"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, May 09, 2009

"Scientia non habet inimicum nisi ignorantem."


The Exercise Myth - "My lab at Tufts University summarized 36 years of published studies on exercise and weight, conducted between 1969 and 2005. What we found would frustrate anyone spending upward of $800 a year on a gym membership to lose weight. The averaged results of the studies showed that an hour of exercise per day results in an average fat loss of just six pounds over the course of several months... Research doesn’t have good answers to the question of why exercise doesn’t work for the average person as well as it seems it should, but I suspect the reasons are increased hunger (you eat almost as many extra calories as you burn) and reduced energy expenditure at other times (exercise may make you more relaxed and less fidgety). So, you end up fit, healthy, and less stressed out, but wondering why you still have pounds to lose... Which doesn’t mean you should tear up your gym membership—being fit remains good for your general health"

Seeking for relationship to marriage - "I'm a white collar working gal with a local uni degree... I'm a classy and inteligent... Norma l executive, dun send in. please... erasian"
I thought working girls were blue collar

Doodle: Easy Scheduling - "How does Doodle work?
1. Create a poll.
2. Forward the link to the poll to the participants.
3. Follow online what the participants vote for."
To some extent, this solves the coordination problem of finding out the option which most people are in favour of

Get your values out of my face - "Your rights to keep your child ignorant about sex ends where my tax dollars start to fund public medical programmes for STDs, juvenile delinquency schemes and prisons for people screwed up by being born to poor teenage mothers... People from well-off, educated families are the ones who are statistically the least likely to suffer from the problems of teen pregnancy and STDs. Yet they feel driven to restrict sex education for the people who need it most: Teens from lower-income families. But it makes sense. After all, the harm that these well-meaning people could cause will never affect them directly. They get to feel holy but will never experience the misery born of their actions."

Marks & Spencer caves in, cuts prices on big bras - "Britain's largest clothing retailer, Marks & Spencer, has backed down on its incendiary policy of charging a 2 pound ($3) surcharge for bras that are DD or larger in the face of a spreading consumer revolt... "They didn't want a lot of big-breasted women storming their meeting""
Of course, the price of other bras will have to go up to cross-subsidise well-endowed women. Hurrah!

Why MOE suspended Aware project - "GP lessons are meant to promote critical thinking and discussion on contemporary issues... They should also adhere to social norms and values of our mainstream society."

Igotanenvelope - "Igotanenvelope is a continuous art project where people leave empty self-addressed stamped envelopes in public places to be picked up and filled by others, who then send them back."
Doubt this will work in Singapore. You would get fined for littering, or endangering public safety.

YouTube - An "Intel Star" TV ad -- Sponsors of Tomorrow

The monetary-policy maze - "Macroeconomics in general has come under fire for depending too much on assumptions of efficient markets and its inability to incorporate the spasms of emotion that create economic manias and panics. “As a monetary policymaker I have found the ‘cutting edge’ of current macroeconomic research totally inadequate in helping to resolve the problems we currently face,” said Mr Blanchflower, a labour economist, in a speech he gave on March 24th."

Does micro-credit empower women : evidence from Bangladesh - "The effects of male credit on women's empowerment were, at best, neutral, and at worse, decidedly negative. Male credit had a negative effect on several arenas of women's empowerment, including physical mobility, access to savings and economic resources, and power to manage some household transactions."
What would be interesting would be the effects of female credit on male empowerment - in developed societies as well.

Saints and Sinners: The Science of Good and Evil - "What is surprising is how little attention science has paid to the dissenters in Milgram's experiments. Some participants did balk at following the command to torture their partner... De Waal once saw a chimpanzee pick up an injured starling, climb the highest tree in her enclosure, carefully unfold the bird's wings and loft it toward the fence to get it airborne... "We know that women tend to be more altruistic than men on average, older people tend to be more altruistic than younger ones, students are less altruistic than nonstudents," he says. "People with higher IQs tend to be more altruistic/cooperative." However, there is little or no correlation between altruism and standard personality traits such as shyness, agreeableness and openness to new experiences... "Consumer capitalism makes people feel they don't have enough, so they feel they don't have enough to give away."... panhandlers on my subway so often seem to do better with people who are scruffily dressed and struggling than with the pearls-and-pumps set... People who are emotionally secure, who view life's problems as manageable and who feel safe and protected tend to show the greatest empathy for strangers and to act altruistically and compassionately... "there are virtues that can be thought of as the product of trainable mental skills.""

Mikhail Pletnev Interview with Bruce Duffie . . . . . - "For modern music, I am not very keen of doing this music... Unfortunately, the modern musical language is more tending to be not touching, you know, because when even I see the score, I see more constructive things. I see more sonorous experiments. I see more mathematics. And this is not what I’m attracted to... I think there are two purposes [of music], two reasons why to play or not to play.  First is enjoyment.  You play nice tune, you enjoy.  It’s lovely.  Second, and this more when we talk about the more sublime — like Beethoven’s last sonata or Ninth Symphony — it tends more to be more
spiritual... A lot of modern music is like this. The proof of music is if you would like to re-listen to it or not. Sometimes you enjoy the music, but if people say, “No, I have understood it well; it’s enough,” I guess it means that it’s meaningless... when you listen to this modern junk age — which is not modern anymore — it comes back to these primitive sonorities produced by any object, even a stapler... if we’re talking about melodies, which for me is important, which touches me, the modern composers are afraid of melodies... If the melody comes, it comes in a very distorted way, somehow. The whole feeling is sort of frustration."
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