"Malaysia Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad and the Sultan of Johor are seen in a blue Proton Saga... "When asked whether there is any tension with the sultan, Dr Mahathir said: “No, I don’t see anything because I went to see him and he drove me to the airport. I don’t want to comment on the sultans because if I say anything that is not good then it’s not nice because he is the sultan”"

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Thursday, January 28, 2010

"Thirty-five is a very attractive age. London society is full of women of the very highest birth who have, of their own free choice, remained thirty-five for years." - Oscar Wilde


Flying R2-D2, you are doing it wrong - "Using these values, the mass of R2 is 0.1 kg. Yes, 100 grams... If this mass is so low, I think R2 doesn't even need thrusters. He would just float... I was originally thinking that maybe R2 was made of styrofoam - but that has a density of about 40 kg/m3. So there. Pre-emptive comment: I know someone is going to say "hey, chill man! It is just a movie. Don't ruin it by bringing in all your physics stuff." My reply, someone has already ruined the Star Wars movies, his name is George. Just kidding, I still like Star Wars."

Mary Karr on the Vocabulary of Desire - "'A twelve-year-old writing a boy’s name on her notebook over and over doesn’t want to get boffed into guacamole. She wants the boy to bring her a valentine and put it in her lunchbox... It’s as powerful as a sexual urge but it’s not so genital. It’s somewhat about being seen – what feminist critics might call a longing for the male gaze. Being looked at in this culture invents you as a woman long before you’re getting laid. It was about love more than sex – about beauty, desire' This last bit of hers was an epiphany for me, though I wonder if it won’t be controversial, considering how many feminist women I know will disclaim ever having Cared About Men, even as teenagers"

Poole — the town with a Christmas tree that you can wipe your feet on - "When is a Christmas tree not a Christmas tree? When it is a giant cone covered in what appears to be green doormats... The 33ft structure turned out to be their Christmas tree, designed according to the principles of health and safety, circa 2009. Thus it has no trunk so it won’t blow over, no branches to break off and land on someone’s head, no pine needles to poke a passer-by in the eye, no decorations for drunken teenagers to steal and no angel... Christmas trees are one of the most hazardous objects in the home, according to the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents. In 2002, the most recent year for which statistics are available, 1,000 people needed hospital treatment for injuries inflicted by trees. They ranged from being poked in the eye to back injuries caused by moving the trees around"

The PC Decrapifier - "The PC Decrapifier is a program designed to remove or uninstall a specific list of unwanted software in an unattended fashion. It can be used to clean off most of the annoying software that is typically shipped with new PCs."

Low-slung, baggy pants often trip up thieves - "Young men and teens wearing low-slung, baggy pants fairly regularly get tripped up in their getaways, a development that has given amused police officers and law-abiding citizens a welcome edge in the fight against crime"

World's 'most expensive' ham leg on sale in London - "The leg of Iberico ham, which costs £1,800, went on sale at the food hall in the retailer's flagship store in Oxford Street, central London. The 7kg (15lb) ham leg comes with its own DNA certificate as proof of authenticity"

The ice-cream parlour with 860 different flavours - "You might imagine that the shop selling the largest number of ice-cream flavours in the world would be in Italy or perhaps the US, but in fact it is in the Venezuelan city of Merida... "What is the house special?" I ask Jose. He chuckles and says "pabellon criollo" - a traditional Venezuelan meal of beef, rice, plantain, cheese and black beans, which Coromoto has replicated in ice cream"

SHENIS - About - "It's the female answer to standing to pee for ladies!... The Shenis is gold and twelve inches long. In other words, it really is the Equalizer. It also gives us girls a chance to pee on road trips"

Chicago Economists on the Crisis - "Some come across as obtuse; others as arrogant; and some oblivious, or uninterested in evidence. Time and again I was surprised at how readily the interviews slipped from careful insight into personal ideology and dogmas"

Big hopes from little Singapore - "Immigration Minister Jonathan Coleman told the Herald a pilot scheme was being proposed to lure Singaporeans wanting to work and study in New Zealand. Would-be migrants will be told of comparatively cheaper housing and car ownership, and the relaxed lifestyle. Those interested in becoming New Zealanders will be invited to register their interest online... Last year, only 114 Singaporeans became permanent residents in New Zealand"

How To Get Rid of Loan sharks and Opposition Politicians. - "This poor woman is being harassed by loan sharks. Despite numerous reports and calls to the police, nothing seems to be working as the loan sharks are still harassing the poor woman. Apparently loan sharks have some kind of magical powers that renders them immune to the police and our laws... Dr Chee seems to attract police like flies to shit. So here’s my brilliant solution to everything-
1. Make all loan sharks register as a political party...
2. Dr Chee and his political party needs to get into the loan sharking business because the police always likes to tell us they can’t do anything about loan sharks harrassment"

Teenagers hospitalised by extreme chilli sauce

The Practice of Domination in Everyday Life - "Amidst the many images of hostility, conflict, and destruction that come out of the occupied territories in Palestine, this one is truly shocking... 'In Hebron, a Jewish settler threw wine at a Palestinian woman'"

Fight the Bull - Why Business People Speak Like Idiots - "If you think you smell something at work, there's probably good reason -- Bull has become the official language of business. Every day, we get bombarded by an endless stream of filtered, jargon-filled corporate speak, all of which makes it harder to get heard, harder to be authentic, and definitely harder to have fun. But it doesn't have to be that way. The team that brought you the Clio Award-winning Bullfighter software is back with an entertaining, bare-knuckled guide to talking straight. Grab your cape and sharpen your sword. It's time to fight the bull!"
The Plain English Campaign is fun too

Homoeopathy sceptics plan mass 'overdose' - "More than 300 people who style themselves as "homoeopathy sceptics" will each swallow an entire bottle of homoeopathic pills in protest at the continued marketing of homoeopathic medicines by Boots, the high street chemist chain... In England, an estimated 470,000 people use homoeopathic remedies every year. Branches of Boots carry shelves of remedies including arnica, nux vomica, pulsatilla and rhus tox in the "complementary medicine" section. The Queen, David Beckham and Geri Halliwell are among those said to swear by them"

Jean-Jacques Rousseau and Voltaire - "Voltaire believed that through education and reason man could separate himself from the beasts while Rousseau thought that it was precisely all this which made men "unnatural" and corrupted... Like many intellectuals, Rousseau was a great lover of mankind as a collective but singularly unable to appreciate or get along with any individual persons who he encountered in his life"

The 4 Big Myths of Profile Pictures - "For women, a smile isn’t strictly better: she actually gets the most messages by flirting directly into the camera... Men’s photos are most effective when they look away from the camera and don’t smile. Maybe women want a little mystery... for both genders, self-shot pictures are more successful than average... In terms of getting new messages, the MySpace Shot is the single most effective photo type for women. We at first thought this was just because, typically, you can kind of see down the girl’s shirt... For women in their late teens and early twenties, body pictures are the most popular type of shot; outdoor pictures are second. This ordering is reversed by the mid-twenties"

Pigeon: Impossible - "Pigeon: Impossible is the tale of Walter, a rookie secret agent faced with a problem seldom covered in basic training: what to do when a curious pigeon gets trapped inside your multi-million dollar, government-issued nuclear briefcase."

Our Vanishing Ultimate Resource - ""Those who fear overpopulation share a simple insight: People use resources," Harvard economist Greg Mankiw wrote in 1998, summing up the argument. "The rebuttal to this argument is equally simple: People create resources"... Increased immigration doesn't seem to be the answer... Many immigrants, it turns out, quickly adopt the fertility patterns of their new country... fertility levels among native-born white Americans also remain higher than among native-born Europeans, and the U.S.'s overall fertility outpaces that of other countries with a high percentage of foreign-born residents... fertility rates have remained stable in the U.S. even as they have plummeted in religious fundamentalist countries... some scholars are now positing the distinctive nature of the U.S. economy and its labor market as a principal reason why Americans are having so many kids... In America employers and workers have also proved far more innovative in designing work schemes that afford parents better reentry into the job market, including flex-time arrangements"

Woman tried making love to burglar

Parasite of the Day

Second pregnant man Scott Moore due to give birth to baby boy next month - "Scott Moore - thought to be only the second ‘pregnant man’ to go public - is due to give birth to a boy in February, with husband Thomas by his side. The couple were both born girls and have undergone surgery to transform their sex... "No pregnant person should be denied healthcare just because they are a man""

Employer told they can't advertise for 'reliable' workers... because it discriminates against 'unreliable applicants - "When she ran the ad past a job centre, she was told she couldn't ask for 'reliable' and 'hard-working' applicants because it could be offensive to unreliable people. 'In my 15 years in recruitment I haven't heard anything so ridiculous,' Mrs Mamo said yesterday... 'Even the woman at the jobcentre agreed it was ridiculous but explained it was policy because they could get sued for being dicriminatory against unreliable people. 'She told me they'd had lots of problems with people taking them to court for adverts stating something like "would suit school leaver"'... 'I had to battle to have "must speak English", which they also said was discriminatory. 'In the end, I had to write "must speak English due to health and safety reasons" because they're dealing with hazardous materials.'"

CHRISTOPHER BIGGINS: Will they lock me up for playing Widow Twankey? - "During the dark days of Soviet oppression, there was a joke that did the rounds in Russia. ' Homosexuality is a crime and the punishment is seven years in prison locked up with other men. There is a three-year waiting list.' Don't laugh too loudly. It could soon be illegal to repeat a joke like that. I'm not kidding. In the name of challenging 'homophobia', the Government is planning to push legislation through Parliament that will make it a serious crime to use any language which could be construed as offensive to gay men and women... Supporters of this change like to pose as the protectors of the gay community, but they are nothing of the sort. The idea that we are all such enfeebled victims that we cannot take a single joke is actually an insult. Most gay men and women love self-deprecating humour and camp exaggeration of stereotypes. That is why drag artists are so popular on the gay scene... The politically correct bigots should not be allowed to have it both ways. They cannot say, on one hand, that gay lifestyles should be accepted as a perfectly normal part of life, and then, on the other, demand special treatment for gay people to shield them from everyday humour. We are more grown up than that"
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