding Sunni Islamic faith and a familial connection with the orthodox Naqshbandi Sufi order which had originated in Central Asia. His legacy included a sophisticated cultural style derived from Timur’s patronage at Samarkhand and refined at the courts of his successors in Central Asia. Finally, not least of Babur’s heritage were his memoirs, written in Turki, which recounted his life adventures from his early youth in the valley of Ferghana to his conquest of India."

---- The Mughal Empire, Part 1, Volume 5 / By John F. Richards (part of The New Cambridge History of India)

"The Indian ruling chiefs could, therefore, hardly fail to recognize that the establishment of an aggressive Islamic State in the Panjab was a grave danger to the whole of India... Indians were also fully alive to the peril with which Muslim invasion threatened their religion and culture"

--- Ancient India / Ramesh Chandra Majumdar

As for A's re-modified position that invasion etc are ok as long as you stay on (which itself is different from the original point that there was no "India" both when the Muslims invaded and when the British came), even if we ignore the Anglo Indian community, the British Raj only lasted for under a century, compared to the centuries and waves of Muslim conquest and dominion

So it seems Britain's mistake was in giving India its independence. If they'd stayed for another few more centuries they would then be seen as "settlers" instead of "colonisers"
There is an interesting parallel here with "right wingers" who make a distinction between "settlers" and "immigrants", in relation to historic Anglo immigration to North America, Australia and New Zealand and contemporary immigration to those same places.

Links - 20th August 2020 (1)

Survey: Most students favor colleges restricting speech - "A new Gallup survey found the majority of students believe colleges should be able to restrict at least some speech, mainly when it comes to the use of racial slurs and offensive costumes.Gallup and the Knight Foundation partnered together to conduct a survey of 3,319 randomly sampled U.S. college students about issues related to Freedom of Speech in late 2019. The survey found that 96 percent of students believe that citizens’ free speech rights are "extremely important" or "very important" to America’s democracy. However, they believe this right is less secure now than several years ago... Only 50 percent of students answered one or more First Amendment questions correctly.Twenty-one percent of students said that the government can restrict citizens’ speech and 13 percent said they are unsure. Forty-eight percent of students said that “hate speech” is not protected by the First Amendment. More specifically, only 23 percent of self-identified Democrat students know that hate speech is protected by the First Amendment, compared with 48 percent of Republican students... About 49 percent of conservatives believe conservative students can speak freely and openly on their campus while 96 percent of liberals say conservative students can openly express their views.Fifty-five percent of Republicans feel "somewhat uncomfortable" or "very uncomfortable" with sharing their views in class compared to 31 percent of Democrats. Democrat students responded more favorably to restrictions on speech than Republicans did. When given the choice between colleges prohibiting “certain speech” and allowing students to be exposed to all speech, 19 percent of respondents said colleges should have the power to prohibit speech. Only 10 percent of Republicans favored this move whereas 26 percent of Democrats favored the prohibition... Three in four Republicans admit that the “climate on [their] campus prevents some people from saying things they believe because others might find them offensive” while just over half of Democrats feel the same way."
Given that many Democrats also express reservations about expressing their views...
So much for the free speech problem on campus being a myth and the threats to free speech being because of the "right"

The College Fix’s higher education cartoon of the week #ThisIsCalculus - ""And that's why white men are evil"
"I think I'm in the wrong class. Which classroom is calculus?"
"This is calculus"

Bowling Green student files complaint against professor for criticizing Beyoncé project - "Bowling Green State University undergraduate student Meghan McKinley gave a presentation at the school’s undergraduate research symposium titled “A Drink of Lemonade to Help the Patriarchy Go Down.”“I presented on Beyoncé’s visual album Lemonade and my allyship to Black women as an Asian woman,” according to McKinley. But not everyone was pleased with the presentation.According to a bias report filed shortly after the presentation, McKinley was confronted by moderator Madeline Duntley, an associate professor of sociology who specializes, in part, on gender, minorities and family.According to McKinley, Duntley “began telling me my presentation was nice,” but then said “the feminist theorists I used would not be okay with my presentation.” McKinley said that as she defended her work, Duntley “twisted my words and told me I shouldn’t be using the word ‘validate’ when speaking about women of color’s anger” and “nastily told me to open an Oxford Dictionary.”“It was clear she was speaking down to me because I am a woman of color,” McKinley wrote, saying the moderator “was belittling my voice and my experiences.”“It was an abuse of power and white privilege,” wrote McKinley in her complaint, saying “I feel even more unsafe at this school because of this situation.”... According to a bias report filed by another woman in the support group, the student shared that in a feminism class before the support group meeting, a woman “who identified as a lesbian and white” said that her experience should equate to the experience of an African-American lesbian. The white woman argued there should be no “oppression Olympics.”When the African-American student tried to disagree, she said she felt “attacked and silenced” in the class... resident assistants Helena Matisiak and Marina Pennycuff were on a “duty walk” in the Conklin North lounge when they encountered a drawing of a student resident. Under the picture, the student’s name was misspelled. According to a follow-up document issued by the school, the way the student’s name was misspelled made it a “homophobic slur.”"
Time to give all women of colour automatic summa cum laudes

Placebo Effects and the Common Cold: A Randomized Controlled Trial - "Eccles has reported “a review of 8 clinical trials on the effects of antitussive medicines on cough associated with acute upper respiratory tract infection [showing] that 85% of the reduction in cough is related to treatment with placebo, and only 15% attributable to the active ingredient.”... Overall, this trial could be interpreted either as an appropriately powered trial that failed to conclusively show placebo effects, or as a trial suggesting small but perhaps meaningful effects related to expectation and pill-allocation"

Are Meal Kits Really Cheaper Than Groceries? - "While I enjoy Blue Apron and Hello Fresh, I definitely pay a lot less than $20 for non-kit meals that I make for myself and my husband. So, how can these companies claim they’re cheaper? In part, because they decide what we’ll be comparing. They send out a box with three totally different meals, and to make a fair comparison the experimental grocery shopper buys the exact same ingredients for the exact same menu. Typically the meals don’t share any components, and they often involve an exotic ingredient or two. So yes: if your diet was made entirely of Blue Apron recipes, you’d have a hard time keeping up for $20/meal. Sensible meal planning, on the other hand, fits your meals together Tetris-style: Monday’s leftover chicken is the base for Tuesday’s dinner, and the scallions you bought for Tuesday will also go into the batch of salsa you’re whipping up this weekend. If you’re smart about this, you can save a ton of money... The truth is, meal kits aren’t just a source of food: they are also a service that designs recipes, decides how to combine them, and delivers them to your door. They do this to their liking, so if Blue Apron gets a good deal on bulk Tandoori spices, that’s what you’ll cook with. They give some to you, and some to your neighbor down the street. If you’re doing this all on your own, you get to see to the distribution and consumption of everything yourself. So as a smart, shopping-savvy consumer, I can conclude that Blue Apron doesn’t plan my meals as well as I would plan them myself.But I’m not actually that smart and savvy all the time. I’m busy, and when I’m not being busy, I’m kind of lazy. You know what I eat when I don’t have a Blue Apron box on my doorstep? I eat whatever I can buy cheap in the frozen section at Trader Joe’s... On the other hand, $10 for my half of a meal that is still not very filling is what I’d pay at Panera or Chipotle—and there, somebody else cooks it for me. For $13 I can order my favorite Thai curry and not only does someone else cook it, they’ll even deliver it to my door. Those extra few dollars (plus tip) buy me time to sit on my butt during the 30 minutes immediately before eating, instead of standing in the kitchen chopping vegetables and trying to pick all the thyme leaves off their stems... Sometimes I’m a little disappointed when the meal is something I routinely make myself, but other times the kit introduces me to a new flavor (hello, garlic black bean sauce) that I wouldn’t have gambled on otherwise. Meal kits are only worth it, though, if you enjoy cooking and want to put in the work for a fresh, interesting meal. Otherwise, Trader Joe’s and takeout are always there for you, and they’re cheaper."

Here's how much commission each food delivery app charges Toronto restaurants - "Based on current commission rates, Uber Eats is the worst offender with the highest rate of 30 per cent. Restaurants have been seeking to abandon this app especially, not only due to high fees, but because their service went haywire recently, causing many to lose business.But Uber Eats says their commission rates actually vary by level of service.""Restaurants can choose from 3 options including no fees for pickup orders; a reduced 15% fee for restaurants who choose to use their own delivery people; or full-service with delivery people available on the Uber Eats platform"... For lower rates, however, Skip the Dishes is a  better option with a 20 per cent commission. foodora is also listed as charging a 20 per cent commission, but recently announced plans to cease operations on May 11. foodora workers had won the right to unionize in February... For the lowest commissions, DoorDash is the clear leader among this group with a 1o per cent commission."

New data shows just how expensive it will be to live in Toronto this year

Someone has been living in a backyard yurt in Toronto for $400 a month - "While most of us renters are paying, on average, around $2,500 per month for an apartment, one Toronto resident has figured out a living situation that is a whole lot easier on his bank account.The man, who has remained anonymous when speaking to media due to the questionable legality of his space, is essentially camping in his friend's backyard in the west end — glamping, really, in a fairy light-filled yurt... The situation is a fit for him not only because it is budget-friendly, but because as a seasonal worker, he is able to travel freely without having to worry about subletting out an apartment or moving.Also, to him, the way of life is more sustainable and ethical."

MSNBC's Brian Williams, NYT's Mara Gay Agree Bloomberg Could Have Given Each American $1 Million With Money He Spent | Video - "on MSNBC's "The Eleventh Hour" with Brian Williams, New York Times Editorial Board Member Mara Gay and the host accepted without question a tweet that (jokingly) said that Michael Bloomberg could have given every American one million dollars with the five hundred million dollars he spent on his short-lived presidential campaign. In reality, $500 million divided by 327 million Americans is about $1.53 per person."

Scott Greer on Twitter - "Say whatcha want about Onlyfans but I just moved into my dream house at 22"
"The American economy in 2020: the tweet"

BBC Radio Ulster - Everyday Ethics, The Morals of Meat - "‘Are there circumstances where eating meat raised in specific circumstances is more ethical than eating vegetables, tofu, or grain, which are produced in unethical circumstances?’
‘I, I completely get this quandary that you you presented me with there. It's something I think about all the time. For example, when I pour coconut milk, excuse me, I pour coconut milk over my cereal. And I'm well aware that we don't grow coconuts in Europe. So how much, what's the carbon footprint of me receiving that milk, you know? So then I try to make my own almond milk because that's a nut that's closer to home, I think there is an issue about some of the ingredients and products and foods that the vegans eat that do present an issue to global sort of well being. For example, a lot of vegan products have derivatives from palm in them, palm oil, palm butter, though that's such a destructive ingredient. Now, you know, then somebody could argue, well, I'm sitting here in Lancashire, having my cereal with some local organic milk, and there's somebody eating something that that's made with a product that pristine rain forests where the only two places wherever orang utans live in the world is being destroyed. So, you know, when you put it into those global terms, I think it's, it's very overwhelming. It can make you think, oh, there's no point me even trying, which I do, I just think is a very defeatist approach to it.’
‘In very specific circumstances, not eating meat may be unethical.’
‘Sure, and we're blessed in this country. In many other parts of the world like Central Asia where I've done fieldwork or Africa where I did with huge amounts of grass with varying amounts of rain, and actually keeping livestock there pastoralism as it's called, whether it's nomadic, or sedentary like it is here in nomadic and Central Asia, Africa. That's actually the best and most efficient way to use those habitats and use those landscapes because ruminants like cows, sheep and goats have this tremendous ability to transform grass into milk and butter and meat as well. And that is a good use of those landscapes if it's done humanely and efficient, sustainably.’"

BBC Radio 4 - Thinking Allowed, Artisanal food - Natural foods - "‘When you're eating, paying 20 pounds for a bowl of sort of peasant grains, you've got to be getting something else other than just pure nourishment out of it.’
‘You seem to be joining a movement nowadays when you choose what food to eat. I mean I was looking at this, I hadn't knowm about it, but I mean, I didn't know the v v January, where people were invited to embrace veganism for a month. I mean this. I mean, this begins to sound much more like a religion really’…
‘Aren't you terribly self conscious about every single time you go to a restaurant? Aren't you self conscious about what you eat at home all the time? Is food any longer a pleasure when it involves so much self consciousness?’
‘Oh, yes. Absolutely. I think that for many people who consider themselves foodies that self consciousness is actually very much a part of what's pleasurable. And, and the idea that one can be moralistic is not always seen as a sacrifice. It’s actually another piece of what could make eating and choosing particular foods enjoyable to them’...
‘When we were talking about authenticity, often this is posed in a, in the form of question of whether or not it's authentic. And I find that people are interested in discussing whether it's authentic, that experience itself is something that gives pleasure.’"
Masochism in food as a secular religion

Across the Maelstrom - "Vegans of tumblr, listen up. Harvesting agave in the quantities required so you dont have to eat honey is killing mexican long-nosed bats. They feed off the nectar and pollinate the plants. They need the agave."
"Beekeeper here! Just wanted to say that the fact that vegans won’t eat honey is very silly. Harvesting honey does not hurt bees. The invention of modern moveable-frame hives means we can remove a selected frame, extract the honey and return it without killing a single bee.If we destroyed the colony to harvest honey there would be no bees for next year, and beekeepers are incredibly careful to keep their bees healthy and thriving. We take *excess* honey that they don’t need, and it stops the hive from becoming honey-bound, meaning that there’s so much honey the Queen has nowhere to lay eggs. And if the winter is harsher than expected and the remaining honey store runs low, we feed the bees plenty to make sure they survive. We also make sure that pests are controlled, bees are treated for disease, and the hive is weatherproof and in good repair, all things that wild bees struggle with.Keeping bees in properly managed hives where they don’t starve or die from preventable disease is much better for them than being left to fend for themselves, and they’re far too important to be left alone.All the fruits and vegetables that vegans *do* eat couldn’t exist without bees, and the hives which pollinate those crops also produce excess honey which the beekeepers can sell to help keep themselves and their hives going.TLDR: BUY THE HONEY, HELP THE BEES."

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Links - 19th August 2020 (2)

BBC Radio Ulster - Everyday Ethics, The NHS at 70 - "[On funding the NHS] 'Equally, the electorate are complicit in this sort of collective deceit as well, because we don't want to collectively really vote where our sentiments may be in terms of accepting and jobs, right, it will have to be a powerful and continuous increase in taxation. Not just a penny here, or a  penny there or to use that old phrase, which I think *someone* would have liked, soaking the rich. You know, we're all going to have to pay for this, whether we regard ourselves as rich or not'"

BBC Radio Ulster - Everyday Ethics, What Makes a Relationship Work? - "We use a phrase in accord: committed to my spouse on the good days, committed to my marriage on the days when it's difficult and committed to my commitment when it seems impossible... there are so many sort of seasons to marriage. So the way perhaps a young couple setting out, you know, on their, on their wedding day, that's a different marriage to maybe the marriage when the first children come along. And that's different to when the children leave, and then retirement. So you're talking about, marriage is constantly changing. It's not something that stays the same. And the beauty of marriage is that, well, it should be a place where people can grow and realize their full potential in the care of the other person."

Everyday Ethics: Miracles, Education and Boogie-Woogie 26 OCT 14 (William Crawley's last) - "In 2008, Pope Benedict gave Catholics a special time limited free plenary indulgence that will get them early release from Purgatory if they go to Lourdes. And that that was around the time that the Vatican had launched Vatican airlines, which was bringing people on pilgrimages to Lourdes. And I mean, everybody has the right to believe whatever they want to believe. These beliefs are causing people to I think, unfairly exploit vulnerable people by, by creating the impression that if they go to a particular place, that the creator of the universe will help them to get better, where there's no evidence that that's the case."

Opinion: Yes, there really is a coastal-elites bubble - "The point is to determine how insulated one is from mainstream American culture... Lo and behold, the thickest bubbles in America, as measured by the ZIP codes of the quiz respondents, exist right where you might expect: In the Northeast and on the West Coast... "The people living in zip codes in the top two (socioeconomic status) percentiles include almost all of those who run the nation's culture, economy, and politics. And that's where the bubble scores plunge.".... "The new upper class pervasively affects the lives of all Americans everywhere, through their effects on the nation's politics, economy, and culture. What we saw in the last presidential election was in part a result of the members of the new upper class being isolated in their bubbles. It would be good for the nation if they got out more."... If those are the states where our media and cultural elites live, is it any wonder they were flabbergasted Donald Trump won? Their peers and neighbors were nothing like the people in the majority of states, which went for Trump... that bubble wasn't just about not being able to foresee the election results. It was about being totally detached from the reasons voters opted for Trump. If you live in a world where everyone is prospering, cheering on rapid social changes, and benefiting (or at least not suffering) from the ever-greater power Washington, D.C., wields over the rest of us, you probably had a much harder time recognizing that people were ready to roll the dice on the changes Trump might bring."

BBC Radio Ulster - Everyday Ethics, Slavery, Angela Davis and Monastic Life - "[On modern ‘slavery’] ‘The people that come to us have not usually been brought by coercion into Northern Ireland, they usually come voluntarily. Many of our clients are EU nationals, and they've come to Northern Ireland for a better life. And as Clara said, deceit can be a key feature of why people end up in a situation of slavery.’
‘Can you really call it slavery, if they come here of their own accord?’
‘Erm, typically, the pattern of behavior that we come across with exploiters is they will target vulnerable people. And it is an issue of vulnerability. So the majority of our clients are migrant workers. But exploiters will target anybody who is vulnerable… we would come across groups of people who have been recruited in the home country, on the promise of work in Northern Ireland, perhaps in factories, or in agriculture, or horticulture. They'll be promised a certain level of salary, perhaps promised free accommodation, and they travel to Northern Ireland, usually voluntarily, but when they arrive here, they find the reality is very different. They may be told that the travel that they were told was being paid for, actually they have to repay. The accommodation is not free or is much more expensive than they had initially been told, and often are immediately put into a situation of debt bondage where they're told that they owe the exploiter money. They then can be put to work. And it's not in illegal areas’...
‘It's fair enough to say it's a continuum. But there is a material difference between the different types of slavery and exploitation we've, we've talked about. And it's important because the policy responses will be different. So if somebody has actually been physically coerced into working in a particular way, whether in a developed country or a poor country, that's different from where somebody has been defrauded and deceived, which may be an issue which is a bit more subtle, might be just as important to the individual concerned. But again, the response might be different. And that's different, again from a situation of somebody being in child labor. And if you just take the situation of child labor, specifically, you do find that child labor decreases dramatically as a country gets richer, Vietnam being a very good example. But there's a very strong correlation between child labor reducing and a country becoming more integrated in world trade, having better institutions and becoming generally richer. And the reason for that is that the vast majority of parents really do care about their children. And if they send their children out to work, it's almost always because they desperately need the income in order to feed the family. So if you respond to child labor, say by trying to ban child labor or make it more difficult, very often the, ,the what will happen as a result is that you will actually get more, actually something which is closer to slavery. There's a well known study which was done by UNICEF, of when the US tried to restrict the imports of Bangladeshi clothing which were made by child labour, and 50,000 children were put out of work and ended up on the streets working in prostitution, and rock breaking, whereas previously, they'd been working in factories. Now, their position working in factories was of course terrible, but their position caused by the attempt to try to stop the child labor was much, much worse and much more akin to slavery. And if you, so if you're going to reduce child labour, really the key is economic development in general. But I think dealing with, what the more overt, more explicit forms of slavery actually requires a different response.'"

Can You Hear Me Now? (Ep. 406) - Freakonomics Freakonomics - "PAI: [On the FCC] streamlining the process for deploying wireless infrastructure. Many might not appreciate it, but we have not just federal regulatory review, but state regulatory review, local review, as well as review by any one of the 573 federally-recognized Indian tribes. And so if you’re looking to put up a single wireless antenna, you have to jump through a lot of different regulatory hoops. And what we’ve tried to do is streamline that...
DUBNER: So your decision to repeal the F.C.C.’s earlier position on net neutrality — basically opening things up, as you characterized it, or at least exposing it more to the market — your position was met with intense blowback... So some of it on the merits, from legal and Internet scholars and others. And then some from people who were sending death threats to you, your family, your young children...
PAI: Much of the “debate” strayed far more into the level of vitriol and even personal threats and the like. I wasn’t surprised that the decision raised consternation in some quarters. But I was struck at how vicious some of the blowback was. It certainly affected my family, my parents, my in-laws, friends and the like. And that was distressing, because I think the one thing that has distinguished American democracy, generally speaking, is that we can disagree, but at the end of the day, approach each other with civility and respect. And that is certainly not something that I found among many who entered the public square on this debate... I keep on my desk some articles from way back then about how— back in 2001, for example, that demanding the Federal Trade Commission take aggressive action to block the merger of Time Warner and A.O.L. because that company would have an unbreakable monopoly on instant messaging. Another article from 2007 talking about how MySpace had an unbreakable monopoly in terms of social networking. And I think if there’s one lesson in the telecom and tech sectors, it’s that things are very, very dynamic. And I think it’s a mistake for regulators to have a static view of the market in a moment in time, because that snapshot very quickly becomes yellowed with age"

Thailand's foreign retirees see their good life slip away - Nikkei Asian Review - "for those living here on fixed savings or pensions, the baht's strength has decimated their income. British expats have lost about 30% of their purchasing power following the pound's plummet in the wake of Brexit. The financial squeeze comes amid changes to visa rules for retirees. As of February last year, foreigners must have a security deposit of 800,000 baht ($25,364) in a Thai bank account for two months prior to application or a monthly income of 65,000 baht; or a combination of the two totaling 800,000 baht.Applicants must now also have health insurance. For someone aged 75, for example, that is a "big problem" as the premium could be as much as 100,000 baht per month... Gerry does not own property here, but for those who do, a downturn in the real estate market has dashed their chances of a quick sell.Demand for properties has waned since last year as many expats, disgruntled with Thailand's tightening immigration system, have moved to other parts of Asia, while China has imposed new controls to curb capital flight, said Jean Charles, the founder of TwoFlat Real Estate. The situation has intensified Thailand's glut, which is set to worsen with arrival numbers decimated by the new coronavirus. Yet amid this turmoil, the country has been unflinching in its bid to capitalize on the world's aging populations, promoting Thailand, with its sunny weather and affordable health care, as a place to age with dignity.Thailand issued almost 80,000 retirement visas in 2018, an increase of 30% from 2014, with Britons accounting for the bulk... Low has noticed many around him have already abandoned themselves to despair, drinking heavily as their once-rosy vision of Thailand turns bleak."

Professor of Black Studies brands whiteness a 'psychosis' - "Furious Good Morning Britain viewers have blasted an 'arrogant, anti-white' academic who said that the 'British Empire did more harm than the Nazis' and branded whiteness a 'psychosis'.Kehinde Andrews, who is a professor of Black Studies at Birmingham City University, told Piers Morgan and Susanna Reid that the British Empire was worse than the Third Reich.He was appearing on today's programme debating Labour leader hopeful Lisa Nandy's proposal to removed the word 'Empire' from OBEs.Immediately after his appearance on the daytime television show, the professor took to his Twitter to continue to slam the British Empire and brand 'whiteness' a 'psychosis'... As Piers and Susanna accused him of racist language, he responded: 'Whiteness is not just for white people there also Asian people black people who purport the psychosis of whiteness. 'It's about the ideas, it's about the fact that in the 21st century 60 per cent of British people believe the empire was a force for good. This is like saying because the Nazis built motorways we should celebrate them.'... His extraordinary statements aired on  Good Morning Britain on January 22 last year, when Piers Morgan asked him: 'Why do you see everything that we are proud of as sticks to beat our country with?... Dr Andrews, who believes Britain was 'built on racism', said: 'I'm not defending the vandalism of memorials at all. What I'm saying is the way we put up these memorials is the wrong way... Dr Andrews also clashed with Piers when he branded wartime Prime Minister Winston Churchill a racist.He claimed in an appearance in October 2018 that Britain was 'built on racism' and that 'everyone involved in it probably has a really racist past'.The academic compared Churchill to Hitler for his treatment of Indians when the country endured a famine in 1943... Piers then asked Mr Andrews why he remained in Britain, despite being a 'successful man' who has 'enough money to live somewhere else'.Mr Andrews replied: 'This is the problem with Churchill; colonials and imperialism has ruined other parts of the world.'Britain's impact has devastated most of the world and Churchill is a big part of that.'...
Kehinde Andrews appeared on Good Morning Britain to argue that author Enid Blyton was not 'worthy' of the honour of a commemorative coin.He said: 'The reason why Enid isn't worthy ...it's just widely inappropriate, she was racist her books were racist. What the committee said was yeah she's popular but [it's] because of that racism, it's the 21st century. 'Mr Andrews added: 'If you look at children's books, they still are really conservative. We shouldn't be deifying Enid Blyton - there's other things to read just move on.'"
The reason why liberals in Western countries hate their countries so much yet stay there is because they know that other countries wouldn't put up with their BS

The College Student Who Decoded the Data Hidden in Inca Knots - "With the help of his professor, Gary Urton, a scholar of Pre-Columbian studies, Medrano interpreted a set of six khipus, knotted cords used for record keeping in the Inca Empire. By matching the khipus to a colonial-era Spanish census document, Medrano and Urton uncovered the meaning of the cords in greater detail than ever before. Their findings could contribute to a better understanding of daily life in the Andean civilization. "

When virtue signalling outrage at "racism" trumps reading ability: job ads in Singapore

Nur Atiqa Asri:

"My cousin who is Malay (and extremely well-educated and speaks excellent English might i add) has been looking for a job (as many are following layoffs in the pandemic) and came across this job description for temperature scanners on the Singapore government portal. The second image is a direct screenshot of advisory guidelines by the Ministry of Manpower. I don't think I have to say much so I will leave this here because this is incredibly infuriating. I don't care how you phrase it, you are indirectly excluding non-Chinese speaking applicants so GTFO. !@$@#$%^%&^%$#%!#$!@$"

MOM circular:


If a job entails proficiency in a particular language, employers should justify the need for the requirement.

- Chinese-language teacher for pre-school centre, good credit in 'O' Level Chinese
- Translator for a leading Malay sports magazine. Proficiency in Malay is a must."

Job ad:

"Preferred if able to communicate to Mandarin speaking visitors."
Naturally, I saw a lot of Singaporeans (mostly Chinese) upset over this, even though the MOM circular was screenshotted in the post.
I was at a supermarket a few weeks ago and the lady at the entrance was trying to take my temperature. I was confused because I didn't know what she was trying to do (she didn't say anything). If she had spoken to me in a language I understood, I would have been less confused, or not confused at all.
There're other countries where you can specify language proficiency being an asset (without justifying it) and that isn't controversial, too.

Links - 19th August 2020 (1)

Penetration of the oral mucosa by parasite-like sperm bags of squid: a case report in a Korean woman. - "We report a case of oral stings by spermatophores of the squid Todarodes pacificus . A 63-yr-old Korean woman experienced severe pain in her oral cavity immediately after eating a portion of parboiled squid along with its internal organs. She did not swallow the portion, but spat it out immediately. She complained of a pricking and foreign-body sensation in the oral cavity. Twelve small, white spindle-shaped, bug-like organisms stuck in the mucous membrane of the tongue, cheek, and gingiva were completely removed, along with the affected mucosa. On the basis of their morphology and the presence of the sperm bag, the foreign bodies were identified as squid spermatophores."
Not an urban legend!

We Believe in Nihilism - Posts - "Authoritarian left: Die in gulag
Authoritarian right: Die in gas chamber
Libertarian left: Die in riot
Libertarian right: Die in bitcoin-funded deepweb assassination"

Elliott Hulse - "I get this question all the time. “Elliott, what are some red flags I should look out for in a woman?” While the actions and being of the man also play a HUGE role in how wifeable a woman is. Red flags can serve as indicators of the future behavior of a woman.
Some typical red flags include:
Having Daddy Issues
Drug/drinking problems
Weird piercings
But I would tack on:
Compulsive social media use
Regularly uses dating apps
Has more guy friends than girl friends
Can't keep a job
Gets a sense of pride from being “crazy”
And a bunch more.
I'm usually reluctant to share my list of red flags because:
1.I've been with the same woman since I was 14
2.Most men will ignore red flags anyway.
They're slaves to pleasure.
If a man meets a woman who's covered in red flags, but will open her legs for him, he'll excitedly jump in like a kid throwing himself down a water slide."

iris on Twitter - "when i feel bad about my social skills i remind myself how one time rachmaninoff decided he was gonna be pals with stravinsky (who'd casually mentioned he liked honey) so he showed up at his house in the middle of the night with an enormous jar of honey and no explanation"

Oxford students vote to ban 'ableist, classist and misogynist' reading lists as academics hit out - "Oxford University's student union have voted to ban 'ableist, classist and misogynist' readings lists, leading to academics hitting out at the body.Students from the prestigious university voted to prohibit reading lists containing the aforementioned themes, claiming that they should not be made to engage with any 'harmful material'.A policy adopted by the student union went on to state that students should not be required to take part in lectures, tutorials or seminars or undertake exams that involve 'hate speech'. As first reported by The Telegraph, the student union also requested for the university to produce guidelines to faculties asking them to consider any material they include on reading lists 'amounts to hate speech'.The policy, titled Protection of Transgender, Non-binary, Disabled, Working Class and Women Students from Hatred in University Contexts', was put forward by Alex Illsley, co-chairman of Oxford's LGBTQ+ campaign. Oxford University's current guidelines protect all free speech that falls within the realms of the law. Mr Illsley has argued that readings lists contain 'ableist, transphobic, classist and misogynistic content' however.
The value of an Oxford degree keeps plummeting

Western Art History: 500 Years of Women Ignoring Men

Another Sister : WOMEN OF THE KLAN: Racism and Gender in the 1920s, By Kathleen M. Blee ( University of California Press : $24.95; 236 pp.) - Los Angeles Times - "I used to have a comforting image of the Ku Klux Klan as an assemblage of social misfits and genetically inbred white trash. No more. Thanks to Kathleen M. Blee’s superb scholarship in “Women of the Klan,” I must now live with the fact that the Klan contained “all the better people”: businessmen, physicians, judges, social workers--even Quakers, political reformers and (this is the truly discomforting part) feminists. In fact, during the 1920s, the period of Blee’s research, the women’s branch of the Ku Klux Klan considered itself, with some justice, to be a major advocate of women’s rights and interests--white, Protestant women’s rights, that is.Reading of the Klan’s feminism is like discovering evidence that a beloved grandmother had a secret life as a bloodsucking ghoul. Feminism is, after all, supposed to be founded on moral principle. But so, we learn, was the Klan. In addition to its familiar ideals of white supremacy, anti-Semitism and so forth, the Ku Klux Klan of the ‘20s stood for “Americanism,” temperance, child-welfare measures, quality public education, good citizenship, morality and militant Christianity."

Judge dismisses unequal pay claim by USWNT in lawsuit - Los Angeles Times - "In the lawsuit, brought by reigning world player of the year Megan Rapinoe, Alex Morgan and 26 others, lawyers claimed the women were not paid equally under their collective bargaining agreement in comparison to what men’s national team players received and asked for more than $66 million in damages and back pay.But U.S. District Court Judge R. Gary Klausner, in a 32-page opinion, rejected that argument saying the women declined a CBA similar to the men’s team in favor of one that offered a base salary and benefits. “The history of negotiations between the parties demonstrates that the WNT rejected an offer to be paid under the same pay-to-play structure as the MNT, and the WNT was willing to forgo higher bonuses for benefits, such as greater base compensation and the guarantee of a higher number of contracted players”... The players filed suit against their federation 13 months ago, arguing they earned less than players on the U.S. men’s team for performing the same work. U.S. Soccer countered by citing the labor agreement the women signed with the federation in 2017, one which pays the women an annual salary and other guaranteed benefit such as health care and family leave that members of the men team do not receive... The federation also offers women players health insurance as well as maternity and adoption leave. Male players are paid by U.S. Soccer only if they make the 18-man roster for an international game."
Presumably it's misogyny to expect women to honour contracts they sign
As usual feminism is obsessed with the top end, and ignores inequalities at the bottom

When Boris Yeltsin went grocery shopping in Clear Lake - "Yeltsin, then 58, "roamed the aisles of Randall's nodding his head in amazement," wrote Asin. He told his fellow Russians in his entourage that if their people, who often must wait in line for most goods, saw the conditions of U.S. supermarkets, "there would be a revolution."... you can see him marveling at the produce section, the fresh fish market, and the checkout counter. He looked especially excited about frozen pudding pops... "Even the Politburo doesn't have this choice. Not even Mr. Gorbachev," he said. When he was told through his interpreter that there were thousands of items in the store for sale he didn't believe it. He had even thought that the store was staged, a show for him. Little did he know there countless stores just like it all over the country, some with even more things than the Randall's he visited.The fact that stores like these were on nearly every street corner in America amazed him. They even offered him free cheese samples... he was despondent. He couldn't stop thinking about the plentiful food at the grocery store and what his countrymen had to subsist on in Russia."
US sanctions must be why the USSR was such a bad place to live in

Breaking the occupation spell - "an increasingly prevalent belief that the original spelling with the letter C was switched to Korea by the Japanese at the start of their 1910-45 occupation of the peninsula, so that their colonial subjects would not precede them in the English alphabetical hierarchy... "Scholars who have studied this more deeply than I believe it was part of the legacy of Japanese imperialists to eradicate our culture"... Those opposed have suggested sarcastically that Korea pick a new name that begins with the letter A and thus advance in the alphabetical ranks. Or, conversely, they suggest that a rival country change its name to "Zapan." "Has it ever occurred to Koreans that they've been duped by an urban legend?" wrote one critic on an English-language site. "That Japan would change the spelling so that it comes after in English is laughable. This seems like an invented story by some who have too much time on their hands.""

Commentary: COVID-19 reveals how low-tech Japan actually is - and has chosen to be - "In most countries, gamers seeking to crack the secrets of a new release on Nintendo’s WiFi-enabled, state-of-the-art portable console, would head straight to the internet.Japan – the country that pioneered the machine – mass-orders a book on which you could break a toe.An isolated example?No, not in a country where large parts of the public and private sectors still insist upon formal communications by fax, where a politician can become the government’s deputy head of cyber security without ever having used a computer in his professional life and where the banking system is only now grudgingly prodding its customers towards internet transactions... Despite the availability of the world’s most sophisticated digital tools, Japanese broadcasters prefer to contextualise current affairs using whiteboards, cardboard models, sponge-tipped pointing sticks and other weapons from the primary-school arsenal... In early March, as part of a survey, Japanese IT research group ITR asked the country’s corporations if they had systems that would allow staff to work remotely. 28 per cent said that they did; 27 per cent said they were thinking about it; while the remaining 45 per cent either weren’t even considering it or didn’t know... most official documents still require the physical stamp of a personal or company seal – the latter of which must mostly remain in the office."

BBC Radio 4 - Moral Maze, Isolation - "‘People are in touch, by voice and by video phone. So does isolation mean not being in touch? Or does it actually mean not seeing people in the flesh?’...
‘We are so hyper connected virtually. But I think this time will be really interesting. And because most of us substitute virtual life for real life and I think now we're going to be deprived of interpersonal contact in, you know, seeing a person in the flesh, and I think that's going to really hit us. How important, how precious it is to see people and I already get that from some of my clients. How different it is being in the room with them. Than speaking with them over Skype, you know, I'm not picking up the same level of detail into how they're feeling, you know, just by being able to see the way they walk into the room. And the little sign that you can't quite pick up via Skype’"

BBC Radio Ulster - Everyday Ethics, Welfare State and Witch Burning - "‘Why did the [witch] trials happen during that time? Well, two American economists have come up with a new theory. And it all relates to the battle within Christianity following the reformation of 1517’...
‘It's quite interesting, actually, between 900 and about 1400. The church actually denied that witchcraft existed entirely. It wasn't until 1398 that the University of Paris announced that officially witchcraft existed. And it wasn't until about almost a century after that, I think about 1484, 1485 that the pope officially authorized violence against witches. So it was a quite late development, this idea of witchcraft, accepting it within the church, seeing it as a problem, and prior to that, they, they had this essentially reverse attitude… this surge of witch trial activity reflects competition between the Catholic and Protestant churches, which of course, only emerges after 1517 when the Protestant Reformation occurs, which for the first time essentially gave religious consumers in Christendom, a choice of religion, the choice of churches. And what we think was happening was that in an effort essentially to woo religious consumers, what the Catholic Church and the Protestant church did was to vigorously prosecute witches as a way of essentially showing to religious consumers that they were the superior church. They were the superior religious brand. So it was a kind of form of advertising to attract religious consumers to their confession in the face of competition of the other… I guess you might say that in the end, they both won out. Because what happened was that in 1648, there was an important multinational treaty called the Peace of Westphalia, the purpose of which was to essentially bring an end to a variety of Catholic-Protestant religious warfare conflicts that have been raging over the course of the previous decades. In the face of this competition, which I referred a moment ago, and what that treaty did was established permanent territorial confessional monopolies for either the Catholic church or a Protestant church, within particular geographic regions of Europe. And so what that did was basically carved out little areas where Protestants or Catholics, or vice versa, were protected from competition from the the opposing rival church. So, in the end, they both kind of were able to have their own market spaces protected from competition from the other… the overwhelming majority of witch trials in early modern Europe occurred in those parts of Europe where religious market contestation, or competition between Catholics and Protestants was the most intense. Think about places for instance, such as Germany, which was of course ground zero for the Reformation. In Germany alone, nearly 40% of all prosecutions for witchcraft for the entire age of the great age of European witch trials occurred. Another 30, approximately 30%, let's say occurred in Switzerland, which was, of course, sort of second most important country for the Protestant Reformation. In these sorts of places, there was tremendous back and forth conflict between Protestants and Catholics and consistent with our theory, consequently, a tremendous amount of witch trial activity. If you contrast that, with countries that remained more or less, religiously homogenous, even after the reformation, places where Protestantism never gained an important foothold, such as Spain, for example, or Italy, or in fact, Ireland. In those places, what you find is very, very little witch trial activity. You know, collectively, those sorts of countries account for maybe five or 6% of all, of all witch trial activity during the Great age. So the geographic and temporal patterns that one would expect, according to our theory are in fact observed in the data.'"

Monday, August 17, 2020

Links - 17th August 2020 (3)

<p><a href="https://www.dailystar.co.uk/news/world-news/sex-robots-coding-errors-prone-18992240">Sex robots with 'coding errors' prone to 'violence and could strangle humans'</a> - "He believes a simple "coding error" could turn AI girlfriends against their owners if they are equipped with free will... "It's not going to be something you can hit with a pipe and it's going to fall apart."I've always said, when a synthetic can support itself, that synthetic is going to be much stronger than a normal human."It's going to be more durable, instead of having bones it's going to have high impact, plastic or aluminium frame, it's going to be very strong, and it won't get tired, it won't stop unless it runs out of an energy supply"

<p><a href="https://www.sciencealert.com/astonomers-have-serious-concerns-about-satellite-constellations-like-starlink/amp">Astronomers Have Aired Concerns About Musk's Starlink in a Paper, And It's Intense</a> - "Picture the space around Earth filled with tens of thousands of communications satellites. That scenario is slowly coming into being, and it has astronomers concerned.Now a group of astronomers have written a paper outlining their detailed concerns, and how all of these satellites could have a severe, negative impact on ground-based astronomy. SpaceX and other companies are casting their keen capitalist eyes on the space around Earth... The authors of the report claim that all of these satellites will inevitably damage astronomical observing... Back in May 2019, Elon Musk tried to dismiss any astronomical concerns about Starlink. Among his rather brusque dismissal of criticisms was his statement that "We need to move telelscopes (sic) to orbit anyway. Atmospheric attenuation is terrible."Musk has a huge profile in the space community, so his words might have convinced some that there are no problems between Starlink and astronomy. But Musk is an entrepreneur, not a scientist... It's safe to say that the authors don't agree with Musk's glib assertion that "We need to move telelscopes (sic) to orbit anyway. Atmospheric attenuation is terrible."Maybe Musk has never heard of adaptive optics. Adaptive optics allow modern ground-based telescopes to overcome the effect of the atmosphere on observations. Upcoming telescopes like the European Extremely Large Telescope and the Thirty Meter Telescope feature adaptive optics at the heart of their designs.The authors also point out what should be clear to anyone who thinks about it for very long: compared to ground-based astronomy, space-based telescopes are enormously expensive. And risky... "A major limitation of space based telescopes is that they can not be maintained, refurbished or repaired after launch." The Hubble is an exception, and other space telescopes have not been maintained. Once they're done, they're done... since the FCC and other bodies in the United States have given approval to Starlink, they may be able to halt Starlink, too. They may even be obligated to under international law."
<Br><i>Doubtless the Elon Musk fanboys will refuse to believe this and continue to believe he knows more than professionals</i>

<p><a href="https://twitter.com/lazerwalker/status/1260219984137068544">Em Lazer-Walker on Twitter</a> - "I'm still reeling today at learning that Elon Musk didn't actually "found" Tesla, he was an early investor and post-Series A employee who retroactively strong-armed his way into a "founder" title through politics, money, and multiple legal battles."

<p><a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/elon-musk-tesla-promises-that-havent-worked-out-yet-2019-4#in-2013-musk-said-that-all-of-teslas-supercharger-stations-would-be-equipped-with-solar-panelswithin-a-few-years-that-hasnt-happened-1">Elon Musk promises about Tesla that haven't worked out yet.</a> - "In 2013, Musk said that all of Tesla's Supercharger stations would be equipped with solar panels within a few years. That hasn't happened...
Musk in 2016 said Tesla would produce 500,000 vehicles in 2018. Tesla made 254,530 vehicles during 2018...
<br>In June 2018, Musk said that Tesla was cutting 9% of its workforce so that "we never have to do this again." In January 2019, Tesla cut another 7%.
<br>In August 2018, Musk famously tweeted he has "Funding secured" to take Tesla private. The SEC later charged Musk with fraud.
<br>In January 2019, Musk said the company would be "profitable in Q1 and all quarters going forward." The company reported a loss in the first quarter."

<p><a href="https://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=130371965">Kimchi Crisis Leaves South Koreans In A Pickle</a> - "An unusually long stretch of bad weather nearly halved the latest cabbage crop, causing prices to soar. At markets in Seoul, shoppers were up before dawn fighting to buy heads of napa cabbage that once cost about $4 but now go for as much as $14... Kimchi, made of cabbage fermented in white radish, garlic and chili paste seasoning, is low in calories and rich in vitamins. It is so ubiquitous in South Korea that it is provided as a free side dish in all local restaurants from steakhouses and Chinese restaurants to pizzerias... market attendant Kim Soo-ok says other people are buying it -- and fast -- because they can't live without kimchi... One man was arrested Sunday for allegedly stealing 10 heads of cabbage from a field in South Korea's northeastern Gangwon province... "I could see why he did it," Kim Chang-wan, a Seoul businessman, said Monday of the alleged theft. "I have to get my kimchi fix with every meal or I'm not completely satiated."Concerned market sellers and produce distributors are hoping that Koreans can ride out the kimchi crisis by eating other varieties of kimchi, like the radish or green onion kind, as a substitute for the most common and popular napa cabbage kimchi... Though the mouth-scorching dish can be readily bought in stores, many people make it on their own at home -- a laborious process that requires it to be stored and fermented during the winter months. Many homes have special kimchi refrigerators that regulate temperatures to maintain the preferred level of fermentation."I don't know how long I can keep ignoring my grandkids' and my husband's demands for kimchi every meal," said Kim Hyung-sook, who lives in northern Seoul. "You're not Korean if you don't eat kimchi three times a day.""

<p><a href="https://www.thestar.com.my/lifestyle/entertainment/2020/02/17/039i-loved-it039-korean-news-presenter-goes-bra-free-for-a-day-for-documentary">'I loved it': Korean news presenter goes bra-free for a day for documentary</a> - "News presenter Lim Hyun-ju has reignited debate on going braless after appearing on an MBC documentary on Thursday.In the program Series M: Do We Need to Wear Bras (unofficial translation), Lim went bra-free for a day. She prepared for and did a live television show without wearing a bra, and shared how she felt about it afterward.On Sunday, Lim said people had left hateful comments on her Instagram account after she shared more information and her feelings about the experiment via the social media platform.In a post on Friday, Lim said that going bra-free felt awkward at first. She found herself covering her chest with a long white scarf, even when she was alone at a photo studio.“But as I get used to shooting, I naturally took off the scarf. Fitted dress, no-bra and my smiling face. I loved it, ” she said.Going braless is a controversial issue in Korea. Some claim that wearing bras might be ultimately unhealthy, while others argue that going braless in public is radical and inappropriate... This is not the first time that Lim has brought up issues related to women’s right to choose what they wear. In 2018, Lim became the first Korean news presenter to appear on a live news program wearing glasses"

<p><a href="https://www.forbes.com/sites/hisutton/2020/04/23/satellites-track-chinese-aircraft-carrier-in-south-china-sea/#3b95a1ce2f07">Satellites Track Chinese Aircraft Carrier In South China Sea</a> - "today a revolution is happening in open-source intelligence, meaning that you do not have to have a navy to do it. This has been amply demonstrated by analysts who have been tracking a Chinese aircraft carrier as it maneuvers far out to sea. And they did it via commercially available satellite imagery.The satellite images are reminiscent of the photographs taken by scout planes in World War II."
<br><i>Of course China shills will say that the CIA has fabricated the satellite data to make China look bad</i>

<p><a href="https://www.macleans.ca/economy/economicanalysis/coronavirus-plunges-canadas-economy-into-the-abyss/">Coronavirus plunges Canada's economy into the abyss</a> - "while other countries, notably the U.S., are also grappling with these same uncertainties, Canada faces a set of circumstances that leaves the economy here particularly exposed. Before most Canadians had even heard of Wuhan or the emergence of a new coronavirus, Canada’s economy was flashing warning signs. Households were buckling under their debt loads, exports were weakening and businesses were retrenching—in the fourth quarter of 2019, the last before the novel coronavirus began to spread, Canada’s economy eked out growth of just 0.3 per cent. “Canada’s economy was running at stall speed even before this,” says Rosenberg, who adds the recent collapse in oil prices alone would have tipped Canada into a mini-recession. That is going to put Canada’s eventual recovery even more at risk, and it raises a spectre that’s loomed over Canada’s economy for years—an end to the wealth-creation machine known as the Canadian housing market. “For a long time we’ve talked about what could pop a housing bubble,” says Donald. “You could pull back on the amount of people who want to buy a home, you could pull back on the amount of people who are able to buy a home, or you could see job losses.“What we’re seeing now is that almost every element that could pop a housing bubble is now in place in Canada.” Early in the crisis Larry Summers, who served as director of Obama’s National Economic Council, captured the surreal nature of this economic shock when he observed that “economic time has been stopped but financial time has not been stopped.” By that, he meant measures to slow COVID-19’s spread, like self-isolation and forced business closures, have stopped people from working and earning paycheques while decimating revenues for companies, but have not stopped the bills from piling up... even if the economy reopens for business in relatively short order, there will still be a significant lag, says Stephen Brown, senior Canada economist at Capital Economics. He points to those parts of China where isolation orders have been lifted and people allowed to return to work. His firm’s daily activity gauge for China, which tracks things like freight traffic, property sales and electricity consumption, is running at 80 per cent of capacity. “People are still worried about going outside,” he says. “Everyone is well aware there could be another outbreak and you might have to repeat the whole process again.”... a lot depends on how long these measures are in place. “It probably will be a V-shaped recovery if the shutdown is weeks or a month because people are very resilient,” says Livio Di Matteo, a professor of economics at Lakehead University. “If it stays shut down for six months—well, that’s a different ball game.” It’s a scenario economists are struggling to model and understand. “The reopening of the economy will not depend on traditional economic drivers like demand and supply, but on the evolution of the health crisis,” says Donald. “As long as COVID-19 case counts are rising, this economy is not going to reopen and people will not be rehired. For the first time we are running economic analysis based off of health forecasts, of which we have very limited visibility and experience.” Layered onto the COVID-19 crisis is the devastating impact of the collapse in oil prices... “If you bank with someone you owe money to, you need to change banks,” he says, pointing to a bank’s right to seize funds to cover debts, which could also put business and joint accounts at risk. “When times get tough people get desperate,” he says. “So do banks.” One of the things that makes this moment so confounding is that we’re stranded between two economic worlds. Because of the standard delays in reporting statistics, upcoming economic data will relate to an old world that no longer exists. At the same time, we have no idea what the new world will look like.  “As much as the next three months will be incredibly impactful, we need to monitor how many structural elements of our economy are about to change,” says Donald. “This is a short-term shock with extremely long-term repercussions.”"

<p><a href="https://www.theonlinecitizen.com/2020/03/31/chinese-daily-lianhe-zaobao-removes-its-poll-of-public-views-on-holding-an-election-during-the-ongoing-coronavirus-pandemic/">Chinese daily Lianhe Zaobao removes its poll of public views on holding an election during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic</a> - "In a separate poll by Yahoo Singapore, with the question, “Should Singapore hold a general election amid the COVID-19 pandemic?”, more than 1,100 voters (85%) of the voters answered “NO”, with only 11% answered “YES”, and another 4% said that it doesn’t matter to them.However, the recent poll on Lianhe Zaobao is no longer on the website as seen by TOC earlier today (31 March), raising doubts on whether the site removed the poll as the results contradicted the government’s hint that an early election might be called... Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong mentioned that the election can still be conducted with social media and the Internet as long as the proper measures are in place, although it might not be the most ideal solution."

<p><a href="https://www.mentalfloss.com/article/88735/why-arizona-iced-tea-cheaper-water">Why Is AriZona Iced Tea Cheaper Than Water?</a> - "The fact that AriZona has been able to resist inflation for nearly a quarter-century is impressive. The fact that the cans usually wind up being cheaper than smaller soft drinks is also impressive, until you begin to realize how strange it is that a vat of iced tea and its accompanying ingredients somehow manages to be less expensive than plain water... Unlike water titans Coke (which distributes Dasani), Evian, or Fiji, AriZona has virtually no advertising dollars invested in their teas. "We feel like it's more important to spend money on something that our customer really cares about, instead of buying billboards or putting our cans in the hands of some celebrity for a few minutes""

<p><a href="https://www.huffingtonpost.ca/entry/flamingos-mumbai-india-coronavirus-lockdown_n_5eaae1bfc5b634687cb46397?ri18n=true&ncid=engmodushpmg00000004">Thousands Of Flamingos Take Over India's Largest City Amid Coronavirus Lockdown</a> - "Mumbai, India — under lockdown to curb the spread of COVID-19 — finds itself suddenly playing host to a massive influx of flamingos."
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