"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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Tuesday, December 09, 2008

"It is unbecoming for young men to utter maxims." - Aristotle

***

shadamarshanavasu: Washing machine or lassi maker? - "Across the Punjab rural expanse, washing machines churn loads of lassi to quench the thirst of the millions!Yes, shops and big rural households have found an innovative use for washing machines;to help churn their ubiquitous health drink!... Again Godrej is a well known brand in the hair dye market. We know what hair dye is used for. Yes, to dye one's hair, to hide the grey streaks! Wrong again, godrej hair dye is used to give a sheen to the buffaloes when they are taken to the shandy for sale.They fetch a much better price!"

Are you on catnip camera? - "Cooper is a former stray tabby whose photographic exploits helped land him on an episode of a new Animal Planet series, "Cats 101," airing Saturday at 8 p.m. From 6 inches above the ground, Cooper took 200 to 400 pictures a day on a miniature digital camera programmed to take one picture every two minutes. It swung from his collar, encased in plastic, to shoot rain or shine. The Crosses built a harness for him so the lightweight device would be as unobtrusive as possible. Observing Cooper with the camera, it's obvious he handles it like a pro, with no indication it bothers him."

Alex Ross: The Rest Is Noise: The Last Emperor: Richard Strauss - "That gathering of musical celebrities in Graz was like the last meeting of the crowned heads of Europe. Mahler died in 1911, and he seemed to take Romanticism with him. Puccini’s “Turandot,” which the composer left unfinished at his death, in 1924, ended an operatic succession that had begun in Florence at the end of the sixteenth century. Schoenberg abandoned tonality in 1908, and so began the age of “new music,” with its long manifestos and tiny audiences... Strauss’s operas are, in their old-fashioned way, proto-feminist documents. In them, it is usually the woman who actively desires, and the man who is passively perceived... Should I consider Schoenberg first-rate when his music never makes me smile? Should I venerate Stravinsky when his music never makes me cry? Perhaps all major twentieth-century composers have been a shade second-rate. They have lacked the unself-conscious assurance of the older masters... Around the time of that shattering performance of “Salome” in Graz, the audience began to split apart. Composers were no longer addressing humanity; they were writing for a subculture. Strauss was among the first to see it happening."

Effects of Perinatal Exposure to PCBs and Dioxins on Play Behavior in Dutch Children at School Age - "Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and dioxins are known as neurotoxic compounds that may modulate sex steroid hormones. Steroid hormones play a mediating role in brain development and may influence behaviors that show sex differences, such as childhood play behavior. In this study we evaluated the effects of perinatal exposure to environmental levels of PCBs and dioxins on childhood play behavior and whether the effects showed sex differences... In boys, higher prenatal PCB levels were related with less masculinized play, assessed by the masculine scale (psubmaternal/sub=.042; psubcord/sub=.001) and composite scale (psubcord/sub=.011), whereas in girls higher PCB levels were associated with more masculinized play, assessed by the composite scale (psub PCBmilk/sub). Higher prenatal dioxin levels were associated with more feminized play in boys as well as girls, assessed by the feminine scale (p = .048)."
Socialization FTW

Requirements for New Zealand residence under Family (Partner) Category - "With your application you must supply evidence that your partnership is genuine and stable... Evidence of partnership may be provided by:
* any documents showing public or family recognition of your relationship
* correspondence (including post marked envelopes) to you and your partner at the same address
* photographs of you and your partner together
* evidence of the duration of your relationship
* the degree of commitment to a shared life
* evidence of communication between you both
* evidence of you being committed to each other emotionally and exclusively, such as evidence of joint decision making, an exclusive sexual relationship, and the sharing of household duties, parental responsibility, and spare time."
I wonder if anyone tries to show evidence of an exclusive sexual relationship

Atheist sign at nativity scene - "An atheist group placed this sign beside a Nativity scene at an Olympia, Washington government building... "Religion is but myth and superstition that hardens hearts and enslaves minds," the sign says in part."
They should spend their time and money doing more productive things.

Religious 'shun nanotechnology' - "Religious people tend to view nanotechnology in a negative light... The researchers say their finding support the idea that underlying cultural beliefs have a stronger influence on opinions formed about nanotechnology than science based information about it's potential and pitfalls... "We need to get to grips with the idea that the exact same piece of information can have a different meaning to different people, its the age-old dilemma for science about what could be done versus what should be done.""
In other news, attitudes to abortion are affected by religion too.

Palm Pistol: Grandma is Going On a Toodle Shootin' Rampage - "Thanks to the Second Amendment, even the elderly have the right to keep and bear arms. The problem is that many of the guns out there are a bit unwieldy for an older person to handle. However, the inventors of the Palm Pistol are planning to change all that with a weapon that is ideal for both the elderly and the physically disabled."

Issei Sagawa - Wikipedia - "Issei Sagawa served time in a French jail for the murder of the Dutch student Renée Hartevelt, a classmate at the Sorbonne Academy in Paris. In June 11, 1981, Sagawa was studying avant garde literature. He invited her to dinner under the pretense of literary conversation. Upon her arrival, he shot her in the neck with a rifle while she sat with her back to him at a desk, then began to carry out his plan of eating her... he was arrested by the French police. However, the French psychologists found him legally insane and unfit to stand trial. Instead, he was deported back to Japan, where he was put in a mental institution. However, the deportation order did not specify how long Sagawa must remain in the institution, and Japanese authorities were refused the necessary paperwork from French justice officials. As a result, fifteen months later, Sagawa checked himself out, and has been a free man ever since."

The kiss of deaf - Chinese man ruptures girlfriend's eardrum - "A young woman in southern China has partially lost her hearing after her boyfriend ruptured her eardrum during an excessively passionate kiss"

Married Dating & Affairs | The Ashley Madison Agency - "LIFE IS SHORT. HAVE AN AFFAIR.™... Join AshleyMadison.com for FREE and Have An Affair...Guaranteed!"
Owner on the Tyra Banks show: "I'm not going to convince anyone to have an affair... I feel terrible... I feel terrible for the two of you... Before you go down this path, make sure you can repair your marriage"
Tyra Banks: "I feel a heart inside you that you're trying to cover up right now"


Amsterdam to cut brothels by half - "The city council says that some other businesses are also related to the decay of the city centre, including peep shows, sex shows, mini-supermarkets, phone and souvenir shops, and they will also be shut down."
Uhh...

Why We Cheat - "Virtually all animals, they say, are far from being 100% monogamous 100% of the time. "The only completely, fatalistically monogamous animal we've been able to identify is a tapeworm found in the intestines of fish," Lipton tells WebMD. That's because the male and female worms fuse together at the abdomen and never separate afterward."

Emigration to Europe, Czech Republic - "Forming a Czech limited-liability company, called an SRO, is the fastest, most convenient and cost-effective way for a foreign citizen to establish himself as a resident in Czech Republic... Our company does not guarantee the 100% probability of getting Czech visa. But from our past experience we know that 98% of owners and co-owners of the companies we registered got residence permit in Czech. 2% did not get visa to Czech and residence permit due to false documents they provided... There is no interview at all in Czech embassy. When applying for Czech visa you should provide only documents according to the list Futurum Group will provide you. Do not worry, people in embassy can speak Chinese and if you have any questions they answer you in your native language... Among Chinese people who live and work abroad the most popular are the following kinds of business: setting restaurants and canteens that serve Chinese dishes extremely popular in European countries ( see Chinese restaurants abroad)... It seams that illegal immigration to Europe is cheaper than legal one... to calculate risks of possible deportation and psychological problems that will certainly appears and will influence your health illegal immigration will not seem so preferential for you."
This sounds dodgy. But then maybe this is how all the Chinese shopkeepers get into Europe. Aha!

Words associated with Christianity and British history taken out of children's dictionary - "Oxford University Press has removed words like "aisle", "bishop", "chapel", "empire" and "monarch" from its Junior Dictionary and replaced them with words like "blog", "broadband" and "celebrity". Dozens of words related to the countryside have also been culled. The publisher claims the changes have been made to reflect the fact that Britain is a modern, multicultural, multifaith society... Academics and head teachers said that the changes to the 10,000 word Junior Dictionary could mean that children lose touch with Britain's heritage... "We are looking at the loss of words of great beauty. I would rather have "marzipan" and "mistletoe" then "MP3 player.""

Kenyan marathon champ Kibet wins in Singapore - "World champion Luke Kibet set a course record Sunday to win a Singapore Marathon dominated by Kenyan runners."
How come no one blames Institutional Racism? Hah.

Ricky Gervais: Nine Lessons and Carols for Godless People - ""I wanted to do events around Christmas for people who don't have any belief, to show that they're not bitter, Scrooge-like characters. Everyone is going to be approaching the evening from a passionate scientific perspective rather than from a bashing-the-Bible slant." There will even be carol-singing, he promises. "Who doesn't like singing a carol? I mean, if you sing Robbie Williams's Angels you don't have to believe in angels, do you? Most singers sing lots of songs that have no truth in them whatsoever."... Dawkins will read from his book Unweaving the Rainbow, "which is about how science makes things more beautiful and more exciting - not less". His cameo should help counter the popular prejudice, says Ince, that he is "this crotchety man waving his stick at the sky. Rather than create a marauding mob going out to burn down the churches, it's about people saying 'Take me to the library!'""
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