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Valar Qringaomis

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Friday, March 28, 2008

In the off chance that any readers speak Slovene and can translate this for me (though I can roughly guess what it says):

"Subject: POVRATNICA: V zvezi z dokumentom

Message: To je povratnica za elektronsko pošto, ki je prispela dne 26.03.08 ob
15:15:06."
I shall be on sabbatical doing my thesis for roughly the next 2 weeks.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

"Living in a vacuum sucks." - Adrienne E. Gusoff

***

A funky study I modeled for:


UQR2202 Uncertainty: Survey on Size Perception

"Hello there! We're a group of NUS students doing a project on body size perception for the module UQR2202: Uncertainty, and would appreciate your assistance in filling out our short 5 minute survey form.

All responses will be strictly confidential, and individual respondents would not be identifiable from any part of our report. Only statistical summaries of the results will be presented in the final project.

We thank you for your participation! (:

- Eisen Teo, Gan Zhen Yi, Zheng Junyi"


(Basically you look at silhouettes of males and females and decide whether they're fat, very fat, thin, very thin etc)
"This is one of those views which are so absolutely absurd that only very learned men could possibly adopt them." - Bertrand Russell

***

Modern men feel emasculated, study claims

"Many men believe the world is now dominated by women and that they have lost their role in society, fuelling feelings of depression and being undervalued.

Research shows the extent to which men have had to change within one or two generations, adapting to new rules and different expectations.

Asked what it meant to be a man in the 21st century, more than half thought society was turning them into "waxed and coiffed metrosexuals", and 52 per cent say they had to live according to women's rules.

What they apparently want is what some American academics have dubbed a "menaissance" - a return to manliness, where figures such as Sir Winston Churchill were models of manhood.

The research also shows that just as women feel their work-life balance has been stretched to breaking point, men think they have too many roles to play.

And although less sympathetic, 63 per cent of women recognise that men are struggling to meet the demands made of them.

But the hunter-gatherer role is still a strong male instinct. Once fatherhood arrives, men say they would prefer a more traditional role of either being the sole breadwinner with their partner a full-time mother and homemaker (34 per cent), or the main breadwinner with their partner working part-time (24 per cent).

Around 2,000 men and women were polled on the internet across 10 television regions for a survey commissioned by DMAX, an entertainment television channel from Discovery Networks.

Men said they "felt handcuffed" by political correctness - only 33 per cent felt they could speak freely and say what they thought, whereas two thirds found it safer and to conceal their opinions.

Harvey Mansfield, a Harvard professor and America's best known political philosopher, who tackles the topic in his book Manliness, says the issue is ignored.

"A man has to be embarrassed about being a man. I am trying to bring back the word manliness. It's not respected," he said.

According to the survey, men hold other men who speak their mind in high regard - the likes of Jeremy Clarkson, Jeremy Paxman, Bob Geldof and Gordon Ramsay. Their biggest hero is Churchill.

But four out of 10 are frightened of heights and spiders while a third are frightened of bossy women."


It's all patriarchy's fault, of course.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

New blog pic:


If you stop every time a dog barks, your road will never end.
I missed a chance to have a picture taken with a celebrity. So sad!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

"Whoever, intending to insult the modesty of any woman, utters any word, makes any sound or gesture, or exhibits any object, intending that such word or sound shall be heard, or that such gesture or object shall be seen by such woman, or intrudes upon the privacy of such woman, shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to one year, or with fine, or with both."

So if you tell a woman: "fuck you", or you flash her the shocker, you go to jail for one year.

This must be why we have marital rape immunity.
"And so at the last I say to the enemy general:

Do you want a fight?

YOU AND WHOSE ARMY?

Well? Well?

Not so tough with all your cheap floozies at your back are you?"

Monday, March 24, 2008

Not feeling very well disposed towards the mentally ill at the moment; we truly live in a Sexist society!
"He died of AIDS, his girlfriend died of AIDS, and his girlfriend's husband died of AIDS" - Odehouri Koudou, president of the Ivory Coast's National Committee to Fight AIDS on Roger-Fulgence Kassy, a popular television host

***

EconLog, What Summers Missed: Women, Personality, and the Sciences - "Both the popular Jungian and the more academic Five Factor personality tests confirm the stereotype that men are more logical and women are more emotional. (The first class of test says that men are more "Thinking" and women are more "Feeling"; the second says that women are more "Agreeable." Take your pick.) The difference is about a half standard deviation in size. That's big; when you go out to the tails of the Thinking-Feeling personality distribution, men greatly outnumber women."
Wonderful. Now I have evidence that women, even if not more irrational/illogical, are less logical than men.

Mutant Palm: SchizOlympics: Chinese and English Tibet Tweets - "Watching the build up to the Olympics has been, for me, like watching the world's biggest, slowest traffic accident. For a while now its been pretty obvious that alot of contentious issues about China were going to come to the front as we approach August 8th, but the problem is that there are two completely separate parallel worlds on these issues: the Chinese one, and the rest of us. Westerners have been exposed to rhetoric and information about Tibetan discontent, Darfur's international and Chinese dimensions, and of course old chestnuts like Tiananmen provide a larger context of long term, ongoing problems. Meanwhile, Chinese mainlanders by and large have no knowledge of these events or issues. While for the rest of the world the Olympics will be largely a referendum on China's ability to deal with what everyone else has talked about for years, for Chinese citizens it will be about China winning a beauty pageant of sorts. Two Worlds, Two Dreams: prepare for the SchizOlympics."
How can anyone write: "西藏这帮秃驴居然敢在两会期间制造不合谐因素。[Tibet's bald weasels dare not to conform to a harmonious society during the Two Congresses.]"?!

Why men should pair off with younger women - "Statistics show that monogamous men have the most children if they marry women younger than themselves. How much younger is the key question. Last year, a study of Swedish census information suggested a 4 to 6-year age gap is best, but new research has found that in some circumstances a surprisingly large gap – 15 years – is the optimum."

Stressed Singapore hunts for happiest person - "A search has been launched for the happiest person in Singapore, where a recent survey found that 90 per cent of its population feel that life is stressful... "Being based in Singapore and having trained thousands of people across the globe, one distinct trend I have noticed is that despite material wealth and economic success, Singaporeans consider themselves less happy than many other people,"... Despite its affluence, a poll by advertising firm Grey Group found that nine in 10 people living in the city-state said they were stressed... The winner will stay for free at a beach club in the Thai resort island of Phuket."
Not like he needs it.

The Question - "For many years, man has pondered many things. We have thought great thoughts about God, the meaning of life, and how jello works. But there has been one question that above all else, has refused to be answered: Can vegans swallow?"
Given that eggs are impermissible I find the consensus ridiculous.

Labor of Love: Is society ready for this pregnant husband? - "I am transgender, legally male, and legally married to Nancy... Sterilization is not a requirement for sex reassignment, so I decided to have chest reconstruction and testosterone therapy but kept my reproductive rights... In total, nine different doctors have been involved. This is why it took over one year to get access to a cryogenic sperm bank to purchase anonymous donor vials, and why Nancy and I eventually resorted to home insemination. When I finally got pregnant for the first time, I ended up having an ectopic pregnancy with triplets. It was a life-threatening event that required surgical intervention, resulting in the loss of all embryos and my right fallopian tube... How does it feel to be a pregnant man? Incredible. Despite the fact that my belly is growing with a new life inside me, I am stable and confident being the man that I am. In a technical sense I see myself as my own surrogate, though my gender identity as male is constant."
Purely on medical grounds, I'd turn them down (probably why there was an ectopic pregnancy in the first place). I hope no one gets slapped with a malpractise suit because of this.

Man hangs himself after being falsely accused of raping women and children - "A man who lost his job after being falsely accused of a horrific sex crime has been found hanged in a shed. Ian Adams, 51, was suspended and then sacked from his job at a local IKEA store after his employers received a letter saying he had raped a woman and her two children. The writer claimed to be a journalist on a local newspaper, but the name and address in the letter were false and the author has never been traced."
Ah, another victim of patriarchy. I'm sure more zealous rooting out and prosecution of rapists, and more serious sentences will help people like this.

Safe Blood for Transfusion - "A common belief in all Latin American countries is that donating blood makes a person either gain or lose weight. Others believe that giving blood is literally an act of giving away the essence of life. An individual in Quito, Ecuador, put it this way: "I am not going to give part of my life away?. they tell me that by giving blood I also give life.""
Ooh, backfiring marketing.

Donor deficit - "Does the popular view that giving blood has health benefits have any real foundation? “Of course, it’s absolutely true,” Dr Haciyev replied. “If a healthy person regularly gives blood, their organism is renewed which has a positive effect on well-being. This can be explained by the fact that the organism takes every instance of giving blood as a loss of blood and then begins to stimulate the bone marrow and all the cells, as a result of which blood is rejuvenated. The interval between giving blood must be at least two to three months.”"
Bring on the leeches! Even more hilarious is what the Pakistan Red Crescent claims: "Reduces Blood cholesterol, Lowers the risk of heart attack, Blood Pressure remains normal"?!

Food Insufficiency Is Associated with High-Risk Sexual Behavior among Women in Botswana and Swaziland. - "Food insufficiency is an important risk factor for increased sexual risk-taking among women in Botswana and Swaziland. Targeted food assistance and income generation programs in conjunction with efforts to enhance women's legal and social rights may play an important role in decreasing HIV transmission risk for women."
Uhh.
"Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself." - Leo Tolstoy

***

You find the strangest things looking for people from NGOs:

"How do you know she's a witch?": Witches, cunning folk, and competition in Denmark

"The Helmdrup smith was also interested in witchcraft. After he came home after being out practicing, and people asked him what he'd been doing, he would gladly answer-I've been out witching-- But why do you answer like that when you don't believe in witches yourself? his neighbor asked him once-Well, when I say things like that, people don't ask any more and then I don't have to give long explanations... A great deal suggests that Niels Mikkelsen was not as dismissive of witchcraft as the exchange of words with his neighbor might have us believe.. When he got angry...he would threaten to bewitch people"

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Something HWMNBN sent me a few days ago:

Photobucket
IC: "Batman bin Suparman" - some poor 18 year old boy

Someone who's heard of him (in the comments. Also, there're names like 'Ninja Turtle', 'Swarovski Crystal Tan' and 'Master Wong Fei Hong')
"He can compress the most words into the smallest ideas of any man I ever met." - Abraham Lincoln

***

Quotes:

I asked you, 'Is Messiah in German'. You looked very shocked. I thought you were joking. I went to ask ***. Messiah is in Ch-

He went back to the Wee'mar Republic (Weimar)

[On what she'll get as a Muslim when going to Heaven] You go to Heaven and you get gang-raped. [Student 2: You go to Hell and you get gang-raped too.]

[Female student:] Every guy who hangs out at USP is a bastard. [Male student: Exclude me, my father is well and alive.]

[On economic development structural change] Girls have this facial treatment and weight control. They are all part of the service sector.

I think there is a tih'po (typo)

[On a year] 19 thousand (hundred)

Actually, I'm quite worried for ***. I think we just follow his lecture notes, and what he says, and don't express our opinions.

There's some cover't (caveat)

Beer Steer'ns (Bear Stearns)

The development of the undergraduate curriculum is that there's more and more math and you forget what words is, and you forget what ideas is, and you forget what Economics is (are)

Almost all of you, your income is expected to be high, because you have a NUS degree, and a NUS degree is expected to be valuable. Whatever.

[On Ricardian Equivalence and the old] One reason you may raise consumption is you say: 'Haha, I'm old, I'm going to die soon, even if you raise taxes in the future... won't affect me'

You notice one thing. In the standard model, in the neoclassival model, everything is nice, everything is neutral. Here, it's messy.

[On working and investing in different places, and home bias) I'm not trying to be unpatriotic... If you're hired in a country you tend to invest in a country as well (the)

Very rarely, shits happen (shit happens)

Mee'yo'pick loss aversion (myopic)

He has to make rare'g'you'were reports (regular)

fat reserve (fed)

There was also a ker'weet' (caveat)

The US is the most professional armed forces in the world. [US Navy man: I appreciate that.] Just guessing... [US Navy man: Nobody's ever been killed in the line of duty. The wall at SAFTI has no names on it... We met a General today. I don't think he's ever been shot at.]

[On Schweitzer's geese] The geese do not say, in whatever language they speak, 'Look at our poor friend down there. Let's wait for him'

[On Kant and being kind to animals to be kind to humans] Obviously butchers would object to this, and I'm sure some butchers are very nice people. On the other hand Hitler was very kind to animals, especially to his own dog. [Student: Vegetarian]

[On Singer and the central nervous system] Oysters, prawns, crabs and lobsters do not feel pain... My wife is convinced that lobsters feel pain. Because when you put it [a lobster] in the pot it will go *bzzz*. So you should put a lobster in the freezer before boiling it. How the lobster feels in the freezer, I do not know... Some people say that abortion is okay before the fetus has a central nervous system. Which is typically around the 20th week.

Some people are actually quite crafty, as you say. A [former] colleague of mine at the University of ***... He's a utilitarian... Some of us went to a restaurant for a meal. He was the only vegetarian. The person beside him couldn't finish his steak. 'Can I finish it?' 'But you're vegetarian.' 'The animal has already suffered. Eating the steak will increase my pleasure. Give it to me!'

[On Singer and the central nervous system] The biologists could be wrong. The source of pain might not be in the central nervous system... [Also,] we don't need to eat prawns and crabs and oysters anyway, so why not make a political statement to reinforce our commitment to vegetarianism?

The irony is that there're people who go around bombing laboratories that experiment on animals, and they invoke Peter Singer, but they should invoke Tom Regan. But Peter Singer is more famous, so they invoke him.

Yes, there is a question. No, you're just yawning.

Some vegans eat fruit and nuts. Some do not. The Jains. You eat a nut, you kill a plant. You eat a fruit, you kill a future plant.

At a dinner party, the host cooks meat. It would be ungracious to say no, it would be ungracious to say 'I don't eat meat - give me something else'. I am a part-time vegetarian.

[On the duty to advocate vegetarianism and Singer] He's a very nice man. He's a very kind and gentle man. But when it comes to eating meat, he's very aggressive. If you are unfortunate enough to be eating meat when you're sitting opposite him, he will come over: 'Why are you eating meat? Don't you know that *noise*?'

I'm an animal lover. I love to eat them.

[Student: ***'s so vulgar...] [Student 2: He's doing manly work, so he must show he's manly] Manly work? You've women doing manly work. But they're manly women, so it's okay.

Some wonderful music there by Bark (Bach)

[Psychology student] What's your major? [Student 2: Chemistry.] End of conversation.

If you drink 1 cup of hot chocolate, it's 1/4 of your daily calories [Student 2: That's your hot chocolate.]

[On objections to cows and methane] All you need to do is stand next to a cow and wait until it farts

[On statistics on feeding meat eaters in 'Deep Vegetarianism'] Maybe a skinnier Asian won't eat as much

[On 625 square metres of rain forest going to each hamburger according to 'Deep Vegetarianism'] It's probably 625 centimetres

We have 2 tutorial presentations today. They will be pretty similar, because in the 2 articles I say pretty much the same thing.

[Me: Have you changed your view in 27 years?] Nope. When you're right you're right.

[On appreciating natural beauty] Humans appreciate beauty. For most of history it's been: 'That tiger is beautiful. Let me kill that tiger and use it as a rug'

virtues ethics (virtue)

Before I proceed, a disclaimer: there are Latin words and German words which I don't know how to pronounce.

[On women and trees being 'things' rather than 'objects'] You look at a thing as an object. You don't look at it as something to use, something to play with... That's what Heidegger is talking about. You can look at a tree as an object, much in the same way as you objectify a woman, or you can look at it as a thing. You can be a timber merchant, you can be an artist [who wants to paint it]... It can be a playful object, a thing for you to play with... It's not an object which just sits there. (?)

Employees who are illegible to participate in the plan (eligible)

Just now I was in the canteen. I saw one of the posters - 'Old people are pathetic': near the drinks stall. I was very tempted to add: 'That's what you'll grow to be'

[On CPF] You hear in the news about the GLC returns... Why not just link the returns?

My impression scheming through it (skimming)

Altruism. Gods forbid. (God)

[On economics students being more selfish] Is it because we teach you nash equilibrium, game theory?... Maybe not. Maybe you come in an evil person... Maybe when you come in you were already damaged.

[On experiments] Double blind is important because you don't want to seem like an asshole... You don't want the experimenter to know you're an asshole.

[On increasing size of payouts] We all have low budgets, so how do we expand the stakes? Run across the border to less developed countries. (increase)

[On ultimatum and dictator games] Men were not especially generous toward attractive women... But the women offered about 5% more to attractive men than unattractive men. I was wondering if this has anything to do with Singapore Idol and Campus Superstar. The winners are always guys.

This guy from Hong Kong. I don't know how he did it. He managed to find some monks. Must be Tibetan smonks. He got them to play the dictator game... [Student: Keep it all for himself]... Buddhists are better people. (monks)

[On calling people] My friend picked up when he was on top of the girl

[On essay citations] Wiki is fine - I don't have any problem with that.

*** [is] not coming? I kinda miss her - bubble tea.

Gay Men, Blood Donation, Homophobia and HIV

"Girls are always running through my mind. They don't dare walk." - Andy Gibb

***

"In July 1982, the CDC reported that three hemophiliacs had died of AIDS-related infections; none of the infected individuals had any risk factor other than that they had received blood transfusions. In December 1982, the CDC reported that five more hemophiliacs had contracted AIDS, and that there were five other AIDS cases that might have resulted from blood transfusions.

The Hemophilia Foundation proposed in 1982 that blood banks proscribe donations by gay men. However, because they did not want to foster an exclusionary policy, and because gay men were considered “crucial to the donor pool,”* blood banks did not implement this proposal immediately. Dr. James Curran, the director of AIDS activities at the CDC urged the gay community to seize the “political initiative with a call for voluntary withdrawal of all gay men from the donor pool.” He stated, “The thing is, people are dying. The medical problem is more important than the civil rights issue.” Despite Dr. Curran’s recommendations, however, the blood banking agencies in the United States (the American Association of Blood Banks, the American Red Cross, and the Council of Community Blood Banks) expressly rejected pre-donation screening on the basis of sexual orientation, so as not to discriminate against MSM...

* - Gay men were crucial to the donor pool because “[p]rior to AIDS, gay people used to go in together to donate blood, as a community effort.” Melinda Tuhus, Supplies of Blood Fall as Demand Increases, N.Y. TIMES, Oct. 29, 2000, § 14CN (Conn. Ed.), at 3. Few other groups donated with the solidarity that gay men did prior to the mid-1980s.

The U.S. Public Health Service (USPHS) issued these recommendations to comply with federal regulations mandating that blood donors be “free[ ] from any disease transmissible by blood transfusion,” and because there was “no alternative but to treat all members of groups at increased risk for AIDS as posing a threat of transmission.”

... While status-based classifications to exclude donors generally are disfavored because of their lack of specificity, the utility of these classifications “ultimately depends upon the strength of the relationship between status and behavior.” For example, if there is a high prevalence of HIV in a MSM population, the error associated with exclusionary criteria based on MSM behavior is less. An exclusionary criteria based on MSM behavior, however, is functionally identical to a status-based classification. The use of exclusionary criteria closely resembling status-based classifications ultimately was validated by epidemiological data that showed the large prevalence of HIV/AIDS infection in MSM populations in the 1980s...

To public health policy makers in the United States, the risk of harm associated with HIV, of acquiring a fatal or potentially fatal disease from a blood transfusion, far outweighs the costs of pre- and post-donation screening or any consequent infringement on liberty interests or personal autonomy in denying someone the opportunity to donate blood."

- HIV/AIDS and blood donation policies: a comparative study of public health policies and individual rights norms
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