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

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Wednesday, November 08, 2006

"The Romans would never have found time to conquer the world if they had been obliged first to learn Latin." - Heinrich Heine

***

Banned books - the saga continues - "It was another routine stock replenishment order. Then came the shock: the distributor is unable to supply copies of Salman Rushdie's Midnight's Children because the book had been 'restricted' in Malaysia by the KDN. Our initial reaction was to laugh out loud. Who are these people? Midnight's Children, published in 1980, won the Booker in 1981 and won the Booker of Bookers in 1993. Every self-respecting reader in the country has not only read the book, but owns a special sentimental copy. Now, after 26 years, some barely literate little Napoleon - to borrow Pak Lah's term - sitting behind a KDN desk in Johor Bahru has decided that the book is not suitable for Malaysians."
Boleh-land also bans "Making Globalization Work". Wth?!

Arrest over Cheney barb triggers lawsuit - "Howards and his son walked to about two-to-three feet from where Cheney was standing, and said to the vice president, "I think your policies in Iraq are reprehensible," or words to that effect, then walked on. Ten minutes later, according to Howards' lawsuit, he and his son were walking back through the same area, when they were approached by Secret Service agent Virgil D. "Gus" Reichle Jr., who asked Howards if he had "assaulted" the vice president."

Making a security point with elephants - "After his first trip to South Texas, a Pennsylvania congressional candidate was back home Wednesday sharing quite a tale, having chased an undocumented immigrant on foot one day and strolled the bank of the Rio Grande with three elephants and a blaring mariachi band the next. All, of course, documented for a campaign commercial."

Living in a car now touted as a plus - "Chevrolet will hold a competition for its version of young people living in a car. Two-student teams from eight universities, including Michigan State University, can win a new 2007 Chevrolet Aveo "by staying in continuous contact with the car for five days and demonstrating just how large a lifestyle they can lead in the car by attracting as much in-person and online attention as possible," Chevy says."

The Perils of Sleeping On the Top Bunk - "A New Jersey appellate court ruled yesterday that the risk of falling from a loft bed doesn’t require a warning label, at least when the bed is used by a college student. The ruling overturned a $179,001 jury award to a college senior who blamed his falling out of a loft bed on the lack of a warning label... 'Warnings would lose their efficacy and meaning if they were placed on every instrument known to be dangerous, such as a knife, scissors, glass, bat, ball, bicycle or other product that poses a generally known risk of injury if misused, dropped, or fallen from.'"

Doodle by squidsoup - "DOODLE is a work-in-progress exploring the possibilities of intuitive and direct drawing in 3D virtual space. Built to use a Flock of Birds (from Ascension Technologies), we have also made a (limited) demo using a conventional mouse. The 3D version allows for creation of drawn 3D shapes (spirals, swirls, faces, handwriting through to more complex objects). It was built as the basis of a drawn sound or drawn flora project (both in progress)."

Malaysia dishes out to raise profile - "Malaysia, where the unofficial national sport is eating and which boasts some of the world's best food, barely features on the international culinary map. According to the Malaysian government, which clearly keeps a close eye on such things, there are just 376 Malaysian restaurants to feed the six billion people who live outside the country."

Mountain Dew Becomes Drinkable - "I take a closer look and notice that it’s new “Mountain Dew ENERGY” and it’s listed as a “Natural Health Product” and an “Energy Drink” on the label. I’m intrigued, so I check the label for more; it has CAFFEINE in it. Not guarana or any other half baked caffeine substitute, but real, life affirming caffeine. For years (decades? forever?) it was impossible to purchase beverages in Canada that had caffeine in them where caffeine didn’t naturally occur"

BEAD ME A SHIMMERING DANCE @ gemsweater.com - Andrew: "ugly sweaters for ugly girls"

Book Review: The No Asshole Rule by Robert Sutton - "I have an early copy of Sutton’s book, The No Asshole Rule: Building a Civilized Workplace and Surviving One That Isn’t, and it’s the definitive guide to understanding, counteracting, and not becoming an asshole. I am qualified to make this judgment because (a) I’ve been an asshole a few times and (b) been a victim of assholes more than a few times."

Pupils are told: it is time for the hugging to stop - "A school headmaster was branded a killjoy yesterday after he ordered pupils to stop hugging each other. Steven Kenning banned them from embracing between classes because it was making them late for their lessons and could lead to a “victim” being hugged against their will."

Is this the end of the road for traffic lights? - "Most traffic lights should be torn up as they make roads less safe, one of Europe's leading road engineers said yesterday. Hans Monderman, a traffic planner involved in a Brussels-backed project known as Shared Space, said that taking lights away helped motorists, cyclists and pedestrians to co-exist more happily and safely. Residents of the northern Dutch town of Drachten have already been used as guinea-pigs in an experiment which has seen nearly all the traffic lights stripped from their streets."

Bad vibes in Glastonbury after Catholics against pagans - "By the light of the full moon, witches in Glastonbury will tonight be casting a “circle of protection” around Britain’s centre of mysticism after a group of militant Christians cast salt at them in an attempt to “cleanse” the town of paganism."

From golf to yoga: how India treats its troops - "The army blames the phenomenon, known in the military as “fragging”, after US soldiers in the Vietnam war rolled fragmentation grenades into the tents of unpopular officers, on the high stress levels among the 700,000 troops fighting Islamic militants in Kashmir. It has sent psychiatrists, psychologists and even yoga instructors to the region, claimed by India and Pakistan, to help to ease the concerns of troops."

Unilever: Ice Cream Product Developer - "Based at our Ice Cream Global Technology Centre, where great products such as Wall's, Solero and Magnum have passed through our doors, you'll help develop mouth-watering products that take advantage of our technical capability to deliver new benefits to the consumer. You'll be able to work with these technologies and to transform them into ice cream innovations with real food credentials that consumers all over the world will value."

Faking it as a priest in Japan - "With a rise in the popularity of Christian-style weddings in Japan, some Westerners are finding they can make a lucrative living by acting as priests... Mr Kelly argues that the ceremony is not about religion, but about image. "I give a good performance. I use an Apache wedding prayer in my ceremony. It works very well, although I had to take out the part about the bear god in the sky," he said. "If people are crying by the end of the wedding, I think I have done a good job.""
Damn Japs.

Which steak tastes the best? - "Never have I witnessed a piece of meat so move grown men (and women). Every taster but one instantly proclaimed the grass-fed steak the winner, commending it for its "beautiful," "fabu," and "extra juicy" flavor that "bursts out on every bite." The lone holdout, who preferred the Niman Ranch steak, agreed that this steak tasted the best, but found it a tad chewy. That said, another taster wrote, "I'm willing to give up some tenderness for this kind of flavor.""
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