"Malaysia Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad and the Sultan of Johor are seen in a blue Proton Saga... "When asked whether there is any tension with the sultan, Dr Mahathir said: “No, I don’t see anything because I went to see him and he drove me to the airport. I don’t want to comment on the sultans because if I say anything that is not good then it’s not nice because he is the sultan”"

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Tuesday, July 13, 2004

Quote of the Post: "I found your speech to be good and original. However, the part that was original was not good. And the part that was good was not original." - Samuel Johnson, to one of his less motivated students

Random Playlist Song: Messiah - Air - Ev'ry Valley Shall Be Exalted

Most of the catchy tunes are in the first part of the oratorio. Maybe Handel ran out of ideas and inspiration.

***

"Wernicke's area performs the opposite role: it gives us the ability to understand speech by storing the memories of how words sound. Damage to this area produces Wernicke's aphasia, in which the sufferer cannot understand speech, either his own or others', and speaks only in meaningless babble. (Since the victim has lost all memory of what words are supposed to sound like, he is usually unaware that there is anything wrong with him, and does not understand why he cannot be comprehended by others.) While this jargon often sounds very much like a language and indeed is often mistaken for a foreign language by someone unfamiliar with the condition, it conveys no meaning (Heilman 2002, p. 4). There are evident implications for the sects that believe in glossolalia ("speaking in tongues")." (A Ghost in the Machine)

"The first mind game is the spontaneously generated fantasies that accompany indoctrination. The second mind game is to not allow understandings of experience to be modified by subsequent learning and experience. The third mind game is verbicide. The fourth mind game is an assault on ethical and moral integrity. The fifth mind game is the induction of dissociation. Burning of bridges is the sixth mind game. The seventh and final mind game is fear." (The Mind Virus - Ideas behaving in society like viruses in the body)

The Case Against 'The Case for Christ' - A study in Christian apologetics (Sometimes I don't know why I even keep the book still)

Shades of Pascal - Despite the author's protestations, I find his story amusing and well-written.

Recently the True Christian Church of Christ has been turning out really pathetic articles. From intelligent if subtle parody, it has degenerated into puerile and delusional ranting. Take this one for example. Ah, for the days when they turned out gems like this: Proof That We Are Correct. That one's a real killer. Or even "That time of the month" (I like the cartoons). As someone commented: "simple rule: if there's a page devoted to saying why it's not a parody, it's a parody"

What Would Judas Do? - "Who do you want to be your savior? A whiny guy that suffered three hours and went to heaven or a man that was willing to endure pain and torment FOREVER in hell for you? The choice is clear."

Seems someone put the book I bought for $30 online. Oh well, tis good to have a symbolic book in my collection.

Proving a Negative - "The fact is that Christianity is the proposal of a theory, and like all theories, it entails predictions--but these predictions are not being born out. So Christians invent excuses to save the theory--excuses which have absolutely no basis in any evidence or inference, except the sole fact that they rescue the theory. This is Ptolemy's epicycles all over again: the motions of the planets and sun refused to fit the theory that they all revolve around the Earth, so Ptolemy invented numerous complex patterns of motion that had no particular reason to happen other than the fact that they rescue the theory of geocentricity. It is simply far wiser to conclude that instead of this monstrously complex and bizarre architecture of groundless saving suppositions, it makes far more sense, and uses far fewer suppositions, to simply admit that the universe doesn't revolve around the Earth after all."

***

New Bible translation promotes fornication - Archbishop of Canterbury praises version for 'extraordinary power'

Matthew 23:25
Authorized version: "Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!"
New version: "Take a running jump, Holy Joes, humbugs!"

Matthew 26:69-70
Authorized version: "Now Peter sat without in the palace: and a damsel came unto him, saying, 'Thou also wast with Jesus of Galilee.' But he denied before them all, saying, I know not what thou sayest."

New: "Meanwhile Rocky was still sitting in the courtyard. A woman came up to him and said: 'Haven't I seen you with Jesus, the hero from Galilee?" Rocky shook his head and said: 'I don't know what the hell you're talking about!'"

***

"NTU now have mah, G199 : General Social Ettiquette, 1 AU subject. 1 lecture everyweek. Written exam, 1.5 hrs."

wth. Meanwhile, it seems girls get pregnancy tests at the NUS medical checkup. Or at least they did last year.

This is really weird.

***

Character Counts

Late last week I was rushing around trying to get some last-minute shopping done. I was stressed out from all the junk going on at work these days. It was dark, cold, and wet in the parking lot as I was loading my car up with gifts for a few loyal co-workers. I noticed that I was missing a receipt that I might need later. So mumbling under my breath, I retraced my steps to the mall entrance.

As I was searching the wet pavement for the lost receipt, I heard a quiet sobbing.

The crying was coming from a poorly dressed boy of about 12 years old. He was short and thin. He had no coat. He was just wearing a ragged flannel shirt to protect him from the cold night's chill.

Oddly enough, he was holding a hundred dollar bill in his hand. Thinking that he had gotten lost from his parents, I asked him what was wrong. He told me his sad story. He said that he came from a large family. He had three brothers and four sisters. His father had died when he was nine years old. His mother was poorly educated and worked two full time jobs. She made very little to support her large family. Nevertheless, she had managed to skimp and save two hundred dollars to buy her children new winter coats.

The young boy had been dropped off, by his mother, on the way to her second job. He was to use the money to coats for all his siblings and save just enough to take the bus home. He had not even entered the mall when an older boy grabbed one of the hundred dollar bills and disappeared into the night.

"Why didn't you scream for help?" I asked.

The boy said, "I did."

"And nobody came to help you?" I queried.

The boy stared at the sidewalk and sadly shook his head.

"How loud did you scream?" I inquired.

The soft-spoken boy looked up and meekly whispered, "Help me!"

I realized that absolutely no one could have heard that poor boy cry for help.

So I grabbed his other hundred and ran to my car.

***

Xiaxue on guys' incessant army talk when girls are around:

"When we girls are with you guys, we do not chatter on and on about make up, or how our menstruation blood is a different colour this month and how we spend SIX FUCKING YEARS OF OUR LIFE BLEEDING AND WHEN WE BLEED WE GET SHIT FOOD AND SHIT PAY, or how long nail art just came off boohoohoo, or a deep discussion about which epilator is the loudest and most powerful and seems to be able to pull even the toughest ingrown armpit hair, or what colour scrunchies we like, or our week's DIET PLAN to have a grapefruit a day, or other stuff that guys don't understand nor are interested in right? So would you all shut up about army and cars already? We were only pretending to be interested. How about talking about the weather for a change? At least the weather doesnt have stupid terms in it like burpees, which we do not understand? Tekong is subjected to weather too right? Or maybe bitching about your bunkmate's penis size. That would be fun to talk about? Not the fungus at the door, or CONFINEMENT."

Not quite true, but we get the drift.

One thing you can't fault her for: incoherent and indecipherable passages written lyk tis... aniwae mi veri happy tat i dun haf to put up wif tis... *hiakz*

(Excuse me now while I go and flagellate myself with a birch branch)

***

Scaphism, also termed "the boats," was a frightfully cruel method by which Persians slowly tortured their prisoners to death.

A pair of small rowboats were hollowed and outfitted with holes such that, when one was inverted and laid atop the other, a seamless container was formed within which the naked prisoner could be secured, his head, hands, and feet protruding from his floating prison.

The victim was force-fed an overly generous meal of milk and honey, and additional honey was liberally smeared all over his protruding head and appendages. The whole contrivance was then floated out on a stagnant pond, causing multitudes of insects to settle on the exposed appendages of the sufferer.

The diarrhea that accumulated within the enclosure as a result of the prisoner's last meal induced yet more insects to work their way into the inside and afflict his anus and genitals.

Historical records indicate that Mithridates, who was sentenced to death by scaphism for having incurred some minor insult against the king, took seventeen days or so to die.

***

Just say no? - "A recent survey revealed that more and more of us are boycotting companies that trade unethically. We all know about Nestle and Esso, but who are the other bad guys - and just how bad are they? Leo Benedictus offers a useful guide"
Some of these are very odd. The article suggest we boycott Lonely Planet because they produce a travel guide to Burma, and Coca-Cola for "allegedly assassinating union leaders in Colombia".

Cow in police custody linked to headless chicken case

Johnny Singaporean - This HCJC Humanz guy's dream was to take part in the NDP (National Day Parade) and now he's blogging about it on the official site. Oh, and in the picture there he's saluting the camera while standing in front of a "I want to be part of the National Day Parade" poster. Please shoot me now. Meanwhile Tym offers her own POV.

On-line Orgasmic Simulation. How does the other sex experience pleasure - I saw this before when it didn't have any pesky javascript dialog boxes. Now I'm jealous! :P

Collection of James Bond movie gadgets

D O G T O Y :or: M A R I T A L A I D - You decide - Dogs and marriages both need accessories to stay healthy

Bush's pre-emption is a two-track policy - There's a different reality in dealing with North Korea and Iran versus Iraq - The different reality being that Iraq didn't have Weapons of Mass Destruction but the other 2 do or might. Moral of the story: If America doesn't like you, you'd better get some Weapons of Mass Destruction to protect yourself.
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