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

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Monday, May 02, 2005

"If you care too much about Singapore, first it'll break your spirit, and finally it will break your heart." - Alfian Sa'at

Random Playlist Song: Bob Rivers - Walkin' Round In Women's Underwear (Sung to the tune of "Winter Wonderland")

Chorus:
Lacy things -- the wife is missin',
Didn't ask -- her permission,
I'm wearin' her clothes,
Her silk pantyhose,
Walkin' 'round in women's underwear.

In the store -- there's a teddy,
Little straps -- like spaghetti,
It holds me so tight,
Like handcuffs at night,
Walkin' 'round in women's underwear.

Guy:
In the office there's a guy named Melvin,
He pretends that I am Murphy Brown.

Chorus:
He'll say, "Are you ready?" We'll say, "Whoa, Man!"
"Let's wait until the wife is out of town!"

Later on, if you wanna,
We can dress -- like Madonna,
Put on some eyeshade,
And join the parade,
Walkin' 'round in women's underwear!

Lacy things... missin',
Didn't ask... permission,
Wearin' her clothes,
Her silk pantyhose,
Walkin' 'round in women's underwear,
Walkin' 'round in women's underwear,
Walkin' 'round in women's underwear!

(This song is dedicated to the people on Triumph fan)

***

My sources tell me that not only have the Sijil Tinggi Persekolahan Malaysia exams been dumbed down, the markers apparently know what ethnicity you are.

Too many people seem to think that I'm a walking dictionary and like to pelt me with requests for word meanings when I am online. Given the diversity and easy availability of online dictionaries, this is most infuriating. In future I shall turn down all such online requests; grammar I can still consider. Either that or give them the wrong meanings! MUAHAHA!!! [Tym: HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. You are so evil. You should be a teacher :0 Wicked wicked good idea.]

I wonder why males are so fond of wearing football shirts. Perhaps it is a way they can connect with their dreams and aspirations, and live vicariously through others. In which case I should buy for myself a mullet wig, coloured spandex, or a crossbow.

Listening to the samples on RangDong Entertainment, I realise that Asian Prince's music isn't the same as Tuan Anh's music. I'm quite annoyed. And to think I was going to buy the CD!

***

I find it amusing that some of those who profess to loathe racism so subscribe to the theory that those of Chinese ancestry are obliged to speak their ancestral languages (ie "You are Chinese, so you must speak Chinese"). Such biological determinism is ironically behind most racist behavior (eg "You are Malay, so you must be lazy).


Someone on someone's complaint that a Chinese woman complaining about some Indian's smell on the MRT and moving away was racist:

"I moved a few days back because a CHINESE construction worker plopped his sweaty musty body beside me. In fact, I got up and even though there were people standing and it was the only seat left, no one took it. Was everyone standing RACIST then. And I'm Chinese, so how does that make me racist. Smelly is smelly. It's like someone smoking at the bus stop. They will say "they can't help it", well I can't help fanning my hand in front of my nose to get rid of it. It smelled like preserved fart.

Whoever is smelly, I'll move. That's a totally bad example. I hate it when people think I'm racist just cos I say that person stinks (not to their faces) and they happen to be of a different race. Stink is just Stink. Unless Stink is a race, how am I RACIST?"

Other comments from the same thread: "well, if the government continues to use racial indicators of CMIO for every citizen of mixed heritage (say Indian-Chinese) and make them choose their heritage according to their patrilineal line; if having separate academic bursaries awarded to the Best Chinese/Malay/Indian student instead of a "Best Student" award are enforced; if the education institutes are made to teach -day in, day out- about the 4 major races that we have in Singapore... racial sterotypes comes dangerously close to being interpreted as "racism".

as my friend puts it, as long as you teach about a difference, you are made increasingly aware that you are different and you'll start expecting others to treat you differently. similarly, you'll hold yourself as "befitting" of your racial category. it is, i think, a very bad cycle."

"from personal experiences, i have had people made my life difficult by them claiming precedence over meal decisions cos they have special dietary habits (for all races, mind). because one is ABSOLUTELY brought up to be accepting and tolerant, this happens during EVERY single meal and we have to make extra precautious to not "offend" their sensibilities. *sigh* so pardon me while i try to juggle my frustrations with my needing to strangle that person(s) and dealing with ideals of a better good for the hegemonic whole."

***

I caught the last episode of Stress Out, which was on Joint Pain. It was most amusing, and also really weird, since Jason Chan was no longer speaking in his PRNS pseudo-American accent, but instead in a pseudo-Malaysian-Australian accent.

The show itself was odd, since it promoted what struck me as quasi-alternative therapies, as well as an AIBI product (since they sponsor the show), and ended off with a recipe for fruit salad - supposedly good for joint pain. All this left me going: "wth?!"

***

Quasimodo Neverland

"Pulau Tekong is a disfigured grotesque Neverland of Singapore. Where time stops and people cease to grow up. Where men of 25 have minds of 18 year olds.

Where we are all part of a big handpuppet play and the fat boys of Neverland sing songs and makebelieve.

Where Captain Hooks linger galore and impose false and comical tyranny. With extra swashbuckle oomph and chinkchank flurry.

We are a motley crew of stage soldiers. With wooden swords and little Robin Hood caps." (Two Sleepy People) via No Concept of Liberty, which comments thus:

"The 'extra swashbuckle oomph' also made me think of how these idiots like to make you shout ever more loudly and conform ever more strictly to their little ballet of marching ('Shoulder level, shoulder level!', or 'Dig in your heels!', etc ad nauseum) . These deliberately ostentatious and petty exercises of authority are all quite Foucauldian, and crisply illustrate the whole total institution / Panopticon society thesis. Indeed, they can be said to function as a play-within-a-play in this context, thus magnifying the potential for irony."

***

Someone showed me the website of Bob Jones University, the initials of which are, ironically, BJU.

They have a very interesting dress code:

"For Men: Hair must be cut in a traditional, conservative style–not shaved, spiked, tangled, or shelved. It may not be colored or highlighted.

For All: Abercrombie & Fitch and its subsidiary Hollister have shown an unusual degree of antagonism to the name of Christ and an unusual display of wickedness in their promotions. In protest, we will not allow articles displaying their logos to be worn, carried, or displayed (even if covered or masked in some way)."

Yes, you guessed it! It's a fundie university. They offer over 125 Majors, including Bible, Bible (Women) [Ed: What's the difference? Do they teach women their rightful place in the latter course?], Biology [Ed: I'd trust a biologist who believes in Creationism as much as an obstetrician who believes that the stork delivers babies] and Creative Writing [Ed: They probably share some modules with Bible majors].

I suspect this is where all the fundies get their PhDs so they can themselves "Dr XXX".

[Addendum: Jie Kai adds:

"Bob Jones University is also notorious for having banned inter-racial
relationships up till a few years ago, as well as having a founder who is known
to be virulently anti-catholic, as well as a racist."]

***

Mankiw’s Ten Principles of Economics, Translated by Yoram Bauman
University of Washington, Seattle, Washington

"The cornerstone of Harvard professor N. Gregory Mankiw’s introductory economics textbook, Principles of Economics, is a synthesis of economic thought into Ten Principles of Economics (listed in the first table below). A quick perusal of these will likely affirm the reader’s suspicions that synthesizing economic thought into Ten Principles is no easy task, and may even lead the reader to suspect that the subtlety and concision required are not to be found in the pen of N. Gregory Mankiw.

I have taken it upon myself to remedy this unfortunate situation. The second table below summarizes my attempt to translate Mankiw's Ten Principles into plain English, and in doing so to provide the uninitiated with an invaluable glimpse of the economic mind at work. Explanations and details can be found in the pages that follow, but the average reader is advised to simply cut out the table below and carry it around for assistance in the (hereafter unlikely) event of confusion about the basic Principles of Economics.

------------------------------------------------------------

Mankiw’s Principles

#1. People face tradeoffs.
#2. The cost of something is what you give up to get it.
#3. Rational people think at the margin.
#4. People respond to incentives.
#5. Trade can make everyone better off.
#6. Markets are usually a good way to organize economic activity.
#7. Governments can sometimes improve market outcomes.
#8. A country’s standard of living depends on its ability to produce goods and services.
#9. Prices rise when the government prints too much money.
#10. Society faces a short-run tradeoff between inflation and unemployment.

------------------------------------------------------------

Yoram’s Translations

#1. Choices are bad.
#2. Choices are really bad.
#3. People are stupid.
#4. People aren’t that stupid.
#5. Trade can make everyone worse off.
#6. Governments are stupid.
#7. Governments aren’t that stupid.
#8. Blah blah blah.
#9. Blah blah blah.
#10. Blah blah blah."

Quantum Microeconomics is interesting also, though I don't know if I'll ever get down to reading it.

***

What exactly was the sin of Onan? - "St. Antonius (1391-1451) used so many euphemisms that we're not always sure what he was talking about."
Heh heh

Collective Nouns - "One of the many oddities of the English language is the multitude of different names given to collections or groups, be they beasts, birds, people or things. Many of these collective nouns are beautiful and evocative, even poetic."
Some interesting ones: A covey of ptarmigans (birds), A pomp of pekingese (mammals), A stuck of jellyfish (invertebrates), An intrusion of cockroaches (Insects and Arachnids), An escargatoire of snails (Molluscs), A glean of herrings (Fish), A rhumba of rattlesnakes (Amphibians and Reptiles), A subtlety of sergeants at law (People), A phantasmagoria of phantoms (Miscellaneous)

A Plain School Uniform as the Latest Aphrodisiac - "'Lots of Japanese men feel very threatened by adult women,' said Masao Miyamoto, a male psychiatrist and the author of a best-selling analysis of Japanese society. 'But a 15-year-old girl would not be threatening. It's not so much sexual as psychological.'... 'The age at which the girls seem interesting is clearly dropping,' said Hiroyuki Fukuda, a 30-year-old man who edits a magazine called Anatomical Illustrations of Junior High School Girls. 'But it's only the maniacs who go for girls below the third grade.'"
At least it's not cockroaches...

The latest Happy Tree Friends episode is out! Keepin It Reel: Check out what's on screen at the cinema!

***

"haha, ***, perhaps ya shouldnt have mentioned Descartes; Descartes is the food and staple of our esteemed philsopher Gabriel Seah, and he can go on for hours on philosophy, u wun wan to get him started on it man......oops sorry gabriel! spilled ur lil secret....!" - Gah.

I don't know how people can spend so much time studying and mugging. Don't they run out of things to study? Don't they get bored? Maybe it's because on average, half of people's study hours are spent on MSN, gossiping, stoning, SMSing and looking at eyecandy. Or maybe it's like the people who stay back in the office everyday later than their colleagues, not because they're hard-working, but because they're unproductive.


I was in the Law Library to pick something up from someone and it struck me how comparatively empty the place was.

At that time of the exam period, the Central Library was messy, smelly and crowded, yet the Law Library still had space available; at least a fourth of its capacity. Furthermore, it was quiet as a real library should be: there were no "Quiet Area" signs, and you know when libraries designate "Quiet Areas", they've given up on the battle to enforce silence throughout the library (and probably the "Quiet Areas" too). Maybe the hallowed aura of the place had intimidated the mortal denizens of the Premier Institution of Social Engineering. Maybe the Law Library's emptiness was a well-kept secret. Perhaps the off-fresh paint smell of the place drove people away. Or the well-shielded library blocked handphone signals, so the SACSALs couldn't SMS or chat merrily away.

Yet, a cursory walk down the aisles revealed that the majority of the people in there were non-Law students - the hated SNAILS (Students Not Actually In Law School) - and a greatly disproportinate number were Ang Mohs. Where were all the Law Students, I wondered? Later I found out that the Year 2s and Year 3s were having exams.

In my short time there, I did witness a disturbing sight. I saw one girl, who looked like she was a law girl, wearing a Sarong Skirt - a garment not made of Sarong material but with a thicker cloth, yet gathered and tied around the waste like a Sarong. While sitting at a terminal, she untied her garment, pulled it up and then retied it, all in a blase fashion. Which meant she probably had something on underneath, but still - in public?


Quotes:

[On the girls on their toilet outing] They'll take quite long. 5 girls and 1 guy.
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