When you can't live without bananas

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Friday, July 30, 2004

Quote of the Post: "A conservative is a man with two perfectly good legs who, however, has never learned to walk forward." - Franklin D. Roosevelt

Random Playlist Song: Cantata 106, BWV 106 - 2 - Gottes Zeit ist di


In his welcome address to us, our Dean showed us pictures of famous people like David Duchovny and Carly Fiorina who graduated with Arts degrees, and also pictures of famous people who graduated from NUS with Arts degrees (our current PM, President Nathan). The message? It is possible to make it to the top of your fields with an Arts degree. And at each department's talk, the speakers talked pointedly of the career prospects available for graduates with that degree.

Regardless of the career prospects for Arts graduates, the fact that they had to make such points says something.

Singapore - a most practical place.

As the joke goes,

The graduate with a Science degree asks, "Why does it work?"
The graduate with an Engineering degree asks, "How does it work?"
The graduate with an Accounting degree asks, "How much will it cost?"
The graduate with a Liberal Arts degree asks, "Do you want fries with that?"

My days of bumming are now (or will soon be) at an end. I am sad. Deep end of the swimming pool, here I come!

Today marked the start of the USP FOW (Freshman Orientation Week). Unlike what I'm told the other faculties did, we did not have what was essentially a non-residential camps: ie we had no games.

Instead we have talks, meetups with our academic advisors and assorted activities, like a video screening today, on the way to which I was waylaid and conscripted to build a structure for rag.

Oddly enough, though, we had no campus tour, so I will likely spend the first week or two staring at the maps of NUS mounted at various parts of the campus.

CORS (the system through which we bid for modules) is NUS's market solution to allocating scarce resources (modules) in the face of great, or not so great, as the case might be, demand. As such, close bidding (sic - hereafter referred to as "closed" bidding), during which you see only the highest and lowest bids, seems to fly in the face of the market principles that CORS is supposedly based on, since people can spoil the market in the confusion of closed bidding.

The explanation for having closed bidding: "If not the server will crash".

I grant that it would probably be prohibitively expensive to maintain a system allowing everyone to login simultaneously, so why don't they outsource the bidding of modules to eBay or Yahoo Auctions? After all, outsourcing more often than not lowers costs and increases output (both in quality and quantity).

Another possible solution: Instead of open auctions closing 2 hours before the round ends, let a 10% surcharge by levied on bids placed during the last 2 hours of a bidding round.

"If you all are truly elite... If only one student wants a class, I will open a class. If all 500 students want one class, I will open 10 classes for you. Oxford and Cambridge, they so bloody elite, they have one-on-one tutorial. Can you imagine that?"

--- Brother in law on bidding for USP modules

He also related an anecdote about plagiarism which he read in a Charles Handy (some management guru or, as my brother in law prefers, a social thinker who happens to be a management guru) book.

"Once, when my social life was overfull, I copied out my essay from a rather obscure book on Greek history and read it to my tutor. He made no comment. In an ominous silence he walked over to his bookcase, took down his copy of that obscure history, found the page and continued to read from the point where I had finished. I blushed in shame. Nothing more needed to be said. Oxford wasn't interested in the repetition of other people's work until and unless it had become part of one's own thinking."

--- Charles Handy, the elephant and the flea, Page 42

I don't think he ever plagiarised again. Much more effective than disciplining a student, or even expelling him, I would think.

It seems that some people have an unlimited supply of jeans. For all you know some people could be wearing one pair for the whole week. Personally I hate jeans - they're too hot.

It seems that the arguments for reducing MOE's university subsidies ignore the fact that Singaporean Universities are tools of social and economic engineering. When subsidies are reduced (as they surely will), I have my doubts about whether the amount of social engineering will decrease.


We have some pretty interesting modules like food, emotions... I love food. You can tell.

One easy way of identifying the difference between sociology and social work is that in sociology we identify the problems. In social work they solve them.

We all deserve to be helped, whether we are rich or poor, sick or... not sick.

[On Social Work] President Nathan is an alumni of our department. That's how high you can go. (alumnus)

Another module is dynamic effective inter-personal relations. If you don't have a boyfriend or a girlfriend, you may want to take it.

[Powerpoint slide] The spread and quality of spoken and written English in Singapore represents one of the country's key assets

I met some of you after your camp, when you were preparing for your performances. When you were embarassing yourselves.

All of us here are a bit abnormal... The professors: they love work and abhor money.

lah'pell pin (lapel)

When you look at the module, you will worry. [Looks at one module] That's me [who's teaching it]. You mean I'm supposed to teach?

You will be... cursing yourself at some point. 'Why did I join USP?' We make you work because we think you want us to make you work.


"WTH!!! Next year, HCJC will be called HWA CHONG INSTITUTION. Sounds like some mental institution like that...ARGH! And the Chinese name is Hwa Qiao ZHONG XUE. Sounds like we are being demoted or something. And HJC students will have to start using the bloody TCHS badge...why is it us with all the changes?! (no offence coffee). ARGH! I absolutely am pissed off with the school admin. What kind of lousy deal did they make?!"


"i heard nus has a module on what ladies giving birth or something."

It must be to match NTU's module on social etiquette.


"smu has more poseurs lah... people go there cos its a party university. damn slack one.. just talk nonsense in class and get 20$% for class participation already"

No wonder so many people went there ;)

The NUS study week is 50 hours. Wah. Maybe I should go and study in France. Hopefully their 35 hour work week applies to University students too.


Friend: "I bought a IBM, I trust the IBM brand. They build solid notebooks"
A girl: "I like the fujitsu one.."
Friend: (Cutting in) "Fujitsus are for shallow people"
Her: "But why? Fujitsu looks very nice you know"
Friend's comment to me: ......... what can i say? Girls.. will always be girls


In my first cash infusion since June 10th, my mother just gave me $400 for the month of August, including the cost of books and transport. I'm not sure how many books we will have to buy, but university textbooks are quite expensive, and there've been crackdowns on copyright infringement in recent years. Oh well, this probably means I won't be financing any big ticket purchases anymore. Of course, she alludes to some "performance bonus" I may be getting if I do well, but knowing her standards, I don't think I'll ever be getting this "bonus". [NB: Yes, I'm sure there are others getting less, but still.]

"If you don't know where you're going, any road will do"
Wise words.

I was wondering how He Who Must Not Be Named manages to read so much, and he wondered how I blogged so much. So I guess we answered each other's questions. However, the difference is that reading consumes content, while blogging creates it.

Someone asked what I thought of this. My first impression was of someone with a serious mutant yeast infection.

Someone on the Creative Zen Touch: "looks like creative is a misnomer..."

Ramly Burger, which some people swear by, has given Benjy food poisoning: "i like it too but the one they were selling [at the NTU ECA fair] sucks and it's poisonous"

spacesounds - we are listening - Hear real sounds recorded in space, mostly radio waves

Mary Pilates on the pronunciation of her name: "Pi-lates or Pe-la-tus."
Pastor Jim Nicholls's True Christian Church of Christ still hasn't regained the glory it once had, but on its latest page on dinosaurs, echoes of its former greatness can be seen.

"Genesis 7
15 And they went in unto Noah into the ark, two and two of all flesh, wherein is the breath of life.
16 And they that went in, went in male and female of all flesh, as God had commanded him: and the LORD shut him in.

Yup, that doesn't include animals that only have one sex, since they don't exist!!

We know the dinosaurs survived the flood and went on Noah's Ark, since Job saw the Behemoth (scroll up). Of course, to fit all 20 million animal species on Earth, times two, plus all the food and water and oxygen, only took 120 years!! The small ark had plenty of room for all twenty million!! It's all Christian Science!"

I like the cute picture :)

Top 9 Silly Christian Arguments

'Argument 7: "Satan has deceived you!"
This is a very silly argument to employ against an atheist. Obviously, atheists don't acknowledge the existence of Satan any more than they acknowledge the existence of Poseidon or Allah. Further, the argument can easily be turned around on the Christian who poses it by saying something along the lines of "perhaps Loki has deceived you, and Zeus is in fact the real god."'
He Who Must Not Be Named claimed that during Roman Triumphs (generals' victory processions), the person standing behind the victorious Triumphator whispered into his ear, "sic transit gloria mundi".

I knew instinctively that this was wrong, for what I remembered was that it was "Remember, thou art but mortal"

It seems that the actual phrase was "Memento homo" (Remember you are mortal).

Another victory in the battle against the Tides of Darkness.


Seen in a spam mail from "George Darlington":

"Dear sir, You have been recommended by a good Nigerian as good lecturer whom handles students the way they understands your lectures easily.Presently,we need professionals like you in our University as espertraits to take up lecturing job.However,after discusing your issue in the senate meeting today,the manegement UNIVERSITY OF NIGERIA NSUKKA decides to mail you and talk terms of payment and moderlities wheather to come as visiting lecturer or part- time or contract pending if you indicate interest. THanks. Sincerely, Dr. George"

So the billion dollar fortune has dried up, and now they're looking for lecturers?!

Maybe I should forward this to the staff in NUS, and see if any of them want to take up the offer.

Monday, July 26, 2004

Quote of the Post: "Never give a party if you will be the most interesting person there." - Mickey Friedman

Random Playlist Song: Vaughan Williams - Variants of 'Dives and Lazarus' for String Orchestra & Harp



After we finished our paperwork and looked at laptops, we were herded like sheep through a corral, first watching a video on what NUS is about (fun and funky, the video said none too subtly, but it said nothing about the mugging NUS is really famous for), and then being forced to run the gauntlet. Through a dense morass of monsters we had to push through, each stretching its clawed or webbed hands and seeking to suck off some portion of our life energies for its own. Luckily, there were occasional respites as some denizens of the caves we waddled through were either strangely absent (perhaps slain by previous intrepid adventurers) or resting placidly, making no attempts to grab our souls (too bad for their clubs and societies).

Among the weirder ECAs on display:
- NUSSU SAVE - Students Against the Violation of the Earth
- a toll-free hotline (1800-7762242) for students to call if they have questions or need counselling. Pity it's not 24hrs, like the SAF hotline :0
- the Jovial Jugglers
- Nam Wah Pai - but this one involves weapons practice and teaches you self-defence also
- NUS Air Weapons club - "Fascinated by the art of shooting? Enjoy the adrenaline of firing a weapon?" - No thank you. I've had enough contact with weapons to last me a millennium
- Golf club
- Skating club
- Wake boarding club
- Jogging club
- "Anyone can make u sweat. But only we can make u wet" - okay, the only weird thing about the sailing club was the ad
- I also saw an ad for a "sexiest legs contest"

This put me in the mind of setting up a club myself, just for the heck of it. I thought of an atheist club, but no one would want to join it. Maybe setting up a TAF club (Trim And Fit - customarily for overweight schoolchildren) would meet with more success.

Not a few people have speculated to me that the reason NUS has so many ECAs is that people need the points to stay in hostels. Why else is there a Rovers club in addition to ODAC, what seemed like 6 dance clubs, and 4 (possibly more) Christian organisations? In any case, it doesn't matter, for the supply of hostel rooms is limited, so people are just suffering from money illusion :) [NB: Yes, people tell me that NUS has a lot of students, but still. Anyhow this is just development of an interesting theory expounded by some]



A man died and went to heaven. As he stood in front of St. Peter at the Pearly Gates, he saw a huge wall of clocks behind him. He asked, "What are all those clocks?"

St. Peter answered, "Those are Lie-Clocks. Everyone on Earth has a Lie-Clock. Every time you lie the hands on your clock will move".

"Oh," said the man, "whose clock is that?

That's Mother Teresa's. The hands have never moved, indicating that she never told a lie."

"Incredible, said the man. "And whose clock is that one?"

St. Peter responded, "That's Abraham Lincoln's clock. The hands have moved twice, telling us that Abe told only two lies in his entire life."

"Where's George Bush's clock?" asked the man.

"Bush's clock is in Jesus' office. He's using it as a ceiling fan."

Source: shadafakup, who stole it from someone else.

The UN conducted a worldwide survey. The question was: "Would you please give your honest opinion about solutions to the food shortage in the rest of the world?"

The survey was a huge failure:

In Africa they didn't know what 'food' meant.
In Eastern Europe they didn't know what 'honest' meant.
In Western Europe they didn't know what 'shortage' meant.
In the Middle East they didn't know what 'solution' meant.
In South America they didn't know what 'please' meant.
In the United States they didn't know what 'the rest of the world' meant.

And in Singapore they didn't know what 'opinion' meant."



Someone on Law Orientation:

"They will be having drag queen contest {no, the rule that we cannot humiliate the freshies simply does not apply} at Sentosa. One of the rare few highlights left for Orientation. Plus, there will be alot of the girls in their skimpy 2 piece swimwear. Did I mention that Ms Malaysia Universe 2004 is in law?"

Wah. Meanwhile at the NTU Sports Camp, it seems that for a forfeit, "a female partner [stripped] the swimming trunks off her male partner", and they had "girls sit on guys' laps on the bus from NTU to Sentosa".

I wager that the writer of this letter is not going to be very popular in NTU.


Tales of mindgame

He Who Must Not Be Named (HWMNBN) has arrived in Singapore. He asked me to chronicle, in parallel with him, how he sets up a new life. I told him I had better things to do.

Nonetheless, I did offer him half a day on my not-so-busy schedule, to go house hunting on Sunday, and we viewed a flat above Pearl Centre, 2 minutes' walk from Outram Park MRT. Good price, great location and it's a cozy demesne. Only problem? It's rather sleazy, with many KTVs all around. Though that is a possible point in its favour for him.

While in the area, we also got to check out a place I've always been meaning to look closer at - the dirty grey apartment building behind some way behind Pearl Centre (Pearlbank apartments) which looks like it was hacked from a solid cylinder of metal just after World War II to house refugees, and reminds one of Barad Dur. It actually looks better up close than it does from afar.

HWMNBN also informs me that Singapore is not the only non-Muslim, non-Communist country to ban pornography. The Philippines is a fellow member in this lonely category. So I shall rephrase my statement: Singapore is the only non-Communist, non-religious country to ban pornography.


Life Sciences

Twas only yesterday, it seems, that Life Sciences were all the rage in Singapore. The Powers That Be Enthused that they were the next big thing, and having missed the New Economy boom, Singapore would not - must not miss this one.

I was discussing this with someone, and he brought up some good points:

- By the time the first batch of buzzword-brainwashed Life Sciences graduates get their pHDs, Life Sciences will probably not be the "in" thing.
- EDB is awfully neglected these days, though it used to be hot. Indeed, it's been a long time since someone talked about it

- R&D generates no capital, and just pumping money into it will not make a whole R&D community spring up (unlike creating a commercial community):

1) The market in Singapore is simply too small, and the communities in the US and UK are richer
2) Scientists go for obscure things like citations, influence, reputation and community, which Singapore does not have



According to BlogShares, my stock is worth B$4,108.84. Whee.

I went to the hairdresser today, but she said that because of my face shape and my size, it would be best to wait for a month before going for a trim. "that is one honest hairdresser who isn't out to make a quick buck"

I feel younger than my years. Would that I could be transported back a few years, to continue on (sans slavery, of course).

Sunday, July 25, 2004

Quote of the Post: "Newspapermen learn to call a murderer 'an alleged murderer' and the King of England 'the alleged King of England' to avoid libel suits." - Stephen Leacock

Random Playlist Song: Mercedes Lackey - The Sunhawks


Tomorrow is matriculation for Arts students, and we are supposed to go down at different time slots according to our "first name as in offer letter".

Since first names are given names, as opposed to surnames, I would presumably go down during the "A-G" timeslot. However, the schedule has slots for people with first names "H-LIM", "LIN-O" and "P-TA", and I doubt there are people who have "Lim", "Lin" or "Tan" as their first names. So I guess what they meant by "first names" is not "first names", but "first word of name".

No matter. The mixups *should* be self-correcting.


Having a uniform to wear to school (or work, for that case) may be restrictive, but it says you a lot of trouble, as you do not have to decide what to wear, and can also keep a smaller wardrobe.

BX: "i think i'll just go tshirts and berms everyday until i run out of clothes
then i'll wear shirts and jeans
if all else fails, singlets and shorts and flip flops"

Unfortunately, the NUS dress code disallows singlets and flip flops. The part about shorts is unclear though. BX thinks it applies only to girls and their hot shorts ('hot pants'?). And I'm quite sure logically spaghetti straps are as decadent as, if not more decadent than, singlets, but the former are still worm.


Me: eh what do people wear in NUS?

Critic 1: leaves
the occasional stitch


PaRaDoX: ask her to wear tt
to make nus a more happening place

Critic 1: ask PaRaDoX to wear that. to make nus more a hell than it already is.


Hair tales

Relating hair tales to others usually awards me a chorus of disapproval. Some (most of the girls I've talked to) say I won't look good with my intended hair length. Others (most of the guys I've talked to) seem shackled by an outdated notion of the maximum hair length that males are supposed to keep. Regardless, I will strive on, to achieve that which has been denied to me for the last 20 years!

Current status:

Front - Much of my fringe touches the bottom of my eyebrows
Side - It hasn't gone past half the ear yet. So right now it is almost too long to tuck behind the ears unaided, yet too short to pull past them
Back - It just about touches my collar. But then I've a naturally short neck

To think that it's been 2 1/2 months since my last haircut. I guess my hair naturally grows slowly, and En Leung says he took a year to grow his hair to shoulder length, so it will be a long time before I can fulfill my fantasy of hitting people by jerking my head.

Right now, my main problem is that my sideburns and the hair growing from above the ears look messy. There are three possible ways to deal with this. Gelling works to some extent, but I don't really like the feel of the gel when it has hardened, and there are limits to what it can do. Hair clips are slightly better, but they supposedly look weird on me, seem more suited for the fringe and I still haven't mastered the art of using them. Maybe I shall return to them at a later date. And finally, someone suggested that I wear a hairband. I'm not opposed to this just on principle, but hairbands are meant primarily to keep the fringe back rather than to deal with hair around the ears. Besides which, they do nothing for the sideburns. Perhaps trimming the sideburns will help, so they will be of an equal length with the hair growing from above the ears.

At some time in the future, I will have to invest in expensive hair products so my hair will be soft, thick, and easy to style - silky and soft, yet very thick and strong. I'm not going to keep a mullet, though.



My choir senior Jiahao has set up a blog: caustic.soda



"Try proving this: every direct motion is either a rotation, or exceptionally a translation

Draw a line labelled AB and then apply a direct motion to it

Next: show that every rotation can be composed as 2 reflections

If u do it, then u'll have shown that every direct motion can be composed as 2 reflections, which is an extremely powerful theorem"

*boggle* I'll take your word for it.
Quote of the Post: "The advantage of a classical education is that it enables you to despise the wealth that it prevents you from achieving." - Russell Green

Random Playlist Song: Chopin - Etude Op 10 No 4 in C Sharp Minor (Tony McAlpine)

His playing is fiery, though it seems at times overly dramatic.


When one is being flamed, the best course of action is to withdraw.

Some people take things too seriously, especially those not meant totally seriously.


On memory (slightly edited to correct the quote):

"we took tonnes of pictures. And I can't help thinking of this line: The camera relieves us of the burden of memory... records in order to forget. and just /hoping/ that I won't look at those self-same photos in a few years time and not remembering your -names-. It would be so /easy/. And we'll all have left, and scattered over the world in search of our futures.

And everything would have been as a dream, nothing more."


Interesting photos from the GEP dinner:

PaRaDoX is the most over-dressed person.

Mr Ong has a nice shirt.

It strikes me that most of the people in the pictures are very old. Looking at the guest list, I can guess why.



Hold! What you are doing to us is wrong! Why do you do this thing?

The Words!

Alien, you have spoken the Words, and you have spoken them rightly.
We will hear your questions.

Do you have anything to say to the people of the Middle East?

In our 228 years along the Road to Democracy we have dominated hundreds of countries, yes, but we have saved many from extinction. You imagine the threat of foreign invaders, or weapons of mass destruction borne on undetectable missiles. We have seen these. But you do not acknowledge your own worst enemy, yourselves. We have found dead nations without number, cultures ravaged by biochemical warfare or ethnic cleansing. These nations were not rendered third-world by outside forces. They bear sad testament to the effects of unrestrained instinct and emotion or simple ignorance. We will prevent such mistakes.

Although you consider us the enemy, these conclusions are flawed. We are your salvation. We bring you peace. A peace built upon OUR social framework imposed upon your country. A new world order in which your prosperity and security are assured by the U.S.A. We will protect you from the hazards of this hostile world, from dangers so hideous your simple minds cannot imagine their dark scope. Today, we are the enemy. In time, this will change. Soon, you will come to understand the boon of freedom we force upon you and then, you will revere and even love us for this gift.


Empathy versus systemizing

"Simon Baron-Cohen's recent book The Essential Difference: Men, Women and the Extreme Male Brain proposes that 'The female brain is predominantly hard-wired for empathy. The male brain is predominantly hard-wired for understanding and building systems.'

Systemising Quotient: Your score: 28
0 - 19 = low
20 - 39 = average (most women score about 24 and most men score about 30)
40 - 50 = above average (most people with Asperger Syndrome or high-functioning autism score in this range)
51 - 80 is very high (three times as many people with Asperger Syndrome score in this range, compared to typical men, and almost no women score in this range)

80 is maximum [Ed: emphasis mine]

Empathy quotient: Your score: 20
0 - 32 = low (most people with Asperger Syndrome or high-functioning autism score about 20)
33 - 52 = average (most women score about 47 and most men score about 42)
53 - 63 is above average
64 - 80 is very high
80 is maximum
I wasn't very sure of my answers for this one, so I think it might be a touch inaccurate. My real score is probably in the high 20s or low 30s

Autism Spectrum quotient: Your score: 23
0 - 10 = low
11 - 22 = average (most women score about 15 and most men score about 17)
23 - 31 = above average
32 - 50 is very high (most people with Asperger Syndrome or high-functioning autism score about 35)
50 is maximum [Ed: emphasis mine]

Reading the mind in the eyes: Your score: 26
A typical score is in the range 22-30. If you scored over 30,
you are very accurate at decoding a person's facial expressions
around their eyes. A score under 22 indicates you find this quite difficult.


Tym on work

"There was also the bank employee who felt obliged to go back to work, at 9 pm or so, after watching Spiderman 2 with her department as some sort of corporate bonding exercise. Yes, the entire department went to watch the movie, then all felt they had to go back to work right away."

Work sounds like such a drag.

Singaporeans live to work, rather than work to live. No wonder the fertility rate's going down.


Comments after going to City Harvest:

"i realise something today.. tt is, its easy to convert to become a christian. and not the other way round. coz once u become a christian, they like pull u in to become part of the 'family'

u have cell grp n stuff also.. once all your friends are there, u wouldnt wanna leave..

and when everyone arounds u say its good its wonderful, god is around, god helps u... god.. bla bla... ..., u get psychoed thinking its really that fantastic."


Friendster induces people to try bad pickup lines:

"its scienctifically proven tat sugar dissolves in water. so pls dun go out in e rain. i cant afford to lose a sweet person like u. wanna chat?;)"

No, I wasn't the recipient of that message fortunately (or otherwise, as the case might be).


Is a workout in a pill possible? Drug may simulate effects of exercise - "'This enzyme is activated during exercise and it accelerates your metabolism to make up for the energy deficit in your muscle that’s been created by exercise,' Kemp said. Scientists believe the enzyme, technically known as AMP-activated protein kinase, plays a role in regulating appetite and body weight. But those seeking six-pack abdominals would still have to pump iron as any future pill would not tone muscles, Kemp said. 'You have to do some work. There are no miracles. (The pill) will do a number of the metabolic and gene transcription events that are caused by exercise but it doesn’t do everything.'"
But not everyone wants a six-pack

How were the high-pitched voices of the Chipmunks created? - "[Ross Bagdasarian, whose screen name was David Seville,] didn't really hit his stride until 1958, when he recorded the immortal tune 'Witch Doctor.' By singing at a very ... deliberate ... pace into a tape recorder running at half speed, and then replaying the tape at normal speed, Bagdasarian was able to create the unforgettable proto-chipmunk chorus line, 'Oo Ee Oo Ah Ah, Ting, Tang, Walla Walla Bing Bang.'"
I think this answers someone's previous question about the song with that chorus line

Not just good, but good for you - Easing depression and stress, Relieving pain, Boosting cardio health, Countering prostate cancer, Healing wounds and Fighting aging - so much for morals based on the visceral logic: "If it feels good, it's bad. If it feels bad, it's good"

War On Pornography - 'Did you know that "pornography is more addictive than alcohol, cigarettes or illicit drugs?" Or that "one in five children ages 10 to 17 has received sexual solicitations while on the Internet" - and that, by extension, pornography per se is equivalent to pedophilia? Or that "over 80% of Americans are in favor of clamping down on Internet Pornography?" Neither did we. Nor can we find any sources to back up most of the claims made by an alliance of "several U.S. and Canadian organizations" that announced a "War on Pornography"'

Bob's travel journal: Singapore - "This is the only country I've ever visited -- out of a couple dozen so far in my life -- where it's impossible to find the national flag in tourist gift shops."
That's because the national flag is to be, ah, venerated

Interesting Hacks To Fascinate People: The MIT Gallery of Hacks - What a funky place. Such stunt would never be tolerated in places closer to home. Also, I never knew IHTFP could stand for so many things. And I would have thought "I Hate This F****** Place" would be uttered more often in certain other universities, which shall rename unnamed. *g*
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