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Valar Qringaomis

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Friday, August 13, 2004

Quote of the Post: "My favorite thing about the Internet is that you get to go into the private world of real creeps without having to smell them." - Penn Jillette

Random Playlist Song: Antonio Caprioli - E D'un Bel Matin D'amore (The Hilliard Ensemble)

***

Jiekai on the films act:


On a completely uneconomic note, it would be interesting, especially for all Singaporeans, to note that Michael Moore would never have been able to make his movie on a subject of similar vein in Singapore.

Very cunningly, our government had in 1998 thought up and passed a catch-all amendment to the Films Act, so as to prevent any Singaporean or foreign filmmaker from catching our politicians on film doing stupid things like make faces in front of the camera before making completely serious policy statements in parliament in order to discredit them.

The amendment bans all "party political films". But what are they? From the Films Act, which can be read on
http://statutes.agc.gov.sg/non_version/cgi-bin/cgi_getdata.pl?&actno=1998-REVED-107&date=latest&method=part&segid=#913859639-000675
,

"party political film" means a film -
(a) which is an advertisement made by or on behalf of any political party in Singapore or any body whose objects relate wholly or mainly to politics in Singapore, or any branch of such party or body; or
(b) which is made by any person and directed towards any political end in Singapore;

They are more than helpful in defining (b). Seriously.

(2) For the purposes of this Act, a film is directed towards a political end in Singapore if the film -
(a) contains wholly or partly any matter which is intended or likely to affect voting in any election or national referendum in Singapore; or
(b) contains wholly or partly either partisan or biased references to or comments on any political matter, including but not limited to any of the
following:
(i) an election or a national referendum in Singapore;
(ii) a candidate or group of candidates in an election;
(iii) an issue submitted or otherwise before electors in an election or a national referendum in Singapore;
(iv) the Government or a previous Government or the opposition to the Government or previous Government;
(v) a Member of Parliament;
(vi) a current policy of the Government or an issue of public controversy in Singapore; or
(vii) a political party in Singapore or any body whose objects relate wholly or mainly to politics in Singapore, or any branch of such party or
body.

And what sorts of punishments can be inflicted on you?

Making, distribution and exhibition of party political films
33. Any person who -
(a) imports any party political film;
(b) makes or reproduces any party political film;
(c) distributes, or has in his possession for the purposes of distributing, to any other person any party political film; or
(d) exhibits, or has in his possession for the purposes of exhibiting, to any other person any party political film, knowing or having reasonable
cause to believe the film to be a party political film shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding $100,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 2 years.

Heck, why not include anything the government doesn't like?

Minister may prohibit possession or distribution of any film
35. - (1) Notwithstanding the provisions of this Act if the Minister is of the opinion that the possession or distribution of any film would be
contrary to the public interest, he may, in his discretion, by order published in the Gazette prohibit the possession or distribution of that
film by any person.
(2) Any person who has in his possession or who distributes any film the possession or distribution of which has been prohibited under subsection (1) shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding $10,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 2 years or to both, and the film shall be destroyed or otherwise disposed of as the Minister thinks fit

Wow! Our dear friend George would surely wish that he could pass this sort of law to make Michael Moore and his chums shut up for good! ( But then again, in America it would have been ruled unconstitutional since it goes against the first amendment of the Bill Of Rights. )

Of course when queried about this, the ministers, members of parliament and the ministry spokesmen will always claim this law is necessary so as to prevent voters from being "misled". After all, as Lee Boon Yang said in December last year, "[p]eople can be swayed by what they see on TV or in the bold newspaper headlines. [The Media's] role is to inform and educate Singaporeans without compromising the nation's overriding need for social and political stability."
http://www.mita.gov.sg/pressroom/press_031112.htmlhttp://www.mita.gov.sg/pressroom/press_031112.html

That sounds pretty benign and commonsensical doesn't it? After all even I would cringe at say, some video calling for the tudung to be worn by all good muslim girls across Singapore, or even the sort of political mudslinging that Kerry and Bush are waging in television advertisements
across America. But the problem is that the definition of a political film is so vague that there are a great many things which can be considered an offence under this amendment. A Singapore version of Fahrenheit 9/11 would have been banned. The people who would putatively have made such a film could be fined or jailed.

Unless of course the people producing the political propaganda....er....informative material are from the government

Exemptions
40. -(1) This Act shall not apply to -
(a) any film sponsored by the Government;

The Nazis would have been proud.

Is this justified? You decide. For one thing I don't agree with it. Fortunately I have not and do not intend to make a movie about it ; )

***

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Maybe I should stop advertising for these buggers.

***

A soulless hotel called Singapore - "Singapore is becoming a more open and civic society. It must be so, because editorials in The Straits Times - a paper which unlike its decadent western counterparts, only deals in fact - constantly referred to it throughout June, two months before the transfer of leadership."
Originally published in Malaysiakini

4D numbers related to PM handover date sold out - "Since news broke overnight about the date of the handover of Singapore's Prime Ministership - 12 August - 4D numbers like 0812, 1208 and 1284 have been sold out."

The Phantom of The Opera - Joel Schumacher directs Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical. My brother in law predicts that it will suck.

ExtensionUninstaller 1 - "This extension allows you to uninstall any extension installed in your Mozilla browser with a nice user interface."
One less reason to switch to Firefox. I love Seamonkey!

The Most Untranslatable Word In The World - "The most untranslatable word in any language, reckon the translators, is ilunga, a word in the Bantu language of Tshiluba for a person who is ready to forgive any abuse for the first time; to tolerate it a second time; but never a third time."

Eat Chinese Food for a Long Life! - "Start eating like a rural Chinese peasant and you might add several healthy years to your life."
If I went on this diet, I'd die. So much for a longer life.

Steven Lim got SomethingAwfuled (so his site is offline). Meanwhile, PaRaDoX got Mr Browned.

Gates of Troy gold master stolen - "around 11:05[am] GMT, the Royal Mail postman was assaulted and his bags stolen."
Pirates are getting desperate.

I used the phrase "I am on the way to destruction" on a friend, but it didn't register. Neither did my follow-up ("all your base are belong to us"), so I went to look for the video to show her. Unfortunately, every site I went to hosted the original video, with insipid music and horrible voice acting. Luckily, Xephyris, who'd first introduced me to the AllYourBase phenomenon, was online, and he revealed that the version he'd sent me had been taken from OverClocked. That is the definitive Zerowing video for me, dubbed in a "Wayne Newton" voice (though I've no idea who Wayne Newton is). I suggest everyone go and download it and be stunned by the superb voice acting and remarkably appropriate music :)

Critic 1 asked me to change my Blogskin to this. I said I would, if she changed hers to this. Fortunately (or otherwise), she declined. Aww.

***

"Why prove to a man he is wrong? Is that going to make him like you? Why not let him save his face? He didn’t ask for your opinion. He didn’t want it. Why argue with him? Always avoid the acute angle.

During my youth, I had argued with my brother about everything under the Milky Way. When I went to college, I studied logic and argumentation, and went in for debating contests. Talk about being from Missouri, I was born there. I had to be shown. Later, I taught debating and argumentation in New York; and once, I am ashamed to admit, I planned to write a book on the subject... Since then, I have listened to, criticize, engaged in, and watched the effects of thousands of arguments. As a result of it all, I have come to the conclusion that there is only one way under high heaven to get the best of an argument – and that is to avoid it. Avoid it as you would avoid rattlesnakes and earthquakes."

- Extract from Dale Carnegie's "How To Win Friends And Influence People"

I believe in the Socratic method of finding truth. But then, Socrates was sentenced to death by drinking hemlock, so.


Cute poem:

My trusty shield adorns some Thracian foe; I
left it in a bush - not as I would! But I have
saved my life; so let it go. Soon I will get
another just as good.

- Archilochus of Paros

"After leaving Thasos, he is said to have visited Sparta but to have been at once banished from that city on account of his cowardice and the licentious character of his works (Valerius Maximus vi. 3, externa 1)"

***

I'm contemplating whether or not to watch lectures from the comfort of my home, especially those scheduled at unearthly times (eg 8am). A bonus would be that if I didn't catch a quote, I would be able to replay the webcast to retranscribe it properly. But then, I don't think I am that dedicated to my craft.


Some people have asked me why I am taking the module: SN1101E - SOUTH ASIA : PEOPLE, CULTURE, DEVELOP'M. My reply:

India, a land of all seasons.
India, a land of all reasons.

I was despairing since no one recognised the reference, but Mengchuan reaffirmed my faith in humanity when he was the only one to buck the trend :) (This tagline was used to promote India as a Tourist Destination in the mid-90s.)


On Wednesday we were served food at a mini-reception after our first South Asia lecture by the people (Teaching Assistants) who will be teaching us in the next semester. I am vaguely disturbed.

There seems to be 2 schools of thought regarding lecture notes (at least on the part of the lecturers). One holds that they are bad, since people won't copy down stuff, and thus internalise the information. There is also a moral hazard involved: people will then not listen to the lecture. Another holds that with lecture notes, students actually *listen* to what is being said, since it is almost impossible to copy, listen and understand what is being said, all at the same time. My Secondary 3 Geography teacher came up with a good compromise: Her geography notes came with blanks for us to fill in, so we could listen to what she was saying, while ensuring that we would pay at least -some- attention to her.

The seat-side tables in NUS Lecture Theatres are fixed. On the upside, they can't collapse while you're sleeping on them and embarass you (or worse - destroy your laptop), but on the downside, they make the seats quite hard to squeeze into.

On Wednesday, I saw a bicycle chained to a freshly painted railing, and the parts directly in contact with the railing were painted green. Gee. I am at a loss to explain the white paint splashed liberally over other parts of the bicycle, though.

I saw this guy with one earring in each ear, and a stud in his left ear. Ages ago, I was told that the rule for guys with earrings is that if they have one more earring on their left ears than their right ears, then they're not gay. I'm not sure if a stud counts in the calculations, though :0

Quan Teng on NTU girls: "kinda scary, haha like drug addict like tt... they look pale and some have bulging eyes". I asked him about NTU guys. His response? "i won't go rd noticing guys lah". Gah.

Jianwen is in the Mr Biz Ad pageant. Hahahahaha.


Quotes:

[On my slow rate of hair growth] Gabriel: We're not girls... Girls have a gene to make their hair grow faster.

At a quarter to two, we will stop... As a welcoming gesture to you, we have tea and snacks. I've been in Singapore for 5 years... The way to your hearts is tea and snacks... Having a lecture when you should be sitting in the canteen, having lunch.

I'm gonna set up a Arts Canteen Club [Someone: Meet 3 times a day]

A few years ago, we were much more controlling... If you didn't come [for tutorials] a second time, we'd send you a warning note. If you didn't come a third time, we'd call the police... Give them your picture - 'have you seen this boy or girl?'

We have a program here. After today, when a handphone goes off, a TA [Teaching Assistant] will come, collect the handphone, and give it to the (some words I didn't catch) nursing home... the elderly love giving calls to their children.

When I was young, back in BC times [laughter from audience] Before computers! Before computers!

How many of you are heterosexual, or homosexual, or bisexual?... All of these things involve relationships with other people (Having a sexuality does not mean that you engage in sexual interaction)

When I go to my friend's house for dinner, I don't march around and lecture people on sociology. Sometimes I do, and my wife smacks me.

fai'lo (philo)

[On section headings on a webpage] What may not be so clear is that those are hyperlinks... I made it a little too elegant to be obvious.

[On his cartoons] That's how I draw them. Socrates has twiddles on the head. Plato has twiddles on the beard.

This guy is a sort of wild Vienese philosopher. His name is Ludwig Wittgenstein. He has great hair. He died in 1951.

Wittgenstein... He was always tormenting his students by telling them one thing and then telling them another, so they'd think they were idiots.

Wondered if he was part a monster and part a human being. Wittgenstein's students wondered that about him, he was always very obnoxious to them.

When I first read Plato, I thought he was very boring. My teacher kept assuring me he was fascinating... After 6 years, I found him interesting.

[On some Greek word] I was going to make a joke about it. Now I can't remember the joke.

[On Alcibiades] He was Brad Pitt, basically. Everyone thought he was so much more handsome than everybody else.

[On Alcibiades' defection] It would be like if Brad pitt joined Al-Qaeda... That's too extreme... It would be like if Steve Jobs joined Microsoft.

[On Socrates] He used to say: 'I'm very beautiful, because my eyes bug out, so I can see in all directions. My nostrils flare, so I can get lots of air.

[On Socrates] He asks them questions, gets some answers. Asks them more questions, gets more answers, until they end up contradicting themselves. That's why he's so annoying to them.

[On pissing people off by asking probing, incisive questions as opposed to buttering them up and weaseling to them] Dale Carnegie is in the 100 Top Sellers [list], and Plato isn't.

I've taken Dale Carnegie's advice on many occasions, even though I like Plato. So that's my contradiction.

[Being sarcastic] If someone thinks that stars are made of cheese, just agree with them. That's the way to get ahead in science.

[On Socrates] 'The Golden Age of Athens and the Gadfly of Athens'. Or: 'How to Lose Friends and Get Executed by People'

[On the torching of Sardis by the Ionians, Athenians and Eretrians] They lost. Badly. But they managed to burn down the Western Capital. Maybe even by accident.

[On his picture of a vase] When you're drinking at night and you want to think about how great the Battle of Marathon was, it's nice to have a vase of an Athenian Hoplite clobbering some poor Persian slob. Makes you feel better about yourself.

[On Leonidas] 'Then we will fight in the shade'. A very good one [line], and of no philosophical interest.

Socrates was an example of how not to defend yourself.

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Quote of the Post: "Why do we kill people who are killing people to show that killing people is wrong?" - Holly Near

Random Playlist Song: Haydn - Harpsichord Divertimento H14 - 04 - 02 - C - Menuet; Trio; Menuet

***

[Advertisement I've been asked to post]

Enlarge your...

... exposure to arts dear. what were you thinking!



Ipod has been selling and the graphic'd explain why.



cmon don't deny it. sex sells. period.



at Raffles Players, we read the market well.


very well.


Catch Greek women exchange sex for peace. and Greek men, dignity for sex.


Lysistrata



Quite Literally Make Love, Not War...


20th / 21st August | 7pm | LT1 | $6




If you didn't get what the above was aiming at: Raffles Players (the RJC drama ECA) is presenting Aristophanes' Lysistrata, about how Greek women stop a war by denying their husbands congress.

Oh, and the iPod "ad" was censored to protect those with delicate sensibilities (ie those who complained about seeing PaRaDoX's moobs).

Those who want to purchase tickets should mail their names, contact numbers and number of tickets desired to Kelly at kelsabun@hotmail.com.

Addendum: The $6 goes to "charity" (Singapore International Foundation, for refugees I think), IIRC

***

My Fiance's Sister

My girlfriend and I had been dating for over a year and we decided to get married.

There was only one thing bothering me, very much indeed. That one thing was my finance's younger sister. My prospective sister-in-law was 20 years old, wore tight mini skirts and low cut blouses. Once my girlfriend announced our plans, her sister would regularly bend down near me and I enjoyed many pleasant views. It had to be deliberate -- I didn't notice her doing this near anyone else.

One day the sister called and asked me to come over to check the wedding invitations. She was alone when I arrived and whispered to me that soon I was to be married, and she had feelings and desires for me that she could not overcome. She told me that she wanted to make love to me -- just once -- before I got married and committed my life to her sister.

I was in total shock and couldn't say a word.

She said, "I'm going upstairs to my bedroom, and if you want to go ahead with it just come up and get me."

I was stunned. I was frozen in shock as I watched her go up the stairs. When she reached the top, she pulled down her panties and threw them down the stairs at me. I stood there for a moment, then turned and went straight to the front door. I opened the door, stepped out of the house, and began walking toward my car.

My future father-in-law was standing outside. With tears in his eyes, he hugged me and said, "We are very happy that you have passed our little test. We couldn't ask for a better man for our daughter. Welcome to our family!"

The moral of the story?

Be smart, like me. Always keep your condoms in your car.

[JumboJoke]

***

I was sorting through the Homepage Comments directory in my mail and archiving old messages, since Hotmail's promised 250MB of storage space is nowhere to be seen (we were supposed to get it in July or "later this summer", damnit!) and I prefer to keep my Inbox below 60%, in case someone decides to mailbomb me with a 300kb attachment *glares at He Who Must Not Be Named*

Amidst the good:

'Improve Your English' was very funny! Your entire site is FUN! I really enjoyed my visit :),

the bad:

fuck you you bastard.That is so not funny.What if that was real? What if that was real and that girl's mother hears what you said. Fake or not, it's still not funny,

and the ugly:

i love girls! im in 7th grade and have 5 girlfriends. it all atters on if their hot or not. also popularity. I also like french kissin'.

There are the occasional notes you'd never expect:

i just wish to thank you.. was feeling very low and down these few days.. cos of some personal tanglements.. would have persisted in my depressed state if not for ur page on "about me". honestly.. i cant tell u why and what perked me up.. was from neither of ur schs.. in ur rival jc somemore.. *smiles*.. i guess.. when u are feeling low.. u just wish for anything to lift ur spirits.. mayhap..

***

metastasis's National Day Post:

"Didn't our ancestors stay under equally shitty conditions? To look at just one segment of 'our ancestors', I'd have to answer: why yes, they did. They stayed after immigrating here in search of jobs, money and a better life–and either they were in time to start seeing some of these after a while, or obligations (lack of money for another move, family here, etc.) held them here. Apparently they are heroes for abandoning their motherland. Why are today's 'quitters' scum? Discuss."

There's a reason why no one talks about Quitters and Stayers anymore.

***

Interview with Yortsin:


1. What, in your opinion, is your best feature?
My eyelashes.

3. If you could be Hitler, Stalin or Mao for a day, who would you choose? Why?
I'd rather be Lee Kuan Yew because he's the man.

4. Which part of the job do you admire the most?
To shape, mould and 'corrupt' the minds of future leaders of Singapore.


I see he hasn't lost his sense of humour ;) Reminds me of my academic advisor, actually.

***

It's been so long since I went to school, I'd almost forgotten what it was like. Today, during Innovations in Technology, I didn't understand what was meant by "inertial mass" and "gravitational mass" (and still only half-understand it). My only comfort was that some girls (who after all are 2 fewer years out of school than I) were muttering after the lecture that he had no idea what he was talking about. Then again, the last time they touched Physics might have been at O levels.


I heard 2 girls (who shall remain anonymous by default, since I don't know their names) introducing themselves to each other. Barely half an hour later, they were talking like they were long-lost best friends.

Women.


There are no water coolers in NUS. Well, they have what they call water coolers, but these are more like hot-and-cold-water dispensers, and to drink from them, you need a bottle, cup or other receptacle to gather the water. Either that or put your mouth below the nozzle.

NUS used to have normal water coolers, but apparently they were all changed last year during the SARS scare. I suspect it's just an evil plot by the Vending Machine Uncles so they can earn more money.

(I *did* see one water cooler that escaped the purge, down by the spectator stands beside the track. Poor, lonely, solitary water cooler. You're the last of your kind.)


When my handphone is in my pocket, I can usually neither hear my ringtone (even if it is set to maximum volume) nor feel the (good) vibrations. So I end up having to call people back and not being able to take advantage of my free incoming calls. Gah.

For some reason, NUS requires us to use 2 login ids (one being our matriculation number, and one being our matriculation number with an extra zero and no last letter), and 2 passwords (one alphanumeric, one numerical pin). The latter, I can understand, given the doors requiring that you swipe your card and enter your pin, but why the former? Argh.

Some people had make up lectures last Saturday (during Rag). NUS - the only place where make up lectures start *before* the semester.


Quotes:

I hope you can join us for the refreshment break later.

***

The Rise, Fall and Rebirth of Adventure Gamebooks

Build a better Bush - "This November, we Americans pick our President, but until then, lets pick on our President. Use the pop-up menues to change Mr. Bush's face."

Three Tampa City Council Members Walk Out on Atheist's Invocation - "Three Tampa city council members walked out of chambers rather than listen to an atheist give the opening invocation."
Quote of the Post: "As if there was something romantic and glamorous about hard work ... if there was something romantic about it, the Duke of Westminster would be digging his own fucking garden, wouldn't he?" - Jeffrey Bernard

Random Playlist Song: Bach - Gieb dich zufrieden und sei stille, BWV 315

***

Wo-hen has just updated his Xanga. Looks like he's still alive ;)

In his most recent entry, he linked to someone's discourse on hoop earrings:

The bigger the hoops, the bigger the hooch. The diameter of a hoop is directly proportional to how easily she puts out. There are other things to keep into consideration also, such as hoop thickness and hoop material.

Here are some quick hoop facts:
Critical diameter: 1 inch - anything under is safe

Thickness:
Really thin = cheap hoops = cheap slut
Really thick = strong hoops = puts out a lot

Double hoops: does anal
Triple hoops: takes it up every orifice

Material:
"Gold" - most likely fake
"Silver" - most likely fake
Plastic - cheap slut


I'm not quite an expert on hoop earrings, but do feel the urge to tug off (gently, or otherwise) anything above this guy's "critical diameter".


Funny comments on Wo-hen's Xanga:

"if youre so rich, why dont you have xanga premium?
Posted 8/8/2004 at 12:24 AM by Legin

because he's cool enough without it
Posted 8/8/2004 at 11:35 AM by OblivionPrime"

Indeed.

***

Tales of Wireless Home Networking:

Now when I access my workgroup from My Network Places on my laptop, it works and I can see the laptop itself as a member of the workgroup (but not my desktop, unfortunately).

However, when I try to access my workgroup from My Network Places, it pauses for a long time before displaying the workgroup, and when I try to enter the workgroup, it still pauses for a long time and then gives me the message:

"[Workgroup name] is not accessible. You might not have permission to use this network resource. Contact the administrator of this server to find out if you have access permissions.

The list of servers for this workgroup is not currently available"

Well, at least I've made *some* progress.

To the anonymous person who suggested I try logging off, then on again: Sorry, that didn't seem to work.

***

Some time back, I was bemoaning how my buggy phone kept truncating my ringtones. I thought that this was due to buggy phone software, so I flashed my phone's firmware, to no avail (none of the other bugs were fixed either. Later I found that this was because the firmware version they flashed to my phone was the same as what was already on the phone. Damnit). Today, I noticed that the same thing had happened to a new midi I had uploaded. Thinking it might be a problem with the midi, I tried uploading another version of the song and found, to my disgust, that it was truncated too, albeit at a different point.

Going back to my phone gallery, I noticed that both the ringtones that kept being cut off in mid-play were of the same suspicious file size - 15.0kb. Scrolling down, I found just one midi longer than 15.0kb, and it was one I had downloaded via GPRS.

The obvious conclusion: the Nokia Sound Convertor was the culprit! In their eagerness to save users' phone memories, the people coding the application made it truncate ringtones uploaded to phones at 15.0kb, but neglected to include a note to this effect (it wasn't even in the help file).

While I appreciate their thoughtfulness, some people might want to upload really long and/or complex ringtones to the phone - to test the "16 chords" (16 notes played simultaneously) function that their phone is supposed to be able to support, for example. What they should have done was to make truncation optional, or better yet - provide an option to control the maximum ringtone file size (ie the point at which the midis are truncated).

I've sent a note touching on this to Nokia Care Singapore. I hope it'll find its way to the Nokia PC Suite team.

***

It seemed that everyone but me watched Singapore Idol last night. I was curious about what happened, and some people related how some of the contestants made fools of themselves. Most people were quite amused by them: the "mosquito" man who sang so softly that no one could hear him, and the person who refused to leave, among others.

Some of these antics sounded so unbelievable, I wondered if the people engaging in them had been employed by the producers of the show. Someone said that if that were the case, no would watch the show, but I brought up the example of the Original Reality TV Show - the World Wrestling Federation.

Me: If wrestling is scripted, why do people watch it?
Someone: Because the script is good.

A few people had tipped me off about the appearance, on the show, of "Singapore's Most Handsome Guy, Steven Lim - the Famous Street Eyebrow Plucker". Everyone I asked said they were disgusted by his prancing around clad only in his trademark yellow underwear (I'm not surprised). Pity I missed his performance. But in my discussions, a good idea came up - pair Handsome Boy Steven Lim with Xiaxue. Should be a perfect match :)

***

"I realised that there are two kinds of people that I don't like. En Mings and Yaodongs."

Jiax, clearly still haunted by his JC class.



- As quoted by Eat Me. Just Eat Me.

Yes, but the difference is the latter deliberately makes himself disliked. Or at least I hope it's deliberate.

***

kureshi:

"Social Night. Bane of the girlfriend-less, showroom of the girlfriend-ed. It's this Wednesday, and I haven't successfully gotten anyone to accompany me... I'm preparing to sign 7 extras. Yes, there's a dumb rule stating that if you don't turn up or if you don't bring a female, you have to sign 7 extras. No comments on this rule from me; I don't know how to phrase them anyway. But hey, if you're interested in eating free food from Conrad International, or just want to take a look at what the future leaders of the SAF are like, just message me (if you have my phone number) or leave me an email (if you don't). Do leave a name and contact, of course. I'll work something out if this happens." (full post)

For those not in the know, 7 extras are baaaaaaaaad. I know. I signed 7 extras before.

So if by some miracle someone who wants to eat free food from Conrad International, and/or see how the flower (or otherwise) of our youth are turning out reads this before Wednesday night, please email poor kureshi at kuraijo@yahoo.com.sg

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Home-made Spiderman "suit" (not for those with delicate sensibilities)

Monday, August 09, 2004

Quote of the Post: "Beware the leader who bangs the drums of war in order to whip the citizenry into a patriotic fervor, for patriotism is indeed a double-edged sword. It both emboldens the blood, just as it narrows the mind. And when the drums of war have reached a fever pitch and the blood boils with hate and the mind has closed, the leader will have no need in seizing the rights of the citizenry. Rather, the citizenry, infused with fear and blinded by patriotism, will offer up all of their rights unto the leader and gladly so. How do I know? For this is what I have done. And I am Caesar." - Misattributed to Julius Caesar

Random Playlist Song: The Chinese University of Hong Kong Student Chorus - Siyahamba

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Fanmail I got:

"I must admit that I myself knew very little about NS before my Enlistment Day, too little, on hindsight, so much so that I was even pro-NS until soon after (probably before I finished my BMT) I enlisted."

Heh heh. A little knowledge is a dangerous thing.

***

Randall Wong

With his exceptional vocal range and virtuosity, Randall Wong leads audiences on a journey of discovery; he is a true male soprano. His pure, agile voice and remarkable technique have made him a pioneer in the revival and performance of early music. He has inspired living composers to create unique operatic roles for him. Among his credits are engagements with the Boston Early Music Festival, San Francisco Symphony, West German Radio, Houston Grand Opera, San Francisco Opera, New York City Opera, and the Dresden Semperoper. In recital, he captivates audiences, recreating the performance style of lesser-known works of the baroque and early classical periods and introducing unfamiliar new repertory.

- As introduced by InfernoXV

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mini:

"I suddenly developed a huge appetite for American satire. Was watching Jay Leno and Comedy Night and Saturday Night Live till 1am yesterday on CNN, laughing my ass away. That's what you call freedom of speech.

Singapore should stop lamenting about how its people have the lack of interest in politics, and start doing something about it. I mean, just look at what happened after the Catherine Lim incident and LKY's comment on that, from Lee Kuan Yew: The Man and His Ideas:

"Supposing Catherine Lim was writing about me and not the prime minister . .. She would not dare, right? Because my posture, my response has been such that nobody doubts that if you take me on, I will put on knuckle-dusters and catch you in a cul de sac . . . Anybody who decides to take me on needs to put on knuckle dusters. If you think you can hurt me more than I can hurt you, try. There is no other way you can govern a Chinese society."

That explains why I'm so much more interested in American politics than what is happening at home. Singapore is so unhappening, with newpapers that pride themselves as government mouthpieces and a government party with a lightning bolt as its logo (striking down any opposition at lightning speed). It is controversy and dispute that breeds interest, and I'm sad to say there is no hint of any of those elements in Singapore politics. All the talk of political openness in Singapore is really much ado about nothing, and there is this facade of democracy taking place in Singapore when in reality nothing has changed.

I'm sorry, but I'd rather stick to CNN and follow the America elections, than to quietly wait till August 12 for that peaceful, undisputed, dynastic leadership succession when DPM Lee takes over as Prime Minister. There's quite a similarity between DPM Lee and Bush, with the inane look and sardonic smile. What's the world coming to?

I just watched Fahrenheit 9/11 and it was quite a shocking punch in the face of the Bush administration. It's so controversial you can't help but want to find out more, be it fact or fiction.

But that's what makes politics interesting, no?"

And people wonder why our college students are apathetic.

***

Q: When does the boy scout first become a man?
A: When he's had his first brownie.

(Courtesy of infinitesimility)

***

Panasonic camera ad. And a Banasonic chicken ad.

Mouse created without father - "Scientists turn egg cell into surrogate sperm."

The virtue of idleness - "Kubla Khan came to Coleridge in a dream, as did the tune for Yesterday to Paul McCartney. The idea for Frankenstein revealed itself to the young Mary Shelley in a waking dream; Einstein said that a breakthrough in his theory of relativity had come to him in a dream; Descartes had a dream that set him on the path towards his whole philosophical system (he said it was "the most important affair" of his life). JK Rowling was staring out of the window on a train when the idea, plot and characters for Harry Potter came to her. The art of living is the art of bringing dreams and reality together. I have a dream. It is called love, anarchy, freedom. It is called being idle "

List of company name etymologies - "Canon - from Kannon, the Japanese name of the Buddhist bodhisattva of mercy. The name was changed to Canon to avoid offending religious groups."
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