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Valar Qringaomis

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Saturday, July 11, 2009

"Nostalgia isn't what it used to be." - Peter De Vries

***

Given the profusion of "I ♥ XXX" T-shirts, I asked a friend who was going to Beijing to get me a "I ♥ BJ".

Surprisingly (or otherwise), I was not the first person to make that request.

She didn't manage to find the T-shirts, but I stumbled across this today:

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(from I love BJ - Boris Johnson (T-shirt) Funny T-shirts at Force 18)

However, they're £13 which, even with the fall of the pound, is no mean price.

Ah, for 13 Yuan "I ♥ BJ" T-shirts!

Now to go to Canberra to find more "I ♥" shirts...
"I believe that people would be alive today if there were a death penalty." - Nancy Reagan

***

Anti-paparazzi device flashes lewd photographers right back - "Adam Harvey's flashy anti-paparazzi purse will return fire at snooping cameras (and blind anyone around you to boot). The device is equipped with a photo cell that — once it detects a bright, sudden flash — will trigger an LED-controlling circuit to let off a burst of light of its own. The result? A good majority of the owner of the purse will be obscured by a flash, and the photo will be useless. Obviously, this works best at night."

Bruno Gets Backlash From the Gay Community - "Peter Paige from Queer As Folk has his doubts. "When you see a Bruno clip in a room full of gay men, everyone laughs and it's fine. When you see a Bruno clip in a room full of straight men, they're all laughing, and it's a different thing. You start to go, 'Hmmm, I don't know how I feel about this.'""
I love heterophobia!

Miniskirts, cleavage upset male SKoreans: survey - "74 percent of men felt upset with the attire of their female co-workers. Some 56 percent of them cited micro-miniskirts as their chief complaint, while 51 percent objected to excessive cleavage. Low-rise trousers that reveal women's underwear, "killer heels" and flashy outfits in general were also cause for complaint. Women meanwhile complained mostly of stains on the shirts and ties of their male colleagues. Both sexes disapproved of colourful underwear under a white top, slippers or sandals and sleeveless clothes."

HEAVYPETTING - "Pets in porn."

Bummed about Bruno? Austrians 'get ueber it' - "Austrians could be forgiven for bristling at Bruno. After all, the film character boasts that his fame is second only to Hitler's and says he just wants 'to achieve zee Austrian dream - find a job, get a dungeon und raise a family in it.' Yet rather than recoil at British comedian Sacha Baron Cohen's new spoof about a flamboyantly gay Austrian fashionista, most Viennese are taking Bruno's own advice: 'Get ueber it!' Judging from a smattering of look-alike contests and websites cheerfully hawking skintight T-shirts and short-shorts, some even seem to be embracing their inner Bruno."
That's how civilised people respond - not by claiming offence at everything and seeking redress, but even - shock gasp horror - deigning to laugh at the joke.

WE ARE ALL WRITERS NOW - "I would hazard that, with more than 200m people on Facebook and even more with home internet access, we are all writing more than we would have ten years ago... Take the “25 Things About Me” meme that raged around Facebook a few months ago. This time-waster, as many saw it, is precisely the kind of brainstorming exercise I used to assign to my freshman writing students decades ago... True, much of what is written online is quotidian, informational, ephemeral. But writing has always been so: traditional newspapers line bird-cages a day later; lab reports describe methodology in tedious detail; the founding fathers wrote what they ate for lunch. And the quality of many blogs is high, indistinguishable in eloquence and intellect from many traditionally published works."

Why marrying for money isn't a bad idea - "I'm afraid I'm going to get tarred and feathered as a "bad feminist" for admitting this, but yeah, I do want to marry someone who can financially support both me and our kids. I'm not ashamed to "marry for money," if that's what would you can even call it, because I don't fundamentally believe it is the "man's role" to provide for women... our two salaries together just wouldn't be enough to cut it for what I want out of life. But, but, but, "Bank accounts shouldn't matter at all!" And while I agree with that in theory, sorry, a man who can provide for me and our children is just much more attractive to me. Bank accounts -- and debts -- do matter. And acknowledging that doesn't make me a gold digger akin to Anna Nicole Smith -- it makes me smart."
Translation: "It's okay if I go against my professed principles, but if you do it I'll probably slam you, especially if you're a guy"

ENO retests market with Bieito's dirty Don - "They called the Catalan Claixto Bieito's production of Mozart's Don Giovanni a "crude, anti-musical farrago", a "coke-fuelled fellatio fest", a "new nadir in the vulgar abuse of a masterpiece", and a "horrendous evening". It contained lashings of booze, sex and drugs, and some felt that it made a nonsense of Mozart. Audiences booed; open letters to ENO's bosses were published in newspapers, and a full-blown scandal erupted. David Parry, who has also conducted the production in Hanover in Germany, put the extreme reaction down to the fact that "critics are very weird"... The moment when the Don sings his serenade, in Bieito's production into a telephone, is about "the loneliness of anonymous sex" Parry says... The fury associated with the production shows no sign of abating. A few days ago the commentator Oliver Kamm, writing in the Times, said: "I should sooner poke my eyes out and sell my children into slavery than sit though it again.""

'I curse the day I was born a Singaporean' - "Singapore was performing excellently. But at the same time, the ordinary people had the fruits of their labour taken away. We seem rich but yet are in debt. The government apartments are now exorbitantly priced. Cars are a necessity (given the poor performance of the profit-oriented public transport companies) but are also exorbitantly priced. Much of our money is locked in the Provident Fund and it is becoming impossible to get it back while we are still alive. Yes, all races are treated equally - and they are sucked dry equally... Huge losses have been incurred in the current crisis yet the ruling party still baulks at spending a million or two on the poor. Oh, and we spend twice as much on defence as Malaysia despite being at least 400 times smaller... Instead of lowering costs for citizens, and therefore maintaining wage levels, he decided to import foreigners to lower cost... Currently one person in three is a foreigner in Singapore. The press chooses to obfuscate matters by lumping citizens and PRs together in their reporting (as 'resident population') so the huge number of foreigners in Singapore is understated."
It has been said that Singapore is the worst country to live in - except Malaysia; claims that Singapore has atrocious public transport get a red flag

The hidden ugly side of Singapore - "The ensuing eight- month ordeal that I spent in this HDB flat really opened my mind to what Singapore is for those who can't earn... There were times when the daughter was very sick and father had no money to take her to see a doctor. It was a real pain in the heart to hear a small girl suffering through the thin walls of this HDB flat. It was unbelievable for me to see this happening in this ultra-modern city. It took me another two months to realise that what was happening in this flat was not an isolated case of urban poverty in Singapore. It was every where in those HDB flats. There was a Chinese neighbour (an elderly man) and his son had no money to get a taxi to send his father to the clinic for daily diabetic wound-dressing. I soon understood that poverty in Singapore transcends racial boundaries."
"I believe I've found the missing link between animal and civilized man. It is us." - Konrad Lorenz

***

"TweetPsych uses two linguistic analysis algorithms (RID and LIWC) to build a psychological profile of a person based on the content of their tweets. The service analyzes your last 1000 tweets...

The features displayed below are those for which you score higher than the average. The score indicates how much more often you tweeted something that matched each feature than the baseline.

Cognitive Content

Feature Description Score
Cognitive processesYou often talk about various cognitive processes like learning, thinking, knowing, etc.74.76
Similes26.5
Past tenseYou tend to talk about the past.20.07
Occupation & work You talk a lot about jobs and your work. 17.84
Insight17.07
Time12.82
Space11.9
Inhib9.53
Motion8.84

Primordial, Conceptual and Emotional Content

Feature Description Score
Abstract thought116.83
Temporal References52.29
Sexual fixation28.01
Moral imperative17.71
Aggression15.42
Glory14.51
Affection11.32

"

Friday, July 10, 2009

"I have suffered a great deal from writers who have quoted this or that sentence of mine either out of its context or in juxtaposition to some incongruous matter which quite distorted my meaning , or destroyed it altogether." - Alfred North Whitehead

***

"The dictionary's role in settling meanings has always been symbolic more than actual. True, a concise definition can pin down the basic meaning of a concrete word... but we don't really expect a dictionary to delineate the finer nuances of more abstract words, particularly the ones that are charged with social or political importance...

For most of its existence, in fact, the Supreme Court rarely referred to dictionaries to determine the meanings of the statutes it was considering. Justices Holmes, Brandeis, and Cardozo didn't once cite a dictionary in all their years on the court.

It's only in recent years that the use of dictionaries has become a routine practice. Since 1990, the Court has referred to dictionary definitions in more cases than in the preceding two centuries of its life.

You can attribute that to the rise of the legal doctrine of textualism. When courts are trying to determine the meaning of a statute or regulation, the doctrine says, they should look only at the plain meanings of the words of the text itself, not the intentions of Congress or the legislative history of the law. And where better to look than in the neutral source that most people turn to when they want to settle a dispute over meaning?

So it's not surprising that the justice who has referred to dictionaries most often is Antonin Scalia, the most eloquent advocate of textualism, followed by Clarence Thomas - though to judge from Samuel Alito's penchant for citing dictionaries in his decisions, he might give both of them a run for their money...

In one 1993 case, the Supreme Court ruled that a man who traded a rifle for some cocaine could be sentenced under a statute that provided for an increased penalty for someone who uses a firearm to obtain narcotics. Writing for the majority, Justice O'Connor justified the decision by citing one dictionary's definition of use as 'to employ.' To his credit, justice Scalia dissented, following a principle of interpretation that you could paraphrase as 'give me a break, please.' In ordinary usage, he said, using a firearm means using it as a weapon, not as a medium of barter.

But Scalia himself hasn't been above what the legal scholar Ellen Aprill calls 'dictionary shopping.' Does the word representatives as used in the 1982 Voting Rights Act apply to elected judges in addition to legislators? In a 1991 decision, Scalia said it didn't. He cited the definition of the word in the 1934 Webster's Second International - a dictionary that some language traditionalists regard with the kind of reverence that folk purists have for Bob Dylan's acoustic era. But if he'd wanted to argue the other way, he could have referred to the broader definitions of representative in the more recent Webster's Third or the American Heritage, both of which he has found it convenient to cite on other occasions.

But the most dramatic recent example of the selective use of dictionaries comes not from a Supreme Court decision but from the memorandum on torture that was written for the Justice Department in 2002 by Assistant Attorney General Jay S. Bybee, who has since been appointed to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. By cherry-picking his dictionaries and senses, Bybee managed to come up with a definition of torture that ruled out any practice that doesn't cause lasting impairment or inflict pain that rises to the level of death or organ damage. By that standard, nothing that happened at Abu Ghraib would count as torture, even if most people would describe it that way. It's a far cry from the plain meaning of the word, but the appeal to a dictionary seems to cloak the definition in disinterestedness.

Samuel Johnson (who published the first widely-used dictionary in 1755) himself approached his project with more humility. He wrote that no dictionary could reduce to mechanical certainty 'the boundless chaos of a living speech.'"

--- The Years of Talking Dangerously / Geoffrey Nunberg
"By the time a man realizes that maybe his father was right, he usually has a son who thinks he's wrong." - Charles Wadsworth

***

Someone (on the 2nd of July): too bad i can't go out till the 8th
to crowded places i mean

Me: quarantine?

Someone: nope
leave of absence from sch

well, i can go jogging because that probably won't spread it
they just told me to not go to school and be socially responsible

Me: be socially responsible
don't act differently
combat the hysteria

Someone: hysteria?

Me: h1n1 hysteria

Someone: which trustworthy scientific authorities have concluded that i should not act differently?

Me: [quotes from trustworthy scientific authorities]

Someone: "The real fear is that the strain will mutate and become more virulent which would pose a greater threat. " (bbc)

Me: yes
which is why the hysteria is not helping

Someone: why?

Me: you fatigue people
then you get boy who cried wolf syndrome
(might happen with progressives)

Someone: how would not going to school for 7 days fatigue people?
or crowded places, etc

Me: when you quarantine people and implement restrictions you shut down the economy
and put people on alert

when soldiers are on alert for a week on end and the enemy hasn't struck, they get bored and tired
and that's the best time to attack

Someone: how would one know exactly when the enemy will attack?

Me: you don't
that's why you don't tell people they're being attacked
you just tell them to watch out

Someone: to what extent would social responsibility of someone who just returned from california would be acceptable to you?

Me: to answer that, let me show you an email I got the day before

"Dear Batch-mates from the RI Class of 1999,

Should you feel unwell on the day of the Batch Reunion, I would urge you to consider giving the event a miss as a precaution to assist us in minimising the spread of any illnesses. In particular, if you have travelled to the list of countries listed in the table below, I would encourage you to consider not attending the event as well...

MOH Website: Countries / Regions with Community Spread and / or known to have Exported Cases (Caa 30 Jun 09)

Singapore"

we are, what, the country with the 4th highest per capita swine flu infection rate in the world
you might be safer in california than singapore

Someone: hmm
how would you know if the govt's current resource spending on containment is too much and will cause mitigation to be very difficult?

Me: I know it's a lot
because it's useless and it's impossible
and contact tracing is damn xiong

it won't cause mitigation to be difficult
it will cause problems if the virus mutates

Someone: how would you know if the govt's current resource spending on containment is too much and will cause [treatment of a deadly mutated virus] to be very difficult?

Me: it's not really about resource spending
but whipping up hysteria

anyway *any* spending on containment is too much
contributing to hysteria which makes future efforts difficult

Someone: but you said something about soldiers being too tired when the enemy strikes

Me: basically you dont tell your soldiers to stay on guard when there's no enemy

probably you're trying to control your soldiers
rather than fight an enemy


Someone else: LaSalle graduates are doomed to a life of failure and misery

DOn'T CORRECT MY MISCONCEPTIONS
I NEED SOMEONE TO MAKE ME FEEL BETTER ABT MY PS NON-DEGREE
AND I FREQUENTLY LOOK TO PEOPLE SUCH AS LASALLE graduates.


MFS: many jews don't keep kosher

***
first thing we ate together was a pork hotdog
FIRST THING

and his mom is REALLY observant

you only keep kosher voluntarily or involuntarily in Israel
where EVERYTHING is kosher

except in the palestinian territories
and cities
then its HALAL

i'm told that the muslims won't eat kosher food
and vice versa

"same process, different prayer"
"makes it unfit for consumption"

Me: if you say grace over food does it make it haram

MFS: good question!

i think you say grace for your OWN food only lah
but God knows it right?
hahaha


MFM: my favourite place in malaysia:

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Me: my favourite place in malaysia:

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us

MFM: I thought it was going to be sth like customs

Me: har
why? so I can bribe the guy to let me smuggle DVDs in?

MFM: cos it means you're leaving m'sia
"The rule is perfect: in all matters of opinion our adversaries are insane." - Mark Twain

***

The result of mindless hatred for the regime and everything remotely connected with it:


Original article:

July 6, 2009
SOAP BOX
SDU, time to get with the times
Forget mailers, dating website should Twitter or tap Facebook instead
By Grace Chua

TO STEM Singapore's rapidly falling birth rate, the Government does many useful and wonderful things.

It recently launched the Marriage Central website for newlyweds, to-be-weds and already-weds. Ngee Ann Polytechnic conducts a course on relationships for its students. And the SDU sends me mailers.

The SDU, or Social Development Unit, is a dating agency. I'm sure it has a very important function to play, but I'm not sure what that function is, because I don't personally know anyone who got married after meeting someone else via the SDU. I do know people who got married after they went to a heavily discounted SDU event while they were already dating, but that's another story.

So, until I received a mailer, the thought of joining a dating agency had never crossed my mind.

I have never signed up for an SDU event.

I didn't graduate from university here, so how did they find me? Heck, I was already dating someone.

The mailers advertised tango lessons, extremely basic dating advice heavy on personal hygiene tips, and a website with singles ads featuring dashing young men named Stallion - none of which, bless their well-intentioned hearts, is really my thing at all.

So I wrote a polite letter asking the SDU to please not kill trees for my sake.

'To whom it may concern: I have been receiving unsolicited SDU-SDS event mailers at my home address. However, I did not join SDU-SDS, have never paid membership fees, and am mercifully not single. Would you be able to remove me from your mailing list? Thank you.'

This tactic worked so well that I received yet another mailer the next month: a bigger, fatter magazine. When I shook it, I half expected subscription cards to fall out.

I moaned about this to my boyfriend and some friends. Who laughed at me.

'I graduated from NUS and I've never received a mailer,' most of them said.

This situation, I decided, called for some creativity. So I wrote the SDU another love note.

'To whom it may concern: I have been receiving unsolicited SDU-SDS event mailers. Now my significant other of over two years, who is not familiar with the work of the SDU-SDS, is angry at me for signing up for a dating service without his knowledge. Please remove me from your mailing list lest it affect my otherwise healthy relationship. Thank you.'

Finally, I received this:

"Dear Grace: Thank you for your e-mail...Your SDU-SDS membership has been terminated as requested. We sincerely apologise for all the inconvenience caused. (HAPLESS CIVIL SERVANT), SDU-SDS, Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports.'

The close encounter of the dating- agency kind has taught me, I think, two things.

First of all, most of my peers and I don't even want a dating agency hovering over us. Personal ads perhaps (but not from people named Stallion). It's nice that someone out there cares about our social lives, but we can organise our own dates, thank you very much.

And second, there are people who are interested in SDU activities. But are dead-tree mailers really a good way to reach them in an age of e-mail, SMS alerts and Facebook messages?

There is an unofficial SDU Facebook group with 254 members. But the organisation isn't on Twitter. And the website is out-of-date - under About Us, I was greeted with the SDU's annual reports from 2002 and 2003. Listen up SDU, if you want to marry off youngish Singaporeans, you'll have to get with the times.

And what of the mailers? So far, I haven't received any more of them...but I have the niggling suspicion that my name will stay on those lists until I am firmly, decidedly, resolvedly married. Well, gentle reader, I will keep you posted.

caiwj@sph.com.sg


Sammyboy analog thread name: 154th Leeporter Yaya She Overseas Grad

Comment 1: Only a matter of time before you get fucked and chucked and left on the shelf, Grace. Do keep us posted on the aftermath, especially the feeble suicide attempts, no Panadol and coke please, wouldn't want to be as pathetic as the resident Sammyboy circus freak.

Perhaps you can take turns with Sumiko bitching and moaning on lost loves, on what you thought might have been. Some might call it delusional or wishful thinking, but ignorance is bliss, isn't it.

Comment 2: this kind of bitch will realise when she is past 30 she is not worth even $10.00 along Geylang road.


(Sadly, there were only 2 responses)

Grace's comment: "Best. Reader feedback. Evar. Unprintable, but genius."

Thursday, July 09, 2009

"Most of the change we think we see in life is due to truths being in and out of favor." - Robert Frost

***

A poem from Mr Wang's book, Two Baby Hands, which he also read during the book launch:


A Nothing Kind of Job

I come to work
in a shirt and tie
I draft contracts
my clients call me
all day long
to ask me questions
& wrap up deals
their deadlines
sound like threats
my palms sweat
as I reply politely
& tell myself
be cool, it's a
nothing kind
of job

I go for meetings
where they talk about
companies & money
not art or happiness
just companies & money
they draw charts
I take notes
they talk numbers
I take notes

when they argue
I take notes
sometimes I say something
like please stop fighting
& they listen
I draw cats and dogs
when no one's
looking
I tell myself that
most people hate
their jobs

Once I tried to quit
I gave my boss the letter
he said why
I said I don't know
he said you can't do this to me
I said why not
he said it's the money
I said it's not
you're lying & I'll raise
it's 500 bucks, he said
I said ok & took
my letter back
he smiled
I felt sorry for myself
I knew it was a nothing
kind of job
"在肯德基,我们做鸡是对的!"
L'homme, l'homme, l'homme armé,
L'homme armé
L'homme armé doibt on doubter, doibt on doubter.
On a fait partout crier,
Que chascun se viengne armer
D'un haubregon de fer.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

"Howard Hughes was able to afford the luxury of madness, like a man who not only thinks he is Napoleon but hires an army to prove it." - Ted Morgan

***

On "Was mich nicht umbringt, macht mich stärker":


Day 126: Sweet blessed relief - Bohemia Bunny

"I don’t know how common this sentiment is among cancer survivors, but anyone who dares to say that “cancer is a blessing in disguise” will just get a big fat NO from me. NO. It is in no form a blessing, not even a blessing wearing 10,000 disguises. The diagnosis, the surgery, the chemo, the radiation – all of them SUCK. They don’t make you stronger if you’re not already strong enough to get through them. Sure they show you what you’re made of, but I can think of better ways to test my mettle than to contract a deadly disease – like, say, crocodile wrestling. So, no. I wouldn’t wish cancer on anyone, not my worst enemies, not terrorists, not animal abusers. Cancer is a curse, and that’s all I have to say about it.

Maybe I’ll feel differently after I’ve crossed the 5-year mark and my illness is just a footnote in my autobiography. Maybe I’ll look back and say, “Hey, having cancer changed me in some good ways”. Um, I can think of only a few, very trivial ways: I lost some weight, I got to try out a new hairstyle, and I’m well-versed with hospital terminology. I think I was pretty awesome to start out with, so nothing cancer can do to improve on that. ;D"

Monday, July 06, 2009

"People can have the Model T in any colour--so long as it's black." - Henry Ford

***

Top Google Suggestions for searching "can you":

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1. can you run it
2. can you get pregnant on your period
3. can you feel the love tonight lyrics
4. can you get pregnant right after your period
5. can you be pregnant and still have a period
6. can you duet
7. can you get pregnant right before your period
8. can you have your period and still be prengnant
9. can you get mono twice
10. can you freeze cheeze


Notice that half the suggestions have to do with periods and pregnancies, or rather the possibility of these two coinciding.

Meanwhile, mono is described by Wikipedia like so:

"Infectious mononucleosis (also known as EBV infectious mononucleosis or Pfeiffer's disease and colloquially as kissing disease - from its oral distribution - or as mono in North America and as glandular fever in other English-speaking countries) is an infectious, very widespread viral disease caused by the Epstein-Barr virus, which well over 90% of all adults are exposed to at some point in their life."

In other words, 7 out of the top 10 results are about, or related to, sex (we all know that 'love' is a euphemism for sex).

(Hat tip to MFTTW)

Sunday, July 05, 2009

"Mustard's no good without roast beef." - Chico Marx

***

Fancy Fast Food - "BK Quiche (Fancy Croissan’wich & Biscuit)
Ingredients (for two mini quiches):
* 1 Burger King Croissan’wich (with ham) meal, with hash browns and a coffee
* 1 Burger King Ham, Egg & Cheese biscuit meal, with hash browns and an orange juice
* 1 bottle of water"

US analyst shows class divisions between Facebook, MySpace users - "Danah Boyd, who works with Microsoft Research New England, reckons that most Facebook users are white and wealthy, while MySpace users are uneducated and obnoxious... “We might as well face an uncomfortable reality … what happened was modern day ‘white flight’,” she added. According to Boyd, MySpace has become a digital “ghetto”. “The people there are more likely to be brown or black and to have a set of values that terrifies white society,” she said."

Retro Comedy: The 15 Creepiest Vintage Ads Of All Time - "One most effective way to safegyard her dainty feminine allure is by practicing complete feminine hygiene as provided by vaginal douches with a scientifically correct prepartion... You, too, can rely on "Lysol" to help protect your married happiness... keep you desirable!"

Man Injured After Using Nail Clippers to Circumcise Himself

Think Again: Asia's Rise - "It is meaningless to talk about Asia as a single entity of power, now or in the future. Far more likely is that the fast ascent of one regional player will be greeted with alarm by its closest neighbors. Asian history is replete with examples of competition for power and even military conflict among its big players... Already, China's recent rise has pushed Japan and India closer together... Pax Americana was made possible not only by the overwhelming economic and military might of the United States but also by a set of visionary ideas: free trade, Wilsonian liberalism, and multilateral institutions. Although Asia today may have the world's most dynamic economies, it does not seem to play an equally inspiring role as a thought leader... A much-cited 2005 McKinsey Global Institute study reports that human resource managers in multinational companies consider only 10 percent of Chinese engineers and 25 percent of Indian engineers as even "employable," compared with 81 percent of American engineers... when you look at autocracies credited with economic success, you find two interesting facts. First, their economic performance improved when they became less brutal and allowed greater personal and economic freedoms"

The Voting Rights Act: Sacred, or outdated - "Abigail Thernstrom, the author of “Voting Rights—and Wrongs”... argues, counterintuitively, that racial gerrymandering reduces black political influence. Majority-black districts tend to elect politicians who appeal to black solidarity but do not need to woo whites. Moderates do less well: Mr Obama was thrashed by 30 percentage points when he ran for Congress in a majority-black district. The net effect of cramming blacks into racially homogenous districts is that the congressional black caucus, with some exceptions, clusters at the fringe of American politics, rather than at the centre, where decisions are made. Segregated voting districts thus impede political integration, says Ms Thernstrom."

Elephants Drunk in the Wild? Scientists Put the Myth to Rest - "Almost anyone who has read a travel brochure about Africa has heard of elephants getting drunk from the fruit of the marula tree. The lore holds that elephants can get drunk by eating the fermented fruit rotting on the ground... But there is nothing in the biology of either the African elephant or the marula fruit to support the stories, he asserts. "People just want to believe in drunken elephants," Morris said... it would take about a half gallon (1.9 liters) of ethanol to make an elephant tipsy... an elephant would have to ingest more than 1,400 well-fermented fruits to start to get drunk."

Man beaten after teens misinterpret woman's sex screams - "A group of teenagers misunderstood a woman's screams during sex and, thinking they were stopping an assault, beat a 25-year-old man in her bedroom"
I love power relations!

Game leaves nothing to chance for cute extremists - "If any child picks up a card which says Kafir! ("Heathen!") they immediately lose their faith and go straight to hell, without having to die first. The last player in the game wins, so the heathen cards encourage children to pray that friends and family members go to hell soon... the next card one of the kids picks up has a picture of a boy and girl sitting shyly next to each other on a bench with pink love hearts hovering over them. This looks like a positive card, but it isn't - oh no-no-no-no-no. The game makers reckon pecaran ("courting") is an extremely grave sin. At minus 500 points per occasion, this card teaches children that experiencing two momentary crushes is equivalent to committing one murder. But keep going and they may get a menikah card, which means "marriage." This card also shows a boy and girl sitting next to each other on a bench, but without any love hearts. This teaches children that it is crucial that they do not love the person they marry."
"The bitterest tragic element in life to be derived from an intellectual source is the belief in a brute Fate or Destiny." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

***

Pictures from February:



"Authentic Malacca Wan Ton Mee. (Singapore Branch) Malacca - Opposite Ong Ya Kong Temple Banda Hilir"

Notice that this comes in two options: Without Chili and With Chili. So no, despite what Malaysians' carping may lead one to assume, Wan Ton Mee without Chili is acceptable.

Also, this was quite lacklustre, raising one or more of the following possibilities:

1) As a franchisee, the standard was below its home stall's
2) The ranting about good Malaysian food by Malaysians and Singaporeans alike is misleading
3) The home stall also sucks
4) This is authentic but not good


From Bumbu Restaurant:


"Please Stop At Two!"
The guy (R. Tan) designed the sign himself (he wasn't paid, unfortunately) when he was at the Ministry of Health (in the 60s IIRC 1960 or 1970)


Lemongrass Chicken Head (!)


Arabic spoils the look of this prosperous mirror.
Addendum: The restaurant also had no Chinese gods (though it had other Chinese decorative arts) so it could remain Halal.


From the National Geographic Store at Vivocity:


"Tahitians are amphibious and live in the water as much as possible."


A ridiculously expensive table. It costs S$42,200. Presumably because it is "unique".


"Controlled freezing chamber... Simulate the freezing conditions you may encounter on your trip or expedition. Temperatures inside the chamber reach 15 degrees Celsius"
I blame Americans' inability to convert to the Metric scale properly. No wonder the Mars Probe crashed.


"Photography is not recommended as we would like to respect the photographers' original works"
I love that they respected their visitors.



"Ben and Jerry's 3 Piece Melamine Set For Kids"
I'm guessing they designed this before Melamine became a dirty word.


In my series of bust enhancement ads,
BustStations: "International Japanese Model"
I love how they didn't even name her (in subsequent ads they did)
I also love how the fine print is printed in such a way as to be invisible
Incidentally I tired to win the vouchers for a friend, but they refused to give them to me and wanted her contact. I kind of expected it, but it was STILL scummy.


"C.M.I. Maritime Pte Ltd"


"Chicken Lever"


"Chicken Shawarma... contains a good deal of mineral called selenium that is... known to help infertile men improve the motility of sperm cells!... must-have for health conscious... Comes with fries"


Chinese Figurines at Ah Chew Desserts which display Asian Values (one's naked and one's in underwear)


"Due to economy crisis, CAKE HISTORY is giving a special offer to our value customer. Each bread is selling at $1 only!"
It sounds better in Chinese


"4 Heavenly Dish" (their Fried Platter Combination)


"Ve-Tsin Gourmet Powder". It has salt and MSG (Ajinomoto being branded as 'Umami Seasoning' is still not as bad)


"Hair Extension. 100% Human Hair"
Do people get hair extensions with artificial hair?


They levy GST on top of the prices - for takeout!


""We weigh your ice cream to ensure they're your healtier choice.....""
Nice way Uzumaki justifies being kiam siap. Notice that their definition of a double scoop is actually 1.5 times a single scoop.
[Addendum: TMM suggests their cone is 45g and each scoop 45g, but that's a very heavy cone]


"To whom it may concern
Milk Powder NOT from China
This is to certify that we do not use any milk powder from China to manufacture any of our products"
For once, Krimer comes in useful.
I love how Malaysia Dairy Industries makes Non-Dairy Creamer. Malaysia Boleh!


Notice how Ma Maison only has endorsements from Japanese magazines. Its status as "the finest Continental cuisine restaurant in Singapore" is thus doubtful.


Mannikins with "real" and textured hair


"[Pig:] To know me is to love me"


Proud Vermonster Team - with 3 girls and only 1 guy! I'm impressed.


Girls playing dumb kiddy game at Vivocity. Some things don't change with age


"All Ranovation & Repair"


Spider on Path


"Nature's answer to hydrated skin"
Besides the suggestion that this dehydrates you, it makes you wonder: if it's 99.9% water, why not just use water?


"WARNING. You are committing an offence if you employ foreign workers without valid work passes. PENALTY. Jail term"
Not the most reassuring thing to see on your lunch table


"An Nisaa' Muslimah Salon. Strictly for ladies only. Man not allowed"
Sexual discrimination!


"Toastbox: Hainanese Curry Chicken. Just one mouthful of the tender chicken with rich Hainanese curry certainly gave us a taste of the early Southeast Asian immigrants!"
This puts a whole new spin on "Tastes like chicken"...


"We're now hiring foreigners!"


Cookie & Monkey (Kids' rides): Your children will be baffled by the conditions
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