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

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Saturday, October 25, 2008

"Humor is the only test of gravity, and gravity of humor; for a subject which will not bear raillery is suspicious, and a jest which will not bear serious examination is false wit." - Aristotle

***

Singapore takes 3 to court for kangaroo t-shirts - "Three people who showed up at Singapore's supreme court in T-shirts printed with a kangaroo dressed in a judge's gown will be brought to court for contempt, Singapore's attorney general said on Tuesday. They had "scandalised the Singapore judiciary by publicly wearing identical white T-shirts, imprinted with a palm-sized picture of a kangaroo dressed in a judge's gown", the attorney general said."

FemaleScienceProfessor: Top 10 Worst Jobs - "10. Library worker: front desk
9. Dishwasher
8. Newspaper deliverer
7. Sandwich maker
6. Babysitter
5. Library worker: book shelver
4. Waitress in seafood restaurant
3. Cook in awful restaurant
2. Servant for wealthy insane people
1. Farm worker for tragic farm family"

McDonald. McRobots 1. Transformers 1. 1989.

China Channel Firefox Add-on - Experience the censored Chinese internet at home! - "The Firefox add-on China Channel offers internet user outside China to surf the web as if they were in China. Take an unforgetable virtual trip to China and experience the technical expertise of the Chinese Ministry of Information Industry (supported by western companies). It's open source, free and easy... Note: For the most part the Chinese web will feel a lot like home. You will, however, begin to notices differences if you start asking Google about sensitive issues (for example Tananmen Square protests, or Pro Tibetan issues)."

Author: Apple (and its branding) like a religion - ""Apple is (as we've proven using neuroscience)...a religion," Lindstrom said in the interview. "Not only that--it is a religion based on its communities. Without its core communities, Apple would die--it is already facing strong pressure as the brand simply is becoming too broad (losing) its magic. What's holding it all together is the hundreds if not thousands of communities across the world spreading the passion and creating the myths.""

'No God' slogans for city's buses - "Bendy-buses with the slogan "There's probably no God" could soon be running on the streets of London... "Religion is accustomed to getting a free ride - automatic tax breaks, unearned respect and the right not to be offended, the right to brainwash children. Even on the buses, nobody thinks twice when they see a religious slogan plastered across the side. "This campaign to put alternative slogans on London buses will make people think - and thinking is anathema to religion." Hanne Stinson, chief executive of the BHA, said: "We see so many posters advertising salvation through Jesus or threatening us with eternal damnation, that I feel sure that a bus advert like this will be welcomed as a breath of fresh air... Stephen Green of pressure group Christian Voice said: "Bendy-buses, like atheism, are a danger to the public at large."... However the Methodist Church said it thanked Professor Dawkins for encouraging a "continued interest in God". Spirituality and discipleship officer Rev Jenny Ellis said: "This campaign will be a good thing if it gets people to engage with the deepest questions of life." She added: "Christianity is for people who aren't afraid to think about life and meaning.""
Context: "Religious ads running on public transport, which featured a URL to a website telling non-Christians they would spend "all eternity in torment in hell", burning in "a lake of fire"... A new advertising campaign for Alpha Courses is running on London buses. If you attend an Alpha Course, you will again be told that failing to believe in Jesus will condemn you to hell."

Keyboard sniffers to steal data - "Computer criminals could soon be eavesdropping on what you type by analysing the electromagnetic signals produced by every key press."

Job choice 'affects Alzheimer's' - "Going to university, then choosing a mentally demanding job may help protect the brain from the devastating impact of Alzheimer's disease on memory."

The Breast Is Best! PETA Asks Ben & Jerry's to Dump Dairy and Go With Human Milk Instead - "This morning, PETA dispatched a letter to Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield, cofounders of ice cream icon Ben & Jerry's Homemade Inc., urging them to replace the cow's milk in their products with human breast milk."
No, this is not from The Onion.

Watermelon = The New Drug-Free Viagra. Author: Dorree Lynn, PhD - Not all PhDs are created equal. Rule of thumb: if they have "PhD" in their name, it's probably not worth much.

sexolympia - "The inaugural Sex Olympia games are coming! To be held on the Gold Coast in Queensland Australia (18th &19th August 2009), we are now seeking sexual athletes from all over the world to join the festivities. Medals are waiting to be claimed in various sexual disciplines. In the course of competition, we shall conclusively find out who are the best fuckers in the world!"
Uhh...

Worthless degrees - "76 people graduate from unaccredited university known as a degree supplier... 'Dr' John Huang... admitted that WCU was unaccredited, but said his students had been given the facts. His doctorate is from Ashwood University, the same degree mill that granted this reporter's pet dog a doctorate for US$599 (S$886) just two months ago... Several [students] said they did not know a university can be registered and yet have no academic accreditation, where it is subject to quality checks by an independent body. It also means employers may not recognise the degrees."
Libertarians will no doubt blame the existence of degree mills on government regulation

The Straight Dope: What's the deal with stigmata? - "The question isn't whether the stigmata are self-inflicted. Of course they're self-inflicted. Even if I were disposed to believe in divine intervention, the variety in the appearance and location of the wounds on different stigmatics argues strongly that this is a matter of, how shall I say, human handiwork. In some cases the wounds have duplicated those of Jesus as depicted at the stigmatic's local church. The real issue is whether the wounds are psychosomatic — that is, a physical manifestation of the stigmatic's tortured psyche — or else got there by more conventional (i.e., fraudulent) means... Stigmatics are often tormented souls. Many of the religious ones deny themselves to the point of masochism."
One comment: "The Romans discovered very early that nails through the hands and feet (especially the hands) would not support the weight of the body and would rip through the hands very quickly. Anyone with stigmata of the palms, therefore, would definitely be bogus."
Seditious!

The Straight Dope: Are there any jokes in the Bible? - "In Mark 5, Jesus asks a man possessed by devils, "What is your name?" The devils reply, "My name is Legion; for we are many." Conceivably this is a pun on legion in the sense of "a vast bunch of" and legion in the sense of a Roman military unit. The devils beg to be sent into a nearby herd of swine, which stampedes into the sea and drowns. One can construe this (not without some strain) as a sly prayer that the Romans, an unwelcome presence at the time, would all take a running jump."

The Straight Dope: Why did Christianity become so popular? - "Many religions previously had had some notion of an afterlife but, as in the Greek belief in Hades, it was often thought of as some sort of astral garbage can into which souls were pitched once stripped of flesh. Christianity turned this bleak idea into the positive concept of salvation and resurrection. (In the church's earliest days it was believed the second coming would occur within the lifetimes of those then living, which made acceptance of Jesus all the more urgent.)... The complexity and emotional power of this system of belief swept away the primitive religions that preceded it. Tellingly, Christianity made less headway against the religions of the East, which offered a world view that was equally compelling."
HURR HURR. The argument from speedy demographic spread has great counters, anyway, what with other meteoric religions.

A*STAR - National Science Scholars - The mugshots are a good dataset to test the theory (disputed by some) that people in the Life Sciences look better than those in the Physical Sciences.

I Hate Horses. - "Look, this is a website about horses and how much we hate them. They are gross and stupid and disgusting and smell like shit. There are flies all over them and they make dumb noises. HORSES ARE TERRIBLE!!!"

lalalalalalalalalalalalalalalalalala - This is worse than meatspin, lemonparty, tubgirl, goatse and 2girls1cup combined (SFW)

This is What Global Activism Looks Like - "Last weekend, nearly 117 million people in 131 countries stood up as part of a UN-led campaign to draw attention to the Millennium Development Goals. This year's STAND UP Against Poverty shatters last year's record setting participation."
I'm glad this has shown us what global activism looks like: Full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.

The environmental case against long-distance relationships - "Perversely, we live in a world where the sustainability consultant in San Francisco is willing to fly in an exotic boyfriend every month from Washington, D.C. All day, she helps companies "green their supply chains" and "internalize core social costs," yet that eco-savvy seems to vanish at night, when she e-mails: Come visit!!!... Our sustainability consultant's lifestyle would be about six times worse for the environment than that of the average gas-guzzling American—and up to 10 times worse than that of the average San Franciscan. (Indeed, for her, breaking up would be about 10 times better for the environment than going vegetarian.)... A robust Date Local movement wouldn't just help the environment. Like other forms of economic localization, the decision to swear off Orbitz romance creates important spinoff benefits. For one, it makes people less anti-social."

Health Benefits of Weekly Sex - "1. It Fights Colds and Flu
2. It's a Beauty Treatment
3. It Burns Calories
4. Yes, Honey, I Have a Headache
5. It Promotes Regular Menstrual Cycles
6. It Can Prevent Accidents"

Do pretty women inspire men to discount the future? - "As predicted, discounting increased significantly in men who viewed attractive women, but not in men who viewed unattractive women or women who viewed men; viewing cars produced a
different pattern of results."

YTMND - Corn on the Cob! - "Corn on the Cob. Corn on the Kabob"

Iranian rappers serenade the sound of sirens - "Hichkas does not use swear words but his lyrics do focus on social injustice, the widening gap between rich and poor, street fighting and even on the international pressure on Iran over its nuclear programme... "Sometimes, we go out at night to beat up drug dealers and throw their drugs and money into the ditch", he says. "Our goal now is to stop those who destroy other human beings.""

Couple wed at funeral home - "It generally has flowers, and a clergyman is often present, but this was a first for a local funeral home... Jason Storm, 24, doesn't see much difference between getting married in a church or the funeral home."
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