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Valar Qringaomis

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Saturday, May 16, 2009

"The penalty for laughing in a courtroom is six months in jail; if it were not for this penalty, the jury would never hear the evidence." - H. L. Mencken

***

Jogjakarta trip
Day 2 - 29th April - Prambanan
(Part 3)

On the way to Prambanan the bus passed an entire hill which was a Chinese cemetery. Before this I had been wondering where all the Chinese in Jogjakarta were - now I knew.

Someone asked if CWN and I were on honeymoon. I was tempted to reply that this would be one of the last places I'd choose for a honeymoon.


"Semen Gresik" (it's a brand of cement)


"KFC" - maybe it stands for "Kampung Fried Chicken"


"Bensin"


I was wondering why this fella was selling skulls - it's not like we were in Cambodia.

Reaching Prambanan, which we had walked to from the bus station instead of taking a Becak, we successfully managed to sneak our way to the locals' ticket line and paid 12,500 Rupiah for a ticket each. However, the bastards refused to let us in (asking to see our local ID), and forcibly refunded our ticket, then made us buy a 116,00 Rupiah foreigners' ticket.


Prambanan


Before and after the 2006 earthquake. Borobodur was undamaged. I think it's because of the mode of construction which made it more stable.


Minor temple


Candi Nandi



Candi Nandi




Candi Garuda



Candi Garuda


Candi Shiva






There were two open temples, but only one had an inner chamber with stuff inside. It was crowded most of the time, so I had to wait a while before getting the whole chamber:


Full chamber.


Temple with parapet


Carvings detail






Boob tan - what happens when you run around in the sun the whole day.




Squat temple


Three in a row

"We are the people our parents warned us about." - Jimmy Buffett

***

On PC language:

Tardwit

"Children (and immature adults) have a long history of misusing the word "retarded" -- and a lot of other words. The solution cannot be that mature people can't use the word anymore. We must argue against irrationality. We must argue against stupid reactions. We must demand common sense. We MUST take back our language...

Political correctness demands that we shy away from perfectly good and valid words. "Crippled" became "handicapped" -- which was great until people started objecting to that word, too. Then came "differently abled" and other horrible constructions. I can walk today thanks to multiple surgeries; before that I was crippled, and to hell with anyone who wanted to patronize me with garbage like "differently abled". I can stand now, thank you, but won't stand for politically correct weasel-wording. "Retarded" is a fine and useful word; it was not created as an epithet (as are a lot of words that are proper to disparage, such as racial insults). You don't have to like "tardwit", but I used it, I stand by it, and I'll likely use it again at some point."

And a reader's comment:

"Your stance starts on the false assumption that you are not also misusing the word "retarded" -- you're applying it to people who are dumb, not people who have mental handicaps (for the purpose of this discussion, I am assuming "retarded" to be a shortened form of "mentally retarded" - yes, I work with a lot of lawyers...). So technically, you are misusing it. Your call to "take back" the language is really just a call to be allowed to misuse a word at the expense of people with a real handicap. That "political correctness demands that we shy away from perfectly good and valid words" is a great argument for other words, but "retarded" is not a perfectly good and valid word to describe people who aren't actually retarded. You're swinging the pendulum too far in response to political correctness. "Mentally retarded" didn't start out as an insult to be used against people who do stupid things, it started as a label for people who have legitimate mental problems. I don't know how many other readers will feel this way, and if the overwhelming majority doesn't mind, then I would expect you to go ahead with it. [But] the word "retard" is disrespectful to people who are actually retarded when used to describe people who are stupid or mean-spirited."
"A man cannot be too careful in the choice of his enemies." - Oscar Wilde

***

Australia's Chinese entanglement | The Economist - "When Mr Rudd spoke of zhengyou last year, he used it in the dictionary definition of the term, as a “friend who will give forthright admonition”, as over China’s handling of Tibet. China prefers lao pengyou, “old friends”, preferably sycophantic ones."

Japan bra maker offers support for husband hunters - "Triumph's latest novelty bra features an electronic nuptial timepiece, putting women seeking spouses literally on the clock. If an engagement ring is inserted into the mechanism, the countdown stops and the bra plays Felix Mendelssohn's "The Wedding March.""
Damn Japs.

The Great Ethanol Scam - "Not only is ethanol proving to be a dud as a fuel substitute but there is increasing evidence that it is destroying engines in large numbers"

Helen Keller (Helen_Keller) on Twitter - "Whaaaaaarrrnnnph... Noooorrrrmmnuh... Plaaaaarrrrnnn."

The Unabomber Was Right - "The ultimate problem is that the paradise the Kaczynski is offering, the solution to civilization so to speak, is the tiny, smoky, dingy, smelly wooden prison cell that absolutely nobody else wants to dwell in. It is a paradise billions are fleeing from. Civilization has its problems but in almost every way it is better than the Unabomber’s shack."

British Military Fitness - "We are the UK's leading outdoor fitness provider. Operating in parks across the UK, we offer the best way to get fit and lose weight whilst having great fun with other people. Our military fitness classes are run by serving or former members of the armed forces with recognised fitness training qualifications. They will help motivate and encourage you back into fitness!"
Brother in law: "when i first saw these guys at 7am in hyde park (part of my cycling route) i thot it was some military unit because the person running in front was in shirt and camo slacks. now i find out pple pay for the privilege of having 5BX..."
I assume they don't scream vulgarities at you and call you a wanker if you can't keep up


mass media funk 42 - "Rump reading (aka rumpology) threatens to replace the chupacabra as the number one item of interest among viewers of the raunchy late-night talk show... "I can't imagine anyone wasting their time and money on someone like this when there are so many legitimate psychics out there," said Sheree Silver, a local spiritual leader. Miranda learned his trade from Jaqueline Stallone, rumpologist to the stars, who seem to have re-invented rump reading while changing son Sylvester's diaper. She says the ancient Greeks and Romans read rumps to learn about fidelity and potential talent. (No comment.) "The left cheek is the cheek of the future," Miranda said. "The right cheek is the cheek of the present. Your love life, your money, your career, everything is there. It's no different than reading a palm or someone's eyes.""
This is better than the Christian, complaining about the atheist buses, "People don't like being preached at"

Japanese Marriage Bra Gently Nudges Men Toward Nuptials, With Boobs - Marriage hunting bra - "The garment's described objective is to allow marriage-minded women to essentially wear their ambitions, with a chest-mounted countdown clock (to what?) , pen and seal holster (for signing marriage contracts), and a ring receptacle that beeps "The Wedding March" when filled. The whole assemblage looks like it would attract more unsolicited boob-touches than marriage proposals, but boob-touching is a known precursor to matrimony."

Opposition to Siew Kum Hong’s re-nomination as NMP: Another “astroturfing” in process? - "“Astroturfing” refers to the creation of a fake grassroots or “people power” movement. The term for fake “grassroots” organising originates from a product called Astroturf, which is a plastic fake grass carpet-like product commonly used in baseball and football. The capitulation of MOE to demands of the Christian right to suspend AWARE’s CSE is an example of “astroturfing” where numerous feedback from a well-organized lobby group with a hidden agenda was misconstrued by the authorities as a representative of a larger public sentiment."
Funny how no one calls the AWARE EGM astroturfing.

Sad Trombone - I remember this sound effect.

Left 4 Godot - "Left 4 Dead is George Romero’s Dawn of the Dead as told by Samuel Beckett."

Women 'fight off disease better' - "A Canadian study indicates that the female sex hormone oestrogen gives women's immune systems added bite at fighting off infection... The researchers believe women may have evolved a more robust immune system because of their key role in producing and nurturing young."

first known "celeb" victim of swine flu. and we know who's the source.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

"Idealism increases in direct proportion to one's distance from the problem." - John Galsworthy

***

Cracking the speech code

"For some 15 dark years, American academia has acquiesced in, if not demanded, the suppression of its most fundamental rights. Speech codes--the "verbal conduct" restrictions in colleges' "harassment" policies--have been pervasive on our campuses...

The difficulty of restoring free speech at Wisconsin is ironic, given the school's dramatic history of academic freedom. In 1894, Oliver E. Wells, a member of the state Board of Regents, charged Professor Richard T. Ely with teaching and advocating "socialism."...

[The committee] not only exonerated him, but proclaimed the value of a campus where one could express oneself without fear: "Whatever be the limitations which trammel inquiry elsewhere, we believe that the great state University of Wisconsin should ever encourage that continual and fearless sifting and winnowing by which alone the truth can be found."...

The code was breathtakingly vague and offered frightening discretion to any panel charged with implementing it. Professors were investigated for violations of both its instructional and noninstructional provisions, drawing them into long, Kafkaesque procedures where they had no clear knowledge of the charges against them, no confrontation with accusers, and no rights to formal hearings. In short, at a state university, they found themselves both investigated for their speech and deprived of even minimal due process.

A professor of art history, during a period of heated curricular and ideological debate within his department, was treated derisively by students on the other side. Annoyed at a repeated, mocking salutation, he replied to them, "Sieg Heil!" As a result, he was investigated for anti-Semitism and other "isms" for a year. A professor of philosophy used the term Injuns in a class, and he too was investigated. A professor of history failed to use gender-neutral language, and he, too, was subjected to an inquisition. In the course of such proceedings, professors were asked intrusive questions about their friendships, their views of sexuality, their inner beliefs, and their values...

Shepard joined the committee, he tells me, wholly open-minded, but, like the other two students, he kept asking for a "justification" for the code. He was amazed by how little justification the proponents could offer. By the end of three weeks, he and the other two students arrived at a common position, "without caucusing," because of their skepticism about why anyone would want to silence anyone else at a university. "At first," Shepard says, "a lot of faculty members wrote us off, just assuming that being students, we blindly would support a speech code, especially because we were gay, female, and Asian-American female."...

For Shepard, the year's deepest lesson was the gulf between the rhetoric of "minority" student leaders and the views of the constituencies they were supposed to represent. For example, the Ten Percent Society, a gay and lesbian organization on campus, voted in November 1998 on the majority and minority reports of the ad hoc committee. It split down the middle, barely favoring the majority report. On the gay student listserve, many students wrote about the essential value of free speech. The president of the society, however, sent a message saying that now that a vote had been taken, she expected them all to show solidarity and to end any opposition to the stronger version of the code. She informed Shepard, he told me sadly, that he was a disgrace to every gay student at Wisconsin.

To Shepard, this incident signaled "how this small number of leaders is so out of touch with actual minority students." In his words, "There is a handful of self-appointed leftist activists who claim the right to speak for every minority on this campus." Far from being representative of those minorities, these activists "are some of the most authoritarian, oppressive people I've ever met." They try to intimidate a campus and chill debate: "Anyone who challenges their views is called `sexist,' `racist,' or `homophobe,'" he says.

"Although they claim to be fighting for equality and freedom for minority students," he concludes, "they silence any opposition within their minority group." Shepard saw the issue in straightforward terms. "It makes me cringe to defend bigots," he says, "but that's part of what defending the First Amendment is all about."

Amy Kasper also had a problem with so-called student leaders. They testified to almost "universal support" of the code, she tells me, when, in fact, the student body appeared deeply divided on the issue... everyone simply assumed that the two of them, "students from historically oppressed groups," instinctively would support the code. They were denounced as "dupes" and "traitors" for opposing it...

Fighting bigotry by means of oppression was useless. Indeed, she insists, it "has the opposite effect; it makes people bitter; and it is a horrible assault upon the conscience."

"The tide is changing," she says. She is sure her generation understands the sad irony of fighting for equal rights with arbitrary power: "History constantly has shown us that every time you give a coercive authority the power to censor, it is abused, and minority groups suffer the most."...

"We all wanted to know what our professors really thought. We didn't want them to be muzzled or gagged."

For Bretz, the fundamental issue was deeper than the legal or semantic technicalities that the committee kept debating: "How could we, as students, expect to have freedom of speech ourselves without our faculty having it?"...

Ken Thomas, a psychologist, observed that in one generation Wisconsin had gone from standing for academic freedom to standing for political correctness. He noted that "speech codes are totally inconsistent with the sifting and winnowing tradition," adding that "guests on the Jay Leno show probably fear censorship less than UW professors."

Biochemist Lawrence Kahan reflected on the fact that he used the example of drunken drivers in his classroom: "If you are an alcoholic...you may feel this example derogates you on the basis of your disability." Ken Mayer, a political scientist, proclaimed a speech code similar to a flag burning amendment, calling them both inappropriate.

Movingly, Javier Calderon, a professor of music who described living under dictatorial regimes in Latin America, expressed his dismay that colleagues would limit their own freedoms, describing the Bill of Rights as something "precious." Silvia Montiglio, a classicist, expressed her confidence in students' intellectual powers and denounced the sponsors of speech codes as "ideologues."...

Most of their examples further alarmed anyone who cared about free speech: "Professor showed slides and made comments that made female students uncomfortable"; "Complainant feels faculty makes light of homophobia during lecture"; "Complainant reports prevalent homophobia and heterosexism in a language class"; "Faculty allegedly made insulting reference to the student's country (other than the U.S.)." Presumably, an insulting reference to the United States would not have been actionable.

Minority group leaders also had been searching for two months for incidents to relate, but their offering blew up on them. Amelia Rideau, a junior English major and vice chairwoman of the Black Student Union, told the Faculty Senate at its February meeting how a professor teaching Chaucer had used the word niggardly (she was unaware of the related controversy, the week before, in Washington, D.C.), and how he continued to use it even after she told him that she was offended. He was trying to explain its meaning--Chaucer used the term--but classmates, she complained, knew what it resembled. "I was in tears, shaking," she told the faculty. "It's not up to the rest of the class to decide whether my feelings are valid."

Rideau's plea was a reality check. If the proper use of a Chaucerian term while teaching The Canterbury Tales could be construed as harassment of a student who did not know the word's spelling or meaning, then the code was teaching some interesting expectations indeed. Many "abolitionists," as they now were called, believe that Rideau's speech, widely reported, was the turning point, setting the stage both for greater attendance at the March meeting and for the final vote. John Sharpless, a history professor, asked, "What other words are to be purged from our language? Thespian?"

On February 2, 1999, the Wisconsin State Journal editorialized, "Thank you, Amelia Rideau, for clarifying precisely why the UW-Madison does not need an academic speech code....Speech codes have a chilling effect on academic freedom and they reinforce defensiveness among students who ought to be more open to learning."...

In leftist "critical legal theory," any expression that "demeans" the powerless is illegal discrimination, and nothing that creates "a hostile environment" is protected by the First Amendment or by academic freedom...

When a proponent of the code described his amendment as "just another ploy by the abolitionists," it took Onellion "three minutes to realize what abolitionist meant" in this context. Raising a point of personal privilege, he said that since his family descended from pro-Union Louisianans, he had no trouble being called an abolitionist. "I can play the game of cheap rhetorical tricks also," he observes.

I ask Onellion why he got involved in this controversy. He replies that scientists, unlike colleagues in the social sciences and humanities, are not "preoccupied" with social and political issues. Professors of physics are probably some of the most liberal voters in the country, he continues, but where "issues of free speech and censorship are involved," they part company with the politically correct: "It's a question of both principle and practicality. You can't get at the truth with-out pushing people and arguing wholly freely."

Scientists, he says, have a frame of reference for all this: "We remember the fate of science in Nazi Germany and of Lysenko in the Soviet Union." He draws a moral that professors would do well to learn: "If government has the power over discussion, the search for truth ends." Onellion reminds us why it is so important for the scientists at our universities to join the struggle for liberty."
"I became a feminist as an alternative to becoming a masochist." - Sally Kempton

***

"Let the philosophers say what they will, the thing at which we all aim, even in virtue is pleasure. It amuses me to rattle in ears this word, which they so nauseate to...

Of all the benefits that virtue confers upon us, the contempt of death is one of the greatest...

As to death, it is inevitable... and, consequently, if it frights us, ’tis a perpetual torment, for which there is no sort of consolation. There is no way by which it may not reach us...

The end of our race is death; ’tis the necessary object of our aim, which, if it fright us, how is it possible to advance a step without a fit of ague? The remedy the vulgar use is not to think on’t; but from what brutish stupidity can they derive so gross a blindness? They must bridle the ass by the tail...

How many several ways has death to surprise us?... AEschylus, threatened with the fall of a house, was to much purpose circumspect to avoid that danger, seeing that he was knocked on the head by a tortoise falling out of an eagle’s talons in the air. Another was choked with a grape-stone...

Let us learn bravely to stand our ground, and fight him. And to begin to deprive him of the greatest advantage he has over us, let us take a way quite contrary to the common course. Let us disarm him of his novelty and strangeness, let us converse and be familiar with him, and have nothing so frequent in our thoughts as death...

The Egyptians were wont to do after this manner, who in the height of their feasting and mirth, caused a dried skeleton of a man to be brought into the room to serve for a memento to their guests...

There is nothing evil in life for him who rightly comprehends that the privation of life is no evil: to know, how to die delivers us from all subjection and constraint..

For anything I have to do before I die, the longest leisure would appear too short, were it but an hour’s business I had to do...

As Caesar says, things often appear greater to us at distance than near at hand, I have found, that being well, I have had maladies in much greater horror than when really afflicted with them. The vigour wherein I now am, the cheerfulness and delight wherein I now live, make the contrary estate appear in so great a disproportion to my present condition, that, by imagination, I magnify those inconveniences by one-half, and apprehend them to be much more troublesome, than I find them really to be, when they lie the most heavy upon me; I hope to find death the same...

She is then become sovereign of all her lusts and passions, mistress of necessity, shame, poverty, and all the other injuries of fortune. Let us, therefore, as many of us as can, get this advantage; ’tis the true and sovereign liberty here on earth, that fortifies us wherewithal to defy violence and injustice, and to contemn prisons and chains...

What matters it, when it shall happen, since it is inevitable? To him that told Socrates, “The thirty tyrants have sentenced thee to death”; “And nature them,” said he.

What a ridiculous thing it is to trouble ourselves about taking the only step that is to deliver us from all trouble! As our birth brought us the birth of all things, so in our death is the death of all things included. And therefore to lament that we shall not be alive a hundred years hence, is the same folly as to be sorry we were not alive a hundred years ago...

Life in itself is neither good nor evil; it is the scene of good or evil as you make it.’ And, if you have lived a day, you have seen all: one day is equal and like to all other days...

This very being of yours that you now enjoy is equally divided betwixt life and death. The day of your birth is one day’s advance towards the grave...

It was I that taught Thales, the most eminent of your sages, that to live and to die were indifferent; which made him, very wisely, answer him, ‘Why then he did not die?’ ‘Because,’ said he, ‘it is indifferent.’"

--- That to study philosophy is to learn to die / Michel de Montaigne

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

"The religious superstitions of women perpetuate their bondage more than all other adverse influences." - Elizabeth Cady Stanton

***

Can Hong Kong build bigger, higher, greener? - "Swire has found that even energy-saving innovations have their own flaws. "Movement sensor-triggered lighting in one building was set to stay on for an hour each time it was triggered. That's fine during office hours, but not energy efficient every time a security patrol walked through after work-hours," Chan said."

East Timor's First Female Dictator Hailed As Step Forward For Women - "Amivi Gama's violent rise to power has proved that women are just as capable as men when it comes to brutality and oppression."
Another manifestation of patriarchy!

The Trouble with Trek - "Star Trek has always been a sucker for the deux ex machina. Problems have often been solved, plot issues neatly addressed, by the introduction of some technical double talk or some other sci fi convention that conveniently clears the air. Whether it's Mr. Scott getting more scoot out of over-burdened engines or the time travel tales that litter Trek history, Star Trek has survived, and continues to survive because it's willing to pull easy writing rabbits from hats."

The Fervor of the Vegan - "The logic behind veganism makes perfect sense to me; then again, so does the logic behind giving up all one's possessions for charity and living a life of ascetic minimalism. It's more moral, it's more ethical, and, like most people, it's more than I'm able to do. I think of vegans the same way I think of Peace Corps volunteers: I'll gladly cheer them on as they make the world a better place, but I'm about as likely to give up dairy as I am to live without electricity in Guiana for a year... Fair or unfair, they've gained quite a reputation as the angry vegetarians--the vegevangelists who have harsh words for meat eaters... I resent vegans. I resent that their mere, if rare, existence calls attention to the hypocrisy underlying the vegetarianism so central to my daily life. This made me understand the surprising hostility of some omnivores towards vegetarians"

Porn
Sting Goes To The Dogs
- "Concerned that an ex-boyfriend had used her laptop to search for child pornography, the Indiana woman asked police to search the computer for illegal images, but had her plan backfire when cops discovered two videos of her engaged in illicit acts with a dog"

Guess Her Muff - "Do you think you can guess how a babe keeps her muff based on her how she dresses? Does your co-worker's carpet match the drapes? Is that geeky girl in your class secretly a sex kitten who shaves her twat bald? The answers might surprise you..."

Evolved and Rat/i/onal: Science, the fundie way - "Want a sneak peak of what fundies plan to do to science education? Want to see what's in store for us if we don't speak up against the fundie retards? Let's take a look at a page from a fundie 'science' textbook... Even leaving aside the religious babble, notice how the fundies can't even get the definition of sublimation straight."

Emotional intelligence 'aids sex' - "A study of more than 2,000 female twins showed that those with greater emotional intelligence had larger numbers of orgasms. These women were better able to monitor their own and others' feelings and emotions, which is key... Lead author Andrea Burri said: "Emotional intelligence seems to have a direct impact on women's sexual functioning by influencing her ability to communicate her sexual expectations and desires to her partner." She added that there was a possible connection with a woman's ability to fantasise during sex or her feeling of control over the act"

Famed Nefertiti bust 'a fake': expert - "The bust of Queen Nefertiti housed in a Berlin museum and believed to be 3,400 years old in fact is a copy dating from 1912 that was made to test pigments used by the ancient Egyptians, according to Swiss art historian Henri Stierlin. Stierlin, author of a dozen works on Egypt, the Middle East and ancient Islam, says in a just-released book that the bust currently in Berlin's Altes Museum was made at the order of German archaeologist Ludwig Borchardt by an artist named Gerardt Marks."

Jackie Chan - 'Singaporeans have no self-respect'. True. - "Civic consciousness in quintessentially Chinese societies are founded on what I term ‘rule-based intellectual economies’, as opposed to being ‘reason-based’ – as in the UK, India and Taiwan. Top-down dialogues are mostly instructive monologues; governments present themselves as infallible; never accept responsibility for anything except that which may be used for justifying exorbitant salary increases; and, what I term, ‘the perspectival infrastructure’ of the nation is geared toward inhibiting critical thought through, for instance, monoculturalism, and the marginalisation of difference and opinion... in adapting to such governments, one will inevitably have to become apathetic, self-interested, and opportunistic, whilst also being susceptible to superstition, lotteries and gambling... he individual, considering the possibility of questioning the fallibility of a government, will be open to being ‘detained without trial’, bankrupted for slander, or as in the china of old, have his entire clan slaughtered... One cannot ensure political longevity without compromising critical thought and empathy. And where critical thought and empathy is compromised, the only way to maintain civic consciousness is by way of fines and punishments."

Singaporean nearly fined for ‘eat-driving’ - "The man, who was eating keropok (chips) while driving, was stopped at the Johor Baru check-point on Tuesday after visiting Malacca, it reported. The policeman told the visitor that he had to issue him with a summons as it was dangerous to eat and drive at the same time. The Singaporean also claimed that the policeman told him his car brakes did not meet the requirements set by the Malaysian authorities. The policeman then wanted to issue two summonses totalling RM600. He claimed he gave the policeman RM20 to let him go after negotiating the sum from RM50."
Malaysia Boleh!

Irish student hoaxes world's media with fake quote - When Dublin university student Shane Fitzgerald posted a poetic but phony quote on Wikipedia, he said he was testing how our globalized, increasingly Internet-dependent media was upholding accuracy and accountability in an age of instant news. His report card: Wikipedia passed. Journalism flunked."
"I think Christian women are the most liberated women in the whole world. I love being under submission to my husband." - Tammy Faye Bakker

***

Quotes:

[On his relief teaching experience] Teaching is a good job for the boring and the simple-minded. Which is why women make great teachers.

We have the highest peacetime casualty rate of any airforce in the world. We love to crash our FA-18 Hornets into telephone poles in Sabah.

[On SOF] They all talk with their heads bobbing up and down and whispering

[On peer pressure] I teach this CHIJ girl. When her class cuts themselves, she cuts herself.

All girls are scheming. Point me [to] one girl who isn't scheming... We're like... Plan A. If not, Plan C... 'I just called her. I didn't do anything. She was standing in the pouring rain, I had to pick her up'. Fuck you.

My first year students, so innocent. From SCGS. Ask me - 'Why lit got so much porn?'... What is important in life? Sex and death.

[On John Dunn] I taught it for one whole year. I had a whole lot of fun.

[On Dance] The boys are more likely to succeed because they are more driven

I don't like a guy who spends so much time on his hair. [Me: You don't like guys who have better hair than you] Thanks

[Me on Oz: I've been there 6 times, and I might go a 7th this year] You've been there 6 times this year?

Is protein treatment sperms?... Yay! I'm so smart! *waves arms* (sperm)

We were saying, for the Oasis concert, the reason it was so short was they met some girls before the concert they wanted to bang.

[On cooking on exchange] I made myself fried rice one time and then I got food poisoning.

Berkeley students... They have this motivational speaker vibe... I'm idealistic. They're even worse.

MIT is damn slack... Your first year, all your modules [are] pass/fail... The best thing: you get 0 upon 100 for this module you get [a] B.

[On Greece] XXX described it as Malaysia... with Ang Mohs.

[On government tracking] There're people whose jobs is to read blogs? So fun.

[On me] Today he told me, what, he needs job stability. I asked him: 'Getting married ah?'

We asked for an intern. Me and my colleague proposed, we choose an intern with the same name as the boss.

[On email] I sent to my intern: 'Open for present'. [I put] work at the bottom.

[On Renci] The male assistant is more than a male assistant... [Me: They found porn on his computer] He was so traumatised

The COC saw me, he thought it was my second posting. Maybe I look too jaded.

[On being in public service] I realised I wasn't cut out to be a banker... There's more to life [Me: Like serving your country?]

[On public service] You're either the 马 or the 河马... MA, or High MA

There's no sacred ground. Later we'll talk about why some pple are more stuck up about opera than others.

We're so stuck up because we train so hard to get a piece of paper... If it's too easy... 'He's gone into musicals, death of a good musician'

[On the cost of staging an opera] First night, 350,000. Subsequent nights, 150,000... That's why we cant make money in the Arts. We need all of you to work hard and hold on to your jobs and give to the Arts.

Placido Domingo singing English, can die. Don't know what language it became.
"A good listener is not only popular everywhere, but after a while he gets to know something." - Wilson Mizner

***

On putting down the Moro (Filipino Muslim) Rebellion:

"It was well known that the Sultan of Jolo instigated many of the Juramentado attacks, but there was no way to prove it and he always denied it, claiming the fanatics went insane and he had no control over them. He lived in a palace some distance from the town, and finally Admiral Hemphill sent a gunboat to shell the palace. The furious sultan arrived the next day to protest this unwonted attack. The admiral listened to his tirade and then explained that he was very sorry but he had no control over the gunboat; it had gone Juramentado. The sultan got the idea and from then on the Juramentado attacks were greatly reduced.

What finally stopped the Juramentados was the custom of wrapping the dead man in a pig's skin and stuffing his mouth with pork. As the pig was an unclean animal, this was considered unspeakable defilement.

An English Army officer I met had another suggestion. "After the Sepoy Mutiny, we finally hit on the perfect punishment for anyone who had commited atrocities on British women and children," he told me. "We used to bind them to the muzzles of the field guns and then fire the guns. Moslems believe in the literal resurrection of the body. A man who has been hit by a 3-inch shell will look like it for all eternity." I suggested this must have been rather sloppy. The Englishman smiled condescendingly. "After you Yanks have had some more experience in handling native peoples, you'll get over these scruples."

--- The old Navy / Daniel Pratt Mannix

Monday, May 11, 2009

"When women hold back from marrying men, we call it independence. Yet, when men hold off marrying women, we call it fear of commitment." - Warren Farrell

***

Jogjakarta trip
Day 2 - 29th April - Borobodur
(Part 2)

Though we had been quite thorough at the lower levels of Borobodur, we were hitting diminishing returns so we quickened our pace somewhat.

Though there're supposed to be 3 levels to Borobodur, each seems to be divided into multiple sub-levels (maybe 2).




Buddha in niche






Stair down




Final gateway to the top level, and a peak through

Steeling ourselves, we made the final push through to the top.


In contrast to the bottom levels with their reliefs, the top level of Borobodur is austere and plain, representing Arupadhatu (the world of formlessness).


Topmost stupa


Buddha uncovered




Guy with nice hair


Exploiting Indonesian schoolkids for photographic purposes


View of the surroundings from the top



Top stupa


Top stupa





Broad view from base


View from side

To get our "free" (i.e. paid for in the exorbitant entrance fee) mineral water, we had to visit one of the two museums onsite - one containing a ship.


"The Ship Reliefs of Borobudur: depiction of the Glorious Age of Indonesian Maritime Culture and inspiration for the present and future"
I'm guessing Indonesian pirates have been plaguing the Straits of Malacca for millennia.


Reconstructed ship: Philip Beale's reconstructed Samudraraksa (based upon reliefs in Borobodur)

Then we visited the other museum, which we assumed contained some sculptures from Borobodur.


We assumed wrong. Almost all of the museum's contents were sad, unmarked rocks. Though that means they didn't remove sculptures from Borobodur itself. I'm ambivalent: when you place things in-situ it's a lot more authentic and atmospheric, but they also get damaged more easily and they're harder to appreciate individually (due to a lack of labelling)


Buddha head


"The unfinished Buddha statue of the main stupa"

Some of the friezes were explained in the museum. For example,


Abortion. Presumably this and others representing sloth and the like came from the hidden friezes section at the bottom. There was no bestiality, though - presumably it was too haram/vile.

Exiting the museum, we were unfortunate (or otherwise) enough to contemporaneously walk the long, treacherous path to the exit with some ang mohs, for it meant that we were beset by:


A horde of touts. I have no idea why anyone would want to buy those parachutes made of very flimsy plastic.


Ang mohs get shaded as they get bothered.


Touts smell ang mohs like dogs smell fear

One tout was hawking a blowpipe. I was tempted to buy it to shoot touts with.


Toy train which shuttles you around the grounds


Discriminatory pricing: locals pay 10% or less what foreigners pay.

We stopped for lunch before going to Prambanan.


"Mie Rebus". Just instant noodle soup.


Mie Goreng - costing 2.5x Mie Rebus, just to fry it.

Just as in Malaysia, the concept of fresh noodles didn't seem to exist in most food stalls, with sellers preferring to use instant noodles.


"Es Jeruk".
We had a hard time figuring out what it was. It had a slightly sour taste, but did not have any particular taste. Guesses included pomelo (but then it didn't have the bitter aftertaste) or lime (but it wasn't sour enough). After tasting purer versions, I realised this Es Jeruk was diluted Kordial Oren, and real Es Jeruk was supposed to be Jus Oren.


Ayam Goreng. Times Two.
Kampung chicken is not just tough and scrawny, it's also tiny. God knows why people like it.


Kampung chickens. Note the bald necks.

I then reminded CWN to go shopping for towels, as our rooms did not have any (I dried off au naturel, which didn't work as well as the last time I did so - in a drier climate).


Socks for tudung women (?!)

The bras in the same shop were also mostly unpadded. Assuming they were representative of Indonesian bras, the conclusion is obvious (if unsurprising).


"Merokok dapat menyebabkan kanker serangan jantung impotensi dan gangguan kehamilan dan janin"
Indonesia: where they tell you cigarettes cause impotence!


Bus to Prambanan. The one to Borobodur was even better - someone brought on a basket of chickens.

It was obvious that Indonesia was a sexist society, because men gave up seats on the bus to women.


Quotes:

[On mie goreng] No wonder people here all look so shrunken and unhealthy. Too much MSG in their diet.
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