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Valar Qringaomis

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Friday, December 25, 2009

"The most radical revolutionary will become a conservative the day after the revolution." - Hannah Arendt

***

Eight questions for Jonathan Rauch | The Economist

"DIA: Since your book "Kindly Inquisitors" came out, free speech has taken quite a few more knocks, culminating in a recent non-binding resolution from a UN body banning "defamation of religion". Have things gotten worse since 1995? And are free-speech advocates right to fight back by, for example, publishing cartoons of Muhammad in Danish newspapers?

Mr Rauch: Things are worse and better, depending where you look. Since K.I., free speech has learned to fight back against political correctness on university campuses. FIRE, for example, has made university administrators worry about getting sued or shamed if they cave in to repressive demands. That represents an important shift in the power equation.

On the other hand, campaigns by Islamic extremists to shut down full and frank discussion of religion seem to have made headway in Europe...

Freedom of expression and freedom of religion are the two great bulwarks of modern liberalism, and neither is self-enforcing. As we have learned in American universities, political correctness and other kinds of campaigns to muzzle dissent on grounds of sensitivity are really about power, not compassion, and the only thing power respects is power...

DIA: In the past you've had some critical things to say about the blogosphere. Do you see blogging as an inferior form of journalism?

Mr Rauch: I only wish more bloggers would do journalism. Meaning: independently check (alleged) facts before publishing them. Ask people for comment before printing claims about them or attributing hearsay to them. Leave the house and find things out, preferably things that surprise and confound one's initial predispositions. Try to provide some balance. Understand that people can be hurt or even ruined by what writers write, so there is some real need for compassion and caution. Understand that an all-purpose snarky attitude is no substitute for the specialised knowledge that comes from working a beat.

Newsrooms teach these values. The blogosphere seems, too often anyway, to teach contempt for them.


Luckily, he's Jewish and gay, so he's more or less immune to criticism.

From reviews of Kindly Inquisitors: The New Attacks on Free Thought:

"A compelling defense of free speech against its new enemies, who range from the mosques of Iran to the groves of American academe...

Rauch divides challengers to free speech into three camps: ``fundamentalists,'' who believe truth is obvious and not to be questioned; ``egalitarians,'' who think that the beliefs of all sincere people deserve equal respect; and ``humanitarians,'' who hold that one must never offend. But whether they are Moslems enraged at negative portrayals of Islam, creationists pressing to have their theory taught along with evolution, or minorities imposing university codes against ``hate speech,'' all these groups wish to revive the Inquisition notion that ``people who hold wrong and hurtful opinions should be punished for the good of society.''

Rauch's strength here lies in his relentless insistence that liberal science, though hurtful at times, is the best means of advancing knowledge and avoiding ``herdthink.''"
The Holy Trinity of Russian Cooking (Зажарка): Onions, Carrots, Tomatoes

The Holy Trinity of French Cooking (mirepoix): Onions, Celery, Carrots

The Holy Trinity of Cajun Cooking: Onions, Celery, Bell Peppers

The Holy Trinity of My Cooking: Onions, Bell Peppers, Bacon
"We do what we must, and call it by the best names." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

***

The Deadweight Loss of Christmas

"A potentially important microeconomic aspect of gift-giving is that gifts may be mismatched with the recipients' preferences. In the standard microeconomic framework of consumer choice, the best a gift-giver can do with, say, $10 is to duplicate the choice that the recipient would have made. While it is possible for a giver to choose a gift which the recipient ultimately values above its price-for example, if the recipient is not perfectly informed-it is more likely that the gift will leave the recipient worse off than if she had made her own consumption choice with an equal amount of cash. In short, gift-giving is a potential source of deadweight loss.

This paper gives estimates of the deadweight loss of holiday gift-giving based on surveys given to Yale undergraduates. I find that holiday gift-giving destroys between 10 percent and a third of the value of gifts... Holiday expenditures average $40 billion per year, implying that a conservative estimate of the deadweight loss of Christmas is a tenth as large as estimates of the deadweight loss of income taxation... gifts from friends and "significant others" are most efficient, while noncash gifts from members of the extended family are least efficient and destroy a third of their value. I develop a simple expected-utility model to explain the decision to give cash, as opposed to in-kind gifts. The data are consistent with the model: cash gifts are most common from the sorts of givers whose noncash gifts have the lowest expected value to recipients (given their cost) and high variability in recipient valuation...

However, if recipients are imperfectly informed, the giver may be able to choose a gift that the recipient would not have chosen but which makes the recipient better off than a cash amount equal to the cost of the gift. In this case, it is possible for a gift to create, rather than destroy, value. The better the giver knows the recipient's preferences-including, possibly, preferences the recipient is unaware of-the more likely it is that the giver will choose a gift that the recipient values above its cost and will thereby create value through giving...

Aunt/uncle and grandparent gifts have by far the lowest yields (among noncash gifts) at 64.4 percent (SE = 7.0 percent) and 62.9 percent (10.3 percent). Gifts from friends and significant others have the highest average yields, of 98.8 percent (SE = 14.7 percent) and 91.7 percent (SE = 8.3 percent), respectively. The average yield of parent and sibling gifts is about 85 percent (with standard errors of 3-5 percent)...

Government grants in kind are often criticized, on theoretical grounds, for value-destruction. There is little existing research on the fraction of value destroyed by such programs, but it is interesting to compare the available evidence on government value-destruction... food stamps and rent supplements, which most resemble cash, generate no deadweight loss, while the deadweight losses for public housing, Medicare, and Medicaid are between 9 percent and 39 percent"


Friends know you better than significant others?!
"The conception of two people living together for twenty-five years without having a cross word suggests a lack of spirit only to be admired in sheep." - Alan Patrick Herbert

***

Hundreds of pagans turn up at Stonehenge for the winter solstice... on the WRONG DAY - "The crowd had met at the mystical site in Wiltshire to mark the shortest day of the year, normally December 21, but this year the solstice did not become official until the early hours of this morning. So they were forced to spend a cold night shivering outside in their full-length cloaks."
Nice caption: "Arthur Pendragan, formally known as John Rothwell, takes part in this morning's ceremonies"

Vicar tells needy to go ... shoplifting - "My advice does not contradict the Bible's eighth commandment (Thou Shalt Not Steal) because God's love for the poor and despised outweighs the property rights of the rich."

Christmas card snowflakes 'corrupt nature' by defying laws of physics - "Christmas card manufacturers, advertising agencies and children's book publishers are accused of corrupting nature with "incorrect designer versions" of snowflakes that defy the laws of physics. A letter to the prestigious journal Nature calls on scientists to take a stand against all images of four, five and eight-sided "faux" snowflakes"

Star Wars Weather Forecast

Drunk men who force women to have sex 'are rapists and cannot use alcohol as an excuse' - "Drunk men who force their wives or girlfriends to have sex should be prosecuted for rape, the head of a Government inquiry into sex crime said yesterday. Drinking by the man should be considered an 'aggravating factor' when any woman makes a complaint of rape... A similar idea has already been put forward by ministers, who said it should be a crime for a man to have sex with a woman who was very drunk. Judges quashed the plan... Criminologist David Green, of the Civitas think-tank, warned that the law should not treat men and women differently. 'If a man is responsible for his conduct when drunk, so is a woman,' Dr Green said. 'The law must be applied equally. It is a choice to get drunk, but it follows that the consequence of that choice applies to both sides.'"

It's a ho-ho-hold up: Armed bank robber dressed as Santa demands money so he can 'pay his elves'

Stockholm's straw goat burned by vandals again - "A giant straw goat was burned down yet again early Wednesday in a Swedish city where torching it has become a Christmas tradition... Vandals have burned down the goat 24 times since it was first set up in Gavle in 1966 to mark the holiday season. It has also been smashed several times, run over by a car and had its legs cut off. In 2006 and 2007 city officials doused it in fireproofing chemicals. Ostman said they stopped doing that because it discolored the goat, making it "look like a brown terrier instead of a yellow straw goat."... This year the city Web site offers users a chance to follow the goat's fate via a Webcam, Twitter page and a blog - in both Swedish and English... In 2005, the goat was burned down by two arsonists dressed up as Santa Claus and the Gingerbread Man. They were never caught"

Of Civil Wars, Diaspora, and Culinary Nostalgia - "Not including General Tso’s Chicken in one of the first English-language books solely focused on the cuisine of Hunan seemed, in Dunlop’s words, “a little perverse, given that it’s the only dish most people know from the region in the first place”... The Cultural Revolution and the Great Leap Forward (with its subsequent famine) were a “culinary disaster,” explained Dunlop, during which traditional dishes and cooking techniques went underground or were lost altogether... Taiwan is where Dunlop eventually found the original General Tso’s Chicken, or at least its close relative, Viceroy’s Chicken. The dish was a little less sweet than the American version (it used tomato paste rather than sugar – Dunlop’s version of the recipe is here) and it had been on the menu at Peng’s, a restaurant specialising in Hunanese cuisine, since the 1950s"

NZ policewoman allows naked cycling - with helmet - "Public nudity can attract a charge of offensive behaviour in New Zealand, but Ms Duder said she let the two men go free. "It was dark and there was no-one else around. They were jovial young men who had not intended to cause offence," she said."

HP looking into claim webcams can't see black people

The Gender Wage Gap as a Function of Educational Degree Choices in an Occupationally Segregated EU Country (Greece) - "The subjects in which women are relatively over-represented (e.g. Education, Humanities) are also those with the lowest wage returns. Oaxaca-Blinder decompositions subsequently imply that gender differences in the type of degree studied can explain an additional 8.4% of the male-female pay gap. Risk-augmented earnings functions of the Hartog-type also indicate that women seek for less risky educations that consequently command lower wage premiums in the job market."

Excessive maternity leave and huge sex discrimination payouts 'risk backfiring on women' - "She denied allegations of sexism in the City, claiming most women did not rise through the ranks because of their own choices rather than any prejudice against them.And she suggested bosses were reluctant to employ women for fear they could go on to have lots of children supported by Britain's over-generous maternity leave system... 'Employers have to be more careful about making a woman redundant... so bosses have to ask themselves whether they take them on in the first place. What is so difficult for employers is that women can take up to a year off work and are under no obligation to come back. Meanwhile, they have to keep the job open'"

Bad girls less likely to be told off than boys - "Boys are five times more likely to be told off in a primary school class than girls even though they are just as likely to misbehave... They are also less likely to be praised or picked to answer a question, despite raising their hands just as often as girls... Dr Swinson said that this "prejudice" could explain why girls get better exam results than boys. "Perhaps some boys get disenchanted with lessons because they are being told off too much""
"In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice; In practice, there is." - Chuck Reid

***

This isn't really anything we don't already know, but it's nice to have more information about an under-studied problem.


More women say: Touch Me, Pay Me
Straits Times, 24th December
[Ed: At first I thought this was about social escorts, or something]

Lawyers say they are seeing more men settling cases with cash to avoid criminal record

THE engineer, 36, was cutting his way across the dance floor of a Clarke Quay club earlier this year when a 23-year-old woman accused him of touching her buttocks.

The bouncers stepped in. The police showed up. And though he claimed he did not touch the woman, he ended up paying $8,000 to settle the case.

'I didn't want trouble and I didn't know what my company and wife would think if they found out,' he said in an e-mail reply to The Straits Times. 'That was my only way out.'

Under the law, certain criminal offences such as simple molestation cases, wrongful restraint and causing hurt can be settled out of court if the victim agrees to drop the matter in return for some form of compensation. An offender who has had his offence compounded will not have a criminal record.

But lawyers interviewed said that increasingly, they are seeing more men like the engineer seeking help for molestation charges and paying more cash to compound their cases.

This has prompted concerns among the legal fraternity that the system could be abused by women looking for pay-outs by making false accusations and men who might be getting off the hook by paying off their victims.

At least six lawyers interviewed said that they are seeing a pattern of drunk men being accused by women in their early 20s for molesting them in clubs.

According to police records, there were 110 cases of outrage of modesty in nightspots reported last year, about the same number as the year before. In the first nine months of this year, there were 72 such cases.

But the number does not show whether some of these cases have been compounded, as both the police and the Subordinate Courts say they do not keep such records.

Lawyer Chia Boon Teck handled five such cases in the last three months.

'The men are drunk, don't remember anything and have no defence against them,' he said. 'To avoid the whole saga, they'd rather just pay.'

Lawyer Amolat Singh, who handled four such cases in the last six months, said that the incidents happened mostly in clubs in the wee hours of the morning. The accused men were usually alone.

Lawyer Subhas Anandan, recalling a case involving a director of a public listed company, believes that there are so-called 'victims' out there trying to make easy money.

He said that the director was in a club, on his way to get drinks when he stopped to talk to some women. Soon, some men approached him, accusing him of molesting the girls. To avoid public scrutiny, he paid the girl $5,000 to settle the case.

'I was convinced he was set up, I also handled another three cases where it was the same modus operandi,' Mr Subhas said. 'If it's a reasonable sum, most guys will just pay. If it goes to trial, it'll be even more in legal fees.'

Lawyers also noticed that the compensation amounts have risen, from the average $1,000 to $2,000 some years ago, to above $5,000 these days.

Lawyer S. Radakrishnan, who has handled seven compounded molestation cases in the last year, said that some victims are now asking extortionate sums of between $20,000 and $50,000.

'It bothers me because they know that the accused are scared to go to court and don't want their families to know,' he said, adding that the highest amount he has personally handled is a $20,000 case.

Mr Subhas, who once helped a client claim $25,000 in compensation from a dentist who allegedly touched her breasts, said the sums paid out depend on the severity of the offence and also the ability of the man to pay.

One case that is a talking point among lawyers is that of a 48-year-old obstetrician-gynaecologist who last year paid a woman $51,000 after he was accused of touching her breasts, abdomen and thigh.

National University of Singapore law professor Michael Hor said that the system could be abused in two ways.

A man of means committing a series of outrages of modesty could 'buy' himself out of prosecution, for example. Alternatively, a calculating victim could try to extract unreasonably large sums of money in exchange for not going to trial.

The lawyers want a registry of victims who have agreed to compound their cases to be set up, to stop any kind of abuse.

'If we keep a record, we can make sure that it's not the same people who make these claims,' said lawyer Ravinderpal Singh, who handles about five molestation cases a year.

Prof Hor thinks the list of compoundable offences could exclude cases of outrage of modesty.

Some also suggested that a compensation cap be implemented.

Lawyers interviewed said that not all victims want money. Some demand an apology - in court or published in the newspapers. Others want a donation made in their name to a charity.

There are also those who insist on their day in court, no matter what.

These are usually the real victims, lawyers say.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Holiday Books - 'The Man Who Invented Christmas,' by Les Standiford - History of Charles Dickens and 'A Christmas Carol'

"Replacing the slippery Holy Ghost with anthropomorphized spirits, the infant Christ with a crippled child whose salvation waits on man's - not God's - generosity, Dickens laid claim to a religious festival, handing it over to the gathering forces of secular humanism. If a single night's crash course in man's power to redress his mistakes and redeem his future without appealing to an invisible and silent deity could rehabilitate even so apparently lost a cause as Ebenezer Scrooge, imagine what it might do for the rest of us!"
Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us

Dilbert: We pooled our bonus checks and got you this gift.

Pointy-Haired Boss: It's empty... Oh.

Alice: Better luck next year
"You can't say that civilization don't advance, however, for in every war they kill you in a new way." - Will Rogers

***

How do I know China wrecked the Copenhagen deal? I was in the room

"China's strategy was simple: block the open negotiations for two weeks, and then ensure that the closed-door deal made it look as if the west had failed the world's poor once again. And sure enough, the aid agencies, civil society movements and environmental groups all took the bait... Sudan behaves at the talks as a puppet of China...

China, backed at times by India, then proceeded to take out all the numbers that mattered... I am certain that had the Chinese not been in the room, we would have left Copenhagen with a deal that had environmentalists popping champagne corks popping in every corner of the world...

Campaign groups never blame developing countries for failure; this is an iron rule that is never broken. The Indians, in particular, have become past masters at co-opting the language of equity ("equal rights to the atmosphere") in the service of planetary suicide – and leftish campaigners and commentators are hoist with their own petard...

I left Copenhagen more despondent than I have felt in a long time. After all the hope and all the hype, the mobilisation of thousands, a wave of optimism crashed against the rock of global power politics, fell back, and drained away."


Recently, I commented that "Injustice which is spatially and/or temporally removed from the present is no indication of present cruelties".

This and another ("perceived oppressors can equally be victims of discrimination and injustice - even at the hands of the perceived victims") were labelled as "Confucian axioms - who can say they are wrong?"

Yet, clearly, people do claim a sort of infinite path dependence for past injustice (at least those committed by certain parties, while those by others are glibly elided), where past wrongs are some form of Original Sin that can never be erased.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

"What is life but a series of inspired follies? The difficulty is to find them to do. Never lose a chance: it doesn't come every day." - George Bernard Shaw

***

(reposted due to a screwed up image)

Google Singapore Trends for 22nd December 2009:

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us

1. nus exam results
2. nus results
3. myisis nus
4. nus exam results online
6. nus vpn
7. isis nus
8. nus webvpn
9. nus isis
10. nus cap calculator
11. nus singapore
12. dong zhi
16. nus email

(it was a release day for exam results and the server crashed)

My CAP Calculator appears on the first page of search results!
"Three o'clock is always too late or too early for anything you want to do." - Jean-Paul Sartre

***

The Straight Dope: Is it possible for someone to be tickled to death? - "According to Meerloo, the more important meaning of being "tickled to death" is not real death but metaphorical death--i.e., sexual surrender. Sez he, "In a deeper sense, being tickled to death means taking part in sexual orgasm and experiencing the _sterbe und werde_ feelings (to die and to be resurrected) provoked by deep ecstatic sexual satisfaction ..."The clitoris ... is in other languages called the organ of being tickled and titillated (in Dutch: _kitelaar_). All these words are also related to itch, the old English _yicchen_: a combination of restless hankering and irritation, of ambivalent yearning after fun and the taboo against giving in to the yearning.... `I'm being tickled to death' means ... that the pleasure is nearly too much for me.""

Hipsters repaint bike lanes in brush off to Hasids - " Groups of bicycle-riding vigilantes have been repainting 14 blocks of Williamsburg roadways ever since the city sandblasted their bike lanes away last week at the request of the Hasidic community. The Hasids, who have long had a huge enclave in the now-artist-haven neighborhood, had complained that the Bedford Avenue bike paths posed both a safety and religious hazard. Scantily clad hipster cyclists attracted to the Brooklyn neighborhood made it difficult, the Hasids said, to obey religious laws forbidding them from staring at members of the opposite sex in various states of undress"

Why the female flirt is wasting her time - "Some girls merely flutter their eyelashes. Others snuggle up close and play footsie, while the really forward type might venture a touch on the thigh. But whatever the method of flirting it just doesn't work with most men, claim researchers... When shown images of women making advances, men tended to misread the sexual cues as friendliness. At the same time they mistook photos of women merely being friendly for sexual interest. The researchers also found that women overestimate men's ability to pick up on sexual signals. They argue that many females wrongly believe that the men are well aware of their attempts to woo, but are just not interested in responding."
One comment: "How about men either think every woman is sexually interested in them or they've realized that women are crazy, flirting all the time but are easily offended when you -think- they want something sexual. Many men would rather just ignore the signs women throw out than misinterpret them and risk getting into trouble."
Another: "The other way of interpreting this is that women are not very good at communicating clearly. The dysfunction in communication is generally the sender's responsibility, not the receivers."


Tiger Airways: Why do you not provide email or phone feedback? - "Tiger Airways wants to provide quality service to our customers through meaningful correspondence instead of casual e-mail responses. We believe all our customers deserve professional and well thought out letters in response to their concerns and that is why we put so much effort into researching and investigating every letter we write. We answer every letter we receive in the order that it arrives, with our best efforts to the matter concerned and whoever the person involved. This helps to keep our service level to customers high while keeping our costs low."
FAIL!

Mouthwash linked to cancer - "The ethanol in mouthwash is thought to allow cancer-causing substances to permeate the lining of the mouth more easily and cause harm. Acetaldehyde, a toxic by-product of alcohol that may accumulate in the oral cavity when swished around the mouth, is also believed to be carcinogenic."

What Not to Wear - Unfortunate T-shirts to be in when having your mugshot taken.

Muslim police chef defeated in 'bacon roll' tribunal faces £75,000 legal bill - "A Muslim chef who lost a claim of religious discrimination against Scotland Yard after complaining he was forced to cook sausages and bacon faces a legal bill of more than £75,000... [He] claimed suggestions by his bosses that he should wear gloves and use tongs left him 'stressed and humiliated'. Muslims are banned from eating pork under Islamic law. But Mr Khoja, 62, lost his claim in May after a police employee told an employment tribunal how she saw Mr Khoja eat bacon rolls and sausages... Another chef said he saw Mr Khoja once happily eat a sausage dish and told the court 'he was not as strict as some Muslims'. Judge Southam also heard how Mr Khoja had made 'wild and baseless' allegations about a human resource manager, allegedly making racial facial gestures."

Hangover from whisky worse than vodka's - "Darker drinks contain high levels of toxic substances called congeners, which is why these result in a shoddier hangover."

Remarkable Creatures - Clues to Toxins in Deadly Delicacies of the Animal Kingdom - "Blue-ringed octopus, floral egg crab, basket shell snails and puffer fish... Each of these animals is chock full of a powerful neurotoxin called tetrodotoxin... in general, animal toxins are distinct and specific to each group. For instance, the venoms produced by snakes and scorpions are made of different kinds of toxins. But the tetrodotoxin found in each dish of that deadly buffet is identical... animals do not make the toxin themselves... not all 120 or so species of puffer fish are toxic or resistant to tetrodotoxin... Puffer fish have eight versions of these channels encoded by eight separate genes... what does not kill the evolving animals makes them stronger, and deadly... evolution is more reproducible than previously thought"
"J.F.K.--The Man and the Airport" - Unknown, Suggested book title

***

“Race” on Broadway: Toying with taboos | The Economist

"“Race is the most incendiary topic in our history,” says Jack Lawson, a jaded, white criminal lawyer (convincingly played by James Spader) and the latest Mametian hero. He and his partner, a black lawyer named Henry Brown (a formidable David Alan Grier), are considering whether to defend a wealthy, white man accused of raping a black woman. “Do you know what you can say? To a black man. On the subject of race?” Henry asks the potential client (Richard Thomas). “Nothing,” says the man. “That is correct,” Henry replies. In a lean 85 minutes, Mr Mamet maps the minefield of any conversation about race, and this play is not without casualties...

Mr Mamet replaces moral righteousness with something more real. The law is “not an exercise in metaphysics”, says Henry, “but an alley fight”. There are no facts of the case, Jack adds, but “two fictions, which the opposing teams each seek to impress upon the jury.” These are laugh lines of the grim sort...

Everyone, it seems, comes to the table with a different viewpoint, a different personal history, a different way to feel aggrieved.

This is a powerful play. At a time when many Americans long to believe that electing a black president cancels out a history of slavery, prejudice and entrenched inequality, Mr Mamet reminds the viewer of the insidious forms of racism that poison ordinary thoughts. Is the white man innocent or guilty? Is the black woman a lying whore or an abused victim? The biases latent in every character, black or white, drive home the improbability of racial reconciliation in America. Audiences are sure to leave this play feeling self-conscious. But as Mr Mamet makes clear, consciousness alone won’t save anyone."
"Everybody tells jokes, but we still need comedians." - Jimmy Wales

***

This is quite freaky:


Sacculina - Wikipedia

"Sacculina is a genus of barnacles that parasitize crabs...

When a female Sacculina is implanted in a male crab it will interfere with the crab's hormonal balance. This sterilizes it and changes the bodily layout of the crab to resemble that of a female crab by widening and flattening its abdomen, among other things. The female Sacculina has even been known to cause the male crabs to perform mating gestures typical of female crabs.

After this invasion of the Sacculina, the crab is now unable to perform the normal function of molting. This would result in a loss of nutrition of the Sacculina and impair its overall growth. The natural ability of regrowing a severed claw that is commonly used for defense purposes is lost after the infestation of Sacculina. Although all energy is directed to the Sacculina, the crab develops a nurturing behavior typical of a female crab. The natural hatching process of a crab consists of the female finding a high rock and grooming its brood pouch on its abdomen and releasing the fertilized eggs in the water through a bobbing motion. The female crab stirs the water with her claw to aid the flow of the water. When the hatching parasite eggs of the Sacculina are ready to emerge from the brood pouch of Sacculina, the crab performs a similar process. The crab shoots them out through pulses creating a large cloud of parasites. The crab then uses the familiar technique of stirring the water to aid in flow.

The male Sacculina looks for a female Sacculina adult on the underside of a crab. He then enters and fertilizes her eggs. The crab (male or female) then cares for the eggs as if they were its own, having been rendered infertile by the parasite."


Or as Boing Boing quotes:

"[It] grows tentacles into every single part of the crab's body, even its brain, to control everything it does...It doesn't breed, but rears Sacculina's babies instead...even male crabs."

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

"Government is too big and too important to be left to the politicians." - Chester Bowles

***

channelnewsasia.com - Local versus foreign talent debate one of top issues in REACH feedback in 2009

"In September 2009, the Prime Minister said the government will, over time, sharpen the differentiation between citizens, PRs and foreigners to reflect the responsibilities and privileges of citizenship.

The latest announcement from the Education Ministry is that it will put in place measures to differentiate between Singapore Citizens and PRs at the Primary One Registration Exercise from 2010 onwards.

And school fees payable by Singapore citizens, PRs and International Students will be further differentiated from 2011 onwards."


Making life hard for PRs and foreigners is not the same as enhancing the value of citizenship.

Beggaring thy neighbour is a losing proposition - while you screw non-citizens, the only advantage citizens have is arguably a feeling of relative privilege - or rather, the ability to cry, "Haha, sucker! I managed to get the same service at a lower price than you!". And possibly less competition for your kids for Primary One places.

The impact on the budget of charging non-citizens a few bucks more for school fees and healthcare is probably negligible, since they are still heavily subsidised, and it's peanuts compared to the cost of importing PRC scholars by the truckload. In any case, we run large surpluses every year, so it is doubly insignificant.

People are silly, with mercantilist, zero-sum mentalities, but even then these measures are and will be ineffectual in reducing public discontent.
"As a matter of principle, I never attend the first annual anything." - George Carlin

***

Me to a Jakarta-n: but anyway I not really interested in your hometonw
HAHA

Someone: yeah me neither


Frigid Girl: Millionaire Munir Hussain who fought off a knife-wielding burglar is jailed (while the intruder is let off)

"A millionaire businessman who fought back against a knife-wielding burglar was jailed for two-and-a-half years yesterday. But his attacker has been spared prison...

Mr Hussain and his brother then beat Salem while he lay on the ground, using a cricket bat, a pole and a hockey stick - leaving him with a fractured skull and brain damage following the 'sustained' attack.

Salem's condition meant he was unable to enter a plea to false imprisonment. He was given a non-custodial sentence-in October...

Judge Reddihough sentenced Munir Hussain to 30 months in jail for grievous bodily harm with intent. Tokeer was given 39 months because the judge said he had not faced as much provocation as his brother."

tihs is really really silly

Me: well if someone broke into your house should you be allowed to shoot him?

Frigid Girl: yes

Me: if someone molests you should you be allowed to break his arm?

Frigid Girl: yes

Me: no
there is something called disproportionate force

Frigid Girl: well, the problem is, in the heat of the moment, everything happens in a flash of an eye

like, the burglar tied up your family
yo're not about to stop and calcultae what's 'proportionate force'
your first instinct is to save your life and property

Me: yes, well, that's one factor
but the same can be said of crimes of passion
and many cases of homicide

we still punish these people

have you watched american history x?
there's this scene where edward norton catches some black guys trying to steal his car

so he catches one
and kills him
I forgot how. either by putting his head on the corner of the curb and dashing it in
or by whacking him to death with a baseball bat
or something

no self-defense is not justifiable to any degree

Frigid Girl: so you're suddenly christian about this
when someone slaps you you turn the other cheek?

Me: what does being christian have to do with anything

it's not about turning the other cheek
it's about using proportionate force

this is how fights happen

people think that someone is staring at them
so they go and beat the person up

I think the burglar should've been jailed also
and the businessman given a light sentence

Frigid Girl: eh this is crazy lor. the guy broke into the house, tied up the entire family, and is looting
and you said he's using disproportionate force

Me: he whacked the guy until he got brain damage

Frigid Girl: so it's only propotionate if the guy stabs one of the familymembers
a bit too late by the time he does it

Me: no
then it's called revenge
and that's wrong also

Frigid Girl: no

Me: it's the same reason you are not supposed to shoot defenceless enemy soldiers in war
but take them as POWs
there's this thing called the geneva convention

anyway I think 30+ months is too much
a year would've been enough

"Mr Hussain and his brother then beat Salem while he lay on the ground, using a cricket bat, a pole and a hockey stick - leaving him with a fractured skull and brain damage following the 'sustained' attack."

wah lao this is vicious

notice that he was not convicted for throwing the coffee table
or of tackling him even

Frigid Girl: if a guy broke into my houes
i'll be so scared that i'll really kill him if he got close enough
hahahha

Me: you're a girl so they will probably let you off

Frigid Girl: bleah

machiavelli said it - Men ought either to be indulged or utterly destroyed, for if you merely offend them they take vengeance, but if you injure them greatly they are unable to retaliate, so that the injury done to a man ought to be such that vengeance cannot be feared.

Me: if someone calls you machiavellian, it's not praise


Someone: : reading ur article [on violence against women]
i kinda agree haha

is better to be a woman nowadays
most of the time anyway
but only if you are a graduate
i think if you are like poly type there is still alot of
"unenlightened" types haha

Me: you mean it's bad to be non-graduate woman cos of "unenlightened" men?

Someone: : yar
and women themselves wont know their new found "rights"

if u see the upper parts of society
most women are like more dominant in the relationship
like most of my friends have the man wrapped round their finger

Me: one of my favourite examples is the woman who slapped an air stewardess cos she
thought she was hitting on the husband
in the end, fine
the best part: the man paid for it in the end

HURR HURR. sad for the men of your friends

Someone: : -_-
women damn neurotic

Me: yah I also say

Someone: : but its true right
most girls are in power

or is it just my friends

Me: go do survey
"There are more pleasant things to do than beat up people." - Muhammad Ali

***

Singapore defamation case threatens press freedom - "This ruling further illustrates how press freedom is under threat in Singapore and sets a dangerous precedent for freedom of expression and journalism in the region"
"Press freedom" can't be "under threat in Singapore" because it hasn't existed for 3 decades.

The surprising persistence of Chinese communism - "Because the filters... are not readily apparent, the Chinese media appears as professional as the West, and most citizens have little idea they are not getting the whole story... Other authoritarian regimes now try to copy the Chinese “formula” for staying in power: just enough reform to co-opt the middle class, using nationalism to shore up the regime, and moderating (and monitoring) the flow of information into the country... The vast majority of the tens of thousands of “mass incidents” (protests) in China each year take place in rural areas. In the first quarter of 2009 alone, Chinese authorities estimated there were more than 50,000 of these incidents, which have become increasingly violent, with protestors wielding clubs, bombs, and other weapons against local officials... despite the party’s co-opting of urban elites, there remains, in influential intellectual circles, discussion of the need for greater liberalization"
The Chinese Communist Party, not Chinese Communism

St Matthew's progressive Christianity offends Catholics - "A RISQUE billboard that depicts Jesus's mother looking dejected after unsatisfying sex with Joseph has given Kiwi Catholics a nasty pre-Christmas surprise. The huge ad erected in downtown Auckland today shows the unhappy couple in bed accompanied by the slogan: "Poor Joseph. God was a hard act to follow"... It was the brainchild of a progressive Christian church, St Matthew's, whose vicar Archdeacon Glynn Cardy says it was a cutting-edge strategy to engage non-believers"
Censoring (anti-)religious speech hurts religion.

The Singapore Solution — National Geographic - "Over time, the MM says, Singaporeans have become "less hard-driving and hard-striving." This is why it is a good thing, the MM says, that the nation has welcomed so many Chinese immigrants (25 percent of the population is now foreign-born). He is aware that many Singaporeans are unhappy with the influx of immigrants, especially those educated newcomers prepared to fight for higher paying jobs. But taking a typically Darwinian stance, the MM describes the country's new subjects as "hungry," with parents who "pushed the children very hard." If native Singaporeans are falling behind because "the spurs are not stuck into the hide," that is their problem... one thing you don't see in Singapore is very many police. "The cop is inside our heads"... attempts to encourage originality have been tone-deaf. When Scape, a youth outreach group, opened a "graffiti wall," youngsters were instructed to submit graffiti designs for consideration; those chosen would be painted on a designated wall at an assigned time... According to a poll by the Durex condom company, Singaporeans have less intercourse than almost any other country on Earth... This could be the fatal error in the Singapore Model: The eventual extinction of Singaporeans... As one local put it, "Singapore is like a warm bath. You sink in, slit your wrists, your lifeblood floats away, but hey, it's warm""
And so the demographic hollowing out continues, encouraged by the Power That IS

The Straight Dope: Do you "go down three times" before drowning? - "Interestingly, there are several distinct ways of drowning. In perhaps 10 percent of all cases, the victim does not actually breathe in any water, but instead dies of asphyxiation due to laryngospasm, or reflex closing of the vocal cords. (This may be what causes drunks to drown, although others suggest the cause is actually sudden heart stoppage). There's also a big difference between drowning in fresh water and drowning in salt water. In a freshwater drowning, the inhaled water is quickly absorbed out of the lungs and into the bloodstream. Unfortunately, the water washes away the wetting agent (the surfactant) in the lung air sacs (the alveoli) that helps keeps the sacs inflated. As a consequence, the air sacs collapse, oxygen can't get into the bloodstream, and the victim expires. In a saltwater drowning, on the other hand, the inhaled salt water draws blood plasma out of the bloodstream and into the lungs. The subsequent fluid buildup in the air sacs prevents oxygen from reaching the blood, resulting in death."

The Straight Dope: How did the states establish long straight borders before GPS? - "In the 1770s a party-hearty type named Collins led a team that surveyed the boundary between Quebec and Vermont. On one 22-mile stretch, a fifth of their expenses went for booze. The result, an international commission later acknowledged, was "very far from a straight line.""

Monday, December 21, 2009

"Idleness is not doing nothing. Idleness is being free to do anything." - Floyd Dell

***

All jokes are offensive (except for puns)


It is my contention that more or less all jokes in existence (except for puns) are offensive in some way.

[Addendum: "Puns are offensive because they exclude people who are not able to understand the contextual joke in English."]

I shall illustrate this point with the Buffalo Clean Chips for 20th December:

1) Christmas Chips

'Twas the night before Christmas at Rock-Away Rest
And all of us seniors were looking our best.
Our glasses, how sparkly; our wrinkles, how merry;
Our punch bowl held prune juice plus three drops of sherry.

A bed sock was taped to each walker in hope
That Santa would bring us soft candy and soap.
We surely were lucky to be there with friends
Secure in this residence and in our Depends.

Our grandkids had sent us some Christmassy crafts,
Like angels in snowsuits and penguins on rafts.
The dental assistant had borrowed our teeth,
And from them she'd crafted a holiday wreath.

The bedpans, so shiny, all stood in a row,
Reflecting our candle's magnificent glow.
Our supper so festive-the joy wouldn't stop-
Was creamy warm oatmeal with sprinkles on top.

Our salad was Jell-O, so jiggly and great,
Then puree of fruitcake was spooned on each plate.
The social director then had us play games
Like "Where Are You Living?" and "What are Your Names?"

Old Grandfather Looper was feeling his oats,
Proclaiming that reindeer were nothing but goats!
Our resident wanderer was tied to her chair
In hopes that at bedtime she still would be there.

Security lights on the new fallen snow
Made outdoors seem noon to the old folks below.
Then out on the porch there arose quite a clatter
(But we are so deaf it just didn't matter.)

A strange little fellow flew in through the door
Then tripped on the sill and fell flat on the floor.
'Twas just our director, all togged out in red,
He jiggled and chuckled and patted each head.

We knew from the way that he strutted and jived
our social security checks had arrived.
We sang-how we sang-in our monotone croak,
Till the clock tinkled out its eight p.m. stroke.

And soon we were snuggling deep in our beds
While nurses distributed nocturnal meds.
And so ends our Christmas at Rock-Away Rest.
'Fore long you'll be with us. We wish you the best.

-> Perpetuates inaccurate and demeaning stereotypes about Senior Citizens as useless and senile. Ridicules their miserable dietary options. Paints a dreary picture of old age completely at odds with the reality of how many Seniors lead active and fulfilling lives.

2) Indian Chips

The Indian Matchmaker
Once upon a time, in Colorado,
the chief of an Indian tribe,

I believe it was the Navajos,
had a very beautiful daughter.
And she was of marrying age.

And many, many braves were wanting
the daughter's hand in marriage.

Well, being a wise chief, he decided that he wanted his daughter to marry the bravest and strongest and wisest brave of the bunch. So he held a contest.
All the eligible bachelors were to go hunting and the brave that brought back the biggest and best catch would be given the chief's daughter in marriage.

A lot of braves turned out for this event. On Monday morning they
all set out, bows and arrows in hand.

Well, on Tuesday afternoon,
all the braves had brought their killings in - Except for three:
Running Bear, Sitting Bull, and Falling Rock.

On Wednesday morning,
Running Bear brought in a really
big black bear, weighing 480 pounds
and 7 foot in length.

The chief was quite impressed.
This was the best killing of all so far. But, of course, they had to wait for the remaining two before he could award his daughter to Running Bear. Well, on Wednesday night, Sitting Bull brought back a really, really big cougar, even bigger than the black bear that Running Bear had come home with.

The cougar weighed 620 pounds and
was 7 1/2 feet long.
Clearly, Sitting Bull was about to win the chief's daughter's hand in marriage. Excitement rose within the camp. Everyone was pretty sure that Falling Rock couldn't top Sitting Bull's catch! Thursday came and went ..... Friday came and went ..... Saturday came and went .....

The weeks turned into months
and the months into years,
and still Failing Rock did not return.
It was obvious, the chief couldn't wait forever for Falling Rock to
return.

So he granted his daughter to Sitting Bull and they lived happily ever after, and the tribe no longer waited for the wayward brave, but they did keep their eyes open when out on the trails.

And today you will still see in Colorado those signs that say,
"Watch for Falling Rock."

-> Pun

3) Coast Guard Chips

*Coast Guard Christmas*

T'was the night before Christmas and all through each state, Coast
Guard families were starting to celebrate. Just then from the white
House came an urgent call, A crisis had arisen that would affect one
and all.

In fact the U.S. State Department was frantic,
For Santa Claus had just landed in the Atlantic!
It was foggy as ever; Rudolph had made a blunder.
Santa, sleigh, and eight reindeer were 'going under.'

Though the stockings were hung by the chimneys with care. Poor Santa
gurgled, "I'll never get there!" When what to his wondering eye
should appear; But some coast guard cutters with their rescue gear!

The officers and crew were so lively and quick;
Sure was a lucky break for good ole Saint Nick.
With a nod from the captain, they went right to work.
Rudolph was embarrassed; he felt like a jerk.

Poor Santa was soggy, but as anyone could see,
He was very grateful to the U.S.C.G!
And we heard him exclaim as they towed him from sight,
"If it weren't for age and weight, I'd enlist tonight!"

-> This is not a joke?!

4) Psych Chips

Christmas Carols for the Psychiatrically Challenged


Schizophrenia: Do You Hear What I Hear?

Multiple Personality Disorder: We Three Kings Disoriented Are

Dementia: I Think I'll Be Home For Christmas

Narcissistic: Hark, the Herald Angels Sing About Me

Manic: Deck the Halls and Walls and House and Lawn and Streets and  Stores and Office and Town and Cars and Busses and Trucks and Trees and Fire Hydrants and...

Paranoid: Santa Claus Is Coming To Get Me

Personality Disorder: You Better Watch Out, I'm Gonna Cry, I'm Gonna  Pout, Maybe I'll Tell You Why

Depression: Silent Anhedonia, Holy Anhedonia, All Is Flat, All Is Lonely

Passive-Aggressive Personality: On The First Day of Christmas My True Love Gave To Me (and then took it all away)

Borderline Personality Disorder: Thoughts of Roasting on an Open Fire.

-> Mocks the mentally ill and increases their social stigma. Highlights the most negative stereotypes of the mentally ill, ignoring the reality the diversity of mental illness and the fact that, with proper medication and treatment, most mentally ill people lead rewarding, fulfilling and productive lives, and are a joy to their friends and family.

5) Marine Chips

Operation Order 12-2004 For: Official Visit of LT JG Santa Claus


1. An official staff visit by LT jg Claus is expected at this post on 25 Dec. The following directives govern activities of all Army personnel during the visit.

a. Not a creature will stir without permission. This includes warrant officers and mice. Soldiers may obtain special stirring
permits for necessary administrative action through the Battalion S-Officer. Stirring permits must be obtained through the Deputy, Post Plans and Policy Office.

b. All personnel will settle their brains for a long winter nap NLT 2200 hours, 24 December. Uniform for the nap will be; Pajamas, Cotton, Light Weight, General Purpose, OG, and Cap, BDU woodland pattern, with ear flaps in the extended position. Equipment will be drawn from the supply room prior to 1900 hours. While at supply, all personnel will review their personal hand receipts and sign a Cash Collection Voucher, DD Form 1131, for all missing items. Remember, this is the "season of giving."

c. Personnel will utilize standard "T" ration sugar plums for visions to dance through their heads. Sugar plums are available in "T" ration sundry packs and should be eaten with egg loaf, chopped ham, and spice cake to ensure maximum visions are experienced.

d. Stockings, Wool, Cushion Sole, will be hung by the chimneys with care. Necessary safety precautions will be taken to avoid fires caused by carelessly hung stockings. 1SG's will submit stocking handling plans to S-3, Training prior to 0800 hours, 24 Dec. All leaders will ensure their subordinate personnel are briefed on the safety aspects of stocking hanging.

e. At first [sign] of clatter, all personnel will spring from their beds to investigate and evaluate the cause. Immediate action will be taken to tear open the shutters and throw up the window sashes. On order OPLAN 7-01 (North Pole), para 6-8 (c)(3), dated 4 March, this office, takes effect to facilitate shutter tearing and sash throwing. SDO and all CQs will be familiar with procedures and are responsible for seeing that no shutters are torn or sashes thrown in Bldg 9828 prior to the start of official clatter.

f. Prior to 0001, date of visit, all personnel possessing Standard Target Acquisition and Night Observation (STANO) equipment will be assigned "wandering eyeball" stations. The SDNCO will ensure that these stations are adequately manned even after shutters are torn and sashes are thrown.

g. The Battalion S-4, in coordination with the National Security Agency and the Motor Pool will assign on each Sleigh, Miniature, M-24 and eight reindeer, tiny, for use by LT jg Claus. The assigned  driver must have a current sleigh operator's license with roof top  permit and evidence of attendance at the winter driving class stamped on his DA Form 348. Driver must also be able to clearly shout "On Dancer, On Prancer, etc."

2. LT jg Claus will initially enter Bldg 9828 through the dayroom. All offices without chimneys will draw Chimney Simulator M6A2 for use during the visit. Draw chimney simulator on DA Form 2765-1 which  will be submitted in 4 copies to the S-4 prior to 23 Dec. Personnel will ensure that chimneys are properly cleaned before turn-in at the conclusion of visit.

3. Personnel will be rehearsed in the shouting of "Merry Christmas and Happy New Year" or "Merry Christmas To All And To All A Good Night." This shout will be given upon termination of the visit. Uniformity of shouting is the responsibility of each section NCOIC.

FOR THE COMMANDER GOODE, U. B., LTC, OD Executive Officer

-> Unfairly mocks soldiers as so regimented they are incapable of even holding a Christmas celebration without spontaneity. Ignores the fact that soldiers are also human, endowed with equal rights and dignity as civilians.

6) !2 Chips

THE TWELVE THANK-YOU NOTES OF CHRISTMAS

Dec 25
My dearest darling Edward,
What a wonderful surprise has just greeted me! That sweet partridge, in that lovely little pear-tree; what an enchanting, romantic, poetic present! Bless you, and thank you. Your deeply loving Emily

Dec 26
Beloved Edward,
The two turtle-doves arrived this morning, and are cooing away in the pear-tree as I write. I'm so touched and grateful! With undying love, as always, Emily

Dec 27
My darling Edward,
You do think of the most original presents! Who ever thought of sending anybody three French hens? Do they really come all the way from France? It's a pity we have no chicken coops, but I expect we'll find some. Anyway, thank you so much; they're lovely. Your devoted Emily

Dec 28
Dearest Edward,
What a surprise! Four calling birds arrived this morning. They are very sweet, even if they do call rather loudly--they make
telephoning almost impossible--but I expect they'll calm down when they get used to their new home. Anyway, I'm very grateful, of course I am. Love from Emily

Dec 29
Dearest Edward,
The mailman has just delivered five most beautiful gold rings, one for each finger, and all fitting perfectly! A really lovely present! Lovelier, in a way, than birds, which do take rather a lot of looking after. The four that arrived yesterday are still making a terrible row, and I'm afraid none of us got much sleep last night. Mother says she wants to use the rings to "wring" their necks. Mother has such a sense of humor. This time she's only joking, I think, but I do know what she means. Still, I love the rings. Bless you, Emily

Dec 30
Dear Edward,
Whatever I expected to find when I opened the front door this morning, it certainly wasn't six socking great geese laying eggs all over the porch. Frankly, I rather hoped that you had stopped sending me birds. We have no room for them, and they've already ruined the croquet lawn. I know you meant well, but let's call a halt, shall we? Love, Emily

Dec 31
Edward,
I thought I said NO MORE BIRDS. This morning I woke up to find no more than seven swans, all trying to get into our tiny goldfish pond. I'd rather not think what's happened to the goldfish. The whole house seems to be full of birds, to say nothing of what they leave behind them, so please, please, stop! Your Emily

Jan 1
Frankly, I prefer the birds. What am I to do with eight milkmaids? And their cows! Is this some kind of a joke? If so, I'm afraid I don't find it very amusing. Emily

Jan 2
Look here, Edward,
This has gone far enough. You say you're sending me nine ladies dancing. All I can say is, judging from the way they dance, they're certainly not ladies. The village just isn't accustomed to seeing a regiment of shameless viragos, with nothing on but their lipstick, cavorting round the green, and it's Mother and I who get the blame. If you value our friendship, which I do (less and less), kindly stop this ridiculous behavior at once! Emily

Jan 3
As I write this letter, ten disgusting old men are prancing up and down all over what used to be the garden, before the geese and the swans and the cows got at it. And several of them, I have just noticed, are taking inexcusable liberties with the milkmaids. Meanwhile the neighbors are trying to have us evicted. I shall never speak to you again. Emily

Jan 4
This is the last straw! You know I detest bagpipes! The place has now become something between a menagerie and a madhouse, and a man from the council has just declared it unfit for habitation. At least Mother has been spared this last outrage; they took her away yesterday afternoon in an ambulance. I hope you're satisfied.

Jan 5
Sir,
Our client, Miss Emily Wilbraham, instructs me to inform you that with the arrival on her premises at 7:30 this morning of the entire percussion section of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, and several of their friends, she has no course left open to her but to seek an injunction to prevent you importuning her further. I am making arrangements for the return of much assorted livestock. I am, Sir, yours faithfully, G. Creep Attorney at law

-> Entrenches stereotypes of men as the active players in relationships and women as passive recipients.

7) Santa Chips

TOP TEN REASONS SANTA'S ASKING FOR A RAISE

10. The hours, the weather, the trend toward smaller chimneys.
9. Nike won't give him a lucrative side-contract.
8. Reindeer and elves have unionised, driving up his cost.
7. New tax on flying sleighs.
6. Insurance for flying a sleigh has tripled over the past two years.
5. Needs extra cash to cover off-season gambling losses.
4. Air traffic controllers demanding higher kickbacks.
3. Cost of living increase at the North Pole.
2. Children don't leave as many cookies as they used to.

And the number one reason is........

1. The Mrs. told him to.

-> Perpetuates negative stereotypes of henpecked husbands and domineering wives.

8) Cold Chips

A Holiday Cold

As you know, it is very important for Santa and his reindeer to be very quiet when they deliver presents on Christmas Eve so no one will know they are there.

One Christmas Eve Santa Claus landed on a rooftop when suddenly he heard a very loud, "Snort sniff honk honk snort!" coming from one of his reindeer. Since he was in the sleigh behind them, he didn't know which one it was.

It happened again, only louder this time. "Snort sniff honk honk snort!"

Dogs in the neighborhood began to bark.

"Shhh!" Santa hissed. "Please be quiet!"

He went to work lifting the sack of toys out of the sleigh when he heard it again, only a lot louder this time. "SNORT SNIFF HONK HONK SNORT!"

Lights came on all over the neighborhood and some people even stuck their heads out of their windows.

Santa was horrified.

Jumping back into the sleigh, he drove quickly back to the North Pole. He lined up all the reindeer and announced, "We are not going to deliver another present until the reindeer who is making funny noises with his nose steps forward and apologizes!"

None of the reindeer stepped forward.

Santa held up a piece of paper. "I know who it is because someone has sent me a note with his name written on this paper. But I want to give him a chance to do the right thing on his own."

Still none of the reindeer came forward.

So Santa did the only thing he could do.

He read off the rude-nosed reindeer. (Lee Daniel Quinn)

-> Pun

9) Parting Chips


My cousin worked on the Alaska pipeline as a welder. He said helicopters were a big help in covering the rugged ground.

I've never forgotten a story he told about being in the communications room of one of the base camps when a call came in. A panicked voice called to request another helicopter be sent up to the forward work camp.

A supervisor happened to drop in and heard the conversation between the dispatcher and the mechanic. He got on the radio to ask the mechanic on the other end why they need another helicopter.

The obviously harried mechanic paused before transmitting his reply, then said vaguely, "Well, the one we have won't fly."

The frustrated supervisor pressed the question, "Why won't it fly."

After a long pause came another reluctant response, "Well, I say it won't fly because it's upside down. The pilot says it won't fly because it's under twenty feet of water."

-> Makes people think that all mechanics are dumb jocks, and that pilots are smarter, even though some pilots are undoubtedly dumber than some mechanics.

10) Bonus Chip

A man went to his dentist because he felt something wrong in his mouth. The dentist looked inside and said, "That new upper plate I put in for you six months ago is eroding. What have you been eating?"

The man replied, "All I can think of is that about four months ago my wife made some asparagus and put some Hollandaise sauce on it. I loved it so much I now put it on everything - meat, toast, fish, vegetables, everything!"

"Well," said the dentist, "that's probably the problem. Hollandaise sauce is made with lots of lemon juice, which is highly corrosive. It's eaten away your upper plate. I'll make you a new plate, and this time use chrome."

"Why chrome?" asked the patient.

"It's simple," replied the dentist. "Dental researchers have concluded that there's no plate like chrome for the Hollandaise!"

-> Pun
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