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Valar Qringaomis

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Thursday, April 30, 2015

The products most Googled in every country of the world

The products most Googled in every country of the world in one crazy map

"Earlier this month, the cost-estimating website Fixr.com put together a map of the world with the most-Googled for object in each country, using the autocomplete formula of “How much does * cost in [x country].”"

Notable results:

Hong Kong, Thailand, Ukraine, Bulgaria, Austria, Latvia, Brazil, Uruguay - Prostitute
Taiwan - Coke
Singapore - Maid
Malaysia - Tattoo
Vietnam - Beer
South Korea - Rhinoplasty
Egypt - Camel
Mauritania - Slaves
Japan - Watermelon
Kuwait - Lamborghini
Ireland - Funeral
Switzerland - Rolex
Germany - BMW
Russia - To fly a mig
France - Croissant
Albania - Nose Job
Ecuador - Panama Hat
Chile, Honduras - Coke
US - Patent
Mexico - Tummy Tuck
Cuba - Cigar
Guatemala - Taxi
Canada - Passport
Panama - To parasail
Australia - IVF
New Zealand - Vasectomy
Antarctica, Greenland - Land

Links - 30th April 2015

"Do nothing, say nothing, and be nothing, and you’ll never be criticized" - Elbert Hubbard

(misattributed to Aristotle as "To avoid criticism say nothing, do nothing, be nothing")

***

Two women reveal why they became mistresses in Singapore - "The owner of the factory, where her father worked as a welder, offered her a way out: Be my mistress and I will pay off all the debts. In return, he promised to take care of her and her father... it was a relationship that "I could not share with my friends". "You know, the photos that we took on our trips? I could show them only to my father," she says softly... "'Watch it. When my father meets another woman who is younger than you, he will dump you. You are not the first and you will not be the last'"... "I am pretty, sexy and definitely still very youthful-looking." Jessie, 35, divorced her husband of four years in China before arriving in Singapore in 2004. She claims she came here with hopes of a better future with her daughter, who was then three years old. She refuses to reveal when or how she became a permanent resident. "I don't think it is anyone's business and I don't want those 'wang ming' (netizens) to start speculating and pass disparaging remarks about me or my daughter," she says... the walk-up apartment they live in now is being paid for by her lover. "That and all our living expenses, of course," she adds. That includes school and tuition fees for her daughter... On top of that, mother and daughter get a total monthly allowance $3,800. And a credit card each with a total limit of $5,000 a month. "It's not much but it's enough for us to survive," she says"
$13,800 in allowance (on top of living expenses) for an adult and a secondary school student is "not much" and just "enough to survive"?!

Serum testosterone levels in healthy young black and white men. - "Mean testosterone levels in blacks were 19% higher than in whites, and free testosterone levels were 21% higher. Both these differences were statistically significant. Adjustment by analysis of covariance for time of sampling, age, weight, alcohol use, cigarette smoking, and use of prescription drugs somewhat reduced the differences. After these adjustments were made, blacks had a 15% higher testosterone level and a 13% higher free testosterone level. A 15% difference in circulating testosterone levels could readily explain a twofold difference in prostate cancer risk."

Gabbana responds to Sir Elton's boycott calls - "Sir Elton, who has two children with his husband David Furnish, had a go at the fashion designers for rejecting same-sex families and the use of IVF fertility treatment. On Sunday he wrote on Instagram: "How dare you refer to my beautiful children as 'synthetic'." "And shame on you for wagging your judgemental little fingers at IVF - a miracle that has allowed legions of loving people, both straight and gay, to fulfil their dream of having children. "Your archaic thinking is out of step with the times, just like your fashions. "I shall never wear Dolce and Gabbana ever again. #BoycottDolceGabbana." Business partners Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana, who are both gay and were a couple for 23 years until breaking up in 2005, have rejected same-sex marriage in the past. But in an interview with Italian magazine Panorama this weekend they went further saying they also didn't agree with the idea of gay families. "We oppose gay adoptions," they say, "The only family is the traditional one. "No chemical offsprings and rented uterus: life has a natural flow, there are things that should not be changed." Domenico Dolce went on to say that having children should be an "act of love". He said: "You are born to a mother and a father - or at least that's how it should be. "I call children of chemistry, synthetic children. Rented uterus, semen chosen from a catalogue." Stefano Gabbana added: "The family is not a fad. In it there is a supernatural sense of belonging." n an interview in 2006, Gabbana revealed in another Italian magazine that he had approached a woman to be the mother of his baby but said he struggled with the idea. "I am opposed to the idea of a child growing up with two gay parents," he said. "A child needs a mother and a father. I could not imagine my childhood without my mother. I also believe that it is cruel to take a baby away from its mother.""
Is it insulting to call nylon synthetic?

Tinder user falls for 'robot' woman at SXSW festival - "It is unclear why some companies get away with using Tinder for advertising or promoting their products - while others get shut down."

Law Matters - 26/06/01: Episode 5: Juries - "This ideal, of trial by our peers goes back to the Magna Carta, (great as long as you were a noble). The jury evolved over centuries from a bunch of blamesters, to a group of evidence evaluators supposed to represent the community. Our constitution enshrines this right in. The trial or indictment of any offence against law of the Commonwealth shall be by a jury. Take note - any law of the Commonwealth. So States can fiddle with the right to trial by jury, and they do - by offering defendants a swag of incentives to choose options other than trial by jury. So, it's no surprise that less than half a percent of criminal cases get to a jury and most charges result in guilty pleas or are tried by magistrate. In civil cases, some States have removed or curtailed the jury's role while others give parties a choice... Jury - a group of 12 men who having lied to the judge about their hearing, health and business engagements, have failed to fool him. So, with anyone with a good enough excuse gone you'd have to wonder how representative our juries are. If the justification for the jury is to allow the public to participate in the justice system then it's a pretty small section of the public that's participating. And the burden can be huge."
if jury verdicts can easily be overturned on appeal, is the jury really so important?
The arguments for jury duty are about the same as those for National Service (conscription)


Tragic note left by Eleanor de Freitas - "A young woman charged with making false rape claims said she had ‘no way out’ and killed herself days before standing trial... Eleanor de Freitas, 23, was ‘utterly devastated’ when the man she accused of sexual assault launched a private prosecution against her for allegedly lying to police... Miss de Freitas accused wealthy Chelsea financier Alexander Economou, 35, of raping her just before Christmas 2012, but detectives decided that gaps in the evidence meant they would not be able to secure a conviction. He then spent a reported £200,000 bringing a private prosecution against her for perverting the course of justice and the Crown Prosecution Service later took over the case... CPS chief Alison Saunders last year defended the decision to prosecute. Following an internal investigation, she said: 'The evidence was strong and having considered it in light of all of our knowledge and guidance on prosecuting sexual offences and allegedly false rape claims, it is clear there was sufficient evidence for a realistic prospect of conviction for perverting the course of justice. 'This was evidence including text messages and CCTV footage that directly contradicted the account Miss de Freitas gave to the police. I am satisfied that the decision-making in this case was correct'... Mr Thomas said the CPS 'clearly' had a responsibility to Miss de Freitas under Article Two of the European Convention on Human Rights - the right to life... 'For several months she has been under increased psychological stress as she has been charged with perverting the course of justice and was due to further appear in court three days after her death'"
Moral of the story: don't make false rape claims
Somehow I doubt Article Two would stop the prosecution of a rape suspect
Comment: "If she was unstable shouldn't the authorities been more sypathetic to her condition and tried to stop her from dragging this poors mans name through the mud? He was left with no choice other than to clear his name and this is the terrible result. RIP"


Why pick on super-skinny models when the rest of us are overweight? - Telegraph - "Polly Vernon, author of the forthcoming book Hot Feminist, believes the French measures are a self-serving sop. “Obviously, any agent who encourages an anorexic to work, without simultaneously encouraging them to seek help, is deeply reprehensible,” she says. “But I’m not quite sure how anyone legislates for that. BMI is no definitive indicator of anorexia, which is an incredibly complex emotional issue. The broad strokes of a BMI-related law cannot possibly allow for all the nuances of an eating disorder. I speak as someone who self-identifies as skinny by choice, and who has regularly been accused, dismissed and written off as having an eating disorder, when, in fact, I don’t.” We should not assume, moreover, that girls and women are such feeble-minded creatures “we only have to look at a picture of a skinny model before deciding that we, too, must be that thin”, she adds. “We are not that daft, vulnerable, or easily influenced. There’s a growing tendency to demonise thin women - to expose them as either mentally ill or dangerous - which is dodgy as hell”... Why pick on the super-thin minority without addressing our collective slide into the realms of the super-fat? The average BMI for French women is 23.9, while for Brits it is 26.9 – technically overweight - making us one of the fattest nations in Europe. The body beautiful is neither fat nor thin, but nourished. It is time to act upon our cultural body dysmorphia at both ends of the spectrum."
Perhaps the rage against the thin and the discouraging of obesity arise more from activists' own insecurities than from concern for the relatively tiny minority of sufferers of eating disorder

What's Wrong With The Princess Who Loves Pink? | Eros Coaching

When Liberals Blew It - NYTimes.com - "Fifty years ago this month, Democrats made a historic mistake. Daniel Patrick Moynihan, at the time a federal official, wrote a famous report in March 1965 on family breakdown among African-Americans. He argued presciently and powerfully that the rise of single-parent households would make poverty more intractable... Liberals brutally denounced Moynihan as a racist. He himself had grown up in a single-mother household and worked as a shoeshine boy at the corner of Broadway and 43rd Street in Manhattan, yet he was accused of being aloof and patronizing, and of “blaming the victim.” “My major criticism of the report is that it assumes that middle-class American values are the correct values for everyone in America,” protested Floyd McKissick, then a prominent African-American civil rights leader... The taboo on careful research on family structure and poverty was broken by William Julius Wilson, an eminent black sociologist. He has praised Moynihan’s report as “a prophetic document,” for evidence is now overwhelming that family structure matters a great deal for low-income children of any color. In 2013, 71 percent of black children in America were born to an unwed mother, as were 53 percent of Hispanic children and 36 percent of white children... growing up with just one biological parent reduces the chance that a child will graduate from high school by 40 percent, according to an essay by Sara McLanahan of Princeton and Christopher Jencks of Harvard. They point to the likely mechanism: “A father’s absence increases antisocial behavior, such as aggression, rule-breaking, delinquency and illegal drug use.” These effects are greater on boys than on girls."
The Moynihan Report is probably the best example of how spurious claims of racism/discrimination/oppression hurt people
Comments: "I personally believe that a lot of the feminism of the last 40 years is going to wind up hurting women overall. with no changes, I see a future of single female households, where women work long hours to support their children with no help from any man. remember"a women needs a man like a fish need a bicycle." Most women do not want to marry down, and as they get more successful will have a lot of trouble finding men to marry that they find acceptable. Unless a lot of female lawyers want to marry male truck drivers, I think you are looking at a lot of single female lawyers. Boosting men and boys will help women and girls."
"even in Scandinavian families with their excellent and sensible safety nets in place, kids STILL do better with 2 parents. This is based on one salient fact no one has mentioned: there are only 24 hours in a day. If there are 2 parents, the children receive more attention. End of story."

Getting fined / detained - just for possessing pornography

As archived at Monk assistant gets $37k fine for his prawn collection - Lite & EZ - MyCarForum.com:

Monk's ex-aide fined
Sep 23, 2008
He had more than 110 obscene films in two apartments.
By Elena Chong, Courts Correspondent

A FORMER aide to Buddhist monk Shih Ming Yi was fined a total of $37,500 on Tuesday for having obscene films.

Pang Leong Chuan, 27, a student, pleaded guilty to three charges under the Films Act. He had 84 obscene films at an upmarket condominium at The Cornwall at Cornwall Gardens, and 29 obscene films at his Tampines Street 32 home on Feb 18, 2008.

A party of Commercial Affairs Department officers raided the District 10 condominium and found Pang in a room and seized his laptop, two magazines and several DVDs and VCDs.

He admitted that the items, believed to be obscene or contain obscene materials, belonged to him.

More items were seized when officers went to his flat the same day.

Ming Yi, 46, former chief executive of Ren Ci Hospital and Medicare Centre, is one of five listed owners of the apartment in The Cornwall.

The other owners included the Foo Hai Ch'an Monastery, where Ming Yi was the abbot.

Pang had three other charges considered during sentencing by District Judge James Leong.

His lawyer, Madam Rosina Lau, said her client, a first offender, was truly remorseful for his act of folly, and regretted hurting and causing distress to those who loved him.

She said Pang planned to continue with his studies after the trial and be a law-abiding citizen.

After the fines were paid, Pang donned a cap, shades and a jacket over his white long-sleeve shirt and black pants before leaving the Subordinate Courts.

Meanwhile, Ming Yi's bail was upped by another $150,000 to $350,000 on Monday after the court granted him permission to leave jurisdiction.

His 10 charges under the Charities Act and Penal Code will come up for further pre-trial hearing on Oct 9.


Via Singapore locks up U.S. man for possessing porn - Democratic Underground

"Singapore police handcuffed and locked up a U.S. citizen for bringing 58 pornographic DVDs and video CDs into the wealthy city-state when he moved to Singapore last year, a newspaper reported Thursday.

The Straits Times said Singapore state prosecutors had dropped charges of possessing uncertified and obscene films against Tran Nghia Hong after he presented them with a declaration by his brother, stating that he was missing "certain DVDs."

The films, found by Singapore customs officers in a shipment of his belongings from California, included titles such as "Frivolous Lola," "Copulation Nation" and "Lord of the Strings."

"I was handcuffed and put in a lock-up for four hours after I was charged," the report quoted Tran, 35, as saying.

Tran, a financial controller at U.S. Internet equipment maker Cisco Systems, could have been fined up to S$500 for each disc, up to a maximum of S$20,000, or up to six months in prison, or both.

Despite efforts to loosen some of its social controls, many tough rules remain in Singapore. "Playboy" magazine is banned, while oral sex remains technically illegal under a law that says "whoever voluntarily has carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any man, woman or animals" can be fined and jailed up to 10 years, or even for life.

In recent years, Singapore has partially relaxed its famous ban on chewing gum, allowed some bars to stay open for 24 hours and ended a ban on the popular U.S. sitcom "Sex and the City." "

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Links - 29th April 2015

Traffic cop jailed 15 months for underage sex with 13-year-old girl - "He is the third man to have been convicted and sentenced for having sex with the girl, who was in Secondary 1 at the time. "
Some victims just keep getting victimised

Local erotic thriller Lang Tong the first of a trilogy - "most of the cast had strong reactions when asked if they would ask their family - especially their parents - to watch the film. Said the male lead William Lawandi, 38, who has acted in the HBO Asia series Serangoon Road (2013) and in various short films, "Hell no, it'll be very weird." One of the female leads, Angeline Yap, 27, said: "I won't ask my parents, but I will ask my younger sister and friends. I don't regret taking the role. After all, it's just acting, and know I can't satisfy everybody." Another female lead, Vivienne Tseng, 27, who is pregnant now, said she posted a comment on Facebook about the film, and her father liked this post. "Maybe he will watch it," she said light-heartedly... Neither is she afraid of being typecast for such roles. Said Tseng: "If people want to stereotype me, go ahead. After all, it's guaranteed work. "And it's fun," she added with a smile."

Botched execution brings use of firing squads into the discussion - "Any protracted lethal injection "undermines the idea that this is a fast, sure procedure, like putting animals to sleep," Alex Kozinski, chief judge of the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco, said in an interview Thursday. Executions, Kozinski wrote Monday in Wood's case, "are brutal, savage events, and nothing the state tries to do can mask that reality. ... We should be willing to face the fact that the state is committing a horrendous brutality on our behalf." Kozinski suggested that if executions are to be carried out, death in front of a firing squad would lessen that brutality. "Sure, firing squads can be messy, but if we are willing to carry out executions, we should not shield ourselves from the reality that we are shedding human blood," he wrote. "If we, as a society, cannot stomach the splatter from an execution carried out by firing squad then we shouldn't be carrying out executions at all.""

Genetic Structure, Self-Identified Race/Ethnicity, and Confounding in Case-Control Association Studies - "Subjects identified themselves as belonging to one of four major racial/ethnic groups (white, African American, East Asian, and Hispanic) and were recruited from 15 different geographic locales within the United States and Taiwan. Genetic cluster analysis of the microsatellite markers produced four major clusters, which showed near-perfect correspondence with the four self-reported race/ethnicity categories. Of 3,636 subjects of varying race/ethnicity, only 5 (0.14%) showed genetic cluster membership different from their self-identified race/ethnicity. On the other hand, we detected only modest genetic differentiation between different current geographic locales within each race/ethnicity group. Thus, ancient geographic ancestry, which is highly correlated with self-identified race/ethnicity—as opposed to current residence—is the major determinant of genetic structure in the U.S. population."

Solange and Jay-Z: it's simply not the same if a man is hit by a woman | Barbara Ellen | Comment is free | The Guardian
Ahh... feminism!

People Who Use Firefox or Chrome Are Better Employees - "Cornerstone’s researchers found that people who took the test on a non-default browser, such as Firefox or Chrome, ended up staying at their jobs about 15 percent longer than those who stuck with Safari or Internet Explorer. They performed better on the job as well... browser choice isn’t something that Cornerstone’s clients consider when hiring—that’d be seen as too intrusive. They do, however, track other variables that correlate with high rates of employee retention. Giving employees raises can help, but their positive effects dissolve after about a month. More important is getting along with one's boss, which is more responsible for getting people to stick around than all of the other variables combined... people who use “boozy” or “sexy” in their email addresses make for worse employees"

How We Balance Good and Bad Deeds - "Doing a good deed can lead some people to more kind acts while spurring others to backslide. But how people respond depends on their moral outlook, according to a new study. People who believe the ends justify the means are likelier to offset good deeds with bad ones and vice versa. By contrast, those who believe right and wrong are defined by principle, not outcome, tend to be more consistent, even if they're behaving unethically. Some studies show that people maintain a kind of moral equilibrium, meaning that giving money to charity may lead them to skimp on the tip at dinner, whereas partying too much may inspire a volunteer day at the soup kitchen... For people who are keeping a mental balance sheet of their good and bad deeds, one bad act can be an offset in their minds with a nice one, Cornelissen said.
But for those with rule-based morality, that bad deed can cause a slippery slope, Cornelissen said."
Deontologists are more consistent than utilitarians?

Public Prosecutor v Heng Swee Weng[2009] SGHC 275 - "The Respondent agreed to give her a free ride home... the Respondent used his left hand to touch the right hand of the Victim. The Victim eventually alighted from the taxi along Harvey Avenue. As soon as the Victim alighted from the taxi, the Respondent also got out of the taxi, and went over to her and hugged her. The Victim struggled and managed to break free from his grasp. The Respondent then left the scene in his taxi. Eventually, the Victim found her way home... Having considered the overarching policy concerns and individual features unique to this case, I was satisfied that a term of eight weeks’ imprisonment would be an appropriate sentence in the circumstances."
I previously linked to this story when the punishment was a fine with the comment "Hugging someone can be considered outrage of modesty in Singapore?! Wth. Women's bodies must be sacred."
But he got sentenced to 8 weeks in jail for hugging someone?


Bonobos and chimpanzees exhibit human-like framing effects - "Humans exhibit framing effects when making choices, appraising decisions involving losses differently from those involving gains. To directly test for the evolutionary origin of this bias, we examined decision-making in humans' closest living relatives: bonobos (Pan paniscus) and chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes)... male apes were more susceptible to framing than were females. These results suggest that some human economic biases are shared through common descent with other apes and highlight the importance of comparative work in understanding the origins of individual differences in human choice."

Only 500 private driving instructors - "Private driving instructors used to ply the roads in the thousands during the 1970s and 1980s - often with a nervous student behind the wheel. But these instructors, who teach out of their own cars, are dwindling in numbers. The Traffic Police, who issue teaching licences, said there are just over 500 of them on record today. "That's nothing compared to the 4,000 or so we had in our heyday," says Mr William Low, a private instructor of more than 30 years. The assistant secretary of the Singapore Driving Instructors' Association says about 30 of his comrades drop out each year, mostly due to old age. And there is no new blood to replace them because the Traffic Police stopped issuing licences for them in 1987. This was to encourage learner drivers to enrol for "more structured, rigorous and regulated training" at driving centres, the first of which was set up in 1983. It also does not help that most instructors, many of whom are in their 50s and 60s, must turn in their licences once they hit 70. "In 10 to 20 years, you can only learn from driving schools," says Mr Low, who is 63. "But don't you think it's better if students had a choice?"... Learner drivers, however, are still flocking to these older private instructors, mainly because of their lower fees and flexibility in scheduling. Lessons at driving centres average $37 to $45 per hour, while private instructors charge between $30 and $38. An added perk is that they sometimes even meet or pick up students from their homes, schools or workplaces for lessons... "A private instructor can tailor the number of lessons you need," adds student Philip Tan, 22. "It will be cheaper than going to a centre where there is a fixed number of stages you have to pass before your final practical test.""
Ahh... protectionism!

Would you call 911 on another parent? - "Stories are mounting of people calling the cops on parents who let their older kids attempt a bit of independence. The parents are suddenly subjected to arrests, regular visits from Child Protective Services, a media storm and in one case, losing a job because of the attention. Their children become afraid to step outside, and so do they. These parents are charged with being neglectful, even though they have thoughtfully made the decision that their children are capable of accomplishing these tasks safely... The usual argument defending these callers is: “The world is a dangerous place,” as one dad told CNN. And the usual counterargument is that the world is actually a less dangerous place, statistically, than it was a generation ago, when no one batted an eye at a child walking home from school solo... The real issue? We can’t rely on our neighbors to help look out for our kids, and that’s why our neighborhoods don’t feel safe enough. When you let a 10- and 6-year-old walk home on their own, it feels scary because they’re fully responsible for their own safety. What’s missing is the sense that we’re all responsible for everyone’s children. Jared Diamond’s latest book, about how traditional cultures manage themselves, talks a lot about the differences when people know each other vs. don’t know each other. A small village, for example, doesn’t create a complex court system to settle disputes; people are expected to work it out."

What living in a dumpster for a year taught this professor about the things we don’t need

The craziest OkCupid date ever - "Exactly one month and two weeks after meeting online, Jeff and I nervously booked two luggage-free flights to Istanbul. This was either the best idea ever or the beginning of a brutal, three-week long demise. As Mark Twain so aptly put it, “There ain’t no surer way to find out whether you like people or hate them than to travel with them.”

Japanese cook trains for 6 months in Clementi coffeeshop to become mee pok hawker - "Patrons of a Clementi coffee shop are getting an unusual sight when they order their mee pok. With a cloth headband wrapped around his forehead, Japanese hawker Naoji Kuribara, 47, wields a noodle strainer and wok, among other tools, with flair... the Japanese man ran a donburi (Japanese rice bowl dish) stall while Mr Chia sold mee pok. Captivated by the taste of Mr Chia's mee pok, Mr Kuribara asked to learn how to make it."
"its v value for money...and really good
2 medium sized prawns, 3 meatballs, 3 pieces of abalone, a lot of bak chor, moderate serving of noodles
all for $4.50
really good and filling, though queued for 15 min"


Man jailed seven years for strangling, raping, poisoning and slashing ex-GF - "He pinned her down on the bed, pressed a pillow over her mouth and choked her with his other hand, to make her feel his "pain". He stopped choking her only when he realised she was gasping for breath and her eyes were closed. Failing to rouse her, he thought he had killed her and called his friends for help. In his panic, he tried to stuff her into a suitcase but she did not fit into either of the two he had. Aw then decided to die with her. He squeezed air freshener liquid into her mouth, which made her throw up. To clean up, he took off her stained clothing, but became aroused and raped her. After the rape, he took a utility knife and cut her wrist and belly, even when she cried out in pain. He then lay down next to her, cut his own wrists, drank the air freshener and took some pills. Some time later, the friends he had called earlier rang the doorbell and he left with them. Shortly after, the woman left the flat and went back to Johor Baru. She returned to Singapore the next day to make a police report. A medical examination found that she was pregnant, although the paternity of the child remains unknown."

What happens when you admit to being a criminal in the National Broadsheet?

Actress Oon Shu An goes on porn binge for Rubbers role

"American porn, European porn, Japanese porn - actress Oon Shu An has watched them all.

She can even point out the differences between them.

"American porn is really out there, the moment it starts you know what's going to happen. European porn is a bit more realistic. The Japanese kind builds on this idea of a proper and sweet girl and you really don't expect them to become like beasts."

It was all in the name of research - she plays a Japanese adult video star in the sex comedy Rubbers, which opens tomorrow. Her character, Momoko, gets stuck in a compromising situation with Alaric Tay's condom-hating playboy.

"I didn't want to make her a caricature. I want her to be someone real," says Oon, 28, adding with a laugh that some of that research time was spent with her photographer boyfriend.

By addressing sex head-on, Rubbers helps to make it less scary, the actress says. "There are a lot of us who are very fearful of sex, but it happens to all of us at some point and it's a beautiful part of life."

Her open-minded boyfriend was supportive of the project and said: "It's funny, just do it."

Still, Oon initially had her doubts about taking the role. While she had a big break on television when she was cast as a concubine in the Netflix historical epic Marco Polo (2014), which contained sex scenes and nudity, she kept her clothes on.

She wondered how her family and some of her younger fans who watch her online beauty product show, Tried And Tested, would react to Rubbers.

When she told her parents about the role, her mother sighed and asked: "Why must you do this kind of role?"

Now that the movie is out, she is torn about her parents watching it.

On the one hand, the stories are all "beautiful and sweet in their own way". On the other hand, the movie might make them uncomfortable, given that her face is buried in Tay's crotch for much of their segment.

Writer-director Han Yew Kwang had a strap-on specially made and Oon had to latch onto it for a few minutes at a stretch. It might not sound very long, but she points out that it was very tiring and that it made her drool.

"But the crew are always on hand with tissue paper and then the device has to be wiped clean when you take it out. If not, it's wet and you have to latch on again, it's very gross."

Not many actresses would have been as gung-ho as Oon, a Lasalle College of the Arts graduate whose one-woman show, #UnicornMoment, was nominated for Best Original Script at this year's Life! Theatre Awards.

For her, it is a matter of trust as she previously worked with Han and Tay on the telemovie romance drama Love In A Cab (2010). She was confident that Rubbers would not be a smutty romp.

Indeed, the smuttiest part of the whole project was when she was doing research.

"Yes, exactly that," she exclaims."


So we can see that Oon Shu An has essentially admitting to the whole of Singapore that she has committed a crime: under the Films Act, it is an offence to possess an obscene film and,

Any person who has in his possession any obscene film shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on conviction to a fine of not less than $500 for each such film he had in his possession (but not to exceed in the aggregate $20,000) or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 6 months or to both.

Interestingly, under the Undesirable Publications Act you can possess a prohibited publication if you have a "reasonable excuse"; research for a movie role could conceivably be a "reasonable excuse" for possessing pornography.

Sadly, however, films are not covered by the Undesirable Publications Act but under the Films Act, which has no provision for having a "reasonably excuse" for possessing an obscene film.

It's also an offence if one "makes or reproduces any obscene film (whether or not for the purposes of exhibition or distribution to any other person)". Presumably copying it into another folder on your hard disk counts as "reproducing" a film.


In other news, homophiles would have you believe that gay men are living in fear off being arrested and charged (despite there being an assurance of no proactive enforcement).

In contrast, people have often been charged and convicting for possession of obscene films in the past.

To take just one of many examples, Pang Leong Chuan (a former aide to Shih Ming Yi of Ren Ci) was fined $37,500 for possessing obscene films, and there definitely has been no promise of no proactive enforcement.

It is also reasonable to assume that the number of men (alone) in Singapore who possess obscene films is larger than the number of men who have gay sex.

Yet, the response to these 2 (alleged) Swords of Damocles is very different.
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