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Thursday, March 28, 2013

Links - 28th March 2013

Budget 2013: Sexual services refund among 4,000 requests for consular help - "one Singaporean requested help to seek a refund after he had procured illegal sexual services. A Singaporean living in Indonesia asked the Ministry to ship to him a desktop computer that he had ordered online from the United States. Yet another Singaporean sought MFA's help to persuade his foreign girlfriend to expedite her own divorce proceedings. Mr Tan said that these requests divert the ministry's limited resources from other requests."
People don't usually bash these people for "wasting taxpayers' money"

O-Level Lit in Singapore - Three Myths, Three Problems, and a lot of generalisations. - "As a student of Literature from O-level to university, the recent debate on the decline of Literature students from 16,000 to 3,000 in the last decade or so has been of great concern to me. My immediate reaction was to write a fluffy and emotional piece lamenting the loss of our souls and accusing everybody from parents, principals to the PAP for ripping out the spinal cord of the Singaporean spirit. As an undergraduate business student, however, I realised that nobody besides other (clearly biased) Lit students would probably give a shit... If your analysis of an Unseen Poem consists of emo tripe like “I like this poem very much because it moves my soul”, you will fail the paper just as badly as any Maths student who tries to solve questions without algebra. To appreciate a Lit text, you don’t immerse yourself in the life-changing beauty and wisdom and (insert generic nonsense abstraction) of the work. You identify in detail the techniques the author has utilised, recognize patterns and themes, draw out supporting evidence, cross-reference throughout the text, and build a comprehensive case for why you think he is doing what you think he is doing.There is no multiple choice. There is no ten year series. Just you, your brain, and a bunch of words... O-level Literature is NOT about “reading a book.” It’s like saying I can be a doctor because I know how to eat Poh Chye Yun when I have diarrhoea. I am an economist because I play the stock market. I am a historian/physicist/linguist/geographer because, Wikipedia. Who needs an expensive education when you can get one for $1.50 in library fines?"

Two lesbians become 1st gay couple to wed at Tokyo Disney Resort - "The event on Friday was the first homosexual wedding in the popular amusement park even though gay marriage has no legal standing in Japan... The couple first hit the headlines after the theme park initially told them there would be no problem with the ceremony provided they dressed "like a man and a woman". A staff member said a same-sex wedding would create "repercussions" among visitors if both brides wore wedding dresses or both grooms donned tuxedoes."

Chinese divorce to avoid property tax: Report

Report Malaysia Taxi - Android Apps on Google Play - "Tired of being cheated or harassed by taxi drivers? Use this app to submit a complaint. SMS, email, use social media, and call to government departments, consumer groups, government ministers, news media, and traffic police.
Available in English, Chinese (举报马来西亚的士), and Bahasa Malaysia (Aduan Teksi).
Double check your fare by using the Fare Calculator in the Resources menu.
Was the meter covered to hide the true fare? Take a photo with your phone's camera and attach to the complaint. Did the driver refuse to take you because he preferred to wait for a higher fare? Record his refusal with your phone's voice recorder and attach to the complaint.
Do not be afraid of taxi drivers. Report them. Take a stand and don't let them bully you.
Use your own discretion to select the appropriate audience for you complaint from the list below. Report Malaysia Taxi is not affiliated in any way with the government or any other group. This app will simply forward your complaint on to them.
Government Departments: SPAD, JPJ, KPDNKK
Consumer Groups: TRANSIT, NCCC
Ministers: Minister of Transport, Minister of Tourism, Prime Minister
News Media: The Star, Star Metro, Malay Mail, New Straits Times, New Straits Times Streets, The Sun, Malaysia Kini, the Malaysian Insider"
Malaysia Boleh!

About Me | My Korean Husband - "I’m a Caucasian Australian woman. I’m married to a Korean man. I don’t mean an Australian man with Korean ethnicity I mean Korean Korean. A Korean man who has lived most of his life in South Korea- actually rural South Korea."

Harold Kingsberg's answer to Colonialism: What explains the differing legacies of colonialism in Latin America, Africa and Asia? - Quora - "Colonialism was not monolithic. Although most Western powers engaged in it, they did so at different times and using different methods... why were various colonies treated differently? There are several obvious reasons, but one that seems to be gaining traction in the field of historical research these days is "how easy was it for Europeans to live in a given place?" In general, this itself was highly correlated with climate, which explains why colonies located closer to the Equator were frequently treated rougher than those further from it... borders between colonies were drawn without any regard to the geographic locations of various ethnic groups, but then, ethnic diversity did not cause the same sorts of problems in Indonesia or South America... Because Sub-Saharan countries also tend to not be strong or rising economies (unlike, say, India), the paternalistic assumption is "oh, we screwed them up good until about fifty years back and they've not done anything on their own since." You'll notice that "the legacy of colonialism" is much less frequently cited than "the legacy of Apartheid" when talking about South Africa today - even though, of course, apartheid was very much the legacy of colonialism"

Singapore Hall of Shame: Confession of a MILF Sex Worker - "A few months later, one day, I coincidentally met Fiona, an old friend from my village and she appeared to be doing rather well. I had heard that she had recently built a house for her parents after working overseas for just a few years. I told her about my plight and asked her to recommend me a job too. She was reluctant at first but eventually agreed after I brought her to visit my son and she saw the condition of my small apartment. I was surprised when she told me what she was actually doing (prostituting herself in Singapore). She told me the money was good and she could make more than 25,000 renminbi (approx. SGD5,000) a month. For the sake of my child, I agreed and asked her to help me arrange. In any case, the job is overseas so nobody will know back home."

Singapore Hall of Shame: Confession of a Bisexual Man - "I am tired of the minority vocal gay community who go all high and mighty preaching for equal rights for all and screaming discrimination when the community are actively engaged in sexual activities in private like any straight people would do without any fear of caught. The same minority gay people are giving a bad name to the majority quiet gay couples who are eager not to draw additional attention to them... I am not trying to put the gays in a bad picture. I am just sharing some of my experiences as a former gay Singaporean who is perplexed by some of the vocal gay minority who screamed foul and discrimination when they have all the rights to enjoy their life peacefully. Be it knowing more gay friends or engage in their sexual fetishes or seeking out long term gay partners, the gays are not singled out by anyone in public or persecuted by the authorities. Are these vocal gays making the silent gay majority look bad? If you are caught in public by the public engaging in blowjob, it is just too bad, why do it in public in the first place? Some gay friends I know are in committed relationships - I know an older gay couple, who have been together for more than 7 years, although they have their quarrels and tiffs, they enjoy their lives doing community work, taking care of their dogs and the occasion overseas travels. What discrimination have they suffered? They asked. They have 2 HDB flats (with 1 rented out to collect passive income) and they have named their partners as beneficiaries for their CPF and insurance policies"

Be Mine Forever: Oxytocin May Help Build Long-Lasting Love - "The high-oxytocin couples finished each other’s sentences, laughed together and touched each other more often"

Oxytocin keeps committed men away from attractive women

Large Labia Project - "I’m prepared to bare all, make myself vulnerable, and open up my most intimate parts, to show that labia are beautiful no matter their size, shape, colour, length, texture, symmetry (or lack thereof). Lots of other women have taken the big and very brave step of photographing their vulva and submitting them here."
If everything is beautiful, nothing is.

This nap is NOT happening - YouTube - "We popped open our baby monitor app in time to see what really happens when Jude is "trying to go to sleep""

Homophobia in Africa: the White Gay Man's burden - "A couple of months ago, singer Elton John and plagiarist Johann Hari wrote an article calling for tougher international action against African states that repress or harry homosexuals... If George W Bush ever so much as hinted that US foreign aid should come with moral strings attached – for example, promoting Christian values or discouraging abortion – the outrage in Western human-rights circles would become deafeaning. Yet barely a peep of criticism has been raised in response to the Obama administration's plan to use foreign aid as a tool of social re-engineering, where the message is effectively: "Embrace gays or you don't get your dinner." It seems Western liberals don't like it when aid is used to try to make Johnny Foreigner more Christian, but they don't mind if it is used to make him more homo-aware, to wake him from his prejudicial stupidity about all things gay. It seems it is not the moralisation of aid per se that human-rights types are worried about, but rather the question of which moral values it is used to promote: Christian values bad, liberal values good... the moralisation of aid is a brutal and undiscriminating measure, which punishes everyone in a country for the sins of their rulers... the depiction of parts of Africa as cesspits of homophobia which need to be saved by the better-educated, more enlightened people of the West is likely only to entrench the backward outlook of certain African politicians, who will revel in presenting gayness as a "foreign thing" being foisted on Africa by Clinton and Obama and Elton John"
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