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Meesa gonna kill you!

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Saturday, March 25, 2006


Jiekai was responsible for this.
It's raining noodles!: I want to believe:

Alright, Agagooga. I'm not even going to try to argue with you anymore. Not only because it's pointless arguing with someone like you and a waste of my time, but because you keep ignoring logic and bringing up things that have already been answered multiple times.

Funny, that's my experience of arguing with fundies, when according to them 1 + 1 = 3.
"I have been thinking that I would make a proposition to my Republican friends... that if they will stop telling lies about the Democrats, we will stop telling the truth about them." - Adlai E. Stevenson Jr., Speech during 1952 Presidential Campaign

***

I wonder how much more slowly the airplane and the industry would have developed if the Wright Brothers had managed to protect their patent. But at least the airplane was not covered under intellectual property laws, or we might still be flying in biplanes.

"Samuel Beckett was once asked to explain the significance of the title character in his masterpiece, Waiting for Godot. "If I knew," he replied, "I would have said so in the play."" - I'm so happy I didn't buy a ticket.

***

Email Feedback:

Subject: "good"
Message: "msn is gay and u r to now get fuced"

???

***

Bad Taste Bears - Pearce & Muffy

Escher for Real - "The work of M.C. Escher needs no introduction. We have all learned to appreciate the impossibilities that this master of illusion's artwork presents to the layman's eye. Nevertheless, it may come as a surprise for some, but many of the so-called 'impossible' drawings of M. C. Escher can be realized as actual physical objects. These objects will resemble the Escher's drawing, of the same name, from a certain viewing direction. This work below presents some of these three-dimensional models that were designed and built using geometric modeling and computer graphics tools."

Running commentary - "Welcome to SightJogging, the most ridiculous way to see a city ever invented. Carolina Gasparetto, the appropriately named founder, thought it up a couple of years ago, presumably after one too many grappas or one too many ab crunches, and it launched officially late last year. The theory is simple: you have a city tour while running. Yes, you’re right: she should have called it Running Commentary."

Two years in prison for downloading latest film - "Germans risk two years in prison if they illegally download films and music for private use under a new law agreed yesterday."
This is ridiculous. It's becoming like Prohibition.

Why be gay? - "The suppressed thoughts are often unwelcomed ones. These might be problems of school, of the family, health, fears, trauma and bad memories of the past and many others that are too many to list here. Actually mankind has been facing many unwanted thoughts such as threats to one's life since he was walking on the earth. He faced many life-threatening threats from ferocious animals aound his environment."
Someone pimped this in my comments box. I think Tim Tang is back.

Deism vs the Bible 3: (Magic in the Bible) - "Magic and mythical creatures aren't real but the Bible says otherwise. 1. Giants, 2. Unicornsm 3. Dragons and Leviathan, 4. Cockatrices, 5. Divination, 6. Sorcery and Voodoo"
I like the unequivocable proof of a geocentric solar system.

I KNOW WHO YOU ARE AND WHAT YOU DID XIAXUE XIA XUE WENDY CHENG - After a while, you really wonder.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Walkthrough for The Wicked

(My Little Bird has posted a new, updated walkthrough so please stop emailing me/leaving comments asking for answers! Thanks.)

Some readers, visitors to Tomorrow.sg or otherwise, will have heard of this game by "Tay Wei Kiat with a rated IQ of 137", and which apparently used to bill itself as being "similar to famous online puzzle site such as godtower and thisnotporn" and "the newest revolution in the online puzzle site realm".

Basically, it's conceptually similar to such games as Petals Around The Rose and the baffling, incomprehensible action/association games JC kids like to play, like so: One person will point in one direction and say it's 3 o'clock, point in another and say it's 5 o'clock and point in a third direction and ask people to guess what time it is. In reality, the "time" is determined by something else, like how his fingers are crossed.

Being fond of breaking such covenants (the one not to reveal the answers to people but let them figure it out on their own), seeing how many people are crying out for solutions and observing that many of the answers are so far out of the box as to be in another plane of existence, I shall proceed to do up answers for each level (at least each that I've completed, unaided or otherwise).

Needless to say, this walkthrough is choke-full of spoilers, so those who prefer to solve the game on their own are advised to skip the rest of this post (except for the part asking those who have solved Level 31 and beyond to send in the answers).


Level 1: All's White

Solution: http://weikiat.ikueb.com/thewicked/2level.html
Explanation: Select all the text on the page and you'll see the answer.


Level 2: Look inside me.

Solution: http://weikiat.ikueb.com/thewicked/stage3.html
Explanation: View source.


Level 3: Look there...

Solution: http://weikiat.ikueb.com/thewicked/4window.html
Explanation: Look at the title of the window.


Level 4: 1, 2, 3, 4, High X?

Solution: http://weikiat.ikueb.com/thewicked/high5.html
Explanation: High 5


Level 5: The answer is obvious.

Solution: http://weikiat.ikueb.com/thewicked/obvious.html
Explanation: "Obvious" is literally the answer.


Level 6: Name of the first style

Solution: http://weikiat.ikueb.com/thewicked/grey.html
Explanation: The source references the stylesheet main.css. The first style named in there is "grey"


Level 7: forget the last Losers!

Solution: http://weikiat.ikueb.com/thewicked/grey.htm
Explanation: Drop the last "l" in the filename.


Level 8: Use your first knowledge.

Solution: http://weikiat.ikueb.com/thewicked/smartguy.html
Explanation: Solve it the same way you did Level 1.


Level 9: Dotz

Solution: http://weikiat.ikueb.com/thewicked/notfound.html
Explanation: Click on the colon ("dots")


Level 10: Find it.

Solution: http://weikiat.ikueb.com/thewicked/found.html
Explanation: The filename is "notfound", so you "find" it.


Level 11: Come again another day

Solution: http://weikiat.ikueb.com/thewicked/yougothint.html
Explanation: Set your system clock one day forward and enter the site from the front page again ("resume").


Level 12: Web + Woods

Solution: http://weikiat.ikueb.com/thewicked/blogs.html
Explanation: Web + logs - you cut logs from the woods.


Level 13: The number!

Solution: http://weikiat.ikueb.com/thewicked/1.html
Explanation: I've no idea. Presumably because people say "The number 1!" This can also be interpreted in that "!" is gotten by pressing the number "1" on the keyboard.


Level 14: From Z to M.

Solution: http://weikiat.ikueb.com/thewicked/zxcvbnm.html
Explanation: The letters on the keyboard from Z to M run: "zxcvbnm"


Level 15: The # without #
*image of a cyan-ish square*

Solution: http://weikiat.ikueb.com/thewicked/7dc0eb.html
Explanation: The hex code for that colour is "#7dc0eb", so remove the hex.


Level 16: Name it in ABC
*picture of Hualalalala T-shirt*

Solution: http://weikiat.ikueb.com/thewicked/hci.html
Explanation: Hwa Chong Institution = HCI


Level 17: All's Almost White
*picture of white box*

Solution: http://weikiat.ikueb.com/thewicked/jumpinghappily.html
Explanation: I'm told that if you tweak your display's contrast, you will see "jumping happily"


Level 18: Look inside
*picture of cookes*

Solution: http://weikiat.ikueb.com/thewicked/1level9.html
Explanation: Check the cookies directory/file in your browser's temporary files folder. One cookie will be named as being the hint for level 19.


Level 19: Its time to gif.
*picture of wrapped gift box*

Solution: http://weikiat.ikueb.com/thewicked/lala.html
Explanation: The picture is named "gift.jpg". Loading "gift.gif" delivers one the answer.


Level 20: Time at 3.30 is not negative.

Solution: http://weikiat.ikueb.com/thewicked/tehran.html
Explanation: Tehran has time offset GMT+3:30


Level 21: Who's that?
*picture of skeleton*

Solution: http://weikiat.ikueb.com/thewicked/robert.html
Explanation: The picture of the skeleton is named "robert.jpg"


Level 22: The answer.
*3 random pictures*

Solution: http://weikiat.ikueb.com/thewicked/42.html
Explanation: The 3 pictures are named "life", "universe" and "everything". The answer to Life, the Universe and Everything is 42 (according to Douglas Adams).


Level 23: Go beyond the answer.

Solution: http://weikiat.ikueb.com/thewicked/43.html
Explanation: 42 + 1 = 43


Level 24: Hear it.
*picture of waves*

Solution: http://weikiat.ikueb.com/thewicked/justanother.html
Explanation: http://weikiat.ikueb.com/thewicked/images/waves.wav has someone (presumably the author of the site) saying "juss an'udder" (sic)


Level 25: The second
*picture of a hand pointing*

Solution: http://weikiat.ikueb.com/thewicked/index2.html
Explanation: The picture is of an index finger, so the second index (index2) is the answer.


Level 26: Good but obsolete
*picture of Sony MD player*

Solution: http://weikiat.ikueb.com/thewicked/fly.html
Explanation: The morse code in the top left hand corner reads "F L Y"


Level 27: Search first.
*picture of key*

Solution: http://weikiat.ikueb.com/thewicked/puzzle.html
Explanation: You have to search index.html for the first "key"word - "puzzle".


Level 28: The untruth of transports
*picture of transport vehicles*

Solution: http://weikiat.ikueb.com/thewicked/hjftuop.html
Explanation: Typing "hjftuop" in the Webdings font gives one that series of vehicles.


Level 29: Say thy name
A tiny little fish,
slithers into your year.
It can never be made a dish,
but can translate for you to hear.

Solution: http://weikiat.ikueb.com/thewicked/babelfish.html
Explanation: The poem is a reference to Douglas Adams's Babelfish.


Level 30: Hidden far in darkness lies the truth only blind can see.

Solution: http://weikiat.ikueb.com/thewicked/potato.html
Explanation: The word "potato" is spelt in Braille (which the blind "read").


Level 31: Wicked College

Solution: http://weikiat.ikueb.com/thewicked/potato/college.html
Explanation: Click on the phrase "Wicked College"


Level 31: Imagine that you are a student. No alternatives. Just believe it. You are a poor miserable student carrying your poor miserable bag over your pathetic back and you are now standing at the school gate. The school bell rang in the distance.

Solution:
- Run Home
- Pet Kitten
- Run Home
- Do It
- Run Home
- Approach Car
- Yes


I hope you have appreciated this walkthrough, brought to you with much generous assistance from She-who-has-a-high-I[g]Q (idiotic [game] quotient). Many thanks to enHanC3X of the Hardwarezone forums also for the solutions to Level 27-30.

Those with the answers to Level 31 and beyond are solicited to leave a comment or contact me by other means, so that I may add to this walkthrough.

Honouring the author's rude request, I will not add solutions to any more levels.

(My Little Bird has posted a new, updated walkthrough so please stop emailing me/leaving comments asking for answers! Thanks.)
I just spent almost S$180 on 2 books for 1 of my modules for next period (including shipping). This is already US$20 cheaper than getting the books on the school bulk purchase here, which is in turn €10 cheaper than what they'd cost in bookstores.

There were some cheaper deals on other online booksellers, especially half.com which had someone offering one of the books at a dirt cheap price, but the parochial bumpkins have not yet discovered globalization and only ship within the US.

Luckily I managed to get the book for another in Singapore before I left, so there's only one textbook left to get.

Someone: that's why comapnies that publish these books can have really nice huge buildings on new york's 6th ave
prentice hall
its like next to the rockerfeller center or something
1011 ave of the americas

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Jiekai puts too much oil in his cooking.

Women should consider him if they want to get fat.
"It is nobler to declare oneself wrong than to insist on being right - especially when one is right." - Friedrich Nietzsche

***

On Tuesday I also visited the Dick Bruna house, dedicated to a guy who draw a retarded looking bunny called "Miffy". I don't get it.


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How my university tries to protect against moral hazard

Examinations here are so slack: there is no fixed seating arrangement, and you can bring in food and drink.

I saw a man in a blue skirt, red stockings and golden shoes. Wah.

I bought a 330ml can of Schweppes Cream Soda for €0.80. Meanwhile a 330ml can of Heineken cost €1. No wonder people here drink so much.

I finally saw a Segway in the flesh (or in the metal). Of all things, it was a moving ad for AMD.

For some reason, my blasted phone keeps loading the T-mobile GPRS site automatically despite my locking the keypad, costing me €0.15 each time (€0.30 in all). I had to manually change the address to an invalid one.

I should go to a DVD store, ask for Eurotrip and see what happens.

Dear Walls, in keeping with its tradition of having a different name in each country, is called "Ola" here. Wikipedia has a full listing. The number of names for "Heartbrand" ice cream is really shocking.

I saw a car with many white splotches on it. There were so many, and they were so well-spaced out along the car's body, that I was inclined to think that it was a piece of modern art rather than bird shit. This is even worse than most Greek cars.

Buskers crooning to guitars are passe. I saw this guy playing a xylophone to the Barber of Seville Overture blaring in the background.

There's something to be said for not giving up without a fight during a war, but sometimes resistance at all costs just doesn't make any sense. In World War II, the Dutch hadn't surrendered to the Germans despite overwhelming odds and obviously having lost. As a demonstration of their power, the Germans then bombed Rotterdam to smithereens, which is why the city is so modern today, and threatened to do the same to Utrecht and Amsterdam. No doubt die-hard nationalists would advocate fighting on until the last Dutch was killed, but then while the German occupation lasted for only 5 years, the loss of the old buildings of Rotterdam (including the house of Erasmus) was for eternity. A defiant gesture of resistance is hardly worth destroying your cultural heritage for.

Seen in the window of a shop: Laughing Vampire Gothic Clothing

For the first time, I've seen a non-sleeveless wedding outfit - over the traditional getup was a long-sleeved bolero.

I was wondering what was so special about the Superkroket that the place at the train station sold, so I bought one. I think so far I'd only had satekrokets, which under the thick crispy shell are about half-filled with filling having the consistency of pus and a very undistinctive taste (they taste better than they sound). Biting into the Superkroket, I found that it had very little air, and tasted very strongly of meat. It even had visible bits of meat in it. Unfortunately, the meat was beef so I was able to stomach only 2/3 of the foul-smelling kroket. The kalfsvlees krokets aren't much better either. I think I'll stick to sate.


Quotes:

[On someone advertising something] Whenever I listen to the radio, I hear the commericals. 'To find out more, visit this website. www.*babbles*'... I have no idea what the website is even though he said it twice.

[On human capital] Raw labour - People showing up without any intellectual baggage.

[On extending a model] You can breathe a sigh of relief... Finally we get to the real stuff.

This is all very interesting, but I assume you guys are only interested in one thing - next week's midterm.

[On imitation vs innovation] This is a model which a lot of countries in Southeast Asia have chosen. Instead of innovating, they've said: Let's just take the technology, and do it cheaper. It's been very successful.

[On (1 + ge)(1 + gl) - 1 ~= ge + gl] Most Economists are lazy, so they just use this.

You can see in the 70s, there was a great slowdown in productivity growth. 'The great productivity growth slowdown' - that's not the original name.

me crow was terrible (micro)

This is the only question I will not spell out. Because... I have to take some rest for the b part of the question (present the answers to in full, part b)

A mountain in the Netherlands? We have one... [Student: How hig his it? One hundred metres?] Dree honderd. [Translation: 300]

[On het/de and noun matching] It's so stupid. How are we supposed to learn? [Teacher: Use your head] It makes no sense. (memory)

[On Dutch] It's a tricky language. [Teacher: It's nice]

[On eyeballing technology] It's a dirty trick Weil uses. He looks at India and goes: Oh, they're 10 years behind the US.

Does this happen only in faraway countries? No. This is one of my favourite slides in the course. Examples of Dutch rent-seeking.

Lobbying the arts committee for a subsidy. Which is what most artists in this country do. They should be out there creating art.

[On underemployment] If you try to talk to your local cable guy and tell him they should not only open their office on Friday from 9-12, but the entrie weekend, he'll look at you like you're crazy. You tell him he's being underemployed and unproductive.

[On blocking technology] And of course the cultural arguments which the French like to throw out... If you end the subsidies the typical French farmer will no longer exist.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Me: I'll go upstairs and slip into something more comfortable.

Jiekai: That sounds very wrong.

Me: I'll also prepare your bed.

Jiekai: That sounds even more wrong.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

"I grew up in Europe, where the history comes from." - Eddie Izzard


Search Referrals:

fountainmaker oregon

raffles-institution upskirt site:blogspot.com - Maybe he thought RI was Raffles Guys School. Someone: "uppants of wee RI kids. upshorts, even. which would also be more correct for raffles guys since so many of them wear fbt shorts under their skirts"

singapore symbol of torment

where could I find some naked pictures of Daniel Radcliffe? - Same place as those of emma watson.

vis-a-vis acapella - They're world famous.

SAF naked photo bunk army - Security breach! Security breach!

non nude 12yr old

pictures of daniel radcliffe looking at emma watson's breasts

NUS STUDENTS SEX VIDEO

Mickey Mouse democracy

Malay Quality Boobs

soft lovable pussies

"White Tigress" denomination female

sylvia brown and all university secrets and God's doctrine look in the eyes of schrodinger midnight cat ritual
sylvia brown and her church doctrine look in the eyes of schrodinger midnight cat ritual death

mother aunt piss lund OR choot OR lun OR mumme OR choot

You play the world like a casino, everythings a gamble, and ur probably right, but if you can lower the stakes and raise the rewards at the same time why not? There is no such thing as "cheating" in the real world

can u use my cunt.com - These URLs exist?!

akan dating scams

morality as based on sentiment I am surpriz'd

SAf Acapella + School + blogspot - Apparently there's really an SAF a cappella group.

pink ranger turns lesbian

low-stress high-paying job - Yeah right.

is it safe to masterbate using fruit - Try durians.

pictures of face plastic surgery gone bad - Simple, just go for it again!

buttock scar bcg sexy

electric current anti pigeon devices

nude pictures of yao ming

killing telemarketers equipment

unethical sociological experiments

woman requesting men to masturbate - You hardly need to request it.

emma watson erection - Is this some bad Hentai like F3 Part 3?

video, how small girls masterbate

interesting ways to masterbate

emma lahana london international awards sang - Ah, if only.

contrappunto bestiale parliament

eye acupoints - Yan3 mie4 hai4 chao1 - kai1 shi3!

the caning of boys in Asia

toilet seats at aldi

rgs girl public showing affection

albanian men porn

In THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA, what tasty treat did the White Witch give to Edmund to entice him? - I got this twice in a row. Will this be like "What round object did Gollum refer to as "My Precious""?

USP losers

how do girls use a banana to masterbate - Why do people suffer from failures of imagination?

deyi secondary school ghost story

power ranger dino wither

sorcerer vs philosopher - The pen is mightier than the sword, but can it triumph over the wand?

psychological consequences of shaving head military

nus modules bog

very scared of SAF SOC

"Claire Chiang" arm wrestling

upskirt women wearing sanitary pads - Is there a difference?

Mutant turtle porn pics

Inseminated By 2 Black Men rapidshare

neopets music codes aladdin a whole new world

forged shave fetish female head

daniel radcliffe shaves legs

"ravi abraham varghese"

dawn gabriel law surgery plastic - Law?!

unsolved murders in ri--boys

what does what if god smoked cannabis song mean

sluts msn addresses

my sexy van asian singer

free+examples+online icebreakers/games+children+foster self esteem

Stationmaster rules drinking game

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emma watson vegetarian

is daniel radcliffe gay

how to remove heelys bearings to clean them

howdo you anal masterbate

handphones bring more good than harm to students - When will people stop Googling for answers to inane GP essay topics?

water torture female slaves video

anime sex doll $12 - So cheap? Wah, I also want.

dose your sister masterbate

funky photography of black women with afro's

Daniel Radcliffe's playlist

software to hack all the payble sex sites

upskirt pad kotex

sexy "wearing rollerblades"

"loose top" boob

chinese opera forbid taking picture

"what if god smoked cannabis" german lyric

"George Lim" + Hair

museum louvre paris etruscan obese

morrowind better hair bretton

torrent impulse can deodorant girl masturbate

red power ranger=porn star - Learned examination (some people actually went to view the video) results in the verdict: close, but no cigar.

flyingfaeries birthday

SSLP positioning for unconscious casualty

The Holy Grape CD

men in bra "men in bra"

TARGET AUDIENCE OF KOTEX ULTRA DRI-COMFORT PADS

rectal thermometer fetish bottom - Then? Fetish top? Putting in the mouth?

Authentic Female Orgasm Videos

Medicinal value of a blowjob - For the giver or recipient?

Outlandish safety slogans - I'm the top result for this! HAHA

pictures of people recovering from breast augmentation


Google site search:
raffles hall nus sex
melina's pussy
lirik ku juga mencintaimu
"At the age of eleven or thereabouts women acquire a poise and an ability to handle difficult situations which a man, if he is lucky, manages to achieve somewhere in the later seventies." - P. G. Wodehouse

***

Fake 'Porn' Euros Used As Real Money - No wonder it's so hard to get my notes of €100 and above accepted here.

Sacrificed for Honor: Italian Infant Abandonment and the Politics of Reproductive Control - "Pregnant single women in 19th-century Italy, threatened with the loss of their own and their families' honor, gave their babies to foundling homes, where hundreds of thousands of children died from starvation and disease. In this shocking and engrossing study, Kertzer, a historian and anthropologist at Brown, blames the Catholic Church for its central role in nurturing a system that controlled women's sexuality, exempted men from parental responsibility and consigned infants to death. Midwives were recruited by church and state officials to inform on illicit pregnancies. Many foundling homes devised programs under which unwed mothers, in order to pay for their own infants' care, were forced to serve as wet nurses for other children. Kertzer draws loose parallels between the system of legalized infant abandonment, which spread throughout southern Europe, and contemporary debates on abortion and the role of church and state in defining the social good."

Das Human Kapital by Oded Galor, Omer Moav - "This paper hypothesizes that the demise of the 19th century's European class structure reflects a deliberate transformation of society orchestrated by the capitalists. Contrary to conventional wisdom, it argues that the demise of this class structure was an outcome of a cooperative, rather than divisive process. The research suggests that the transition from this class structure may be viewed as the outcome of an optimal reaction by the capitalists to the increasing importance of human capital in sustaining their profit rates. The paper argues that the process of capital accumulation gradually intensified the importance of skilled labor in the production process and generated an incentive for investment in human capital. Due to the complementarity between physical and human capital in production, the capitalists were among the prime beneficiaries of the accumulation of human capital by the masses. They therefore had the incentive to support public education that would sustain their profit rates and would improve their economic well-being, although it would ultimately undermine their dynasty's position in the social ladder. The research suggests that Karl Marx's highly influential prediction about the inevitable class struggle due to declining profit rates stemmed from an under appreciation of the role that human capital would play in the production process. The basic premise of this research, regarding the positive attitude of capitalists towards education reforms, is supported empirically by a newly constructed data set of the voting patterns on England's education reform proposed in the Balfour Act of 1902."

Public toilets' lighting has wrong effect - "Subdued blue lights in Warwickshire public toilets, which are meant to discourage drug addicts, are actually encouraging couples to have sex."

MK vs. SF

Utrechts Byzantijns Koor - Too bad I missed their concert on Saturday.

Pictures of Pennies - "The following is the basic pattern for building cantilevered structures with Pennies. Although it looks trivial, we can build amazing structures with these pillars. All penny columns are ten high, a "stack". Two side-by-side pennies held in place by a penny above them is called a "triad". Below is a stack with two triads resting on top."

Women Police in Iran - "see how islamic countries train their women police"

School is 'unable to plaster cut' - "A parent has spoken of his anger after his wife had to go to their daughter's school to put a plaster on when staff said they were not allowed to."

Invasion of the Bodysnatchers - "When Tanya Andrews returned from a recent family holiday in Costa Rica, she had no idea she had brought back a gruesome souvenir. A month later she developed an extremely painful lump on her head. At first, she thought she had an abscess, but then it wriggled"

Record Set for Hottest Temperature on Earth: 3.6 Billion Degrees in Lab - "This is hotter than the interior of our Sun, which is about 15 million degrees Kelvin, and also hotter than any previous temperature ever achieved on Earth, they say."

SafeScreen - "SafeScreen blocks offensive images before they are displayed on the computer screen. SafeScreen blurs inappropriate images automatically so that you, your children and your school are protected"
Uhh.

Religious Objection to Monitoring Device - "Scott Smith was convicted of molesting two teenage girls in 2003. For this he received a short jail sentence and five years of probation. He is required, due to his conviction as a sex offender, to wear and electronic monitoring device but has refused on religious grounds. Smith was a member of the Brotherhood of Christ, a group that believes electricity is evil. According to Ron Livingston, leader of the Brotherhood, electricity can cause people to disobey God."
I went to the Centraal Museum (interestingly enough, it's not the Utrecht Central Museum, but the plain Centraal Museum) last Tuesday. The collection was respectable, with lots of Dutch Golden Age paintings, yet it was a little underwhelming after the Met and the British Museum, or even the Museum Boijmans van Beuningen.

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Sorel - Maria met Kind
The virgin mary looks like a 9 year old girl.

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Bloemaert - Jozef en Zijn Broers (Joseph and his brothers)
This illustrates the "height of Utrecht Mannerism". Unfortunately he still put modern clothes on Joseph and friend - I want to see muscled chests!

There were quite a few paintings of still life. Not surprising given the Dutch tradition.

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D'hondecoeter - Orpheus and the animals

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Tulip vase in 2 parts

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Petronella de la Court's Doll House
This is an exquisite replica of a real house on a miniature scale

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Weenix - View of an Italian harbour

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Bone ice skate from AD 650-800
There was a section with recent archaeological finds from the Dark Ages.

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Utrecht Ship (AD 997)
This was found in 1930. I can't remember if I've seen Sutton Hoo, but this is not bad too.

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This eagle adorned the facade of the Utrecht Life Insurance Company HQ from 1901

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Chimney frieze, Madonna and Child & 2 figures bearing arms

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There was an interesting section with photographs made to look like Old Masters. The photographs were commissioned by the fashion label 'The People of the Labyrinths'.

At the top of the level there was an embodiment of the "museum in a museum" concept - there was a video showing what it was like to walk through the vaults of the museum.


There was a part of the museum called the chapel. It was very strange. Inside it was closer than the rest of the museum, and a strong peppermint smell filled the air. A new age music track was playing and a girl was singing a ghostly song to a moving projection of images.


It turned out that it was installation art by Pipilotti Rist - Expecting (2001). Some items were displayd in the chapel, but I couldn't find any information panels or pamphlets. The smell was enough to get me on a trip, and the place in general spooked me out. It was with a great deal of effort that I stopped myself from running out screaming.

After the Centraal museum, I went to the University Museum, the museum of the University of Utrecht. At the bookshop, there was an issue of a journal on games ("tmg 7/2004 -2"). Most of it was in Dutch, but there was also one article about Doom in English.

The woman at the counter gave me a booklet in English introducing the exhibits, since there were no information panels in English, but I was still unable to figure out exactly what was what, since the exhibits didn't seem to be arranged in the same order they were introduced in the booklet. Actually it wouldn't have helped that much even if I was fluent in Dutch - there weren't any labels or captions in Dutch either, save for short expositions about what was in the cabinets.

The ground floor of the museum had mainly biological specimens, including:

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Foetuses in jars

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More foetuses in jars

There were photos of skeletons of people afflicted with rickets, and others of infants. I couldn't tell which had which deformity, but my guess is that:

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This boy probably suffered from hydrocephalus (excessive cranial fluid, resulting in a big head)

I love the Dutch penchant for captions, which was again evident: "Two hundred years ago, a child with a congenital abnormality was still cheerfully called a "monster"." Maybe this has something to do with the Dutch love for getting straight to the point.

Half the ground floor of the museum was under renovation, so I'll be dropping by again after 9th April. Even if I had no Museum Card, I'd still get free entry since I'm a student of the University.

One level up, there were lots of old telephones and computers. Among other things, I finally saw an Atari 2600 in the flesh (pity it was not on though), the Original Pong from 1972 (it was even uglier than I'd imagined) and a strange Apple poster from 1985/1986 promoting an "Incentive campaign Tunesia". At least on this level most things were labelled.

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My guess is that this on the table was one of the first mobile phones

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"dag & nacht on-line"

On the top (second) level there were some old microscopes, dental instruments, stuffed and preserved animals. The lack of labelling on this and the ground floor really detracted from my appreciation and enjoyment of the exhibits.

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Man and an distant, earlier relative

Last Tuesday it was still cold enough for the topmost layer of ponds to freeze (not cold enough to take my weight, unfortunately, as one layer I pressed down on sunk). Hopefully this means it will be cool in winter.
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Page 12 - Silly flowchart, irrelevant evangelism

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Cut out flowchart

How silly; it has many glaring omissions. Here is my own flowchart:
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As you will note, it's much more comprehensive than the one above, less colourful though it might be.

As John Beversluis comments on CS Lewis: “One of Lewis’s most serious weaknesses as an apologist is his fondness for the false dilemma. He habitually confronts his readers with the alleged necessity of choosing between two alternatives when there are in fact other options to be considered. One horn of the dilemma typically sets forth Lewis’s view in all its apparent forcefulness, while the other horn is a ridiculous straw man. Either the universe is the product of a conscious Mind or it is a mere “fluke” (MC. 31). Either morality is a revelation or it is an inexplicable illusion (PP, 22). Either morality is grounded in the supernatural or it is a “mere twist” in the human mind (PP, 20). Either right and wrong are real or they are “mere irrational emotions” (CR, 66). Lewis advances these arguments again and again, and they are all open to the same objection.”

And then on the right is a strong suggestion to pray a prayer - wth?! This is almost entirely irrelevant to the stated purpose of the pamphlet.

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Page 13 - Afterword

The afterword claims that the pamphlet has put Jesus on trial. What it doesn't say is that this trial has been in a kangaroo court, with the assumption (not only the presumption) of innocence and without any cross-examining or counter-arguments by the prosecution at all. As a piece of critical writing, I would give it 1/10, and hope never to get any of the people behind the pamphlet defending me in a court of law (though I would certainly welcome their presence on the other side of the courtroom).

Certainly, as they hoped I have enjoyed browsing the magazine in that I've been able to tear their so-called arguments to shreds with nary an effort. After all the FUD put out by the CCC, I really hope that readers have been able to find some real answers as they sort through the lies and half-truths contained in this pamphlet.

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Page 14 - Pamphlet tie-ins and contest

This page promotes many apologetic publications to the reader, with no mention of any opposing or contrary views. Fie, fie. There is also a contest where those who send in their feedback to beneath_that_smile@yahoo.com.sg stand a chance to win an iPod Shuffle. I am almost tempted to send them my blog posts about this shitty pamphlet, but the iPod Shuffle sucks anyway, so.

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Back cover


Inspired by the pamphlet, here I present my review of "The Da Vinci Code (Companion Guide)" by the Campus Crusade for Christ

In A Nutshell
The companion guide is not produced by the people behind the Da Vinci Code but instead by the fundamentalist Christian group "Campus Crusade for Christ". It aims not to enlighten you about the truth behind "The Da Vinci Code" but to convert you to their strain of Christianity by presenting you with lies and half-truths without any counterarguments at all, ending with an appeal to emotion - not what you were promised on the cover.

What's Hot
This pamphlet is excellently marketed, presenting an example of the classic bait and switch strategem. Its distribution also attests to the power of using unpaid volunteers to spread your wares.

What's Not
Just like "the Da Vinci Code", this probably contains only one true line.

Our Say
The money used to make this pamphlet should've been used to feed starving children in Africa. Or at the very least they could've made a more convincing case less likely to piss off thinking people with half a brain.

Vital statistics
Gloss and polish: 5/5
Tie-ins with other apologetic literature: 5/5
Historical accuracy: 1/5
Disingenuousness: 1/5
Contribution to the littering problem in NUS: 5/5


Quiz!

In an era where "black is white" is reality worth anything?

In this era seeing the resurgence of Christian fundamentalism, are you a fundamentalist Christian or a truth-seeker? How does the notion of 'biblical inerrancy' figure in the last 2 centuries? We dare you to take this test to find out!

1. How old is the earth?
a) Less than 10,000 years old, despite all scientific evidence to the contrary
b) 4.5 billion years old

2. Is the bible inerrant?
a) Yes, even when it contradicts itself it must be because we have cataracts floating in our eyes.
b) No, some parts clearly contradict each other.

3. What do you think of Catholics?
a) They worship Mary! They're the spawn of Satan! The Pope is the Anti-Christ!
b) Just another Christian denomination.

4. Is there a possibility, however slight, that St Paul suffered from Temporal Lobe Epilepsy given that his description of his conversion fits the symptoms of the disease?
a) No! You will burn in hell for this!
b) Yes.

5. Can the massacre of the Midianites in Numbers 31 ever be justified?
a) God can never be questioned, even when he causes more suffering than Satan!
b) This raises troubling questions that we must at least consider.

6. Can women become priests/pastors?
a) Yes
b) I don't know/care
c) No

Wonder what the results will show? Here goes! Are we describing you right?

Mostly As
You are a Fundamentalist who believes that the bible is inerrant and that when your or your denomination's interpretation conflicts with reality, our perception of reality is flawed. If the bible told you to commit genocide, you would.

Mostly Bs
Congratulations! You are not a fundamentalist. We can't say anything else about you though, since this is a stupid quiz fundamentally flawed in its format.

One C
You're Catholic! Every sperm is sacred.


-End of Part 3 and the whole review-

Moral of the story: Just because Agagooga is not in Singapore doesn't mean that fundies can spread their trash freely.

A repackaged version of BibleTrash.zip with truncated and resized scans of the pamphlet and my flowchart is available for downloading:

YouSendIt link - expires within 7 days/25 downloads
MegaUpload link - expires after a long time of inactivity
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Page 5

"The Bible was written by more than 40 different authors, and across a period of 1,600 years. Yet amidst the diversity of authorship, there emerged a single unified story - the salvation plan of God for a sinful humanity."

This is patently false. A small catalogue of Fatal Biblical Flaws will swiftly put paid to the CCC's groundless assertion, and the same author also provides a list of Biblical Inconsistencies. Besides which, most of the Old Testament is irrelevant regarding "the salvation plan of God for a sinful humanity."

And then near the bottom of the page, we see an example of a circular argument: "Therefore, only because God inspired the OT and NT writers, as 2 Timothy 3:16 proclaims "All Scripture is God-breathed...", the Bible that we have today is not only a historically accurate work, but it is a divinely inspired account"

Frankly, I was expecting to see this earlier in the pamphlet, and in much greater quantity. Some small modicum of credit can be given to the writers of the pamphlet from not, as they are wont to doing, using the bible to prove the bible all the time.

There is also a quote from Simon Greenleaf about "the NT documents": "You may choose to say I do not believe it all, but you may not say there is not enough evidence." Not having access to the quote in context I cannot comment about what he was referring to, and if he was justified in his assertion, but one might note that this quote is from the mid-19th century or earlier, and if he studied the documents today he might come to a different conclusion.

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Page 6

No complaints except for:

"BTS: Was there really a debate over the deity of Christ?
Mr Josh McDowell: ... No one believed or debated if he was merely a man or prophet."

This part is not quite correct. In reality, some of the earliest followers of Jesus did believe that he was merely a man. For example, the Ebionites and Carpocratians denied his divinity.

The footnotes on the page describe Josh McDowell as "a former skeptic who believed that Christianity was a hoax and went on a personal search to discredit the church and Christianity. Yet in the process of hundreds of hours of research, his doubts turned to faith in Christ." I have not read an account (preferably by him) of his religiou journey, but I'm willing to bet that it was like that of the other famous so-called skeptic turned believer - Lee Strobel (ie An act of Intellectual Suicide, probably motivated by some other extraneous factor).

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Page 7 - This page deals with 2 of the "3 Most-Misguided-Theories"

1. Mrs Jesus: "Dan Brown's dubious 'sources': The Nag Hammadi texts (Which contain the Gnostic Gospels) an unreliable source: Written neither by apostles, nor by companions of the apostles, the Gnostic Gospels were written under a pseudonym - that is, the author used the names of the apostles just to gain credibility."

Odd, considering that this describes at the very very least 3 out of 4 of the canonical gospels as well! Matthew, Mark and Luke are just names traditionally given to those gospels, not an indication of authorship.

2. The 'Secret Gospels': "Why are Gnostic Gospels not included in today's Bible? Only books and letters that were associated with an apostle or associate were considered acceptable into the New Testament Cannon"

Besides the point above about authenticity, there is also the question of which apostles or associates were considered reliable, and it basically boils down to Church politics, internecine factional warring and such rather than any objective measure of authenticity or veracity.

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Page 8 - This page deals with the last of the "3 Most-Misguided-Theories" and has a sidebar about Leonardo da Vinci, the Knights Templar and the Priory of Sion. I have no comments about this page.

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Page 9 - A quiz about if you're a Relativist, Skeptic or Truth-seeker. Given that this is a shameless ripoff of brainless female magazine quizzes that don't tell you anything, I can't say that they could've done much else with this format.

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Page 10 - Setting up the False Trichotomy

"No man in history has ever claimed to be God, much less a God who died for mankind."

Only a very specific and strict interpretation of this statement would render it technically correct. The god Osiris came down to earth in Corporeal form and after his death and resurrection, delivered salvation. Dionysius was born of Zeus and a mortal woman, and his cult gave out wine which brought "humans into communion with the divine realm". This is to say nothing of the various gods in mythologies all over the world who came down to earth in corporeal form. POCM lovingly documents various other permutations in other mythologies of divine-mortal blending.

The false trichotomy will be dealt with when the silly flowchart appears (wait for it!).

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Page 11 - Straw man arguments, which will be addressed later

-End of Part 2-
I suspect sleeping at odd hours (long afternoon naps, short early morning naps that turn into long ones) give me nightmares, specifically Slavery ones.

At least they didn't cut my hair this time.

Monday, March 20, 2006

My ever-resourceful and hardworking Little Bird scanned in the contents of a CCC (Campus Crusade for Christ) pamphlet targetted at Dan Brown's "The Da Vinci Code" for me, zipped into an appropriately titled "BibleTrash.zip".

Now, I am no fan of Dan Brown, since his allegedly well-researched book is full of rubbish. As I often say, there is only one true line in "The Da Vinci Code" ("The Bible did not come by fax from heaven"). Yet, 2 wrongs do not make a right, and this pamphlet is annoying. And so I present what is probably an exclusive feature: not only scans of the pamphlet but a walkthrough the specious arguments contained inside.

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Cover - "A companion guide to the movie or novel!"

The cover of the pamphlet looks innocent enough. It is glitzy and official-looking, complete with the barcode at the bottom left hand corner of the magazine. In fact, one would be led to believe that it is an official piece of "Da Vinci Code" merchandise; I believe the customary practise is to say that you are writing a "totally unauthorised guide" - Dan Brown should sue the CCC for copyright infringement. The Mona Lisa's enigmatic smile hardly prepares one for the horrors inside, yet a hint of it can be found in the promise of an interview with a skeptic-turned-believer (no word about believers-turned-skeptics).

As is the case with much evangelical-fundamentalist material, the cover of the pamphlet is innocent, only truly revealing its contents when one flips it open - a pamphlet they gave out about the Tsunami was similiarly deceptive, and IIRC contained numerous back-handed insults to the memory of Tsunami victims.

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Page 1 - Contents

When one opens the pamphlet, one's baloney detectors start to go off. Looking at the content area on the right, one sees 2 forewords written by Reverends from Christian groups, purporting to present information to help readers realise "the Truth". Now that in itself is not sufficient to disqualify the pamphlet, but it is an important clue - one wouldn't expect a publication of the Flat Earth Society to conclude that the earth is round. Further, since the pamphlet promises not to toss logic out of the window, we can turn on our scrutiny-lamps to full power.

One also sees that the good ole "Lord, Liar, Lunatic" false trilemma makes an appearance. Really, you'd think that 35 years after CS Lewis's Mere Bullshit Christianity, they'd get their logical fallacies sorted out.

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Page 2 - "novel & movie review"

No comments, other than the very suspicious rating system - giving the movie an eye-boggling 5/5 stars for "Suspense" and "Entertainment", but 1/5 for "Historical Reliability" and "Accuracy of purported facts". Given that the movie is slated for a May 19th release, one wonders what privileges fundamentalist Christians are privy to that ordinary mortals aren't. There is also a curious complexity worthy of a close reading: as the "movie" review itself reads, "Dan Brown makes it clear to all that 'The Da Vinci Code' is "just fiction"." If this is the case, the "purported facts" would not have to be graded - I'm guessing that they mean that Dan Brown admits that his story is made-up, but his so-called facts are false. This smacks of shoddy writing.

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Page 3 - Boxing ring

This page comments that the Da Vinci Code and Bible both "purport to tell the truth about the life of the historical Jesus (we just can't escape his influence, can we?)". The little comment at the end irks me, so I'll just add that we can't escape the influence of Adolf Hitler and the 4 Horsemen of the Apocalypse either. At least, as a friend points out, we should be grateful that the "h" in "his" is not capitalised.

This page also makes the point that in Borders, one can find "The Da Vinci Code" in the "Fiction" section. It might interest readers to know that in the Library of Congress Classification System, one can find the Bible in the "BS" section.

Since bestsellers are going up against each other, they might like to compare the Bible to the next best-selling book of all time - Quotations From Chairman Mao Tse-Tung (aka The Little Red Book). The 2 have more in common than one might think:

Since bestsellers are going up against each other, they might like to compare the Bible to the next best-selling book of all time - Quotations From Chairman Mao Tse-Tung (aka The Little Red Book). The 2 have more in common than one might think:

"If they [the Kuomintang] fight, we will wipe them out completely. This is the way things are: if they attack and we wipe them out, they will have that satisfaction; wipe out some, some satisfaction; wipe out more, more satisfaction; wipe out the whole lot, complete satisfaction." - "On the Chungking Negotiations" (October 17, 1945), Selected Works, Vol. IV, p. 56.

"And they warred against the Midianites, as the LORD commanded Moses; and they slew all the males. And they slew the kings of Midian, beside the rest of them that were slain; namely, Evi, and Rekem, and Zur, and Hur, and Reba, five kings of Midian: Balaam also the son of Beor they slew with the sword. And the children of Israel took all the women of Midian captives, and their little ones, and took the spoil of all their cattle, and all their flocks, and all their goods. And they burnt all their cities wherein they dwelt, and all their goodly castles, with fire." - Numbers 31:7-10

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Page 4. On this page, it starts to get dirty.

For one, we are told that "The Bible is written by more than 40 different authors - Moses". Wait a minute. Moses? This is really strange, considering that although in the biblical tradition Moses wrote the first 5 books of the bible (the Pentateuch), he actually writes about events occuring *after* his death. Indeed, the lack of consistency, jumps in tone in 2 sets of narratives for many events have led mainstream biblical scholars to conclude that 5 people, codenamed J, E, D, P and R, were responsible for writing and compiling the Pentateuch.

The next part of the page ("Fact #1") claims that since so many copies exist of the old and new testaments, they must be reliable. Yet, this is like saying that since the Blaster worm affected 8 million PCs worldwide, it must be a good program. Just because many copies of a document exist does not mean that it is reliable; one can merely compare the copies for copying errors - if the originals from which the copies were made were suspect in the first place, no number of copies would redeem the veracity of the original documents. There is also the question of when the copies date from - if 13,000 copies exist, but 1 dates from 100AD while 12,999 come from the 12th century or later, the numbers don't mean anything.

"Fact #2" is that a short time elapsed between the publication of the original and the date of the earliest surviving manuscripts. Again, as with "Fact #1" the significance of this would depend on the veracity of the original in the first place. The conclusion is that "Most historians accept the textual accuracy of other ancient works on far less adequate grounds than that of the Bible's".

Not so fast. First, we must examine the cute table drawn up below:

"Livy - History of Rome"
Historians accept this text as genuine, yet they do not accept its contents at face value, contrary to the approach in some other fields. Corroborating evidence in terms of archaeology and other documentary evidenc is sought, and no one takes his word about "the kindness of the gods". Indeed, in studies of the text, a critical eye is cast upon Livy's bias and point of view as a Roman citizen, and the possibility that he could have romanticised Roman history.

"Caesar - Gallic Wars"
One must note that coins struck in Caesar's likeness exist. We also can find remnants of his fortifications at Alesia, which correspond to Caesar's descriptions. On the other hand, we have six heads of John the Baptist.

"Homer - Illiad"
The people who wrote this must be joking. Like some other entries in the table, the Illiad is clearly a work of mythology relating how petty, vengeful, imperfect and very human gods interfere in human affairs; a work traditionally ascribed to an individual and yet was written by multiple authors over a long period of time.

One might also consider that more than 20 million copies of L Ron Hubbard's "Dianetics" have been sold worldwide, and that the earliest extant copy likely dates from the year it was published.

It must also be borne in mind that writers of ancient documents frequently invented dialogues for their characters that they'd have no way of being privy to, like Thucydides in "The Peloponnesian War" (despite his otherwise stellar record as a historian). This is curiously reminiscent of someone writing about events occuring after his death.

-End of Part 1-

Parts 2 and 3 will be up in due course.
OMG WTH.

My shipping using vPOSTUSA will cost me SGD$50.53. If I'd shipped Internationally from the merchant it'd only have cost me US$7 more. Hell, even at the merchant's old exorbitant rate it'd have been S$18 cheaper.

That's it - I refuse to use them anymore. This is even worse than being fined.

I was wondering whether, on Friday, to go for a concert I was planning to, but someone wisely commented that "your luck sounds in a rut, i suggest skipping the concert. you'll probably get mugged by a skinhead"


"Dear Gabriel,

Please be informed that the shipping charge for item categorised under "Others" is $9.99 + $6.99 per kg for the first 10 kg and $5.99 per kg thereafter based on volumetric weight or actual weight whichever is higher. Volumetric weight is calculated by (Length X Breadth X Height)/366 where the dimensions are in inches; or (Length X Breadth X Height)/6000 where the dimensions are in centimeters.

Although the actual weight for your package is 2.9kg. The size is 68X32X16 cm/6000, which is equivalent to 5.8kg in volumetric weight; hence, the chargeable weight is 5.8kg."
Since I dug up the following for a LJ thread I might as well post it here:

Viva! - Vegetarians International Voice for Animals

"The collapse of an animal after cutting the major blood vessels in the neck is caused by cerebral shock due to the sudden fall in pressure of the cerebro-spinal fluid and is not due to lack of oxygen in the blood flow to the brain. The animal may collapse five to 10 seconds after the throat is cut - so long as the major vessels are severed properly or occlusions do not occur (see below). The animal loses consciousness after it has collapsed. There are varying opinions on when the animal stops being able to feel.

Scientific experiments measure the onset of loss of consciousness through observing physical behaviour, spontaneous electroencephalogram (EEG) and evoked responses in the electrocorticogram (ECoG) (22,23,24,25). Cattle stop trying to right themselves between 21 and 47 seconds after the carotids are cut (22); the EEG indicates that there is sensibility for two to 5.2 minutes after cutting in cattle. (Other scientists argue that the EEG is not an accurate measure of the state of consciousness - but theirs is a theory yet to be proven.) Generally, scientists suggest that cattle can take anything from 25 to 90 seconds to lose consciousness after the neck has been cut.

D.K. Blackmore (22) of the Dept. of Veterinary Pathology and Public Health, Massey University, New Zealand who has published many papers on slaughter states:
"A BASIC requirement for humane slaughter is that an animal should be rendered insensible before exsanguination (bleeding) is initiated and this should last until the animal becomes permanently insensible from cerebral anoxia."

Blackmore studied the behaviour of sheep and cattle after being cut; he found that sheep lose consciousness more quickly than cattle. Lambs collapsed after an average of 2.6 seconds and stopped attempting to stand after 10 seconds (not being able to stand does not mean inability to feel); in contrast calves were standing up to 135 seconds after their throat was cut and were attempting to stand up to 385 seconds after that. Even though the calves had both carotid arteries and jugular veins severed three out of four were breathing up to 11.6 minutes later and so were shot. Lambs were gasping for up to 3.8 minutes after carotid arteries and jugular veins were cut. A bull was killed by the Jewish method and was still gasping sporadically for seven minutes after his carotid arteries, jugular veins, oesophagus and trachea were cut.

A huge problem is that millions of animals bleed slowly. Anil et al (21) say: "It is well recognised that unstunned calves which bleed poorly can take a long time to die." It takes more than five minutes for the animals to stop trying to stand normally.

Animals bleed slowly when (21):

1. There is occlusion [blockage] of the cut artery by surrounding tissues (the artery is elastic and can spring back into its connective tissue sheath on being cut).
2. Blood platelets stick together at the end of the cut artery (this leads to the rapid production of a white clot which can plug the artery).
3. The cut is made and the artery goes into spasm.

All three factors tend to restrict blood flow from the cut and can produce a ballooning effect in the severed vessel. Here, the blood goes into the connective tissue sheaths surrounding the artery. The ends can balloon up within 5 seconds of the cut (21). Several studies have shown that this ballooning effect is common (up to 40%) resulting in delay of brain failure and blood pressure being held for longer. Arterial occlusions occurred in half of the calves killed by Anil et al by Halal methods of cutting the carotid arteries and jugular veins. In some of these animals, vertebral artery blood flow was maintained at about one-third of its normal level for approx. 3 minutes (21). Therefore, animals do not lose consciousness immediately. Occasionally cattle have staggered to their feet after being cut and walked some distance before collapsing.

Scientific papers have commonly reported this phenomenon in their results recently and throughout the last century. Back in 1900 Hoffman describes a 12 year old cow lying on the floor for 20 seconds after Shechita. 70 seconds later she lifted her head for 20 seconds. Also, a three year old bull remained standing after Shechita for two and a half minutes, afterwards he fell to the ground but still looked around, slowly bleeding to death.

Ballooning occurs more commonly when blunt knives are used and so is a greater problem with Muslim slaughter. However, it does occur for other reasons when sharp knives are used (though to a lesser degree) and so happens in Jewish slaughter.

It is also a problem in mainstream slaughter as, for example, calves start to regain consciousness between 21 and 59 seconds after electrical stunning (21).

Slaughter expert HE Bywater who witnessed animal slaughter over several years said: "upholders of the Jewish ritual maintain that unconsciousness follows within a few seconds of the ritual cut due to anaemia of the brain, this is not invariably so as experience in the slaughterhouse has shown."

Bywater's observations lead him to conclude that: "a state of diminished consciousness or semi-consciousness follows soon after the large blood vessels are severed, but that thereafter consciousness can, and does, return in a number of animals - adult cattle, sheep and calves....

"The blood vessels which supply the brain in these animals differ from those which are present in the human and this fact has never been sufficiently appreciated by the eminent medical men who maintain that the Jewish ritual invariably causes immediate loss of sensation in food animals." (4)

Thornton's Textbook of Meat Inspection says: "A factor of considerable importance, and to which not sufficient attention has been paid in considering the problem of Jewish slaughter, is that after the carotid arteries of cattle are severed transversely, they tend, by virtue of their elasticity, to retract rapidly within their own external connective tissue coat, and as a result the sealing of the cut ends of the vessels may occur. As the blood pressure...is then maintained by the heart, the blood pressure in the vertebral arteries may likewise be maintained at a substantial level and unconsciousness therefore delayed".

This explains why "some cattle have regained their feet and walked a considerable distance before they succumbed some minutes later."

The Textbook of Meat Inspection continues: "these occurrences have been attributed to the fact that all the neck vessels may not have been severed completely, but observations lead one to the conclusion that the cut is invariably made dextrously... There is therefore considerable doubt as to whether unconsciousness always follows rapidly in cattle after the severance of the neck vessels, for by the very nature of the neck cut made in Jewish slaughter it is impossible to ensure that self-sealing of the cut ends of the carotid arteries will not occur." (4)

In religious slaughter, the animal's vertebrae, spinal cord and vertebral arteries and veins are not severed. Scientists argue over the significance of this. Some say that one of the reasons some animals take several minutes to lose consciousness is because the vertebral arteries continue to supply blood to the brain after the animal has been cut. Others say that the blood flow from the vertebral arteries is insufficient to maintain the brain's functioning (40). Of course, if occlusions occur, the vertebral arteries can supply enough blood to the brain to keep the animal conscious.

Some scientists argue that measuring evoked responses in the cortex of the brain is the best method to evaluate consciousness. Daly et al (25) showed that evoked responses disappeared instantaneously after the captive bolt pistol was used correctly in cattle. However, after Shechita the cortex was responding to stimuli from 20 seconds to over two minutes."
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