Michel Vuijlsteke's weblog

Tales of Drudgery & Boredom.

Tag: China

Links van 15 november 2017 tot 8 januari 2018

IBM Design Language
Heerlijke stijlgids.

Trump is making Obama great again – The Boston Globe
Beyond the nation’s shores, there are some places around the world, though not many, where Trump is more popular than Obama. A 2017 Pew Research Center survey polled 37 nations across the world about their opinions of the two presidents, and all but two countries rated Obama higher. The ones that preferred Trump? Israel by 7 percentage points and Russia by 42.

Wij vergeleken de tarieven in 100 parkeergarages – Het Nieuwsblad
Voor wie drie uur wil parkeren zijn minstens 55 parkeergarages in België duurder dan de duurste parkings in Gent. Wil je acht uur parkeren dan zijn de duurste Gentse parkeergarages nog steeds goedkoper dan minstens 25 andere parkeergarages in het land.

Anzeigen und Ermittlungen nach Hass auf Baby laufen – Multimedia | heute.at
"Ich hoffe auf einen plötzlichen Kindstod", "Wenn sie 18 ist, ist sie eh schon eine Terroristin" und "Schiebt den Abschaum sofort ab". Hasserfüllte User ließen am Neujahrstag alle Grenzen des Geschmacks und Respekts hinter sich und begegneten dem Wiener Neujahrsbaby Asel mit schockierenden Kommentaren. Dabei dürfte aber auch die Grenze zur Strafrechtlichkeit überschritten worden sein. Auffallend: Viele User posteten mit ihrem echten Namen.

Everyone in Trumpworld Knows He’s an Idiot – The New York Times
There’s an old joke that describes where we are right now: A guy falls from a 50-story building. As he flies by the 25th floor, someone asks how it’s going. “So far, so good!” he says. Eventually, we’ll hit the ground, and assuming America survives, there should be a reckoning to dwarf the defenestration of Harvey Weinstein and his fellow ogres. Trump, Wolff’s reporting shows, has no executive function, no ability to process information or weigh consequences. Expecting him to act in the country’s interest is like demanding that your cat do the dishes. His enablers have no such excuse.

The Systems Thinker – Check In, Check Out: A Tool for “Real” Conversations – The Systems Thinker
Nothing encourages people to share their views more than the knowledge that they will be listened to with empathy. We jump in and out of tasks so frantically that we often have little time left to create the field of appreciation that enables full self-expression. This type of listening can extend beyond the check-in process. Once people begin listening to each other with empathy, they simply can’t go back to their ordinary meeting style. The empathy remains even as they advocate for their views, inquire into other views, and make decisions together.

Stop de borstvoedingsterreur – De Standaard
In oktober ben ik bevallen van mijn derde kind. Het eerste kwam er nu bijna veertien jaar geleden en sindsdien zijn zowat alle richtlijnen en adviezen veranderd: geen fruitpap maar groentepap eerst, flesjes moeten niet langer verwarmd worden en badjes hoeven niet meer dagelijks. Toch is één ding alvast niet veranderd: de borstvoedingsterreur.

The Systems Thinker – Systems Thinkers Must Go Down the Rabbit’s Hole – The Systems Thinker
At the root of every system, every set of paradigms, beats a story so deep that most people are born into it and then die without ever knowing that a different way of viewing the world might exist. Our worldview operates like a cosmic screenplay that we enact each moment of our lives, guiding our actions and, ultimately, creating our reality. When we don’t realize it exists, our worldview manipulates us like a disembodied puppeteer, guiding our actions and thoughts.

Donella H. Meadows, Places to Intervene in a System (1997)
Folks who do systems analysis have a great belief in "leverage points." These are places within a complex system (a corporation, an economy, a living body, a city, an ecosystem) where a small shift in one thing can produce big changes in everything. The systems community has a lot of lore about leverage points. Those of us who were trained by the great Jay Forrester at MIT have absorbed one of his favorite stories. "People know intuitively where leverage points are. Time after time I've done an analysis of a company, and I've figured out a leverage point. Then I've gone to the company and discovered that everyone is pushing it in the wrong direction!"

Michael Wolff: My Insane Year Inside Trump’s White House | Hollywood Reporter
Donald Trump's small staff of factotums, advisors and family began, on Jan. 20, 2017, an experience that none of them, by any right or logic, thought they would — or, in many cases, should — have, being part of a Trump presidency. Hoping for the best, with their personal futures as well as the country's future depending on it, my indelible impression of talking to them and observing them through much of the first year of his presidency, is that they all — 100 percent — came to believe he was incapable of functioning in his job. At Mar-a-Lago, just before the new year, a heavily made-up Trump failed to recognize a succession of old friends. Happy first anniversary of the Trump administration.

Aram Zucker-Scharff on Twitter: “These moments all seem inevitable. Oh, Chrome will be on top forever. But remember all those hip web devs making Firefox only sites back in… https://t.co/Fm2nB3q3id”
These moments all seem inevitable. Oh, Chrome will be on top forever. But remember all those hip web devs making Firefox only sites back in the day? Hubris leads to downfall. Chrome's wings are melting as we speak.

Strategic Storytelling for Designers – UX Design Collective
The hardest part of design is presenting work. This is not an additional skill, it is not a “soft skill,” presentation of ideas is essential to the role of a designer. If you cannot advocate for your ideas or your users, then you are missing fundamental aspects of what it means to design.

Prospect Theory and Loss Aversion: How Users Make Decisions
When choosing among several alternatives, people avoid losses and optimize for sure wins because the pain of losing is greater than the satisfaction of an equivalent gain. UX designs should frame decisions (i.e., questions or options given to users) accordingly.

You Are Not the User: The False-Consensus Effect
The false-consensus effect refers to people’s tendency to assume that others share their beliefs and will behave similarly in a given context. Only people who are very different from them would make different choices.

Net Promoter Score Considered Harmful (and What UX Professionals Can Do About It)
For some reason, NPS thinks that a 6 should be equal to a 0. Nobody else thinks this.

Mind your Manners – a look at late Medieval and Tudor mealtimes and The Banquet | Living History Today
Anyone who has ever seen an old film about the late Medieval/Tudor period can be forgiven for coming away with the idea that feasts were riotous chances to eat and drink far too much, as rowdily as possible. It would seem that everyone present tried to cram as much meat into their mouths as possible before hurling their bones at hungry dogs who prowled in the rushes on the floor. In fact, the only bit of this message that holds any truth at all are the rushes on the floor, and by Queen Elizabeth’s day rush matting which could be taken outside and shaken or swept was becoming far more fashionable.

Tracking Down the Roots of a “Super” Word : Word Routes : Thinkmap Visual Thesaurus
Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious. So many of us learned that outrageous mouthful of a word at an early age, when it was truly a verbal milestone to be able to pronounce it without getting tongue-tied. And just saying the word is an invitation to start singing the song from the classic 1964 Disney movie Mary Poppins. But how did the word come to be? When I heard the news that one of the Mary Poppins songwriters passed away last month, I set about to answer that question, taking me down many unexpected alleyways of 20th-century popular culture.

02 – Supercalafajalistickespeealadojus by RediculusT
The original from 1949. Disney claimed in the later court case the word in their song was a 'common slang word'.

Michael Wolff’s ‘Fire and Fury’: Inside Trump’s White House
Once he lost, Trump would be both insanely famous and a martyr to Crooked Hillary. His daughter Ivanka and son-in-law Jared would be international celebrities. Steve Bannon would become the de facto head of the tea-party movement. Kellyanne Conway would be a cable-news star. Melania Trump, who had been assured by her husband that he wouldn’t become president, could return to inconspicuously lunching. Losing would work out for everybody. Losing was winning. Shortly after 8 p.m. on Election Night, when the unexpected trend — Trump might actually win — seemed confirmed, Don Jr. told a friend that his father, or DJT, as he calls him, looked as if he had seen a ghost. Melania was in tears — and not of joy. There was, in the space of little more than an hour, in Steve Bannon’s not unamused observation, a befuddled Trump morphing into a disbelieving Trump and then into a horrified Trump.

Why Mother Teresa’s sainthood is tainted by controversy | JOE.ie
“A lying, thieving Albanian dwarf”

Origami-Style Cardboard Tents for Homeless in Brussels – The New York Times
With material tents forbidden on the streets of Brussels, homeless people in the Belgian capital are often left without a safe place to sleep. But one entrepreneur seems to have found a way around the rule: origami-style cardboard tents.

The Year the News Accelerated to Trump Speed – The New York Times
One year out, this may be Mr. Trump’s greatest trick: His tornado of news-making has scrambled Americans’ grasp of time and memory, producing a sort of sensory overload that can make even seismic events — of his creation or otherwise — disappear from the collective consciousness and public view. He is the magician who swallows a sword no one thought was part of the act, stuffs a dozen rabbits into a hat before the audience can count them — and then merrily tweets about “Fox & Friends” while the crowd strains to remember what show it had paid to attend in the first place.

Geert Noels: “Frankrijk chanteert België alsof het een kolonie is” | VRT NWS
Frankrijk wil dat ons land het Franse Rafale gevechtsvliegtuig aankoopt om de oude F16’s te vervangen. De Fransen voldoen niet aan de vorm- en procedurevereisten, maar spelen het anders. Zo stellen ze voor dat België 20 miljard euro economische compensaties zouden krijgen bij aankoop van de Franse jets. 16 miljard euro van deze 20 miljard euro zijn echter de optelling van huidige activiteiten van Franse bedrijven over een periode van 20 jaar. Hiermee zegt Frankrijk dat deze activiteiten onzeker zijn als we niet kiezen voor hun jets.

The year’s best film is an 18-hour TV series — ‘Twin Peaks’ | HeraldNet.com
I didn’t see anything else this year that matched Lynch’s wild experimental saga — surely the most expensive avant-garde film ever bankrolled by Hollywood. Lynch’s teeming (if often baffling) imagination was executed with supreme control, and Kyle MacLachlan’s dazed, vacant Dougie Jones was obviously the Man of the Year.

Beyoncé Caught Shapeshifting In Front Of Celebs At Serena Williams’ Wedding
Beyoncé’s legions of fans were dealt a devastating blow when the Single Ladies singer was caught shapeshifting into a reptilian at Serena Williams’ wedding ceremony on Saturday.

Kristina (11) ‘viert’ kerst in terugkeerhuis: “schandalig” | VTM NIEUWS
Staatssecretaris Theo Francken wil niet op de zaak reageren omdat het om een individueel dossier gaat.

The King William’s College quiz 2017 | From the Guardian | The Guardian
Whence the minty bivalves? Which Hungarians masqueraded as sheep? Who beheld the faces of man, lion and ox and eagle? Plus 177 more fiendish questions in the most tortuous quiz of them all

Quitting – Signal v. Noise
We all know people all over the spectrum. Someone who’s been working on something forever that’s never going to work out. And someone who quits every project they start before giving it a fair chance. Then we have those friends who seem to have the magical instinct to know when to quit and when to stick with it until it takes off. So how do you know when to quit? 3 months? A year? Is there some signal to look for?

Wie wir die Datenproduktion neu denken sollten
IT ist zu einer strategisch bedeutsamen Triebfeder für Unternehmen geworden. Wie Ideen aus der Massenfertigung genutzt werden können, um mit Daten digitales Geschäft zu generieren.

Big data meets Big Brother as China moves to rate its citizens | WIRED UK
On June 14, 2014, the State Council of China published an ominous-sounding document called "Planning Outline for the Construction of a Social Credit System". In the way of Chinese policy documents, it was a lengthy and rather dry affair, but it contained a radical idea. What if there was a national trust score that rated the kind of citizen you were?

(14) The Use of ASCII Graphics in Roguelikes: Aesthetic Nostalgia and Semiotic Difference | Mark R Johnson – Academia.edu
This article explores the semiotics of the "roguelike" genre. Most roguelikes reject contemporary advances in graphical technology and instead present their worlds, items, and creatures as American Standard Code for Information Interchange (ASCII) characters. This article first considers why this unusual graphical style has endured over time and argues that it is an aesthetic construction of nostalgia that positions roguelikes within a clear history of gameplay philosophies that challenge the prevailing contemporary assumptions of role-playing games. It second notes that the semantic code for understanding the ASCII characters in each and every roguelike is different and explores the construction of these codes, how players decode them, and the potential difficulties in such decodings. The article then combines these to explore how such visuals represent potential new ground in the study of game semiotics.

As Venezuela Collapses, Children Are Dying of Hunger – The New York Times
Kenyerber Aquino Merchán was 17 months old when he starved to death. His father left before dawn to bring him home from the hospital morgue. He carried Kenyerber’s skeletal frame into the kitchen and handed it to a mortuary worker who makes house calls for Venezuelan families with no money for funerals.

Microsoft Considers Adding Python as an Official Scripting Language to Excel
If approved, Excel users would be able to use Python scripts to interact with Excel documents, their data, and some of Excel's core functions, similar to how Excel currently supports VBA scripts.

jwz: Mitch McConnell, Prince of Dust
Mitch McConnell, prince of dust, took his current form on February 20, 1942, molded of a strange flesh, his mouth open and already seeking. Mitch McConnell, for whom the ghouls slaver, spent his childhood crushing spiders in paper napkins and stuffing them into his mouth, one after the other, and never was he seen to expel them at all. Mitch McConnell, who waits in the gravel pit, attended high school in Georgia, where he sat with the cobwebs and giggled, and would not say where all the town's dogs had gone.

What Omarosa Did Best: Get Fired – The New York Times
Ouch. "We don’t know what exactly Omarosa Manigault Newman did at the White House, but we do know the number one skill she brought to the table — being fired. Donald Trump has now axed her four times: on “The Apprentice” in 2004, on “The Celebrity Apprentice” in 2011 and 2013 and on Tuesday evening. She is really, really good at getting canned. Maybe her true purpose was to remind America of the time when Mr. Trump was popular because he fired people like her, including her."

Fernand Huts weg bij Voka – De Standaard
"You're fired!" "Ha! You can't fire me, I quit!!" — De Antwerpse haven- en logistieke groep Katoen Natie heeft zijn Voka-lidmaatschap opgezegd. Voka zegt dat zij Huts zelf aan de deur hebben gezet.

Mimi O’Donnell Reflects on the Loss of Philip Seymour Hoffman and the Devastation of Addiction – Vogue
Literally two weeks after Phil died, some fellow parents asked me to show up on a Friday morning to man the stall where they sold school paraphernalia. And after the fifth person suggested I should start running, I lost it. “I don’t want to fucking run,” I said. “I want to jump in the river and kill myself.” When I finally did decide to run, it was always at night by the Hudson. The darker and rainier it was, the more violent the water, the better. I couldn’t get enough. Something about the extremity of it, the closeness to death, was weirdly comforting. If I wanted to jump, it was there.

the cake is a lie. | MetaFilter
“Food is often seen in games as a means of survival, mostly as health. A piece of bread stolen off a vendor's table in Skyrim will grant you two health; the cabbage stew at the tavern will grant you 10. In The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, the spicy pepper steak will take the edge off of cold weather. A game like Castlevania: Symphony of the Night has a huge inventory of food items, many of which are dropped after knocking out enemies. While the enormous variety adds an element of immersiveness into Castlevania, it's often nothing health or a novelty. Though none of these games' food systems could be considered simplistic, they have a narrow view of eating; food is health, and eating is the mechanic in which it's used. It's easy to see food only as a function of survival, but there’s a whole breadth of games—”

This Is The Daily Stormer’s Playbook | HuffPost
"Women can be called the following: slut, whore, bitch, harlot, trollop, slag, skag. Whenever writing about women make sure to follow the prime directive and blame Jew feminism for their behavior."

(215) The Fantastic Masculinity of Newt Scamander – YouTube
Newt Scamander, protagonist of the Harry Potter spinoff, is an unconventional male hero. He performs a refreshingly atypical form of masculinity, especially for the lead in a fantasy adventure story.

PuTTY Begone! Microsoft will ship an OpenSSH client | TechCrunch
What what? "Microsoft has added its own ssh client to Windows, a move that points to more openness on the part of Redmond."

Sneeuw- en ijzelbestrijding | Stad Gent
Fijn om weten.

Belgium’s Lavish Energy Use Sheds Light on More Than Just Its Roads – The New York Times
“What purpose does it serve to illuminate at full power?” The official explanation is that it helps road safety and provides security. But critics doubt this and say the phenomenon sheds light not only on Belgium’s roads but also on a mutually profitable relationship among its politicians, electricity distributors and main energy supplier, Electrabel.

We messed up. We’re sorry, and we’re not rolling out the fees change. – The Patreon Blog
We’ve heard you loud and clear. We’re not going to rollout the changes to our payments system that we announced last week. We still have to fix the problems that those changes addressed, but we’re going to fix them in a different way, and we’re going to work with you to come up with the specifics, as we should have done the first time around.

xkcd: Seven Years
[hart breekt]

NATO Expansion: What Gorbachev Heard | National Security Archive
Declassified documents show security assurances against NATO expansion to Soviet leaders from Baker, Bush, Genscher, Kohl, Gates, Mitterrand, Thatcher, Hurd, Major, and Woerner

How to Get Your First 100k (Active) Users – Winnie
This was probably the biggest mistake we made early on. While we correctly sized up our target market (millennial parents) as heavy consumers of apps, when it comes to growth the web is still hugely important. These days the lion’s share of our organic growth comes from web traffic in the form of organic search, social shares and word of mouth. Mobile-first is great. Mobile-only is not.

Mohammed minder gediscrimineerd op huurmarkt (Brussel) – De Standaard
Door praktijktesten van de stad Gent worden kandidaat-huurders van vreemde origine er minder gediscrimineerd. Toch blijft Vlaams minister Homans ertegen gekant.

The Not Yorker
The Not Yorker is a collection of declined or late cover submissions to The New Yorker, curated by illustrators who love and admire traditional cover illustration. This is a site for celebrating cover art, and great ideas that didn't make it.

FAQ · Storify
Another one bites the dust: "Unfortunately, Storify will no longer be available after May 16, 2018. As of December 12, 2017, no new Storify.com accounts can be created."

Hate Smears India’s Symbol of Love, the Taj Mahal – The New York Times
Millions flock to marvel at its shimmering magnificence, with intricately inlaid and carved white marble inscribed with verses from the Quran, every year. And that is exactly what the Hindu right finds so galling. In October, it came to light that the state of Uttar Pradesh — where the Taj Mahal is located, in the city of Agra, and which is headed by the firebrand Hindu cleric Yogi Adityanath — had omitted the monument from its tourism brochure and cut its funding from the state’s tourism budget. Sangeet Som, a member of the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party, railed that the Taj Mahal was “a blot on Indian culture” built by “traitors.”

Bat cave solves mystery of deadly SARS virus — and suggests new outbreak could occur
After a detective hunt across China, researchers chasing the origin of the deadly SARS virus have finally found their smoking gun. In a remote cave in Yunnan province, virologists have identified a single population of horseshoe bats that harbours virus strains with all the genetic building blocks of the one that jumped to humans in 2002, killing almost 800 people around the world.

The Family Gene | Tufts Magazine
There’s a disease you’ve never heard of. No one has. It’s so rare it doesn’t have a name. Just fourteen people are believed to have ever carried the gene for it. Five of them are in this 1979 picture of my family (that’s me there in the center, in green). The rest can all also be found on my family tree. The disease has killed many of the people I love and now I’ve got it, too. So my family has decided to put an end to it.

Jared Kushner is wreaking havoc in the Middle East | Moustafa Bayoumi | Opinion | The Guardian
Here’s where state department diplomacy should kick in. The US ambassador to Qatar could relay messages between the feuding parties to find a solution to the stand-off. So what does the ambassador to Qatar have to say about the Kushner-Salman alliance? Nothing, since there still is no confirmed ambassador to Qatar. What about the US ambassador to Saudi Arabia? That seat’s also vacant. And the US ambassador to Jordan, Morocco, Egypt? Vacant, vacant, and vacant. What about assistant secretary for Near Eastern affairs, a chief strategic post to establish US policy in the region? No one’s been nominated. Deputy assistant secretary for press and public diplomacy? Vacant. It’s partly this vacuum of leadership by Tillerson that has enabled Kushner to forge his powerful alliance with Salman, much to the detriment of the region. And in their zeal to isolate Iran, Kushner and Salman are leaving a wake of destruction around them.

Scientists discover dinosaur trapped in amber in unprecedented find – CNN
The tail of a 99-million-year-old dinosaur has been found entombed in amber, an unprecedented discovery that has blown away scientists.

Catapult | What the World Gets Wrong About My Quadriplegic Husband and Me | Laura Dorwart
When I lie awake at night, the honest-to-god truth is that I don’t fantasize about miracle cures and redemption songs. I dream of ramps. Ramps leading up to showers and houses and waterfalls, to haunted hayrides and carriages and job interviews and Capitol Hill. And level ground that fulfills its rhetorical purpose by keeping everyone on the same plane.

And Now: A Bummer | Jason Scott on Patreon
Essentially: Patreon has changed their fee structure, which translates to it costing more to support folks like me; but they also did it in the most disingenuous way possible, which compounded a bad idea into something much worse.

How Trump’s Jerusalem Move Just Helped Iran Win the Mideast
Trump managed to bring Turkey and Iran together by what they called his “wrong” and “illegal” action. In fact, Rouhani called for all 56 Muslim-majority countries to make a stand against the US. Iranian foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said that Jerusalem will always be Arab and Islamic. The country’s Leader, Ali Khamenei, also weighed in, pledging to organize the Muslim world for a response. So now the Iranians (not Arabs) are the champions of Arab nationalism, while Saudi Arabia and Egypt are supine. So Trump is helping make Iran a leader of the Muslim world. Good job.

Palestinians recognize Texas as part of Mexico – The Beaverton
“We understand that the Mexican state of Texas is a sacred place for many large-buckled Americans, but they can rest assured that a two-state solution or a wall was not feasible,” explained Abbas. “Besides, most people in Texas speak Spanish.”

l’An 2000 – Le Berghain à Berlin et l’éthique du «no photos» – Libération.fr
La lentille du smartphone apparaît en fait comme un bouc-émissaire, comme la métaphore de ce que la scène berlinoise refuse à tout prix : les regards et les jugements. Rentrer au Berghain, c’est apprendre à ne jamais fixer son regard sur ce qui s’y passe. Non pas tourner la tête, mais juste s’en foutre.

Il paraît qu’en Allemagne, les hommes ne draguent pas. Je suis allée vérifier
"Ce soir, il y a un mec qui est venu me parler. Je crois qu’il me draguait mais c'était tellement subtil que je n'en suis pas sûre. On ne sait pas. Les Allemands draguent tellement mal que tu ne sais pas trop ce qu'il se passe."

"Ici, en tant que Française, tu te rends compte à quel point tu as construit ta féminité en étant au centre d'une attention que tu n'as pas désirée."

IFComp 2017
De winnaars van 2017!

Crusader Kings 2 data shows most kills | Rock, Paper, Shotgun
Royal incompetence simulator Crusader Kings 2 is one of the best games ever. Over hundreds of years, sultans and kings create new empires and murder their families. Today a data science man gets in touch to say he recorded a 700-year game in ‘observation’ mode, pulled out all the data like a big reel of cassette tape, shoved it through some kind of magical process I won’t pretend to understand, and came up with statistics on several rulers. This also resulted in detailed “networks” of kills and marriages. The important thing is: this lets us see who had the most babies.

Hi. I love you. | The Bloggess
Do something good and kind.  Laugh loudly.  Don’t wear pants.  Tell people you love them.  Embrace ridiculousness.  Be unapologetically yourself.  Inspire others.  Inspire yourself.  Salute the brave.

Aan Ivo Mechels, generaal-overste van Test-Aankoop – De Standaard
Is het niet mogelijk om in Test-Aankoop een lijst te publiceren van alle OCMW’s van Vlaanderen en daarbij de beste koop kenbaar te maken?

Émeute à Gand: “Ce qui frappe, c’est la différence de traitement médiatique et politique” – Belgique – LeVif.be
Ce qui me choque le plus dans la différence de traitement politico-médiatique de ces deux évènements, c'est que j'ignore s'il est mû par la phobie des jeunes "Marocains" ou par le mépris total pour les Roms.

Time Cube
Children will be blessed for Killing Of Educated Adults Who Ignore 4 Simultaneous  Days Same Earth Rotation. Practicing  Evil  ONEness – Upon Earth Of  Quadrants.  Evil Adult Crime VS Youth.   Supports Lie Of Integration.   1 Educated Are Most Dumb.   Not 1 Human Except Dead 1.   Man Is Paired,  2 Half 4 Self.   1 of God Is Only 1/4 Of God.

Curl Power: Poodles Return to the Field – Garden & Gun
Poodles take a bit longer to train, Louter says, than other hunting breeds. Part of that has to do with their intelligence (the AKC describes them as “very smart”). “When you train Labs, it’s all repetition and building muscle memory,” he explains. “Poodles find that very boring. You have to stay one step ahead of them and switch it up. Sometimes you even have to make it seem like they are the ones in charge.”And though poodles were originally hunting dogs, they’ve essentially had that instinct bred out of them. The AKC lists them as nonsporting. Says Louter: “A decently bred Lab knows what it’s supposed to do in life from a young age. With poodles, we’re trying to wake up those natural instincts, that love of water and that good nose.”

McDonald’s is stealing my dead weasel and it’s insultingly obvious. | The Bloggess
Someone get me a copyright lawyer and a small apron for this poor naked thing.

Chinees godbetert! GO! en het thuistaalbeleid.
Vele keren dit.

Andrew Anglin: The Making of an American Nazi – The Atlantic
How did Andrew Anglin go from being an antiracist vegan to the alt-right’s most vicious troll and propagandist—and how might he be stopped?

Links van 9 november 2017 tot 10 november 2017

IBM Type
Thanks for your interest in IBM Plex, IBM’s new corporate type family. IBM Plex is open source, and should be used by IBMers for all typographical situations, replacing Helvetica Neue, whenever possible.

Why This Fungus Has Over 20,000 Sexes – D-brief
One species of fungi, Schizophyllum commune, really shines when it comes to gender diversity. The white, fan-shaped mushroom has more than 23,000 different sexual identities.

Skyrim rendered in text – Filip Hracek – Medium
I decided some time ago to create a text-based Skyrim. That sounds overly ambitious at first, but as I developed the story and the game’s mechanics, I discovered its basic elements: a sword & sorcery game in a living, simulated world that is presented as a Choose Your Own Adventure (CYOA) book. The idea has already brought a short game into the world, Insignificant Little Vermin, which I submitted to this year’s IFCOMP.

The neuroscience of no regrets: why people still support Brexit and Trump | Science | The Guardian
Essentially, asking people “Do you still support Brexit/Trump?” in such the volatile, impassioned, confusing environment we currently find ourselves in is likely to be perceived as “Do you think that you and everyone you agree with is wrong, and your hated enemies are right?” And who’s going to say yes to that?

Leegloop handelspanden: “Cijfers zonder context zeggen niets” (schepen Peeters)
"Met cijfers zonder duiding kan je niets", repliceert de schepen. "Gent heeft een leegstandspercentage van 8,6%, minder dan het Vlaams gemiddelde en lager dan de 12,2% in Antwerpen, die andere Vlaamse grootstad. Gent loopt helemaal niet leeg, integendeel. Ons handelscentrum is kerngezond." Peeters begrijpt niet waarom de cijfers niet beter geduid zijn. "Tussen 2008 en 2016 nam de leegstaande winkeloppervlakte toe met 10.000 m2, maar er kwam in die periode wel in totaa l 60.000 m2 bij. Dat is een stijging met maar liefst 50.000 m2", beklemtoont de schepen. "Bovendien verbouwen in Gent heel wat winkeleigenaars een bestaand pand, wat ook voor leegstand zorgt. Er wordt in de aangehaalde cijfers geen onderscheid gemaakt tussen het stadscentrum en wijken in bijvoorbeeld de 19de eeuwse gordel." Dat de cijfers niet in perspectief worden geplaatst, stoort de schepen. "Ik heb de indruk dat men telkens de cijfers kiest die de premisse moeten bewijzen dat het een ramp is in Gent. Andere cijfers zwijgt men dan weer dood."

‘Pretty gruesome’: giant coconut crab seen hunting birds | Science | The Guardian
The crab climbed a tree and attacked the seabird in its nest situated on a branch close to the ground. The crab broke the bird’s wing, causing it to fall out of its nest and then took to the bird with its claws, breaking its other wing and leaving it incapacitated. Once the bird was unable to move, other coconut crabs arrived and pulled the bird apart in scenes Laidre described as “pretty gruesome”.

China’s Race to Find Aliens First – The Atlantic
As America has turned away from searching for extraterrestrial intelligence, China has built the world’s largest radio dish for precisely that purpose.

Links van 7 februari 2015 tot 10 februari 2015

Why Is Food Babe Selling a Product With BHT? | Bad Science Debunked
Why is Vani Hari (the “Food Babe”) harassing Kellogg’s and General Mills because their cereals contain BHT, when she’s earning a sales commission on a product that contains BHT?

The curious case of the Facebook page that posts the same thing every day – The Washington Post
Once a day, every day since August 21, some fan with a weird sense of humor has posted the exact same photo of Italian pop singer Toto Cutugno to Facebook.

‘Mijn leven is mislukt’ – Wetenschap – Knack.be
Whut? "Zelf heb ik als bioloog geen zin meer in zinloze discussies met creationisten die de evolutietheorie als onzin afdoen, wegens niet passend in de kraam van God. Je kunt je tijd niet blijven verliezen, hoewel ik af en toe geconfronteerd word met het gegeven dat de Steinerscholen creationisme laten onderwijzen in de biologielessen, en dat de evolutietheorie er als een 'geloof' wordt bestempeld – iets waar onze onderwijsadministratie zich eens over zou moeten buigen."

The Rat Tribe of Beijing | Al Jazeera America
Every morning, a metamorphosis takes place below the ground of China’s capital. In a world without sun or fresh air, people roll out of bed in windowless rooms, empty bedpans into communal toilets, pay 50 cents for a five-minute shower, ascend concrete stairways to the outside world and transform themselves from residents of the city’s most despised housing to strivers, hungry for a piece of the Chinese dream.These new Beijingers, who number about 1 million, are known as members of the “rat tribe,” or shuzu, because they make their homes underground in warrens of small, often-dank rooms that are cheaper than almost anything they can find above ground.

How startup Fab died – Business Insider
"We spent $200M in the past 2 years. $200M!" Goldberg's letter read. "We spent $200M and we have not proven out our business model. We spent $200M and we have not proven that we know precisely what our customers want to buy. "We are the most heavily funded startup in NYC in our life cycle and we have spent 2/3 of the cash … Holy shit this is a big deal."

Waanzin

Een wolkenkrabber op 360 uur gebouwd.

[via]

Het Verre Oosten

Even geleden was het Noord-Korea op The Big Picture: On the Spot with Kim Jong-il – hoe de Geliefde Leider zijn volk inspireert door ter plaatse af te stappen en met zijn Kamiel Kafka-berenmuts een beetje zurig te staan kijken.

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Ik kwam vorige week zuiver toevallig, vraag me niet hoe precies, op een nieuwsbrief terecht: North Korea Today. Het is bijna onmogelijk om te verzinnen wat er tegenwoordig in Noord-Korea aan de hand is, als die nieuwsbrief te geloven is.

Epidemieën van griep en andere ziektes, bijvoorbeeld. Of ettelijke doden wegens ondervoeding en hongersnood—niet dat dat abnormaal is, maar wél dathet  buiten de gewoonlijke periode van hongersnood is:

In the beginning of year 2010, there has been continuous news about the starvation not only from the infertile provinces of North and South Hamgyong and Kangwon but also from the bread basket provinces of North and South Hwanghae and North and South Pyoungan. The news is more shocking because death by starvation is occurring outside the period of "bori gogae," critical period in spring when the stored grains run out and new crop of barley not yet harvested.

Of nog, in plaats gras te eten tussen mei en augustus, aten ze in de ander nochtans zeer vruchtbare Hwanghae-provincie tussen maart en november gras:

Last year, the farmers ate grass porridge from May until August. The situation this year has worsened and the farmers have been eating grass porridge since March, even in the midst of harvest season. During last spring’s lean season, many families could not work due to starvation and this year the situation has declined further. A farmer complained, “The army units took away the entire early harvests of potato and barley and left none for us. It’s going to be difficult for them to force absent farmers to work.” The collective farm mangers visited absent worker’s houses to talk to them about coming back to work. Once they witnessed and realized that the farmers only had a mixture of corn powder and grass porridge to eat, they were silenced.

Of, nog, die keer dat ze vorig jaar besloten om een nieuwe munt in te voeren. Goed idee: iedereen krijgt 500 won, en al het oude geld is, euh, niet meer geldig. En alles komt goed, echt waar beloofd, want de Geliefde Leider zegt het:

“The fundamental purpose of the currency exchange is to improve the lives of the laborers, office workers, and farm members from the current level to a higher level.” The explanations are as follows: “Due to the nationwide circumstances and various natural disasters, farming had been poor for several years. As there were problems in securing food for the residents and feeding them, the living standard had deteriorated for several years. The Great General’s desire is to open the gate to the Strong and Prosperous Nation, eliminate any shortage of food, and let people live happily in the Strong and Prosperous nation, lacking nothing. Our great leader, while he was alive, said that his greatest joy would be to have the people eat beef soup, wear silk cloths, and live in houses with tiled roof.” A Strong and Prosperous Nation is to be built by April 15, 2012 and people would live in enormous prosperity. The purpose of the currency exchange is clearly to build the Strong and Prosperous Nation. It was further explained that “Since our money were old and in poor shape, the new Finance Minister proposed the currency exchange measure. It’s also being done in order to improve the quality of the new currency to the global standard.

Oh, en alle fabrieken en zo liggen een week stil. En straffen voor wie het oude geld verbrandt of op een andere manier vernietigt:

Last December 5, a resident of Suwon 1 Dong was arrested and executed in public at Soonam Market in Chungjin City, North Hamgyong Province. He was charged with burning the old currency. He was arrested on the spot when he burned about 18,500,000 Won which became obsolete due to currency exchange. To prevent any similar incidents, he was publically executed the next day for reactionary activity with no hearing or trial.

Alle bedrijven moeten kunnen aantonen dat ze voedsel importeren of ze worden gesloten:

The Cabinet Office instructed all trade companies in the country “not to import any commodities other than food.” It is spurring the purchase of food by delivering an ultimatum stating that a trade company that cannot import food will be dissolved. The Central Party directly instructed the customhouse as such: “Inflow of food is the foremost priority. There will be a preferential treatment for food, and any act that regulates or disrupts it will be severely punished.”

En vergis u niet, onder “voedsel” wordt eigenlijk “rijst” bedoeld, want fruit komt er ook niet in:

On February 7th, fruits such as oranges, apples and bananas that allegedly came in free of charge for February-16 holiday have been rejected on the bridgehead in Sinuiju. A security guard in customs authorities explained, “The instruction of the Central Party is to prohibit the entering of every commodity other than food. If a person allows in such commodities even if they are of free supports, he will be severely reprimanded. Until now, the goods purchased by the powerful organizations for their interest have been connived to be entered under the pretext of being free supports. This will not work anymore unless it is rice.”

Vreemde “spionageschandalen” ook: iemand die zijn vrouw belt in het buitenland, of die keer dat een verpleegster met een camera als pen vermomd beelden maakte van de levensomstandigheden in het hospitaal in Yusun-dong, en dat ze dan meteen zowat alle dokters en verpleging aan de deur gezet hebben en vervangen door mensen uit een andere stad.

Heoryong City, North Hamgyong Province is still reacting to November’s major espionage incident that involved a Primary Party Secretary and doctors at the People’s Hospital in Yusun-dong. Last November 10, a nurse working at Sanwon Hospital was caught at the Defense Security Command Checkpoint while carrying a fountain pen that was being used to videotape the harsh living conditions in major city markets and residents. As soon as her interrogation was finished, 60 people at the People’s Hospital in Yusun-dong were arrested, including the primary party secretary and six doctors that had possibly worked together with the perpetrator. There are over 20 people who fled as soon as the Primary Party Secretary at Yusun Hospital was arrested. The Province National Security Agency of North Hamgyong Province commanded lower level agencies to catch everyone who fled using all means and methods. The Province National Security Agency Investigation Bureau and Counter Intelligence Bureau announced, “We will penalize any spies who leaked the party’s and the country’s confidential information through infiltration of the party and government organizations during the period of reconversion for the Strong and Prosperous Nation.

Of dat de Geliefde Leider werkelijk alles kan controleren, ook de haarsnit vna zijn onderdanen:

November 11, 2009, Central Youth Union Committee ordered, “We need to criticize those who models after foreign styles instead of our own.” Accordingly, Youth Union officials were mobilized to crack down on young people’s hair style. They announced at the Informant Lecture, “at the end of September, our Beloved Leader was on his way to a site visit and expressed a concern when he sighted the hair style of a sales clerk at the Junseung store by saying, what is wrong with her hairstyle?; That is not our native hairstyle.” and added, “Is she really our own Korean woman? Why is she giving up our own traditional beauty and chose to model bad foreign habits of the capitalist? He immediately ordered that women should not wear skirt length above their knee, tight pants, flared pants or anything that shows the contour.” They also identified the traditional market seller’s name, age, and position and proclaimed, “Young people need to dress and do their hair in our traditional style.” Currently, Youth Union officials in Pyongyang and other cities and counties throughout the nation are taking the initiatives and cracking down on hairstyle of students and young women. Women are prohibited to have color dyed hair, twisted up hair style, short hair cuts, and loosened long hair style. Long hair has to be braided. Men are prohibited from having hair length that is perpendicular to ear, regent hair style that are long in the front and short in the back or regent hair style with short front and short back. They are also prohibiting any dress with writings on it.

Serieus.

Eén dezer decennia moet het daar eens breken, maar ik vraag me af wat voor wonden die periode ondertussen al geslagen heeft.

En of ze er even snel als China bovenop gaan raken – was het u ook opgevallen, het nieuwsbericht over de Chinese HST? Dat ze van plan zijn tussen nu en tien jaar een hogesneheidstrein te laten rijden tussen China en West-Europa, een trein die op twee dagen van de kust van China tot in Londen staat? En dat ze al met zeventien landen in onderhandeling zijn:

Reportedly, negotiations with the relevant 17 countries are already underway.

China would like to fund the whole project itself in exchange for natural resources it lacks. One of the senior consultants working on the project, Wang Mengshu, said, “We would actually prefer the other countries to pay in natural resources rather than make their own capital investment.”

Myanmar and Russia already have rail links planned and China is also in communication with Iran, Pakistan and India regarding development of the internal rail lines in each of those countries that would connect to the network.

Additionally, construction for the Southeast Asia link has started and Burma is about to begin building its portion of the link.

The central and eastern European portions of the network are moving forward as well. “We have also already carried out the prospecting and survey work for the European network, and central and eastern European countries are keen for us to start,” Wang said.

China wants to complete this network in 10 years.

It’s a brave new world, yep.

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