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Saturday, May 06, 2006

Crete trip - Part 2
18/4 - Heraklion (Zhuo bo)

After collecting the car my brother-in-law and I considered our options. Someone was going to arrive the next day, so we didn't want to do anything good since we knew she'd want to do it too and force us to do it again. So we just ended up zhuo bo-ing (doing nothing) the whole day.

Greek dogs are very good-tempered (at least to humans). When we were in the village of Arhanes, one kept following my brother-in-law around, even pawing him (getting on his hind legs and placing the fore ones on his jeans) when he first saw him. When my brother-in-law went to look for pussies, it followed and started chasing them, so that was fun.

Dog which followed my brother-in-law around

After Arhanes, we went to the site of Vathypetro, which was heavily recommended by the guidebook. It was supposed to open at 8 during the winter season and 8:30 during the summer one. When we arrived at 8:50, no one was there. At 9:05, just as we were about to leave, a car came barreling down the extremely narrow pavement, and the man stepped out to unlock the place. Cretan time isn't exactly the same as Eastern European Time.

View from Vathypetros - Vineyard, village (Arhanes?) in background

Actually, if I were in charge of Vathypetro too, I would come late and leave early - there was no structure for the guy to sit in, so he was just sitting on the pavement with his feet in some vineyard (or soil, or some such) talking to his girlfriend. There was nothing there - not even an introductory panel telling one about the place, let alone ones telling visitors what each of the rooms were. No wonder it was free.

For the first time (and definitely not the last) we questioned the judgment of the guidebook author who'd gushed about Vathypetro so - it had 1/3 of a page dedicated to it, making you wonder what places with 2 lines and his recommendation that they were "remarkable" or "worth a visit" had going for them. Meanwhile, he was incredibly disparaging about the good places - he suggested readers quickly finish Heraklion's archaeological museum and Knossos and flee the city forthwith (presumably for places like Vathypetro).

The desolation of Vathypetros

Grape Vines

While driving on from Vathypetro, we turned the bend and suddenly the road was full of sheep being driven by an ah peh in a 4x4 (no need for sheep dogs). We had to let them by first.

Road full of sheep

Sheep running past car

Random village

We then proceeded to semi-abandoned village of Ethia, up 10km of vertiginous mountain roads. After racking up a headache in getting there, we saw why only 20 people were left (as of 2004) - all the smart people had migrated to better places. Needless to say, the guidebook had raved about the charm of this place. Brother-in-law: "Did the guy get laid at every little village or what? How come he can wax lyrical about all these little villages?... Can you not write that down?"

The desolation of Ethia. About half the buildings are as run down as this.

After visiting Ethia, I suggested that we ignore any place with half a page or less. We speculated the guy would probably say that Parthenon was horribly overrated.

Mountain near Tsoutsouros (about 14km away)

To get to the village of Tsoutsouros for lunch, we then went down 15km of unpaved rocky road with Area D-quality roughness in our Daewoo (with bad suspension). Parts were worse, my brother-in-law reported, than Shoalwater bay. It's no wonder no one else was on the road (which wasn't even marked on our road map) - maybe it was for mules.

More mountains

At the village of Tsoutsouros, we had what was definitely, on a per person basis, our most expensive meal - 500g or so of fish, some cuttlefish, fries, a Greek salad and 2 drinks cost us €32 - even the meal with lobster spaghetti didn't cost as much. The guy was so happy at being able to fleece us that he gave us 2 cucumbers, then a while later gave us 4 yellowish pear-shaped (and sour-tasting) fruit slightly bigger than ping pong balls.

Fruit and vegetables we got after being fleeced. The fruit is most likely a kumquat.

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
(欠$还$ - Owe money return money)
Seen in Heraklion market

The place where my brother-in-law and I had dinner had this dessert: "submarine (glass of water with a knob of vanilla)" (1€,50). I was intrigued by this and tried ordering it, but they were out of it. They also had what was simply labelled "Cock's Egg"; we had to look at the German menu in order to find out what it was (Chicken fillet grilled with 3 kinds of cheese).

I don't know why anyone would willingly eat a kebab/shoarma after having a gyros. Gyros have good quality meat in them, while kebabs get shit meat that would otherwise go into sausages. Gyros are usually moist and flavourful, while kebabs are dry (maybe that's why they soak up alcohol well).

More mysteries of life: why are there so many fat Greek women dressed in black in the countryside? And why're there so many pharmacies in Greece - do the Greeks get sick so easily (OTOH, I've seen almost no doctors/clinics)?
The sentiment from my contact list, expressed through messages, nicknames and status messages, is unanimous.

Bribes disgust people.
"in the Singapore press and in Singapore in general, people have this v brainless idea that when advancing an argument you must have a thesis and an antithesis and must come to a balanced conclusion. This is delusory. For example, if I were to debate about holocaust denial, the proper response to those proponents of such a disgusting world view would be 'fuck you', not 'ok, write an article and we'll come to a balanced conclusion'."


Someone: "once i walked into rj bridge club and then someone blurted out my blog address in my face
and i was like huh? and that guy went, have you ever read agagooga? gssq?
he said u were interested in my blog
anyway he then proceeded to tell me your life history and about how i should read your blog
and i was like fuck you lah can we play bridge? and he was like yeah. so we played bridge."

Someone else: i told them i memorised all the reasons for the why-be-a-doc question

Me: you need to know how to fake insecerity
or another gambit is to say to them "screw it. everyone's lying to you. let me tell you my real reasons"

Someone else: come on lah. EVERYONE who wants to enter medicine wants to earn big bucks and be the envy of the society. it's just that the degree of this kind of thinking is different for different people
even the most altruistic doc out there wants to earn big bucks

will u work for over 24 hour shifts and have to sleep, eat and bathe in the hospital if u are paid peanuts? and most of the surgeons have to do this for a few times a week

Me: it's like teaching
must be a "passion"

Someone else: passion to earn lots of $$!:D
and no matter how much they complain they have to slog like hours just to earn 'so little'

i myself saw toilet cleaners who have to work 12 hours a day in the hospital and paid thousands of dollars less
and those toilet cleaners earn so little they have to stay at the hospital
some may even get their salaries cheated. !@$#$%^&!
i heard a woman cried because they refuse to give her one month's salary

but can u imagine some people out there have to raise a family with those few hundred $$?

so u can't blame students entering med because they want to be rich and have financial security
no body says they have a passion to serve the public by washing toilets, or they enjoy washing toilets so they want to be toilet cleaners

Me: :P
I think those are noble causes
I don't get why medicine is so treasured

Someone else: i dont too. being able to cure other people doesnt mean u're a god

Me: I think one rejoinder in interviews is "why not be a nurse?"

Someone: It's people like the security guard who says, "I'm voting for the PAP because they gave me money" (referring to the recent progress package) that actually makes me feel ashamed of living here.

the reason i'm planning to transfer halfway through my studies to us, and apply for pr or something.
singapore has no hope

Friday, May 05, 2006

Crete trip - Part 1
16/4, 17/4 - Brussels, Athens

My flight to Athens was from Brussels Airport. There're flights to Athens from Schiphol (Amsterdam), but I couldn't find any by low cost carriers, so Brussels was the next best choice. My original plan was to wake up early and visit Brussels, exploring the city for a day, before embarking for Athens. Of course, it didn't work out that way, since I slept at almost 3am or so the night before since I was packing and chatting with people. In the end I left at about 3:30, due to reach Brussels at 7:19pm.

The announcer on the train to Brussels spoke French like she was speaking Dutch. It was quite funny, given how other announcers speak Dutch like they're speaking French.

Just before reaching Brussels Noord, looking out from the train window I saw below the train track many prostitutes parading in windows. Meanwhile, the group of old people sitting around me all seemed very excited (and seemed to be looking down), a state which passed once we'd passed the prostitutes.

Seen near Brussels Noord station: "Hotel Chaochow Palace". Wth.

When I got off at Brussels Central station, I smelled piss. I was not surprised, but still - gah. The place also looked quite run down - quite surprising considering that it was the Central Station of Brussels.

Gardens across from Place de l'Albertine

Fountain outside Musee du Cinema

Navenstein sculpture

When I arrived at the Brussels Central station just before 7:30, a minimart and a hotdog stand were open, but less than an hour later everything was closed. Taking a short sub-hour Walk around Brussels (~19kg backpack notwithstanding), I found that everything was closed, even the restaurants - I found not a single one open (and I was so looking forward to a French meal before flying off). Probably the only people working in Brussels were the prostitutes. At first I was wondering why, but then realised it was Easter Sunday. Then again, though this was not the best time to be anywhere, I was surprised that even the restaurants were closed - even in Crete where people are more religious there were restaurants open on Easter Sunday. So it was lucky that I'd decided to sleep in in Utrecht, or the only thing to do in Brussels would've been to sleep somewhere else.

On the train to the airport, one girl mysteriously walked quickly down the aisle just a minute before the conductor appeared. Hmm.

Even at the airport, almost all the shops were closed. The cafeteria was expensive and unappetising so I went for the deep blue sea and patronised the Pizza Hut Express, having 2 slices of ham and witloof pizza (the bitter Belgian vegetable like cabbage). Besides it being exotic and new to my palette, I chose it because the 2 other choices were vegetarian and margherita.

After dinner I still had a lot of time to kill, so I found a power plug in a deserted area of Brussels airport and amused myself with my laptop. If I hadn't brought it I'd have been bored to death, for sure. I must remember to load up my PDA with games for future trips.

If you're caught on the wrong side of the door at Brussels Airport you're doomed. Good luck to you.

The French word for worship (in the phrase 'worship services') is "cultes". How appropriate.

Near the gate for my flight to Athens was a painting, "Embarkment for Cythera at Sunset" by Robert Groslot, 2004. It incorporated photo-realistic figures which were almost all women, some topless. Gotta love these Europeans.

At the end of the boarding announcement, the Virgin Express representative said, "Thank you for your trust in our company". I found this odd, as it was the first time I'd been thanked for trusting an airline. I was almost as shocked as when I'd first been subjected to the Trouble Prayer on Royal Brunei Airways; perhaps there was a reason why Virgin Express should not be trusted? Or maybe it's one of those linguistic translation things - for example, one of my flatmates refers to the rest of us as "colleagues".

I was wondering how they'd do the safety demonstration in three languages (Dutch, French, English) - it's usually rushed enough as it is in one and two is a horror. In the end it was only done in English. Hah (and hooray to globalization)!

One woman brought her dog on board the flight. She wrapped it in a blanket and carried it in her arms like a baby, and it didn't bark or make any other sound throughout that I heard.

On the flight I only got 2 1/2 hours of sleep, not the 3 1/2 I'd been expecting, because I forgot that Greece was an hour ahead of Central European Time; this was also because the flight reached Athens 20 mins ahead of schedule - this is the first time I've ever been upset at arriving early. When I reached Athens airport I tried to hunker down for some shut eye, but didn't manage to due to the annoying music and announcements constantly filling the air (Brussels in contrast had deathly quiet corners). So I ended up wandering the streets like a zombie - a bad state to be in considering how psychotic Greek drivers are (worse than Malaysians, I think).

Cigarettes retail for as cheap as €2-€2,10 for 25 in Greece. And I thought €3 for 20 in Vienna was cheap. I wonder about China.

After taking the Metro into town, I headed for the Larissa railway station, intending to deposit most of my luggage there and then wander the city. To my horror, it had no left luggage facilities or services - I'd thought all railway stations in the civilized world offered them. The counter staff very unhelpfully suggested the Metro station might have left luggage facilities - bah. So in the end I ended up sitting in the park for almost 2 hours waiting for the tourist information centre to open, since walking around a busy city with only 2 1/2 hrs of sleep and 19kg on my back was not my idea of a good time, as a brief but tiring walk to break the monotony amply demonstrated.

Rear of Hadrian's gate. 2 years after Exercise Minotaur, the scaffolding has come off.

After depositing my luggage at a left luggage service, I headed for the National Archaeological Museum, one of the few Greek (or indeed any) museums open on a Monday. When I was in Greece on Exercise Minotaur, it was closed for renovation, which was incredibly infuriating. Irritatingly though, they'd closed the place off on Monday mornings for professional photography so I had to find other diversions, namely stumbling about the streets of Athens trying to avoid being run down by madmen and looking for gyros.

Tickets to/from the airport to town on the Metro used to cost €2,90, and also be valid for travel on all forms of Athens public transport for 24 hours. Now they are €6, and only valid for 90 minutes after validation. Bloody hell. I bet the fares were jacked up just after the last of the Olympic tourists went home.

After 2 months in the Netherlands, I smile whenever I see a shop with a sign reading "Coffee shop".

I don't know why so many cities have trams and (more rarely) buses that run with power from overhead cables. Firstly, you ruin the city by stringing ugly power cables everywhere. For the former, you then have to waste precious road space building tram lines that can't be used by other vehicles. For your troubles you get limited routes, and if one vehicle breaks down you're screwed. The only advantage is that the trams get to bypass traffic (with the cost of reducing road space available for others), but then they're still stopped at traffic lights.

There're cock cars in Athens (and Crete) also. They've invaded the whole of Europe. I notice that some of them had advertisements on them. This is probably because they're so cock that people take notice of them.

The Athens metro is very helpful. They inform you that if you don't have a proper ticket, you'll be fined 40x the fare in penalty (actually I think the penalty has stayed the same despite a fare increase so the fine is now only 35x the fare). So if you know you'll be caught only once ever 35 trips or less, it'll be worth your while to cheat on transport fares. This is especially so on the airport route, where the fine is only €10, while you have to pay a whopping €5,20 more in train fare - the choice is obvious.

I couldn't find any Turkish places at all in Athens or Crete. It's amazing. Greece must be the only part of Europe to have successfully resisted the Turkish (culinary) invasion, but then they threw off the Turkish yoke less than 2 centuries ago, and hate the Turks with a vengeance, so.

For some reason for much of the day I couldn't find any places selling Greek rough and ready (aka fast) food (Gyros and Souvlaki) - there were Greek restaurants, and lots and lots of cafes selling Italian-French sandwhiches/breads/pastries/baked goods. I might've been in the wrong part of town, since I was where all the banks were. In the end I settled for a Calzone for lunch, since sleep deprication alone was bad enough (as Murphy's Law would have it, I found a few of the joints I was looking for after lunch). Wanderings in later days confirmed my initial observation, though - you have to know where to look for these places, as they aren't everywhere as one might expect.

Seen: "Laboratory of Liberal Studies". Wth.

There weren't any Muslim men selling Ah Beng Parthenon souveniors, or Black men tying strings around people's wrists/palms and then asking for money, but there were men palming balls which sizzled when they touched each other and women selling baby dolls which cried. The former was dominated by Indian-looking men, with Chinese making up the remainder, and all of the latter were Chinese. Also, the pirated DVD market in Athens seems to be monopolised by black men whose sixth sense tells then when the police are coming, at which they quickly disappear down the alleys with minutes to spare.

Some places (and in Crete also) were still selling Athens 2004 Olympic merchandise (at a substantial discount of course). Gah.

Since it was past 1pm, I could finally proceed to the National Archaeological Museum. One great thing about Greece is that museums and archaeological sites run by the Ministry of Culture are free for EU students to enter (also for journalists - maybe they want good reviews), so I saved a great deal of money on this trip.

Attic Sarcophagus, AD 150-175

Statue of a lion, mid 4th century

Mask of Agamemnon - Finally, I see the real thing!

Gold coverings for the body and face of an infant

Gold signet rings

3 type A swords, 1 type B sword and a dagger.

Copper oxhide ingot, ~30kg

Agate and Lapis Lazuli seal stones

Boar's tusk helmet, partially reconstructed

This item incites hate and must be destroyed.

Statue of a Kouros found in Sounion, c. 600 BC
This was described as being imported from Constantinople. Wth.

Herm, 520 BC

Hoplite grave stele, 510 BC

Bronze statuettes of Peplophoroses, 450-425 BC, 455 BC

Bronze statue of Zeus/Poseidon, c. 460 BC
Ridiculously, this crazy staff member claimed that I was not allowed to use the small lamp on my camera that blinks when the timer is set since it was counted as flash photography. Next they're going to tell me to cover my watch face and remove my glasses since they reflect light.

Votive relief from Elesium, c. 440-430 BC

Grave stele, c. 420 BC

All photography and video filming was forbidden for at least one piece - the Lady of Kalymnos. It'd been recovered from a shipwreck and heavily restored. I could kind of see why the prohibition was in place - if idiots flashed away continuously at it, the fragile surface might fade (I had no idea what strange cosmic waves video cameras emitted though). Coincidentally, it was also a great piece to front a postcard.

The security surrounding the Lady of Kalymnos was interestingly tight. Firstly, all of the museum staff seemed to be citizen volunteers, and they had no uniform, only wearing a nametag around their necks. So one of them was sitting on a chair near the Lady, reading a novel. He was so non-descript that at first I thought he was a visitor - I only knew him for who he really was when he exchanged a word with another staff member entering a restricted area. And then when he went off he got someone to replace him.

Vaginal dilator

Artemis figurine, 4th c. BC, Seated Demeter (?), 470 BC

Bronze sheet from Olympia, 600 BC

Varvakeion Athena, copy of Phideas' sculpture

Votive amphiylyphon, c. 410 BC

Artemisian jockey

Boxing children fresco, Akrotiri, Thera

One of the wooden plaques of Pitsa

Funerary lebes-kalp, 350 BC

The pottery collection of the museum was very extensive, with examples from many phases of Greek pottery, but not impressive. It was either because my feet hurt, I was rushing to finish most of the rooms before meeting my brother in law or all the good stuff was already in the Louvre, the Met and the British Museum. I suspect the last. Actually this applied to a lesser extent to the rest of the collection, excepting the highlights and the funerary steles which were excellent.

In the early evening, I rendezvoued with my brother in law, telling him that I was glad to see him since it meant I could dump some of the stuff I wanted him to bring back to Singapore. we then went to Piraeus to catch our ferry to Heraklion. I think it was my first time on a big cruise ship, and definitely the first time I was on one overnight. The cabin was quite cramped for 4 people's usage, but after Eurail couchettes, nothing fazes me anymore.

At various staircase landings, and even corridors outside cabins in more deserted parts of the ship, there were refugees laying out their sleeping bags or comforters on the floor and utilising the power sockets in the walls. I suspect they were "deck class" passengers; at first I was considering deck class, but my brother in law kindly got a 4 person cabin for us both - I was wondering if deck class meant you'd sit on the top deck and be sprayed by the sea for 5 hours as flying fish soared above you. Our guess was that those in deck class got to sit and sleep in chairs in big rooms in which Greek TV was blaring - no wonder they chose to go be refugees instead. A chat later in an Athens youth hostel revealed however that deck class really meant you sat on a bench on the open top deck (regardless of inclement), where all the dogs were chained and barking; however, when my source asked on boarding where he should sit, he was told "anywhere" - it seems they don't care where you put up for the night. The chairs in the enclosed rooms were "air-type seats". Meanwhile, there were also passengers in "distinguished class" - presumably cabins for 1 or 2. Gotta love the translations (then again it might reflect a Greek tendency for verbal flamboyence, as an extract below will show).

I suggested to my brother-in-law that I compile cock files for him as well. He wasn't very keen on the idea.

When the two of us went for dinner (not in the section for Distinguished Class passengers, unfortunately) we saw one guy who ordered spaghetti and dumped quite literally a whole mountain of cheese on it. And then 2 kids came and had fries and bread rolls (and nothing else).

I got a booklet on Athens and Attica from the Tourist Information Office. Many parts of the booklet were officious and pompous, but this part was especially, and hilariously so:

The general atmosphere
Try a glass of ouzo or wine with fried octopus or any other Greek dish, sitting in the shade of a tree in a small taqverna by the seafront, on an Aegean island. Try to repeat the experience in your home country, preparing the same dish, and helping yourself to the same drink. You may try it anywhere, but you will soon realise that the flavour is not the same. Don't try again. Your palate has not changed, nor is there something lacking in your cooking skills. The Greek food experience, in particular the combination of what you eat and where you eat it, are unique, and cannot be exported or imitated. It is simply something you can find, taste and enjoy only in Greece.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

He hasn't lost his edge:

Dogbert: You're always complaining about the management of your company so I decided to do something about it. I used my billions to buy your company!

Dilbert: You're going to fix management?

Dogbert: No, I just wanted to stop all the whining. You're fired.


Genetic sexual attraction - "You're 40, happily married - and then you meet your long-lost brother and fall passionately in love. This isn't fiction; in the age of the sperm donor, it's a growing reality: 50% of reunions between siblings, or parents and offspring, separated at birth result in obsessive emotions. Last month, a former police officer was convicted of incest with his half-sister - but should we criminalise a bond hardwired into our psychology? Alix Kirsta talks to those who have suffered the torment of 'genetic sexual attraction'"

Soldier Of Surrender - The Official Magazine Of The French Army

Superman leaves Physics 140 class at University of Michigan - "Some student at our school (University of Michigan) dressed up as Superman, went into a class, answered his ringing ... all » cell phone, tore off his clothes to reveal his uniform, and ran out of the room. Classically hilarious"
A non-NUS student should try this at NUS to see if they try to punish him. We can add this to the list of reasons why Singapore CMI.

In the same vein: REACH! A Lecture Musical
This is even better since it requires an extended presence and collaborators. Time to scout out NTU (I'd never blend in at SMU, unfortunately)!

Are You a Supertaster? - "If you're a vegetable hater, go ahead and blame your parents: How intensely we experience bitterness in our broccoli is genetic."

cl1p.net The internet clipboard - "With cl1p.net you can copy and paste between computers. Just enter in any URL that starts with http://cl1p.net (example: http://cl1p.net/counsellor/) and post. Then from any other computer enter the same URL and copy."

Are ants disease-carriers? - "We'd be lucky if we were as sterile and disease-free as an ant. Ants almost never get sick compared to humans. You introduce far deadlier microbes into your body simply by using two unwashed fingers to touch your cookies than would a million ants."
And there's the protein too. Mmm.

The Straight Dope: Still smokin’: What are the long-term effects of marijuana? - "the discovery of endocannabinoids, the cannabislike chemicals that perform important regulatory functions in the body... "the endocannabinoid system [may be] nothing less than [the body's] naturally evolved harm reduction system" (Melamede, 2005)... Research suggests cannabinoids kill cancerous cells in cases of leukemia, lymphoma, breast and prostate cancer, etc."

Easter bunny gets the boot in St. Paul - "A cloth bunny and pastel-colored eggs with the words "Happy Easter" were taken down from the lobby of the St. Paul City Council offices...'Someone complained'"
Sounds like they work the same way as the police in Singapore.

Right to Create - "The freedom to create is an essential human right, with us since time immemorial. For most of world history, an individual could invent at will, using any idea that they encountered or that occurred independently to them. Today, this right has been deeply eroded. Right to Create is dedicated to exposing the abuses of patent and copyright systems, demonstrating that limiting the power of the Intellectual Property Regime will result in a better world for inventors, industry, individuals, and society as a whole."
Ah, no doubt more 'grumbling'. To prove the sincerity of their convictions, they must all try to get into Congress so they can change the law!

Weight Watchers recipe cards, circa 1974 - "These cards mystify me. None of them have calorie or nutrition information of any kind, and in some instances it's hard to tell what's dietetic about the recipes at all, except that they're unspeakably grim. And yet also, completely insane. They appear to be from a much kookier era of Weight Watchers. There's a certain serve-it-at- your-next-key-party freakiness to a lot of these dishes."

Blue Ball Machine (Classic GIF Returned) - Good stuff. And no, not another Lemon Party.

Marathon fundraiser crosses line - "A fundraiser dressed in a suit of armour and pulling an 8ft (2m) dragon has completed the London Marathon in a time of eight days and 13 minutes."

Piglets seek Moscow Olympic glory - "The third annual "Pig Olympics" have been held in Russia where the pigs might not have flown but they did show their prowess in several activities."

Germans against Hitler. Who resisted the Third Reich and why did they do it? - "Accepting a narrow definition of resistance as 'active participation in an organised attempt to undermine the Third Reich' three types of resisters are identified: those who became disillusioned with the Third Reich, those who acted out of necessity and those who resisted because of political, religious or moral principles."

WFMU's Beware of the Blog: Cheesy Euro-Disco - "Aficionados of the genre understand that when it comes to Cheesy Euro-Disco, it's all about location, location, location. And props. Props and location, in the opposite order. Dancing cossacks are also helpful, but not absolutely necessary. A succesful Cheesy Euro-Disco video needs to be set in outer space, a bucolic meadow, or involve power tools, football-helmet-sporting bikini babes. Or involve dancing cossacks."

Whole Soy Story The Dark Side of America's Favorite Health Food - "Scientists who have studied the use of soy protein in animal feeds over the years have discovered a number of components in soy that cause poor growth, digestive distress, and other health problems. To list just a few of these: Protease inhibitors interfere with protein digestion and have caused malnutrition, poor growth, digestive distress, and pancreatitis. Phytates block mineral absorption, causing zinc, iron, and calcium deficiencies. Lectins and saponins have caused leaky gut and other gastrointestinal and immune problems. Oxalates-surprisingly high in soy-may cause problems for people prone to kidney stones and women suffering from vulvodynia, a painful condition marked by burning, stinging, and itching of the external genitalia. Finally, oligosaccharides give soy its notorious reputation as a gas producer. Although these are present in all beans, soy is such a powerful "musical fruit" that the soy industry has identified "the flatulence factor" as a major obstacle that must be overcome for soy to achieve full consumer acceptance."

MessengerAMP - Winamp / MSN Messenger Plugin - "It displays your current Winamp song in MSN Messengers 'Personal Message' field! Since MSN Messenger 7, this is possible with Windows Media Player, but hey, who wants to use Media Player? Use Messengers "What I'm Listening To" or "Now Playing" feature with Winamp!"

Improve Your English Video on Metacafe - "German coast guard ....Funny"

Identity of the Designer — A Fire Breathing Rabbit - "While some may consider this an accident, the whole event is actually intelligently designed. If you look closely, you can clearly see a fire breathing rabbit, responsible for sending the place up in smoke."
Sure beats Holy Toast.

Aninote.com - Dear_fan you are mighty - Nice e-card to send to all my fans.
Someone sent me this by email. If this guy had done his work in Singapore without getting a permit, I'm sure he'd have been arrested for dirtying the place, causing a public nuisance, holding up traffic, defamation et al, after many calls to the police made by civic-spirited members of the public.

Subject: FW: Chalk Drawings - WOW

These are something else.

More chalk drawings from Julian Beever. Scroll down slowly and stop at each new frame. Incredible!!!!!

Julian Beever is an English artist who's famous for his art on the pavement of England, France, Germany, USA, Australia and Belgium . Beever gives to his drawings an amazing 3D illusion.

People are actually avoiding walking in the "hole"

Which is the real guy & which beer is real?

The image below has been taken from a wrong angle:

Remember, both his feet in reality are flat on the pavement

Politicians Meeting Their End

World's Biggest Fly-Spray

T his drawing of a Rescue was to be viewed using an inverting mirror

girl on a beach mat.

Make Poverty History drawing from the side(40 ft long)

Spiderman to the rescue

Batman and Robin to the rescue(SO COOL)
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