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Saturday, December 04, 2004

In recent weeks, YACCS has been exceedingly slow, with the comments boxes taking at least 30s to appear.

This has since been fixed, so comments may once again be left without much hassle.


"It has always been the prerogative of children and half-wits to point out that the emperor has no clothes. But the half-wit remains a half-wit, and the emperor remains an emperor" - Neil Gaiman

Random Playlist Song: Trevor Pinnock - The English Concert and Choir: Handel - Messiah - There Were Shepherds Abiding In The Field

Recitative (Soprano)
There were shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flocks by night.

Accompagnato (Soprano)
And lo, the angel of the lord came upon them, and the glory of the lord shone round about them, and they were sore afraid.

Recitative (Soprano)
And the angel said unto them: Fear not, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a saviour, which is Christ the lord.

Accompagnato (Soprano)
And suddenly there was with the angel, a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God, and saying:

Being absent without permission may be called: French leave.

The English language seems to take a rather unfavourable view of both the Dutch and the French. It should be noted however that the French language pays in kind and calls syphilis (in England "the French disease") "la maladie anglaise". In the same way a "French letter" is "une capote anglaise". It's just for the "French kiss" that they have not been inspired by England. There does not seem to be such a thing as "un baiser anglais".

(Nationality Words In Idioms)


I wonder why my spam mail is all addressed to "Michelle". Since "Mohammad" is statistically the most common "name" in the world, they should address all spam to "Mohammad" for a higher chance of successfully getting someone actually by that name.


"KOTOR II is one of the rare Star Wars games that doesn't seem mystified by the universe, but instead approaches it with a sociologist's eye. What is the real difference between Jedi and Sith? How is that difference perceived by the common man (or Wookie or Twi'lek)? Does the Republic -- on the brink of dissolution -- deserve to be saved? Many raise these questions throughout KOTOR II, but Kreia is the main source of great dialogue and philosophizing." (IGN)



NiHl on PRC students at the YST Conservatory:

"well.. just to comment on your Yong Siew Toh Conservatory thingy, yes, there is a difference, obviously. They get to use Singapore government funded (grand) facilities, and (mostly try to) talk in English. Ta da~. And most of all, they provide Singaporean and other students the opportunity to immerse in China (note I refuse to use the word Chinese) culture and henceforth make all NUS students very at home when they (are forced to) find a living in mainland China."

Ahh, more social engineering. Splendid.

budak writes about the "good ole days" in the Premier Institution of Social Engineering:

"Is there still heavy cross-breeding between ENG males and ASS girls? Is the anti-Ridge 'samizdat' known as The Subterranean still in existence?? I still have copies of that (which would mysteriously appear outside the old Central Library periodically) and which spawned the wrath of the Registrar and Ridge gang (though I suspect it included some Ridgers)."

Ooh samizdat. I wanna read. Actually the Ridge is not that bad nowadays. They did a really acerbic anti-"Jack Neo the bootlicker" thing a few months back. Anyway we don't need samizdat now - we have blogs. Yay. The samizdat reminds me of myself in the days of yore. And I think shrill, anorexic, chinese speaking ah lians are very much in demand, as always.

"I suppose the campus culture is still ruled by prom queens and Sports Centre jocks whose idea of student leadership is throwing the biggest bash.... "

Yes we still have many hiao girls and millions of bashes. One for every week of the year, and then some (so it seems).

"Shrill, anorexic, chinese speaking ah lians? That's worse than my days, when Jacelyn Tay was in the Jap Studies dept. At least she could speak Anglais."

Heh heh.

I invite comments by those more in the know than I am.


HDB on why cats cannot be kept in HDB flats:

"HDB has the policy of not allowing cats to be kept in HDB flats. Cats, being nomadic in nature, are difficult to be confined within the flat, resulting in problems such as shedding of fur, noise disturbance and defecation/urination in public areas, which will affect the external environment and neighbourliness in our housing estates."

Indeed, cats *are* nomadic in nature and they love to roam. No way to keep them confined unless you hermetically seal the flat.

Actually you can still keep pussies in your HDB flat - just claim that they're strays who wandered in due to their "nomadic nature"


In the wake of the "Virgin Mary" Grilled Cheese Sandwich:

Look at this picture. What do you see?

A plain cinammon bun? Or the face of Mother Teresa?

(P335 Cognitive Psychology, Prof. Kruschke - "Ambiguity in Perception: Even looking at a cinnamon roll is uncertain!")

This phenomenon is known as pareidolia: "a type of illusion or misperception involving a vague or obscure stimulus being perceived as something clear and distinct. For example, in the discolorations of a burnt tortilla one sees the face of Jesus Christ. Or one sees the image of Mother Teresa or Ronald Reagan in a cinnamon bun or a man in the moon.

Under ordinary circumstances, pareidolia provides a psychological explanation for many delusions based upon sense perception. For example, it explains many UFO sightings, as well as the hearing of sinister messages on records played backwards. Pareidolia explains Elvis, Bigfoot, and Loch Ness Monster sightings. It explains numerous religious apparitions and visions. And it explains why some people see a face or a building in a photograph of the Cydonia region of Mars."

Also see: Look! It's Jesus! - "Stay Free! tracks everyone's favorite deity as he leapfrogs across America"


Rationally Speaking - I, robot

"One of the most recurring instances of anti-naturalistic prejudice is the refusal to admit that the mind is a result of the activity of the body; no ectoplasm needed, as philosophers of mind put it. Few today would reject the notion that the body itself is very much like a machine... But the mind, still most people say today, is an entirely different matter.

A group of neurosurgeons at a hospital in Paris was conducting a farly routine operation on a patient affected by Parkinson’s disease. The idea was that, since the woman wasn’t responding to drug treatment anymore, the medical equipe would go straight into her brain and stimulate via electrodes specific regions of the brain stem. The procedure usually yields stunning results, which completely erase the symptoms of the disease, greatly improving the patient’s quality of life, at least temporarily.

In this particular instance, however, something went wrong. When one of the electrodes was activated, the patient suddenly stopped talking, began looking very sad and started crying uncontrollably, eventually explaining how her life was meaningless and she wished to die. It is important to note that the individual in question had never shown symptoms of depression before the implantation of the electrode. Even more stunningly, the talk of suicide, the crying, and the sad expression all decreased and then disappeared minutes after the electrode was removed by the medical scientists! If this doesn’t sound like a machine being turned on and off at will by a simple electrical stimulation, I don’t know what will convince you.

Still not convinced that we are very sophisticated biological machines, in both body and mind? Then consider another fascinating example from Damasio’s book. One of his own patients was affected by a bizarre and rather disturbing condition, which provides a stunning insight into the mind-body connection. The man in question suffered occasional episodes during which he would begin to loose the feeling of the lower parts of his body, as if under local anesthesia. The loss of feeling continued gradually upwards throughout the body, until it reached the throat, at which point the man passed out. A similar condition affecting a female patient did not cause her to loose consciousness, despite the frightening experience of no longer feeling her limbs and trunk. Tellingly, this second patient retained a sensation of her internal organs. Damasio suggests the intriguing possibility, based on these and similar cases, that we have a mind only until we have a body sensation of some sort (even highly incomplete, as in the case of the second patient). However, no body immediately means no mind. What more compelling evidence could there be that dualism is dead in its tracks?"


Today's GPF comic:

Patty: Oh, I get it. Your desperate pal is hard up for a date, so you think since I'm happily single I'll take pity on him. Am I close?

Fooker: I'll up your disk quota to 100GB...

Patty: Fine. As long as I don't have to wear a dress.

Fooker: 250.

Patty: Darnit.

Heh heh.


EX Fat Girl Workout - The site puts it aptly: "OK, I've seen a lot of weird fucking things since starting muchosucko... But this one is right up there in the WTF category...."

Cheer up, kids - it's not the end of the world - "A leading space expert has offered reassurance to youngsters from a Manchester secondary school, who were told that the end of the world was just days away."

Bus ban on sex ads - "The salacious ads by hip-hop clothing line Akademiks declare: "Read Books, Get Brain." But kids say "get brain" does not mean smarts. It's slang for oral sex."
Considering that every other word and phrase in the English Language is a euphemism for sex, the gonads or such, I don't see the point of being so sensitive.

Boss Spanks Employees for "Mistakes" - "Two young women complained to police that they were spanked by their 57-year-old employer for mistakes on the job, and the boss now faces criminal charges."

Exploding lava lamp kills Washington man - “Why on earth he was heating a lava lamp on the stove, we don’t know”

Santa Claus is A Fascist Dictator, Michelle's Look at The Creepy Polar Express!! - "Santa Claus is a fascist dictator who likes to kidnap and endanger children so that they can learn the true value of Christmas. That’s pretty much what I got out of Warner Brother’s new Christmas film “The Polar Express.”"

He plays Wok N Woll by Creative - Is this an actual Creative ad?!

I can't believe that someone paid US$61 for the Hello Kitty Grilled Cheese Sandwich. God.

SU comment: "David Icke is my very favorite conspiracy theorist. He belives (sic) the world is secretly ruled by shape-shifting lizards from outer space who eat babies. I am not making this up. Just have a look at his website. God I love loonies."

The Memory-Optimization Hoax - "RAM optimizers make false promises"

CA slaps spyware label on Kazaa - "Peer-to-peer program Kazaa is the No. 1 spyware threat on the Internet, according to Computer Associates International."

Interface Hall of Shame - "The Interface Hall of Shame is an irreverent collection of common interface design mistakes. Our hope is that by highlighting these problems, we can help developers avoid making similar mistakes."

Make it a little harder, please - "Most protection mechanism fail because the author has no idea what a hacker looks for in order to circumvent a copy protection mechanism. The result is often a design that looks solid to the author but has one or more of the following characteristics, all of which make life too easy for the hacker:"

Harvard Sucks - I think most people have seen this already. Anyone trying this here would be expelled. Pity.

US campaign behind the turmoil in Kiev - "But while the gains of the orange-bedecked "chestnut revolution" are Ukraine's, the campaign is an American creation, a sophisticated and brilliantly conceived exercise in western branding and mass marketing that, in four countries in four years, has been used to try to salvage rigged elections and topple unsavoury regimes."

You can breathe the air in Bhutan - "The Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan is well on the way to becoming the first nation on earth to completely ban the use of tobacco"

How To Do Girls - "Do it right, ask a girl" - "How-to-Do Girls is the comedy how-to show named after the smart, funny, and sexy hostesses. When you want to learn how to do it, come to How-to-Do Girls."
The most novel way to teach maths that I've seen.

Of Mice, Men and In-Between - Scientists Debate Blending Of Human, Animal Forms - "In Minnesota, pigs are being born with human blood in their veins. In Nevada, there are sheep whose livers and hearts are largely human. In California, mice peer from their cages with human brain cells firing inside their skulls."

Turn yourself into a diamond: tips from science on a good life, and death - "A thinktank of British scientists has come up with a new way of quickening the national intellect - a brain-taxing spin on the old formula of 100 things to do before you die."

Great composers scored on language - "Why is Elgar's music for Land of Hope and Glory so quintessentially English, while Debussy sounds so French? It is all because the music mimics the composer's native language, say scientists."

A blogger's disclaimer - I'd put this up, but no one cares about disclaimers anyway (just like EULAs), if they even bother to read them, so.

Parking: Battle of the Sexes - Silly flash game. I suck.

Mad Magazine's take on the French Spiderman

Friday, December 03, 2004

"I've gone into hundreds of [fortune-teller's parlors], and have been told thousands of things, but nobody ever told me I was a policewoman getting ready to arrest her." - New York City detective

Random Playlist Song: Trevor Pinnock - The English Concert and Choir: Handel - Messiah - Pifa (pastoral symphony)

Random Trivia bit: The Old French word "caboche" is the source of the word cabbage. "Caboche" is also the word that hunting parties used as late as Charles Dickens' time to describe the removal of a slain deer's head. Lexicologist Julian Franklyn proposed that it was this practice that Charles Dickens had in mind when Dickens used "kye-bosh" in his "Sketches by Boz". (If true, this etymologic theory would certainly give a sense of finality to the term "kibosh".) In modern French usage "caboche" refers to a snail's head. The ultimate Latin root of the word means "head".

The seemingly humble Cabbage holds an important place in mythology, history and medicine. When Dionysus caught Lycurgus trampling grapes, cabbages formed from the tears Lycurgus cried as he awaited his punishment. One could speculate that this story is related to the belief, in ancient times, that cabbage cured drunkenness. In 621 BC, Draco (from whom we derive the term "draconian") made the crime of stealing cabbages punishable by death. Finally, in modern times, cabbage (along with broccoli) has been held to be of benefit in treating exposure to x-radiation (Proc Soc Exp Biol Med. 1959 Feb;100(2):405-7)

There is scant evidence for the use of "cabbage" as a term of endearment among English speakers. There are, however, ample references to the French employing the phrase "mon petit chou" (my little cabbage) as a term of endearment.

(Veg-Etymology: Linguistic Roots Exposed)


In response to Letter from a Son, Anonymous writes (among other things): "Whining like a wishy-washy, chicken livered pansy and trying to picket against the establishment makes one the real loser."

My response: "Arbeit Macht Frei"... [more]


Change in racial make-up on menu

" But even an institution like the Coliseum, still popular for a gin and tonic, or a Pimm's, has had to bow to the change in the country's demographics. Last year, it stopped selling its famous bacon and ham sandwiches and pork chops are no more - the Coliseum has gone halal.

There were some complaints from a few non-Muslim regulars, but restaurant manager Madam Jo Wong said it was just a business decision.

'Many of our regulars were unhappy but what can we do? There is so much competition these days. We cannot survive on just the Chinese and European customers,' she said.

Now there are fewer Chinese in Kuala Lumpur and across the country, more Malay-Muslims. More businesses are catering for the growing population. For businesswomen like Madam Wong, there is no point maintaining a menu with pork dishes as it would drive away Malays."

A sad day it is indeed for that joint. I intend to compile my 4-5 point writeup of why I am opposed to halal food sometime soon.

Interestingly enough, the The Malaysiana Digests, in its review of the food there, complained that:

"Upon entering the Coliseum today, I noticed that the place had changed. The colours of the walls were even more bland, the white uniforms were spotted with grease stains that indicated a change of laundry contract was sorely needed. The waiters were a lot younger, and less graceful. The floor was slippery and the furniture had at least a millimeter of something that felt like baby lotion. The clincher was the air - the place smelt like a butcher shop.

I fought the urge to leave. After all, many a good meal is met by the adventurous diner. After looking around at the other patrons, who were as ancient as the venue, I overcame my gut feelings - and ordered a small steak. Sharizal ordered something I can't spell and we hoped for the best.

As I chomped down on my first bite of the dry (supposedly medium well), un-marinated piece of meat, my head was screaming: "We should have gone to Jake's damnit!"

Give me that honey-thyme marinated ribs (Sharizal's favourite) at Jake's. Give me that cat carcass (yummy 500g slab of meat) that Fische had at Shook! Give me Victoria Station or San Francisco Steak House. Real meat is good - but real meat lovingly prepared with the finest ingredients: a light spread of mustard, some herbs, at the very least, some sauce...


The meal was a painful RM90. The Coliseum I used to romanticise was gone and so was the fabulous steaks. While the price is typical for a steak lunch for two (cheap even if you compare it with some establishments), the encounter left me cheated (even though I didn't pay for lunch). The effort to move my jaw up, down and sideways for cafeteria food masquerading as something else left a bad taste in my mouth.

Now I have to resort to my original diet of tarts, coffee and junk food to wash it down."

Maybe there is some correlation between food quality and halal certification. Or maybe the chefs and staff had lost their spirit and drive after the restaurant's abandonment of culinary principles.


Discussion on trans-world depravity:

Someone: Never mind, to understand Transworld Depravity, did you see the show SLIDERS before?

Me: I sorta saw why

Someone: So to understand Transworld Depravity, imagine, the scenario of SLIDERS...that there are infinite worlds that exist as the result of every possibility inherent as a result of human decision...in all of these evil is bound to exist, and God knows it.

Me: ok. so there are infinite worlds (nvm that this goes against christian doctrine)

Someone: in all of these there is the possibility of sin...

Me: why? if this god is so good why

Someone: because a sinless human is biologically impossible. Because free will entails the possibility of sin
God chooses to make the world the best place He can, and a world where there is free will is better than a world where the choice to do evil is opted out of.

That is why if you ask me, Judaism makes more sense in this aspect, it does not insist that God is all-powerful, all-good and made the world perfect. It adds instead that man help to make it perfect...

Me: not all evil comes from human action. how about natural disasters? flesh-eating bacteria?

Someone: Natural disasters and flesh-eating bacteria are not evil in themselves. How do you define if something is evil in itself? Just because it causes harm? No, without flesh-eating bacteria, bodies would not decompose. Without natural disasters such as the occasional bushfire, forests are not able to regrow and regenerate...

Me: flesh eating bacteria = bacteria that attack you while you're alive
not when you're dead

yes so nothing is evil
all evil can be rationalised

which is why theodicy is immoral. if evil can be rationalised, how can it be evil?


The $28K Sandwich That Grew No Mold - How the Virgin Mary's grilled cheese stayed mold-free for 10 years

As someone summarised it: "Assume it was grilled (or more correctly fried) in margarine - the cheap stuff which is high in trans fats. Trans fats are used in food deliberately to inhibit decay in spite of the known health risks.

Also, assume it was standard commercial white bread - again, full of preservatives.

The heating and melting of the cheese also contribute to its stability - plus if it was not real cheese, but something like cheez whiz - again there are a whole bunch of preservative additives.

The surprising thing is that we can digest this stuff, and it does not pass through the gut untouched."

I still say the anti-Christ's power preserved the bread :)


Franklin's Unholy Lightning Rod

"It is well-known that the Catholic and Protestant churches opposed the scientific theories of Galileo and Copernicus, but did you know they also opposed Benjamin Franklin's lightning rod ?

The church tower, usually the highest structure in the village or town, was the building most often hit, while the brothels and gambling houses next door were left untouched... Thunder and lightning were considered tokens of God's displeasure. It was considered impious to prevent their doing damage. This was despite the fact that in Germany, within a span of 33 years, nearly 400 towers were damaged and 120 bell ringers were killed.

In Switzerland, France and Italy, popular prejudice against the lightning rod was ignited and fueled by the churches and resulted in the tearing down of lightning rods from many homes and buildings, including one from the Institute of Bologna, the leading scientific institution in Italy. The Swiss chemist, M. de Saussure, removed a rod he had erected on his house in Geneva in 1771 when it caused his neighbors so much anxiety that he feared a riot.

In 1780-1784, a lawsuit about lightning rods gave M. de St. Omer the right to have a lightning rod on top of his house despite the religious objections of his neighbors. This victory established the fame of the lawyer in the case, young Robespierre.

In America, Rev. Thomas Prince, pastor of Old South Church, blamed Franklin's invention of the lightning rod for causing the Massachusetts earthquake of 1755.

Had the ecclesiastics of the Church of San Nazaro in Brecia given in to repeated urgings to install a lightning rod, they might have averted a terrible catastrophe. The Republic of Venice had stored in the vaults of this church several thousand pounds of gunpowder. In 1767, 17 years after Franklin's discovery, no rod having been placed on the church, it was struck by lightning and the gunpowder exploded. One-sixth of the city was destroyed and over 3,000 lives were lost because the priests refused to install the "heretical rod.""

I wonder how much damage is being done by those who insist on abstinence-only policies to "prevent AIDS" and worse, spread FUD about condoms and their efficacy.


Hotmail's upgraded the useless account I signed up for last year for miscellaneous purposes, but the one I signed up for in 1998 remains at 2MB. Guess they don't reward customer loyalty. Some company.

Meanwhile Yahoo has upgraded me to 250MB. Whee.


I'm not the only one who thinks Singapore Idol is silly:

"Why rant and rave over Singapore Idol? Don't you all realise its just a bloody television show?

There is so much more important issues in Singapore to be riled up about than who wins in Singapore Idol.

Sigh, I guess Agagoona is right, without any suitable outlets,Singaporeans partake the most banal of activities.

When the headlines of newspapers feature Singapore Idol, while other more important news are consigned to the other pages, I feel sad for Singaporeans."

"It's heartening to hear that the standard retort of "since you have nothing to good to say, shut the fark up and get outta here" is still well and alive. It certainly helps some Singaporeans that they refuse to handle criticism in any way but to tell critics to clam up - how else could they live in the bliss that Idol minds offer?"

"Cherish your pathetically lame obsession over the banally bland Singapore Idol all ye tunnel-visioned fans, there is NOT going to be a second season of Singapore Idol.

You heard it here first."


Work of art that inspired a movement ... a urinal - "A humble porcelain urinal - reclining on its side, and marked with a false signature - has been named the world's most influential piece of modern art, knocking Picasso and Matisse from their traditional positions of supremacy. Marcel Duchamp's Fountain, created in 1917, has been interpreted in innumerable different ways, including as a reference to the female sexual parts."

Straight Dope Staff Report: Did Vikings really wear horns on their helmets? - Fascinating article on how wings, and then horns, appeared on the helmets of Vikings as depicted in art and opera.

Sharper Image fogs up - A company, 'Sharper Image' sues 'Consumers Union' magazine for publishing negative reviews of its air purifier. Ridiculous misuse of the courts. Though the magazine won, how many others are going to be deterred by legal costs and potential hassle from justified criticism? Similar principles apply in other areas (eg Fair Use).

Ivy League Guaranteed - "Regardless of grades, you will get accepted. I was!"


Some backlog that I scribbled onto my sheet of paper but didn't get to transcribing:

Interestingly, Engineering seems to have a disproportionately large number of long-haired guys in NUS. Someone speculated that this was because they don't have time to get haircuts, or there're no girls to impress.

Someone had the bright idea of mounting a giant TV screen in Yusof Ishak House - just outside the door to the study room. Besides there being no chairs in the vicinity for people to sit on while watching Channel News Asia and very little space on the steps for people to sit to do the same, the noise from the TV was audible from the study room. Maybe this is some secret psychological experiment to see how much worse students study in the presence of distractions.

Of the 85 student performers on the program for one of the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music's performances, 48 were from China, 16 from Singapore, 9 from Vietnam, 6 from Thailand, 4 from Malaysia, 1 from the USA and 1 from Taiwan. Oh, and the 2 Concert Masters, soloist and at least one of the Professors were PRCs too. So the PRCs come to Singapore to study under PRCs with fellow PRCs (so they're one up on Singaporean students who go overseas and mix only with fellow Singaporeans) - is it really that much different from studying in China?


pry'meh fay'see (prima facie)

times have moved on (changed)

In the ars faculty (Arts)

A micro'ker'sm of what Arts and Social Science is about (microcosm, Sciences)

You sit around bored during the december break. Sociology *is* the way to go!

[On the Sociological Imagination] Anyone? Charles? No, the answer is not 'shit'

As I told my class from day 1: We are here to screw up your minds

[On revision] If you can't, sit down at the dinner table at night: Mom, do you know what Durkheim said about religion? He said...

There's only one section on this test - section 1. *laughs from audience* Yeah, I thought that was cute too.

All the wonderful pictures she showed us. Skinned dogs, bull's penises and all other kinds of hideous things.

Women are more educated than men in the age group 20-24. Ooh, men are being oppressed.

In many ways, Engineering has come to the solution of these problems (been)
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Wednesday, December 01, 2004

"Cogito cogito ergo cogito sum" (I think that I think, therefore I think that I am.) - Ambrose Bierce

Random Playlist Song: Trevor Pinnock - The English Concert and Choir: Handel - Messiah - The People That Walked In Darkness (bass, air)

The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light; and they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined.

Random Trivia bit: The term 'arabesque' is of French origin and derives from the elaborate interlacing designs which are a prominent feature of the art and architecture of Arabia (some of these are similar to Celtic ornamentation of the kind found in the Book of Kells), as well as of other Middle Eastern countries.

The curvelinear lines of the arms and legs in the ballet position known as "arabesque" (a position in ballet in which the dancer stands "en pointe" on one foot and raises the other perpendicularly behind her) were apparently also thought to be suggestive of the Orient.

In music, the arabesque is a short, ornate, rather whimsical composition (similar to a bagatelle), usually for piano; some notable examples are by Schumann and Debussy.

In literature, the term generally applies to an intricate, fanciful, and grandiloquent style of writing (Edgar Allen Poe's 2 volume collection of stories, published in 1839, was entitled "Tales of the Grotesque and Arabesque").


KOTOR 2 (Knights of the Old Republic 2) is going to be out for the Xbox in less than a week, but I'll have to wait 2 months for the PC version. Among other things, it means it'll come out during term time.

Damn M$!

I shall have to content myself with monitoring StarWarsKnights.com religiously.


Someone: i got damn pissed [off]. and everytime i'm pissed [off], i go to ur blog HAHAHAHAHAHA

and then i read stupid things, and then i stop being pissed for awhile
which actually means, i visit ur blog v often, considering how often i get pissed

Me: I can set up a therapy service

Someone: therapy? xiaxue does better la
she'll belittle u so much, u'll just be so small
there'll be no space for self-pity

kimberly: what abt when I write stuff that pisses you off? then worse what haha

Someone: oh, if that happens i go to xiaxue
then i go to mr brown if all else fails


The madness of Singaporean youth about Singapore Idol used to puzzle me, till I realised that their energies are diverted to this manner of pursuits because while in other countries they'd be doing things like hiking (and other types of physical activities), smoking pot, spraying grafitti, taking part in demonstrations or engaging in political activism.

However, since they can't partake of those sort of activities here, they channel their energies to religion and Singapore Idol.

After hearing the 2 Singapore Idol finalists sing, I am aghast, for they both suck. De gustibus non est disputandum.

Someone: "little ah lians tYpInG liKe tHiS should get their handphones confiscated. damn... why couldn't they have SI during the Os or something? hurr."

Someone else: "Cos then YJC would have an entry score of 28 pts"

Yet another person: "The Powers That Be really ought to kill of any idiot who tYpEs liKe tHiS or sPeL lYk dIs because it's freaking annoying and it should be banned!!!"


My father is being paranoid again.

Somehow he thinks that my programs, such as Soulseek, are responsible for the spate of troubles plaguing the desktop, which is currently existing in an undead state - definitely not fully alive, yet not quite dead either. This ignores, of course, the fact that even after a clean format, with no programs installed except Windows XP, the desktop was already screwy and BSODing like nobody's business.

He claims that this is like a smoker going off cigarettes but still getting lung cancer. As if programs are capable of spoiling hardware (peeking and poking being a singular exception, as far as I know), and as if any software author would be crazy enough to do such a thing (and ignoring the fact that other people have no problems using those same programs).

When I pointed this out to him, he said that he wanted to be "safe", so no extraneous programs shall be installed on a hypothetical future desktop. I said he might as well call in the exorcist and feng shui master (Master Chew comes to mind), but the inconsistency of his logic did not faze him.

Therefore, in the spirit of being safe, given my seeming ability to screw up the computers I use, I shall not touch a hypothetical future desktop in any circumstances, not even to install software or do troubleshooting.


I Know What You Did Last Raya (Malay, U)

Directed by: Prof. Madya A. Razak Mohaideen

Starring: Erra Fazira, Azleen (Senario), Mazlan (Senario), Waheeda, Zamarul Hisham, Khatijah Tan, Eddy Yus

Genre: Comedy

Childhood friends Fazli, Lan, Syahida, Yassir and Mira are now young professionals living in the big city. The night before Raya, they travel back to their hometown together in Lan's Mercedes-Benz. Unfortunately, their journey is cut short when they accidentally run down an old man in white and his goat, killing both. After clearing any sign of evidence they continue their journey home vowing never to reveal what happened. But strange things start happening on Raya morning, and the five start to panic. When they return to the city, each of them begin to experience eerie events – someone is trying to kill them.

When I first heard of this show, I thought that the secret and sinful thing that they did last Raya was eating when they were supposed to be fasting.


In Merriam-Webster's Words of the Year 2004 list (how often each word was looked up), while 'Blog' comes in in 1st place, 'Cicada' gets 6th place, and - get this - 'Defenestration' is 10th.


Today's User Friendly Strip:

Rayn> hello sid060 how r u
sid060> Fine. Are the "a" "o" "y" and "o" keys missing from your keyboard?
Rayn> no why
sid060> Why can't you type out the words "are" and "you" instead of using "r" and "u"?
Rayn> i don't type very fast
sid060> there's something to be said for using both hands to type

Oh my god!

It's Wo-hen Nankan aka the Asian Prince aka Tuan Anh in a Grilled Cheese Sandwich.


Tuesday, November 30, 2004

"Ask your child what he wants for dinner only if he's buying." - Fran Lebowitz

Random Playlist Song: Trevor Pinnock - The English Concert and Choir: Handel - Messiah - For behold, darkness shall cover (Accompagnato (Bass))

For behold, darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people; but the lord shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee. And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising.

Random Trivia bit: The French words for cheese and jam are "fromage et confiture"


History has to be rewritten as school bans BC and AD - "A secondary school has banned pupils from using the terms BC and AD when writing dates because they are deemed unsuitable in a multi-faith society."

One of the more egregious manifestations of political correctness is terming dates in BC and AD, BCE ('Before Common Era') and CE ('Common Era') respectively. Supposedly this is to show respect for non-Christians.

However, by the same token we should rename the days of the week: Tuesday (Tiu's Day), Wednesday (Woden's Day), Thursday (Thor's Day), Friday (Freyr's Day) and Saturday (Saturn's Day), the months: eg January (Janus) and the gods know what else, just as the Quakers did.

Besides which, terming dates which essentially have the same reference point (ie 1 AD) being before or after a "common" era is conceivably just as disrespectful.


There is no question about the intent of implying guilt by association. The most popular way to do this is to invoke the Nazis. If you're anti-euthanasia, just do what many "pro-lifers" do and mention the fact that the Nazis practised euthanasia. Never mind that the Nazi euthanasia programme was nothing about people exercising their free choice to end their own lives and everything to do with cold-blooded murder. Just suggesting a Nazi link is enough to cast proponents of euthanasia in a negative light.

The same trick can be applied to an astonishing array of beliefs and practices. The Nazis were very keen on ecology, compulsory gym classes and keep fit, forests, eugenics and public rallies. If you yourself object to any of these, then slip in a mention of Nazi policy next time you want your criticisms to pack an added rhetorical punch. And if you're being bothered by a vegetarian while you're trying to enjoy your T-bone steak, just remind your critic that Hitler too eschewed meat.

The problem with guilt by association is that it fails to do what any genuine criticism must do: show what is wrong with the thing being criticised. The fact that some bad people like or support it, or that it can be mentioned in the same breath as something bad, does not add up to a criticism. Would love be bad if the devil had loved? Should books be banned because Mein Kampf too was a book? Should we banish sauerkraut from our tables because Nazis ate it? Of course not. Nothing is bad or wrong simply because the hand of evil has touched it. If it is wrong, show why it is wrong and don't resort to innuendo to make it appear wrong by association.

(Bad Moves: Guilt by association)


A source:

You might be interested to know that promotion is not 'automatic'. From what I found out, the process involves CPC asking for 'recommendations' on promotion from your unit. This is normally just a de rigueur procedure, as every clerk will be 'recommended' for promotion unless good reasons are given against it (and backed by someone with authority). As SAF operations are shrouded in mystery, I feel that this insight is important to current NSFs not affected by the 6 months reduction. When I first came in, I was told that CPC 'automatically' promotes when the time comes. I surmise that maintaining the idea that promotion is 'recommended' serves to maintain the 'integrity' of promotion.

I know from my dealings with clerks that CPC has to 'ask' for recommendations, but from what I know even people who went to DB got promoted. In fact, if you're a troublemaker they'll probably want to promote you even more strongly to punish you. Unless you're such a pain in the ass that they can't wait to get rid of you.


Someone on why Santa Claus is communist: the northpole is a classless society, everyone is an elf, and everyone is proletariat, leadership is centred in a 'champion of the masses'-santa claus (who incidentally looks just like karl marx) . the presents that the elves made are distributed by santa, puttin resource allocation in the hands of the state. at the same time he is elevated to a god-like status

the idea that only good kids gets presents suggests a value judgement based on what is accpetable by the state. the whole operation is run in the 'spirit of christmas' ,making it an opiate of the masses (how ironic) and blinding the elves to the fact that they are being exploited and have becoem little more than a cog in machine. and everyone wears red

Me: what about the reindeer?

Someone: santa is the only one in the state who owns them...what do u think
he's the only one who possesses the means to leave the country

my theory is he managed to find a barren land in the coldest region of the north and over there found a race of inbreeding people with congenital birth defects-stunted growth and limited cognitive ability, dumb but hardworkers if instructed. there was extreme division of labor, os little skill was expected out of each elf

think of north pole as siberia


Why aren't the people opposed to casinos because they will result in many "social ills" opposed to the stock market as well? The two operate in essentially the same way, with essentially the same consequences - people becoming bankrupt and despondent, people jumping off skyscrapers and the like.


Scientific American: Flying Carpets and Scientific Prayers

How to talk about liberal education (if you must) - "A true liberal education, he says one in which learning is pursued for its own sake, and is based on the idea that broad literacy prepares students to act as educated, enlightened citizens requires a "community of scholars" who are not worried about job-placement rates, or the relevance of their work to government officials, and who view a life of scholarship "as a vocation," not simply a career. "We couldn't well imagine Socrates taking early retirement,""

Death before dishonour - "What is it about the power of shame that drives a father, brother, even a mother to slaughter a close family member? In the UK alone, 117 murders are being investigated as 'honour killings'. But over-sensitivity to cultural differences means that many victims are denied the justice that they deserve"

Blue-state philosopher - "If the 21st century becomes a Singer century, we will also see legal infanticide of born children who are ill or who have ill older siblings in need of their body parts. Question: What about parents conceiving and giving birth to a child specifically to kill him, take his organs, and transplant them into their ill older children? Mr. Singer: "It's difficult to warm to parents who can take such a detached view, [but] they're not doing something really wrong in itself." Is there anything wrong with a society in which children are bred for spare parts on a massive scale? "No.""

Math profs link particle actions, human free will - "The professors, John Conway and Simon Kochen, have proven what they call the Free Will Theorem. It says that given three assumptions, if particles' behavior is truly predetermined, then people cannot have free will. In other words, if the behavior of a particle is fully determined by its past, so too are all the so-called decisions people believe they are making."

Firing the canon - "If you are a literate, sentient human, then you know some Shakespeare and even if you haven't read Cervantes, you know about Don Quixote. If asked to name great composers, you will start with Bach, Beethoven and Brahms, or Mozart, Mussorgsky and Messiaen. You may never have opened Childe Harold, or Little Dorrit, but you can strike a Byronic attitude and spot a Dickensian character. Your sense of both the history and geography of the humanities extends from Plato to Charlie Parker, from Homer to James Joyce, from Trollope to François Truffaut. And if somebody mentions Rashomon, you know better than to blink and say "who?" The canon changes with national boundaries, and again for each generation. But at any time, there must be 1,000 names and notions to which most educated westerners would claim familiarity. Canonical names become labels: Chestertonian paradox, Swiftian savagery, Gibbonian irony and so on."

strongest man - "I try and hold a camera at arms length"
Idiot holds camera at arm's length for 4 minutes. One of the most stupid things I've ever seen (and that's saying something).

'Obesity tourism' is Mugabe's answer to feeding Zimbabwe - "Zimbabwe has come up with a bizarre proposal to solve the food crisis threatening half its population with starvation. It wants to bring in obese tourists from overseas so that they can shed pounds doing manual labour on land seized from white farmers."


I don't know why people like to crowd outside exam halls. It's terribly hot and stuffy.

Someone left her (for it is almost certainly a her) phone in her bag, and her SMS tone, which was the sound for announcements in KLIA, sounded 57 times in just over 2 hours. Argh. Meanwhile I saw someone with white nail polish playing with a stick of liquid paper, so maybe what I thought was nail polish was actually liquid paper.


What if the blood bank couldn't cope with the sudden influx of blood donors? (people needing blood)

[On a girl in a tube top] Who dresses like this for an exam? [Someone: Maybe it's an oral exam.

Maybe you should do your thesis on the sociology of Power Rangers

Guys with long hair / Burmese Bells / Search Referrals - 30th November 2004

"Red meat is NOT bad for you. Now blue-green meat, THAT'S bad for you!" - Tommy Smothers

Random Playlist Song: Trevor Pinnock - The English Concert and Choir: Handel - Messiah - O Thou That Tellest Good Tidings to Zion (Air (Alto) & Chorus)

O thou that tellest good tidings to Zion, get thee up into the high mountain. O thou that tellest good tidings to Jerusalem, lift up thy voice with strength; lift it up, be not afraid; say unto the cities of Judah, behold your god!

O thou that tellest good tidings to Zion, arise, shine, for thy light is come, and the glory of the lord is risen upon thee.


I saw a guy who looked like a foreign worker on the bus. He had great non-rebonded long hair, silky looking and with a natural shine (even discounting its semi-dry state), of a length roughly in between the shoulders and the proverbial bra strap level. Unfortunately, he sat next to me, so I could only steal occasional and surreptitious glances at him to admire his hair.

It's such a pity, though, that he wasn't an exception to the rule that guys with long hair (with the notable exceptions of Fabio and Wo-hen Nankan) look ugly.


This rest of this post is dedicated to search referrals, but besides my usual practice of spewing some trite comment beside some of the weirder entries, I have endeavoured to provide a slightly longer writeup on one:

ways to masterbate secretly

My suggestion to this person is to use Burmese bells:

What are now known by the Japanese name of rin-no-tama, meaning "tinkling balls," are a variation of what the Chinese once called "Burmese bells,", although they may have been no more Burmese than French letters are French. They were originally as common in southeast Asia as in China. The English traveler, Ralph Fitch, described them in the Shan States of Burma at the end of the sixteenth century. The men, he said, wore "bunches of little round balls in their privy members... They cut the skin and so put them in." The aristocracy had silver ones, "gilded and made with great cunning," which rang "like a little bell"; the lead ones used by poorer people rang "but little." The king "sometimes taketh his out and giveth them to his noblemen as a great gift." Less than a dozen years later, the Florentine merchant Francesco Carletti also reported on them, this time in Thailand. "The rattles," he said, were "as large as hazel nuts" and were made in round or oval shape. When two or three were inserted under the skin of the penis, they had the result of "enlarging the member, as anyone can imagine." He added that according to Niccolò dei Conti, a Venetian nobleman who visited Burma early in the fifteenth century, there had then been "certain old women who had no other calling then that of selling these rattles." Carletti thought the original idea of the bells had been to enlarge the penis to such an extent as to "rule out and render impossible the practicing of venery in illicit parts of the body even with men" - by which he presumably meant anal intercourse - while Fitch, rather more obscurely, claimed that they had been "invented because they should not abuse the male sex, for in times past all those countries were [so] given to that villainy that they were very scarce of people." Both authors added, however, that whatever the origins of the practice it was perpetuated by the fact that women considered the effect highly stimulating.

Women themselves made use of the "Burmese Bell," at first inserting one in the vagina before intercourse, but later using them for solitary pleasure. In this case a pair of the little silver globes was necessary, one containing a drop of mercury and the other a tiny vibrating metal tongue; they gave a uniquely erotic sensation even at the slightest movement of hips or legs. Rin-no-tama bells for women became popular in the West in the eighteenth century and again in the late twentieth, though the modern set consists of three, not two, and the third is hollow.

- Sex in History, Reay Tannahill p. 173-174


The rest:

bcg treatment and chunks of flesh in urine

where can i find a picture of emma watson naked? - In your dreams.

disgusting phlegm fetish

"conflict theory"Matrix movie karl marx

praying naked muslim girls fucked in the mosque

cmpb strip pants
ns cmpb doctor bum

Raffles Institution porn Pictures

bollywood cpr scenes - No doubt they dance around a tree after resuscitation has been performed.

power rangers porn - http://www.fightingperverts.com/home.html

braless blog singapore
blog mgs lift skirt
singapore girl jc nude diary - They must be thinking of jAime's adventures. Too bad it's now down.

DIY dilbert boss costumes - I'd rather be Bob the Dinosaur, really.

why is the Thaipusam celebrated openly?


Philosophy politics and pretend economics EEEE

daniel radcliffe's opinion of Bush

sanitary pads fetish - I once saw a blog template featuring Sanitary Napkins.

emma watson's chest is smaller, and then its bigger - I thought that was Britney.

witch girls nude - Robes are needed for safety - what if the snakes' gall lands on you?

daniel radcliffe's sexy penis - How can a phallus be sexy? Erm. Nevermind.

pictures of naked fedex couriers

SCV halal

"nus" "racial quotas" - That's a new one.

sexual fetishes in the hundred acre wood

adventist moral tubal ligations

spanking raffles rgs

are gep student really gifted

critique "Malaysia, Truly Asia"

nude women making pepe - Pepe?!

pointy shoes yahoo group site:blogspot.com

anal bleaching

emma watson said she hate korea

industry spec palm olein - To clog up arteries as much as possible.

nude people in wheelchair are dancing

onionskin shorts

malay bust massage - I thought they go to the bomoh instead.

alt.sex.passwords hack kermit - Kermit and sex?!

"chuck jones" biography pornographic cartoons

mighty morphin power ranger superstore - Too bad Disney destroyed the warehouse.

pictures of women that have been airbrushed - I thought it's harder to find a non-airbrushed one.

Officer Cadet School Ringtone Singapore

Welcome to the original Older Men Porn website. We have over 1200 pictures of naked mature men, senior hairy men, - Yes. Someone actually typed this into a search engine.

"wo hen nankan" vietnamese - Finally, someone gets it. He's not Indian, damnit.

nude girls in ankle socks

naked mullet men

saddam hussein autographs

atheist pork photo

anime haters

how does marianas trench effect society nowadays

pictures of college guys armpits sexy hairless armpits hot underarms

islamic hentai - Haram! Haram!

power rangers fan fiction (porn) (lord zedd) (clinton)

circumcised blog girlfriend

poetry for depserate children

vagina speculum companies competition top 10

Malaysia Boleh website - offending article

difficult to enter nus law faculty

selamat hari raya greeting wav

sheares library porn - This was a Google search in Old Chinese. Hmm. Taiwan scholars?

unshaven nanyang girls

pretty scgs girls

F&N "The Fizzkidz" - Someone remembers that horrible drink that turn kids into cartoon characters.

Zhane and Astronema love fan fiction - That's not slash. Boo!

brazilian waxing pubic hair by muslim girls - Most important: is it haram?

preteen zaogeng - There's nothing to see.

rgs girls' brigade christian god

SCGS girls in toilet - Taking photos, no doubt.

boy corsetry "19th century"

pics of popes prick up close

"I love you islam" afterdate:20041115

hentai female body inflation

Steven Lim Naked

bikini blog scgs

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caleb, blog, singaporean, tall

hairy armpits actresses

blogger MRF Eisen Teo admin spec 6th platoon

"sphinx" + "chinx"

pictures of fat or obsese persons

model 39kg girl

taufik more educated than sylvester

tudung gals nude - Logically that's impossible.

lu xun slash yaoi

enslaved brazilian pussy

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teenage mutant ninja turtles YAOI fanfic

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"pee in the bushes" wank

flabby tricep.jpg

+vegetarian +colleague +today +blog +guy +NUS

Monday, November 29, 2004

"The world is a tragedy to those who feel, but a comedy to those who think." - Horace Walpole

Random Playlist Song: Trevor Pinnock - The English Concert and Choir: Handel - Messiah - Behold, A Virgin Shall Conceive (contralto, recitative)

Behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Emmanuel, God with us.

Random Trivia bit: The first description of acupuncture is in "The Yellow Emperor's Classic of Internal Medicine" ("Huang Di Nei Jing") which was once believed to date back 4,700 years, but is now thought to have been written about 2,100 years ago.


LJ does have its occasional uses, despite my previous dissing of it, so I shall occasionally place some friends-only entries on it.

So now would be a good time for all the closet fans who use LJ to crawl out of the woodwork if they want to read something too controversial for even me to put here, exposed to the whole world (golly, just imagine that).


Some essays I'm hosting:

Mill and Social Mandates - "If someone cheated on his income tax cleverly enough, he wouldn’t get caught, but if that same person insisted on repeating every sentence he uttered in Pig Latin, he’d be ridiculed and mocked. Ergo, past a certain point people need to be protected from society’s dictates and pressure to conform."

Continuing Discrimination Against the Dalits: Reasons and Possible Solutions - "One of the ways from preventing abuse of power is to have a rigorous selection process for policemen and those in positions of power; only those with irreproachable integrity and honesty should be allowed to assume office. In practice, however, this is certainly no easy task. Besides the difficulty of ascertaining true character, the Indian civil service faces the problem of ‘bullets-to-ballots’: it is riddled with corrupt politicians and ex-criminals, a notorious example being the ex-Minister of Railways, Laloo Prasad. The Parliament itself currently has more than 100 of 542 lawmakers facing criminal charges. Against such a background, until the Indian government takes a firm and decisive stand against corruption and criminal acts by its servants, the plight of the lower classes will continue. It is vital that improper practices be prevented and harshly dealt with; audits and checks must be conducted on a random basis by an independent government agency to root out corruption." (Abdullah)

Proud to be “SingapoLian”: A Scrutiny on the Rise of “Ah Lian” Culture in Singapore - "By ditching conformity, “Ah Lians” seem to be predicating that the taste of the masses does not equate to good taste, conversely, the taste of “Ah Lians” is not the equivalent of bad taste. The notion of good taste is challenged by “Ah Lians” and it is legitimate. This is because there is no such thing known as “genuine good taste” (Bourdieu 56). “Legitimate good taste” is nothing more than the “taste of one particular class – the ruling class” (Gronow 11)." (Huiping)


Leninism, Asian Culture and Singapore By Chung-Kwong Yuen

Lengthy analysis published in Asian Profile, June 1999, and posted 27 Sept 1999 in response to Buruma & Mahbubani dialogue "Are Singaporeans Afraid to Think" in Straits Times.

"It is therefore no wonder that, as the country became more wealthy under the PAP government, the party organization has all but lost its identity as a political party. It has ceased to have a party ideology that is distinct from the policies of the government... The leaders, the government, the important national institutions, and the country as a whole are so closely identified with each other that it is difficult to oppose one without coming under suspicion of being also opposed to the others; being against what policies the PAP has worked out for the country is almost automatically considered unpatriotic. Further, given the career situation, it is easy to believe that the government and its network of trust encompass the best educated and most able people of Singapore; to oppose all these must mark one as a disgruntled incompetent or a deliberate spoilsport, motivated by alien thinking. The idea of several political partiesof equal legitimacy competing for power as alternative governments, seems very remote from reality.


The process of younger people being introduced into government has been called PAP's political renewal, but it seems to be renewal to a very set pattern. Political career is now viewed as an extension of a normal career, like promotion in a company from operational staff to executive, instead of an alternative calling for people with particularly political interests. There is of course nothing wrong with the idea that only well educated and already successful persons should run the country, but the set pattern does raise the question "is there any other way to succeed?" If one is not selected as a government cadet at 18, does not have an Oxbridge/Ivy League degree and is not plugged into the network at an early stage, will there be any opportunity in life of reaching high places at all? In theory, any school child has the chance to do well at A Level examinations and qualify for a government cadetship. In practice, the chance of a child from a wealthy or upper middle class family is very much greater. Its parents can afford to hire domestic tutors, have a home library, buy computers and take the child on frequent overseas trips to widen their exposure. Whereas the better off children are whisked to school in cars by parents, or in some cases by family chauffeurs, poorer children spend long periods of time each day travelling by public transport or walking. They do their homework in cramped and noisy homes, sometimes in the shops and hawker centres where their parents work as there is nobody at home to keep an eye on them, whereas wealthy families hire Filipino maids to take care of the children's needs.


Contrary to the rather priggish image of the country, sexual mores are far from conservative. Single American and European business executives working in Singapore, while they may complain about other things, rarely mention difficulty of meeting girls and getting sex, and the preference of some girls for such boyfriends has produced the term "Sarong Party Girl" to denote the type. Divorce rates, as high as those in Taiwan, Hongkong and Japan, are rising. Abortion is available on demand, with the number at nearly 15,000, in a country where live births are under 40,000 per year. The number of abortions indicates widespread pre-marital sex: since contraceptives are freely available (in fact, packets of condoms are displayed at most supermarket cashiers booths), one would guess that for every teenager that gets pregnant, at least 10 would have used contraception.


I see two practical shortcomings in the Singapore system: the difficulty of finding imaginative leaders and its vulnerability to infiltration by foreign agents. The system has the tendency to promote conformity, and those who thrive in the system are people who are good at conforming, or at least, at appearing to be conforming. The cautious and the sly have a better chance of survival than the frank. Such survival characteristics do not however associate with the vision and real convictions that the system needs in leaders. Obedience is not the same thing as loyalty, which often requires one to speak out and point out problems. It is not surprising that, despite the vast increase in the number of well educated people and the more effective machinery and database for identifying candidates, the government has often complained of the difficulty of finding enough good people to stand for parliament, especially those with ministerial potential.

There is a security risk in the practice of recruiting cadets and sending them for overseas studies before posting them to fast rising career tracks, because a foreign government can easily identify promising targets for agent recruitment. A combination of the cadet's admiration for the host country, money, career assistance, participation in exciting secret ventures, and blackmail since young people living alone in a foreign country could easily commit indiscretions, may be used towards recruitment success."


Greek Lawyers Threaten To Sue Over Gay Alexander Film - "The upcoming film Alexander and Oliver Stone its director are being threatened with a lawsuit for portraying Alexander the Great as a bisexual. A group of Greek lawyers announced Friday that they have served Stone and Warner Bros film studios with "an extrajudicial note""
Considering that the evidence that he was bisexual is better than that for Jesus being gay, their fury is curious. Besides which, he was Macedonian, not Greek.

CacheLogic - P2P Traffic Analysis - BitTorrent alone took up a third of bandwith.

Cook's Thesaurus: Exotic Tropical Fruit - "feijoa = feijoda = pineapple guava. Notes: To eat feijoas, just cut them in half and scoop out the pulp with a spoon. They also make terrific preserves and syrups. Look for them in large supermarkets. If they're hard when you buy them, allow them to ripen at room temperature until they give a bit when you squeeze them, then store them in the refrigerator."

Vocal clip of a vocal trainer called Brett Manning, the techniques of whom, taught in a US$199 home program, supposedly give one a 5-octave range. Allegedly, he can sing as high as Mariah Carey.

Singapore: past, present and future - by Francis Seow - "Singapore’s chief justice – believe it or not -- receives more than the combined salaries of the Lord Chancellor of England, the Chief Justices of Australia, Canada, and United States Supreme Court."
I think it would be more effective, at least from a pedagogical point of view, if he did not make his bitterness and hatred obvious, leading people to think that he had a hidden (or otherwise, as the case might be) agenda. His analysis of the weaknesses of the opposition, however, is surprisingly incisive.
I am sian.

I was looking for the most god-awful, garish and tasteless blog template on BlogSkins.com to put up for a day or two, but couldn't find one disgusting enough.

At least someone shares my sentiments on blog templates:

"Y'know, there are an awful lot of .. well... AWFUL blog templates out there. Every time I get in the mood to change my site layout and go looking for templates, I always end up discouraged. I mean, I was browsing through literally HUNDEREDS of blog templates - and 95% of them were just pure shit. The other 5% were too girly.

Looks like I'm going to have to brush up my CSS formatting SKILZ if I want to modify my blog template ... not that I haven't modified it already, being the 3l33t h4x0rz that I am. Dude."


The readiness of Americans (more so than other people, seemingly) to believe out-of-this-world conspiracy theories is mystifying.

Americans seem fascinated with conspiracy theories. The theories seem to have a good deal of incontrovertible and irrefutable evidence behind them, but this ignores the overwhelming preponderance of evidence against them (see previous post on AIDS). For example, we all know that the UN is a sinister World Government controlled by the Illuminati, Freemasons and god knows who else, but for a world government they don't seem to be doing a very good job. Hell, they have enough trouble getting simple motions passed, so I doubt they can do a very good job in ruling the world.

There's also a delusion that "they", with the complicity of the media, don't want you to know the truth, but the "mainstream media" frequently does uncover scandals: eg Bill Clinton and his exploits with various women, Abu Ghraib, Iran-Contra and Watergate.

You can't fool all of the people all of the time, after all.

I would think that 99.9% of American conspiracy theories have about as much truth in them as the Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion.

I'm guessing that it has something to do with the reasons why so many of them believed that Weapons of Mass Destruction have been found in Iraq, that they've been kidnapped by aliens and that Man was created in his current form 10,000 years ago. It must be pretty scary to live in such a world.

IMHO, religious apologetics, Creation 'Science' and conspiracy theoretics share most of the same techniques - misrepresentation of the other side, ad hominem attacks, selective interpretation of evidence, ignoring the sheer bulk of contrary evidence, absurd arguments and basically working backwards from a pre-determined conclusion to come up with theories and postulates that nicely fit the facts, rather than the other way around.

(See also: Why I hate the madness of these conspiracy theories)
"Oh, life is a glorious cycle of song,
A medley of extemporanea;
And love is a thing that can never go wrong;
And I am Marie of Romania."

- Dorothy Parker

Random Playlist Song: Trevor Pinnock - The English Concert and Choir: Handel - Messiah - And He Shall Purify (chorus)

And he shall purify the sons of Levi, that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness.


The International Square Earth Society

"It is a well-established Biblical fact that the Earth is flat and immobile. Every good Biblical literalist knows the Scriptural passages which demonstrate that the Earth does not move and that its surface is not curved: Daniel 4:10-11, Matthew 4:8, Joshua 10:12, 1 Chronicles 16:30, Psalms 93:1 & 96:10 & 104:5, Isaiah 45:18; the list goes on and on.

But far too many lazy Biblical literalists today ignore the plain fact that the Bible also tells us that the flat Earth does not have curved edges. Even the late, great Charles K. Johnson, the valiant fighter for the Truth who carried the message of the earlier Zetetic Astronomers forward into the twentieth and twenty-first centuries by founding the International Flat Earth Society, made the grievous error of assuming that the Earth was shaped like a circular disk. Nothing could be further from the Truth.

"What can I do in my community to make the heathenous Round-Earthers see the light?"

Show them this webpage. Take out your own bible, and show them Revelation 7:1, Isaiah 11:12, and the two Job passages. If that doesn't convince them, you can use your bible to hit them on top of the head and shout, "Earth square!".

Hold Square Dances where you hand out International Square Earth Society literature. March in picket lines in front of globe manufacturers with signs reading "Earth square!", "Satan says the Earth is round," "No round Earths", etc.. Boycott Rand McNally. Buy square Earth maps and place them prominently in classrooms and on bulletin boards. Yell at the school board and demand "equal time" for the "equally valid" scientific theory that the Earth is square, while reminding them that the notion of a round Earth is "just a theory." Hold up signs saying "Rev 7:1" for the cameras at football games. There's so much one person can do to spread the Word that it's impossible to list all the possibilities here."

The Bible And Christianity - The Historical Origins - Perhaps the most complete account I've read of the history of and constant revising the main book of christian mythology, from pre-history to the KJV.

The most interesting (or new, at least) part for me was the account of the six great revisions of Judaism, especially:

1) The Exodus story being a version of the expulsion of the Hyksos from Egypt
2) The merging of Elohim and Yahweh

Perhaps the most interesting article also on that site is a secular view of the origins of Islam. Similar views on Christianity are a dime a dozen, but one on Islam is rare indeed.

Kathryn Kuhlman, from “Occult ABC” by Kurt Koch, 1978

"One year after meeting with Kathryn, the state of all twenty-eight people said by her to have been healed was as follows: Ten had not been healed, seven had experienced an improvement in their condition, eleven had diseases in which the mind can play an important part. In the whole of this extensive report, there is not one clear case of healing from an organic disease. So for all the trouble taken by Mrs. Johnson, for which I thank her again, nothing has been proved.

Ex 113 Another case, that Dr. Nolen followed up, was that of a woman who was said to have been cured of lung cancer. In his own words, "When I contacted her, Leona told me that she had not had lung cancer at all. 'I have Hodgkin's disease,' she said, land some of the glands in my chest are involved. But since no one else got up when Miss Kuhlman said that someone with lung cancer is being cured, I figured it had to be me. I've been back to my doctor and he says he can't see any change in my x-ray. I think I breathe better, but it's hard to tell, since I never had much trouble breathing anyway.' "

Dr. Nolen also obtained from Kathryn Kuhlman a list of eight people who were alleged to have been cured of cancer. Again the result of his investigations was completely negative. " (All emphases in original)

Methinks similar principles apply elsewhere.

Interview with Azar Majedi: "I would like to make one point clear. Criticising Islam, ridiculing it, no matter how harshly, falls within the concept of freedom of expression and criticism, and is not racist. However, insulting people by reference to their religion or race is racist. We need to make this distinction very clearly because we find tendencies among the left who consider criticism of Islam as racist. Islamophobia is an invented concept by Islamists and their apologists, a concept that condemns any criticism of Islam as a racist act. I believe Islamophobia is as hypocritical as it is reactionary. We should raise the banner of unconditional freedom of expression and criticism."

Interesting point.


The Crusade Against Evolution

"In an era when the government is pouring billions into biology, and when stem cells and genetically modified food are front-page news, spending even a small part of the curriculum on bogus criticisms of evolution is arguably more detrimental now than any time in history. Ironically, says Ohio State University biology professor Steve Rissing, the education debate coincides with Ohio's efforts to lure biotech companies. "How can we do that when our high school biology is failing us?" he says. "Our cornfields are gleaming with GMO corn. There's a fundamental disconnect there."


In a democracy, every idea gets heard. But in science, not all theories are equal. Those that survive decades - centuries - of scientific scrutiny end up in classrooms, and those that don't are discarded. The intelligent design movement is using scientific rhetoric to bypass scientific scrutiny. And when science education is decided by charm and stage presence, the Discovery Institute wins."

Ah well. There are always the textbook disclaimer stickers. My favourite one is: "This book was anonymously donated
to your school library to discreetly promote religious alternatives to the
theory of evolution. When you are finished with it, please refile the book
in the fiction section."


Why god, Why- answering what Power Rangers is and why adults watch it

"For some people, PR is their generation of super heroes. For others, including myself, PR's ideas helped boost my creativity in writing and drawing, and has become a stable consistency in my life since it's debut on August 28, 1993. Like in any fandom, the PR fandom has it's share of nervous-wreck members who validate people's opinions that PR fans have serious issues. On the other hand, some of the older fans use PR as either an escape from frustrating times in their lives (like any show, movie or book), or something to fuel current interests like art or writing.

Who are these Ranger fans?

They range from average Joes to anything imaginable. They are out there, and they are abundant. They're people with real emotions and life issues who share a common interest in a television show. They may be ridiculed for whatever ignorant reason, but they'll always have a thriving fandom to back them up.

Hopefully, this Q&A has informed new fans just how big Power Rangers really is today, and has reminded us older fans what continues to make it a great place to be."


We are being watched:

Someone: u think ISD & SID so free to monitor all of u all???

Someone else: Duh! Its all automated lah via various engines the looks at forums, email list, emails, etc. Also there are dictionary searches to catch "sensitive" words.

I am not being paranoid, I know it for a fact because I have a friend working on one of their applications, plus I have been actively involved in the gay rights in Singapore and have seen garmen mechanics in action before more than once, plus trading war stories with other ppl like journalists, other ngos, etc, etc....

SPUG is definitely in their monitoring list....


Relative thinking

""If you asked me to name the leading relativist in the world, I couldn't," says Robert Eaglestone, a senior lecturer in the department of English at Royal Holloway, "because they just don't exist. Relativism has always been a bogeyman used to scare people. No-one's ever lived up to the straw figure of the full-blown relativist constructed by their opponents. If you read any of the usual suspects - Derrida, Rorty, Lyotard, Kuhn - with care, you'll find that none of them ever suggests that 'anything goes'."

Somehow the 'real' relativists always seem to be somewhere else, somehow their wacky notions always seem to evaporate on closer inspection, to turn into something perfectly sensible. But if these relativists are just a tiny minority in academia, or if they really don't exist at all, then why does everybody believe that the humanities are overrun by shifty foreign nonsense? Why does the 'anything goes' caricature of the modern intellectual stick? Why do we distrust everything that snowy-haired French philosophers say?"



Human PacMan hits real city streets - "The classic arcade game PacMan has resurfaced on the streets of Singapore using "augmented reality" technology developed by military-backed scientists at the University of Singapore."

Pirated software used to create help content in Microsoft's Windows XP - "Nine WAV audio files located in the folder " "Help\Tours\WindowsMediaPlayer\Audio\Wav" in the Windows installation directory include a signature of "Deepz0ne", a member of former cracking group "Radium""

The Rule of Threes - Soapbox - "The One-third of a Second Rule: As frustration levels rise, so too do our attempts to get things done quickly. We click here... click there... highlight this file or that... stab at the delete key... click OK... OOPS! Here comes the one-third of a second rule - this is the amount of time that usually elapses between clicking OK and the OOPS."

LART - "Luser Attitude Readjustment Tool. In the collective mythos of scary devil monastery, this is an essential item in the toolkit of every BOFH. The LART classic is a 2x4 or other large billet of wood usable as a club, to be applied upside the head of spammers and other people who cause sysadmins more grief than just naturally goes with the job. Perennial debates rage on alt.sysadmin.recovery over what constitutes the truly effective LART; knobkerries, automatic weapons, flamethrowers, and tactical nukes all have their partisans. Compare clue-by-four."

Spyware Lurks On Growing Number Of Home Computers - The galling part: "Many of the free spyware-removal software are loaded with spyware."

Weird news

Ladies, say goodbye to toilet queues - A week-old New Paper article. I never knew there was a rule for the ratio of cubicles in male and female toilets. The ladies can always learn how to pee standing up.

Judge throws party, hands down life sentence - "A judge threw a party complete with balloons, streamers and a cake to welcome a former fugitive back to her court -- and sentence him to life in prison."

"I express my deep regret at the taxpayer's death" - "A Polish taxpayer died from a heart attack after a demand for immediate payment in full of 80,000 zlotys ($23,560) following a mistake by the tax office."

Youngsters Play Hollywood Spirituals in A Very Merry Unauthorized Children's Scientology Pageant - "A Very Merry Unauthorized Children's Scientology Pageant is a self-proclaimed "bizarre new holiday classic — part avant-garde performance art, part children's theater — based on the actual principles of Scientology and the seriously unbelievable life story of founder L. Ron Hubbard.""

Bush Shirt Leads To Poll Strip - "When an election worker told Debbie Dupeire that her Bush-Cheney T-shirt was illegal at the polls, Dupeire didn't get mad. She got undressed. Dupeire ripped off the T-shirt and voted Tuesday in a sports bra, too afraid to lose her place in a long line. Under state law, candidates' names cannot be displayed within 500 feet of a polling place. "

Would you buy a car that looked like this? - "The Society of Motor Manufacturers says that "environmental factors are very low on people's list of priorities when it comes to buying a car". So the New Economics Foundation is looking at the model of tobacco labelling as a way to help people kick the SUV habit. Canadian government research, backed by World Bank findings, shows that there is a direct relationship between the size of warnings and the effect on personal behaviour. "The larger the health warning message," reports Health Canada, "the more effective it is at encouraging smokers to stop smoking.""
They should look at smoking in Singapore before saying anything.

ID card doubts - Blunkett blames dead German philosopher - "Home Secretary David Blunkett said today that the German philosopher Immanuel Kant is to blame for scepticism about the government's plans for a compulsory national identity card."


"The Unusual Character & Extra Value of Singapore Journalism" - A list of the 46 (count them) affidavits that journalists in Singapore filed in the first 4 months of 1997 against an opposition politician

Big Brother is watching, make no mistake.... - "I was walking along Boat Quay recently and saw four ladies standing on a bar in a pub, each writhing to music in a sexually-suggestive manner. This is not reform. This is not liberalism. This is sleaze. And sleaze should not be equated with freedom. The most important aspect of freedom, which is aligned to the freedom of the media, is the freedom to be wrong. And it's that freedom that Singapore needs to cultivate."


Here W comes to save the day!!!

Alice’s Adventures in Charles Dodgson’s Mind - "Dodgson was also quite interested in photography, especially
photographing young girls and women. There is much mystery surrounding the life and behaviors of Dodgson. He was said to be shy, but he had many female friends who he mostly kept contact with through letters. He seemed to lack confidence and devoted much time to pursuing young girls and befriending them... Many researchers believe that Charles Dodgson held an obsession for young girls, and some even believe that he was a pedophile."

flat is beautiful - "This community is for girls who have always been put down for having small breasts. who says having small breasts is a bad thing? flat is beautiful!"

communication skills - zefrank - Passive Aggressive Communications Solutions - Punctuation Substitution. "By associating punctuation with simple phrases, you greatly increase the vocabulary at your disposal."

I Like You.. I really like you... - "Did not get that mortgage you were after? No more cash? Feeling bad? No one likes you? Nothing we can do with your mortgage or cash problems, but we can make you feel better.. We can even like you!.."

Traditional Saami Joik of Norway - "The Saami, the indigenous people of northern Scandinavia, have a unique unaccompanied vocal style called joik... A joik is a musical description of a subject which has inspired the singer, such as a family member or a friend."

The History Of Banned Rock and Roll - "From Rock and Roll's very begining, there have been those who have tried to control what others should hear."

Economic `Armageddon' predicted - "Stephen Roach, the chief economist at investment banking giant Morgan Stanley, has a public reputation for being bearish... His prediction: America has no better than a 10 percent chance of avoiding economic ``armageddon.''"

Who Needs Harvard? - "Krueger and Dale studied what happened to students who were accepted at an Ivy or a similar institution, but chose instead to attend a less sexy, "moderately selective" school. It turned out that such students had, on average, the same income twenty years later as graduates of the elite colleges. Krueger and Dale found that for students bright enough to win admission to a top school, later income "varied little, no matter which type of college they attended." In other words, the student, not the school, was responsible for the success."
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