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Meesa gonna kill you!

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Saturday, December 11, 2004

"Nobody believes the official spokesman... but everybody trusts an unidentified source." - Ron Nesen

Random Playlist Song: Trevor Pinnock - The English Concert and Choir: Handel - Messiah - All We Like Sheep Have Gone Astray (chorus)

All we, like sheep, have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way, and the lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.


Random Trivia bit: Guinness once had an ad campaign that proclaimed that their beer was 'Good For You'.

For a time, some Irish hospitals prescribed Guinness Stout to their post-operative patients to help them regain their strength. Some people even thought that using Guinness for bathing newborn babies was a good idea!

In West Africa, where Guinness Stout has a large and devoted following, Guinness is not only touted as being "Good for You" but it is common knowledge that "A Guinness a day will harden your stools"! Watch out makers of Kaopectate and Metamucil, your share of the soft stool remedy market may shrink dramatically once this gets around. Also, a local nickname for Guinness Stout is "Liquid Beef". (Beers Through The Years)

***

The "Military Uniform Fetish" thread on Singapore Army Stories is hilarious:

"Uh... guys, does anyone have a thing for girls in No. 4? Not school uniform (even though that's attractive in a different way)"


"Seriously, even when I walk on the streets, I would watch the backview of the guys in uniform, and giggle myself silly and blushing at the same time *beams* well, backviews, simply cos they look better that way, more room for fanta...erm, imagination I mean... I even.... tried his 2 diff uniforms on cos i tot the uniform looked yummy! somehow, number 4 makes them looks as if they have all authority over me, and that... they are in control. *roarrrrrrr*"


"putting an army uniform on a regular is like putting and shirt and tie on a dog. simple as that."


"The Army uniform miraculously makes a man look manly, strong, self sacrificial and commanding. A uniformed man makes me, and many other women I believe, feel protected. And appeals to the xiao nu ren type of women. Even if you can't bring yourself to admit it to your friends, you are that sort deep down."


"I'm a big hentai fan myself, I think it's funny! Probably my male pals show me such pics because they know all that."

***

I just filed a Gecko layout bug on text selection on StevenLim.net. The coders are going to freak out when they visit the site.

Maybe I should try making a testcase so they won't be traumatised. Heh heh.

***

Subject: How to Quit Smoking. . . .

Message: Collect and play fighting fantasy gamebooks! Just like me, i have not smoked a single cigarette for 2 months, since i purchased and played fighting fantasy! Thanks to all of you!! I'm so happy!! Instead of buying a pack, i save the money for my next FF gamebook.


Ho ho.

***

"The true test must surely be whether racial minorities perceive themselves as receiving equal treatment (notwithstanding Constitutional protections) and whether the Government makes changes both attitudinally and structurally to ensure racial equality.

As long as the law continues to state that racial equality is too "sensitive" to be discussed openly and publicly — even at the forsaken Speakers' Corner — I will continue to believe Singaporeans are not mature enough to think about and debate the issue of race.

Our "equality" is the product of a well-managed system, rather than a genuine tolerance and acceptance of each other's difference."

Paul Tan on the faux Racial "Equality" in Singapore

***

KOTOR Conversation Thread of the day:


Main character: Handon is lying.

Bolook: Why do you believe that?

Main character: Fat people always lie.

Bastila: Don't be absurd. Can't you be serious?

Bolook: That... is a novel assumption. The degree of corpulence in an individual has not been scientifically linked to honesty and I find your adherence to that belief... remarkable.

Bolook: It does not, however, constitute evidence.

***

Hatemail in Guestbook: wow. why dont you get a life instead of complaining about everything.

My response: You could also get a life instead of flaming people who complain about everything :)


***

Funny commercial about cowboys who herd cats.

Malaysian Brothel / Holiday Gifts / Great PR Fanfic / Links 11th December 2004

"Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from a religious conviction." - Blaise Pascal

Addendum: "Jamais on ne fait le mal si pleinement et si gaiement que quand on le fait par conscience"

Random Playlist Song: Trevor Pinnock - The English Concert and Choir: Handel - Messiah - He Was Despised (Contralto, Air)


Random Trivia bit: It is the function of a coroner to conduct inquiries into all deaths which are not natural or expected. However, originally the job of coroner was to perform the following functions: Safeguarding the monarch's property, Tax collector, Trying felony cases.

One of the earliest recorded instances of the appointment of coroner was in 1194 by King Richard I (Richard the Lionheart) of England. The name was derived from the Latin 'corona' meaning crown. Coroners were responsible for raising revenue from taxes on the dead and their property. Suicides were of special interest because it was against the law to commit suicide, as it was considered self-murder. The law required that any property of the suicide victim had to be forfeited to the king. Families would attempt to hide suicides from the authorities so it was the job of the coroner to ferret them out and claim their property for the king. (Basic Forensic Science 2)

***

Malaysian police bust brothel in pigsty

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 9 (AFP) - Malaysian police have busted a brothel in an abandoned pigsty after housewives complained that their husbands spent a surprising amount of time there, police said Thursday.

The pigsty, with 20 cubicles, had been furnished with tables, fans, a bar serving alcohol, neon lights and a sound system, Selangor state Criminal Investigations Department chief Abu Bakar Mustafa told AFP.

"We were tipped off about the place after several housewives complained that their husbands were spending too much time at this 'pigsty'," Abu Bakar said.

Police had placed the pigsty under surveillance before moving in on Wednesday, arresting three prostitutes from China, a Malaysian pimp and 30 clients, he said. Other prostitutes managed to escape.

Police released the clients, mainly local businessmen and fishermen, after recording their statements, Abu Bakar said.


Someone: I'm trying to imagine just WHAT kind of excuse these people gave their wives for "spending too much time at the 'pigsty'"

***

Holiday Gifts Don't Have to be Expensive

"Christmas is tight this year. I've learned to make bedroom slippers out of the plentiful pads we have here.

These slippers are soft and hygienic. They have non-slip grip strips on the soles, and the built-in deodorant feature keeps feet smelling fresh. No more bending over to mop up spills! And they're disposable and biodegradable, too.

Plus you can decorate them in festive seasonal ways:

Let me know what size you want -- Regular, Light Day, or Maxi:


Happiest of holidays!

Your friend,

Martha Stewart
Inmate 55170-054"

***

Ashes to Ashes

I don't read all that much PR fanfic, but this story's quite good.

From my casual survey of extant PR fanfic, I find that most of it comes from the first 6 seasons, when they didn't change the cast each season, and especially the first 4 seasons, which had the most inter-season continuity. Changing the cast each season might keep actors' salaries down and the show fresh, and allow yearly teamups, but it also inhibits character development (how much can you accomplish in 38-40 episodes of 20 minutes each?) and prevents the actors from gaining lasting fan appeal, which is why you see the earlier rangers having larger fanbases (though the Yellow Dino Thunder ranger seems to be an exception).

***

People of my generation seem to lose their handphones, or get their handphones stolen/damaged rather often.

***

How can intelligent people use alternative medicine? - "Richard Dawkins, one of Britain's most eminent scientists, explains why, by definition, alternative medicine doesn't work. If a particular alternative treatment can be shown before a panel of qualified doctors to work, then it isn't called "alternative" any more. It's just medicine. "'Alternative' is another word for 'ineffective'", he says."

Can the Sciences Help Us to Make Wise Ethical Judgments?

Study finds benefits in GM crops - "Not only did the project find no evidence of seed depletion, it also pointed to potential benefits for farmers of growing the GM crops."

Female Students With Mobile Phones Face Campus Ban, Fines - "Female college students carrying mobile phones with cameras on campus in any college in the Kingdom [of Saudi Arabia] could face a SR500 fine and 3-year suspension under recent regulations issued by the Ministry of Education."

SPAM Returns the Favor, Official Monty Python Flavor of SPAM to be Introduced - "Broadway-bound MONTY PYTHON'S SPAMALOT, a new musical lovingly ripped off from the motion picture "Monty Python and the Holy Grail," is being honored by Hormel Foods with the introduction of a limited edition flavor, SPAM™ golden honey grail in a "SPAMALOT collector's edition" can."

Gizmodo : Toyoto i-foot and i-unit - "Technically they aren't robots, but mechanized mobility suits."
Damn japs...

More weird Jap shit: A handbook of how to flirt and play with mannikins, from the 1960s or so

Spurned girlfriend focuses her rage on the wrong guy - "She overtook the vehicle and rammed it three times, pushing it partially off the road... but when they came to a stop, she saw that it wasn't her boyfriend or his car. "

Michael Paulus :: Skeletal Systems - "Animation was the format of choice for children's television in the 1960s, a decade in which children's programming became almost entirely animated. Growing up in that period, I tended to take for granted the distortions and strange bodies of these entities. I decided to take a select few of these popular characters and render their skeletal systems as I imagine they might resemble if one truly had eye sockets half the size of its head, or fingerless-hands, or feet comprising 60% of its body mass."

Friday, December 10, 2004

Following are extracts from: David Brown (1994), "Ethnicity and Corporatism in Singapore", The State and Ethnic Politics in Southeast Asia, London: Routledge, pp 78-106. Apparently at least half the level was flummoxed by the article.

Getting to read articles like this (there's another one on Civil Society) is one reason why everyone should take SC1101E - Making Sense of Society (the introductory Sociology module)!


"Corporatism refers to attempts by an avowedly autonomous state elite to organize the diverse interest associations in society so that their interests can be accommodated within the interdependent and organic national community. It points to: 'The ideal of a harmonious, well-regulated, nonconflictive society, based on moral principles and well-defined norms which are issued and maintained by the public authority, the state... There should be some intragroup autonomy and self-regulation, but the very existence of groups and their relationships with each other are granted and regulated by the state... It is the state that legitimates and enfranchises group and individual participation in public affairs... This is exactly the opposite of the... Western European tradition, in which society and its groups legitimate the power of the state.'"

"Military regimes... in which the state machinery was highly institutionalized, centralized and monopolistic, and in which the masses were deprived of opportunities for autonomous political participation. In some cases, limited political participation was restored by these bureaucratic-authoritarian states, but the form and content of such participation was restricted to ensure that it posed no threat to the stability, unity and economic development of the system."

"Corporatism constitutes a strategy which has been employed in states facing crises of both early and late industrialization, but its emergence in Third World states has tended to be sparked off particularly by the need to curtail populist participation when new economic policies demand sacrifices from the emergent working class. The restriction of mass participation initially enables the technocratic elite to concentrate on the administration of economic development. But if they are to get the active co-operation of the masses in economic restructuring, then the elite must move towards reliance, not on coercive or authoritarian domination, but rather on rebuilding a co-operative partnership between state and society, initially by employing strategies of economic tripartism which institutionalize state-supervised co-operation between state, management and workers' unions. In promoting such institutions for corporatist participation, the state elite seeks to attain both legitimacy and control."


"The Singaporean 'middle class' does not conform to the 'liberal' model of professionals who, because of their wealth, skills and predominantly private-sector occupations, are economically independent of the state, and therefore also politically independent. Thus the percentage of the educated elite employed by the state remains remarkably high, averaging about 40 per cent, and the combination of a stress on deference (promoted as an 'Asian value') and of material prosperity, has produced a 'depoliticized culture' which is not conducive to the spread of ideas of individual or group liberty rights against the state. Thus Ho Wing Meng has argued that:

'Propserity and material well-being... have given rise to... the growing cult of materialism, and with it, the related phenomena of cupidity, philistinism, political apathy, alienation and, for many people, a sense of spiritual deprivation. For most Singaporeans, this cult of materialism takes the form of an obsessive preoccupation with the pursuit and acquisition of pecuniary and material gains and the honorific display of wealth.'


"Corporatism is also inhibited by the impact which the anti-corporatist values of western liberal-democracies have had on Singaporean society, which ensure that government leaders, even while pursuing policies with corporatist implications, continue to legitimate them in part by acknowledging liberal and pluralist ideals; hence the cryptic and illusory quality of much of the language and practice of Singaporean politics."

"In the case of Singapore, the corporatist tendency has extended to incorporate the ethnic dimension to such an extent that the state elites have developed a marked predisposition to depict and to organize Singaporean society along primarily ethnic lines, even for the discussion of economic, political and social issues which do not relate directly to the ethnic realm of linguistic, religious or racial matters."

[On the shift from the 'Ethnic Mosaic' policy of the 1960s to Meritocracy in the 1970s] "The aim was to change ethnicity from being a problem in the way of national integration, towards making it a resource conducive to both unity and development... The state promoted national unity by fostering a 'garrison mentality' in which the potentially destabilizing and subversive implications of ethnic loyalties were stressed."

"The portrayal of Singapore as a meritocracy implied the adoption of an ethnically neutral portrayal of the Singaporean national identity, but it had the additional function of legitimating the government's strategy of discouraging political participation. The meritocratic argument asserted that there was equality of opportunity in the hierarchically organized and highly competitive society, and that the resultant socio-economic inequalities were the just and fair outcome of universalistic procedures. In terms of politics and power, the implication was that those who attained political elite positions did so because they had the most merit and were best fitted for government by their expertise. It followed that the job of government should be left to these experts, while the ordinary people pursued the non-political occupations for which their own levels or forms of merit best suited them."

"The PAP government sought to inculcate what has been termed a 'spectator' political culture into the populace. The aim was: 'to create a nonideological [national] identity, or if this seems to be a contradiction in terms, an identity through an 'ideology of pragmatism'. Discussion of basic questions of political philosophy and ideology, even political discussion in general, was severely curbed until it flowed at a low ebb out of public purview.'"

"Singaporean society is complex in its ethnic diversity (with, for example, at least forty-two dialect/language groups) but the government sought, with increasing intensity during the 1970s, to promote the image of an 'official four race model' of society. The diverse cultures of each racial group were 're-created' into four cultural compartments, portrayed as internally homogeneous and mutually distinctive. Thus, for example, Malay and English-speaking Baba Chinese were educated in their 'mother-tongue' which, according to government ideology, is Mandarin."

"'Singapore's Multiracialism puts Chinese people under pressure to become more Chinese, Indians more Indian, and Malays more Malay, in their behavior.'"

"The main response of the government to these problems [of dramatizing its argument that loyalty to nation constituted a morally absolute commitment] has been to promote repeatedly the 'garrison mentality'; to publicize the various dangers and threats facing Singapore which make the defensive unity of the whole community imperative to the country's very existence. It is this siege view of politics which lies behind the idea, promoted by the government after 1965, that Singapore's national ideology was the 'ideology of survival'."

"National unity has also been promoted by the state's articulation of another more general threat, that of 'westernization'. During the 1970s, the Singapore government sought to promote the universalistic and pragmatic values associated with the adoption of western technology, but at the same time sought to prevent Singaporean society from becoming 'de-ethnicized' by being assimilated into what Lee Kuan Yew has disparagingly termed a 'pseudo-western' cultural community. In particular, it was convenient to see social problems such as youth alienation and drug abuse as arising not because of tensions inherent in Singapore's social development, but as being imported by 'infections' from the West. The need to protect and guard Singapore against such 'contamination' from the West thus became a legitimatory rallying cry which was employed by the state throughout the 1970s. Increasingly, the West came to be depicted as the source of social degeneracy and political instability."

"Singaporeans have thus been repeatedly reminded of the ethnic tensions of the 1960s in order to maintain a garrison mentality, and the PAP leaders have frequently employed the spectre of ethnic unrest to combine calls for national unity with the mobilization of support for the PAP. They have depicted opposition politicians as 'playing up communal issues which could tear the Republic apart', and have then equated support for the PAP with the safeguarding of Singapore's future"

[On the 1980s] "The government launched a campaign of TV and cinema advertisements to urge the civic virtue of the co-operative community. Singapore was deluged with songs and slogans such as 'Count on me, Singapore' and 'This is my Home'.

"The identity of the nation and of the PAP continued to be portrayed in morally absolutist terms. Goh Chok Tong, then Deputy Prime Minister, stated this explicitly in April 1989, when he asserted that politics is 'a perpetual struggle between good and bad forces... The good can continue to win decisively if Singaporeans continue to elect their Government and MPs responsibly. The 'forces of good' were presumed to be embodied in the PAP."

"The government has promoted the acceptance among the Malays of the 'Malay cultural-weakness orthodoxy', whereby the Malays are persuaded to see their own internal cultural attributes as responsible for their socio-economic problems, instead of blaming the Chinese or the government. It is the lack of achievement motivation, or the rural orientation of Malays, which is, in this view, the cause of their 'predicament'. Such a view has been promoted, not just through repeated government speeches, but also through the formation in 1982 of Mendaki, (the Council for the Education of Muslim Children), which was established to 'reform Malay attitudes and values'."

"The role of Confucianism in society similarly became a focus for debate. Many Chinese still regarded Confucianism as incompatible both with modernization and with democracy, and the public discussions on this facilitated the government's assertion of the opposite view. The government's argument that a Confucianist route towards development was suitable for Singapore was promoted by the formation of the Institution of East Asian Philosophies, which hosted prestigious international conferences on 'Confucianist Modernization'."

"The state has thus sought to change ethnic consciousness from an all-embracing racial affiliation into a compartmentalized distinction between ethnicity as a politically disruptive loyalty, ethnicity as a component cultural basis for national identity, and ethnicity as a legitimate interest association."

"Government leaders have repeatedly argued that their intention is to achieve a more consultative form of government, and to accommodate political opposition and critical comments. At the same time, however, they have stressed that there must remain limits to such participation. Political comments should not be made by organizations not registered as political parties; participation will only be allowed if the government believes it to be 'constructive' and conducive to the building of consensus, and the views which are aired should not be partial, articulating sectional 'vested' interests, but must be motivated by concern for the common good. The tension between the two themes is clear, and one result is simply that there exists a degree of confusion about the direction of Singapore's politics."

"In the GRC scheme, voting on ethnic lines, which had previously been condemned by government as 'dangerous communalism', appeared to be suddenly promoted by government as the legitimate articulation of ethnic interests."

"If ethnic consciousness refers, essentially, to a kinship myth in which the ethnic community provides the sense of security to the individual which the family offers to the infant, then it would seem likely that the attempt to unravel such a myth, by dividing it into loyalty, identity and interest compartments, runs the risk of robbing ethnicity of its intrinsic power and appeal, so that it becomes eventually a new source of anxiety and confusion rather than a source of security."


This article was not written by, nor was it given to me by, the infamous Professor Ch** B*ng H**t (vowels replaced with asterisks to throw off search engines, so I am not disturbed by searches for p*rn, or worse, involving him.)

[Addendum: Even when I put a note saying it's not written or given by Ch** B*ng H**t, people think that it was. Is his reputation that bad?!]
"Advertisements... contain the only truths to be relied on in a newspaper." - Thomas Jefferson

Random Playlist Song: Trevor Pinnock - The English Concert and Choir: Handel - Messiah - He Was Despised (Contralto, Air)

He was despised and rejected of men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.

He gave his back to the smiters, and his cheeks to them that plucked off the hair: he hid not his face from shame and spitting.


Random Trivia bit: The word "jactitation" means "boasting". (Pretentious words for Pretentious people)

***

Days Were The Those: My Uniform Fetish

"Somehow, the uniforms, especially the No. 4, has this knack of making skinny guys look bulky, fat guys look trim, and guys with good bodies look like Greek gods. I don't know why; perhaps you guys, who have actually worn the uniforms, can enlighten me more on this."

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

I don't know, I still look like shit in my prisoner's clothes.

"Somehow I think many more men would be tempted into signing on if SAF recruitment ads featured hunks wearing No. 4s being surrounded by crowds of admiring, submissive, worshipping babes, as opposed to the current ads featuring not-so-handsome guys crawling on all fours, covered with mud, sweat and camouflage paint."


Meanwhile, updated my essay on the futility of military security with some new information about encryption and computer security (scroll to the bottom).

Also, I heard of a PES F Psychiatric case who went to Cambridge on a government scholarship. So much for the urban legend about what happens if you see the SAF psychiatrist.

***

The ethnic groups available for selection in NUS's e-Services application:

Chinese, Malay, Indian, Eurasian, Other Asian, Caucasian, Others, Slovak

Maybe we just became a refuge for economic migrants from Slovakia.


NUS has just raised its school fees by 5%.

Someone: "the NUSSU has sent an e-mail to our accts with a "dear fellow students" message. i'm thinking of sending a reply but struggling to not make myself sound as if i'm frothing at the mouth."

I have a better idea. We can abolish NUSSU and the money saved can be used to subsidise our school fees. Or since we now sell alcohol on campus at Munchie Monkey's (managed by NUSSU), the booze money can be used to pay for school fees. Oh, and they can lift the no smoking rule, sell cigarettes, draw some yellow boxes for the smokers and use the profits for the same purpose; as we have learnt, banning something is stupid and ineffective. What you need to do is legalise it and regulate it for maximum gain.

Other suggestions:

"aye fire the admin staff they r very ineffective at handling things. make everything computerised totally
or abolish the christian clubs. just allow one" (Does the school subsidise religious clubs?)

***

I'm feeling masochistic, so I shall give myself a headache by cutting and pasting illegible text:

"tis entry doesn’t concerns cny. It concerns yi hang. L I am so confused!! I dunno hu I lyk. Well,actually yi hang is quite gd. He is responsible, good, quite carin, humourous, a bit bian tai, dun really get angry, all in all, he is very gd. But then wat bout jasvin? I oso dunno. L I seldom c him now. But 4 yi hang………I tink I really lyk him. Cos sumtimes when he keeps tokin 2 jasmine, I fell kinda jealous n wants 2 noe everythin tey tok bout……n dunrin e cny perfomance rehersal, I kept lkin at him….. n when he lk up frm his lion head(he was performin e wu shi) he smiles at me, n I smile bck J yeah…I kept lkin at him………n on cny eve which is e day of e performance, I missed him, but dunrin e finale, I tried 2 lk at him but tere r 2 many ppl around but at e v v v v end, I lked at him n I tink he tried 2 pull e eyebrows of e lion which I am v v v happy 2 c him doin tt!! J J J ARHHH……….HELP!!!!!I tink I am really in luv wif him!!!help!!!!!!!wat shud I dooo????? L YI HANG……I lyk u………."

***

Friend's ICQ info: "I refuse to budge and defect to MSN!"

Hahahahahaha.

Thursday, December 09, 2004

"When a person can no longer laugh at himself, it is time for others to laugh at him." - Thomas Szasz

Random Playlist Song: Trevor Pinnock - The English Concert and Choir: Handel - Messiah - His yoke is easy, his burden is light (chorus)

His yoke is easy, his burden is light.

***

While doing a reverse search referral lookup, I found the following: School Of Military Medicine :. Medical Core Song ::

How many errors can you spot in the page? :0 So far I've spotted 2. Melvin asked if it was the arrangement of the BCS boxes. Hee hee.

Tut tut. What a disgrace to the Medical Corpse.

***

Singapore Ink » Straits Times is the General Paper

"A GP essay is an essay that has broad brushstrokes and sweeping assertions instead of in-depth and rigorous arguments that engage the issue directly and demonstrate knowledge of the subject (for real).

A GP essay is an attempted demonstration (even worse than the previous characterisation) that “I know everything and here’s what I know", i.e. a cistern for puking out facts.

A GP essay is an essay that hedges bets, fudges points, sits on fence, offers two hands (on the one, on the other …), ends up with neither (or even worse, both), and has nothing in the way of personal opinion, strong argument or value to add to the subject.

A GP essay is any ST Editorial, or for that matter any column that Janadas Devan and Andy Ho writes."

Comment left on this entry: "I think most ST editorials (the short unsigned pieces on the top left) are good examples of how not to write GP essays. It reads like they assigned themselves a topic, say “the APEC summit", & proceeded to rattle off 30 semi-intelligent points they could come up with. Even if there was an actual thesis in there somewhere it would invariably be smothered. In short you are left befuddled, wondering whether you are reading an editorial or extracts of somebody’s lecture notes in point form. IMHO all GP teachers should emphasise this to their students, that right there in our de-facto national daily is an example of what they should not be doing. Here stereotyping a piece of writing as a GP essay has its analytical advantages"

***

User Friendly Strip

A: Whatever did we do before digital cameras?

B: Probably only took sensible photos.

***

More engineer jokes:


An Engineering Student, a Physics Student, and a Mathematics student were each given $150 dollars and were told to use that money to find out exactly how tall a particular hotel was.

All three ran off, extremely keen on how to do this. The Physics student went out, purchased some stopwatches, a number of ball bearings, a calculator, and got some friends. He had them all time the drop of ball bearings from the roof, and he then figured out the height from the time it took for the bearings to accelerate from rest until they impacted with the sidewalk.

The Math student waited until the sun was going down, then she took out her protractor, plumb line, measuring tape,and scratch pad, measured the length of the shadow, found the angle the buildings roof made from the ground, and used trignometry to figure out the height of the building.

These two students bumped into the Engineering student the next day, who was nursing a really bad hangover. When asked what he did to find the height of the building he replied: "Well, I walked up to the bell hop, gave him 10 bucks, asked him how tall the hotel was, and hit the bar inside for happy hour!"


Five surgeons were taking a coffee break and were discussing their work.

The first said, "I think accountants are the easiest to operate on. You open them up and everything inside is numbered."

The second said, "I think librarians are the easiest to operate on. You open them up and everything inside is in alphabetical order."

The third said, "I like to operate on electricians. You open them up and everything inside is color-coded."

The fourth one said, "I like to operate on lawyers. They're heartless spineless, gutless, and their heads and their ass are interchangeable."

The fifth surgeon says "I like engineers . They always understand when you have a few parts left over at the end."


In the high school gym, all the girls in the class were lined up against one wall, and all the boys against the opposite wall. Then, every ten seconds, they walked toward each other until they were half the previous distance apart. A mathematician, a physicist, and an engineer were asked, "When will the girls and boys meet?"

The mathematician said: "Never."
The physicist said: "In an infinite amount of time."
The engineer said: "Well... in about two minutes, they'll be close enough for all practical purposes."


Three engineers were in the bathroom standing at the urinals. The first engineer finished and walked over to the sink to wash his hands. He then proceeded to dry his hands very carefully. He used paper towel after paper towel and ensured that every single spot of water on his hands was dried. Turning to the other two engineers, he said, "At Hewlett Packard, we are trained to be extremely thorough."

The second engineer finished his task at the urinal and he proceeded to wash his hands. He used a single paper towel and made sure that he dried his hands using every available portion of the paper towel. He turned and said, "At Lockheed-Martin, not only are we trained to be extremely thorough, but we are also trained to be extremely efficient."

The third engineer finished and walked straight for the door, shouting over his shoulder, "At Apple Computer, Inc. we don't pee on our hands."


Acoustic Engineering

In a minimum-phase system there is an inextricable link between frequency response, phase response and transient response, as they are all merely transforms of one another. This combined with minimalization of open-loop errors in output amplifiers and correct compensation for non-linear passive crossover network loading can lead to a significant decrease in system resolution lost. However, this all means jack shit when you listen to Pink Floyd.

***

"Fundamentalist Christians do not tend to be progressive. In fact, they tend to be quite regressive and reactionary Hence, the Southern Baptist Convention opposing Martin Luther King and the Civil Rights Movement. And the fact that many conservative/fundamentalist churches in the south fought abolition with every ounce of their being. It's no accident that these same conservative religious forces are coming out in opposition to stem cell research and civil unions for homosexuals. It's all part of a historical trend of opposing social change and progress. And, I won't even get into the history of Christian fundamentalism in its opposition to advances in science and medicine."

Not coincidentally, you could substitute the words "Moral Majority" and "believers in tradition and moral values" in the above paragraph and it'd still be cogent.


A good characterisation of the fundies' mentality on AIDS and condom use from Yawning Bread:

"The moralists attach so much weight to their pious goals, they'd rather have death and disease than countenance anything that permits sin. If there can't be heaven on earth, let there be no earth."

***

A source tells me that even in the Police, NSFs are more hardworking than regulars.

Which is why it's impractical to have a conscript-regular mix. So since all-conscript forces are impossible, we must settle for the mere unfeasible - all-regular forces.

***

Hardtack Biscuits - Make your own dog biscuits

The Flat-out Truth: Earth Orbits? Moon Landings? A Fraud! Says This Prophet - "The idea of a spinning globe is only a conspiracy of error that Moses, Columbus, and FDR all fought... Uncle Joe (Stalin), Churchill, and Roosevelt laid the master plan to bring in the New Age under the United Nations," Johnson discloses with confidence. "The world ruling power was to be right here in this country. After the war, the world would be declared flat and Roosevelt would be elected first president of the world. When the UN Charter was drafted in San Francisco, they took the flat-earth map as their symbol."
This is so bad, it's good.

Ghosthouse - You'll shit your pants. By Joel Veitch, James Craven, Stefan Hamilton, James Wood - Enming finds the weirdest shit. This was kinda funny, though it gave me a headache after a while.

Pokementos...THE FRESHMAKER - "Whatever you do...dont steal an asian kids pokemon cards!!!"

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

"By a curious confusion, many modern critics have passed from the proposition that a masterpiece may be unpopular to the other proposition that unless it is unpopular it cannot be a masterpiece." - G. K. Chesterton

Random Playlist Song: Trevor Pinnock - The English Concert and Choir: Handel - Messiah - Rejoice Greatly, O Daughter Of Zion (soprano, air)

Rejoice greatly, o daughter of Zion; shout, o daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, thy king cometh unto thee; he is the righteous saviour, and he shall speak peace unto the heathen.

***

You scored as Clio. You are Clio, the muse of history. You love academic pursuits, but still know to have fun. You're a bit of a tease and a prankster.

Clio

94%

Thalia

75%

Euterpe

62%

Melpomene

56%

Calliope

50%

Terpischore

38%

Erato

31%

Urania

19%

Polyhymnia

12%

Which of the Greek Muses are you?
created with QuizFarm.com


And I am very amused by my result for the "What Social Status are you?" one: "You scored as alternative. You're partially respected for being an individual in a conformist world yet others take you as a radical. You have no place in society because you choose not to belong there - you're the luckiest of them all, even if your parents are completely ashamed of you. Just don't take drugs ok?"

***

MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia: Conversion disorder

Alternative name: Hysterical neurosis

Definition: Conversion disorder is a psychiatric condition in which emotional distress or unconscious conflict are expressed through physical symptoms.

Causes, incidence, and risk factors: Conversion disorder is one of several types of somatoform disorders, in which psychological problems produce physical symptoms.

These disorders have typically been highly stigmatized, with physicians telling patients that the problem is "all in your head." Research on the connection between mind and body is steadily increasing our understanding of these disorders and should reduce the stigma, as it becomes clear that these conditions are real, cause real distress, and cannot just be turned on and off at will.

The onset of symptoms in this disorder is usually very sudden and follows a stressful experience. Loss of function, such as in inability to move a limb, may unconsciously symbolize the underlying conflict associated with the experience. Risk factors include a history of histrionic personality disorder or dependent personality disorder.

Symptoms: The symptoms of conversion disorder involve the loss of one or more bodily functions. These may include blindness, paralysis or the inability to speak. The loss of physical function is involuntary and diagnostic testing does not show a physical cause for the dysfunction.

Signs and tests: Some of the common signs of conversion disorder include:

* The sudden onset of a debilitating symptom
* A history of a recent psychological conflict that is resolved through the development of the symptom
* A lack of concern that is usually associated with a severe symptom

A physical examination is performed to rule out physical causes for the loss of function. Specific diagnostic testing related to the symptom is warranted to rule out a physical cause.

Treatment: Psychiatric treatment is recommended to help the person understand the underlying psychological conflict. The integrity of the affected body part or function must be maintained until the conflict is resolved and the symptoms usually disappear. For example, paralyzed limbs must be exercised to avoid muscle wasting.

Expectations (prognosis): Symptoms usually last for days to weeks and may resolve spontaneously. Usually the symptom itself is not life-threatening, but the development of complications as a result of the symptom can be debilitating.


Also fun: The Theories of Sigmund Freud. Or: how to piss people off by diagnosing them with various disorders and behaviors based on little or no evidence.

"The only thing more common than a blind admiration for Freud seems to be an equally blind hatred for him."

"Parapraxes. A parapraxis is a slip of the tongue, often called a Freudian slip. Freud felt that they were also clues to unconscious conflicts. Freud was also interested in the jokes his clients told. In fact, Freud felt that almost everything meant something almost all the time -- dialing a wrong number, making a wrong turn, misspelling a word, were serious objects of study for Freud. However, he himself noted, in response to a student who asked what his cigar might be a symbol for, that "sometimes a cigar is just a cigar." Or is it?"

***

Who or Whom?

The traditional rules for choosing between who and whom are relatively simple but not always easy to apply. Who is used where a nominative pronoun such as I or he would be appropriate, that is, for the subject of a verb or for a predicate nominative; whom is used for a direct or indirect object or for the object of a prepostion. Thus, we write the actor who played Hamlet was there, since who is the subject of played; and Whom do you like best? because whom is the object of the verb like and To whom did you give the letter? because whom is the object of the preposition to.

It is more difficult, however, to apply these rules in complicated sentences, particularly when who or whom is separated from the verb or preposition that determines its form. Intervening words may make it difficult to see that Who do you think is the best candidate? requires who as the subject of the verb is (not whom as the object of think) and The man whom the papers criticized did not show up requires whom as the object of the verb criticized (not who as the subject of showed up). Highly complex sentences such as I met the man whom the government had tried to get France to extradite require careful analysis - in this case, to determine that whom should be chosen as the object of the verb extradite, several clauses away. It is thus not surprising that writers from Shakespeare onward have often interchanged who and whom.

Nevertheless, the distinction remains a hallmark of formal style. In
speech and informal writing, however, considerations other than strict
grammatical correctness often come into play. Who may sound more natural than whom in a sentence such as Who did John say he was going to support? - though it is incorrect according to the traditional rules. In general, who tends to predominate over whom in informal contexts. Whom may sound stuffy even when correctly used, and when used where who would be correct, as in Whom shall I say is calling? whom may betray grammatical ignorance. Similarly, though traditionalists will insist on whom when the relative pronoun is the object of a preposition that ends a sentence, grammarians since Noah Webster have argued that the excessive formality of whom is at odds with the relative informality associated with this construction; thus they contend that a sentence such as Who did you give it to? should be regarded as entirely acceptable.

Some grammarians have argued that only who and not that should be used to introduce a restrictive relative clause that identifies a person. This restriction has no basis either in logic or in the usage of the best writers; it is entirely acceptable to write either the woman that wanted to talk to you or the woman who wanted to talk to you. The grammatical rules governing the use of who and whom in formal writing apply equally to whoever and whomever and are simililarly often ignored in speech and informal writing.


No, I didn't really understand that either, so I shall be one of the writers from Shakespeare onwards who often interchanges who and whom.

***

One of the silliest threads on the Sammyboy forums that I've ever seen (not that I've seen many, since I don't frequent them):

Malays Who Wear Spectacles

"I have a question.

Why is it that nowadays I see quite a number of Malays who wear spectacles ?

They don't study after all, and are good at only 3 things -
1. play guitar at void deck
2. ride motorcycle and make irritating loud noises with their exhaust
3. beheading and bombing

These activities don't require one to do reading of any sort - and thus won't result in the deterioration of their eyesight right ?"

It's quite obvious that this is a joke, yet some people reply with fiery condemnation and accusations of racism.

Some of the replies in the thread are not only amusing, they are also thought-provoking (though not in the way they were intended:

"Take note that those Malays are extremely racist too - the call us "Cina Babi" all the time, but try referring to them as "Malay Pigs" and see what happens to you. All we do is crack jokes about them ... no violence or malice over here."

There's no violence towards ethnic minorities here, but I'm not sure we can say the same about malice. Animosity, definitely, but malice is perhaps too extreme a term.

I stopped reading after the first 25 messages since after that it seemed to degenerate into name-calling, threats, accusations of racism and other similar silly behavior.

***

Good summary of Creation 'Science':

"Their contributions to ongoing science consist of nit-picking and the extraction of trivialities from the vast literature of biology and of unsupported statements about what-they insist-cannot happen: “Darwinism”-organic evolution shaped by natural selection and reflecting the common ancestry of all life forms. In the face of the extraordinary and often highly practical twentieth-century progress of the life sciences under the unifying concepts of evolution, their “science” consists of quote-mining-minute searching of the biological literature-including outdated literature-for minor slips and inconsistencies and for polemically promising examples of internal arguments. These internal disagreements, fundamental to the working of all natural science, are then presented dramatically to lay audiences as evidence of the fraudulence and impending collapse of “Darwinism.” How are such audiences to know that modern biology is not a house of cards, not founded on a “dying theory”?

[...]

This movement seeks nothing less than to overthrow the system of rules and procedures of modern science and those intellectual footings of our culture laid down in the Enlightenment and over some 300 years. If this sounds overwrought, we ask our readers to proceed at least a little way into the following chapters to judge for themselves. In any case, the Wedge admits that this is its aim. By its own boastful reports, the Wedge has undertaken to discredit the naturalistic methodology that has been the working principle of all effective science since the seventeenth century. It desires to substitute for it a particular version of “theistic science,” whose chief argument is that nothing about nature is to be understood or taught without reference to supernatural or at least unknowable causes-in effect, to God."

***

"Having grown up playing both consoles and computers, the console RPG, to me, has always been lacking that extra bit of depth usually found in the best computer RPG's - the Ultimas, Wizardrys, Baldur's Gates, and the list goes on. The Ultimas, Wizardrys and even Baldur's Gate knock-offs and spin-offs on consoles do not count, I'm afraid." (Source - I only found it because I wanted to know what on earth soft shadows were)

Hahahaha.


Meanwhile Han comments, about Planescape Torment, that "in terms of storyline, I don't think I can think of any other game that even comes close, except for some of the Japanese RPGs."

Japanese "RPGs" aren't games - they're animated storybooks.

"Games"?! Pfffffffth.

If I want to have an experience where I am guided along like a little child and have absolutely no say in what my character can do, I'll read a book.

***

Someone: my website referral thing broke. i've no stats since october. stupid server admin damn lazy, this is what happens when they're friends


Heh heh.

***

I just found out what the opposite of a banana (yellow on the outside, white on the inside) is. An egg - white on the outside, yellow on the inside.

***

Student's World - "Gabriel Seah Jia He" - He is forever tainted

Shane Messer's Find those Weapons and Hunt for WMD - "In December 2003, we released a game where people could hunt for "Weapons of Mass Destruction" by searching through thousands of real life documents. The game was solved in August 2004, after over a thousand people spent nearly 8 months playing."

On the Contrary: Americans Aren't in the Market for Freedom - "The one thing nobody is insisting you rush out and buy is freedom. Ever hear of it? I don't mean freedom of speech or religion, which we enjoy in spades. I mean the freedom to do what you want -- including, if necessary, telling your boss to drop dead. For non-lottery winners, it's the kind of freedom that comes of thrift, and maybe also self-knowledge. What I'm suggesting, in other words, is to forget that big new professional-quality range or $40,000 sport utility vehicle and buy yourself some freedom; you really can, because it's a commodity just like any other."

History of (Protestant) Work Ethic - So much for it being an "Asian Value".

Abortion Isn't Just a Woman's Issue - "Women, we're told, grieve -- often for years -- after an abortion. But is a man's grief somehow not as "real" as a woman's? Under the law, Jane can do what she wants, but when she does, Tom may be left to mourn the loss of the child he had always dreamed of. Imagine now that Jane decides to keep the child and that Tom says he is not financially prepared to become a parent. Society's reaction? "You should have thought of that sooner and you'd better keep those child support checks coming in or we'll throw you in jail." (One of many interesting articles on MenWeb - Men's Issues: Men's Voices Magazine)

The Bloodsport of Divorce - "Imagine how a woman would feel if a man could petition for divorce and have her thrown out of the marital home? Imagine how a woman would feel if men were automatically given custody? Imagine how a woman would feel if they could only see their kid every other weekend? Imagine how a woman would feel if her ex-husband denied her visitation to be vindictive and the system did nothing about it. Imagine how the maternal grandparents would feel if the son-in-law denied them a relationship with their grandchildren? Imagine special laws where a man could persecute his former wife by falsely accusing her of sex abuse or physical abuse. Imagine a system where a woman would have to spend thousands to prove her innocence while a lying ex-husband had no liability for telling such lies? Women would scream that such a system was sexist, paternalistic, unjust, unfair, irresponsible and injurious to both genders and the kids and they would be right. But this is the system, except fathers are the victims and mothers smugly accept the maternal monopoly over children that the system has handed them."
More on the sexism that men face.

Some people are 'immune' to exercise - "Public-health campaigns regularly plug exercise as a sure-fire way to avoid an early grave. But that message may be too simplistic. For an unhappy few, even quite strenuous exercise may have no effect on their fitness or their risk of developing diseases like diabetes."

ClassiColor - A simulation of how those ancient statues would have looked like painted (as they originally were)

Is this any way to treat a child? - "Why our kids are hooked on crisps: Not so long ago, crisps were thought healthy enough to be tucked into a child's lunch box along with an apple and a sandwich. Now we're eating 12 billion packets a year, and a bag of smoky bacon has become the Devil's own snack."

Sunday, December 05, 2004

"We are here on Earth to do good to others.
What the others are here for, I don't know." - W. H. Auden

Random Playlist Song: Trevor Pinnock - The English Concert and Choir: Handel - Messiah - Glory To God In The Highest (chorus)

Glory to God in the highest, and peace on earth, good will towards men.


Random Trivia bit: Around 24,000 officials are employed by the European Commission (The European Commission)

***

New LJ friends-only post.

The previous one is still available.

Most useful, this feature is.

***



Considering I didn't know more than half the women they featured, and that their sizes vary according to how anorexic they are at that point in time, I'd say this is quite good already (47/100).

(from: Wannabe Lawyer, who for some reason filed the post with that and the result of the Jailbait quiz under "Law, Politics, Singapore". Wth?!)

***

Platter's Miscellaneous Torment Crap

How can anyone resist? They've such stuff as:

- "THE EVISCERATOR"
(Unique, Artifact, Cheat)
Damage: 4-80 + 20
+20 to hit
+20 to Armor Class
Sets all Stats to 25
Weight: 0
Speed: 1
Proficiency: Edged

This unholy weapon is obviously intended for Quality Assurance to massacre any creature in their path as quickly as possible.

- a photo of someone who actually got a tattoo of the Symbol of Torment (I prefer the Rune of Torment rather than the one he got - the fancy Symbol of Torment, which is the Rune combined with the Symbol of Anguish)

- Unused sound file for the Transcendent One: TRA020 - "I don't know how you’re managing to click on me so many times during our encounter, but it's probably because... you're cheating."

- Unused sound files of all the PCs saying: "What can change the nature of a man?"


Also interesting: analysis of the opening movie. I think these people have been doing too much Literature.

***

Doing a reverse search referral lookup, I came across the following, which seems to be written by a person from Haoxiang's batch:



it's 4 months and 3 weeks.

this week, i thought, i don't think i'll be able to last that long.
​​​​this week was once of the worst weeks ever. if our morale were the stock index, we would have plunged into a dire financial crisis. monday-7 o'clock briefings. higher ups conclude that the reason for 42sar's spate of accidents is our lack of discipline. more standbys and safety checks promised. tuesday- everyone gets fucked. i get fucked. i sign extra for not putting up bos board. DU-LAN. wed- last minute CO parade. i get scolded again for not bringing 11b to cookhouse. thurs- soc cancelled because of rain. fri- vehicle drills. my section couldn't put up the camo net in time. F.K. pulls stunt.
i'm starting to laugh at everything. i think i'm going crazy. this afternoon, i said every word with a 'z' behind. like 'trophies' become 'trophz'. like 'whatz moviez is-z worthz watchingz.'

a guy got charged for putting extra weights in his field pack.

haha.

a guy got charged for threatening to commit suicide if the counsellor doesn't let him stay out.

haha.

a guy got charged for falling asleep in a helicopter.

hahaha.

my platoon sergeant: guys you have to make a few boards for next week's combat shoot. make sure the words are audible.


Looks like things haven't changed in that den of iniquity.

What disturbed me more was the following:

"After much controversies on [Caught your tongue] for the right philosophy of moral values between my friend and I, this will be the last part of [Caught your tongue]. Unless someone can show me that it is good and guiltless to highlight others their inferiors and blunders, excluding the point on showing them the true light. A joint effort of my friend and I, the final list.
Here it goes:

*selection of quotes from my Improve Your English - National Slavery site*"

Previous posts also have choice quotes from my quotes page, as well as some other stuff from this blog (eg the Emma Watson Underwear picture which "*noun* and *adjective* *noun*" made for me).

I think I just got ripped off.

Ah well. As they say, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

Other assorted stuff I found in my lookup:

Mole man's blog
Free Webcam Frame Grabs Free Bikini Contest Videos & Pictures. No, really. For some reason it's #28 in Yahoo's Search Results.

***

I just counted; my IBM laptop from school has at least 1.9GB of useless shit on it.

- All the drivers I'd ever need (and a few more to boot - eg Bluetooth)
- Windows setup files (I can use my own WinXP CD)
- Laptop-specific applications (eg To show the OSD when the volume is changed)
- and "MSOCache" (Office Setup files?)

Now I know what to burn to CD and delete if my HDD space drops precariously low. And now I also know where to get the stuff I really need, as opposed to the crap that IBM tries to foist on me, if/when I get hardworking enough to reformat my laptop and install Windows XP myself, instead of using the 4 crappy recovery disks they gave me (which doubtless will put the same 1.9gb of shit back into my HDD).

***

SKH writes an excellent response to Anonymous, who ranted about "wishy-washy, chicken livered pansies":

"Maybe you enjoyed your army experience to which I say, good for you! I do not wish to learn to throw a grenade...as for the Taiwanese countryside, I have seen it before as my GF lived there. I prefer looking after children, building hospitals for the poor and educating those living in the western regions of China over handling a rifle. Have you done that before? Seeing the smiles of children as they thank you for the joy you have brought to their rural village where no other foreigners have stepped into before?

Perhaps you could have, if you have not been busily learning to kill!" [more]

Meanwhile Lance points out: "the fundamental purpose of NS is to defend the nation - not to "build character traits" or make boys "more independent". if NS happens to provide some beneficial side effects along the way, well and good - but lets just keep in mind they are nothing but that exactly - side effects."


A "current NJC student" asks:

"if army were so bad as you have said, why would scholars willingly take up the scholarship?"

Ah. An opportunity to analyse the minds of SAF scholars. Where to begin, I wonder?

Here are some possibilities:

1) Prestige - scholarships are prestigious and SAFOS is one of the three most prestigious scholarships in Singapore

2) Insulation - Scholars, especially SAFOS ones, are insulated from all the low-level crap that the scum of the earth suffer, because of their rank (as officers) and exalted status as scholars. They are not subjected to the dehumanising treatment that mere scum of the earth (ie enlistees) go through. Instead of getting screwed, they get to screw other people (if they choose). Even BMT, the putative great leveller, is different from them, for all, or almost all potential SAF scholars enter what are known as "Scholar Companies", or even better, companies with White Horses in them.

As someone put it: "slaves and royalty stay in the same palace but lead vastly different lives"

3) Obliviousness - Some recipients of (local) study awards I spoke to in my tenure as a slave told me they regretted signing on. Maybe some - those who get scholarships before enslavement - don't know what they're getting into.

Friends of mine tell me of those who got SAF scholarships, some on the spur of the moment, who later regretted. For example, one is quoted as saying: "I really wanted to go overseas, didn't think I'd suffer so much afterwards"; to many Singaporean JC students, an overseas education is the Holy Grail, so in their quest to get it, they neglect the fact that on their return they'll have a 6 year bond to serve. Of the above, I am told that: "now all he wants to do is enjoy himself and die young"

4) Nature of the job - As a friend puts it: "these scholars want to look for something that needs no effort, pays a lot, and gives them the ability to fuck people around. what else do u need?" He adds: "usually cos they are enslaved, they are brainwashed, and usually stay till they die, mentally or physically"

Since it's highly unlikely that Singapore will ever go to war, you get to slack and won't actually have to engage in real combat. And since you get promoted quickly to command-level posts, you don't actually have to go outfield (and experience similar messy and gritty activities) that often.

5) Affection/suitability for Army Life - Strange but true. Some people actually like army life. But then, some people like BDSM also, so. *insert latin phrase that's not good to use too often, or it loses its impact*

Some people are also better suited for the job than others, so they are inclined to taking it.

6) Future job prospects - Apparently some scholars get to become Colonels at age 30. You can't beat the job security either - even incompetent regulars don't get fired, since there's next to no way to assess their job performance, let alone scholars. Also, the SAF has a great retirement plan. Even after retiring, you'll want for naught - they'll find a way to parachute you into a suitably comfortable, important and well-paying job (even if you're not suited for it). See: Our Scholars - Success Stories

7) They fit one or more of the other criteria - As I said, there are 4 types of people who sign on. Some scholars fit into one or more of those categories, namely: being sadistic, being greedy for the money (you get a $750,000 gratuity when you retire) and being incapable of finding jobs outside.

8) Brainwashing - Some are brainwashed. A friend tells of a time when there was a recruitment talk in OCS (Officer Cadet School) and "the whole LT signed on" because of brainwashing.

Some people are taken in by the rhetoric about Duty, Honour and Country, and the old lie - Dulce et decorum est, pro patria mori - 'It is sweet and proper to die for one's country' (Horace, Odes, iii ii 13)

9) Since you have to be a slave anyway, some figure that they might as well get a free education, a well charted-out career path, relatively good pay (especially for the 2 years of compulsory slavery), and "respect". Oh, and some girls like men in uniform (I know at least one with an army uniform fetish)


As for why non-scholars sign on (or get Local Study Awards or the like):

10) Getting to be an officer - Some people sign on because that's the only way they'll get to be officers. I know this guy who, while a normal slave, was a PTI (Physical Training Instructor - think your PE teacher on steroids and with a bad attitude), but became an officer after signing on. From a cursory study of him, I conclude that he was sore at not becoming an officer and signed on to attain that status.

[Ed: The above has been modified since its original posting.]

[Ed: The above has been modified since its original posting.]

***

Those who claim that MCQ exams are very easy should try the exam for the CFA certification (Chartered Financial Analyst) :)

I hated the Chinese AO MCQs also - the answers were all so similar, it was hard to tell which was correct. Besides which, I couldn't (and still can't) speak Chinese, so.
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