"The happiest place on earth"

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Saturday, May 22, 2004

A girl goes into the doctor's office for a checkup. As she takes off her blouse, he notices a red "H" on her chest.

"How did you get that mark on your chest?" asks the doctor.

"Oh, my boyfriend went to Harvard and he's so proud of it that he never takes off his Harvard sweatshirt, even when we make love," she replies.

A couple of days later, another girl comes in for a checkup. As she takes off her blouse, he notices a blue "Y" on her chest. "How did you get that mark on your chest?" asks the doctor.

"Oh, my boyfriend went to Yale and he's so proud of it that he never takes off his Yale sweatshirt, even when we make love," she replies.

A couple of days later, another girl comes in for a checkup. As she takes off her blouse, he notices a green "M" on her chest. "Do you have a boyfriend at Michigan?" asks the doctor.

"No, but I have a girlfriend at Wisconsin. Why do you ask?"
Top pronunciation mistakes observed:

Secretary being mistaken for secretory. i.e. "Doctor, here's a bad case of secretary diarrhoea"

Epididymis (part of the male genitalia) being mistaken for Epidermitis (as in Staphylococcus epidermitis, a bacteria that grows naturally on your skin). Happens so often in tutorials!

All Things Dull and Ugly

All things dull and ugly,
All creatures short and squat,
All things rude and nasty,
The Lord God made the lot.

Each little snake that poisons,
Each little wasp that stings,
He made their brutish venom.
He made their horrid wings.

All things sick and cancerous,
All evil great and small,
All things foul and dangerous,
The Lord God made them all.

Each nasty little hornet,
Each beastly little squid--
Who made the spikey urchin?
Who made the sharks? He did!

All things scabbed and ulcerous,
All pox both great and small,
Putrid, foul and gangrenous,
The Lord God made them all.


The problem of evil gets its bite from the thought that if God made the world then he is responsible not only for its splendour but also for its flaws. This thought led Monty Python’s Eric Idle to rewrite the hymn “All Things Bright and Beautiful” as “All Things Dull and Ugly”.


Friday, May 21, 2004



Ring ring ring ring ring ring ring - Banana phone
Ring ring ring ring ring ring ring - Banana phone
I've got this feeling, so appealing
For us to get together, and sing, sing!

Ring ring ring ring ring ring ring - Banana phone
Ding dong ding dong ding dong ding - Danana phone
It grows in bunches, I've got my hunches
It's the best, beats the rest,
cellular, modular, interactive-odular

Ring ring ring ring ring ring ring - Banana phone
Ping pong ping pong ping pong ping - panana phone
It's no baloney, it ain't a phony
My cellular, bananular phone

Don't need quarters, don't need dimes, to call a friend of mine.
Don't need computer or TV to have a real good time.
I'll call for pizza, I'll call my cat, I'll call the White House, have a chat.
I'll place a call around the world,
Operator get me Beijing jing jing jing

Play that thing!
Yooo hoo!

Ring ring ring ring ring ring ring - Banana phone
Ying yang ying yang ying - Yanana phone
It's real live momma-and-pappa-phone, a brother and sister and a dog-o-phone,
A grandpa phone and a gramophone,
My cellular, bananular phone!

Banana phone - Ring, ring ring.
It's a phone with a peel!
Banana phone - Ring, ring ring.
Now you can have your phone and eat it too!
Banana phone - Ring, ring ring
This song drives me bananas
Banana phone - Ring, ring ring

Singapore Discussion Network

"When broken English and the internet collide, it's the Singapore Discussion Network! No, it's a "disease". Even if it's meant as a joke I feel dirty saying that."

Singaporean English hits SomethingAwful.

My new record for popping the champagne is 57 seconds!

"i think tai mai shu another disgrace to asians

and gunther is a disgrace to mankind
and he has a mullet like wohen"
Some people, mostly Singaporeans insecure about the Great Chinese Tradition (TM) and wondering if it is dying a lonesome and pitiful death, think that the mere fact that someone is of Chinese descent means that they must speak Chinese with at least a modicum of fluency. A few even think that ethnic Chinese must conform at least superficially to their rigid notions of what "Chinese" must be. Those who do not are derisively labelled "Bananas": "Yellow on the outside, White on the inside".

Leaving separate the fact that most Singaporean Chinese cannot even speak a full sentence in Chinese without lapsing into English for some of the more difficult nouns - words like "weather", "game" and "TV", what is there about race that obliges people to conform to certain archetypes?

To avoid accusations of being turncoats, how far do ethnic Chinese have to conform? Must they like eating Chinese food? How about believing in acupuncture instead of quack Western medicine? Do they have to bind the feet of their women? Prefer sons over daughters, perhaps participating in the great Chinese tradition of infanticide? Must they even worship the traditional Chinese Gods? How about ethnic Arabs? Must they be Muslim?

Anyhow, Mandarin (or Putonghua, if you prefer), is not the only tongue spoken in China, arbitrarily selected by the central government to be elevated above the rest (primarily because it is a Northern Tongue). The true language of the forefathers is actually the dialect of your respective dialect group.

People accuse who accuse many Singaporeans of being Bananas (yellow on the outside, white on the inside) presumably think it better to be yellow through and through. Incidentally, that describes urine.

Maybe I should start reading the Straits Times again so that, in addition to learning who got killed, raped, molested, knocked down by a van or conned into buying a Magic Stone, I can find out the latest subjects that obsessive idiots rant shrilly about, and rant equally shrilly in reply.
Is the "Ninja Death Touch" real - "Known in Cantonese as dim mak and in Japanese as kyusho jitsu, the touch of death is said to be something like acupuncture's evil twin."

The History of the Hello Kitty Vibrator - Apparently it was meant to be a "Hello Kitty vibrating shoulder massager"

Famous Trials - UMKC School of Law - Prof. Douglas Linder - Fair, balanced and considered, even for such controversial trials as that of Jesus

Pessimism and Boys (on The Diary of a Soviet Schoolgirl 1932-37 by Nina Lugovskaya) - "The basic themes of Nina L.'s diary were, in her own words, 'pessimism and boys, boys and pessimism'. 'Pessimism' (depression) was a fundamental condition of her life between the ages of 13 and 16: irritation, boredom, misery, a feeling of futility and emptiness, disgust at herself and an anguished sense of being unattractive pervade the diary's early years."

List Of Actual Subtitles Used In Films Made In Hongkong - "You always use violence. I should've ordered glutinous rice chicken."

Nick Berg's Killing: 50 Fishy Circumstances, Contradictory Claims, and Videotape Anomalies - I'm not one for Conspiracy Theories, but that tape is indeed very fishy, from what people have noticed. Among other things, the lack of blood and struggling. Though not all of the 50 points are equally lucid (one was that many of the people beheading Nick Berg have pasty white hands)

Childless couple told to try sex - A German couple who went to a fertility clinic after eight years of marriage have found out why they are still childless - they weren't having sex. [...] 'We are not talking retarded people here, but a couple who were brought up in a religious environment who were simply unaware, after eight years of marriage, of the physical requirements necessary to procreate.
That's what you get when you make something natural and essential to life taboo and sinful. Maybe they need to commission a few of the statues of Buddhas in various sexual positions that innocent royal newlyweds used to be shown to touch and gain wordlessly the knowledge they needed (if my memory of this topic in 'Sex In History' is correct)

In Memory of the Sexually Mutilated Child - I've always been against Male Genital Mutilation (aka Male Circumcision), but the arguments advanced on this page verge on rabid screams.

The Roots of Torture - A Newsweek investigation detailing how after 9/11, Rummy and friends gradually edged their way around the Geneva convention, nurturing an atmosphere conducive to the perpetration of what happened at Abu Ghraib

The $1,000 Omelette - 10 ounces of Sevruga caviar and a 1 pound, 8 ounce lobster. The very thought of it gives me atherosclerosis.

Naked students in rollercoaster world record - "Around 100 students from 15 universities have stripped off to create a new world record for the most naked people on a rollercoaster. They rode the terrifying 360-degree Nemesis Inferno rollercoaster at Thorpe Park, in Surrey, earlier today. The record attempt has helped raise cash for good causes as the park is promising to pay £1,000 to a university Rag committee for the best group photograph on board the ride."
Assorted Shorts
(because, for unspecified reasons, I have not felt like blogging in the past few days)

"well its harmless fun.. and someone has to do it..." - On my puerile tendencies


Maybe the Brazillian guys who used to ask me for cyber-BDSM on ICQ were attracted by the words "Gabriel is a slave" in my ICQ info.



And now we have the The Skeptic's Annotated Book of Mormon.

Industrious fella. I wonder if he's going to tackle the Vedic Sutras next :0


To nw.t:

Quoth I,

"Upon the wicked he shall rain snares, fire and brimstone, and an horrible tempest: this shall be the portion of their cup."

Cringe, fellow heathen, for The Worst Is Yet To Be.


Question about Knights of the Old Republic: They didn't answer a seminal question - what turned Revan, Malak, Saul and friends to the Dark Side in the first place? I thought this was quite an important mystery.


I've always asserted that Oil Control Film (blue tracing paper) is an evil plot by Cosmetics Companies to con foolish and gullible females of their money.

The Top Bio Student in NJC in his year, whom I cannot refer to him as "Poor Suffering" anymore since he isn't suffering any longer, confirmed my suspicions when he said that he'd tried it before and it was useless.

The thing is, oil shows up very clearly on the tracing paper, so it gives people a false high on seeing how much oil has been absorbed from their faces.


Salon.com Comics | Tom the Dancing Bug - News of the Times: Bush discovered to be an Evil Cybord, Kerry still lags in polls

For those too lazy to get the Salon daypass, a transcript follows:

Panel 1

Blurb: At a G.O.P fundraiser, an errant butter knife accidentally sliced President Bush's face, revealing him to be an evil cyborg

Bush: Yes, I'm an Evil Cyborg programmed by Subterranean Mutants to destroy America. I accept responsibility for that... but not any blame or negative consequences.

Panel 2

Blurb: Senator Kerry was unable to make any political hay over the revelation, as he had his own imbroglio over what he did with his medals for heroism 30 years ago.

Kerry: I never said I threw seven medals, I said I threw several ribbons.

Panel 3

Blurb: Bush vigorously defenced his record.

Bush (with Evil Cyborg head): You have to ask one question: Is the world better off without Saddam Hussein? Just ask that one question! Do not ask any other questions!

Panel 4

Blurb: Vice President Cheney, revealed last week to be a Brain-Craving Zombie, faced the press.

Reporter: The Democrats are suggesting that the horrifying and catastrophic events of Bush's term could be related

Cheney (eating a grey brain): They're politicizing the fact that the President is an Evil Cyborg! It's shameful.

Panel 5

Blurb: American voters seem to agree and still favor Bush over Kerry.

Voter: Kerry seems sorta wishy-washy. Imagine how he could mess things up if he were President.


This is so bad, it's good

"Growth caused by chickens that have been injected by Steroids

This is a true story! I am very concerned about the health of the people out there especially the women’s!

A friend of mine recently had a growth in her womb and she underwent an operation to remove the cyst. The cyst removed was filled with a dark coloured blood.

She thought that she would be recovered after the surgery but she was terribly wrong. A relapse occurred just a few months later. Distressed, she rushed down to her gynecologist for a consultation. During her consultation, her doctor asked her a question that puzzled her. He ask if she was a frequent consumer of chicken wings and she replied yes wondering as to how, he knew of her eating habits.

You see, the truth is in this modern day and age, chickens are injected with steroids to accelerate their growth so that the needs of this society can be met. This need is none other then the need for food. Chickens that are injected with steroids are usually given the shot at the neck or the wings. Therefore, it is in this places that the highest concentration of steroids exist.

These steroids have terrifying effects on the body as it accelerates growth. It has an even more dangerous effect in the presence of female hormones, this leads to women being more prone to the growth of a cyst in the womb.

Therefore, I advise the people out there to watch their diets and to lower their frequency of consuming chicken wings!

People who receive this email, please forward it to your friends and loved ones. I’m sure no one wants to see him or her suffer!

Take care and god bless!"

Now, anyone with half a brain would be struck by the following:

1) The lymphatic and circulatory system circulate the putative steroids around the chickens' bodies and have a systemic, as opposed to a localised effect. If this were not the case, it would be useless to pump steroids into them, unless you wanted otherwise normal chickens with Gigantic Wings.

2) Why would steroids for chickens necessarily affect humans? And if humans and chickens have similar physiologies such that they'd both be affected by the steroids, why did the story's protagonist suddenly develop huge muscles, or the chickens abdominal cysts?

3) Steroids largely consist of hormones, which get denatured by heat. Unless our dear protagonist was fond of eating the wings raw, most of the hormones would have been deactivated by the time she ate them (not to mention what the peptic acids and enzymes would do to them)

4) Males have female hormones too, though to a lesser degree. How come these steroids don't affect them as well?

5) If even our good doctor (or gynaecologist, if you prefer) knows about this dastardly plot, why hasn't he alerted the authorities? Mmm, conspiracy theory.

Moral of the story: Think before you forward crap.

Thursday, May 20, 2004

Word of the day: "theodicy"

Today, I was once again flagellated by the terrible wrath of the Lord. As I was smoking in the stairwell outside my office (riding on the theological principle of: "vicarious atonement"), I received a phone call from another prospective interviewer - Credit Suisse First Boston.

Immediately I leapt to my feet and proceeded to a quieter corner to converse. The interviewer this time was a dulcet-voiced lady, who proceeded to ask me the usual range of questions: "why are you leaving", "describe your current job", etc etc. Just as I felt that the interview was getting on fine... the phone cut off.

Now, Malaysian mobile phones don't show caller ID for international calls, so you can imagine my howls of rage and frustration that would have echoed along the corridors, if I hadn't been constrained by the desire not to attract attention from passers-by and colleagues.

After half an hour, with no call returned, I wrote a restrained email to the interviewer (thankfully I had acquired her address earlier) asking if she would be so good as to call me back. As controlled and professional as I tried to word it, I have this sneaking suspicion that a hint of insane hysteria could be discerned between the lines.

A morose hour later, and I'm here typing this blog entry in my office, with no response either on the email or phone front.

Once again, the terrible wrath of the Lord has smote down my dreams. Nonetheless, I am merely beaten, not broken.

"What is a man? He is one who, when the floods have destroyed his harvest, shakes his fist at the heavens - and then returns to plant anew. He is one who remains undismayed by Fortune's fickleness."

And in the immortal stanzas of Rudyard Kipling:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breath a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on";

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings - nor lose the common touch;
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run -
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And - which is more - you'll be a Man my son!

Bring it on, God. Having being laid so low these days, any cataclysm that can drive me deeper into the abyss will certainly be an aesthetically pleasing and darkly humourous one.

On a more bleakly amusing note, today I was performing some of my usual patented Enron Lite(tm) techniques for enhancing the Bank's profitability. As I discussed a particularly elegant maneuver my boss and I had worked out, this conversation arose.

Me: "So after we finish setting this up in the system they (business end) can do CERTAIN THING right?"

(CERTAIN THING being an amazingly elaborate accounting/business sleight-of-hand to move certain numbers to the right part of the P&L column)

Boss: "Yup."

Me: "And it means they can like jack up their profits forever right? Or at least until the regulators catch us, by which time we'll all be long gone?"

Boss: "Yup."

Me: "And it means our group profits go up, our share price goes up, our shareholders are happy, our bosses earn more from their options, and the business end gets more massive 12-month bonuses right?"

Boss: "Yup." (my boss isn't as garrulous as I am)

Me: "And we still get the same pitiful pay and kacang bonuses that we always get, even though if we've just helped the bank make shitloads more money right?"

Boss: "Yup. I'm glad to see your chain of reasoning is so good. So when do you think you can finish it up?"

Tuesday, May 18, 2004

Thanks to Screwed Up Girl, who game me the wrong information regarding my meetup, I went to the wrong place and wasted my time.

I should have trusted my memory instead of her amazing ablity to convey the wrong information to others (this is not the first time).


After using a Natural Sponge, I now know why everyone uses artificial ones. Natural sponges are extremely fragile, and disintegrate during use and split easily. Meanwhile artificial ones feel just as good on the skin.

One of my uniquely perverted hobbies is to skip steps while mounting or dismounting the top decks of SBS SuperBuses with counters indicating the number of seats left on the top deck. As such, one of my exotic fantasies is to crash the counter by alternately mounting the top deck properly and then skipping steps on the way down, repeating this ad infinitum, or vice versa. Unfortunately, like my other uniquely perverted fantasies, it is unlikely to be fulfilled.

I wonder if the banglas who clear the rubbish from the rubbish points of high-rise buildings wear hard hats. If they don't, what happens if, while they are clearing the rubbish, some hard object hurtles down the chute at terminal velocity, and lands on their heads? You'd need a cover-up then!

Playing With Time - Various clips of both time-lapse photography (say, of spring's reviving touch) and slowed down footage (of, for example, an eye blinking)

10 Worst Album Covers of all time - I could die laughing. I listened to Devastatin' Dave: The Turntable Slave's "Zip Zap Rap". It is indeed "quite the experience". If you want more, there's a sequel.

A Study of Swearing in Modern English - Intelligent discourse on anything remotely linked to this subject is most rare.

Showing Our Feathers - Good explanation of why people like to boast of how hard their lives are, and wear the depredations of the Fates like badges of merit

Datadocktor'n - din hjälp bland ettor o nollor - " A hard drive becomes fragmented very, very fast. What happens is that all the tiny ones and zeros gets mixed and confused, and to get back the original speed on Your hard drive it's necessary to Defragment it. There are several of different species of software to make this happen, but the most excellent way to do it is a hardwaredefragmentation. you'll only need some basic data-mechanical-skills to be able to accomplish this operation."

Socio-Political Themes in The Smurfs - "Adding to the idea of complete equality in the Village, most of the Smurfs wear the same kind and colour of clothes. It is a general work uniform, and with the distinctive caps and blue skin, is highly reminiscent of the so-called Mao Suit, common in Maoist China... Smurfette has no breasts... The idea that a woman can be made by a man denies women's key role in procreation. The fact that she does not posess breasts goes further to this denial of nature, an attempt to control women, to make them conform to the societal norm imposed by the patriachal order."

Luxuriant Flowing Hair Club for Scientists - "Highlighting the heads of science"

Smoking is for stupid people. - "My friend has slept with 3 smokers and 3 non-smokers. She says that smoker's penises are very clearly softer than non-smokers"

Judges Against The Drug War - "For the past thirty years Judges have looked on as America’s War on Drugs has played itself out before their eyes. They have seen the inevitable increase in police powers and erosion of civil rights needed to facilitate the investigation of drug offenses. They have witnessed the widespread, unprecedented use of asset forfeiture. And they have been forced to impose unjust mandatory minimum sentences. They're finally speaking out."
Finally, a breath of reason

Tragic end of the boy who was brought up as a girl - "David Reimer was hailed by scientists as a triumph of nurture over nature. But as his suicide shows, this was a terrible mistake"

International Teen Vampire Meetup Day - "Meetup with other Vamps, ages 16-19. There are no posers or role players allowed. THIS IS FOR REAL TEEN VAMPIRES."
Why do I have the feeling that I don't want to know what a "Teen Vampire" is?

Archaeology Magazine - Clear and comprehensible. To me, at least.

Quit Slashdot.org Today - Xephyris: "LOL, NEVER!"

"Q: If I don't read Slashdot, who will share interesting links with me, and with whom will I discuss the interesting links I find?
A: If you don't have friends with whom to share links and conversation, you have social problems and you should confront them instead of joining a cultlike pseudo-community. If you have too much free time and can't think of a better way to spend it than reading Slashdot, you need a hobby, a job, or both."
Word of the day (unsurprisingly) - "metastasis"

What did I tell you about tumours, Gabriel. Gah.

Anyway, I rummaged through an old OED in my librarium, and there appear to be two somewhat contradictory principles when dealing with the possessive apostrophe.

a) The euphony principle; if the additional "-es" syllable turns the word ungainly then you should put the apostrophe outside - eg. hangers', cleaners', users', executives' but words ending in a sibilant like "chess" or "James" in which the added syllable doesn't sound so bad (viz. "chess-es", "James-es") should have the 's added. To answer your question, Gabriel - the possessive of Jess would be "Jess-es" in this case.

However, in the wonderful world of English, it seems to me that the euphony principle may lead to weird instances like synopsis's (si-nop-sis-sus) vs synopses' (si-nop-sus).

b) However, the OED also ruefully notes that words with a silent "s", usually of French origin, are often accorded the apostrophe outside (Dumas', corps') due to traditional historical usage, despite the euphony principle. Also already mentioned that classical, literary or Biblical names only use the apostrophe outside due to tradition - Isis' or Dickens' - even though Isis's isn't (THAT) euphonically unpleasing.

In other words it all freaking depends.

The OED concludes by arguing lamely that the best you can hope for is to be internally consistent throughout any single text or your general writing style:) It also suggests (as do many other style or copywriting manuals) that one rephrases the possessive using "of" (the hotels' owner into "the owner of the hotelss") or use the attributive form (the hotels owner).

Below are some fascinating professional online takes on the topic.

How is the possessive formed for a word like "McDonald's"?

Comments: The results include one divided vote: the voter agreed with position 1 for formal writing, but position 2 for informal writing.

POSITION 1 (10 votes): Rewrite.

EXPLANATION: An apparent need for the possessive form of the name of the fast-food chain is conceivable; for example, the executives of the company might want to refer to the company's (note the possessive) employees or products.

The most commonly accepted way to form the possessive singular is to add "'s"; some prefer to add only "'" to singulars that end in a sibilant. Forming the possessive of "McDonald's" in those ways produces "McDonald's's" and "McDonald's'"; neither looks like English, and both would have to be considered nonstandard or unpronounceable.

A sentence that seems to require such a possessive form should be recast to yield the "of" possessive or should use the noun as a modifier. For instance, "The golden arches of McDonald's (meaning the company) are common" or "McDonald's golden arches are common."

POSITION 2 (7 votes): This can only arise colloquially, or in artificially contrived situations. For those cases I favor McDonald's.

EXPLANATION: For a possessive form like McDonald's to need its own possessive, it must have become the nominative form of a different noun.

While I may say "I went to McDonald's for a Whopper," what I mean is I went to the McDonald's fast food store. McDonald's is a trademark, so is thus an adjective, not a noun.

When you reply "McDonald's burger is called a Big Mac," you mean the McDonald's fast food store's burger is called a Big Mac. When you instinctively say and I immediately understand "McDonald's burger," we are temporarily creating a McDonald in our minds to personify the McDonald's fast food store.

POSITION 3 (1 vote): McDonald's'.

EXPLANATION: I would make the possessive McDonald's'. But I'm considered weird. McDonald's' is logical. So what if there are two apostrophes? The basic word, the very name of the business, is McDonald's. If you're talking about something that belongs to McDonald's, such as McDonald's' environmental philosophy, it's McDonald's'. Isn't it?

(Where) should there be an apostrophe in "Veterans" in "Veterans Administration" and similar constructions?

Comments: Opinion was nearly equally divided, with position 1 (no apostrophe) winning by 2 votes.

POSITION 1 (7 votes): No apostrophe in that and many other, but not all cases.

EXPLANATION: The distinction is between a possessive, as in user's guide, and a plural noun acting as an adjective, as in writers union, tinkers guild, and veterans administration.

In the case of a user's guide, the item is clearly possessed by the user; it doesn't describe, explain, or otherwise touch on properties of the user.

The Veterans Administration deals with the concerns of veterans. It does not belong to any particular veteran, the generic veteran, or the class of veterans.

Similarly, the writers union doesn't belong to writers. In fact, the very opposite is true. :-)

I would also say "children's club," but I think this falls into the same category as "user's guide." The focus is on individual children and their venues, like their rooms or their back yards. We look on children and (in a sense) users as immature.

Where the focus is more on the organization than the individual, as in a writers guild, this changes. I would say "Boy Scout troop" or "Boy Scouts troop," not "Boy Scout's troop" or "Boy Scouts' troop."

POSITION 2 (5 votes): Use a possessive form (singular or plural depending on meaning).

EXPLANATION: Such constructions are best understood as genitives, rather than possessives in the narrow sense. Thus a writers' union is a union of writers, not a union possessed by writers--but still gets an apostrophe.

In English, plural nouns are seldom if ever used as adjectives. Thus, we speak of a "shoe (sing.) store", even though the store clearly has more than one shoe for sale.

We can see that constructions like "writers' union" are genitives if we consider cases where the genitive and the simple plural are actually pronounced differently. We would certainly say "children's club" rather than "children club".

The Veterans' Administration itself is a moot point, since its official name has changed. But as an administration pertaining to veterans, the genitive plural is appropriate, and the name would be properly punctuated as "Veterans' Administration".
"The question of how to form the possessive of names of more than one syllable ending in the sound of s or z probably occaisions more dissension among writers and editors of good will than any other orthographic matter open to disagreement."

[Gabriel's tumour: Why more than one syllable? How about Jess'/Jess's case?]
I've been sleeping too much recently. Then again, it beats stoning.

On one of the most perplexing uses of the apostrophe:

'Take the possessive of proper names ending in "s" - such as my own... Current guides to punctuation (including that ultimate authority, Fowler's Modern English Usage) state that with modern names ending in "s" (including biblical names, and any foreign name with an unpronounced final "s"), the "s" is required after the apostrophe:

Keats's poems
Philippa Jones's book
St James's Square
Alexander Dumas's The Three Musketeers

With names from the ancient world, it is not:

Archimedes' screw
Achilles' heel

If the name ends in an "iz" sound, an exception is made:

Bridges' score
Moses' tablets

And an exception is always made for Jesus:

Jesus' disciples

However, these are matters of style and preference that are definitely not set in stone, and it's a good idea not to get fixated about them... Consulting a dozen or so recently published punctuation guides, I can report that they contain minor disagreements on virtually all aspects of the above and that their only genuine consistency is in using Keats's poems as the prime example. Strange, but true. They just can't leave Keats alone. "It is Keats' poems (NOT Keats's)," they thunder. Or alternatively: "It is Keats's poems (NOT Keats')." Well, poor old Keats, you can't help thinking. No wonder he developed that cough.'

--- Lynne Truss, Eats, Shoots & Leaves - The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation, pp 55-57

Now you know why both Tym and I am in accord in recommending it :)

Two Americans are at a corner when a Swiss guy drives up.

The Swiss guy asks 'Sprechen sie Deutsch?'.

The two guys just stare.

'Parlez vous Francais?'

The two guys look at each other.

'Parla italiano?'

The two guys just shake their heads and the Swiss drives off in disgust.

One guy says to the other 'Hey, do you think that maybe we ought to learn another language?'

The other says 'Why bother? That guy could speak four and look what it got him!'

Someone recently told me, "It isn't immediately apparent to me why you hate the army so much... if you could distil the hatred into a couple of sentences that would be good".

I seem to have settled recently into sadness tinged with regret. As my ORD approaches, I wonder,

"How do you pick up the threads of an old life?
How do you go on, when in your heart, you begin to understand, there is no going back?
There are some things that time cannot mend.
Some hurts that go too deep... that have taken hold"

If you want hatred, well, try being in an organisation which doesn't afford you Respect, Care and Dignity (that being the motto of the SAF Counselling Centre, the corollary being that those 3 are not available elsewhere) and which takes you for granted as sub-human slave labour, beholden to the whims and fancies of the slave masters.

My rage has morphed recently into something hovering between pity and contempt, for the pitiful creatures of darkness who know not how they bind themselves with the chains of their iniquity. Of course, it is hard to feel pity when you are sprawled on the tarmac, gnashing your teeth and wailing, having collapsed after a route march, but since I'm pretty much free now, I have the luxury of feeling such emotions.
The long-awaited renovation of the medical centre has begun, wasting $120,000 to upgrade a place that will be rebuilt in a few years. The works are doing weird things to, for example, the water supply. I was in Room 4 (now Observation Room 2) and turned on the tap, only to shriek in alarm when brown water started flowing from it. Meanwhile in the sickbay, the false ceiling boards have been removed. I took a walk there and could neither see, hear nor smell the presence of the rats. Having nowhere to hide, they have finally been eradicated!

As an offering to appease the masses, I bought some Greek sweets to give to my camp mates - 2 boxes, in fact. The first was "Loukoumi Vassaki Greek Delights", overly-large red gelatinous cubes covered with a sticky cream-coloured liquid (probably liquefied icing sugar), and remarkably similar to one of the Indian confections. The cubes were rose-flavoured, but were insanely sweet. Now, I have a sweet tooth, but the cloying sweetness of the Loukoumi was enough to send me scurrying for copious amounts of water. I wonder how the Greeks manage not to get diabetes.

Later, I opened the other packet - "'Vassaki' Akanes Lailia from Serres". Inside were smaller brown gelatinous cubes, with peanut fragments embedded in them, and the icing sugar had not liquefied yet. It wasn't as sweet at the first, but it was still too sweet for my tastes.

It seems that there hasn't been a company run since the return from Lancer, more than 2 weeks ago, due to various administrative cockups. Nonetheless, our motivated medics have taken it into their hands to run by themselves. How laudable, their masochism is.

ORD personnel normally disappear to the canteen for most of the day, and eat canteen food instead of cookhouse food. Unfortunately, I think that I am still banned from there. Normally, no one cares about people who are going to ORD, but I daresay that for a personage as esteemed in their eyes as I, they will make an exception.

24 out of about 120 recruits in Pussy company want to sign on as regulars. I don't know what's wrong with them. I mean, some people in the other companies were similarly conned, but not so many!

Less than 2 weeks after taking over from me, my understudy got an understudy of his own. Hehe.

I don't know why, but though the training in 46SAR is often more intense, and they seem to have fewer privileges and more restrictions, people in 42 hate their unit more than those in 46. I was discussing this with some 46 guy - perhaps the commanders in 46 are nicer. They train you hard, but you don't get screwed, and you don't get the feeling that you are a slave in chains, placed on a treadmill in a workhouse.

I was being given a lecture by a taxi driver on the art of choosing the spots to go to pick passengers up. Most of it was inane drivel, but I learnt that it costs $92.40 a day to rent a cab.

During my last night off, I went with some of the guys to Jurong Point. There, we saw 3 female Officer Cadets (No, I'm not going to comment on their appearances) in NTUC. Inside their plastic bags, I saw some boxes of Yam Yam (the snack with biscuit sticks you dip in chocolate/vanilla), and they were picking at punnets of strawberries. Tut tut.

Orange Julius now has a Pina Colada drink with Nata De Coco. Shameless! I wonder which Malaysian scientist came up with the idea of Nata De Coco anyway. All the coconut husks that go in... Erk.

It is most ironic that Conservatives (or the right wing, rather) is generally permissive economically but restrictive socially, while the Liberals (or the left wing) is the opposite.

In Brunei, I saw a music video of this Chinese Pop song - "Shou3 Qian1 Shou3" (I always remember the middle word as "Jie1" or "Wo4"), whose list of performers read like a "Who's who of Chinese Pop" list.

From the tune, mood and lyrics of the song, I concluded that it was commissioned either in memory of some celebrity's passing or for a governmental campaign (ala the Courage Song).

But then, there were no scenes from the life of any one, nor pictures of nurses/road sweepers/night soil collectors/other unsung heroes that Virtuous and Moral Chinese are so fond of honouring (but not paying decent wages) doing their stuff, only black-and-white clips of people like A*Mei and S.H.E (H.E.R) singing their hearts out into mics with their hands clapsed around their headphones and of a lacklustre choir singing the chorus line.

So maybe it was a self-congratulatory pat on the back by the Chinese Pop industry, though seeing as how half of their songs these days are half in English, I wonder what they have to celebrate. (A source tells me it was for SARS, but I didn't see any nurses. Or intubated people. Or chest X-rays with auras)


"There is a reason why even patriotic Malaysians are paying 110,000 ringgit for a 1.6-litre Toyota or Honda when a similar-sized Proton costs less than 60,000 ringgit. The Wira, Proton's family saloon, is over a decade old and beset with faults. JD Powers, a consultancy, says that Proton has the worst quality record in the country... the Gen.2's roof turns out to be too low for adults in the rear to sit comfortably. Proton has always violated every principle of economics and car making."

Malaysia boleh!

Estée Lauder

"Young Josephine Esther Mentzer, as she began, was convinced from childhood that women should be beautiful. She also hoped to make a fortune by persuading them that, if they bought her creams, their beauty would last for ever. It is a story, after all, that women tend to need to believe... Whether women actually became more beautiful by applying Body Performance Anti-Cellulite Visible Contouring Serum, or whether they would have done as well with a quick douse in cold water, is impossible to say. Clearly, many felt better for it. The very names of these products, energetic and pseudo-scientific, implied that the limits of knowledge had been searched. Mrs Lauder could have cut prices, but refused. Her Crème de la Mer, developed by a NASA scientist, cost $110 for an ounce of vitamins pulped with seaweed. But cheapness, she said, would shake her customers' faith."

Gender defects are so tragic.

I wonder what people would write for *my* obituary.


[Me on the debilitating effects of NS: Don't you feel disconnected from the world?] I'm not disconnected from the world. I'm on the internet.

[On someone] He didn't disappear very often. He only disappeared often after his car broken down.

[To someone] Yo! You're back from [your] course. [Someone: I'm back] [Me: I'm back too] [Someone else: No one cares about you]

[Sign] Do not disturb us during lunchtime of after working hours!!!! Do not knock/open the doors during these hours! Unlike you, we need rest! Thank you!

[Sign] Negligence and carelessness on your part does not constitute urgency on my part (oblige)

[On my ORD mood] You look so happy nowadays... so unlike your previous self

[To Swee Shoon] You are the new docu [ic]? You got the shittiest job, next to PA. Both [are] about the same.

Monday, May 17, 2004

Comments on Gabriel's watching of Troy below.

First, a disclaimer - I enjoyed Troy mainly because I enjoyed the very physical aesthetic of the combat moves Brad Pitt makes; and I thought Eric Bana portrayed a very good Hector. I will not go into a long rant on the various blasphemies against the purity of the Iliad (Samuel Butler translation, for me), because I feel, like the Lord of the Rings movies, a book and what comes out on screen *must* differ in many substantial ways in order to tell a more effective tale within their respective mediums.

That said, I have to agree that the characters in Troy can get pretty angsty and introspective - and thus thoroughly modern - compared to the tale. In some crucial respects, the spirit of the Iliad was:

a) warlusting ravagers,

b) the VERY active intervention of petty deities; virtually all the major heroes had SOME kind of divine support in all their one on one battles whether through "clouds of shadow" or "merest breath deflected his thrown spear" - with the notable exception of Ajax (the Greater) who by the way is described as fighting with a SPEAR not a warhammer. Even the Pantheon themselves were regularly laying the smack-down with one another throughout the whole conflict.

c) an admirable attitude towards women as chattel and spoils of war (sigh. those were the days:)

d) bad-ass Achaean heroes who "believe their own PR" - even relatively nerdy Odysseus has the soubriquet "sacker of cities" .

All of these anachronisms are thoroughly given a makeover in the movie version.

Thus, I enjoyed Troy as a tale in its own right, not as a retelling of the Iliad. I enjoyed Hector - a character forced to fight a war he doesn't want to, and ultimately battle a warrior to whom he knows he will lose, all for duty and honour. Achilles; a man torn between his sheer hubris and a deeper need for something than mere martial glory (utterly unlike the Iliad version). The fact that the movie has thoroughly raped the original Homeric essence for a summer blockbuster is something I can live with purely on the strength of Achilles, Hector, and Peter O' Toole's moving Priam scenes (I'm thinking of the one with Achilles, and the one with just before Hector gets nailed).

I also enjoyed watching Achilles' physical moves; the style of combat involved in a one on one spear-n-shield fight is unlike any I've ever seen before (even the Wong Fei-Hoong staff fights were two-handed and used more for bludgeoning which leads to a different kind of dynamic). Also enjoyed Brad Pitt's javelin-tossing form and the way he constantly moves the shield around his body, slinging it on his back and his arm to block arrows in a 360 degree arc.

However, I am cheesed off by the pretty boy sniper fuck proto-Legolas played by Orlando Bloom. Here we have a snivelling coward who's cheehongness results in the destruction of his civilization, the death of his far worthier brother and father, who runs from a duel against the man whose wife he stole (and he doesn't even have the excuse of Aphrodite/Eros supporting him this time) AND his fucking camper tactics of using archery against Achilles at the last. To top it off, he gets away with the girl amidst the defeat of a war HE caused - all to please the legions of Legolas-mad fangirls packing the summer metroplexes.

I think Hector's words in the original Iliad are best:

"evil-hearted Paris, fair to see, but woman-mad, and false of tongue, would that you had never been born, or that you had died unwed. Better so, than live to be disgraced and looked askance at. Will not the Achaeans mock at us and say that we have sent one to champion us who is fair to see but who has neither wit nor courage? Did you not, such as you are, get your following together and sail beyond the seas? Did you not from your a far country carry off a lovely woman wedded among a people of warriors- to bring sorrow upon your father, your city, and your whole country, but joy to your enemies, and hang-dog shamefacedness to yourself? And now can you not dare face Menelaus and learn what manner of man he is whose wife you have stolen? Where indeed would be your lyre and your love-tricks, your comely locks and your fair favour, when you were lying in the dust before him? The Trojans are a weak-kneed people, or ere this you would have had a shirt of stones for the wrongs you have done them."

Also am a bit disgusted by the one-sided portrayal of Agamemnon - it seems like he was added as a bloody handed powermad warlord just for the sake of giving audiences a "villain" to identify in this summer blockbuster. And of course, with his just desserts rendered at the end. Admittedly, Brian Cox hams it up well, like he did in X-Men 2, but I dislike adding such one-dimensional characters just for the sake of providing an artificial Hollywood "bad guy gets his comeuppance" kind of symmetry.

However, to show that I can be as historically nitpicky as Gabriel; on to commentary about his commentary.

i) Though gods were conspicuously absent, Thetis the sea nymph put in an appearance, wading by the shore no less. She looked considerably aged, so I find it hard to believe how she could have been a sea nymph. This leaves the unpalatable conclusion - they made Thetis a human!!!

Thetis was the daughter of Nereus; but her various description as "silver footed goddess", "daughter of the sea's ancient", "immortal wife" - I don't find it hard to imagine her as being middle aged. (Juno has been described as having a matronly appearance despite being immortal too).

Besides, I think taking out the Gods made the movie more interesting in two ways:

a) It becomes a battle of men rather than a battle of gods - if you want the latter, go watch Clash of the Titans. A movie of human struggle is, for me, more epic than one in which the Gods toy with their every action.

Although for some reason, maybe emotional sentiment, the Iliad as a written piece of work wouldn't quite be the same without the perpetually quarrelling, lovingly dysfunctional pantheon pulling the strings. But I wouldn't want to see that in a movie.

b) Achilles with his utter invulnerability and Hephaestus-forged armour would turn the movie into Diablo with god mode on. And as most game affocionados know, god mode both makes the game pass faster and less satisfyingly.

(incidentally if he was invulnerable, why the heck did they bother giving him armour in the first place? They should have just given him iron-shod Caterpillar boots)

ii) The most beautiful woman in the world wasn't very beautiful. Paris obviously got shortchanged by Aphrodite. Unless he hallucinated the whole Apple contest.

Totally agree. I would have liked to see Keira Knightley in the role, personally:)

iii) Achilles himself insinuated that he was not invulnerable, but somehow he has a flawless face, with no scars or marks of battle

Maybe he's just that good? In a way, his flawless features and unscarred form is more heroic knowing that he earned it instead of getting a Stygian forcefield dip.

iv) The Myrmidons had a tortoise formation. That was only invented later by the Romans

[Ed: nw.t points out that, "i might add that the tortoise formation predates the hard-core Roman legion conception. Pliny mentions that the Scythians in Cappadocia and Amernia used the tortoise formation too. using relatively smaller tower shields instead of the humongous oblong types. albeit around 100-200BC:)"]

As above. Polybius mentions that the phalanx was in use by the Macedonians, which means about 200-300BC, and some digging around on Google (the true descendant of the Library of Alexandria) indicates that stelae have been found depicting the Sumerians using phalanx formations circa 2000 BC. However, these primitive phalanx formations often involved somewhat smaller shields (no fancy overlapping) than the Roman legions did, and didn't have the flexibility of the maniple.

v) The "Sword of Troy", which goes to Aeneas

I thought having Aeneas being the bearer of Trojan civilization into the future was a nice homage to Virgil's Aeneid:) Although Aeneas' role as a warrior in the Iliad is reduced to that of a cameo; too bad about Diomedes, Sarpedon, the other Ajax, Idomenus, Alastor, Pandorus, amidst a gazillion other extras:)

vi) The screwed chronology - both in terms of the length of the war (the great 10-year long war is over in less than 3 weeks, and that's including 12 days of funeral games) and events

Do you really want to watch a movie about 10 years of dying, sieging, more dying, more sieging, ad nauseam?

Gabriel: "have you heard of, '9 years later...'"

Presumably as a cheapshot subtitle followed by a camera angle of the scene shifting to massive armies deployed around troy having settled in for the long haul?

I suppose it could be done, but why interrupt the action?

vii) Menelaus and Agamemnon dying at the hands of Hector and Briseis respectively, in and around Troy

Well Agamemnon got killed by a woman's (Clytemnestra) treachery eventually, so it's not too far off here:)

viii) I don't think the Trojans used Phalanxes

If the Akkadians used phalanxes about 1000 years before, I don't see any reason why the Trojans didn't. Besides, historically, given that no one's 100% sure which bloody civilization Troy belongs to, there's no way to tell.

And anyway, most of the combat wasn't really phalanx-in-lockstep-with-mile-long-sarissae type fighting; it was your classic lightly armoured hoplites crashing into each other's lines and wreaking havoc, despite the rather impressive attempt by the Trojans the walls to set up spear formations behind shields for all of 30 seconds before the Achaeans charged their lines.

ix) Briseis is Trojan royalty

I actually think that pretty sniper elfboy reacted in a very weird way after sniping Achilles; his cousin is there hugging the enemy and slayer of Hector and instead of "Treacherous bitch! Join your Achaean lover in Hades!" and firing off a salvo into her, he just pleads with her solicitously to come - after sniping a guy whom she was in a warm embrace with.

x) They cut the poignant scene where Hector's son doesn't recognise him till he removes his helmet

They also cut the unncessary scene where Achilles spends a few days dragging Hector's body around the tent but is unable to desecrate it because of Phoebus Apollo's aegis, AND Hector running around Troy three times to dodge Achilles before his fight.

Some things they need to edit lah.

xi) Paris becomes Cassandra

What? Other than his girly looks.... although Laocoon being throttled by the serpents would have been cool:)

xii) The god-figure seated on a throne behind Priam reminded me of Zeus at Olympia

It actually looks vaguely Phoenician to me - especially the beard.

Additional point - i'm surprised that siege weapons didn't make some perfunctory appearance:) Although to the best of my knowledge, the earliest ballistae were around 500-600 years later, and tension-torsion type catapults were even later.

However, I didn't see wheeled siege ladders or battering rams being prepared - although Gabriel points out rightly that the soldiers did use small battering rams while sacking Troy, and that ultimately the wood from recycled proto-triremes (not a lot of tinder to use in that barren wasteland around Troy) was better spent building the horse rather on frontal assault - you would think that Agamemnon or Ulysses would have prepared some beforehand in anticipation of a siege.

(Wheeled siege ladders have been depicted in 5th Dynasty hieroglyphics - 2200+ BC so it's perfectly plausible to have been used circa 1200 BC)

Another nitpick: Where are the farms? What does Troy eat in that barren wasteland - sand? When Gabriel suggested that food was shipped in from the rest of the empire, I didn't see any wagons, or roads leading anywhere from the Trojan gates. Sure as hell there weren't any ports, although there was that nice beach side temple.

Also the archers seemed (didn't see that clearly though) to be using straight long bows instead of Asiatic composite bows which were definitely extant at that time (the Akkadians had them circa 2400BC).

Although Hector has the eponymous Apollion(sic) (Apollyon? heh) Guard, which appear to be some kind of light irregular cavalry, I don't see him using them to any military effect at all - whether flanking strikes, skirmishers, or horse archers, all of which could have been used to good effect during the first Achaean rout or for flanking during the initial charge into the Trojan spear lines. So much for the "Tamer of Horses".

And where the hell are the chariots? Again, Gabriel points out (rightly) that in Greece, chariots were mostly the province of aristocrats like the ones Agamemnon used to ferry himself about. However, the Egyptians (and later the Persians) used war chariots qutie extensively at one point (think Moses and Exodus) - until cavalry really came onto its own, but 1200BC or so I would think they should still be in use, particularly in the flat terrain of Asia Minor and south/east wards which was ideal for chariot use.

Chariots would be kind of useless in temperate, geographically uneven regions like Greece or Italy so I can see why they never took off there, but look at that utterly flat, sandy terrain around Troy. You would think it's perfect for chariot warfare - and i'm sure a city that can build walls that huge an afford some for war.

Finally, how come the defenders didn't appear to have basic defensive techniques like naphtha, boiling pitch, to lob from the walls, BUT were able to come up with rolling giant inflammable balls? (Tactical tip - don't set up your base camp at the foot of an elevated position)
Word of the day: "iatrogenic"

Today's tale of corporate chicanery as I went through the motions of what increasingly feels like a diminshed life:

There used to be this manager in my department that the department head ("HEAD") hated, but couldn't kill off because he's been in the bank for years and he has links right to the top - in fact he was in our department because he fucked up bigtime somewhere else and he was cold storaged with us. Let's call him Ernie.

So anyway, after a whole year, HEAD finally managed to get Ernie shoved off to somewhere else - with quite a bit of behind-the-scenes ugliness involved as well i heard.

And now, our department is undergoing this massive super project that's sucking up a lot of time and resources. HEAD has driven the consultants from BCG, and one of our managers put in charge of the project, crazy because HEAD is fucking picky and stubborn about a lot of things. Stuck at the design and conceptual planning stage for months.

Anyway, just last friday, they had managed to start moving ahead, and all of a sudden, Ernie was assigned to the project by the CEO as the CEO's personal representative. FUCKING BACK TO SQUARE ONE. And HEAD can't touch him now but has to put up with his incompetent crap. (I'll give credit to HEAD here, he knows his stuff and puts in the work, even if he has less than sterling people skills)

The manager in charge of the project said to me while smoking: "it's like fucking highlander - you stab also cannot kill."

My own direct manager (who doesn't smoke but was passing by): "HEAD didn't handle that bastard well. This kind of people, if you don't drive a stake through their heart, they will come back stronger than ever."

Not that I'm complaining too much about "The Ernie Strikes Back". Because as a corporate grunt, I'll be handling implementation, and if they keep arguing about the groundwork long enough, I will hopefully be gone by the time implementation gets around:)

On the Power 98 NS Idol:

Friend: "one of the judges, shareen, is the saf whore. they get her and some guy to do this 'commander's night' in BMT, to entertain the troops with every batch."

Me: "define entertain"

Friend: "please...this is singapore....don't use your imagination and you'll have a good idea."

Me: "cheh. thought it was some camp follower thing"

You would expect that after seeing Troy, I'd post a hefty list of nitpicks, but you would be wrong because:

a) There were too many things to pick on
b) Troy was relatively veracious as this sort of movie goes, which says more about the genre than about it
c) I was feeling benevolent
d) I was feeling vaguely unsettled after semi-advertently insulting someone

However, there were some Cardinal Sins committed by the movie makers which I cannot rest without pointing out:

i) Though gods were conspicuously absent, Thetis the sea nymph put in an appearance, wading by the shore no less. She looked considerably aged, so I find it hard to believe how she could have been a sea nymph. This leaves the unpalatable conclusion - they made Thetis a human!!!
ii) The most beautiful woman in the world wasn't very beautiful. Paris obviously got shortchanged by Aphrodite. Unless he hallucinated the whole Apple contest.
iii) Achilles himself insinuated that he was not invulnerable, but somehow he has a flawless face, with no scars or marks of battle
iv) The Myrmidons had a tortoise formation. That was only invented later by the Romans [Ed: nw.t points out that, "i might add that the tortoise formation predates the hard-core Roman legion conception. Pliny mentions that the Scythians in Cappadocia and Amernia used the tortoise formation too. using relatively smaller tower shields instead of the back square phalanxy types. albeit around 100-200BC:)"]
v) The "Sword of Troy", which goes to Aeneas
vi) The screwed chronology - both in terms of the length of the war (the great 10-year long war is over in less than 3 weeks, and that's including 12 days of funeral games) and events
vii) Menelaus and Agamemnon dying at the hands of Hector and Briseis respectively, in and around Troy
viii) I don't think the Trojans used Phalanxes
ix) Briseis is Trojan royalty
x) They cut the poignant scene where Hector's son doesn't recognise him till he removes his helmet
xi) Paris becomes Cassandra
xii) The god-figure seated on a throne behind Priam reminded me of Zeus at Olympia

It must be a little frightening considering what I'd deem mortal and venial sins. But if you think I am picky, you should see Archaeology Magazine's thorough rundown ("Nice columns! Did you get thse [sic] at Knossos, or what?").

Homer, or rather the group of poets who compiled the Iliad, must be turning in his grave. At least they had the decency to call the movie "inspired" by the Iliad rather than based on it.

Interesting points:

i) Many people are skeptical about the gods' existence. This was rare - almost suicidal - in an ancient society
ii) Architecture and statues in Troy are vaguely Egyptian

The movie is rated PG, even though it is a lot more "decadent" than, say, Goodbye Lenin, which received an R(A) rating due to a scene with a nude man walking around and a clip from a porn video with a deformed woman licking whipped cream from her deformed breasts.

The censors' logic seems to be: Violence, sex, lust, rape and nudity are okay, as long as they don't reveal breasts or the gonads, but flash a nipple or a male member and you get slapped with a NC-16 rating. Evidently the sight of a brown nipple is capable of polluting young minds, while the image of writhing bodies (covered strategically, of course) which have obviously just engaged in the act of congress is perfectly fine.

"I think most people wouldn't pay $8.50 to see Diane Kruger, let alone launch a thousand ships" - Hwa

Sunday, May 16, 2004

Darkness Demo

A demo for LutC's latest flash game, made while he was writhing in agony at home after an operation.

Some words from the programmer:

"It's a point-and-click adventure game. Since I've been watching horror movies non-stop this past week, it's no wonder that this game took on a horror theme.

So turn up the volume of your speakers (important!), dim down the lights, sit back and enjoy the ride. This game is meant to be scary but it won't be if you don't let it be... so be a sport 'kay?

I think it's pretty straightforward so you shouldn't have much problem figuring out what to do. The puzzles are all quite logical actually. Anyway, it's only a demo version so it's pretty short too =( This is actually 2 weeks worth of effort. Making games isn't really very efficient is it? 2 weeks worth of effort = 5 minutes of gameplay *sigh* Ah well, I guess it's normal. Commercial computer games take more than 2 years to make... but takes less than a week to complete =P

Anyhoo, give me your feedback ok? Tell me what you liked, what you didn't like. Is it too easy? Too hard? Tell me what scared you... or what didn't =P

Remember, turn up your speakers! Way up!

PS: It's called "Darkness" for the lack of a better name. Leave me a message if anyone has suggestions for a name eh? And don't give me "Crappy Game"... I know it is but you don't have to rub it in =P Ah... this is the first game in the world to ever feature a girl in the RGS pinafore isn't it? There... meeting all your fetish needs *bleah*

Al-Qaeda sympathisers battle 'infidels' with rap

"Al-Qaeda's newest weapon against the West is a violent English-language rap tune urging young Muslims to wage holy war.

Titled Dirty Kuffar or Dirty Infidels, the song is performed by a London-based group which Islamists said was deeply sympathetic to Osama bin Laden's network. "



Over 6 weeks, 16 NSFs and NSmen will put their singing prowess on the line! Happening on the Chill Out Hour 3 times a week, contestants try to win listeners’ hearts and votes with a military and pop song. Check out the first SAF NS Idol as NSFs and NSmen prove their singing is as good as their shooting!



Stay tuned to POWER98 to win VIP passes plus drink vouchers to the finals!

Official Snack: Tong Garden

I am aghast.
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