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Monday, May 02, 2011

Links - 2nd May 2011

"In every work of genius we recognize our own rejected thoughts; they come back to us with a certain alienated majesty." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

***

YouTube - Crowd Chants "Mas Selamat" in Wong Kan Seng's Face

Rethinking our Fascination with Love - "Whereas becoming even a fairly competent artist or gardener or editor or plumber or banker or singer is dearly purchased with long effort and then only by the few with sufficient talent, love is a democracy of salvation open to all... Today love has arguably become the only truly universal religion in the West – including in the United States... though we indeed couldn’t flourish without illusions, they need to work with the grain of human nature and not against it. The reality, I argue, is that love is a thoroughly conditional desire... to see it as the opposite – as entirely unconditional – is to infuse our relationships with false expectations and so to sabotage them from the start... It is fascinating to discover that Jesus is much more modest in his talk of love than we tend to be these days... love became god only in modern times – that is, roughly since the mid 18th Century. This can’t be a coincidence, for since the 18th century belief in the Judeo-Christian God has drastically declined"

Vitamin-takers more likely to gorge on fast food: Pills provide 'false sense of security' - "Although the popularity of dietary supplements was increasing, levels of general health had remained the same... those who believed they had taken a supplement felt immune to health hazards and were less likely to go for a walk to benefit their health. They were also more likely to choose a buffet meal over a more healthy organic one... Another recent study concluded that eating organic food could make us fat. The American research found consumers tend to assume that organic foods – particularly snacks – contain fewer calories... vitamins A and E may shorten life, not extend it, while other research linked the two vitamins to increased cancer risk. And those who take fish oils as well as a multivitamin could be consuming too much vitamin A, raising their odds of brittle bones"

The mark of a THIEF - "Damn. Who knew Nintendo was worse at making you feel guilty than your own mother? As ingenious as this addition is, I am surprised it hasn’t carried over into more modern games"

Six completely irrational things I do in videogames - "Every time I left a room in Alan Wake I turned off the lights because ... well ... *sigh* ... I wanted to save electricity. I am not kidding."

Man Dressed as Cow Steals Milk - "He loaded about $92 worth of milk into a shopping cart and simply rolled the cart out of the without paying... He then attempted to give the milk away outside the store, and tried to flee the scene by skipping away, police said."

Working: Employers ferret out online lives - "Many companies check the criminal and credit backgrounds of their applicants, so it's a logical next step to investigate someone's online presence... the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has been paying closer attention to how companies use credit and criminal background checks. The agency has sued companies recently, contending such investigations disproportionately screen out minorities and other protected groups. "I don't think most employers are comfortable with it," Barron said. "You don't want to be the test case," he said - forced to spend thousands of dollars to prove what you did was legal"

Armadillos pass leprosy to humans, study finds

Engineer saved her marriage by watching porn - "AN ENGINEER saved her marriage using the 'tricks' she learned from porn films, China Press reported. The Singaporean woman said she started watching porn films after reading a pornographic magazine sent by her friend from Australia eight years ago. However, she said, she became addicted to these films about three years ago after her husband started giving her the cold shoulder. The 32-year-old said she learned many tips sexually and emotionally in managing a relationship from the films, and saved her marriage"

Which are the strong opposition parties this GE? - "Dr da Cunha, however, had a sober word of caution should the opposition party fail to win more than its current two seats in Parliament, or lose a seat. "I have never seen the ground so polarised as it is today. Those who are against the government and its polices are vehemently so," he stated. "It will get worse if these people are not represented in Parliament". This might result in anti-PAP voters turning to civil disobedience in hopes of bringing about change, he noted.""
HAHAHAHAHAHA

Where Bears Roam Free: Sectarian Christians replaced by Sectarian Gays - So what's the difference? - "At one stage she was evenly brazenly asked who was she supporting - the old or the new. My wife spoke to some other members of the public, who like her were non-partisan, and found that they too felt they had been "mishandled" by the group of white shirts. My wife also observed that supporters of the old group hogged the microphone. Speakers who did not support the old guard were booed and jeered. They numbered less than five, because dozens of Old guard supporters hogged the microphone. Supporters of the old guard on the other hand were cheered to the point that the chairperson could not reply to what was said by people from the floor. Overall scenario was the crowd was boorish, boisterous and gangster-like."
This is about the AWARE 2009 EOGM

Stop worrying and embrace the passive tense | The Japan Times Online - "One of the unspoken highlights of the passive voice is its ability to create beautifully efficient phrases... Haruki Murakami took advantage of this aspect of the passive voice in "Toi Taiko" ("A Distant Drum"), his travel diary of the years he spent living in the Mediterranean region. The first stop on his itinerary was a small Greek island where the local Greek men ogled with impunity the foreign female tourists sunbathing topless. At first he seemed surprised, but then, in a moment of sheer linguistic genius, he decided, what the hell: Oppai wo dasu no mo katte nara, dasareta oppai wo miru no mo katte de aru (おっぱいを出すのも勝手なら、出されたおっぱいを見るのも勝手である). As usual there are no pronouns, and Murakami builds a wonderful play on words between oppai wo dasu (show breasts) and dasareta oppai (breasts that have been shown), with the latter taking advantage of the passive tense. The subject of dasareta are the breasts themselves, but someone had to take them out; This someone is the invisible, implied doer of the action ― the women sunbathing on the beach, presumably"
"If it’s a person’s prerogative to reveal her boobs, then it’s also a person’s prerogative to look at revealed boobs". This is a good u r wt u wr/anti-feminist slogan against the 'male gaze'

My conversation with the TNP editor. - "TNP went with "IS S'PORE READY FOR A GAY MP?"... 1. One cannot criticise if one has not read the article... He likened the prejudging of the TNP article without reading it to the case of The Satanic Verses written by Salman Rushdie... 2. "Are Singaporeans ready for a gay MP?" was the angle TNP chose to take because they thought it was an important issue concerning voters... 3. It is only a smear campaign if what the PAP say about Vincent Wijeysingha is untrue... 4. The choice of headline is fair: When Mr Singh found out that I am a filmmaker by trade, he likened the headline of an article to the cutting of a trailer, saying that I would never cut a trailer that made it seem like the film was boring, but would pick the best, most interesting bits to put forward. Therefore, this was the headline that would be attention-grabbing."
Addendum: The New Paper explains its headline

Female journalist found dead, naked - "A female journalist with local magazine Her World was found dead... She is said to have had a good fashion sense"
-_-

Ink, dye and wax being used to make noodles
WOO HOO CHINA

Man cannot cope with wife's sex demands - "she suspected that her husband was having an affair, but had no evidence. Then, she put to practice her friend's suggestion to have sex with her husband everyday so that he would have no energy for other women. Recently, she asked for a second round after having sex with her husband, but he refused. She then "played" with his genitals and performed oral sex on him for over an hour. The man, who was worn out by then, grabbed his pants and ran to the police station to seek help."

How about 'Richer, Kinder, Slower'? - "I have met foreign workers from poorer countries in the region who ask me, with great puzzlement (sometimes shock), how is it that in Singapore, one of the richest countries in the world, there are so many frail elderly women and men working alongside them, as they clean toilets and scrape leftover food off plastic plates. I am embarrassed, and unable to answer. ‘This will never happen back in our country’, some of them say, shaking their heads. Which makes me wonder, as it increasingly does for others: what is the point of being one of the wealthiest countries in the world, when we are so callous towards the weak and marginalized?... The state has never revealed in total how much it earns in revenue from the foreign worker levies, where this money - billions! - is channeled to, and how it is used. There is no transparency and no accountability, and yet we have to accept their rationale, as foreign worker levies continue to rise alongside foreign worker numbers, that this is really for our own good... In one episode of Undercover Boss, one employer discovered differences in the cleaning teams in two different caravan resort parks, both of which he owns. Among the better performing team, wages were notably higher"

Vodka Redbull lead to more risky behaviour than just alcohol - "While physical and mental impairment were no different with the combination, the feeling of intoxication was higher"

Shades of gray in the global marketplace - cultural and ethical considerations in making business decisions - "The manager of a large U.S. company operating in China caught an employee stealing. Following company policy, she fired him and turned him over to the local authorities. Later, she was horrified to learn that the employee had been summarily executed... He cautions against moral imperialism- demanding that foreign companies and colleagues act just like us - and against cultural relativism, conforming to whatever behavior is the local norm... By exploring the reason behind the demand for the bribe, Torma found that the official was facing a paperwork backlog of monumental proportions. Rather than pay the bribe, Torma offered the assistance of a secretary - a solution both legal and satisfactory, and one that shows what Donaldson calls "moral imagination"... even complex ethical dilemmas can usually be boiled down to one of four competing sets of choices: truth versus loyalty; short term versus long term; individual versus community; or justice versus mercy... In every country, there are people who value truth and fairness, who think responsibility and affection are important. "Even in Indonesia, the most corrupt country you can find," says Kidder, "there is a bedrock human desire to not live that way"... Kidder's research reveals five core human values across cultures: compassion, fairness, honesty, responsibility, and respect for others"
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