Random links

Can You Microwave a Tea Bag That Has a Staple in It?
"Although one dry staple probably won’t start a fire, it can do some damage. 'It will be much the same as running the microwave empty, which could [burn] a hole through the microwave wall,' warns Mats Selen, professor of physics at the University of Illinois." This suggests that the earlier Alton Brown recommendation of making microwave popcorn in a stapled bag is likely to gradually mess up your microwave - the staple suggestion is not on the version on his website although I think it was in one or more of his books.
The ways that student samples differ from the public varies around the world
Henrich's The Weirdest People in the World looked at how American university students (who are often the research subjects in published research) differ from others around the world - now it seems that "the ways students differ from the public is different depending on which country you’re in".
A Traumatized Reader Discusses Trigger Warnings
"The fact is literally anything in the world can be triggering to someone depending on their experiences and illnesses, it isn’t just obvious stuff like rape."

My favourite "gender pay gap" figure

Random links

Finding China's missing girls
A very interesting figure - showing how parents may have been delaying registering their girls with the state rather than aborting them.
10 Questions for Shadi Hamid (the author of Islamic Exceptionalism: How the Struggle Over Islam Is Reshaping the World and Temptations of Power: Islamists and Illiberal Democracy in a New Middle East)
This strikes me as a particularly good question: "What specific belief is one which you hold as likely correct, but which you would prefer not be correct?"
Arctic Ice Management
"We show that where appropriate devices are employed, it is possible to increase ice thickness above natural levels, by about 1 m over the course of the winter. We examine the effects this has in the Arctic climate, concluding that deployment over 10% of the Arctic, especially where ice survival is marginal, could more than reverse current trends of ice loss in the Arctic, using existing industrial capacity. We propose that winter ice thickening by wind-powered pumps be considered and assessed as part of a multi-pronged strategy for restoring sea ice and arresting the strongest feedbacks in the climate system."
Photography Has A Surprising Psychological Benefit, Large Study Finds
My takeaway is that this might help focus your attention a bit, but it's not worth getting nitpicky about equipment (or torturing your friends by sharing an endless stream of photos).

"Dallaire says Canadian troops must be prepared for child soldiers"

The Globe and Mail:

[Retired general Roméo Dallaire] said Canadian soldiers must learn how to defuse or de-escalate confrontations with child soldiers rather than withdraw from such incidents. Otherwise, he said, they play into the hands of belligerent forces who use children to fight precisely because unprepared foreign troops are reluctant to shoot children and confused about how to deal with them. “Pulling away … has been so much the norm and gives the advantage to the guy who is recruiting these kids.”

The Globe and Mail reported on March 6 that the Trump administration has told Ottawa it has no problem with Canada dispatching soldiers on a United Nations peacekeeping mission to Mali, but Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is holding back approval as he assesses the risks of fighting Islamist rebels who use child soldiers.

It seems to me that a country being more hesitant to address a situation if child soldiers are present also makes it more likely for opponents to use child soldiers are part of their strategy. Some of these situations you might be able to (literally) defuse with better training, but it seems inevitable than there will be limits to the effectiveness of any training program that might be developed. I wonder if this might explain why Boko Haram is increasingly using children as suicide bombers.


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