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Friday, July 25, 2008

"Ordinarily, a person leaving a courtroom with a conviction behind him would wear a somber face. But I left with a smile. I knew that I was a convicted criminal, but I was proud of my crime." - Martin Luther King, Jr., March 22, 1956

***

The Worse Half. - book review - "The thesis of the book -- that the anti-male philosophy of radical feminism has filtered into the culture at large -- is incontestable; indeed, this attitude has become so pervasive that we hardly notice it any longer. Even Hallmark, which is renowned for inoffensiveness, now offers anti-male greeting cards without provoking any outrage. One of its cards read on the outside, "Men are scum." Inside was the punchline: "Excuse me. For a second there, I was feeling generous." Hallmark pulled that particular card, but still sells one that says, "There are easier things than meeting a good man; nailing Jell-O to a tree, for instance." There have always been "war between the sexes" jokes, but the authors identify something new here: an ideological hostility toward men."

Ridzwan.Com: The Halal Hypocrisy - "Earlier this week a colleague forwarded an email to me containing a message which has allegedly been written by the management of Haagen-Dazs. In it, the popular ice-cream chain is seen explaining the contents of its vanilla-based products and that it contains about 0.2% alcohol due to the nature of its flavouring compounds. Needless to say the email has been widely forwarded amongst Muslims here, judging from its list of past recipients in the email body. With it came the equivocal but vehement call for all Muslims to boycott the ice-cream establishment for its products are not Halal based on this alcoholic content declaration. Prophet Muhammad once said, “That which can intoxicate in large quantities is also forbidden in minute quantities."... But why has the same stringent criteria not been applied to other dishes that has been prepared by Muslims? After all, it is a well-known fact that fermented Malay dishes like the Tapai (made of either tapioca or rice) do contain traces amount of alcohol? A brief walk through the Geylang Serai market will inadvertently reveal an entire row of Muslim stalls selling this dubious delicacy... What about other Malay dishes that has gone through fermentation like soy sauce, cincaluk, etc?"
In comments: "A better example of fermented food in Malay culture would be the Taucu, which is actually made of fermented soy beans... 0.2%-0.5% [alcohol]... Soy sauce contains a higher level of alcohol of about 1%-2% and some as high as 10%."
"Muslims today are so pre-occupied with wat is halal and wat is not that they have simply forgotten the more important values of Islam in the first place. Muslims like these make the religion a laughing stock in the eyes of non-Muslims."
So much for the principle of extreme dilution. Time to ban fruit. If you want to go down to 1 PPM, I'm sure almost everything has alcohol in it.


The drunken monkey hypothesis: the study of fruit-eating animals could lead to an evolutionary understanding of human alcohol abuse - "What can a tipsy howler monkey tell science about humanity's fondness for--and problems with--alcohol? Possibly quite a lot. And that would be a good thing, considering how widespread our problems with alcohol are... The unripe fruit of the Astrocaryum palm contains no ethanol; ripe hanging fruit is about 0.6 percent ethanol by weight; overripe fruit, often fallen to the ground, can have an ethanol content of more than 4 percent. The howler monkey that Stephens observed on Barro Colorado Island was feasting on fruit near its peak ripeness--when its ethanol content is about 1 percent... In people, too, moderate alcohol consumption seems to be more salubrious than too much or too little... A recent epidemiological study of Finnish civil servants showed that the workers who took the fewest official sick days were moderate consumers of alcohol... Yeasts stop making ethanol when its concentration reaches between 10 and 15 percent by weight. Hence drinks made using natural yeasts are limited in alcohol content. Beer and wine made before the invention of chemical distillation (in central Asia around A.D. 700) probably were no more than 5 percent ethanol. No harder stuff was available."

Women left for dead—and the man who’s saving them - "In the Congo, where tens of thousands of women are brutally raped every year, Dr. Denis Mukwege repairs their broken bodies and souls. Eve Ensler, author of The Vagina Monologues, visits him and finds hope amid the horror."
Very disturbing, but not very informative given that there is next to no context about the larger problem in the Congo. Viewing these atrocities through the lens of gender instead of as part of a wider campaign of death and destruction is misleading.

Gold poop - "While browsing through the souvenir shops on a recent layover at Narita Airport, I came across a very curious Japanese good-luck charm. It featured -- I kid you not -- a gold poop which, by the way, looked disturbingly like soft ice cream! Why poop? Why gold poop? Personally, I can't see anything felicitous in feces. Please tell me what the heck I'm missing... What you're missing is a pleasing piece of word play. The product you saw is called Kin no Unko (The Golden Poo), a name that plays on the fact that the Japanese word for poop (unko) starts with the same "oon" sound as a completely unrelated word that means "luck." Japanese enjoy this kind of pun -- traditional storytelling is full of them -- which may help explain why more than 2.5 million of the lucky little loads have sold in the last seven years."

After years of working for free, Down's syndrome man must PAY to wash councillors' dishes - "A Down's syndrome man and Special Olympics champion who has been working for free for years is now being charged a fee to wash councillors' dishes. Virgil Taylor has been helping to wash up, wipe tables and set up trolleys in a restaurant used by town hall staff for 17 years as part of subsidised adult care services... But now savage cuts have ended the subsidies and the 34-year-old will have to pay £2.50 per session for the 'privilege' of cleaning up after councillors... Mr Taylor will even be charged for non-attendance, his mother said."

Don’t Wait for the Movie - Weird News Story Archive - "The book is not dead in America. A new Harris Poll finds that Americans' preferred activity during their average of 20 hours per week of leisure time is reading, chosen by 30 percent as their number-one time-off activity, with watching TV coming in second at 21 percent. Unfortunately, spending time with family was noted by only 13 percent."

Cat-eating students shooed off Facebook - "Eating house pets in the name of animal welfare is a quick way to raise the hackles of not only animal rights groups, but also the on-line community, a group of journalism students in Århus have discovered. The group, all students at the Danish School of Journalism, had their Facebook accounts closed by the on-line community's administrators after they uploaded pictures of themselves cooking and eating a cat... 'It's hypocritical for us to spend thousands of kroner on our pets, yet buy the cheapest pork from Netto that comes from pigs that have lived a horrid life. And just why is it that it's worse to eat a cat than a pig?'... And the taste: 'a little like chicken, with an aftertaste of fur. Slightly chewy,' the group found."
Indeed.

YouTube - Flip Flop Glue Prank - "They glue this guy's sandal to the floor."

Largest Animal Shelter in U.S. Will House 2 Dogs Trained to Have Sex With Women - "Whalen, 54, and Donald Roy Seigfried, 55, were charged with felony crimes against nature after Whalen's adult son found more than 150 tapes of his mother performing sex acts with her dogs and a blue heeler owned by Seigfried. Seigfried was accused of filming the acts... A deputy who investigated the case had recommended that the dogs be euthanized and wrote in court affidavits that they had been trained to rape."

Public vs Private: Cryptic Writing For Personal Blogs - "The price of writing a personal blog on the net is that everyone can read it. No matter how low key your blog is, you have to have the assumption that people we don’t expect to read, will read. If you have experienced this before, you won’t be the first, neither will you be the last... Cryptic blogging is a form of writing that allows you to express yourself without revealing too much."

Chinese-language Wikipedia presents different view of history - "Just who was Mao Zedong? According to the English-language version of Wikipedia, the popular online encyclopedia, he was a victorious military and political leader who founded China's modern Communist state. He was also a man many saw as "a mass murderer, holding his leadership accountable for the deaths of tens of millions of innocent Chinese." Switch to Wikipedia in Chinese, and one discovers a very different man. There, Mao Zedong's reputation is unsullied by any mention of a death toll in the great purges of the 1950s and 1960s, or for what many historians call the greatest famine in human history... On sensitive questions of China's modern history or on hot-button issues, the Chinese version diverges so dramatically from its English counterpart that it sometimes reads as if it were approved by the censors themselves."
Funny, sounds just like Yushukan (the Yasukuni Shrine museum). Whose revisionists incidentally put me in the mind of Chinese protesters about Western media bias about Tibet

AmIOnMySpace.com? - "This plugin will alert you if you accidently stumble onto MySpace.com, and take you back to the site you came from."

URL Tab Completion - "Overloading the functionality of the tab key in the location bar to mimic unix shell type completion. No, this has nothing to do with tabbed browsing. ;)"
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