photo blog_head_zpsfzwide7v.jpg
Valar Qringaomis

Get email updates of new posts:        (Delivered by FeedBurner)

Saturday, November 25, 2006

"The poor wish to be rich, the rich wish to be happy, the single wish to be married, and the married wish to be dead." - Ann Landers

***

Frigid Girl: i have a knack of coming up with bad surprises

let's see. my friend is allergic to chocolate
by accident, i forget and let her drink coffee bean's cocoa
or smth of the sort

Me: well done
did she die?

Frigid Girl: no
she recognised the taste
and stopped drinking
haha


Frigid Girl: before i met you i didn't know people in NUS were so liberal hurhur

you gave me all the deviant viewpoints
from different pple

JB was the most eyeopening

Me: I'm not very deviant
and I don't know particularly deviant people (deviant people will be off having fun instead of talking to me)

so you were basically living in a well


Someone: i was referring to ben&jerry's as "BJ"
fren A thought i meant "blow job"
fren B misheard "blow job" as "pork chop"


Me: someone said during exams everyone is horny

Someone: why only during exams
i thought all the time

but it intensifies during exams

maybe the prolonged constant exposure to all the worn out bodies in the library intensify that horniness
everyone looks so tired

i think when u're tired u either want sex to rejuvenate, or sleep to recuperate

so maybe that's the r/s betw horny n exams
and most of the time they dont get sex, so u see them sleeping in the libraries

Me: yah I think exams make people more horny
all my quotable convos these days involve sex
"Have you ever observed that we pay much more attention to a wise passage when it is quoted than when we read it in the original author?" - Philip G. Hamerton

***

Quotes:

All that modelling for what? You can't model the world. There are certain parts of economics where math is essential. [Me: Financial] Financial. Other than that it's useless. All that math hasn't solved anything in the world.

You nice Chua (Eunice)

Put'ter call par'rer'tee condition (Put-call parity)

[On financial advice] Part e, all of you got it correct. All the strategies are correct, depending on your risk aversity... Some of you said: 'Since he is convinced the price will go up, buy unlimited call options. That is also correct'. (Part iii)

[On the Black-Sholes model] This model, the formula will be given in your exam... Can any of you remember this formula for me?

For the exams you have to remember... (exam)

[Me on a skirt with many buttons: Are these buttons functional?] Fashion. [Me: That's not a function] [Student 2: Fashion is a function] [Me: Go and die]

Engineering she3 me4 dou1 nan2 (Translation: Everything in Engineering is hard]

Don't you guys ever find it ridiculous that people have to write exams? Grown men and women have ot sit in the exam hall. (sit for)

There are some of these questions that even I find hard to do using predicate calculus. Not that I should find it any easier than you guys. That is to say nothing about my great genius.

In Singapore we have bomb drills, even though we have not had a bomb in 500 years... They have artificial limbs, so the Civil Defence people will have something to carry.

[During the last week of instruction] Unsure/sure?... If you're not sure then I'll say come next monday for tutorial.

[On predicate logic] It'll get easier if you practice more. The reason it is so hard for me is that I haven't practised.

[Me: Where's the key?] You'll take care of it right... [Student 2: He just wants to attract attention] [Me: How about you?] I'm a girl. It's logical for me to attract attention.

Deliver the gold in 1 year time (year's)

[On my extra bones] Freak. You're like an X-man, except you've some useless ability.

You want to see the final exam questions? [Audience: Yes] *Flashes covered exam paper* Those who can see will get 101 points... 10 points is just the true and false [questions]. See how easy [it is]?... You take a coin and toss it, and see how many trues come.

In the exam, if you take the wrong one and the wrong answer, make yourself happy about what you have done.

Some questions will use 2 or 3 sections [of the course]. [Me: Buy a straddle. Use it to construct a portfolio. Sell an option on it.] [Student: In a foreign market.]

That's the trick to being a PhD student or admin officer - yes/ no question, say in 10 pages. In the end don't enen reply [yes/no] (reply)

You see ads right, don't appeal to people who question, like you. They appeal to the masses... That's why you have shampoo commercials.

How come Year 1s ah, they can just afford to come here and party everyday?

I feel that Lit is eading a book and trying to find something that is not there. [Me: I felt that {way} in Sec 2]... I played along with it. But in University it's getting ridiculous.

It is only in modern Literature that they get so horny... Charles Dickens, Shakespeare - he's not that apparent... [Me: That's why girls like it... Express it in a socially acceptable way]... It's feminism. Whine whine whine about how they're being oppressed. If they're so good they'll do something about it instead of whining about it.

I don't think the writers are thinking of such things when they write... [Me: Maybe literary analysis says more about the analyst than the analysed] We give meaning to what we read. That's why the Egyptian gods used to be revered and now they're just gone. Poof.
"My own business always bores me to death; I prefer other people's." - Oscar Wilde

***


The exams are coming, and everyone has their personal charms. Some drink chicken soup, some go to bomohs, some hope the bell curve will pull them up and some pray. So far, so good. Whatever works for you, right?


"A+ - Study with Him and see the difference"
What I've an issue with is false advertising. The not-so-subtle promise of this poster is that if you study with Christ you get an A+. You've heard of the Gospel of Prosperity - we have the Gospel of Good Grades.

Of course, there are inevitably people who will study with Him and not get an A+. We can formulate this in a true-false proposition: If you study with him -> you will get good grades (A+s aside, As and A-s will also do); If p -> q. This proposition is false if you study with him (p is true), and yet you do not get good grades (q is false). We can therefore conclude that their promise is false.

Someone: 1st time i stopped praying was to prove to myself that it doesn't depend on god
then i got 3 As for A level..was expecting like 3 Bs.
coz my grades not the straight A kind.


On Wednesday I went on an excursion to the Bukit Timah Campus (Law) to study.

Someone: dont go to law school anymore
pple will write unsavory things about u

Unfortunately I wasn't able to find out just what unsavory things were written. But since one purpose of my visit was to piss off elitist SLUGs, I guess I succeeded!

Happily, I found that although access to the gym and study room is restricted, non-Law matriculation cards unlock their doors, so normal NUS students aren't excluded.


Seen in a toilet at the Bukit Timah Campus. It must be a very dangerous place. Maybe they're afraid that the SLUGs will assault the SNAILS in the corridor.

lawly: "it's important to have campus security on your handphone because law students always get trapped inside the library (really! they study until they forget to go home)."


"If I had 8 hours to study I wld spend 6 sleeping."
Whoever said motivational posters never gave you good advice?


[Bomberman with a bomb, with the words "For Allah!"]
Seditious desktop wallpaper. Except that this is a Muslim's laptop. Therefore he cannot be seditious. Woo hoo. My brother-in-law commented (referring to Borat) that if you want to be a comedian you should be a Jew, then you can make fun of anyone. Including Jews.


I don't know why the queue for Yong Tau Hoo was so insane. And not all of them were SACSALs either.

Some NUS High School people were selling tickets to a Guzheng concert held on Friday. Perhaps they thought that we would support "our" "juniors", but it didn't look like ticket sales were very good from the looks on their faces, if nothing else; they looked tired and very sian. I told them that they weren't likely to get a good response because it was exam period, and some time later I saw them eaving.


"Philly Cheese Steak Sandwich
Thinly sliced beef topped with sauted onions and BBQ sauce served in a French baguette"
This was at Blooi's/Blooy's (?) Blooie's, the pub/restaurant behind PGP. Oddly enough there's no mention of cheese.

Friday, November 24, 2006

On the value of Literature

Someone: lit is simply one avenue among many that we take to arrive at a better understanding of the world

already it should be obvious, that no one way is better than another
you cannot say for example that sociology is more important that psychology, etc

lit is one such way

and the way it does this can be divided into two main aspects

the first: engaging with literary texts as cultural and historical productions to arrive at how various cultures and peoples have created meaning, or attempted to acquire understanding by examininng the primary evidence, i.e. the literary works that have been produced

the second: acquiring a self-critical perspective, to achieve the awareness of one's own positionality when criticizing/analyzing texts from another culture with different mores from one's own and becoming alert not only to cultural prejudices but to personal ones

for the first, lit can claim a monopoly of means

because quite simply, it just happens to be the field where lit texts are the primary evidence

just like history happens to be the field where the historical dimensions of various artifacts are analyzed, soci, where artifacts and phenomena are regarded from the sociological perspective etc etc

for the second, lit does NOT claim, and indeed should not claim, a monopoly of means because critical thinking is available to everyone

so no, we do not claim to be the only self-critical discipline but lit is certainly one way of achieving it

Me: right.

how does one find meaning in a text
and how does one know that this meaning was shared by the producer of a text?

Someone: one finds meaning in the text in a variety of ways, but generally the way this is done is through understanding of nuance

this nuance is influenced by cultural mores to a greater or lesser degree
one can examine the narrative structure

and bear in mind when i say text I do mean lots of things other than books

as for the meaning being shared by the producer, the meaning intended by the producer is not the only exclusive meaning

and producers of texts do realize this, you know?
no one will write a book or a poem and say, "ok, such and such is what I mean to say with my work"
"no other interpretation is possible"

the intention can only ever be guessed at, unless it is somehow made explicit through extrinsic information
but otherwise, it is not the author's production of meaning that is the focus

Me: isn't it a form of defamation to impute intentions that aren't there?
unless one means it to say something about oneself
rather than the text or the author

Someone: regarding defamation: it is literary defamation only if one commits what we call the authorial fallacy
meaning, "I think this text is saying XXX. Therefore, the author MUST be saying XXX!"

the author of the text submits it to the general public, you see
and from there, new meanings and interpretations are created

Me: what's the point of exploring meaning that the author didn't inject?

Someone: exactly the question! if you'll let me answer

the text gains additional meaning, apart from the author's intention, through 2 other avenues

firstly, the reader's personal response, which, by applying the text like a rorschach test, results in the reader learning something about himself through the medium of the text

and secondly, the interaction between the text and the readers itself gives rise to new meanings

also, to the extent that the text "escapes" the author through what derrida termed the "slippage" of language

the author's intentionality is not dead
or at least, I don't think it should be

there is some debate about that, but the majority of thinkers don't think the "death of the author" should be completely accepted

but the author's created meaning *interacts* with the various other meanings that readers create

in that sense, it is very open

Me: I suppose I'm too much of a positivist to accept all the meanings thrown in the air

Someone: well, if it helps then
i will NEVER say lit is "anything goes"

quite patently, it is not
we arrive at the meanings by rational means
and we engage in a consensual experience

thats' the impt term, i believe
consensual

Me: with a sufficiently long and complicated text, one can make it mean anything
http://www.sexinchrist.com/

Someone: that would be over-interpretation

we are against that, you know

there IS a point you reach
after which, people will say, "eh, hang on!"
that differs with each particular case

Me: how do you know what is and what is not over interpretation

so it's the meanings which people want to accept

Someone: yes, and the standard by which this is judged is, "is this reasonable? does this make sense? does this add to the author's meaning/the text's meaning/my created meaning? Is this a helpful conclusion to draw (helpful to my understanding)? "

to a certain extent, each reader has to work this out by himself

is all this acceptable to you, now?

Me: right.

it still sounds like intellectual tennis without a net
combined with a circle j o
since the bar for acceptability of meaning is common consent

Someone: why so?
we are engaging actively with the phenomena of the outside world
like any other humanities or social sciences discipline

it's a bit unfair to say it's all anarchic, just because it largely depends on consensual experience

Me: you are positing possible meanings for it
which cannot be verified beyond common consent

Someone: most things cannot in fact be verified beyond common consent, you kno!
apart from the bare facts that the natural sciences can provide us

very little else is truly objective, and not subject to human interpretaion

it's just that our consensual agreement is based on widely accepted principles
and it is by these principles that works of literary criticism are assessed
that interpretations themselves are assessed

to provoke a "yeah exactly what I was thinking" or a "hmm that's interesting" or "hmm i don't quite agree" or "come on!!" response

Me: right.

Someone: is this better now?
have i managed to allay your skepticism at least somewhat?

Me: somewhat
by admitting that it says something about the analyst

Someone: sure
that is a claim we shouldn't even bother to deny

that is one of the ways in which the text is meaningful
through the reader's interaction with the text

Me: I dispute that this meaning is meaningful
My desktop wallpaer had Borat in "swimming trunks" with 4 women in bikinis, and someone thought it was Wo-hen. Wth?!

I don't know why people liked the waffles at the Arts Canteen so much. They're limp, soggy and have little filling/spread. Outside waffles are crispier and have a more fragrant base; I was eating a proper waffle from Bukit Merah, and it was so much better - one side was crispy and the other soft, the body was fragrant and there was adequate filling. Of course, nothing beats a Belgian waffle with Chantilly.

In the last days of the Arts canteen, there were people going around taking pictures with proper cameras. For some reason, most of them were PRCs.

I had the "famous" murtabak at the Arts canteen on its last day, and I bit into a piece of ginger they'd left inside. Wth?! I hope they weren't normally so slack in food preparation.

As of this year, the worst canteen without a doubt is Law. But then they can walk (hah!) or drive out, so it's okay.

I observed that during one lecture, over a course of two weeks, one guy was watching another lecture on webcast. I thought only girls were able to multi-task so well, but then I saw earphones in both his ears, and noticed that before one lecture he was stroking a girl beside him. Ah, the lengths people go to.

I went to see one professor and he had a heater in his office! This was because he was unable to control the thermostat due to central air-conditioning. I asked where he found it and he said he couldn't find it here, but had to buy it in Europe.

There was a girl sitting behind me in a Lecture Theatre and she was blowing her nose for what must've been 30 seconds straight. She took so long because she was blowing softly. It was damn irritating - just blow hard and get it out already!

One open book exam suddenly became closed book. Wth?! At first I thought I had been hallucinating at the start of the semester, but others confirmed that it'd been open book at first. Ah well - NUS.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

I never cease to be amazed at what I read:


You have also misunderstood the term "fundamentalist". What is fundamentalism? It is a desire to go "back to the basics", believing a certain field has been too corrupted...

Fundamentalism is the ideology of a set of absolute principles: the idea that all humanity has a fundamental set of rights - life, freedom of expression, and so forth - that shall not be controvened - is a concept that is fundamentalist in nature, e.g. belief in a paradigm of ideals. This is opposed to utilitarianism, where few things are absolute and principles can be conveniently (and perhaps inconsistently) changed for "the greatest good". For me, many churches have slipped from a set of uncontrovenable principles into feel-good, self-esteem institutions that advocate "do whatever you want according to your own personal interpretation". Christian fundamentalism thus endeavours to align believers off this hypocritical course.

It does not necessarily entail the rejection of biology.
Here are some of the worst insults you could possibly use on someone, courtesy of YuCheng, Lin (aka Jonn), circa 09/26/99:

1. He's a sophistical rhetorician, inebriated with the exuberance of his own verbosity, and gifted with an egotistical imagination that can at all times command an interminable and inconsistent series of arguments to malign an opponent and to glorify hims lf.
2. A four-hundred-dollar suit on him would look like socks on a rooster.
3. He is a modest little person, with much to be modest about.
4. He'd make a lovely corpse.
5. He may look like an idiot and talk like an idiot but don't let that fool you. He really is an idiot.
6. He is as good as his word - and his word is no good.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

"I have lost friends, some by death... others through sheer inability to cross the street." - Virginia Woolf

***

Someone: SMUeffect
swedes are better
might be reserved

but when they asked questions
it's good question

SMU lohz
u give points for discussion in tutorial

Me: I meant those in our batch SMU not as bad

Someone: i don't know our batch SMU much
but one of the top girls in SMU
asked me
is [a certain nordic country] in england

and she sccored above 4 out of 4
so i questioned SMU testing
haha

Me: aiyah
book smart /= really smart
I'm sure got NUS CAP 5-ers like that haha


Female Someone on Facebook: but nah, i didn't want to [state I was interested in women] just in case girls try to pick me up... i've never turned down a girl before, but that's because they've never asked


Someone on my support for the GST hike: The next time I see "Gabriel" and "immoral" on the same page, I won't rule out sarcasm.


Girl on Frigid Girl: how frigid is frigid? A guy friend actually told me sexual penetration itself wasn't a big deal, and that the oral stuff was better. If your frigid friend does oral stuff, then it no longer counts as her being frigid, does it? I'm sure she and bf are gonna indulge in such stuff if they get married, especially since oral sex has just been legalized. If she gives him BJs, no penetrative intercourse should be fine; a guy friend tells me penetration is too brutal and animalistic. Many guys prefer BJs anyway. I doubt anyone's all that frigid these days


Me on an expressed longing for a lesbian relationship: burnt [by guys] too many times ah

Someone else: nah no number of times is too many

when ppl say its too many they don't usually mean it
unless they become monk

even so
perhaps its just to attract attention


Someone on an NUS escort: yah, i did it. i had sex 4 rounds yesterday with 2 different guys. aditya went through my wallet and saw gideon's namecard for socialescorts and i've a suspicion that he's suspecting that i'm doing escorting services. right... well, if i'm being kept by a guy, i'll get around 5k per month, then my expenses will be paid for by gideon so i'll be saving like 60k per year and that's more than enough that's more than enough to settle my school fees. per assignment is about 500 or 600 bucks so if i do it 4 times per month i'll get 2k extra. so begins my career as a kept woman. hmmm.. it's not that bad, after all i'm already giving sex services to aditya for free. as for marc, that 1.5k...

Me: damn
I need the student discount

Someone: mee too
maybe u just need to show your matriculation card

Someone else: and pensioners discount maybe


Someone: in philly here, all the craze's about asian masasge parlours in chinatown
as in for the guys into this kinda thang

Me: and the asians are all damn ugly

Someone: yeah, no kiddin man.. pple from Wharton and everything go there
well, to them angmohs, they all look the same i guess
I used a quote illustrating a rational, logical and economically sensible plan (ie In the same vein as the GST hike), and got a request for a citation. Seems it's not as well as it should be.

So I dug up the original article, like so:


Government shortlists potential sites to build retirement village
17 April 2006
Channel NewsAsia

SINGAPORE : The government has shortlisted a few potential sites for the construction of a retirement village, and the National Development Ministry is currently studying the details.

The sites are on a 30-year land lease.

And one of them will be picked to test market demand for such villages.

In an exclusive interview with MediaCorp's Channel 8, Health Minister Khaw Boon Wan said in the past, the idea of building retirement villages was put on the back burner as Singapore's problem of an ageing population was not as serious as that in Europe
and America.

The Singapore market was also too small for retirement villages to be commercially viable.

But the prospects have since changed.

With a rapidly ageing Singapore population, Mr Khaw said in five years' time, retirement villages will become economically viable.

One obstacle is the high costs of land in Singapore.

"My personal view is, our land is expensive. But we have nearby neighbours in Johore, Batam and Bintan. The elderly want to reach their doctors within half to one hour. So retirement villages in neighbouring countries is possible, barring the cross-border hassle. It is best to find cheap land on short leases," said Health Minister Khaw Boon Wan.


Viz. extract as much as you can from Singaporeans when they're working, and when they grow old ship them to Batam into retirement villages because it's cheaper.
Sleep and the Allocation of Time
Jeff E. Biddle, Daniel S. Hamermesh
Journal of Political Economy, Vol. 98, No. 5, Part 1 (Oct., 1990), pp. 922-943"

Using aggregated data for 12 countries, a cross section of microeconomic data, and a panel of households, we demonstrate that increases in time in the labor market reduce sleep. Our theory of the demand for sleep differs from standard models of time use by assuming that sleep affects wages by affecting labor market productivity. Estimates of a system of demand equations demonstrate that higher wage rates reduce sleep time among men but increase their waking nonmarket time by an equal amount. Among women the wage effect on sleep is negative but very small.


Who comes up with these things?!
Help! Mom! There Are Liberals Under My Bed!: Books: Katharine DeBrecht,Jim Hummel - "This full-color illustrated book is a fun way for parents to teach young children the valuable lessons of conservatism. Written in simple text, readers can follow along with Tommy and Lou as they open a lemonade stand to earn money for a swing set. But when liberals start demanding that Tommy and Lou pay half their money in taxes, take down their picture of Jesus, and serve broccoli with every glass of lemonade, the young brothers experience the downside to living in Liberaland."
No, this is not a parody.

The Straight Dope: Nearly half the U.S. population believes the earth is less than 10,000 years old? Say it ain't so! - "How does the U.S. compare with other countries in terms of belief in evolution? Not so hot. A study of attitudes in 34 countries published in Science in 2006 shows that the United States ranks last in popular acceptance of evolution except for Turkey. Almost 40 percent of Americans in this study flatly rejected evolution, whereas the comparable numbers in European countries and Japan ranged from 7 to 15 percent. That may partly reflect U.S. high school kids' dismal math and science scores relative to other developed countries, which to my mind underscores a home truth: the more you know, the less you take on faith."

ARTS CONNECT 02/06 - "I did a bit of research to write this piece. I called several respondents – former students – and asked them what was the first thing that came to mind when they thought back to their days in NUS. I regret to say that not one spontaneously offered that it was the scintillating discussion on the partitioning of total sums of squares into orthogonal components. Their answers were invariably hanging out with friends. (I can almost see their eyes rolling heavenwards when they answered the question, as if to say, if this is not one of your trick questions, isn't the answer so very obvious?) Those were the best moments, they all chorused. It all seemed like yesterday, they all sighed. What sentimental twaddle, I said under my breadth."

YouTube - NUS Demo Against Tuition Fees - No, I'm not joking. This is a NUS demonstration against fee hikes.

Facebook | COMMUNIST, and proud of it! - "wo men gen shi dai jing xing. ok so i went to nanyang and i looked like a chump because i had to keep my hair short. but so bloody what! at least i shaved my armpits. long live castro! those who wish to be part of this group, please ensure that your underarms are free from stubble before you click "Join"."

Polish Exchange Student in US: My Half-Year of Hell With Christian Fundamentalists - "When Polish student Michael Gromek, 19, went to America on a student exchange, he found himself trapped in a host family of Christian fundamentalists. What followed was a six-month hell of dawn church visits and sex education talks as his new family tried to banish the devil from his soul."

Retired husband syndrome - "In Japan it is estimated that 60% of older women have a common problem - their husbands. Having spent years "married to their jobs", retired men are having an extraordinary effect on the health of their partners."

Bus air-con gives medics the chills - "The combination of fridge-like conditions on buses and the choking, hot roadside air is increasing the health risks for Hong Kong commuters, doctors and environmentalists have warned."

Bug 112848 - Does your grandmother know what POSTDATA is? - ""The page you are trying to view contains POSTDATA. If you resend the data, any action the form carried out (such as a search or online purchase) will be repeated. To resend the data, click Ok. Otherwise, click Cancel." That message is very confusing for normal people. Mr. End User & his dog, neither of whom can tell the difference between DNS and DSL, surely have never heard of POSTDATA."

Huggers end up in police custody - "Just 20 minutes after the free hugs campaign arrived on downtown East Nanjing Road on Saturday, 11 huggers and several journalists found themselves in a nearby police station. Their sign boards offering free hugs in both Chinese and English were confiscated. A middle-aged man who claimed to be the director of the station said public hugging was not right in a crowded place like Nanjing Road. He also said the organizers lacked the necessary certificate to hold an event in a public place. The director refused to give his name. The huggers were released after about an hour and told not to organize any more public group hugs."

Sir Elton: Ban organised religion - "Sir Elton John has said he would like to see all organised religion banned and accused it of trying to "turn hatred towards gay people". Organised religion lacked compassion and turned people into "hateful lemmings", he told the Observer."

smile for the camera by *bri-chan on deviantART - "SPARKLY PINK BACKGROUND OF DOOOOOOOOM! I got tired of seeing all the D*sney princesses in the same old boring princess-y poses. :XD: Sometimes they just need to let loose and go crazy."

New Zealand high-schoolers to use "text-speak" on national exams - "High school students in New Zealand will be able to use "text-speak" on this year's written national examinations if they so desire"

Morse code trumps SMS in head-to-head speed texting combat - "93-year-old telegraph operator Gordon Hill delivered a resounding ass-whoopin' to his rival, 13-year-old Brittany Devlin, using Morse Code."

The 19th-century critique of big philanthropy. - "About 120 years ago, when Andrew Carnegie declared in his "Gospel of Wealth" essays that he was going to give away his entire fortune and asserted that it was the duty of other rich men to give away theirs, his announcement provoked as much criticism as praise. Labor leaders condemned Carnegie for giving away money that did not rightfully belong to him. Prominent churchmen, including Methodist Bishop Hugh Price Hughes, characterized him as "an anti-Christian phenomenon, a social monstrosity, and a grave political peril."... "Millionaires at one end of the scale involved paupers at the other end, and even so excellent a man as Mr. Carnegie is too dear at that price," he argued. His point was well-taken. One doesn't have to a Socialist—and Bishop Hughes certainly was not —to wonder whether a more equitable distribution of wealth might be better for society than the idiosyncrasies of large-scale philanthropy... Carnegie responded in a speech in Pittsburgh that he kept wages low to remain competitive, and that even had it been possible for him to share some of his profits with his workers, it would have been neither "justifiable or wise" to do so. "Trifling sums given to each every week or month ... would be frittered away, nine times out of ten, in things which pertain to the body and not to the spirit; upon richer food and drink, better clothing, more extravagant living, which are beneficial neither to rich nor poor." The lower the costs of labor, the higher the profits. Far better, in his view, to squeeze money from workers' paychecks, aggregate it, and give back to the community in the form of public libraries and concert halls."

Pay up or we'll send the eunuchs round: how city's tax dodgers are being shamed - "Frustrated with not being able to meet its annual target of revenue collection, city authorities have employed the incomparably colourful services of eunuchs to embarrass habitual defaulters into coughing up."

Fright | Firefox Add-ons | Mozilla Corporation - "An extension for all practical jokers out there. I recommend you install it in all your friends profiles. Have fun and get a fright!"

pageaddict | Firefox Add-ons | Mozilla Corporation - "PageAddict is a Firefox extension that will help you monitor your Internet addiction. Once you install it, it will display a summary of the time you've wasted on each web site for this day, and a graph of your web surfing habits from the past. You can categorise different sites and restrict how much time you spend in each category in a day."

Cinque Terre Utilty Page - "How to get to Guvano Beach. It's public property now that Guvano is a nudist beach. You can access the beach by about 20 minute walk through a cool, moist, and dimly-lit unused train tunnel, but I advise not to use it (you have to pay 5 euros per person: the price of this ticket is daylight robbery!) Otherwise, you can take the path from Corniglia to Vernazza; after about 15 minutes walk you'll find a plain on your left (see the picture below): maybe you can read "free beach" written on some stones on the ground."
Bloody hell.

Mr. Bland Goes to Washington - "When you go into the voting booth, you’re trying to decide whom to accept or whom to reject. Are you judging who the good candidate is or who the less bad candidate is? The effort by each side to coat the opposition in slime has made many of us cynical, giving us the sense that our task is to reject the worst, not select the best. Nobody’s any good, we think, but some are worse than others. Let’s keep those candidates out of office. Our job becomes one of denying, not awarding, office. What that means is that if you want to win an election, you need to find candidates like Parent A, who give us no reason to say no, rather than Parent B, who present a complex set of features, some attractive and some problematic."

The Engineer's Ring - "What is the Order of the Engineer? The Order is the roster of engineers in the United States who have participated in an Engineer's Ring Ceremony and who have publicly accepted the "Obligation of an Engineer.""
This is not a joke.

Method of exercising a cat (US5443036) - "A method for inducing cats to exercise consists of directing a beam of invisible light produced by a hand-held laser apparatus onto the floor or wall or other opaque surface in the vicinity of the cat, then moving the laser so as to cause the bright pattern of light to move in an irregular way fascinating to cats, and to any other animal with a chase instinct."

Infinite Loop: Users report MacBooks and MacBook Pros randomly shutting dow... - "Complaints from angry MacBook and MacBook Pro users about their computers "randomly" shutting down seem to have suddenly started flowing in by the somewhat freakish masses over the last several weeks on websites and discussion boards across the Internet, although the causes seem like they could be attributed to many different factors."
Mac - it just works.

Couple in khalwat raid may drop second home plan - "Retired American policeman Randal Barnhart, who was subjected to a 2am raid by religious enforcement officers, is reconsidering his plan to make Malaysia his second home."

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Something someone sent me. I was asked for my comments but I'm too tired to launch into one of my tracts on the misery of the human condition, so to quote 2 particularly relevant bits from Intellectual Whores:

1) "Nothing is just satire".

2) This does not apply if one of the following 3 holds:

"1. The guy is gay
2. The guy does not find you attractive.
3. The guy already has a woman much higher than you on the ladder"


Guidelines for Platonic Friendship, by moreanonymous

Some sensible rules and regulations to avoid any confusion in a male-female friendship.

Though I feel it’s impossible to forge a platonic friendship with a woman, I’m willing to give it a shot. Women make up more than half of the population and they turn up everywhere. As my wife tells me, I’m not good with women. A big part of that is my inability to correctly read their actions. I can’t tell when a woman wants to be my friend or when they want to do crazy sex stuff to me.

As a single man this led me into a lot of awkward situations where I either unknowingly stomped on the feelings of a girl who liked me or I tried to plant a kiss on one who just wanted to pal around. Toward the end of my single life I decided to take charge of my emotions and set down some guidelines for my lady friends. I know it seems unfair to impose these rules on the women when I had the problem, but to be honest I’d forget any rules for myself the minute cleavage enters the room. It would be up to the woman to help avoid confusion and maintain the innocence of the relationship. Now that I’m married I get by with the mantra: “I love my wife and this lady isn’t interested.” I’m never at risk of betraying my marriage, but this statement needs to be repeated every time a hot young girl does anything remotely flirty toward me. It calms the tornado of thoughts and emotions that women stir up in me. The truth is I’m still driven by my animal instincts despite living in a civilized world and my wedding vows are just barely able to hold me back.

Although I’ve found my own salvation, there are many young men out there who are bumbling their way through our world of commingled sexes. They are at risk of embarrassing themselves and possibly offending others. The following guidelines helped me and perhaps they could help someone else. They are intended for women who have stated that they just want to be friends and should not be handed out to strangers on the street. The woman must be aware of the friendship before laying ground rules. Following these rules, I think men and women can flaunt the call of nature and hang out with each other as if they were exclusively gay. If you aren’t sure that your situation warrants these guidelines then determine if three factors apply: You’re smitten with her, she thinks you are a nice guy, but she refuses to have sex with you.

1. No hugging for greetings or salutations. Hugging is only allowed for personal tragedies or blessed events when the emotional significance of the situation blocks out the knowledge that your boobies are pressing against me. We have hands; lets shake them.

2. No sleepovers. I think of all women who sleep in bed with me as potential sex partners. I spend all my free time trying to coax women in, so if you get in there, I can’t help but think you want some. If you or I need a place to crash sometime, then we should employ a couch. The breaking of this rule is punishable by instant sex.

3. No seat sharing. When girls sit on the arm of my chair or in my lap or next to me in a one-person seat, it makes me think that she wants some sexing. A possible exception is fitting an extra person in a car that is filled to capacity. I can’t let my passion hurt the quest to maximize a designated driver, but be warned; it might not be the seat belt poking you.

4. No flirting. So if you laugh at a joke of mine, it better be a funny joke.

5. No judgment making on any girl that I see. Good or bad, it’s the guy friends' job to belittle and pick apart girlfriends, if a woman does this, it means she wants the guy for herself. So you think she is trashy and dumb? Well, you could have dated me but you just wanted to be friends.

6. No judgment making on how I treat any girl I might date, be it for six months, or six hours. You have thrown your log onto the fire of chauvinism in my heart, so you are partially to blame if an innocent girl gets burned.

7. No sparing of my feelings. It’s emasculating. Don't worry, you already broke my heart, go ahead and heap more crap on me. I’ll turn all embarrassment and pain into bitterness and anger, and then occasionally let it all out in some meat headed act.

8. No setting me up on pity dates. If you truly know of a woman who would be very happy with me and I with her, then we will talk.

9. No being attracted to me. Impossible, I know, but you seem to have found a way, so stick with that. I’m going to be as attractive as possible in pursuit of other women, so if you are going to be seeing me in a bathing suit, you might want to make sure you are on the pill as the breaking of this rule is punishable by instant sex. In fact, don’t even tell me I look good as that will torment me for days.

10. No confiding in me about boys. I am not your girl friend; I am your reluctant man friend who officially hates all men that you date now or in the future. Asking for hypothetical guy advice is okay; just don’t slam me with details about particular guys you are sleeping with. If this rule seems contrary to rule 7, just remember that I’m a beautifully complex being.

11. No asking for man favors such as furniture moving, yard work, or car trouble help. I don't like to waste displays of extreme masculinity on women who have decided not to sleep with me. In a pinch you can bribe me to do man chores with beer. Please hand me the case as a gift versus doling them out one at a time from your fridge. That keeps it strictly business.

12. Try to avoid incidental contact. I can't outlaw this since there are times when the brush of a leg or a sleeve is purely accidental, but try to be careful. You can take steps to not put your arm in mine while walking or lay against me on a couch or other things like that. Those things would lead me to think you want me to sex you.

13. No asking for massages or neck rubs, that’s a lot of foreplay to waste on someone who doesn't want the main event. Besides, shouldn’t your boyfriend give you massages? Why aren’t we dating again?

14. No dating any guy who treats you bad or neglects you in any way, that’s just a slap in my face. I fucking adore you.

15. No judgments on any of my behavior. It would lead me to think you care a little too much about my well being. So I don't want to hear any, "Stop smoking", or "Don't drink so much," or "Don't use women." Of course if I am truly being an asshole in some situation, feel free to clue me in, that’s what friends do.

16. You have to let me know immediately if you want to be more than friends. I’m only doing this to respect your wishes. If you ever want more, rest assured that I do too. At any moment we can tear these guidelines up and spend 24 hours doing every imaginable sexy act."
"The point of quotations is that one can use another's words to be insulting." - Amanda Cross

***

ST: SDU’s role as Cupid comes to an end - "So its new focus will be on giving its stamp of approval to dating agencies and professional matchmakers, and on funding private-sector agencies and projects which promote dating."
At first I thought NUS Orientation Camps were doomed, cut off from an important source of funds. Then I read this sentence. Will graduates of the Premier Institution of Social Engineering still get free dating services for 2 years then, I wonder?

Facebook | The Worthless Facebook Group - "This group is completely worthless. Unlike purposeful groups such as "The Ultimate Facebook Project" or "for every 1000 people who join I will slam my penis in a door," This group has no meaningful goal. If you are invited to or just come across this group and join, it will simply be a worthless group you are part of."

Mercury in Seafood - "Commercial fishermen capture tuna and swordfish at sea, far from any source of industrial pollution. The mercury in their system must come from natural sources. For years, we have probably eaten tuna and swordfish with mercury levels above FDA's limit without harmful effects. Analysis of museum specimens of tuna caught from 1879 to 1909 reveal that they contain levels of mercury as high as those in fish being caught today. Scientists therefore conclude that mercury levels in tuna, and probably swordfish, have not changed in the past 100 years."

YouTube - seatbelt - "alwayz wear your seatbelts. 'Heaven can wait'"

From a search referral "acjc reputation" (sans quotes): One, Two, Three: Update - "Like ACJC, Stanford has a reputation for being a "fun school."... How are the Asian Stanford girls compared to ACJC girls? Well, I personally think that in ACJC, the degree of inequality is greater-- you have a few cliques of extremely pretty girls who are rich, witty, articulate, sporty, and intelligent, versus a majority of girls who are poor, plain, introverted, and silent. In contrast, the Stanford girls seem to be more equal. Although some girls are prettier than others, the majority of the girls are reasonably attractive. Everyone seems to be relatively articulate, confident, and intelligent, and everyone seems to have significant talents in at least one respect."

Michelle, "The Pass Around Girl" - "Feminists bother me. They decide what is good and bad for women in the same way men do. I will do what I please, when I please, and that is feminism. I will or will not get whatever tattoo I like."

The lab that helps Jews to observe rules dating back 3,500 years - "With its disappearing ink and cunning electronic gadgets it could be straight out of a James Bond story. But this laboratory, where grey-bearded engineers invent fiendish devices and test machinery, grapples with altogether trickier problems than keeping secret agents ahead of the game. The 40-year-old institute, in a scruffy block on the fringes of Jerusalem, conjures up solutions that allow observant Jews to meet the challenges of modern life without violating the Sabbath laws... A Sabbath telephone was developed that allows the numbers to be keyed without completing the electrical circuit. How could doctors who must attend their duties on the Sabbath keep records, classed as working by the Torah? The institute’s answer was an ink that disappeared after 72 hours, enabling photocopying the following day, but not proscribed by the Torah because it is not permanent."
This is as bad as Islamic Banking.

Fury over Halal Christmas dinner - "Parents expressed outrage last night over a school’s plans to serve pupils a Muslim Christmas dinner. The headteacher announced that she intended to replace the children’s traditional turkey meal with halal chicken. She explained that eating poultry which had been slaughtered in the Muslim way would create an “integrated Christmas”... “We bend over backwards at Eid (an Islamic festival) to eat traditional Muslim food so why should we have to change our Christmas tradition?” Mrs Johnson added: “I feel my culture is being stolen away from me. I have no objections to halal meat being on the menu so long as there is a choice of traditional Christian Christmas fare.”"

They're on death row, but at least they get a private pool - "Waitrose, the supermarket chain, is leading a rights-for-ducks movement on behalf of the 19 million birds that are eaten in Britain each year. It is not quite asking them to choose a resort from a glossy holiday brochure, but it is offering them a swimming pool with the water changed every day, and even a few poolside luxuries such as gravel to keep their feet clean, ramps for easy access to the deep end and the equivalent of beach umbrellas to shade them from the sun."

Sausages affected by draconian trade laws - "A spicy sausage known as the Welsh Dragon will have to be renamed after trading standards’ officers warned the manufacturers that they could face prosecution because it does not contain dragon."

Straight eye for the queer gals - "Why do men love lesbian scenes?... In her Village Voice review of the new movie "Thirteen," Laura Singara says the scenes of the two female teenage protagonists kissing will make it a "male-gaze DVD must have." Try to imagine anyone (particularly in the Village Voice) writing so disapprovingly about the straight women who enjoy gay porn. Oh no, they're subverting the sexist/male-gaze/phallocentric/military-industrialist (add patriarchal modifier of your choice here) complex. But any man who might be turned on by the sight of two girls kissing is inherently some grubby Humbert masturbating into his grimy Burberry."

Thank You, William H. Meckling. We owe a debt of gratitude to the man who killed the draft. - "He had been drafted into the army in World War II and witnessed the government's incredibly wasteful use of manpower when it could pay below-market wages... In his testimony before the commission, Mr. Westmoreland said he did not want to command an army of mercenaries. Mr. Friedman interrupted, "General, would you rather command an army of slaves?" Mr. Westmoreland replied, "I don't like to hear our patriotic draftees referred to as slaves." Mr. Friedman then retorted, "I don't like to hear our patriotic volunteers referred to as mercenaries. If they are mercenaries, then I, sir, am a mercenary professor, and you, sir, are a mercenary general; we are served by mercenary physicians, we use a mercenary lawyer, and we get our meat from a mercenary butcher."... People often wonder why today's 20-somethings have such entrepreneurial spirit. One reason, I believe, is that a whole generation has grown up without the draft looming over its head."

pierce your belly button - "Within a couple of years, our young friend fits right in. He wears the right clothes. He cancels his dinner dates for Oh-so-important client meetings. He knows the conventional wisdom, and can self-censor his wacko ideas in the bud. He spends his time working, attending industry conventions, and absorbing the Status Quo. He’s a success. And he’s quite unlikely to be an agent of innovation, creativity, or newness. Mission accomplished!"

Voodoo practitioner tries to jinx Bush - "A renowned black magic practitioner performed a voodoo ritual Thursday to jinx President George W. Bush and his entourage while he was on a brief visit to Indonesia... He said the jinx would send spirits to possess
Secret Service personnel guarding Bush and put them in a trance, leading them into falsely thinking the president was under attack, thus eventually causing chaos in Bogor Presidential Palace"
Obviously he didn't have enough faith.

Copyright Duration and the Supply of Creative Work by Ivan Png, Qiu-Hong Wang - "At various dates between 1991-2002, nineteen OECD countries extended the duration of copyright, typically from the author's life plus 50 years to author's life plus 70 years. We study the impact of the extensions on the production of movies. We find that the extensions were associated with an increase in movie production ranging between 8.51% (±4.60%) and 10.4% (±4.89%). The increase was higher in countries where piracy was lower."
Of course, the quality of the movies made, or the impact on society in other ways was not measured.

The new cultural revolution: How Little Fatty made it big - "An overweight teenage boy who found that his image had been superimposed onto movie stars and politicians by web users has become a cult figure in China."

Man fined for saying four-letter-word on flight - "A 65-year-old Australian man was fined S$10,000 ($6,423) by a Singapore court for uttering the word "bomb" on a flight to Indonesia, The Straits Times reported on Wednesday."

While Malaysia fiddles, its opportunities are running dry - ""Malaysia boleh!" is Malaysia's national catch cry. It translates to "Malaysia can!" and Malaysia certainly can. Few countries are as good at wasting money. It is richly endowed with natural resources and the national obsession seems to be to extract these, sell them off and then collectively spray the proceeds up against the wall... like Nero fiddling while Rome burned, the Malaysian Government is more interested in stunts like sending a Malaysian into space when Malaysia's inadequate schools could have done with the cash, and arguing about wealth distribution using transparently ridiculous statistics."
"If you have to explain satire to someone, you might as well give up." - Barry Humphries (Dame Edna)

***

"A house may be large or small; as long as the neighboring houses are likewise small, it satisfies all social requirement for a residence. But let there arise next to the little house a palace, and the little house shrinks to a hut. The little house now makes it clear that its inmate has no social position at all to maintain, or but a very insignificant one; and however high it may shoot up in the course of civilization, if the neighboring palace rises in equal of even in greater measure, the occupant of the relatively little house will always find himself more uncomfortable, more dissatisfied, more cramped within his four walls." - Marx on irrationality

If the fact that blacks and other minorities form a disproportionate share of the prison population means that they're discriminated against and that the system is rigged against them, does that mean that men are also discriminated against and that the system is rigged against them? [Someone: maybe it just means that more white women are sent to the gallows or face lethal injection than other demograhic groups, which explains why they are not in prison. there's no discrimination overall actually. ;) yep, poor white women]

The gross under-representation of men in Women's Studies and Nursing faculties in universities worldwide, Media and Physiotherapy in Melbourne University, English in some universities is evidence of gross systemic discrimination against them.

If imposing labour regulations on businesses causes them to move overseas to avoid them, hurting the people the regulations were meant to help in the first place, doesn't imposing environmental regulations similarly harm the planet?


A friend says that in his school, boys can only go to toilet singly but girls can do so in pairs.

Owl instant tea sucks. It's extremely tannic, like SAF tea.

I went to enquire how much Bloodbones cost (it wasn't in stock, unfortunately), and found out it cost only $7.88 - that's cheaper than FF books were in the 90s! ($8+)

Women are very prone to inexplicable fits of mindless laughter. Someone said he thinks it's a gap-filler, like how guys go "erm" and "uhh".

Monday, November 20, 2006

"Consider the problem of estimating the causal effect of skipping classes on final exam score. In a simple regression framework, we have

score = β0 + β1 skipped + u, (15.8)

where score is the final exam score and skipped is the total number of lectures missed during the semester. We certainly might be worried that skipped is correlated with other factors in u: more able, highly motivated students might miss fewer classes. Thus, a simple regression of score on skipped may not give us a good estimate of the causal effect of missing classes.

What might be a good IV for skipped? We need something that has no direct effect on score and is not correlated with student ability and motivation. At the same time, the IV must be correlated with skipped. One option is to use distance between living quarters and campus. Some students at a large university will commute to campus, which may increase the likelihood of missing lectures (due to bad weather, oversleeping, and so on). Thus, skipped may be positively correlated with distance; this can be checked by regressing skipped on distance and doing a t test, as described earlier.

Is distance uncorrelated with u? In the simple regression model (15.8), some factors in u may be correlated with distance. For example, students from low-income families may live off campus; if income affects student performance, this could cause distance to be correlated with u. Section 15.2 shows how to use IV in the context of multiple regression, so that other factors affecting score can be included directly in the model. Then, distance might be a good IV for skipped. An IV approach may not be necessary at all if a good proxy exists for student ability, suhc as cumulative GPA prior to the semester."


Whoever implemented the NUS attendance policy because studies found a correlation between bad grades and skipping lessons would do well to find proper instrumental variables.
Facts about men:

1. Men like to barbecue. Men will cook if danger is involved.

2. Men who have pierced ears are better prepared for marriage. They've experienced pain and bought jewelry.

3. Marrying a divorced man is ecologically responsible. In a world where there are more women than men, it pays to recycle.

4. Men are very confident people. They are so confident that when they watch sports on TV they think that if they concentrate, they can help their team. If the team is in trouble, they coach the players from the living room.

5. Men like phones with lots of buttons. It makes them feel important.

6. Men love to be the first to read the newspaper in the morning. Not being the first is upsetting to their psyches.

7. Men are afraid of eyelash curlers.

8. A good place to meet a man is at the dry cleaner. These men usually have jobs and bathe.

9. All men hate to hear "We need to talk about our relationship". These seven words strike, fear in the heart of even General Schwartzkopf.

10. Men are sensitive in strange ways. If a man has built a fire and the last log does not burn, he will take it personally.

11. Men have an easier time buying bathing suits. Women have two types: depressing and more depressing. Men have two types: Nerdy and not nerdy.

12. Men have higher body temperatures than women. If your heating goes out in winter, I recommend sleeping next to a man. Men are like portable heaters that snore.

13. Women take clothing much more seriously than men. I've never seen a man walk into a party and say "Oh my God, I'm so embarrassed;get me out of here. There's another man wearing a black tuxedo."

14. Most men hate to shop. That's why the men's department is usually on the first floor of a department store, two inches from the door.

15. If a man prepares dinner for you and the salad contains three or more types of lettuce, he is serious.

16. If you are dating a man who you think might be "Mr.. Right", if he a)got older, b)got a new job, or c)visited a psychiatrist, you are in for a nasty surprise. The cocoon-to butterfly theory only works on cocoons and butterflies.

17. When four or more men get together, they talk about sports.

18. When four or more women get together, they talk about men.

19. Men are less sentimental than women. No man has ever seen the movie THE WAY WE WERE twice.

20. Most women are introspective: "Am I in love? Am I emotionally and creatively fulfilled?" Most men are outrospective: "Did my team win? How's my car?"

21. If a man says "I'll call you, " and he doesn't, he didn't forget... he didn't lose your number... he didn't die. He just didn't want to call you.

22. Getting rid of a man without hurting his masculinity is a problem "Get out" and "I never want to see you again" might sound like a challenge. If you want to get rid of a man, I suggest saying "I love you... I want to marry you... I want to have your children." Sometimes they leave skid marks.

23. Men are self-confident because they grow up identifying with super-heroes. Women have bad self-images because they grow up identifying with Barbie.

24. Male menopause is a lot more fun than female menopause. With female menopause you gain weight and get hot flashes. Male menopause you get to date young girls and drive motorcycles.

25. Men forget everything; women remember everything. That's why men need instant replays in sports. They've already forgotten what happened.
"I can't listen to that much Wagner. I start getting the urge to conquer Poland." - Woody Allen

***

I have always been against Internal Elections on the grounds that they violate the sovereignty of the electorate. They way they work is that first your constituency elects a candidate, and then the candidates get together and decide who will fill what post. Thus, the electorate has no direct say over who gets what post in the end. What posts people get are dependent on their bargaining power and political capital.

One way I suggested of solving this was for those who get the most number of votes to have priority in deciding what position they get. Someone said there's a danger of time inconsistency here - someone can say he's running for Post A, but then change his mind later and say he wants Post B if he has more/less support than he expected. I then modified my proposal to have candidates declare before the first election what post they want to run for. They then can't change their minds later, even if they get more/less of the vote than they expected.

Come to think of it, the Westminster system also works on the basis of internal elections, but at least you have a clearer idea of who will be what before the election, since there are clear parties and party leaders.


It seems another silly SMU module is "Leadership and Team Building". I'm not sure whether it's sillier than "Creative Thinking", but "Finishing Touch" still takes the cake. I'm still of two minds about "Analytical Skills" (which teaches things like Modus Ponens - "it's not exactly silly, but it's really common sense disguised as a half-credit module... it's all commonsensical, really. But at least there's more content in it than in Creative thinking... The worst of the lot is creative thinking though")

One economics major from NUS who went to SMU said that it was all project work for the sake of project work, and the person felt they didn't learn anything.


u r wt u wr update:

- "I swing both ways" (There was a picture of a girl on a swing, and the words were formed of pink lines)
- "Naughty by nature"
- "Tell your boyfriend I said thanks" (the word 'thanks' was in a heart)
- "I only look innocent"
- "Ready for boarding"
- "Beachside hockey. Let the body checking begin"
- "51% single"
- "Think single" (worn by Lynn)
- Contribution: "I'm much hotter on the Internet"
- Contribution: "I'm the girl your mother warned you about" (This girl was holding a guy's hand)
- Contribution: "Trinidad & Tobago." ("think about it. they're islands. but... strategically placed. it suggests that the owner named one of her breasts ms trinidad and the other ms tobago.")
- Contribution: "TiT. Tai-tai in Training" ("the TiT is strategically placed, with the phrase directly underneath.")
- Bonus: A guy's shirt which said "Love is for losers"
- Bonus: "Don't need no catchy phrase" (worn by a girl)
- Mistake: I thought "The Original Mickey" said "The Original Hickey"

I haven't seen any USP girls wear "u r wt u wr" worthy clothing. Draw your own conclusions from that, hurr hurr.

In my quest to collect data for "u r wt u wr", I inevitably have to look at items to clothing. Since slogans/mottos are almost always at the bosom level, it seems I might soon no longer be thought of as asexual, but as something rather on the other end of the spectrum.
Because I couldn't find a definition online:

Asymptotic t statistic: A t statistic that has an approximate standard normal distribution in large samples.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

July trip
23/7 - D Day Beaches


There was supposed to be a summer D Day bus line, but it only ran from Wed-Fri. Wth.

After the Commonwealth cemetery, we visited the location of Pegasus Bridge, the capture of which was portrayed in the 1962 film - the Longest Day. The place was originally called Benouville, but it was renamed Pegasus Bridge (the codename) later. The thing is that the locals actually call it that, as opposed to terms like "Omaha Beach", "Sword Beach" etc, which are only used by the locals.

There was a museum there and the owner was present and gave us a lot of information.


The original Pegasus Bridge. They bought it for a symbolic price of 1 Franc (never actually paid) when it was replaced in view of heavier traffic (and not due to bullet holes). The restoration cost 200,000 pounds.

They used gliders to capture the bridge because planes would've been too noisy. There were 30 people per glider, and 3 gliders per beach (?), so that made it 6 gliders in all. The reason for using gliders rather than jumping from planes was so they wouldn't get scattered like the Americans.

Landing the glider was basically crashing rather than landing, especially in the terrain they had:


Marshland. Apart from the red houses in the background it looks the same as it did in 1944, even with the electricity pylon.

The Germans placed explosives on Pegasus Bridge, a key point, in the day, but took them out at night (since they were afraid the French resistance would take the explosives and use them to blow things up). When the British landed there were 15 Germans faced by 90 Brits. Most of the former fled, and the rest surrendered within 10 minutes.

In less than half an hour they'd liberated Benouville, just before midnight on June 5th.


Remains of an actual glider


Reconstructed Horsa glider (only 1 was left in England and they copied it). Only the tyres are original. They bought them off a farmer who used them for his tractor or something.

A Scottish general who never moved off without his bagpipes (wth) led the attack on Sword Brach; when they heard his bagpipes, they knew the reinforcements were coming (in the Longest Day, the fella played the bagpipes while walking across the bridge. The bagpiper told the owner of the museum that he was 19 at the time and running across the bridge). His reinforcements came to secure the bridge, 2 minutes late (2 past noon), and he apologised. Gah.

The British were extremely proud of their glider pilots' accuracy - the first glider landed 57m from the bridge and the other 2 only a bit behind. So they placed markers where they landed. The Commander-in-Chief, Allied Expeditionary Air Force called it the "probably the finest piece of precision flying in the whole of World War II".


Improvised bridge (Bailey bridge)

2 years ago, 10 of Major Howard's men were at the memorial ceremony. This year only 2 were.


More shots of the bridge. Maybe you can see the bullet holes.


M3 A1 half-track and quadruple 12.7mm AA gun mounting

We were dropped at the museum for 1 hour, but after the movie screening and a very enthusiastic guided tour we had less than 10 minutes. Oh well.


Mark where the first glider landed, and a bust of John Howard. In the background you can see where the third glider landed, and further back the second.


Looking at the bridge from the mark.

There were very funny plaques in the settled area nearby saying that that one location saw the "first Allied victory", another was the "first house in France to be liberated" etc. Gah. The Pegasus Bridge was also touted as the "first bridge liberated in Continental France". !@#$%^&*() (I'm not sure if this was on a plaque, though)


Avre tank. This was the Commander's tank, ergo the graduated markings, so troops could see where he was shooting.

Dog tags were introduced after World War II because there were too many unknown soldiers in that war. Too bad, as I recall from the Berlin tour, that in the bombings of Berlin a lot of records were destroyed, making the tags useless.


Command post at the Hillman position


Garage

A sign said the capture of the Hillman position was the first achievement in the liberation of France. Gah - they might as well erect a memorial where the first paratrooper liberated the first square inch of occupied France.


Sword Beach. It was low tide and the last buoy could be seen. There was also the low tide smell (rotting seaweed). Ugh.

There was a couple walking down the road and the guy held a dog in his arms. The dog's tongue was sticking out. The people in my minivan commented that the dog was tired.

The guide was telling someone that before William the Conqueror got Papal endorsement to invade England (based on perjury over the bones of a saint), his nobles had been reluctant to pledge their help. So much for religion being irrelevant, and always a byproduct of or controlled by politico-socio-economic realities, as fashionable reductionism might have it. Ideologies both shape and are shaped by politico-socio-economic realities, so the chain of causation is not one way.

We were told that there were 2 maple trees at the Canadian cemetery. Maybe they should've imported some bald Eagles for the American one.


Remains of the British mulberry (artificial port) at the beach. No one was paying for either the maintenance of destruction of it, so it was just left to rot.


Former German defence position

The binoculars at the mulberry beach were provided by Euroscope, and they were the most expensive ever, costing €0,50 or €1 (I hope €1 got you twice as much viewing time).

Returning to Bayeux, I walked down a big street and got the shock of my life on seeing:


Malaysian Mannikins
FRANCE, HOW CAN YOU DO THIS TO ME?! I HAD FAITH IN YOU!!!1OMGWTHBBQ~!


The establishment to boycott for eternity


Timber-framed house. Oldest, biggest in Bayeux (14th century)

2 Danes were eating spaghetti with ketchup in the hostel because they were too lazy/stingy to get read food. Uhh.

The chainsmoking old man running the hostel who spoke absolutely no English at all was also the most unfriendly French person I met in France in July - when I bonjoured him he didn't bonjour me in return. At least his wife was slightly more conversant. (Review of the place: "The owner knows little English and will be much more friendly if an attempt is made to speak in French. Possibly because of this, there is little information provided upon check in on breakfast time (starts at 8 a.m.) and dinner time (7:30 p.m.) and it is not clear as to whether an indication needs to be made for one's presence at dinner.; Apart from the owner who is a bit strange and doesn't always confirm reservations, the place was awesome.")

It seems there's a quota that 3/5 of the songs played on the radio in France must be in French. Somehow I'd always thought it was higher.

One Dane said he thought 60 minutes was a good show to watch, and then one episode talked about Denmark and everything was wrong.

One person complained about the positioning of French public restrooms - he said the Men's washrooms were always placed first, the urinals placed near the door and often the doors were left open so girls would walk by and see.

One US girl on a study abroad tour said she ate more McDonalds in Europe than in the US because it was open late and cheap.

Apparently in Poland and Russia TV dubbing sucks - one person does all the voices and they dub in a monotone voice. Perhaps the worst bit is that you can hear the English audio channel softly in the background.


You always hear about Singaporeans who, when they go overseas, get questioned about their country and don't know what to say. The day before, there had been an American at the hostel choke-full of the weirdest questions. I felt like I was under cross-examination and on the witness stand.

Among other things, he asked what the penalty for possessing pot was (I only knew about the penalty for having 1 kg, what got you the death penalty in Singapore besides murder and drugs (he asked about attempted murder and rape, and I had no idea). What took the cake, though, was asking if you could be charged in Singapore if you went to China and bribed someone (I have since found out that the answer is yes). My reply was that: "I'm not sn expert on the finer points of extraterritorial legislation", and someone commented that it was a good rejoinder.

This person also commented that the Bayeux Family Home had a very good atmosphere and that there were lots of friendly people there, which was why he'd extended his stay.
"I'm kind of jealous of the life I'm supposedly leading." - Zach Braff

***


Ever since I've been leaving my hair out, it's been shedding ridiculously. This picture shows the yield of a few hours at my desk. Even someone, who sheds a lot, is amazed by how much I shed. My mother suggested I go to the University doctor to enquire, and since I was going anyway for my flu, I asked for medical advice.

Fortunately, I got a female doctor. After I mentioned my problem, she looked at my hair and asked if it was rebonded, because it was very straight. She thought the chemicals used in rebonding might've damaged it temporarily or permanently, and mentioned that 2 people had visited the NUS doctor after going bald following rebonding, and had been referred to the National Skin Centre. She also advised me not to dye it (I don't), since the traction was bad. I was also advised not to use funny hair products (does conditioner count?) and try baby shampoo, but I can't be bothered to do the last, especially since she confirmed that I have a healthy head.

There was the obligatory line about how there's less shedding with shorter hair, but cutting my hair to avoid shedding is like amputating a limb to cure a minor gangrene infection.

***

soft gay

"Guy: Don’t you have any Chinese girls you can introduce to me?

Me: No… I’m gay.

Guy: Really? It’s okay, I’m not homophobic.

Me: That’s alright. I’m not gay either."
Someone: http://www.yawningbread.org/arch_2006/yax-680.htm

Even Alex Au[, a vocal government critic, suggests waiting for the details of help package for the poor to come out before criticising the government for raising GST]?

Me: amazing huh

http://www.bigozine2.com/fooled/fooled.html

Someone: A good summary of the Sammyboy forums.

Me: no
summary of the straits times

Someone: Perhaps there's not much difference.

Me: no
they're opposite sides of the spectrum
haha

the thing is we've been conned so many times
so we don't trust them

rational expectations

Someone: I guess Alex Au and some of us are not rational then.

Me: nope
people are irrational

they find that ricardian equivalence doesn't always hold
people don't save the whole amount of the deficit/tax cut
they save about... half of it

From Problem Set Barro:



"Suppose instead that individuals use the following expectations adjustment mechanism:

πet = π*, if πt-r = π* for all r = 1, 2, 3, ...
πD = πD, if πt-r /= π* for all r = 1, 2, 3, ...

This reflects that individuals are highly suspicious of the government, so if government deviates from the announced rule for even one period, individuals expect the government to cheat henceforth."

Explanation: Inflation is bad for an economy, so governments can promise to keep inflation low (the ideal rule).

The problem is that governments can and so will be tempted to shock the economy with unexpected inflation to reduce unemployment (if inflation is higher than wage increases, employers will increase hiring), but in subsequent periods people will expect this, and adjust their inflationary/wage expectations. There comes a point where the benefits of lower unemployment due to unexpected inflation are outweighed by the damage caused by high inflation.

In the long run, inflation will be higher than it would've been under the ideal rule.
"No." - Amy Carter, (President Jimmy Carter's daughter) when asked by a reporter if she had any message for the children of America

***

Quotes:

Gabriel, did you lose weight again?... [Me: Looks are deceptive.] But it's the looks that count what. [Me: Good point, good point.]

We all know that a lot of economists don't like adaptive expectations, because it's really backward-looking.

Jaw Jansen (Jorgenson)

Q Theory [of investment] requires a strong maths background... I don't think you guys have the stomach to do it, and frankly I don't have the stomach to do it either. If you're really interested, pick up Alpha Chiang's Dynamic Optimization. It will take you a few months to do. Good luck.

The North Koreans are extremely good at generating fiat money of the United States.

[On not interpreting the MLE model with its mean but rather median] The mean sex is 0.4, 0.5. Who is this person? A person who is 0.5 male, 0.5 female.

Girls cry after Econometrics I. [Student 2: Girls cry? Not our batch right.] [Student 3: *** said - Tsunami after Econometrics I]

The 5 conditions for a BLUE estimate, if I remember correctly: Conditional mean is 0, homoskedasticity, no multicolinearity - and the other 2.

[On stochastic voariance] Wah cheem, man. This is like philosophical.

[On the visualiser projecting the wrong bit for 5 minutes and no one saying anything] You must be really bored. Usually someone says something... it's amazing. *Pushes visualiser so only the power plug can be seen* I was *mumbles and points randomly*. I must've looked like a fool.

I'm gonna implement a friendszone soon. Fuck, do back to the girls what they did to me.

[On SMU] Their International [Economics] A/B is our International [Economics] I.

[On why we should do Masters modules] Masters students - they don't study.

[On the tutor] He's damn cool. He's like some construction worker.

[On technical problems for the presentation] Don't buy Fujitsu, people. For consumption, people, don't buy Fujitsu computers.

Don't waste time. We're all young people. We all have very good eyesight. You can squint your eyes... Anyway no one looks at Powerpoint slides... Just pretend you all can see. Okay cool?

[On diagrams in a presentation] That's stolen from the lecture notes right

Milton Fred Men (Friedman)

[Video subtitle] sercurity (security)

First answer gets a prize. [Student 2: Does it have to be the right answer?]

Cool! Everyone gets a chocolate because everyone shouted 'permanent'!

paw s'hay (Porsche)

What is habit formation? Habit formation is in essence blah blah blah *gestures at projected slide*

[On relative happiness] I wonder if it's the same with grades. Will you be happy with a B if everyone else fails?... [Student: Just give everyone an A. We'll all be happy]

[Tutor on filming a video for a presentation on Consumption: It seems like you guys had a lot of fun.] Especially the girls. We got to dress up.

[On names for an example] The names I picked are all Anglican names. This shows the depth to which we have been colonised.

If - *says own name* is married - I am not, for the benefit of all the beautiful ladies out there.

[Me during the penultimate tutorial: Will he teach us new things next week?] I don't think so. I mean, I'll talk to him.

[Female student] I was going to eat breakfast. Then I couldn't decide what to eat, so I decided not to eat breakfast... That's like so stupid.

Do you know that girls can see 180 degrees? So they can cheat better than guys. (have a 180 degree field of vision)

5000 bussels of corn (bushels)

If F nought is 100 and S nought is 100. *Thunder* *Looks around* *Audience laughs* Don't worry, okay, The chance of having any terrorist activity outside is very low.

[On someone giving out biscuits] You're like the Welfare person here. [Me: She's the Head of Welfare] I see. No wonder [she's] so friendly.

[On the exam being on Thursday, 28th November] This is information you really should know, otherwise you won't do well for the exam... [Student: It's Tuesday] Oh, is it? Wait a minute. I'm not doing the exam.

[On the cheat sheet] You write whatever crap you want, so you feel you don't need to remember all this crap.

[On problem sets vs the exam] It may be a good idea to come with a calculator, in case there are some numbers. You will not need Microsoft Excel. *laughs from audience*

Question 1 should be very easy for you guys. 20 marks - gone. *Laughs from audience* [Student: Gone.] Gone? Sorry, in the bag.

[On the essays] Logical organisation in your writing so I know what you're talking about, so I won't have to scratch my head, until my scalp bleeds.

[On writing legibly] Most of us have lost the ability to use handwriting. I certainly have lost it, because I type a lot nowadays... Cut me some slack here.

Say you want to get A plus. Plus plus plus. For your essay, you might want to read the optional readings.

You can draw Calvin and Hobbes on your cheat sheet, and that's fine by me.

Mr ***, he has an exam... I don't have an exam, so I'll extend my consultation hours by a bit.

[On spurious regression of random values] GDP of Singapore and GDP of Dominican Republic. If you do not like this example... This side is Singapore's GDP per capita and that side is, err. Err. Average goal score in [the] English Premier League. (The average)

In the exam you may need [a] calculator. But you have the best calculator. In your body *Noise from audience*... You yourself are the best calculator. If you rely too much on the calculator you may get wrong values.

W and X are correlated at the same time. W and X are not correlated across time. That is in the question. Do not take a look at me. Take a look at the question.

[Student: Our bridge has caterpillar legs.] How many legs has a caterpillar?... How many legs has the caterpillar that you know?... Anyone from Life Science here? [Student 2: Me] How many legs has a caterpillar?... I don't know what they're teaching you in Life Science.

If this bridge were meant for an airport, this would definitely not be my design. But this bridge was made for *marbles*

After this I'll give you a short break. I'm losing braincells, so I need a break.

Why do we have to assume something exists? Because if nothing exists there's no logic.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Latest posts (which you might not see on this page)

powered by Blogger | WordPress by Newwpthemes