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Saturday, November 11, 2006

This is very stupid:

Facebook | There Are Some Things Guys Should Always Do For Girls. Period.

"Sometimes, guys, we gotta be men, not guys. Step up. Seriously... it's getting annoying. really.

0. But... there are exceptions to these rules, if she REALLY wants to do something... you have to let her. See rule 32.

1. Open doors, whether it be to a building or a car, that's just a given.

2. When in a place of worship (or other places that have aisles and pews), if a man is at the end of the pew, when exiting he should stand in the aisle and let all the females go before him.

3. A man should tolerate the occassional chick flick (or musical, or opera, or ballet.. whatever her preference is) *without* complaining about it!

4. Play one of the songs that would make any woman weep like the little girl she once was (but in a good way). A brief list includes, but certainly isn't limited to: "You & Me" Lifehouse, anything by Frank Sinatra, any rendition of "Everything I Do, I Do it for You", "Collide" by Howie Day, "Out of my League" Steven Speaks, and MOST IMPORTANTLY "Question" by the Old 97's (if you propose to a girl with this song, she is putty in your hands).

5. Talk! The strong & silent bit goes from intriguing to boring quite fast.

6. Find out what her favorite flower is & buy them for her randomly (or if you're in the doghouse...). Good rule of thumb: a single rose says more than dozens of anything else.

7. If you miss her, or love her, TELL HER! Even your friends like to hear it every now & again.

8. Re-enact Zales commercials (the ice is nice but certainly not mandatory).

9. Remember: the best gifts you can give are usually free of cost.

10. Leave a note (or send a message) just to say "hi".

11. Ask her questions about herself.

12. Dress nice every once & a while. Any girl likes to see her brother/friend/boyfriend/e
tc. in a well-ironed button up with some nice slacks.

13. PRIDE & PREJUDICE ...that's all I have to say about that (I mean, that should speak for itself).

14. Tolerate small children as best you can. Meaning, put up with the things that can get annoying. They're children after all. Show them love and care, teach them how to become a better man than you.

15. Learn to dance! There is nothing sexier than a man that can dance really well. If God did not bless you with the grace of Fred Astaire, at least put forth the effort, it will be greatly appreciated. Always slow dance (even if its just like you danced in middle school). Also, men, sing to a lady. Even in you're terrible, suck it up! They love to listen to it and will not care what you sound like. It's the thought that counts on this one. Unless you're just downright terrible, nothing sexy about that. haha, thanks Jade!

16. Kiss her on the forehead.

17. When she's sick, stay up with her. If you can cook (which is *always* a plus), make her some soup. If you can't cook, there's Campbell's soup at hand for you.

18. Pretend to throw her in the pool (or fountain/pond). She'll fight you, but seccretly she loves it. If you really do throw her in, you better jump in yourself. **NOTE** There are some women who just hate this, so you had better do two things: 1) never allow your buddies be a part of it if you're unsure of how she feels about getting thrown in and 2) you had better know how she feels about it!

19. Hold her hand while you talk, drive, or just for the heck of it (it's the small things that win you big points).


21. Stupid jokes= awkwardly adorable moments.

22. Tickle her, tease her, let her tease you back with out getting all bent out of shape about it

23. Don't call her hot, or pretty, or cute, call her beautiful because that's what she is.

24. Offer her your jacket/sweatshirt. (Note: you may not see that particular item of clothing for a while, if ever again).

25. Don't be too proud to apologize.

26. It's not stalking to watch her sleep if you fall asleep watching a movie. It is stalking to watch her sleep if you're standing outside her window with night vision goggles.

27. When she feels at her worst, tell her she looks her best.

28. If you're trying to get more than friendship out of the relationship, take it slow.

29. Because you're a guy doesn't mean you are completley incapable of calling when you say you will; it just means you are highly incapable of it. There are few acceptable answers to, "Why didn't you call?" & being male is not one of them.

30. Don't check out other girls in front of your girl friends/sisters/mother, unless you are sincere when you later ask them if you think she could introduce the two of you for more reason than you "want to get some". Pull this in front of your girlfriend/fiancee/wife, she has every right to clock you in the jaw.

31. Guys- Always offer to pay for the date. No matter how expensive it gets, especially if YOU asked HER on the date.

32. Always do everything in your power to keep her as happy as you can. And cheer her up in any way possible.

33. When walking on the sidewalk, always walk on the outside near traffic.

34. At least do everything in your power to keep cursing to a minimum while around her. If you can, cut it out period while around her, or cut it out of your vocabulary. Women don't want to hear it, guys don't care about it, adults don't want to hear it, it doesn't impress employers, and you sure won't want your children or someone elses to hear it!

35. Sometimes you have to take the initiative. don't always wait for her to come to you, because if that's how it always is you're going to lose her.

36. If any lady is walking alone to her car in a dark parking lot/garage, or is carrying a heavy load, always offer to help walk her to her destination and carry things, if not the entire load. **This may work a lot better and come off non-stalkerish if you at least know the girl you're trying to help. haha Thanks to a LOT of people on this revision.

37. If a woman says no, let that be her final answer. Do not pressure or force her in any way. Don't make her give in to something she doesn't want to do.

38. Always be honest with her. No woman wants or likes a dishonest man. If you can't be honest with her she can't trust you, and shows you don't trust her enough to be honest. Trust, honesty and integrity are just as an integral part of a relationship and just as important as love.

39. A man should always genuinely listen to women; no matter how boring or busy the man is, actively listening to the woman will keep him from pain [and bring the man and woman closer together]. This works best, of course, when both the man and the woman actively and equally engage in conversation (this includes listening). For the ladies reading this, please talk - always talk - especially if you are having problems with the relationship and to also avoid making bigger problems.

Thanks guys for all the comments and adds and invitations. I just want every guy to see this list at least once, if he can't do it... great! That means there's a better chance for guys to take a step up."

Luckily, there's a slew of counter-groups, the best of which is:

Facebook | There Are Some Things Girls Should Always Do For Guys. Period.

"Lets face it: if women are going to expect men to be perfect and treat them like angels (see the facebook group "There Are Some Things Guys Should Always Do For Girls. Period") , then men have a right to expect certain things in return. Here's a brief list. Feel free to add more in the discussion forum for review and possible inclusion.

1) Don’t question him. Men are the ultimate authority in any relationship, and should be treated with respect and obedience.

2) When he gets home from work, always meet him with a martini. On your knees.

3) Cook him dinner every night. A man works hard to take care of you and provide for you. Make sure he knows you appreciate it! If you can’t cook, ask your mother to teach you. If she can’t cook, pay for professional cooking classes. No amount is too much to make sure you can provide your husband with a hot, home cooked meal every night!

4) Have breakfast waiting for him when he wakes up. A man appreciates a hot breakfast to get him started for the day. Even if you have to get up two hours before him in order to have it ready, it is vital that you do not skip this simple way of showing him you care.

5) Never ask for presents from him. As the principal breadwinner of the family, he alone decides how his salary should be spent. If he buys you a present, you should award him accordingly with his favorite dessert. Diamonds should be rewarded with oral sex. Always.

6) Never pass gas, make crude jokes, sweat, or make reference to using the bathroom in his presence. If you must leave him to go to the restroom, make your excuses by saying, “I am going to powder my nose.” Anything else is inexcusably rude and grounds for termination of your relationship.

7) Never ask him to pick up the children from school, the dry cleaning, or the dog from the vet. His free time is infinitely more valuable than yours.

8) Be attentive to his needs. If his back is hurting, give him a back massage. If his feet ache, rub them. If he needs sexual intercourse, do not deny him. Remember: an unhappy man at home leads to an unproductive man in the workplace!

9) Do not try and feed him “healthy” or “nutritious” food unless he requests it! If he wants meatloaf and mashed potatoes, cook it for him. It is not your place to try and regulate what he eats.

10) The inclusion of the former specific rules does not negate the need for further rules should the situation arise. If you are curious as to whether a specific course of action is appropriate, consult rule number one.

Contact Info
Office: The Kitchen. No admittance unless barefooted."
iTunes is a piece of shit

My brother in law gave me his old 3 year old iPod, so I installed iTunes to transfer my files and found that it was a piece of shit, especially for a mature program (iTunes

- You can't stop files playing, only pause them (pausing a file takes up more resources than stopping it)
- If you hold down the shift button in the library view and select files in one direction, going in the other direction doesn't deselect the most recently selected files (as is the Windows convention) but instead selects more files above the current selection. So if I accidentally overshoot in selecting, I either have to unselect files manually or unselect everything and start again.
- It has a very CD-centric point of view, but for libraries that consist of material from everywhere, which I think many people have, it's not as good
- You can't sort files by path/filename, but only by title, artist, album etc
- Library management is hard if some of your files lack proper id3 tags: If you don't tag your files meticulously, I say good luck to you. If you don't tag your files at all, I say bye bye to you.
- If you drag a new file into the library, it automatically gets sorted instead of placed where you drag it in so you don't know if it got imported. This makes managing imported files ridiculously cumbersome if they are id3 tagged differently.
- After deleting a file, the focus goes to the last entry in the Library window - if you press up you go to the second last entry in the Library window instead of where you originally were when deleting the file.
- Quick search only searches the id3 fields of your files, but not the filename or path
- When you want to select the text in the Quick Search bar, clicking in it and pressing "Ctrl + Home" does not work - you have to press "Ctrl + Home" twice. Ditto for selecting text with the left mouse button.
- If there are emtpy id3v2 tags but the id3v1 tag is filled, it stupidly displays nothing instead of taking information from the id3v1 tag
- You can't dictate a specific playlist order, like with Jump to File extra
- It only supports MP3, AAC. WMAs can be imported but not read natively. When you add an unsupported file to the library, you don't see an error message when it doesn't get added.
- It's slow and takes up a lot of resources.
- The installer comes with Quicktime packaged and is a whopping 32 MB

All this was after only maybe 2 hours of using the damn thing. Luckily I've found an alternative in Yet another iPod manager (YamiPod). It may not solve all the problems and might add one or two more, but it's good enough for me and besides, supports submitting tracks to Last.fm (I couldn't get iSproggler, the iTunes version, to work).

Of course, I can imagine Mac whores giving various suggestions and rebuttals, but that's akin to answering a charge that Windows crashes a lot with the suggestion that one should save one's work often and read a book while waiting for the computer to restart, so crashing is not an issue.

I happened to complain to Ketsugi, and being someone who blogs spontaneously he came out with 10 Things I Like About iTunes. Unfortunately, none of his points apply to me since:

1. Aesthetics
I go for functionality over appearance.

2. Smart Playlists
I don't use these. But I can see how they might be useful.

3. Music management capabilities
I manage my music differently, so this doesn't affect me. Besides which, other music management programs offer similar features, AFAIK.

4. Party Shuffle
I don't use these. But I can see how it might be useful.

5. Get Album Artwork
I don't use this, and it's bloat.

6. Podcasts
7. iTunes Music Store

I don't use this.

8. Active Developers
Many alternatives exist, and if a project dies one can jump ship to another one. And even after so long it's still a piece of shit (see above), so so much for Active Developers.

9. iPod Integration
YamiPod works fine with the iPod.

10. Free, as in beer
Many music management programs are free.
ST: Teen, 17, first to be charged with unauthorised wireless Net access

"A 17-YEAR-OLD polytechnic student has become the first person here to be charged with piggybacking on someone else’s wireless Internet connection.

Garyl Tan Jia Luo was accused yesterday of using a laptop computer to gain unauthorised access to a home wireless network on May 13 this year."


The Fence: a Mexican Tale, by Jan Balet

Mexico is a land of volcanoes and tropical forests, of snow and fierce heat, of meadows and deserts, of cities and villages, of big dogs and little dogs, and, like everywhere else in the world, of rich people and poor people.

In Mexico, once upon a time, there was a very rich family who lived in a beautiful pink house with a huge green garden. Often rich people look well fed and happy, but the people in the pink house looked glum and miserable. Even their dog and their parrot were skinny and bad-tempered, although the house and the kitchen were full of every-thing one could desire.

Next door to the pink house lived a poor family. Their house was a little thatched hut. Between the two houses stood a big fence. Sometimes poor people are tired and unhappy, but not this family. The children glowed with health, although their house and kitchen were small and almost bare. They always made the best of what there was. Even their guinea-fowl and their cat looked happy. The sound of their children's laughter could often be heard through the fence and this annoyed the richpeople next door.

In the rich family's kitchen people were always busy, roasting, boiling, baking and frying. All day long glorious smells drifted through the fence. Early in the morning came the smell of hot chocolate. At noon it was the mouth-watering aroma of roast meat. And in the evening every breeze brought a smell of chicken or grilled fish or sometimes of spicy duck. No wonder the mother of the poor family would hand each of her children a slice of bread and say, "Now go and stand by the fence, and smell something good to enjoy with your bread."

One day the father of the rich family got very angry when he saw the children of the poor family standing by the fence and sniffing.

"Go away, you gang of thieves!" he yelled at them. "I'll send you to jail for stealing the smell of our food."

And sure enough, the next market day, the poor family and the rich family were called by the judge to appear in court.

On their way to court, both families stopped at the village market. Tradesmen from other villages had spread out their wares all over the market place. The lady from the pink house arrived with her cook to do the shopping. She was very fussy and haggled over everything: hair ribbons, baskets of eggs, tropical fruit from the south, hens, fried pancakes, and flowers.

All around her were stalls piled high with fruit: oranges, lemons, melons, bananas, and grapefruit. There were also loaves of bread made in all shapes and sizes, and still warm from the oven. Dogs barked. Old ladies gossiped. Everyone sniffed the glorious smell of the new-baked bread, but none of the bakers complained.

The trial was to begin at eleven o'clock. The rich family arrived early and was very elegantly dressed. The poor family arrived late, in their everyday clothes. Their children looked down at the ground because they were frightened. Still, they hoped that their father would be able to settle everything.

The judge called for silence and then told the rich man to speak first. The man from the pink house described how he paid his servants to cook the most delicious meals. But, he said, this did not help his family at all, because the wretched family next door stood by the fence and sniffed all the goodness away from the food.

"Look how well fed and happy they are!" he said. "That proves I am right."

The judge thought about this for a long time. Then he asked the father of the poor family what he had to say.

"May I leave the room for a moment?" the poor man asked. Standing just outside the door, he put a few coins into his sombrero and shook them so that they jingled loudly. His family began to laugh as he slyly asked the rich man whether he had heard the clink of the money. The rich man nodded. The judge understood what the poor man meant and gave them his decision.

"You," he said to the rich man, "have heard the jingle of this man's money, just as he sniffed the smell of your food. If he owed you anything for the smell, he has paid you back."

The poor family was delighted. They rushed home and held a fireworks party to celebrate the victory - for in Mexico if people are happy they always let off rockets. They did not make anyone pay to watch the rockets or to listen to them, and they let the wonderful smell of the burnt gunpowder drift across the fence - absolutely free."

I was trying to find a story/incident where a woman who didn't close her door/window sued a passer-by for outrage of modesty but I couldn't find one, so this is the next closest thing.

Addendum: Comment on Slashdot:

"If someone leaves an AP on and open...I think that is pretty much a free invite to join in...

What I find most interesting is that an open accesspoint is actually broadcasting invitations- if accepting an invitation is considered illegal, how is accessing a web server legal? I mean, a web server doesn't broadcast it's presence so you have to actively try and connect.

How can I tell the difference between an accesspoint that is intentionally open and one that has been set up by an idiot? Should I assume that everyone's an idiot? The next time I want to go to the pub, am I to assume that the building I'm about to enter isn't really a pub and the "Bar" sign hanging outside the door was put there accidentally?

When you associate with an open network, it's not as if you're going down the road trying doors to see if they're open - you're actually getting invitations broadcast to you and many devices will connect without asking - are you responsible for your computer connecting to a random access point without asking you first?"

Addendum: Also see the views expressed on Brown's blog.
"Rogues are preferable to imbeciles because they sometimes take a rest." - Alexandre Dumas


Public toilet at the Clementi Botak Jones - these days even urinals have doors.

A male was complaining that Romance novels are gross, and suddenly I got a flash of insight. I'd never heard that complaint before, but suddenly it made sense, since females complain that porn is gross.

Twisties - "Made From Imported Corn". Unfortunately the many pictures I took of the ingredients list didn't show up properly. But my point was that I'd rather they didn't use imported corn if that meant they could use imported oil (ie Not Palm Oil).

My mother said the guy who runs Ah Hwa Bak Kut Teh donated $10,000 to the family of the first MRT suicide (the half million one). She also said that a lot of hawkers donated $1,000 or similar sums. I asked why hawkers and she said blue collar workers are more emphatic and generous. I think that among the upper class, philanthropists are the exception. Most rich people scheme to get more money and then complain about how poor they are. And for all you know many of them will tell the poor to get out of their elite uncaring faces since they deserve their plight.

The worst Italian gelato (Streets) is better than all the gelato I've had in Singapore so far.

Someone complained to me that Boh tea sucks compared to English Twinning or even Lipton. Another thing to add to Malaysia - the Land of Poor Quality!

At Carrefour, this air freshener had a warning sign saying it was not a toy. Fair enough, but then it was listed as being a toy. Wth?!

SUG's infamous flower. At least it's not as bad as the measles dress.

Calling a guy gay or sissy is like calling a girl fat or ugly.

I couldn't think of any fairy tales or myths where ugly girls hook up with alpha males. For example, you have Beauty and the Beast, but no Ugly and the Prince, or even Ugly and the Prince.

There are cases where the girls seem to be or start out ugly, but end up pretty, since their final physical attractiveness is a just reward for virtue(s).

Similarly, though ugly males may hook up with beautiful females, non-alpha males rarely do.

Even with his depth of knowledge, HWMNBN managed to only dig up the cases of:

- "yves st alexandre". I assume this to be Alexandre Saint-Yves d'Alveydre but I can't find any information on his paramours
- Guillaume Postel and Joanna ("alpha male and old hag"). I had no idea wth they were, but anyway they don't count since this was in real life; my observation applied to the realm of myth and fairy tales. Hell, I don't think "a French linguist, astronomer, Cabbalist, diplomat, professor, and religious universalist" is a good example of an alpha male.
- Heloïse and Abélard (She started out attractive or at least non-hag-gy. He wasn't an alpha male, but then this is a real-life example. I'm not going to tackle the argument that romanticised real-life stories are a form of myth)
- "Rama married a hag too but it was sita in disguise so that doesnt quite count"

Lynn suggested Cyrano de Bergerac, but a duellist is pretty alpha male, and in the AC adaptation I watched he came across as cocky (besides which, a big nose is not sufficient to make you really ugly).

Be that as it may, someone else also tells me she's observed real life cases of ugly girls and alpha males.
"Technology is a way of organizing the universe so that man doesn't have to experience it." - Max Frisch



There're too many black people there. [Student 2: Racist!] I'm not racist... There's nothing wrong with blacks. But all they do is lie on the streets and rot and harass asian girls.

[Me: All these poets are gay lah] Yah, because how can a straight guy be so brilliant?!

Do they only catch you for downloading music?... Don't download movies from Universal studios... [Student 2: I'm an expert on this. Don't use ***. Use ***. They don't catch people.] Don't download Universal Studios [movies] in NUS. [Tutor: I didn't hear anything]

[The] Indirect test for validity will come out in the exam. It's not like that other things I teach

I like bras. I like to see bra straps. [Me: Is there a punchline?] There's no punchline. it's just something nice to see.

[On our not manually checking results a program outputed] NUS has absolutely failed,with your cooperation, to teach common sense. This was the state of the University 27 years ago, and it is the state of the University now, in my considered opinion... I don't know how it is in other universities. Cambridge, Oxford - maybe it's the same there.

You look at the numbers and you straightaway jump in. You don't think. Maybe due to your primary school training.

[Student: I don't swear... It's in the Bible. Book of James, Chapter 4 I think.] I can't say anything. My knowledge of the Bible is not as good as yours. I will, however, tell a vulgar joke about the Bible. Where in the Bible does it mention constipation? Moses took 2 tablets and went into the wilderness.

the leed content (lead)

When we set an exam paper we have to declare if there's a relation in our class. Then someone else will set the exam paper. Unfortunately that didn't happen to me. I could have saved setting an exam paper.

You can kill the kidnapper but you cannot lie to him. Lying to him has moral implications... 'We're going to let you go'. Then he lets go of the hostage... Either you shoot him and kill him, or you lie to him.

[At 3] We'll break for lunch.

[On faulty bridges etc killing hundreds at a time vs a surgeon killing one] Ethics are more important in Engineering than Medicine. A lot of people don't realise this.

You give this to a person in the English department - they won't find the mistake... Unfortunately English is dynamic. What is wrong with eventually be right... 'Quite fun'?... [Student: It's quite fun to play soccer] No... The plural of sheep is sheep. The plural of goat is goats... [Student 2: *non-soto voce* Fucked up leh] I have learnt Latin. I know the rules.

[On someone having a heart-shaped pattern made of white stones sewn over her butt] USP girls are very perverted... USP guys are even more perverted, but USP girls are more perverted than normal girls.

[On 'straddles', 'strangles', 'strips' and 'straps'] Sounds like names of sex positions.

[On covered calls and protective puts] If you don't understand this, did you do your homework, tutorial by yourself? *Laughs from audience* (tutorials)

Who's that guy? Where does he come from? How come he's on exchange but knows more than half the lecture hall? [Me: When I was on exchange I also knew more than half the lecture hall] That's different. You're Singapore-trained.

[On Barro-Ricardian equivalence] The evidence is quite mixed, but the debate is still going on. Perhaps because some people are quite stubborn.

For some of us T-shirts may actually be consumer durables. You wear the same T-shirt year after year after year.

Here is probably another instance where zee'lerhs economists may have pushed rational expectations just a little bit too far. (zealous)

I was reading your [IVLE] forum posts. You're super well-read huh. [Me: Err. Ok lah. It's what I do instead of doing problem sets.]

[On karma] I'm tempted to make remarks about something in front, but the last time I did that I got an ulcer. (someone)

Going to Bangkok with girls is a recipe for disaster unless you like to shop.

How to define lamb'da? If you're concerned I can give you a textbook but I guess most of you are not very concerned (lambda, interested)

When I first proposed this module they asked me for examples [of the questions I'd set]. I used the names of all the people in the [approval] committee [in my examples]. After that they didn't ask me for any more examples.

Is that book related to what I am teaching? [Student: No] What is so interesting about that book? [Student: Nothing] So you are interested in nothing? It takes all types to make up this world.

[On ethical dilemmas] "There's nothing wrong with calling a woman engineer 'sweetie'." 2 of them [girls] said that. You can call them sweetie. [Female student: But there's nothing wrong] [Male student: Hi sweetie] [Female student: Hi]

[On transitivity] If Siti is the mother of Liwen, and Liwen is the mother of Devi, then Siti cannot be the mother of Devi. Multi-cultural example.

Logic if boring. I'm not sure that it should be in the Philosophy department... Someone asked me: 'I'm not a Philosophy major, why should I take this class?'... I didn't advise you to take this class. For the Philosophy majors, when you read 20th century philosophy. All these complicated arguments. [You can use Logic]

I'll think about it but I think there is something twisted about that argument.

[On a smart econometric trick] Unfortunately, this idea is not mine.

If you have a good suggestion, please tell me. Then I will write a paper.

un're'q'why'turd love (unrequired)

[On Mac users naming their laptops] What's wrong with Mac laptops? Why do they name them? [Me: It's not what's wrong with Mac laptops. It's what's wrong with Mac users.]

[On mobile phone radiation] For me, I don't care. My head was damaged a long time ago in 1973. *writes 'PhD'* Permanent Head Damage.

[On a query about the cancelled lesson] You can come here. I can also come here and we can look at each other.

I have yet to meet a student who doesn't say the workload is too heavy. The students complain the workload is too heavy. The staff complain the workload is too heavy. Everyone complains the workload is too heavy.

[On NTU producing real engineers] When NTU first started, they had to get into the market. They said 'NUS is all the theory. We are the real engineers'... It backfired very badly. All the top students came to NUS... Now the situation has balanced out. They do a lot of research now... Everything has a theory [so theory is important].

[On a 1983 poem about NUS FASS life] 'Lectures, lunch, library and the loo.' Where're you going [in life]? [Student: The loo]

[On an exchange student] All you need to do is breed him with a PRC and then you have a perfect economics machine.

[Me on the worst cheese fries in the world - some fries were undercooked, the rest were not crispy and the sauce was thin and flavourless: Once again, the Gross Gecko disappoints me.] That's why it's grinning. They just cheated your money.

In the exam I'm going to give you an option... The option: 'State the Black-Scholes model.' 5 marks. *Laughs from audience*... Normally I give the formula, so you don't get the 5 points I said. (mentioned)

[On the stats tables] I have seen some students. They open the book for the first time. They go this way *flips book in one direction* Then this way *flips book in other direction*, then they go this way *raises hand*. *Laughs from audience*

If I give you the formula, can you copy it 100% [accurately]?... I find every semester at least 5 students... they drop the square, they drop the minus sign.

The volatility is larger when the exchange is open than when it is closed.

Esprit de l'escalier... Wit of the staircase... [Me: I thought you just upskirted someone]

Everyone hits on you. [Me: Nobody hits on me. Everyone hits {figuratively} me.]

[On Screwed Up Girl and Screwed Up Guy] If anything goes wrong, I'll be one of the most upset people. [Me: Why?] Because it'll start happening again... I'm very stressed.

[Me: What was your Vital Statistic?] 3.6 in Sem 1, 4.2 in Sem 2... [Me: Why?] Because in the first sem I had no idea what I was doing and in the second sem I had no idea what I was doing but I knew how to do it.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Talc the map now!

In a thread about slavery spelling/pronunciation, someone wondered what "telt" / "talc" (the clear plastic sheeting you cover maps and other things with) really was.

I pondered over this for a while, and then suddenly remembered that I'd hit upon the right answer years before in a brainwave - it's actually "tarp", short for "tarpaulin". Many are resistant to this idea, since they think tarpaulin must be opaque and thick, but I've dug up many graphic illustrations of clear plastic tarp:

DEKE - Cornell

Thoughts on Restoring a Morgan
Introduction to Media Blasting

Healthy Lawns—Site preparation: Soil solarization

57 Ways - 15. Solarize Soil

WAN in Lab: Facilities: Pictures and Schematics - gallery: \WIL\2004-12-09 Adjustable Shelves + Corning Fiber Spools + Plastic Tarp

I was saving 54 cents by printing at the Business Library today, and when I minimised my windows (Windows Key + M) I must've pressed something wrongly, since my taskbar filled with rubbish. And this was after I'd closed 2-3 funny groups of windows too.
Ho ho

"3. Rates of Return for Your Portfolio and for the Market Indexes

Compute the holding period rate of return on your portfolio for the holding period of the project and compute the corresponding annualized compound rate of return for your portfolio.

Compute the holding period return and the annualized rate of return for the two market indexes?

Compare the performance of your portfolio with that for the market as a whole.

[In the past way too many students have screwed up on this part. By the end of 422 you should be able to do these calculations in your sleep. If you don’t get this right it will cost you serious points; you will have an X grade; and I will hound you until you do it right. In computing the annualized compound rate of return, be sure to use the standard time value of money relationship, solved for r. Look it up if you aren’t certain! Don’t use a simple interest formula!]"

Thursday, November 09, 2006

"Happiness is having a large, loving, caring, close-knit family in another city." - George Burns


The Eusoff Hall-StompAIDS bazaar/carnival tieup produced possibly the best bazaar I've ever visited, with both variety and quantity in the stalls. Lynn was bugging me about what StompAIDS was, so I bugged her back to ask one of the relevant people, and she found out it was a marketing competition by HPB.

They had free cotton candy one day, and free popcorn the next. Of course, these were the worst of their kind that I'd ever had, but hey they were free.

The power of hall inmates!

Unfortunately, there were some silly things in the Stompaids carnival. Firstly, the posters:

Someone: wah lau. i tot we were taught to move away from the stereotypes and address it properly

so end up its still prostitutes (the blowjob one. she has cash tucked in at the back of her panty. and tat blown guy is holding more cash) and gays again
den go on stigmatizing all hiv carriers and etc.

i dun even noe wat those posters are for.
i was horrified rather.

den i saw the gay group of guys. oh dear. kinda expected.
sick leh. its no longer a homo disease lar. wake up wake up.
who're they fooling.

homos and pros again. and check out the LIGHTING of the posters man.
purple/maroon. sleaze.

We can't really blame them, since HPB wants them to emphasise abstinence. I guess this is still a step up from abstinence-only.

Some other silly bits:

Red shows a man with 2 girls. Amber shows a man covered with a condom. And Green shows a couple holding hands. Since the man is alone in Amber, there is presumably some danger in solo masturbation with a condom.

Of course, they don't consider the possibility that your partner is unfaithful or already infected. Hurr hurr.

The point of this game is to maneuver the ring to the end of the wire without contacting the wire itself. The moral of the story is that having casual sex and staying AIDS-free is as hard as maneuvering the ring to the end of the wire without it beeping. As I pointed out, if you cover the ring with a condom, you probably can hit the wire as many times as you want.

In other news, I played some fishing game at the carnival and have a free condom to give away. Those interested can contact me. Delivery is strictly at my convenience.
Some pictures my brother in law took in Crete. Last of a series of 6. Those seeking a context for these pictures can read the Crete travelogue in the May archives.

Someone's stupid doodling when I was at Samaria


Being nua in Chania

Having a snack in Heraklion. I think this was Souvlaki. The shop sold various meat snacks at ~€0,40 a stick.

How Blue Bear traveled back to Singapore
"It took me fifteen years to discover that I had no talent for writing, but I couldn't give it up because by that time I was too famous." - Robert Benchley



Me: see
this is why I suggested to someone we go to Bukit Timah to mug for exams
just to annoy all you idiots

Someone: i was merely expressing my amazement that he takes the effort to come all the way down here for a good mugging environment

no distance is too far for SNAILS!

Me: ...

Frigid Girl: RJ chorale was such a bad experience
in the sense that before i went to RJ chorale, i could sing
after i went, i couldn't
it actually injected me with all the inhibitions of singing
must be the power of toh

i'm too ashamed to admit i was from that satanic cult
i've since reformed and turned to heavy metal like evanescence

i used to be able to sing christine before joining chorale
after, i can't even sing majulah singapura

Someone: recently yr msges have been a bit siao

Me: I've always been siao

Someone: how come suddenly so childish
i always thought you were uber serious

Me: gah
you have a warped view of the world haha

Someone else: what does one need when showering aside from "Shampoo, conditioner, soap, towel, toothbrush, toothpaste (shower cap, creams/lotions)"?

nothing right.

Me: I'm a guy. don't ask me

facial cleanser
Alpha-Hydroxy Acids exfoliant
foot scrub
rubber duckie

heh loofah
oh shit I forgot about the rubber duckie
poor neglected thing

Me: aiyah
men can never have too many women
women can never have too many shoes

Someone: dun u hv an answer for everything
and none is boring/ untrue

Female friend on Frigid Girl: N Btw ur fren is not having a relationship at all if there's no sex... Esp aft marriage, sex defines a relationship... So It's rubbishlah

Someone: anw rushing proj for tmr
ttyl or sth

Me: heh
med proj?

Someone: obstructive jaundice
interested? i wrote a hiaku on its definition

Jaundice that’s caused by
obstruction of the bile ducts,
such as with gallstones.
"The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings. The inherent virtue of socialism is the equal sharing of misery." - William Churchill


Coconut Milk and Coconut Oil - is it healthy or unhealthy - "And to further defend my affinity to coconut, despite my love for coconut oil and milk, and despite having delivered two kids already, I am definitely within the normal BMI category, far from being obese, my lipid levels are within normal. And I am sure a lot of Asians are, too."
I don't know why people like to argue with anecdotal examples so much, and ignore the lifestyle factor when making claims.

Skull-cleaning business thrives in Okla. - "No Halloween haunted house has anything on the people who work at Skulls Unlimited International, an Oklahoma City company that bills itself as the world's leading supplier of osteological specimens. "If I don't want to talk to (other people), I tell them I manage a museum exhibit company," said Eric Humphries, who's worked at the company for 14 years and now is its production manager. "If I want to talk to them, I tell them I clean skulls and skeletons for a living.""

DumpMonkey - "Because she's annoying. Because he cheated on you. Because a one night stand is all you wanted. Because you just don't care to breakup in person. No matter what the reason, the DumpMonkey is there for you! No longer do you need to have that awkward breakup talk. If you've had enough of your significant other, send them a DumpMonkey! The DumpMonkey sends a crystal clear message stating that your relationship is over and you no longer want to hear from that person again. Each monkey comes with a certificate of authenticity from Dump U that clearly states that the relationship has ended and that you have moved on with your life. The certificate is individually numbered and has the official break-up time and date, just in case your ex forgets. Your ex will have a lovely monkey keepsake and a certificate to remind them of how much you dislike spending time with them."

Planescape: Torment - “What can change the nature of a man?” - "Ravel Puzzlewell, the witch of the Gray Waste, who grew so wise and so powerful and so mad that she tried to unbind the multiverse itself, the woman who asked the Nameless One the vital question: What can change the nature of a man? So play your first-person shooters, if you must, and run down cops in “Grand Theft Auto 37: More Fodder For Incumbent Politicians”, and let your brains rot away bit by bit. But can you answer Ravel’s riddle? Do you know the answer? Perhaps you should play “Planescape: Torment” and find out."

Silence is a decree all should fear - "This is what we are faced with: people fear speaking out. These taboos cannot all be ascribed to Muslim fundamentalists, but have their roots in the Western world's ideology of political correctness, originally inspired by the need for people to respect each other in a multiracial society where minorities were fighting discrimination. The concept has become entrenched to the point of absurdity, and has even made it impossible for people to tell certain jokes. And I don't just mean jokes about Jews, Muslims and the disabled, but about Scots, Poles, blondes, firemen and street cleaners... what will happen in a culture in which, for fear of committing a gaffe, not even scholars dare to refer to, say, an Arab philosopher? The consequence would be damnatio memoriae, the terrible decree occasionally passed in ancient Rome that all traces of a public figure's memory and legacy were to be erased - the person's name was removed from monuments, significant buildings destroyed, statues altered. A similar silence surrounding Muslim history and culture would harm not only the West's knowledge of Islam, but reciprocal understanding between the two cultures."

''We don't mind what colour the baby is,'' said my father-to-be. The adoption officer beamed. Perhaps, after all, there was a baby available - me - "The Association of Black Social Workers (ABSW) claimed in the 1980s that "transracial placements are a way of perpetuating racist ideology". Their slogan, that "love is not enough", still looms over the argument. They pointed out that white parents did not know how to care for black children's skin or hair, that black children could not walk down the street with their white relatives without having to give an explanation."

A Magpie's Nest - Discussing the Lord of the Rings Soundtrack - "How did it come to this? I don't know. I think a combination of a passion for The Lord of the Rings books, an affection for the movies, a love of the soundtracks, and an obsessive personality. I'm three and a half years into my work - compiling the available information regard the Lord of the Rings movie soundtracks."

Plasticine and teddy bears at the new UK base of L Ron Hubbard - "After days of filling out sheets of A4 paper, I had learned that all "the data" can be found in Hubbard's writings and anything I came across with which I didn't agree - like, for example, the claim that "yellow and brown people" are less "progressive" than whites - should be skipped and revisited later. The course explained how the mind, body and spirit are separate, and life is a game. Within the game there is a scale of eight "impulses" that can be conquered by purging the mind of anxious thoughts. This is done through "auditing", a form of confessional counselling which relies on a machine attached by wires to two metal cylinders which, when held in a person's palms, measures their mental state. After each chapter in the coursebook, Dorothy asked me to demonstrate to other students what I had learned using wooden blocks and Plasticine. Once she asked me to explain the "communication cycle" to Sam, a nine-year-old boy who sat alone at the back of the classroom. Instead I showed Sam how to make a monster out of the playdough. Dorothy intervened. Scientology reportedly regards children to be "big Thetans in little bodies" - the immortal aliens called Thetans who, followers are said to believe, are our ancestors and who came to Earth 75m years ago. Dorothy also asked me to practice auditing with a teddy bear, and watched as I asked the bear if it could recall an experience that made it happy."

Blue Screen of Death Top 10 - "The now infamous Blue Screen of Death (BSoD) has been around since Windows 3.1. However, by chance, this screen made an appearance back in Windows 1.0! Have we finally discovered the original origins of this beast! There are many causes for this error: Bad DLL's, incorrect device drivers, bad memory, damaged registry, etc. This error has become less predominant in later years. Receiving such an error now, is much more serious than it used to be in the Windows 3.1/95/98 days. Below are some of the Top 10 Blue Screen of Death images! Some of these might be fake images, unless I was to take them myself how could I be sure obviously. Enjoy!"

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Some pictures my brother in law took in Crete. Penultimate instalment of a series of 6. Those seeking a context for these pictures can read the Crete travelogue in the May archives.

More of Blue Bear at the beach.

"The Romans would never have found time to conquer the world if they had been obliged first to learn Latin." - Heinrich Heine


Banned books - the saga continues - "It was another routine stock replenishment order. Then came the shock: the distributor is unable to supply copies of Salman Rushdie's Midnight's Children because the book had been 'restricted' in Malaysia by the KDN. Our initial reaction was to laugh out loud. Who are these people? Midnight's Children, published in 1980, won the Booker in 1981 and won the Booker of Bookers in 1993. Every self-respecting reader in the country has not only read the book, but owns a special sentimental copy. Now, after 26 years, some barely literate little Napoleon - to borrow Pak Lah's term - sitting behind a KDN desk in Johor Bahru has decided that the book is not suitable for Malaysians."
Boleh-land also bans "Making Globalization Work". Wth?!

Arrest over Cheney barb triggers lawsuit - "Howards and his son walked to about two-to-three feet from where Cheney was standing, and said to the vice president, "I think your policies in Iraq are reprehensible," or words to that effect, then walked on. Ten minutes later, according to Howards' lawsuit, he and his son were walking back through the same area, when they were approached by Secret Service agent Virgil D. "Gus" Reichle Jr., who asked Howards if he had "assaulted" the vice president."

Making a security point with elephants - "After his first trip to South Texas, a Pennsylvania congressional candidate was back home Wednesday sharing quite a tale, having chased an undocumented immigrant on foot one day and strolled the bank of the Rio Grande with three elephants and a blaring mariachi band the next. All, of course, documented for a campaign commercial."

Living in a car now touted as a plus - "Chevrolet will hold a competition for its version of young people living in a car. Two-student teams from eight universities, including Michigan State University, can win a new 2007 Chevrolet Aveo "by staying in continuous contact with the car for five days and demonstrating just how large a lifestyle they can lead in the car by attracting as much in-person and online attention as possible," Chevy says."

The Perils of Sleeping On the Top Bunk - "A New Jersey appellate court ruled yesterday that the risk of falling from a loft bed doesn’t require a warning label, at least when the bed is used by a college student. The ruling overturned a $179,001 jury award to a college senior who blamed his falling out of a loft bed on the lack of a warning label... 'Warnings would lose their efficacy and meaning if they were placed on every instrument known to be dangerous, such as a knife, scissors, glass, bat, ball, bicycle or other product that poses a generally known risk of injury if misused, dropped, or fallen from.'"

Doodle by squidsoup - "DOODLE is a work-in-progress exploring the possibilities of intuitive and direct drawing in 3D virtual space. Built to use a Flock of Birds (from Ascension Technologies), we have also made a (limited) demo using a conventional mouse. The 3D version allows for creation of drawn 3D shapes (spirals, swirls, faces, handwriting through to more complex objects). It was built as the basis of a drawn sound or drawn flora project (both in progress)."

Malaysia dishes out to raise profile - "Malaysia, where the unofficial national sport is eating and which boasts some of the world's best food, barely features on the international culinary map. According to the Malaysian government, which clearly keeps a close eye on such things, there are just 376 Malaysian restaurants to feed the six billion people who live outside the country."

Mountain Dew Becomes Drinkable - "I take a closer look and notice that it’s new “Mountain Dew ENERGY” and it’s listed as a “Natural Health Product” and an “Energy Drink” on the label. I’m intrigued, so I check the label for more; it has CAFFEINE in it. Not guarana or any other half baked caffeine substitute, but real, life affirming caffeine. For years (decades? forever?) it was impossible to purchase beverages in Canada that had caffeine in them where caffeine didn’t naturally occur"

BEAD ME A SHIMMERING DANCE @ gemsweater.com - Andrew: "ugly sweaters for ugly girls"

Book Review: The No Asshole Rule by Robert Sutton - "I have an early copy of Sutton’s book, The No Asshole Rule: Building a Civilized Workplace and Surviving One That Isn’t, and it’s the definitive guide to understanding, counteracting, and not becoming an asshole. I am qualified to make this judgment because (a) I’ve been an asshole a few times and (b) been a victim of assholes more than a few times."

Pupils are told: it is time for the hugging to stop - "A school headmaster was branded a killjoy yesterday after he ordered pupils to stop hugging each other. Steven Kenning banned them from embracing between classes because it was making them late for their lessons and could lead to a “victim” being hugged against their will."

Is this the end of the road for traffic lights? - "Most traffic lights should be torn up as they make roads less safe, one of Europe's leading road engineers said yesterday. Hans Monderman, a traffic planner involved in a Brussels-backed project known as Shared Space, said that taking lights away helped motorists, cyclists and pedestrians to co-exist more happily and safely. Residents of the northern Dutch town of Drachten have already been used as guinea-pigs in an experiment which has seen nearly all the traffic lights stripped from their streets."

Bad vibes in Glastonbury after Catholics against pagans - "By the light of the full moon, witches in Glastonbury will tonight be casting a “circle of protection” around Britain’s centre of mysticism after a group of militant Christians cast salt at them in an attempt to “cleanse” the town of paganism."

From golf to yoga: how India treats its troops - "The army blames the phenomenon, known in the military as “fragging”, after US soldiers in the Vietnam war rolled fragmentation grenades into the tents of unpopular officers, on the high stress levels among the 700,000 troops fighting Islamic militants in Kashmir. It has sent psychiatrists, psychologists and even yoga instructors to the region, claimed by India and Pakistan, to help to ease the concerns of troops."

Unilever: Ice Cream Product Developer - "Based at our Ice Cream Global Technology Centre, where great products such as Wall's, Solero and Magnum have passed through our doors, you'll help develop mouth-watering products that take advantage of our technical capability to deliver new benefits to the consumer. You'll be able to work with these technologies and to transform them into ice cream innovations with real food credentials that consumers all over the world will value."

Faking it as a priest in Japan - "With a rise in the popularity of Christian-style weddings in Japan, some Westerners are finding they can make a lucrative living by acting as priests... Mr Kelly argues that the ceremony is not about religion, but about image. "I give a good performance. I use an Apache wedding prayer in my ceremony. It works very well, although I had to take out the part about the bear god in the sky," he said. "If people are crying by the end of the wedding, I think I have done a good job.""
Damn Japs.

Which steak tastes the best? - "Never have I witnessed a piece of meat so move grown men (and women). Every taster but one instantly proclaimed the grass-fed steak the winner, commending it for its "beautiful," "fabu," and "extra juicy" flavor that "bursts out on every bite." The lone holdout, who preferred the Niman Ranch steak, agreed that this steak tasted the best, but found it a tad chewy. That said, another taster wrote, "I'm willing to give up some tenderness for this kind of flavor.""

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Some pictures my brother in law took in Crete. Fourth of a series of 6. Those seeking a context for these pictures can read the Crete travelogue in the May archives.

More of Blue Bear's day at the beach

Monday, November 06, 2006

Europe unites in hatred of French

"Language, history, cooking and support for rival football teams still divide Europe. But when everything else fails, one glue binds the continent together: hatred of the French.

Typically, the French refuse to accept what arrogant, overbearing monsters they are.

But now after the publication of a survey of their neighbours' opinions of them at least they no longer have any excuse for not knowing how unpopular they are.

Why the French are the worst company on the planet, a wry take on France by two of its citizens, dredges up all the usual evidence against them. They are crazy drivers, strangers to customer service, obsessed by sex and food and devoid of a sense of humour.

But it doesn't stop there, boasting a breakdown, nation by nation, of what in the French irritates them.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Britons described them as "chauvinists, stubborn, nannied and humourless". However, the French may be more shocked by the views of other nations.

For the Germans, the French are "pretentious, offhand and frivolous". The Dutch describe them as "agitated, talkative and shallow." The Spanish see them as "cold, distant, vain and impolite" and the Portuguese as "preaching". In Italy they comes across as "snobs, arrogant, flesh-loving, righteous and self-obsessed" and the Greeks find them "not very with it, egocentric bons vivants".

Interestingly, the Swedes consider them "disobedient, immoral, disorganised, neo-colonialist and dirty".

But the knockout punch to French pride came in the way the poll was conducted. People were not asked what they hated in the French, just what they thought of them.

"Interviewees were simply asked an open question - what five adjectives sum up the French," said Olivier Clodong, one of the study's two authors and a professor of social and political communication at the Ecole Superieur de Commerce, in Paris. "The answers were overwhelmingly negative."

According to Mr Clodong, the old adage that France is wonderful, it's just the French who are the problem, is shared across Europe.

"We are admired for our trains, the Airbus and Michelin tyres. But the buck stops there," he said.

Another section of the study deals with how the French see the rest of Europe.

"Believe it or not, the English and the French use almost exactly the same adjectives to describe each other - bar the word 'insular'," Mr Coldong said. "So the feelings are mutual.""

Cock: "The whole world wants to be Frenchified, but nobody likes the French."
Some pictures my brother in law took in Crete. Third of a series of 6. Those seeking a context for these pictures can read the Crete travelogue in the May archives.

This whole post consists of the evil things someone did to Blue Bear when I was trekking through the Samaria gorge.

July Trip
22/7 - Reims/Bayeux


Tau palace

I finished the cathedral 1 1/2 hrs before my next train, but didn't want to eat at a restaurant due to time constraints, among other things (I was still in the city at this point and it'd take a while to walk to the station). So I decided to test the Cock's theory that McDonald's in France was better. I walked in just before 11am - the transition time between breakfast and lunch menus. So why the fries were cold and a bit stale was beyond me (yes, the Cock strikes again).

I also had 'Le p'tit chicken recette Fromagere' (strictly speaking, for a basis for comparison I should've had ordered something available elsewhere, but I like to try new things). The description was very enticing (it must be the language) - 'Son pain aux eclats de mars, son poulet croustillant specialite panee au poulet, son onctueuse sauce au fromage fondu et sa salade croquante'. Too late I realised why it was 'p'tit', and there was also no fromage inside (wth!). Otherwise it was like a McChicken but in a dusted bun (not sesame), with the chicken crumbed rather than battered.

Hell, even the Coke was off; just looking at the dispenser, I knew something was not right, since it usually flowed into the cup in a pure stream but this dispensed an alternating stream of black and white syrup and soda water. Not only was it flat, the carbonation quotient/mix was off. Like the Coke from the RI vending machine behind the canteen when Monty's was in charge.

In their favor, though, contrary to what seems to be the practice in the rest of Europe, they gave me 1 packet of ketchup and pommes-frites-sauce (tartar) gratuit. Also: 'Golden best of - 1 menu maxi best of (TM) Big Mac + 1 cheeseburger' was going for €7. How could they trademark "Best of"?!

They offered a "McCine" - 1 menu best of (your choice of meal except the one with the 280g burger) and 1 cinema ticket for €8,50. Working backwards, it seems a cinema ticket alone (on top of the meal) was worth only €2,70. What sort of films could they afford to screen at that price?!

The McFlurry flavours in France were Daim, Kit Kat and M&M Peanuts.

An information panel infomed me that Cours JB. Langlet was presenting a series of remarkable buildings. I didn't believe them, then I saw this:

'Reconstruction de Reims Marcel Rousseauarchitecte 1927'

Docteur JB Langlet. Maire de Reims 1841-1927

So far I hadn't seen any Malaysian Mannikins in France and was quite pleased. I thought that the French had better not disappoint me.

Automatic store
I thought only the Japs had advanced automation to such a degree. Maybe this is what happens when you can't easily fire people.

When in Paris, the Cock had had all 3 breakfasts in the hostel, which provided a small baguette-shaped roll, a small croissant, jam and butter, and a cup of coffee/tea/chocolate, as well as vile juice. After 2 days, I was sick of it, so I went out and eventually had a croque monsieur. The cock wanted to eat at the hostel because he'd paid for it, and my parents would agree with him. But then that is a sunk cost, and it definitely makes more sense to, since you're already in France, go out and sample local breakfast delights (ie The divine pains et al.). After all, unless he returns with his "future girlfriend slash wife", he will never get to try pastries lighter than any pastry has the right to be. That would be a true waste of money.

I kept seeing a magazine: "Teu". One version labelled "Plage" showed a man's bathroom shots (?) and another also labelled "Plage" showed a man naked and seen from the back. One story went: "Le nouveau Superman est-il gay?"

I sensed the French were better at English than the Italians (though this was a slightly tough call), but they refused to speak it anyway. Bah.

Seen at a newstand in Paris (where I was transfering trains) for €6: 'La vie parisienn magazine'. The cover stories were in French, but in the sidebar I saw: 'Where to go, what to find? Our special tips to meet the sexiest girls! And many more! Hot streets, bars, swinger clubs, massage institutes... Hot Hot Hot... How to find the best spot of the capital'. I was wondering: What spot? There was also FHM for €1,95 (usual price €3) - the competition must've been too intense.

The guy beside me on the train to Bayeux was reading Cosmopolitan. I know girls read male mags but this is the first time I've seen a guy read a female mag. Well, apart from me anyway.

I witnessed foreplay on the train. 1 girl was lying on 2 seats and a guy was on the inner seat. He went down on her (her mouth area) and she started laughing and one leg rose in passion. Maybe he went down in flames that night after having his red meat in the day.

The weather in Bayeux was very good. When I got off the train, I was shocked at how cool it was (the fact that it'd been raining didn't help). The last time I'd felt so cool was in the middle of june, and this was further north to boot. It was even better at night!

Bayeux Cathedral
There's a story behind why it's so opulent for such a small town, but I can't recall.



I arrived at the tourist office just before it closed and after seeing the enormity of what would await me if I tried to navigate the beaches myself, I booked a tour from one of 5 tour companies.

I didn't see any giaks around.
Their napkins had a ship with warriors (a scene from the Tapestry)

Those who go on Eurotrips and only visit capitals miss out on so much and spend so much more than those who explore smaller cities and towns.

As I observed to Andrew, you can tell if tap water is served at an establishment by looking at the prices. If mineral water is available cheaply, tap water will not be served, and the converse applies (except in Bruges, since it was on the town square and was a tourist joint).

I decided on Le Drakkar. They had a €14,50 menu which I decided to go for if they didn't serve tap water, and a €18 menu which I'd have if they did. The €14,50 menu seemed to be insulting, with cheap courses, including a hamburger as one choice for the main course (though someone later informed me that the French hamburger is a specific term).

A thick tourist guide narrated how, at the front of the British Cemetery, there was "the sentence in Latin recalling how, in 1944, the British came to free the Homeland of their victors (sic) of 1066". A section on monastery accommodations described La Joie Saint Benoit thus: "Staying with us will allow you to recover your physical and moral strength". Bah.

The most excellent dinner I had in Bayeux, at Le Drakkar; one of the best meals I've had.
I've had this as a status message for a while and everyone says it doesn't look good. Bloody hell.

My starter was smoked ham. For some reason, I don't know why, I expected thick ham. Instead I got delectable thin ham, and a very generous portion of it too. Unfortunately, someone was not there to advise me on the finer points of haute cuisine (and more importantly, to pay), so I assumed that since I couldn't cut the top layer of the ham with my knife (the layer above the fat - the skin? or wax?), I was not supposed to eat it.

The main course, as seen above, was a generous slab of pork with diced bacon and mushrooms, served with potatoes cubes fried with bacon. The pork was very thick and yet fully cooked, meat thera? (?). I couldn't figure out why it was tied with a piece of string, though. Sit in the park and eat bread? Not on your life!

The dessert was a hot apple tart. I was wondering why there was a scoop of vanilla ice cream, then as I ate the tart I realised why - it was the least sweet apple tart I'd ever had. I would go so far as to venture that there was no sugar in it. At all. I never have chocolate outside if I can help it, but hitherto apple had always been safe. Trust the Frech!

Outside of Paris, some places close during lunch time. In Italy and Greece, they sleep. In France, they have lunch. For example in Villeneuve I was walking through the village and everything was closed except hairdressing salons (don't ask me, I have no idea why they were an exception).

xxoos was disdainful of guidebooks. She said she went where her feet took her, but then "There is a good reason people don't take the roads much less traveled. They're dangerous and it can take you more than twice as long to get to your destination." (The Road Much Less Traveled) If nothing else, they are useful for accommodation information, directions to the hostels and tourist offices and provide preliminary maps of places before you get real ones.

sect (seot?) aug (awig?/aurg?) 45°. not so bad (more scribbled stuff I can't decipher)

Many of us were socialising in the common room of the youth hostel at night, and the elderly male proprietor who spoke no English (though I suspect he understood a bit) suddenly ran in shouting, as he was wont to do. Luckily some people spoke and understood French, so one talked to him and then translated to us that we needed to vacate the room because 50 people would be coming later and the room was needed for "The distribution of the keys". As soon as the liaison uttered this phrase, the whole room burst out laughing (and this was a room of various nationalities, so it wasn't a culture thing). I'm sure it makes perfect sense in French, since that language is so florid and pompous, but in English the direct translation sounds ridiculous, like some ceremony out of a fantasy novel.

Someone: french is a beautiful language
­and i quote the matrix
­cursing in french is like wiping ur arse with silk

Someone else: you mean key party?
­dun get it

Someone (2): Hrm.
la distribution des cles
i suppose i can excuse french being pompous
it's so pretty sounding.

Someone else (2): still very frodo-esque
and considering that i last watched some youtube LOTR orgy thing
that's one kinky hostel

Later, 50 Norwegian schoolgirls turned up and were yelling and shrieking. I wanted to use one bathroom, but when I arrived there I found 5 of them in the queue. Gah.
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