"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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Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Quote of the Post: "Architecture is the art of how to waste space." - Philip Johnson

Random Playlist Song: Cambridge Singers - Elizabeth Poston - Jesus Christ the Apple Tree

1. The tree of life my soul hath seen,
Laden with fruit and always green:
The trees of nature fruitless be
Compared with Christ the apple tree.

2. His beauty doth all things excel:
By faith I know, but ne'er can tell
The glory which I now can see
In Jesus Christ the apple tree.

3. For happiness I long have sought,
And pleasure dearly I have bought:
I missed of all; but now I see
'Tis found in Christ the apple tree.

4. I'm weary with my former toil,
Here I will sit and rest awhile:
Under the shadow I will be,
Of Jesus Christ the apple tree.

5. This fruit doth make my soul to thrive,
It keeps my dying faith alive;
Which makes my soul in haste to be
With Jesus Christ the apple tree.

There's a more folk music version available here which has roughly the same tune (sans harmony, since it's only one woman singing to a guitar). I prefer the Cambridge Singers' version though :)

***

Some may recall my posting of the lyrics and recording of the USP song "That's What I Call an Education". The composer, writer and performer has recently contacted me and wishes me to add a disclaimer:

"Hi, thanks for hosting the song. Even greater thanks for reserving your comments on it. I'll reserve my own comments on it too.

For the sake of our friends in the USP admin, however, I should clarify that "That's What I Call an Education" is NOT the official song of the USP. It has not been officially adopted as such. Or rather, it has officially not been adopted. For now it's just a song for the USP. I'd appreciate if you amend the description of the MP3 on your site and blog accordingly."

Ahh. Everyone I'd asked whom I'd assumed to be in the know had told me that it was the official USP song. Oh well.

***

Shawn, who shall be closing his site for the second time at the end of the year on Brown:

"I don’t hate Brown; I hate the entire college experience. Brown’s a great place per se. Brown’s a great place per se. If you’re an unsuspecting high school kid who hasn’t been made cynical by two years of military service and countless sordid experiences including but not restricted to getting robbed and assaulted in a foreign country, then I’d wholeheartedly encourage you to apply here. You’ll get drunk on cheap beer, smoke lots of pot, smile a lot, and overall have a great time.

But if you were me, you’d hate living in a dorm with something like 600 other freshmen. You’d miss the anonymity of city life, and you’d want the freedom to act like an asshole without having to worry that you’re going to run into the person you just pissed off another day on campus. You’d hate Frisbees and make a vow that if anyone hits you accidentally with one, you’re going to grab the motherfucking object and break it in half. You’d hate the fact that butt-ugly Chinese girls are going out with white guys with a pathetic Asian fetish. You’d hate the fact that people pay lip service to racial tolerance because they just form little conglomerates of their own racial groups. You’d see other Singaporeans sitting with a group of 6 other Chinese people, and you’d find it disturbing.

You’d walk around all day with a pissed-off look on your face, because fuck it, you are pissed off all day. You’d realize that while there are lots of people you’re friendly with, that doesn’t necessarily mean you have any friends. You’d boycott frat parties, just because. You’d cease to find the stupid motherfuckers who set off the fire alarm in your dorm at 4 a.m. on a Saturday morning funny. You’d take photos of the stupid fucker who got sent to the hospital for drinking too much and had to get his stomach pumped, and everyone would look at you like you’re such an asshole for taking photos. Then you’d shrug and say, “I’m Japanese, we take photos of everything.” You’d figure that Americans have such a myopic and American-centric worldview that they think Singapore and Japan are the same place anyway.

You’d smoke a lot of cigarettes, and I mean, a LOT of cigarettes. What else are you supposed to do while standing on the Main Green between classes and you don’t have anyone to talk to? You’d sulk a lot and say stuff like, the people who say college is the best time of their lives are the ones who got shitty jobs after it.
You’d realize that, on the balance, while you hate Brown, you’d hate any other place even more venomously, and since college is a necessary precursor to a job you’re going to hate for the rest of your life even while you devote 100 hours a week to it and get way too much money, you’d realize that you only really have to spend 3 years in this place, so just grin and bear it and smile at everyone who says hello to you, even though you have no idea what the hell their names are.

Come to Brown, kids. It’s the happiest place in the world, it is."

I hope he will eventually find a place he *is* happy in.

***

My little bird:

Him: did you read the exercepts from the pamphlet i rcvd from them kkk(oops, i mean,ccc) people?

"present arrangement of continents was caused by a rapid breakup of a single land mass" ...hey man has anyone found koalas in antarctica or penguins in africa?

"evolution would argue for things improving whereas i see everything falling to pieces"...hey man evolution provides the most credible explanation for the useless body parts animals have (human beings' wisdom teeth, chickens who can't fly with their wings,..

Me: yeah I'm sure the reason Australia has marsupials is because god, on a whim, decided to endow them with pouches

Him: "...there are no observations in astronomy that disprove the Genesis account"...er, i recall God created the moon as a "light" in Genesis though the light comes from the sun!

Me: do any biology or life science students subscribe to Creation "Science"? it would be ridiculous if they did. like a physicist not believing in the theory of gravity

Him: "...natural selection (a fact, incidentally) does not increase the number of varients, it decreases them..." err, hahaha, well consider a black rabbit and a white rabbit having kids...and what about tigons (offspring of male tigers and female lions), ligers (offspring of male lions and female tigers) and zedonks (offspring of a zebra and donkey parent)?

Me: what do they have to do with natural selection?
http://errancypage.home.mindspring.com/chapter5.html
this is good stuff. about how genesis is rubbish

"Take the mindset of an ancient Hebrew for a moment and forget any contemporary understanding you have of the world. You can glance at the sky above and observe that it's the color of water, and, periodically, water falls from above. With no further evidence to consider, the logical conclusion would be that there's a mass of water in the sky. Again, a solid body would be necessary to contain this oceanic reservoir. Perhaps windows open in the firmament to allow rainfall (Genesis 8:2)"

Him: it doesn't. but the above counterexamples show that variants can actually increase, this is independent of natural selection or creationist "science".

truly i don't know how the !@#%*) people actually believe in the basis of creationist "science".....i briefly and inadvertently overheard a "discussion" among two cccc's (the last "c" for christian) on macroevolution being definitely false...sigh.

there's enough evidence for macroevolution on www.talkorigins.com [Ed: It's actually www.talkorigins.org)

that exposingsatanism website is ridiculously rabid hahahhahaha. seems to be run, funded and maintained by people whom you don't have to take seriously (unless you meet them in a dark alley on a dark night, and they're armed with M16s/Uzis/Kalashnikovs/Glocks and you have only your empty handbag).

oh, and if you really do attend thursday's "science" talk, please don't forget bring a poodle, cocker spaniel and german shepherd, and ask whoever's chairing the "science" talk on whether s/he believes in the existence of dogs - and point out the obvious science that all three of these species are commonly known as dogs because they have a common ancestor.

if s/he stands fast, point to the different species within the same family of cats, cows, penguins, horses, elephants and apes.

if even that fails, point out that in her logic, the group people don't exist either, since people are all either (last time i knew) mongoloid, caucasoid and negroid, and plenty of other "species" in-between...and tell her that when people use the term "cat", "dogs", "humans", "monkeys", "bears" etc, they are unknowingly affirming macroevolution.

i'm no scientist, but if creation "scientists" want to put forward the idea of miraculous creation, they'd better start calling each and every sub-species of every animal by its scientific name ("'PANTHERA tigris'?! BLASPHEMY! A TIGER CANNOT BE A PANTHER!!! and 'TIGER' implies common descent of these tigers! Let's have totally unrelated names for the Bengali tiger and the White Siberian tiger to show God's irreducibly complex universe! )


Addendum: Techno Prince adds:

"Actually, the Siberian tiger isn't white; white tigers are mutant variations of the Bengal Tiger subspecies.

And as for looking at common descent, and comparing the different members of the cat, or dog family, Creationists will point out that these are examples of diversity within created 'kinds'.

And the continents DID result from the breakup of a single supercontinent... although "rapid" is not the term I would use for it."

***

As part of its continuing efforts to piss its users off, M$N "Less Useful Everyday" Hotmail has come up with yet another grand scheme.

It was bad enough when clicking on links in your email made them open in a frame with a totally useless message ("You are visiting a site outside of Hotmail. To return to Hotmail, close this browser window") on top, and waiting too long before clicking on said links produced an error ("Your email message has been idle and this link has become inactive"), necessitating a reload of your mail message. It was worse when the links to various sections of Hotmail (Home, Junk Mail, your various mail folders, Compose etc) were changed from normal links to Javascript links.

Now I open Hotmail and what do I see? Links in your email now have javascript appended to them to make them open in a new window! Oh-so-conveniently, without adding any new functionality at all, Hotmail has just negated the conveniences and advantages of tabbed browsing! Joy.

***

Power Rangers Dino Thunder - Volume 3: White Thunder - "Currently in its twelve season, “Power Rangers” shows no sign of slowing down. With great writing and superb acti-- sorry, I can’t. “Power Rangers Dino Thunder” is so bad, it’s good."
Heh heh

mini alerts us to a new M$N virus: "Talking about periods, there's this MSN virus that changes your nick to I GOT MY PERIOD in big angry CAPS. I initially thought this was merely the result of the stressful times but after a while when the guys started having that as their nicks...". It doesn't look like a very impressive virus.

Freedom of Information Act training video is not released to public - "The Defense Department has produced a training video that instructs its staff on how to handle requests under the federal Freedom of Information Act. But don't request a screening; the video itself is secret."

Police discover dog at wheel - "Subsequent investigation made indicates that the dog was celebrating the Canadian victory in the world hockey game and knocked the truck into gear, causing it to roll down the hill"

Amateur hurricane cures: From giant fans to nuclear warheads - "Suggestions have included coating the surface of the water with olive oil; towing an iceberg down to Florida to cool down the water temperature; or building large fans on the coast to blow away approaching storms... By far the most outlandish proposal, and one of the most recurrent, was the idea to use a nuclear warhead to blow a hurricane out of the water. 'Hurricanes are bad enough without being radioactive... Put that genie back in the bottle. Nuclear weapons are more dangerous than hurricanes.'"
This sounds like me during Upper Secondary Geography class :)

Kalashnikov targets vodka market - "At 82 per cent proof, the drink may prove as powerful as its famous AK-47 assault rifle... 'I’ve always wanted to improve and expand on the good name of my weapon by doing good things.'"
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