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Valar Qringaomis

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Saturday, April 12, 2003

Woah.

Lucky I signed up early.

Pyxz.com is now not free. It's cheap though at a one time fee of $5.

"# Excessive bandwidht (sic) usage applies tho accoutns create after April 8th 2003. Previous user accounts have been grandfathered since the service fee was not in place prior to this date.
# Customer agrees that bandwidth shall not exceed the 100 megabytes per day."

Ooh. Unlimited bandwith!!!


Arrogant Worms: Carrot Juice Is Murder

Listen up brothers and sisters come hear my desperate tale
I speak of our friends of nature trapped in the dirt like a jail
Vegetables live in oppression, served on our tables each night
This killing of veggies is madness, I say we take up the fight
Salads are only for murderers, coleslaw's a fascist regime
Don't think that they don't have feelings, just cause a radish can't scream

Chorus:
I've heard the screams of the vegetables (scream, scream, scream)
Watching their skins being peeled (having their insides revealed)
Grated and steamed with no mercy (burning off calories)
How do you think that feels (bet it hurts really bad)
Carrot juice constitutes murder (and that's a real crime)
Greenhouses prisons for slaves (let my vegetables go)
It's time to stop all this gardening (it's dirty as hell)
Let's call a spade a spade (is a spade is a spade is a spade)

I saw a man eating celery, so I beat him black and blue
If he ever touches a sprout again, I'll bite him clean in two
I'm a political prisoner, trapped in a windowless cage
Cause I stopped the slaughter of turnips by killing five men in a rage
I told the judge when he sentenced me, "This is my finest hour,
I'd kill those farmers again just to save one more cauliflower"

Chorus

How low as people do we dare to stoop,
Making young broccolis bleed in the soup?
Untie your beans, uncage your tomatoes
Let potted plants free, don't mash that potato!
Oh spare the spud! Eat a cow instead!

I've heard the screams of the vegetables (scream, scream, scream)
Watching their skins being peeled (fates in the stir-fry are sealed)
Grated and steamed with no mercy (you fat gourmet slob)
How do you think that feels? (leave them out in the field)
Carrot juice constitutes murder (V8's genocide)
Greenhouses prisons for slaves (yes, your composts are graves)
It's time to stop all this gardening (take up macrame)
Let's call a spade a spade
(is a spade, is a spade, is a spade, is a spade......)

Power to the peas! Give peas a chance!
all we are saying, is give peas a chance


LOL


Articles of Faith of the Apathetic Agnostic Church (The Universal Church Triumphant of the Apathetic Agnostic)

1. The existence of a Supreme Being is unknown and unknowable.

To believe in the existence of a god is an act of faith. To believe in the nonexistence of a god is likewise an act of faith. There is no evidence that there is a Supreme Being nor is there evidence there is not a Supreme Being. Faith is not knowledge. We can only state with assurance that we do not know.

2. If there is a Supreme Being, then that being appears to act as if apathetic to events in our universe.

All events in our Universe, including its creation, can be explained with or without the existence of a Supreme Being. Thus, if there is indeed a God, then that god has had no more impact than no god at all. To all appearances, any purported Supreme Being is indifferent to our Universe and to its inhabitants.

3. We are apathetic to the existence or nonexistence of a Supreme Being.

If there is a God, and that God does not appear to care, then there is no reason to concern ourselves with whether or not a Supreme Being exists, nor should we have any interest in satisfying the purported needs of that Supreme Being.


The Last Question
Isaac Asimov

Copyright (c) 1956 by Columbia Publications, Inc
Used without permission for educational use


"The last question was asked for the first time, half in jest, on May 21, 2061, at a time when humanity first stepped into the light. The question came about as a result of a five-dollar bet over highballs, and it happened this way..."

A most intriguing short story. With an unexpected and amusing end *g*


Meditation 84

An imaginary dialogue with an imaginary deity

As mentioned in previous Meditations, there are a number of billboards erected along America's highways, with some 20 different messages, all signed God. Following is an imaginary dialogue between GotB (God of the Billboards) and AD (Agnostic Driver,) using just the undedited words from those billboards for GotB's side of the conversation. Be amused, or be offended.

GotB: We need to talk.

AD: I don't think so. These billboards are more than enough. If you actually "talked," I'd probably think I was crazy. Just like most of those who claim you talk to them. Why should I listen to an unprovable invisible entity?

GotB: I don't doubt your existence.

AD: That's because I possess objective reality. You don't. Your attributes seem to be more imaginary than real. Humans really were not made in your image.

GotB: Don't make me come down there.

AD: Is that a threat? You like to make empty threats don't you. And some of your followers say you are a loving god.

GotB: I love you and you and you and you and...

AD: You have a strange way of showing it. It seems to me the love is demanded, not given. But enough of these signs. I have to concentrate on my driving.

GotB: Need directions?

AD: No thank you. I know where I'm going.

GotB: Follow me.

AD: As I said, I know where I'm going. And following the invisible won't get me there.

GotB: My way is the highway.

AD: Right; you've certainly marked it as yours with all these billboards you've excreted along the wayside.

GotB: Will the road you're on get you to my place?

AD: I hope not. I'm not planning on an accident. Though with this g@%d#@*# traffic...

GotB: Keep using my name in vain, I'll make rush hour longer.

AD: So you've fallen back into threat mode! If you really can influence rush hour, consider making it shorter. Then there will be a lot less swearing. Anyway, there are evils in the world that you should be more concerned with than the occasional curse.

GotB: What part of "Thou Shalt Not..." didn't you understand?

AD: Oh I understand those three words alright. They say a lot about the personality your believers have given you. It is the words that follow them that I question. For example: "Thou shalt not kill." How many people did you order the Israelites to kill in the Old Testament? And that after you had given out the commandment. It really amounts to "Thou shalt not kill unless ordered by a voice in your head claiming to be god."

GotB: Have you read my #1 best seller? There will be a test.

AD: I've probably read more of it than most of your followers. As to the test, will the science questions be real? Or the ridiculous Genesis version?

GotB: Big bang theory, you've got to be kidding.

AD: No. The real question is why so many of your followers think the scientific theories of creation necessarily exclude god. Why can't they understand that while the creation story in Exodus is a myth, it maypossibly express an even more profound religious truth. Considering god working through science would be a much more intelligent religious view than that blindly accepted by the idiots who erected that sign in your name.

GotB: That "Love Thy Neighbor" thing... I meant it.

AD: Are you taking offence because I referred to certain of your followers as idiots? As long as they try to stuff their foolish religious views down my throat, they will never be loved by me. Not even liked! But other than applyingthat rule to them, I'll admit it is pretty good guidance. Too bad you didn't think of it first. But of course, your preachers claim in their sermons that you did.

GotB: Let's meet at my house Sunday before the game.

AD: Before the game? Does this mean you've softened the fourth commandment? So you really are into sports? And which team is it that you really listen to the prayers of?

GotB: C'mon over and bring the kids.

AD: Catholic priests? Jehovah's Witness Elders? Do you really think I'd let the kids anywhere near a church?

GotB: Tell the kids I love them.

AD: Yeah - right! It's bad enough we have to protect them from your clergy...

GotB: Loved the wedding, invite me to the marriage.

AD: I don't think so. We don't accept that whole "wife as property" concept.

GotB: You think it's hot here?

AD: You really have to get those idiots who put up these billboards to change them with the seasons. It exposes the ineptness of it all when this particular sign is snow covered


I should spoof those highway billboards someday.


Lastly, a better essay than I'll ever write - short, sweet, lucid and to the point:

Why I Am Not A Christian, by Bertrand Russell

"What really moves people to believe in God is not any intellectual argument at all. Most people believe in God because they have been taught from early infancy to do it, and that is the main reason.

Then I think that the next most powerful reason is the wish for safety, a sort of feeling that there is a big brother who will look after you. That plays a very profound part in influencing people's desire for a belief in God. "

He doesn't touch on alleged 'experiences', though. This site does, though. Interestingly:

"epileptics have historically tended to be the people with the great mystical experiences. The Russian novelist Fyodor Dostoevsky, wrote of 'touching God' during epileptic seizures. Other religious figures from the past who may have been epileptic include S Paul, Joan of Arc, S Theresa of Avila and Emanuel Swedenhorg, the eighteenth-century founder of the New Jerusalem Church... Neurosurgeons who stimulate the limbic system during open-brain surgery say their patients occasionally report experiencing religious sensations. And Alzheimer�s disease, which is often marked by a loss of religious interest, tends to cripple the limbic system early on... anyone who still doubts the brain�s ability to generate religious experiences need only visit neuroscientist Michael Persinger at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario. Almost anyone can have a mystical experience just by wearing his magnetic hat. Persinger uses transcranial magnetic stimulation to induce all sorts of surreal experiences in ordinary people... For non-religious people, it is the feeling of a ghost, but religious types identify the presence as God."
OMG:

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Also included are events such as target shooting or maybe even learn a few SAS skills. You will be awarded points for performance with the best driver of the day getting to crush a family saloon with your tank, an experience you will never forget.

When is it? Selected Saturdays throughout the year excluding December and January

Start Time: 9:00
Finish: 17:00 - 18:00

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Minimum age 12
Maximum age 88
Minimum height 5ft
Maximum weight 125kg
Maximum chest measurement 50 inches.

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Thursday, April 10, 2003

Jiekai came up to me at the shuttle bus stop on Tuesday and said "I'm posted here" but scuttled up the bus before I could do anything.

Gah.


I'm currently torn between the:

Olympus C350

and the

Canon A70

Sunday, April 06, 2003

The cupboards in our Ops Room are named after girls. Just like the hills in our training area. I suppose this is so people can say things like "I'm on top of Jennifer", "We're attacking Jane now" and "I'm hugging Belinda". This goes to show how deprived NS guys really can be.

Yaodong came to report sick and was prescribed an IV. Unfortunately, he didn't let the medic poke him, so the MO had to come in and screw him, then poke him. Later, when the bag of fluid ran out, one of the Senior Medics went to remove the catheter and poke him again, instead of changing the bag. Everybody loves screwing Yaodong.

The SAF has implemented a new directive - everyone will have only one shot at range every year. I guess they finally figured out why they were losing so much money every year, both from the rounds and the marksmanship money *g* I'm just waiting for all the units in the BUC list to find loopholes, though the rule does seem rather airtight. Too bad IPPT and SOC don't cost them any money :(

Dannie laminated his status slip - PES C9L2 Perm, Ex-Running, Ex-Jumping, Ex-Drill Perm. GAH.


On our last night off in the month of March, almost all of us went out together, and we met up with Junxiong and Ming Kiat on the shuttle bus. Half of us were agitating for Fish & Co, while the other half claimed they were broke, thus proving the truth of the maxim that when you go out in a group of more than 2, one person will always be broke. At first they wanted to go to Long John Silver's, but later they suddenly walked into Pizza Hut (Yeech!). In the end, the price wasn't much less than what it'd have been at Fish & Co. Oh well. I guess people only like what they are familiar with. Later, we saw Henry at NTUC. He looks a little different, but still has the dark circles under his eyes that make him look like a drug addict, albeit our favourite drug addict :)

Later, we were in NTUC stocking up on provisions and people were looking for material in magazines to decorate the new book in / book out book. And someone *had* to make an Asian Prince reference:

Me: What we need is something tasteful.
Boon Wei: Like Asian Prince.
Me: *laughs semi-hysterically*
Yong Siang (in Chinese): In the future, don't make him laugh

Why does everyone like to make bad Asian Prince references?

Boon Wei also suggested, jokingly, no doubt (alas!), that we use some autopsy pictures from April's FHM magazine.

So on Tuesday, while I was waiting to book out, they were decorating the new book in / book out book, splashing tasteless pictures of semi-naked females all over its covers. I was fuming in bunk, waiting for them to be done so I could book out, when Prakash suggested that we sign the book first, before they finished decorating it. Damn. Why didn't *I* think of that? Anyhow when we traipsed down to the medical centre, I found that there were actually 2 pictures of males - one of a digitally simulated Bruce Lee and another of a topless beng with a stereo who reminded me of Jason - on the book in / book out book, and many of the pictures weren't totally just tasteless, gratuitous displays of female flesh after all, so I retracted my implicit threat to take pictures from rotten.com, or of Asian Prince, and paste them all over the book.

In the end, when I booked in on Wednesday night, I found that the pictures of females had been removed and replaced with drawings, in black and white, of something I can't quite describe. They looked like a fusion of several American Indian Totemic Creatures, but they were quite defined and not splashes of paint and so were not modern art.


I wonder why my mother always sits in the car when my father fetches me to camp. Is it so that she can nag, scold and admonish me? It certainly seems so. Perhaps it makes her feel better to relate anecdotes of dubious origin to attempt to shame me.

The season for Qing Ming is here and traffic's a killer on weekend mornings, so going to camp then is a drag. There are so many people bustling around the normally empty area, and so many cars parked along the side of the road. For some reason, it reminds me of a Malaysian Farmer's Market.

There was this sick Taiwanese show on Channel i when I last did Sunday duty. There were these 4 Lian looking 18 or 19 year old girls, the flower of Taiwan's youth, all with rebonded hair and in very Lian outfits, who'd been rated by people on a panel, and 'judges' in the studio had to guess their ratings as accurately as possible, while the girls' heights and weights were displayed in a sidebar at the side of the screen (at least it wasn't their 'vital statistics'). Later, the girls had to go out into the streets of Taipei and see how many guys were willing to give them their phone numbers, and the one with the most numbers won. And to end off, the girls did a catwalk (Point of information: Of the 4, 1 was totally inept, and another not very good). All in all, it just seemed like an excuse for males to ogle at females. Which is why hormonally charged Singaporean males in NS like to watch it.

Hamtaro is really intolerable! The TV happened to be on Channel i, and these humans were having a picnic, and they were shaking their heads to and fro merrily while singing the Hamtaro theme. The sheer horror of that caused me to run shrieking, with my hands over my ears, into the documentation room to hide from the gruesome sight.

I realised that anorexic girls can't donate blood since the criteria is that the donor has to weigh more than 50kg. One more advantage of being anorexic!

There's this Roman Catholic Church Leader in the Philippines named Sin. So he's "Cardinal Sin". HAHAHAHA.

The Straits Times was interviewing this suicide-bomber-to-be and his name, as given by the PLO's military wing's leader as 'Mohamad'. Whee. So we have narrowed down his identity to being among the 75% of Muslim males called Mohammad.

I called M1's customer service and the person at the phone was a male. Finally! One small step for a man, one giant leap for man-kind.


People are fond of criticising criticism of others' (or their own) works by asking "Can you do better?". However, if this logic were to hold, almost no one would be able to criticise others, and movie, film, art and book critics would be out of a job. People rarely criticise and say that they can do better - so why challenge them? It is the prerogative of the creator to do his best, and of the critic to criticise fairly.

I'm reaching the big 20 this year. Scary.


Quotes:

[Me on an Adidas Blue Spaghetti Strap Tank Top: $41.90 for this? This is extortionate. This is exorbitant.] Who says? It can help you attract more guys to pay for you.

[Me on the new book in / book out book: What we need is something tasteful.] Like Asian Prince. [Me: *laughs semi-hysterically*] [Someone else (in Chinese): In the future, don't make him laugh]

[Me: I saw this very stupid video] Porn [Me: What?]

If I get an MMS phone, it must have a digital camera. [Someone: Upskirts] It's not the upskirts. [Someone: Downblouse] It's not the downblouse.
A Bit Of Earth
from The Secret Garden

Archibald:
A bit of earth
She wants a little bit of earth
She'll plant some seeds
The seeds will grow
The flowers bloom
But is their bounty
What she needs

How can she chance
To love a little bit of earth
Does she not know
The earth is old
And doesn't care if
One small girl wants things to grow

She needs a friend
She needs a father
Brother, sister
Mother's arms
She needs to laugh
She needs to dance
And learn to work
Her girlish charms

She needs a home
The only thing she really needs
I cannot give
Instead she asks
A bit of earth
To make it live

She should have a pony
Gallop 'cross the moor
She should have a doll's house
With a hundred rooms per floor
Why can't she ask for a treasure
Something that money can buy
That won't die
When i'd give her the world
She asks, instead
For some earth

A bit of earth
She wants a little bit of earth
She'll plant some seeds
The seeds will grow
The flowers bloom
Their beauty just the thing she needs

She'll grow to love the tender roses
Lilies fair, the iris tall
And then in fall, her bit of earth
Will freeze and kill them all

A bit of earth, a bit of earth
A bit of earth, a bit of earth


I'm rather pissed off that I can't find a version of this that *isn't* sung by Charlotte Church. Her style is too operatic and is rather disgusting. Or maybe I've been influenced by my sister.
Due to Bunny's endless coercion, I have finally finished Orson Scott Card's Ender's Game.

The book is quite adult-oriented, yet still approachable.

The kids are so precocious (even more so than Bunny), so much so that it's simply unreal, and I have trouble accepting that an 11 year old boy can save the world.

The characters are mostly male, but then Battle School sounds like something males would be more oriented towards.

It's quite sad to see how the kids are force grow up as they exploit the urges of the little boys to play soldier. They effectively have no childhood, and many of them become vicious monsters.


Irritating/funny quotes:

"I can't do a weekly column," Valentine said. "I don't even have a monthly period yet." (...)

"Early to bed and early to rise," Mazer intoned, "makes a man stupid and blind in the eyes."


Finally, something from Melvin Tay Poh Huat that isn't porn!

http://cartoonfile.163.com/source/42532/lang.swf
Why do people like inane quizzes so much? Here's a short one for all of you compulsive quiz do-ers:

1. How many quizzes of this nature have you ever done?
2. Are you sure? I bet you've lost count, haven't you?
3. Do you plan to forward this to everyone you know (and not a few you don't) and spam their mailboxes? Naughty, aren't you!
4. How much of your time have you frilled away answering these inane questions that, in one form or another, repeat endlessly?
5. Do you think anyone really cares what underwear you are wearing right now, or how many ticks live on your dog?
6. Think of a number, any number
7. Think of another number
8. Now think what the point of that exercise was
9. Do you feel fulfilled now, after finishing this pointless quiz?


Banana Jr. Series Computer

The Banana computer was first introduced in 1984, and was labeled as "Jr." to emphasize its affordability. This obscure computer system had a number of innovative hardware and software features. Many of these features were too far ahead of its time, and it had many shortcomings which ultimately doomed it to failure.

Notable features included:

* A fully graphical operating environment.
* A powerful word processing, spreadsheet, and management package.
* Powerful 32-bit CPU.
Speech recognition.
* User friendly interactive AI interface.

The shortcomings included:

* Some assembly was was required by end users. (Quite a bit of assembly actually)
* Reportedly the documentation for the 9000 model was shipped with the 6000 model causing some confusion.
* The interactive AI was very uncooperative. (This AI is now being used by Microsoft in Windows XP)
Problems with the self-portability features were suspected, but never proven, to be the cause of Banana Jr. owners often finding their kitchen appliances lying in front of their living room televisions.

The Banana Computer Company went out of business in April of 1985. Reportedly it was a painful demise for the company, losing $319 million in march alone. The chairman of the board did a swan dive out of a 63rd floor window after painting "capitalism sucks" across his chest. The brains behind the design of the Banana Jr. , Berke Breathed, reportedly went insane and became a cartoonist. The Banana Jr. was discontinued and the platform abandoned...

Read more...
◊◊ Things Computers Can Do In Movies ◊◊

1. Word processors never display a cursor.
2. You never have to use the space-bar when typing long sentences.
3. Movie characters never make typing mistakes.
4. All monitors display inch-high letters.
5. High-tech computers, such as those used by NASA, the CIA or some such governmental institution, will have easy to understand graphical interfaces.
6. Those that don't have graphical interfaces will have incredibly powerful text-based command shells that can correctly understand and execute commands typed in plain English.
7. Note: Command line interfaces will give you access to any information you want by simply typing, "ACCESS THE SECRET FILES" on any near-by keyboard.
8. You can also infect a computer with a destructive virus by simply typing "UPLOAD VIRUS". (See "Fortress".)
9. All computers are connected. You can access the information on the villain's desktop computer even if it's turned off.
10. Powerful computers beep whenever you press a key or the screen changes. Some computers also slow down the output on the screen so that it doesn't go faster than you can read. (Really advanced computers will also emulate the sound of a dot-matrix printer.)
11. All computer panels operate on thousands of volts and have explosive devices underneath their surface. Malfunctions are indicated by a bright flash of light, a puff of smoke, a shower of sparks and an explosion that causes you to jump backwards.
12. People typing on a computer can safely turn it off without saving the data.
13. A hacker is always able to break into the most sensitive computer in the world by guessing the secret password in two tries.
14. You may bypass "PERMISSION DENIED" message by using the "OVERRIDE" function. (See "Demolition Man".)
15. Computers only take 2 seconds to boot up instead of the average minutes for desktop PCs and 30 minutes or more for larger systems that can run 24 hours, 365 days a year without a reset.
16. Complex calculations and loading of huge amounts of data will be accomplished in under three seconds. Movie modems usually appear to transmit data at the speed of two gigabytes per second.
17. When the power plant/missile site/main computer overheats, all control panels will explode shortly before the entire building will.
18. If you display a file on the screen and someone deletes the file, it also disappears from the screen (See "Clear and Present Danger").
19. If a disk contains encrypted files, you are automatically asked for a password when you insert it.
20. Computers can interface with any other computer regardless of the manufacturer or galaxy where it originated. (See "Independence Day".)
21. Computer disks will work on any computer has a floppy drive and all software is usable on any platforms.
22. The more high-tech the equipment, the more buttons it will have (See "Aliens".)
23. Note: You must be highly trained to operate high-tech computers because the buttons have no labels except for the "SELF-DESTRUCT" button.
24. Most computers, no matter how small, have reality-defying three-dimensional active animation, photo-realistic graphics capabilities.
25. Laptops always have amazing real-time video phone capabilities and performance similar to a CRAY Supercomputer.
26. Whenever a character looks at a monitor, the image is so bright that it projects itself onto their face. (See "Alien" or "2001")
27. Searches on the internet will always return what you are looking for no matter how vague your keywords are. (See "Mission Impossible", Tom Cruise searches with keywords like "file" and "computer" an 3 results are returned.)

...author unknown.
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