"The happiest place on earth"

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Friday, October 01, 2004

Quote of the Post: "Acting is the most minor of gifts and not a very high-class way to earn a living. After all, Shirley Temple could do it at the age of four." - Katharine Hepburn


Excellent and (darkly) hilarious parable:

The Tale of the Twelve Officers

It was, of course, sad to hear that Ms. K had been slowly raped and murdered by a common thug over the course of one hour and fifty-five minutes; but when I found out that the ordeal had taken place in plain sight of twelve fully-armed off-duty police officers, who ignored her terrified cries for help, and instead just watched until the act was carried to its gruesome end, I found myself facing a personal crisis. You see, the officers had all been very close friends of mine, but now I found my trust in them shaken to its core. Fortunately, I was able to talk with them afterwards, and ask them how they could have stood by and done nothing when they could so easily have saved Ms. K.

"I thought about intervening," said the first officer, "but it occurred to me that it was obviously better for the murderer to be able to exercise his free will than to have it restricted. I deeply regret the choices he made, but that's the price of having a world with free agents. Would you rather everyone in the world were a robot? The attacker's choices certainly weren't in my control, so I can't be held responsible for his actions."

"Well," said the second officer, "my motivation was a little bit different. I was about to pull my gun on the murderer when I thought to myself, 'But wait, wouldn't this be a perfect opportunity for some unarmed bystander to exercise selfless heroism, should he chance to walk by? If I were to intervene all the time like I was just about to, then no one would ever be able to exercise such a virtue. In fact, everyone would probably become very spoiled and self-centered if I were to prevent every act of rape and murder.' So I backed off. It's unfortunate that no one actually showed up to heroically intervene, but that's the price of having a universe where people can display virtue and maturity. Would you rather the world were nothing but love, peace, and roses?"

"I didn't even consider stepping in," said the third officer. "I probably would have if I hadn't had so much experience of life as a whole, since Ms. K's rape and murder admittedly seems pretty horrible when taken in isolation. But when you put it into context with the rest of life, it actually adds to the overall beauty of the big picture. Ms. K.'s screams were like the discordant notes that make fine musical pieces better than they would have been had all the notes been flawless. In fact, I could scarcely keep from waving my hands around, imagining that I myself was conducting the delicious nuances of the orchestra."

"When I first arrived on the scene, I actually drew my gun and pointed it right at the rapist's head," confessed the fourth officer, with a very guilty look on his face. "I'm deeply ashamed I did that. Do you know how close I came to destroying all of the goodness in the world? I mean, we all know there can't be any good without evil. Fortunately, I remembered this just in time, and a wave of such strong nausea came over me when I realized what I had almost done, that it knocked me to my hands and knees. Man, was that a close one."

"Look, there's really no point in my trying to explain the details to you," said the fifth officer, who we had nicknamed 'Brainiac' because he had an encyclopedic knowledge of literally everything and an IQ way off the charts. "There's an excellent reason for why I did not intervene, but it's just way too complicated for you to understand, so I'm not even going to bother trying. I mean, you admit you are nowhere near as knowledgeable as I am, so what right do you have to judge? Just so there's no misunderstanding, though, let me point out that no one could care about Ms. K. more than I did, and that I am, in fact, a very good person. That settles that."

"I would have defended Ms. K," said the sixth officer, who was notoriously careful about staying out of the public eye, "but it simply was not feasible. You see, I want everyone to freely choose to believe in me. But if I were to step in every time someone was about to be raped or murdered, then the evidence would be so clear-cut that everyone would be forced to believe in me. Can you imagine a more diabolical infringement upon their free wills? Obviously, it was better for me to back off and let Ms. K be raped and murdered. Now everyone can freely choose to believe that there is this extraordinary cop out there who loves them like his own children."

"What are you complaining about?" exclaimed the seventh officer when I turned to him, his eyebrows shooting up in exasperated disbelief. "I just saved a woman from getting raped and murdered last week! Do I have to jump in every time I see something like that about to happen? I would say the fact that more women are not raped and murdered in this city is almost miraculous testimony to my goodness."

The eighth officer, too, looked frustrated. "Nothing I do is good enough! Do you know how much worse it could have been? The thug actually had a blowtorch with him when he started out, but I said 'No way, not on my watch,' and knocked it away from him with my nightstick. Sure, I let him keep the switchblade, the pliers, the coat hanger, and the vial of acid, but think how much worse it would have been with a blowtorch! Ms. K should have thanked her lucky stars that someone so loving was there to watch over her."

"I'll let you in on a secret," said the ninth officer."Moments after Ms. K. flatlined, I had her resuscitated, and flown to a tropical resort where she is now experiencing extraordinary bliss, and her ordeal is just a distant memory. I'm sure you would agree that that's more than adequate compensation for her suffering, so the fact that I just stood there watching instead of intervening has no bearing at all on my goodness."

The tenth officer gave us all quite a start when he revealed a surprising secret about Ms. K. "I genetically engineered her from scratch. I made her, therefore she's my property, and I can do whatever I want with her. I could rape and murder her myself if I were so inclined, and it would be no worse than you tearing up a piece of paper you own. So there is no question of my being a bad person for not helping her."

The eleventh officer chimed in, gesturing at the tenth officer "I hired him to create Ms. K for me, because I wanted someone to love and worship me. But when I approached Ms. K about the matter, she actually turned away from me, as though she could find meaning and happiness with someone else! So I decided the loving thing to do would be to break her spirit by arranging to have her raped and murdered by a common thug, so that she might turn to me in her extraordinary suffering, thereby fulfilling the purpose for which she had been created. Well, mission accomplished, I'm happy to say! A few seconds before she died, she was so insane with terror and pain that she actually convinced herself she loved me, since she knew that only I could end her ordeal. I'll never forget the love in her eyes when she looked up at me the last time, begging for mercy, right before the thug bent over and slit her throat. It was so beautiful it still brings me to tears. Now I just have to go to that island so she can claim her prize of servitude."

"Well, this is quite a coincidence," chuckled the twelfth officer. "It looks like the thug got himself double pay, because I actually hired him to carry out the murder, too! Why? Oh, well it was just a test. Ms. K and I had been dating for some time (no offense, I didn't know she was someone else's property), and one beautiful night she finally told me she loved me. So, naturally, I wanted to see whether this was indeed love - that is, whether she would continue to adore me even while drowning in a pool of her own tears and blood, with me standing before her doing nothing."

By now, it had become clear to me that any difficulty I might have had in reconciling the presumed goodness of the officers with their behavior that day was unfounded, and that anyone who sided against them could do so only for love of evil over good. After all, anyone who has experienced their friendship in the way I have knows that they are good. Their goodness is even manifest in my life - I was in a shambles before I met them, but now everyone remarks on what a changed person I am, so much kinder and happier, apparently possessed of an inner calm. And I have met so many others who feel exactly the same way about them - so many who, like me, know in their hearts the truth that others try to rationalize away with their cold reason and sterile logic. I am ashamed that I ever doubted the entitlement of the twelve officers to my loyalty and my love.

As I was getting ready to leave, the first officer spoke up again. "By the way, I also think you should know that when we stood there watching Ms. K. get raped and stabbed over and over, we were suffering along with her, and we experienced exactly the same pain she did, or perhaps even more." And everyone in the room, myself included, nodded his head in agreement.


Religious readers, do not take offense. I have made this parable as brazen as I could, but my purpose is not to insult or blaspheme. I have found that religious believers are often conditioned to accept trite solutions to the problem of suffering, and that it is all but impossible to shake that conditioning through dry analysis. The temptation to offer to an entity a moral blank check simply because it sports a nametag with "God" written on it, is overwhelming in our theistic culture. Hence, this attempt to make the point through a medium as far removed from dry analysis as possible. But again, it is all to make a point, not to cause anyone harm. I have not written anything that I would not have wanted directed at me when I myself was a believer.

Unfortunately the parable becomes too transparent for Officers 9-12.


Someone can actually ask me in all seriousness (regarding thought control and brainwashing): "what's wrong with not thinking independently?" (supposedly as a rhetorical point, but still.) and "Are not government interests national interests?" Sigh.


What to do when shitty programs (like Windows Media Player 10, AceFTP Pro 3.61 and AVG Anti-Virus) worm themselves into your file/folder context menus without giving you an option to turn shell integration off: Disable Shell Extensions with ShellExView from NirSoft (it's free too)!

Advertisement: "anyway wants free fighting fish please email me imneverwrong@rocketmail.com! They are 2 months old red halfmoon!"


Some Channel 8 show went down to NUS to check out the posers and shrill, anorexic, chinese-speaking ah lians. Bah.

Someone: "all the girls in NUS look like ah lians. you're right."

"If it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck and waddles like a duck, then we have good reason to believe it is a duck!" - I am unable to find the source of this quote. Can anyone be of assistance?

In an attempt to solve my wireless connection problems in school, I upgraded to the latest Intel PROSet for Wireless and NUS Virtual Private Networking (VPN) client. Unfortunately, now not only can I not connect in some parts of school when others can, my whole system is screwed and I've to keep interrupting my boots with F8 to "go back to last good configuration". So much for upgrading to solve my problem - at least I've my recovery CDs.

This girl walked into lecture after a self-declared mid-lecture break (because there was no official one) with 2 packets of Lay's Sour Cream and Onion potato chips. She happened to look at me when I was looking at what she brought in, and I dare say she gave me a dirty look. Gah.

Inside jokes by earring makers are annoying. Just the other day, I saw a fat ah lian studying what looked like organic chemistry, since I saw single and double bonding between molecules. On her right ear was a key and on her left ear was a lock. I was really tempted to shove the key into the lock. (Hi Ah Ma!)

Zhiming also hasn't cut his hair since April, but it's shorter than mine. Heh. And he also wants to grow it to the same length as I. Finally, I've found someone with the same ambition!

It seems in Science printing costs 4.5cents/page, because Science students' demand for printing is more elastic than that of Arts students. Argh!!! Price discrimination!

I was walking by a female toilet in Engineering and saw a facial tissue dispenser outside. To confirm my suspicions, I went to the corresponding male toilet (in places where there's no space for two toilets, male and female toilets alternate by level) below, and sure enough, there was no dispenser there. They know their market well.

Diamagnetism is wondrous to behold :)

One Chinese-speaking staff member at engineering called me "xiao peng you" (Translation: Little friend). Now, "xiao di" (Translation: Little brother) is still tolerable even though I am anything but little, but for some reason "xiao peng you" puts me in mind of primary school kids going on a merry go round. Gah.

I was at the Engineering canteen and wanted to buy a drink to go. Since I would be consuming it over a period of time, I wanted it to have some ice. At the same time, I wanted to get as much real drink as possible; anyhow the syrup costs but a few cents, and ice is practically free. So I filled the paper cup with my drink to the brim first, drank a bit of the foam and drink, then pressed the button for ice. Unfortunately, the ice was dispensed from above, and I misestimated, so some of the drink splashed on my fingers. Oh well - LPPL. Later, when I went to pay, I got a big shock - buying a drink to go incurred a 10 cent surcharge! 10 cents for a measly paper cup. A 10 cent surcharge for takeaway food is not so bad, since it's a smaller proportion of the price, and the plastic container they give is at least worth something, but a 45 cent drink becoming 55 cents because of a flimsy paper cup is daylight robbery.

I saw this long-haired construction worker on a poster in school. One would think the hair would get tangled in the machines. Then again most of the few long-haired men I see walking around are, if not foreign workers, then of the race that foreign workers typically belong to.
Quote of the Post: "Flare dance ensemble presents... Rhythmicity!"

Flare: Rhythmicity
October 21 - 23, 2004 @ 7.30pm
Union Theatre, Union House Ground Floor. University of Melbourne.
Tickets: $8 / $12
Contact me for details.

Random Playlist Song: "Wouldn't it be nice if everyone was nice"- some Terry pratchett novel, featuring the soppy witch-turned-queen.

Read Alan Cable's "A visit to vanity fair".


This is exactly what was feared in a graying population. Politicians buying votes with irresponsible and impractical concessions to the older population. Free health care to everyone over 75 - that's rather sweeping and unpragmatic - and an irresistible offer if you stand to benefit. That as the population ages, they start making selfish demands that suit them - and are detrimental to the greater population. As the fraction of retirees increases, they will demand (and receive) more and more, while the fraction that actually works and earns money will receive less and less. I wonder if there will be an upper age limit for voting, given the rising prevalence of Alzheimer's....


Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Quote of the Post: "Architecture is the art of how to waste space." - Philip Johnson

Random Playlist Song: Cambridge Singers - Elizabeth Poston - Jesus Christ the Apple Tree

1. The tree of life my soul hath seen,
Laden with fruit and always green:
The trees of nature fruitless be
Compared with Christ the apple tree.

2. His beauty doth all things excel:
By faith I know, but ne'er can tell
The glory which I now can see
In Jesus Christ the apple tree.

3. For happiness I long have sought,
And pleasure dearly I have bought:
I missed of all; but now I see
'Tis found in Christ the apple tree.

4. I'm weary with my former toil,
Here I will sit and rest awhile:
Under the shadow I will be,
Of Jesus Christ the apple tree.

5. This fruit doth make my soul to thrive,
It keeps my dying faith alive;
Which makes my soul in haste to be
With Jesus Christ the apple tree.

There's a more folk music version available here which has roughly the same tune (sans harmony, since it's only one woman singing to a guitar). I prefer the Cambridge Singers' version though :)


Some may recall my posting of the lyrics and recording of the USP song "That's What I Call an Education". The composer, writer and performer has recently contacted me and wishes me to add a disclaimer:

"Hi, thanks for hosting the song. Even greater thanks for reserving your comments on it. I'll reserve my own comments on it too.

For the sake of our friends in the USP admin, however, I should clarify that "That's What I Call an Education" is NOT the official song of the USP. It has not been officially adopted as such. Or rather, it has officially not been adopted. For now it's just a song for the USP. I'd appreciate if you amend the description of the MP3 on your site and blog accordingly."

Ahh. Everyone I'd asked whom I'd assumed to be in the know had told me that it was the official USP song. Oh well.


Shawn, who shall be closing his site for the second time at the end of the year on Brown:

"I don’t hate Brown; I hate the entire college experience. Brown’s a great place per se. Brown’s a great place per se. If you’re an unsuspecting high school kid who hasn’t been made cynical by two years of military service and countless sordid experiences including but not restricted to getting robbed and assaulted in a foreign country, then I’d wholeheartedly encourage you to apply here. You’ll get drunk on cheap beer, smoke lots of pot, smile a lot, and overall have a great time.

But if you were me, you’d hate living in a dorm with something like 600 other freshmen. You’d miss the anonymity of city life, and you’d want the freedom to act like an asshole without having to worry that you’re going to run into the person you just pissed off another day on campus. You’d hate Frisbees and make a vow that if anyone hits you accidentally with one, you’re going to grab the motherfucking object and break it in half. You’d hate the fact that butt-ugly Chinese girls are going out with white guys with a pathetic Asian fetish. You’d hate the fact that people pay lip service to racial tolerance because they just form little conglomerates of their own racial groups. You’d see other Singaporeans sitting with a group of 6 other Chinese people, and you’d find it disturbing.

You’d walk around all day with a pissed-off look on your face, because fuck it, you are pissed off all day. You’d realize that while there are lots of people you’re friendly with, that doesn’t necessarily mean you have any friends. You’d boycott frat parties, just because. You’d cease to find the stupid motherfuckers who set off the fire alarm in your dorm at 4 a.m. on a Saturday morning funny. You’d take photos of the stupid fucker who got sent to the hospital for drinking too much and had to get his stomach pumped, and everyone would look at you like you’re such an asshole for taking photos. Then you’d shrug and say, “I’m Japanese, we take photos of everything.” You’d figure that Americans have such a myopic and American-centric worldview that they think Singapore and Japan are the same place anyway.

You’d smoke a lot of cigarettes, and I mean, a LOT of cigarettes. What else are you supposed to do while standing on the Main Green between classes and you don’t have anyone to talk to? You’d sulk a lot and say stuff like, the people who say college is the best time of their lives are the ones who got shitty jobs after it.
You’d realize that, on the balance, while you hate Brown, you’d hate any other place even more venomously, and since college is a necessary precursor to a job you’re going to hate for the rest of your life even while you devote 100 hours a week to it and get way too much money, you’d realize that you only really have to spend 3 years in this place, so just grin and bear it and smile at everyone who says hello to you, even though you have no idea what the hell their names are.

Come to Brown, kids. It’s the happiest place in the world, it is."

I hope he will eventually find a place he *is* happy in.


My little bird:

Him: did you read the exercepts from the pamphlet i rcvd from them kkk(oops, i mean,ccc) people?

"present arrangement of continents was caused by a rapid breakup of a single land mass" ...hey man has anyone found koalas in antarctica or penguins in africa?

"evolution would argue for things improving whereas i see everything falling to pieces"...hey man evolution provides the most credible explanation for the useless body parts animals have (human beings' wisdom teeth, chickens who can't fly with their wings,..

Me: yeah I'm sure the reason Australia has marsupials is because god, on a whim, decided to endow them with pouches

Him: "...there are no observations in astronomy that disprove the Genesis account"...er, i recall God created the moon as a "light" in Genesis though the light comes from the sun!

Me: do any biology or life science students subscribe to Creation "Science"? it would be ridiculous if they did. like a physicist not believing in the theory of gravity

Him: "...natural selection (a fact, incidentally) does not increase the number of varients, it decreases them..." err, hahaha, well consider a black rabbit and a white rabbit having kids...and what about tigons (offspring of male tigers and female lions), ligers (offspring of male lions and female tigers) and zedonks (offspring of a zebra and donkey parent)?

Me: what do they have to do with natural selection?
this is good stuff. about how genesis is rubbish

"Take the mindset of an ancient Hebrew for a moment and forget any contemporary understanding you have of the world. You can glance at the sky above and observe that it's the color of water, and, periodically, water falls from above. With no further evidence to consider, the logical conclusion would be that there's a mass of water in the sky. Again, a solid body would be necessary to contain this oceanic reservoir. Perhaps windows open in the firmament to allow rainfall (Genesis 8:2)"

Him: it doesn't. but the above counterexamples show that variants can actually increase, this is independent of natural selection or creationist "science".

truly i don't know how the !@#%*) people actually believe in the basis of creationist "science".....i briefly and inadvertently overheard a "discussion" among two cccc's (the last "c" for christian) on macroevolution being definitely false...sigh.

there's enough evidence for macroevolution on www.talkorigins.com [Ed: It's actually www.talkorigins.org)

that exposingsatanism website is ridiculously rabid hahahhahaha. seems to be run, funded and maintained by people whom you don't have to take seriously (unless you meet them in a dark alley on a dark night, and they're armed with M16s/Uzis/Kalashnikovs/Glocks and you have only your empty handbag).

oh, and if you really do attend thursday's "science" talk, please don't forget bring a poodle, cocker spaniel and german shepherd, and ask whoever's chairing the "science" talk on whether s/he believes in the existence of dogs - and point out the obvious science that all three of these species are commonly known as dogs because they have a common ancestor.

if s/he stands fast, point to the different species within the same family of cats, cows, penguins, horses, elephants and apes.

if even that fails, point out that in her logic, the group people don't exist either, since people are all either (last time i knew) mongoloid, caucasoid and negroid, and plenty of other "species" in-between...and tell her that when people use the term "cat", "dogs", "humans", "monkeys", "bears" etc, they are unknowingly affirming macroevolution.

i'm no scientist, but if creation "scientists" want to put forward the idea of miraculous creation, they'd better start calling each and every sub-species of every animal by its scientific name ("'PANTHERA tigris'?! BLASPHEMY! A TIGER CANNOT BE A PANTHER!!! and 'TIGER' implies common descent of these tigers! Let's have totally unrelated names for the Bengali tiger and the White Siberian tiger to show God's irreducibly complex universe! )

Addendum: Techno Prince adds:

"Actually, the Siberian tiger isn't white; white tigers are mutant variations of the Bengal Tiger subspecies.

And as for looking at common descent, and comparing the different members of the cat, or dog family, Creationists will point out that these are examples of diversity within created 'kinds'.

And the continents DID result from the breakup of a single supercontinent... although "rapid" is not the term I would use for it."


As part of its continuing efforts to piss its users off, M$N "Less Useful Everyday" Hotmail has come up with yet another grand scheme.

It was bad enough when clicking on links in your email made them open in a frame with a totally useless message ("You are visiting a site outside of Hotmail. To return to Hotmail, close this browser window") on top, and waiting too long before clicking on said links produced an error ("Your email message has been idle and this link has become inactive"), necessitating a reload of your mail message. It was worse when the links to various sections of Hotmail (Home, Junk Mail, your various mail folders, Compose etc) were changed from normal links to Javascript links.

Now I open Hotmail and what do I see? Links in your email now have javascript appended to them to make them open in a new window! Oh-so-conveniently, without adding any new functionality at all, Hotmail has just negated the conveniences and advantages of tabbed browsing! Joy.


Power Rangers Dino Thunder - Volume 3: White Thunder - "Currently in its twelve season, “Power Rangers” shows no sign of slowing down. With great writing and superb acti-- sorry, I can’t. “Power Rangers Dino Thunder” is so bad, it’s good."
Heh heh

mini alerts us to a new M$N virus: "Talking about periods, there's this MSN virus that changes your nick to I GOT MY PERIOD in big angry CAPS. I initially thought this was merely the result of the stressful times but after a while when the guys started having that as their nicks...". It doesn't look like a very impressive virus.

Freedom of Information Act training video is not released to public - "The Defense Department has produced a training video that instructs its staff on how to handle requests under the federal Freedom of Information Act. But don't request a screening; the video itself is secret."

Police discover dog at wheel - "Subsequent investigation made indicates that the dog was celebrating the Canadian victory in the world hockey game and knocked the truck into gear, causing it to roll down the hill"

Amateur hurricane cures: From giant fans to nuclear warheads - "Suggestions have included coating the surface of the water with olive oil; towing an iceberg down to Florida to cool down the water temperature; or building large fans on the coast to blow away approaching storms... By far the most outlandish proposal, and one of the most recurrent, was the idea to use a nuclear warhead to blow a hurricane out of the water. 'Hurricanes are bad enough without being radioactive... Put that genie back in the bottle. Nuclear weapons are more dangerous than hurricanes.'"
This sounds like me during Upper Secondary Geography class :)

Kalashnikov targets vodka market - "At 82 per cent proof, the drink may prove as powerful as its famous AK-47 assault rifle... 'I’ve always wanted to improve and expand on the good name of my weapon by doing good things.'"

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Quote of the Post: "Life is far too important a thing ever to talk seriously about." - Oscar Wilde

Random Playlist Song: Grieg - Holberg Suite - 3 - Gavotte (Allegretto) - Musette (Poco piu mosso) - Gavotte


Sociology MCQs on a revision site:

- Karl Marx , Emile Durkheim, Max Weber, Harriet Martineau, and W. E. B. DuBois all used cell phones. (True/False)

- No matter which of the three perspectives one favors, all sociologists are guided by:

a. conflict theory
b. the scientific method
c. their parents
d. sociological imagination

- The easy availability of ________ is a factor that has reduced the urgency of getting married and contributed to increases in the mean age of marriage.

a. housing
b. premarital sex
c. children available for adoption
d. jobs

(Oddly enough the answer is b. Someone did a study on it)

- All cultures have developed ________ to help their members respond to biological inevitabilities such as hunger and death.

a. taxes
b. groups
c. holidays
d. formulas

(I don't know about you, but I've always loved a good holiday when hungry)

- Members of institutionally complete subcultures:
a. live in institutions
b. do not usually interact with anyone outside their subculture
c. often interact with other subcultures
d. always speak different languages



SykoGrafix: Article - Super Sentai World

So we are at first introduced to the cast. This is a very important event in the world of Super Sentai because we are dealing with, not one, but five Super Sentai teams. And so, before we start, we get to see them all do what they do best: POSE!

... Chikyu Sentai Fiveman. I guess they are called Fiveman because there's five of them, but I can only assume at this point. It seems slightly redundant to me, however, since all of the other teams also have five members, but what do I know? We are then told that Super Robo's "special" sword will crush evil's plans. Well then, that solves that! Dig the paper origami crane helmet. Nice touch. Very fashionable.

The title screen appears, accompanied by... Spanish music! Because when you think about a Super Sentai team with a ninja gimmick, you think about Spanish bullfighting music! Uh, yeah. What the hell?

... before the aliens can move in for the kill, a butt-load of other Sentai teams show up! Hooray! And so the tide seems to have turned, but before we can start with the fighting and the rescuing, what do we all have to do? That's right! POSE! Then, when they're all done posing, what do they do? That's right, they pose again! And this time, coloured explosions go off behind them somehow! Wow!

The aliens call forth the lackeys, who appear out of thin air and start making really annoying noises. This Sentai team mightily runs into the battle, and huge explosions go off behind them for some reason! Wow!

... Most of this fighting is really just an excuse for the Sentai teams to show off their moves and weapons and abilities. These guys, for example, use their "Explosive Shower" technique, which seems to consist of throwing Silly String at their opponents. Looks like it does the trick, too.

The Kakurangers have the final honors. They finish off the aliens by kicking a football, causing them all to explode. ... uh, yeah. A football. Because when you think about a Super Sentai team with a ninja gimmick, you think about football!

Ok, so it took 25 Sentai members to rescue two people. Not exactly an efficient system they've got going there. Yes, I know there was the whole "saving the Earth for justice" thing in there too, but really now, if that were so important, why not have like a hundred Super Sentai teams running around protecting all the time?

All right, yes, I admit that I am being hard on it. But honestly, after years of hearing how the Japanese version is "so much better" than the American Power Rangers, I think I have every right to be hard on it.

Heh heh.

Meanwhile, I found this site which has an, erm, interesting comparison of the "BIBLICAL WORLD VIEW" and the "NEW-AGE (occult) WORLD VIEW". Apparently Zordon is a god. Wow!

God is holy, all-seeing, all-powerful and eternal.The main god-like person, Zordon, is an all-seeing master-mind shaped by human imagination.
God alone can save the earth--and show us how to fit into His plan.The Power Rangers save the world by invoking their designated animal power.
God is the source of all power. He gives His children strength to carry out His plans.The Rangers manipulate power through mind control, magic symbols and fetishes: crystals, swords, rings...
Believers enter into their new identity and eternal life by faith in Jesus, the "Bread of Life."Rangers are initiated into their new identity and powers through an occult ritual using the "Sword of Life"
Christians dedicate their lives to God."I dedicated my whole life to the study of martial arts," says the White Ranger.
Christians overcome Satan by God's Word and power.The Rangers overcome evil by manipulating occult powers.
God promises power and protection to those who trust and follow Christ.Zordon promises that "the power will always be with you and protect you."

This is almost as funny as that "Why Pokemon is Satanic" article, which starts:

"Another clever scheme to seduce children in to occult thinking is Pokemon. It is laced with eastern mysticism. Buddhist Mysticism, Hinduism, meditation rituals, Egyptian Book of the Dead, Book of Tao, the Analects of Confucius, the Gita, the I Ching, and The Tibetan Book of the Dead are some of the teachings that influence the game. It is all wrapped up in cute little characters to teach children Witchcraft and Satanism."

But the best part is this: "'It seemed to us that these cards had some sort of power," continued DiAnna Brannan. "Another nine-year-boy had stolen money from his mother's purse ($7.00) to buy more cards. When questioned, he confessed and said he had heard the devil urging him to do it. The family quickly gathered in prayer, then saw God's answer. Both the boy and his little sister burned their cards, warned their friends, and discovered the joy and freedom that only comes from following their Shepherd."

Not surprising, really, coming from a page which:
- calls Democrats "God Hating"
- Labels the Feminist Movement "New Age" and has atits roots "ancient, highly religious elements that are rarely, if ever, mentioned" and many of whose members "are victims of childhood abuse and are bitter toward men".
- Puts Catholicism, Mormonism, Islam, Taoism and Buddhism under the "False Religions" section
- Still has the cheek to place a section called "Double Standards" under their "Misc. Info" heading


Microsoft Research DRM talk - "Here's what I'm here to convince you of: That DRM systems don't work, That DRM systems are bad for society, That DRM systems are bad for business, That DRM systems are bad for artists, That DRM is a bad business-move for MSFT"
Importantly, this reminds us that content creators have no divine moral right to profit from their works for what is now effectively eternity (A ridiculous 70 years after the author's death, which doubtless will be extended yet again within the next devade thanks to industry lobbying - Source: Copyright Term and the Public Domain in the United States). Copyright is just a way of inducing content creators to create more content, but said content is supposed, after a short period, to become public property, to the benefit of all. Unfortunately this article doesn't offer a compelling alternative business model. But I guess that's for the content companies to think up. They'll think of something. They always have *g*

Cultural Relativism - You would expect a site with the domain "http://www.cultural-relativism.com/" to, if not promote cultural relativism (the view "that all ethical truth is relative to a specified culture"), then at least to offer a balanced view of it. But you would be wrong. In fact, http://www.cultural-relativism.com/ is but one domain in a chain of others set up by "All About God Ministries, Inc.", all of which offer astoundingly narrow-minded and illogical propositions. (eg Evolution is rubbish, everyone else is wrong - including all other denominations, cloning is an abomination etc). Bah.

The brothel creeper - "The general feeling in this country is that the man is somehow exploiting the woman, but I don't believe this. In fact, the prostitute and the client, like the addict and the dealer, is the most successfully exploitative relationship of all. And the most pure. It is free of ulterior motives. There is no squalid power game. The man is not taking and the woman is not giving. The whore fuck is the purest fuck of all. Why does a sleazy bastard like me like whores so much? Why pay for it? The problem is that the modern woman is a prostitute who doesn't deliver the goods. Teasers are never pleasers; they greedily accept presents to seal a contract and then break it. At least the whore pays the flesh that's haggled for. The big difference between sex for money and sex for free is that sex for money usually costs a lot less."

Internet junkies in chilling cold turkey experiment - "Next we'll see how people who are used to talking and communicating with others in person in every day life react when they are locked in a well lit room for two weeks with no human contact... I'm going to give up the internet cold-turkey, and switch to something healthy, like heroin"

Is there more flatulence in a vegetarian diet? - "Suffice it to say that flatulence is a common complaint among and about vegans, and for that matter vegetarians generally."

Trashy Tesla Coil a tesla coil made entirely from junk from dumpster diving

Fr-ooze Pop - "She wanted to buy something sweet. She bought Fr-ooze Pop because it was advertised all over the place as the ultimate candy experience. Licking it she suddenly realized that she had a dildo in her mouth. The feeling it gave her was a mix of embarrassment and excitement... Fr-ooze Pop is currently being marketed directly to children in Singapore via television ads placed on cartoon shows. The advertisements show young children sucking hungrily on the candy, with the message 'squeeze and lick' repeated again and again. The candy is wildly popular with kids. But not so popular with their horrified parents... When you squeeze the base, sugary goodness oozes out of the hard, rounded tip... Look at the jelly that comes out when squeezed."

Who ate all the mice? - "Sam is the UK’s biggest at a hefty 34lbs."

699.45kb Animated GIF movie of a guy attacking a wall - I don't know why he hates the wall so much.

Cows With Guns - I don't really get this.

IDRC: Adventures in Development : Guinea Pig Production (Peru)


Trillian Pro works better with ICQ, while Miranda works better with M$N. What shall I do, use Trillian for ICQ and Miranda for M$N? :0

Someone on my current blog pic (which is also my current M$N Avatar): "oh, and for a moment. i thought the guy in your avatar was you" (...)

How can one tell if someone has rebonded hair? I look around and so many people have nice hair, which looks suspiciously similar. A friend's suggestion is to look for "too straight" hair, and since naturally beautiful straight hair is very rare, I can just assume all the nice heads of hair I see have been rebonded.

Me: there were freaky people in RJ too. hell, RJ probably had more freaky people. so why do the NUS freaks freak you out more?
Someone: because the RJ freaks are nice freaks. the NUS freaks are rapist freaks
Me: what, they look at you with a lustful gleam in the eye?
Someone: nonono. the sort of serial killer look
Me: right. I don't see many serial killers in the corridors. mostly I see (among the guys):
- nerdy sorts
- poser sorts
- non-descript sorts
maybe it's the company you keep
Someone: poser sorts are rapists. and nerdy sorts are serial killers. the non-descripts are the worst: they're both
Me: err. right. I think you've been smoking too much weed :)
Someone: *laughs* no. it's the sociological imagination


[Someone: I'm not very social.] You should socialise. [Someone else: Who knows, one day you might choose one of us to be your boyfriend.]

[On Regulars] After NS I think NS is the biggest charity in Singapore after Singapore Pools

Don't go. We want company. [Girl: There are so many people here] We want female company.

Sunday, September 26, 2004

Random Playlist Song: Edvard Grieg - Erotik (Poeme Erotic) Op. 43, No. 5

Okay. I confess: I cheated. But can someone tell me wth this is?!

I found this on the playlist of this nice Turkish guy who is sending me the 1915 recording, by Kreisler and Zimbalist, of BWV 1043 (the Double Violin Concerto in D Minor) - one of the last files from my late, great, 24gb playlist that I still want. Yay!

Turkish Guy: I dont like prokofiev much
Me: then why do you have so many of his tunes? ;)
Turkish Guy: prokofiev its like a very rare chemical I sometimes want to feel like
a need like wanting to listen heavymetal music


Bloody hell. I got a call from this Indian lady from the NKF (and on a Sunday too), who was trying to hoodwink me into accepting a donation card to con people into donating to their fund for "sick little children" who are "the future of our nation". Her accent was so thick, I couldn't understand what she was saying half the time, and she recited her lines so smoothly that I almost thought that I was "talking" to a machine which was spewing a series of pre-recorded messages and responses at me.

Hell, maybe it *was* a machine, since the cost of hiring temps for Sunday afternoon tele-marketing must be astronomical. Then again, they have money to burn; now we know where the money donated to the NKF goes to besides commissioning more and more Channel 8 tear-jerkers, distributing VCDs and card holders (both of which will reap them even more money, which they will plough back into fund-raising efforts, resulting in a vicious circle until they are the only charity left in Singapore), and suing people who question their activities. Oh, and let's not forget getting an unlisted number - I checked my handphone later and I got a missed call from "(no number)" just before they called my home line. Now, why a charity would need to get an unlisted number is beyond me. Maybe they don't want people calling them up and harassing them on Sunday afternoons *cough*

Apparently they'd gotten my number from the time when 42SAR had forced us to go for the NKF "free" health screening (at the end of which, of course, they'd tried to coerce us into signing up for a monthly donation, which many people sadly did, even those who dislike the NKF, which tells you something about their marketing skills). I should just have put my name as "Jeffery Aw" and my phone number as "63266354". Then again, I don't think I *gave* them my number. They must have gotten it from 42.


A little bird landed on my shoulder and whispered to me: "hello. take out your knives and sharpen them...the ccc is showing a debate between creationist science and evolutionist science next thursday 6pm-8pm...no doubt another darwin-bashing session...or if you choose to be like me, just let them self-delude themselves and spend the evening doing something else."

More exercises in intellectual tennis without a net. Shall I be there to help return a volley in the name of Science (and we're not even talking FreeThought here), I wonder?

My little bird: "i wonder why you'd bother turning up for things like these. i wouldn't waste my time playing tennis with people who can't differentiate between a tennis ball and a racquet string."


Friend: haha.. i format when i get mad at slow connections.
Me: wth does formatting have to do with a slow connection
Friend: nothing but it gives me smth to do while the connection gets better

... women.


"One female visitor complained about “mankind,” but attempts at “non-sexist” writing ignore etymology: man was Old English for “any person.” Man as gender-specific is unique to Modern English."

Political correctness falls flat, and reveals that the person who thinks that the word "man", when used to refer to men of all genders, is sexist, is herself (for inevitably it is a female, isn't it?) sexist :)


Me: so what do you live for? what is your meaning of life?
Friend: bluntly put, nothing.
Friend 2: to enjoy myself :D
Friend 3: sian (as always)

We can all form an existential nihilism club!

Someone once suggested to me that most people find some goal to life as they go along. To get a stable job, to provide for their kids et cetera, but frankly, that's not very fulfilling. Not to mention that it's dull and kills the spirit.


Great tip for when the Send To Extensions Powertoy screws up Send To Desktop (Create Shortucut):

Type REGSVR32 SENDMAIL.DLL in the RUN box. Restart Windows (mandatory step)


I tried Dreamweaver MX 2004 but immediately scurried back because they tried to force their new interface on me. At least Dreamweaver MX gives me a choice between the "Dreamweaver 4 Workspace" and the "Dreamweaver MX Workspace (with optional HomeSite/Coder-Style)". Dreamweaver MX 2004 forces me to use the Dreamweaver MX Workspace in HomeSite/Coder-Style, where all the panels are crammed into one window, and more importantly the site window listing the site files has been demoted to a panel and there's no way to display it as a window as in Dreamweaver 4. Damnit. Gah.

mirabiliz.com's "ICQ Users Allocation By Country Research" shows that Singapore is 27th in the rankings for number of users. I blame this, of course, both on people defecting to M$N and thinking that it would be cool to live in "Ascension Island" (8,468 ICQ users live there? You gotta be kidding me. Do they even have Internet access there?)


"You can pretend to be straight, but you can't pretend not to be black. Unless you're Michael Jackson." - Me. Quoted on request.
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