"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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Friday, August 20, 2004

Quote of the Post: "[Abstract art is] a product of the untalented, sold by the unprincipled to the utterly bewildered." - Al Capp

Random Playlist Song: The Cambridge Singers - What Sweeter Music


I got Wo-hen Nankan fanmail!

And I also want to thank you on behalf of a very small community (that could
be described as the the non-asian part of the world) for making Wo-hen
Nankan more known to the community in question.
His hair rocks !!!!!!

Reading your opinion on modern music, I hope that Wo-hen Nankan's
breathing is as soft as his hair ;->
Keep up with your page - it is really "not another private homepage".
Very unique and individual approach.
Some of your comments on modern music I found very interesting ... even
though i don't share them all.

All the best from the southern part of Germany

TalkingCock seems to be back - but strangely, it is stuck in 2002.


Interesting lines:

"It is often said that the social sciences lag behind the natural sciences and that the latter have created the problems of atomic war, overpopulation, and industrial change that the former must now solve" - Some sociology book

Later in the same book (on the line above): "this... [ignores] how unamenable to control by deliberate action the structures of a society are, except... by a form of political control that would be likely to create more evils than it solves". Racial quotas for public housing, anyone? Though I don't know about creating more evils than it solves.


solsetur on Hall People:

Hall people are all obsessed with their images, and nowhere else in the world will you see such a display of the mass culture and consumerism where your worth is more or less demonstrated by how similar you are to the people living together with you. So they have all their stupid fashions, all their stupid trends. And nowhere else have I encountered people who will spend 100 bucks on a single bottle which will keep them thin and beautiful like the persons living next door; or as many eating disorders; or as many health/gym/dieting freaks.

To be the epitome of 'cool', or to give it a more balanced 'look at the whole universe' general view - to be viewed cool among the hall people - you must do as they do and that include partaking in their stupid activities, which include official hall activities like their bashes, performances, rag day flag day prom night ragging (disguised as 'hall initiation'), and not limited to those - you have to take part in extra curricular activities like clubbing, alcohol binging, and even help the tobacco company expand their coffers if you're that weak and/or unlucky. The funny thing is I suspect after some time these people all gradually are brainwashed and lose their objectivity - my previously rather sane friends seem to be sunk into a state where they really and wholeheartedly accept all this as the 'norm' and think, very earnestly, that they are living the 'cool' young adult Tertiary education life.

To stick back to the topic, the other day at Miss LSE's birthday party a little discussion group was formed. And the subject surrounded on one thing only - drinking alcohol. It baffled quite a few people (actually it did not really bother me till various guy friends mentioned this and I did realise the flaw - so how immune am I to hall culture anyway?) because they could not understand why on earth would alcohol and its horrible side effects like vomiting in public, hangovers, getting sick, making a fool of yourself under the effects of alcohol could be such fun to talk about that it just went on and on?

In retrospect I suspect this has all to do with some mass disillusionment that abusing of alcohol (however minor the severity of the problem might be!) is all so very adult and cool. But is it really.


With many documents being placed on the IVLE (Integrated Virtual Learning Environment) instead of being printed out nicely and stapled for us, I am faced with an important question: Is it cheaper to print stuff in school or at home?

In school, we are charged the princely price of 5 cents per laser-printed page (I don't think they have inkjets). Of course, the stuff gets printed quickly and comes out looking sleek and professional.

I haven't calculated the cost of printing materials at home. I will once my current black ink cartirdge runs dry and I have to replace it. Exorbitantly priced OEM Canon black ink cartridges for my S200SPx come at $12, I'm told. I contacted a supplier of compatible third-party cartridges, and he said that he was selling third party black ink cartridges for $6 each, and offered free home delivery even for an order of 1 cartridge (?!). Someone also suggested that I go to Mustafa Centre. Alternatively, I could refill my old cartridges and spill ink all over my floor.

Of course, there are other complications. For example, my printer seems to have issues with ink regulation/consumption, judging from the search referrals I get about this sort of thing. Ink also dries up over time (but if I'm going to be doing enough printing to calculate the relative costs of printing in school and at home, such losses will be negligible). There is also the problem of cleaning clogged ink heads, which wastes ink, and of the cost of paper, though I don't think it's quite that high. And finally, I tried printing in Super Economy Mode but my notes came out faint and not exactly easy on the eyes.

I was at a loss navigating my way through the Central Library, since I couldn't puzzle out how the books were classified. I scoured the NUS Libraries' site but couldn't find my question in the FAQ, so I used the "Ask A Librarian" feature.

It turns out that they use the Library of Congress classification system, and my question was addressed, if only implicitly (you can search for books by Library of Congress call numbers or Dewey/Han He/Zhongguo Tushu call numbers). Gah, I should have known.

I do wonder why they, and most academic libraries, use the Library of Congress (LOC) classification system. The Dewey Decimal system is more intuitive and precise (and I'm not saying that just because I grew up with it). Most of all, it's a faceted classification scheme. The Library of Congress system was formulated for one purpose - to catalogue the books in the Library of Congress, which is why it has 2 top-level categories for US History, and 2 top-level categories for Military Science and (beat this) Naval Science. The only advantage of using the Library of Congress system that I can think of is that it results in shorter call numbers, which is useful for large collections.

Though I continue to collect quotes of Bad English, or just plain funny quotes, as I have been doing for the past 6 years, I realise that there is a problem. If you examine the recent quotes, you'll notice that many of them are quite subtle, employing sublime wit. Sometimes this makes them all the more amusing, but usually they are not quite as outrageously, slapsticky, in-your-face funny as some I might cite. Besides which, many people will not get all the jokes.

I hope they renovate more LTs in NUS. The difference between renovated and non-renovated LTs is striking, and I'm only talking about the write tops here. In pre-renovation LTs, the write tops, which are fixed in place, mind you, are too small to hold much, yet big enough to sometimes cause problems when you take your seat (or maybe it's just me and my big butt). Adding insult to injury, they have a sharp screw protruding at the bottom which can get caught in the fabric of your shorts/bermudas/skirt/jeans/trousers/kilt/loincloth.

I'm surprised that, during our Demand and Supply lecture, all NUS students' (sans those from Law and Medicine) favourite market - CORS - wasn't mentioned.

We get breaks during lectures sometimes and what do people do? They go outside and smoke. Gah. I should go and paint a yellow box in the middle of the road.

The theme for this year's USP Dinner and Dance is "Bollywood Hollywood". In keeping with the theme, I am thinking of going there dressed as a coconut tree, so people can dance around me. Or maybe I can wear a turban.

I was at a lecture with plenty of empty seats, yet people were sitting on the (carpeted) floor behind the last row of seats. Oh well.

Ivan on rag: Medicine had a story centred around a battle between dancing candy and some ants. Oh well, lie I told James, "Considering it's Medicine, they could have ended up making it white blood cells versus bacteria." GAH.

About the E.Merge IT Fair - "E.Merge 2004 will be a 3-day event, held from the 18-20 Aug at the foyer outside LT 27. The fair will be open to the public, though the targetted groups are NUS students and staff. As we move towards a wireless world, we have become increasingly inseperable from from IT products. With enough space for XXX booths, you can expect a large number of stalls selling a wide variety of goods, from the hottest and trendiest IT accessories to new ideas from the techie world."
It must be really popular, then.

The NUS Political Association boosts its membership numbers by making all students who are Singaporean Citizens members. Sneaky,

I have a friend with a T1 line at home. !@#$%^&*()


[On his dummy paper] This is a pretty good opening paragraph. It is a good paper, if I do say so myself.

[The tutors will use] their red pens. Counter-example, counter-example. Tutors are very small-minded. They're like the enemy.

If you state your objections first, your tutor will be frustratingly disarmed... think like the enemy.

Right here, I wrote: 'It seems to me', which is a classic wimpy, lazy example [of how to qualify an argument]

[On using examples] They take up space, which is really helpful if you're trying to fill up big, white sheets of paper.

[On how to feel good] Some people go to bars and punch people in the nose. Others start arguments.

[On self-criticism] If you just stab yourself first, your tutor can't possibly go and stab you.

I have 3 girls to celebrate (girls' birthdays)

[On the Indian Protectorates] These were protected by the British. They were protected from doing what the British didn't want them to do.

[At 13 Dong Dong House of Fish Soup, below pictures of the dishes served] illustration only. Actual servings may differs

We have diversity in causes (as far as courses are concerned)

[On joining the Sociology club] Do they have to pay? It's free! Oh my god, it's free! Do they get goodies? Do they get goodies? *nods head repeatedly* We'll find something for you.

If a tutorial group is full, we can't let you in... We've got lots of room in the 8am tutorial groups.

[Me on 'Animystic': 'Animistic' is {spelt} A-N-I-M-I-S-T-I-C] I know. But I like the 'Y'. *I groan* It makes more sense.

[On August Comte] He's the Father of Sociology. Who's the Mother of Sociology, people ask?

[Me: What about the people who don't have 5 modules when school starts?] Suck thumb, pah chiu cheng

[On my friend in Law faculty] Friend-in-law? There's such a term?

[On Najaf] The town of allies and rooftops (alleys)

[On a Monty Python skit - Argument Clinic] I'm going to attempt to recreate the comedy here. It's covered under fair use. This is strictly for educational purposes. You're not allowed to laugh; you're only allowed to be educated

'Dialectical dispute' - that's a fancy term I came up with just for this slide. I'll probably forget to use it later.

There's a kind of simplicity to this, kind of live Sesame Street. It's when Elmo goes to visit the furry arms people (monsters?)

[On dividing people into tutorial groups] Ugly people come in this week, beautiful people come in another week... You'll get into fights. I don't want to get into fights. There are too many of you.

This is the Ancient Greek version of the 'Philosophy majors don't get jobs argument'.

Euthyphro is like a super-villian. He talks about himself in the third person.

I read a couple of scholarly essays on the Euthyphro. I'm not going to make you read any of them.

[On the circle of interests - Yourself, Your Family, Your Countrymen etc] When Mars Attacks, we stand shoulder to shoulder against the Martians. When someone from outside the Solar System attacks, we team up with the Martians.

If your dad spit on the sidewalk, you wouldn't march down and tell the authorities about that. That would be bizarre.

[To me on Philosophy] I find it very sad if this is your most fun module.

Zeus obviously comes from a dysfunctional family... It was prophesised that one of his [Cronos'] children would overthrow him, so he did what any parent would do. He ate his own children.

[On ethics] WWZD - What Would Zeus Do? That is the question.

[On early dismissal] I'm sending you into the sunlight 10 minutes early.

[On a home experiment] Before your destroy it, let's see how it works.

People who come to Arts: We are all very laid back people.

[On Science Girls] They don't wear slippers, they wear sandals. *Goes on to discourse about how Science Girls wear T-shirts and jeans, while Arts Girls wear tank tops, spaghetti straps, skirts and shorts*

30% of Arts Girls are attached

They behave according to irrationality (irrationally)

You just have to keep your imagination open (be imaginative)

Most people without a cell phone are the professors. They are always tied to the desk... They work 7/24 (Most professors do not have cell phones, their desks, 24/7)

As you can see in bungalow (Bangalore)

Now it's just so prevailing (prevalent)

She just quitted her job (quit)

The ong'line way to purchase things (online)

The very best get cheaper each year (gets)

How many of you pay for you Acrobat Reader? Photoshop? It's free. (Adobe Photoshop costs a bomb. It's free only if it's pirated)

I just want to get you excited about Economics, because it can really be applied to many areas.

I forgot to say something about Science Girls and Arts Girls. Science Girls don't wear hoop earrings.
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