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Monday, January 14, 2013

Links - 14th January 2013

No peeling of pineapples allowed in Geylang Serai market - "Unless the NEA can justify how a cut and sealed pineapple is more hazardous than a bunch of manhandled grapes in a supermarket, my take is that this crackdown is excessively erring on the side of caution than anything else, based on nothing more than a legacy of contaminated rojak, the kind of rojak that traditionally doesn’t use pineapple too"

Gangnam Style, Dissected: The Subversive Message Within South Korea's Music Video Sensation - "the video is rich with subtle references that, along with the song itself, suggest a subtext with a surprisingly subversive message about class and wealth in contemporary South Korean society... he attended both Boston University and the Berklee College of Music, graduating from the latter. His exposure to American music's penchant for social commentary, and the time spent abroad that may have given him a new perspective on his home country, could inform his apparently somewhat critical take on South Korean society."

Do you know this guy? | Internet Explorer - YouTube
The Browser You Loved To Hate is really good

Green Sea Slug Is Part Animal, Part Plant - "It’s easy being green for a sea slug that has stolen enough genes to become the first animal shown to make chlorophyll like a plant."

Parkinson's sufferer wins six figure payout from GlaxoSmithKline over drug that turned him into a 'gay sex and gambling addict'

The hum that helps to fight crime - "For the last seven years, at the Metropolitan Police forensic lab in south London, audio specialists have been continuously recording the sound of mains electricity... Comparing the unique pattern of the frequencies on an audio recording with a database that has been logging these changes for 24 hours a day, 365 days a year provides a digital watermark: a date and time stamp on the recording."

Cinemas with a twist - "For an even more underground option, there’s Chinatown’s long-standing Yangtze Cinema/KTV (Level 4, Pearl’s Centre, 100 Eu Tong Sen Rd. $5-$9), which specialises in foreign R21 fare – a polite way of saying the audience is typically made up of men with a taste for Asian softcore porn."

Canadian’s lucky iron fish saves lives in Cambodia - "The people they worked with — “the poorest of the poor” — can’t afford red meat or pricey iron pills, and the women won’t switch to iron cooking pots because they find them heavy and costly. Yet a small chunk of iron could release life-saving iron into the water and food. But what shape would the women be willing to place in their cooking pots?"

Ant and termite colonies unearth gold

Computer age brings sun to village in shadow of the Alps - Europe - International Herald Tribune - The New York Times - "From mid-November to early February, Viganella lives in the dark shadow of a steep mountain that blocks the sun from casting direct rays on the village, a stone's throw from the Swiss border. For centuries, its citizens have celebrated the sun's return Feb. 2 with a solemn religious procession and a lively auction of local delicacies in the main square. But this year the guest of honor never really left: Since December, a 40- square-meter, or 430-square-foot, mirror placed on a mountainside above Viganella has been deflecting the sun's rays into the town square, bringing sunlight, of a sort, in winter."

Great Invention Idea? Birth by Centrifugal Force

How to Beat the Impossible Freecell Game - "The FreeCell FAQ declared game 11982 to be impossible after exhaustive research. They wrote, “11982 has now eluded solution by probably thousands of human solvers, and at least eight independent computer programs I am aware of (most of which are designed to search exhaustively for a solution), and I am confident in calling it impossible.”"

The astonishing fake spider - built as a decoy by another spider: How amazing Amazonian arachnid avoids attack

Economics students 'are most promiscuous' - survey - "undergraduates studying economics had on average had 4.88 sexual partners since starting university. Next most promiscuous were students of social work, community care and counselling (4.7 partners on average), marketing (4.57), leisure, hospitality, tourism and retail (4.56) and agriculture (4.44). Engineers, business students, sports science undergraduates and social scientists also made the top ten. Theologians, perhaps with their minds on more spiritual matters, came one from the bottom of the list of 43 subjects with an average of 2.13 sexual partners each. However, the chastest students were found to be those on environmental science courses, who on average slept with 1.71 partners, only just over a third of the number tallied up by economists. The survey of 4,656 students from more than 100 UK universities shows that traditionally glamorous subjects such as art or media studies do not necessarily confer sexual magnetism. Undergraduates in these subjects were placed in the bottom ten... Six out of ten had slept with two or fewer people since starting their studies, of whom 5% had no sexual partners and 39% had only one. Nearly a third said they were not currently having sex. Just 9% of undergraduates said sex was the most important thing in their life at university. By contrast, 52% rated friends top, 29% said studying was their key priority and 11% considered Facebook their over-riding preoccupation"

Nong Joke/น้องโจ๊ก - "I discovered an entire repertoire of food on Ko Pha-Ngan’s Hat Yao that I’d never encountered previously. This genre of cuisine, characterised by unrecognisable interpretations of local and foreign dishes, dull flavours, a strong vegetarian bias, facsimile menus, mystery ingredients and even more mysterious origins, I called Backpacker Food... Backpacker breakfasts in particular seemed to have the least in common with the local cuisine. The English, with their ‘Full English Breakfast’ seemed to dominate this area, while the Swiss, with their muesli, often little more than oatmeal with a few cornflakes thrown in, have also had a palpable, though unpalatable, impact. And the ubiquitous ‘American Breakfast’ of instant coffee, lighter-than-air white bread, warm hotdogs and oily fried eggs isn’t doing much to promote the image of American food abroad, and certainly isn’t a good way to start the day. Even if you do make an effort to go ‘local’, Thai-style Backpacker Food is often just as bizarre, if not more, than the quasi-Western food... the guesthouse kitchens of Hat Yao put out consistently weak Thai-style salads, limp tasteless stir-fries, barely-there curries, and oddly enough, despite being on an island, very few seafood dishes. Luckily, if the lack of authentic Thai food on Hat Yao was getting to you, you could always order khao phat amerigan, ‘American fried rice’ – rice fried with ketchup, sliced hotdogs and sweet raisins, and topped with a fried egg. Despite the name, the dish is found throughout Thailand and is particularly popular among Thai children and university students. It was, as far as I could tell, the only authentically Thai dish on the restaurant menus of Hat Yao."

That cliché again: “Chinese people are not creative” - "He told me a story about a lecturer in an art faculty on a collage in the US, who said that Chinese students are leaving school around the 3rd weeks of their art studies. Why? On the first two weeks, all intros are taught. You learn about different artists, their work and methods. 3rd week comes, and the students are requested to create something of their own….
Chinese students come to the lecturer and say: “Tell me what to do, I’ll do it!”. The lecturer says: “No, invent something new of your own”. They just can’t…"

Amnesia and the Self That Remains When Memory Is Lost - "Many of us don't realize the connection between memory and self, he explained. Who you are is the sum total of all that you've experienced. Where you went to school, who your friends were, all the things you've done or -- just as importantly -- all the things you've always hoped to do. Whether you prefer chocolate ice cream or vanilla, action movies or comedies, is part of the story, but the ability to know those preferences through accumulated memory is what defines you as a person... 'We meet people, we see them every day, we say hello, but we don't really know them. We say they're our friends, but really, you can't be friends with the hundreds of people you meet, can you? It's enough that we had a shared history together. We were in the same places for a time. We were part of each other's fabric'"

All My Life I've Been Told I Was Special. It Was A Lie. - "Everyone told me I would be a best seller. Everyone said I would be loved by all. Like so many others I feel like I was lied to. In the real world I am still a nobody. It is only in video games, the thing I was told most often to avoid growing up, that I feel like I have lived up to my destiny. Instead of becoming a bestseller I have saved words, rescued princesses, and slayed dragons. In video games I am loved... The ease with which games allow us to repeat ad infinitum these rituals of self-empowerment are part of what makes them so successful... My story isn't even that unique. The reality is, the hardships of life shatter the fantasies we are told in childhood about our future. Greatness is not preordained. Except in video games. In video games greatness is inevitable"

Is pollock offensie to you(polish only)? - Yahoo! Answers - "Pollock is a racial slur, and many people dont like it."

West Coast Vegan: Mice in eyeshadow? - "Like most makeup, the only animal derived ingredients are things like carmine (ground up beetles), lecithen (egg yolks or soy beans), beeswax, tallow (animal fat), and things like collagen and elastin (connective tissues) which are more in skin products like moisturizers... But MICE? WHY!!!???"

Runaway brides in Singapore: Janice’s story (part 1) - "Was there a third party, everyone wanted to know? Yes -- in a way. “You could put it like this – the third party was HDB. I feel like I was forced to decide to get married early because if I waited until I was, say, 30 and ready to settle down, to wait another three to four years to get a BTO flat would leave me no time to start a family. Everyone told me that Ken and I had to hurry up and apply for a flat together and then quickly get married once the flat application was successful,” said Janice, who just started work as an accountant last year... All three marriage counselors Yahoo! Singapore spoke to said that cases of young women and men backing out of marriages at the last minute are on the rise by as much as two times in the past two years – and most cases were because they were not ready but forced to commit in order to secure a home in advance."
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