"The happiest place on earth"

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Saturday, December 02, 2006

"When love is gone, there's always justice.
And when justice is gone, there's always force.
And when force is gone, there's always Mom.
Hi, Mom!"
- Laurie Anderson


"It was a lesson he absorbed as a boy from his wealthy and cynical father, who taught him that greed, arrogance and unscrupulousness were the way of the world. At the same time, the precocious young Conrad learned from his passion for history that real heroes were permitted to flout rules designed by the mediocre to shackle them... Even now, Lord Black, confrontational to the last, sees himself as a victim of the 'spite and envy' of others rather than of his own towering ego. This is a gripping cautionary tale that still awaits its denouement." - On Conrad Black. Sounds familiar.

Claiming that tough training is the best welfare you can give your soldiers is like a deserter saying that by deserting he is being loyal to his country because the alternative is to desert his battle post, reveal information to the enemy under interrogation/torture or betraying the country willingly (eg Switching sides); technically correct but grossly misleading given common understanding. [Someone: either side is capable of capture and interrogation, so don't switch sides. downgrade and get a vocation incapable of providing anything useful]

Never let a few good apples taint the barrel! We cannot generalise and conclude that entire groups are praiseworthy just because we have had good experiences with a few of them!

The staff at Hard Rock Cafe have to try the food so if customers ask for their recommendations, or what the food tastes like, they can answer. I don't think all restaurants do this.

One Firefox extension had an "assistant" mode (as opposed to the "advanced" mode). I asked the developer why he didn't just call it "Wizard" (a la MS), and the reply was that "it's easier to translate for many folks plus it's more or less consistent over all languages. Wizard translates in most languages only as that old guy with the wand making evil things."

Some girls were talking about marrying a rich man in the future (and presumably not working). I found this annoying, and not only because of the near impossibility of doing such a thing as a male.

One will probably find that if a woman does not work, her marriage is more stable, since the lack of financial independence means she will have to put up with more from her partner. So conversely, I promote financial independence despite (or even because of) this seemingly deleterious effect (this even discounting my ideological objections to that institution).

What those who lament the modern decline in marriage longevity and occurence do not see is that marriage is not an end to be sought in and of itself, but a means to an end (whatever it may be). For women, the corollary to marrying a woman uglier than you is to marry a man not only nicer than you, but also one poorer than you.
"The average person thinks he isn't." - Father Larry Lorenzoni


Someone: i think science as it exists right now cannot conclusively prove or disporve God.

for the same reason math, art history, literature and economics can't disprove/prove god. becuase they'll all academic disciplines. by definition they are relevant to our world but have little capability to throw light on anything beyond it.

Me: can you disprove that there is a teapot in orbit around the rings of saturn?

Someone: hm, do we have telescopes of sufficient power yet?

Me: can you disprove santa claus? the easter bunny? the tooth fairy? mother goose?

Someone: but if we do not, then we can't disprove that, can we? we can only say because it's a man-made object, and we've never been to Saturn, there probably isn't.

Me: it is contingent on those proposing things to prove them
rather than those contending them to disprove them

Someone: well, we do have satellite imaging over the North pole and we don't see a Santa Base....so...

Same for the rest too.

Me: santa base could be invisible

Someone: er, no known technology can make things invisible yet, on such a scale. here at duke they've only just developed a light-bending mini-cloak.

Me: santa does not need to rely on technology
he has christmas magic


Someone: if we don't even know how a simply atom works, how can it prove/disprove god?

Me: how an atom works has nothing to do with gods

if gods exist, they show no sign of their existence or presence in the world today
and are as relevant as teapots around Saturn

Someone: no, but understanding the nature of the universe could explain why we havne't observed god. and we are nowhere near understanding the nature of the universe

so what is to say a god doesn't exist?
especially since he is real to so many people?

Me: you're begging the question

what's to say santa claus doesn't exist?

Elvis is real to many people

Someone: we know santa is fake cos we know the origins of the myth

Me: we know the origins of the god myth too ;)

Someone: Jesus is real to even more people =) and he makes a larger difference, too

Me: so if there was only one christian left on earth, your god would not be real?

Someone: No--but if there was only one christian left on earth, then the world population would be one.

Me: and again you're artificially defining the argument so you will win it
which is intellectually dishonest


Someone: Yes, if you want to pin the blame on God just so you can vindicate yourself. you might as well point out so-and-so, a Chrisitian, behainvg worse than so-and-so, who's not.

Me: so everything good that christians do is because of god
and everything bad is their fault?
that's very dishonest

Someone: why is that dishonest? we do good when we allow god to work through us. we do evil when we ignore him or turn away. how is that dishonest?

Me: sigh
nevermind. this is pointless

if your god can do no wrong, and you have already decided it, then there's no way I can prove that he can

I can just as validly say if christians do good things it's because they're good
and if they do bad things it's your god's fault

it is morally repugnant
assuming humanity is incapable of goodness
and gods are incapable of evil
July Trip
24/7 - Bayeux

I never took the contacts of people at youth hostels, but one person took mine. Maybe I'll hear from her in 10 years when she visits Singapore.

Admission to the tapistery was €7,60 for adults but €3 for students. No wonder there's a big market for fake ISIC cards.

The tapistery (where they kept the Bayeux tapestry) was really silly. They had lots of moronic writeups, like so:

A stupid writeup glorifying the French: "Guy behaved properly: neither drawn by the lure of a reward nor compelled by force, he came himself to the castle of EU, and brought before the Duke a man whom he was at liberty to torture, slit the throat of or sell"

On William and friends attacking Conan of Brittany: "Conan, the Count of Brittany, who refused the protectorate of Normandy, had actually risen up against Duke William. Renewing his father's rebellion, [Conan] memta (?) be the enemy, not the vassal, of Normandy.

Yes, the underlines were in the original writeups. Maybe they took a leaf from Wo-hen's webpage.

"William made Harold a Knight
The Duke was indeed very much aware that chivalry did not exist in England. No doubt he hoped that he could make Harold - who must have been impressed by Conan's submission - realise the deep meaning of the dubbing [of himself as a knight]"

Harold's supporters were called wicked and the man himself "the enemy of justice and law".

Other silly writeups kept stressing the rightful claim of William to the throne of England, but didn't talk of the coercion of Harold and how he was tricked into swearing his oath on a Saint's relics. Bloody French (unless these were quotations from Norman French chroniclers, which I doubt, but if that is the case - Bloody French of 1000 years ago].

boastful words chroniclers. no say in english part. but yes in french (?)

As a counterpoint, a video screened before the entrance to the tapestry room showed Harold's wife arguing (and providing the English point of view) with some guy called "Odin" (a knight of William's, IIRC), who was clad in chain mail.

The stupid audioguide could not be paused - it turned on automatically on entering the chamber. It could not be replayed either It's probably a scam to get you out of the place ASAP.

The tapestry was in surprisingly good condition, especially given it's 900 years old. The colours were surprisingly vivid.

Just like the Pont du Gard museum, photography was nominally forbidden, but there was no gestapo inside.

Horses on a ship, laughing when it sets out for England.

Harold being tricked by the evil Normans

I spy with my little eye, something starting with "A"

Charging the Anglo-Saxon shield wall

William is alive

I have 2 T-shirts with tapestry scenes on them, but neither were sold in the shop. They change their stock often.

Mill of Bishop of Bayeux, on river Aure (l'aure)

Bayeux Cathedral. They built it in only 17 years!





Chapel of St Michel and St Blasse

Tomb in the crypt

Ceiling design

Next I went to a D-Day museum (Museum for the Battle of Normandy, IIRC). They had the same funny no entry signs as in Italy. Maybe it's an EU directive.

Beach tetrahedron

They dressed up one mannikin as a soldier. With a tie. People go into battle with ties?!

There were lots of information panels and photos in the museum, but the artifacts weren't labelled.

The Canadians fought their way through Caen and the French gave them roses and wine, but they weren't allowed to drink it. Aww.


Short range artillery (?)

Montgomery named his dogs Hitler and Rommel. Gah.

There was a very long and amusing Patton quote which I wanted to take a picture of to save me the writing, but a staff member finally came along. Grr. Of course, this time they didn't even have the excuse of conservation (the stuff being 60 years old at most). Maybe they were leery of spies from the tons of other D Day museums in the area. Or they just wanted to increase the profit they could reap from the death and destruction of 62 years ago. Reprehensible, especially since some of these veterans are still alive.

I'd learnt my lesson after being unable to find hilarious Sissy poetry online (at least in English), and wouldn't have bought a book on Patton even if it'd been sold at the bookshop, so:

"Don't worry about your flanks. We must protect them, okay, but not to the point of doing nothing else. A damn fool once said that flanks must be protected, and since then every the (sic) idiot in the world thinks of nothing but protecting his flanks. We want none of that in the 3rd Army. The enemy can worry about his flanks. Now there's another thing I want you to remember. I don't want to get any messages saying that we are holding our position. We're not holding anything, we'll let the Hun do that. We are advancing constantly, and we're not interested in holding onto anything except the enemy. We're going to hold onto him by the nose, and we're going to kick him in the ass. We're going to kick the hell out of him all the time, and we're going to go through him like crap through a goose." - Patton in his first speech to his troops

Incidentally, I am vindicated, since I couldn't find this quote on Google.

Allied propaganda was very funny.

There was a lot of information on the battle of Normandy, but no conclusion. A summary of the rest of the war, or even one of the rest of the war for France would have been very welcome. A commentary on the role the battle for Normandy played in the war, or even 'The battle was won. Now the war continued' or some such would've been nice, but none of this could be found at the museum.

First Date

Dilbert: Do you feel like doing some conversation?

Girl: Okay. I love talking.

Dilbert: Do you like politics?

Girl: No.

Dilbert: Science and technology?

Girl: Not really.

Dilbert: War?

Girl: No.

Dilbert: Sports?

Girl: No.

Dilbert: Current events?

Girl: No.

Dilbert: What's left?

Girl: I like to talk about my hair.

Dilbert: Um... Okay, we can try that.

Girl: This brown is a browner brown than I wanted.

Dilbert: Right. Are we done with hair?

I thought Scott Adams was unmarried, but it seems he got married in July this year.
Crucifixus est dei filius; non pudet, quia pudendum est.
Et mortuus est dei filius; credibile prorsus est, quia ineptum est.
Et sepultus resurrexit; certum est, quia impossibile.

Ceux qui peuvent vous faire croire à des absurdités peuvent vous faire commettre des atrocités
Talking bull

"The central tenet of the New Economy faith was that the free market was the highest and most rewarding form of human existence, a notion that would have seemed transparently ideological had it not always been couched in the language of technology and in lofty phrases about the juggernaut of history and the will of the common man. The great management theorists of the 90s didn't dissect the corporation so much as propagandise for it. And the stock market gurus of the age, with their fond dreams of a nation of small shareholders, openly looked forward to the destruction of the New Deal regulatory state, to a time when the little people would identify more with the corporation than with the government...

Whatever happens, they argue, it cannot possibly be the fault of the market. Never mind the fact that one of the very measures taken by corporations in the 90s to ensure that market rationality prevailed - the granting of stock options to top executives - is the single greatest culprit in the present fiasco: markets never fail. Other parties, namely government, must be responsible. For yesterday's bubble-blowers, this is true in the way the law of gravity is true; it is axiomatic. "This is Washington's recession," glowered Larry Kudlow a little over a year ago, "for which nothing is more to blame than the arrogance of policy-makers who refused in the first place to recognise the real sources of prosperity and then refused to acknowledge that slumping stock markets were a referendum on Washington's mistakes." The only trick is finding the exact bit of misguided government meddling that triggered this vast disaster.

Over the last year, dozens of candidates have been unearthed and pushed forward, then abandoned out of self-evident absurdity. Kudlow, for example, blamed the anti-trust lawsuit against Microsoft. Gilder blamed anti-trust restrictions placed on WorldCom. Others got indignant about taxes, which are always too high since by definition they are equivalent to theft, or about New York's lawsuit against Merrill Lynch. With my own eyes, I once watched a TV show in which business reporters blamed government policy for tripping up the good people of Enron. It pleases elements in the Wall Street Journal to pin the crash on the country's remaining telecom regulations, while others bemoan the government's failure to subsidise "broadband" aggressively enough."

Once again, according to the faith of market fundamentalism, government is somehow mysteriously to blame for market failure.
"There is nothing so absurd but some philosopher has said it." - Cicero


Someone: ha i'm was studying in the medicine library just now and i saw the a few female med students wearing their lab coats in the lib. quite a funny sight. and i wonder why is it only the girls. i think it's because they have no dress sense so the lab coat is their best attire. i didn't know that students wear lab coats in the lib. interesting.maybe one day engine students will wear their safety uniform cos that's their work attire.ha

Someone else: only in med lib
for med students they can wear lab coats

other science student cannot, cos we deal with chemicals
lab coat is actually barred from sci lib

Medicine Student: ah well
its true though

girls like to hang out in their lab coats
sometimes they dress too skimpily under the labcoat

so they're like cold or whatever
and the med library is like pretty cold sometimes
so they wear their labcoats

someone commented that the courses with professional degrees ahve people who put more effort into dressing up
like law, medicine, dentistry, etc.

not just during the clinical, internship years but in general

but then in today's world dressing up is like dressing down
people pay more for less cloth

Someone: i heard u using magnifying glass lol
did u did that for econometrics too?
cause i rem someone doing that

u was impress lol i was sitting behind u that time lol
so shock wahaha

Me: in spore you got so much attention [from Singaporean students] or not

Someone on exchange: nope
here they deprived mah

Me: hahahaha

the culture more liberal
so they want more sex ah

Someone on exchange: i dunno?

haven had sex in a while
not too interested either

Me: haha
*** too cold ah
become frigid

Someone on exchange: good arh

gg to snow on fri
8 inches of snow predicted

Me: haha you need a man to warm you up

Someone on exchange: lol
heat paks are more reliable than men

Me: no
heat paks can use once only

Someone on exchange: guys oso wad
guys shld be use n throw too

Me: tsk

men are free :P
no they'll pay you to warm your bed haha

Someone on exchange: lol

so use and throw

Someone: i know in sweden the guys are smarter
they would offer to send the girl home

i learnt this when i send this swedish girl home
she said...i been to asia before, so i know that u are not thinking of anything else
but if a swedish guy send me home, he most probably wants to sleep with me...

Me: they don't send girls home in singapore meh
they do lah

Someone: at first i thought it's her own twisted perception
and it's quite embarrassing

coz i wanted to pee, and i aksed her, can i use ur toilet?
she said yes, and that's another excuse which the guys use

anyway, as i was saying, at first, i thought it's her own twisted perception
but i asked this other swedish girl
oh, what happens when a swedish guy offers to send u home
then she replied, oh, if our homes are far apart, he just want to get me in bed....

Me: aiyah
cos in asia people live with their parents

Someone: oh true
nvr tot of that

i went to belgium and it's very common that some of the guys and girls sleep around
thought u should know that in holland

Someone else on the above: i nvr send a gal home unless i wanna get into her panties; i'm actually interested in dating her; or a special r/s exists i.e. we're really gd friends.

Someone (2): the bf says new creation church has a "forced-enrolment" singles ministry

once you hit a certain age, you have to go into the singles ministry. and APPARENTLY (this is all hearsay) they can only date within their church. not denomination, church.

Frigid Girl: haha =p this is one weird trend i haven't seen before

Me: you've been living in a cave
pls refer to previous archived convos

Frigid Girl: err. i'd rather live in a cave
­with the things you've been showing me

Friday, December 01, 2006

Stupid Crystal Jade has no web presence, and Vivocity has no contact number on its website. Gah.

Crystal Jade Vivocity: 62785626
"Between two evils, I always pick the one I never tried before." - Mae West


List of Modules Offered - Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences

"XD2201: The Bible and Christianity

The module is a multidisciplinary academic study of the bible and Christianity, open to all interested in these themes. Major topics will include a) interpretative approaches to biblical texts, b) history of the collection of the bible, c) biblical authority, d) Christianitys basic moral code and beliefs, and e) popular issues (Gnostic Christianity). The course assumes no prior knowledge of Christianity and will count toward the Religious Studies minor."

I bet 99.9% of the class will be believers. If I take it (failing in the process). If I don't it'll be 100%.

Actually I think all the fundies will die also if they take this class. If they write in the exam that the Bible is literally true, or that Moses compiled the Pentateuch, they're going to get zero credit. So they'll end up being as pissed off as during Evolution.

Someone: u can try converting all of them to become anti christians

what's fundies?
­underwear for two?

Someone else: the prof will sure hate u
the whole class will hate u

Someone (2): he hosted the "Breaking the Da Vinci Code" thingy, and he's a moderate-to-liberal Christian, so, this should be interesting...

Someone (3): hahahahaahahh
i don't think the fundies will take lah

Me: hahahaha
why won't fundies take

Someone (3): how can
that means that they will actually have to study the bible leh

Me: ahahahahahahah
never doubt the power of cognitive dissonance

Me: I'm told a christian is teaching
shit lah. should get me

Frigid Girl: your students might try to murder you
you can be the first modern antichristian martyr
lynched by christians
"When everyone is somebody, then no one's anybody." - W. S. Gilbert


I finally got Bloodbones. Too bad its cover and spine are greatly out of place among the other 59 books.

Turnitin.com and similar online plagiarism-checking services surely subscribe to essay mills and download their essays for the purpose of storing and cataloguing them to compare submitted essays to to check for plagiarism. Yet, I am sure that essay mills can state in their terms and conditions that unauthorised use of their essays (eg in plagiarism-checking software) is forbidden and can be prosecuted. I'm quite a case has come up already. [Someone: that's precisely why the mills will never dare to ban plagiarism checkers from using their essays. look. why cut off one half of your clientele]

A Political Science major said that someone who'd gone to SMU on local exchange said that people talked a lot in class but it was all rubbish. The stupidest things said by NUS were at least relevant, or if not they were smart enough to cut and paste something the professor had said, but at SMU it was just irrelevant nonsense, said to get participation points. This sort of feedback about the students seems to be the case across disciplines.

Girls like to refer to their boyfriends as "The Boy", but I haven't found any boy who refers to his girlfriend as "The Girl", probably because they fear being accused of objectifying women.


"If you're still unconvinced and insists that "evolution is still a theory", go jump off a building. Gravitation is, after all, only a theory and less "satisfactory" explained by physics than evolution is.

After, what kind of science will explain that mass actually causes space to warp!?!"


Comment on How Girls Waste Time:

"Stumbled upon this piece randomly and loved it :D You have a hell lot of patience to bother doing this. But before you go on to generalize these mostly odd/despicable characteristics to all women in the world, might I mention that it's mostly Singaporean women who could possess ALL of these qualities. Even as a girl, I couldn't fathom the sheer dumbness of some of the traits/activities considered typically feminine in this country. A few (strictly very few) of your points could be true for normal women beyond the borders of this nation (Like 'Am I fat?' - that's universal :D)

"women are like elephants"

Oooh, you probably earned the wrath of all the women wondering if they are fat. Haha!"

Thursday, November 30, 2006

"Scholarly articles for fiona xie zao geng: The Shorter Science and Civilisation in China - Ronan - Cited by 18"
Wow, this guy is amazingly dedicated. On the day before the exam:

"Dear All:

Do you have any last minute questions/doubts on the notes, past exams or concepts...?

You can consult me between 10AM-12nn tomorrow."

Yesterday I had the hardest exam I've ever had, period: even the GEP admission exams were a cakewalk compared to this. Even all the shen (gods) said it was hard (one shen claims I'm also a shen, but I resolutely reject that title - I am a demigod at most).

The lecturer has really outdone himself this time, both in ingenuity and sheer difficulty; I feel like Annabel Chong: I got screwed again. And again. And again. And again...

"The following model attempts to estimate a causal effect of attending the last lectureon a student's final exam score of ***. In order to maintain exogeneity of attendance, I flip a coin at the entrance of the lecture venue, and let a student attend the last lecture if the coin shows head but let him or her go home if the coin shows tail."

"Tests for mathematics and English are going to be administered by an examiner to a total of 100 students to explore the relationship between mathematics and English scores... On its way to venue B, the blue bus unexpectedly has a flat tyre, hence arrives at venue B 20 minutes later than the green bus... Thus 50 students who happen to take the blue bus have 20 minutes less time for the English test."

What a semester of contrasts this has been.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

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Tuesday, November 28, 2006

"Now we sit through Shakespeare in order to recognize the quotations." - Orson Welles


This girl was studying Immunology and complaining about the pictures of diseases in her notes. I asked why she didn't delete them before printing, and she said she didn't read her notes before printing.

Then I showed her the breast rash larvae picture so she'd forget about the diseases, and it seemed to work.

Lut on the breast rash larvae: if u put it as yr wallpaper and go set it up in the library

all the prcs will fail their exams
or whoever those ppl who camp in the library are

Me: oh yah
bell curve

One person doesn't think it disgusting ("the sickness is prob more with me than the object of scrutiny agh"), another thinks it boring since it's "too fake", and recommends this instead (Personal rating: Shiver inducing, but I think the larvae is worse. That is truly nightmare material) and a last comments dryly, "hm i don't know about disgusting. i was more engrossed with um how the pores could be so neat."

Meanwhile another thinks it "interesting, disturbing, but not very disgusting" (that qualifies it in my book, since it's disturbing).

I think it says something that even the person who sent me MeatSpin.com cursed me to hell and be eaten by Cerberus when I re-acquainted him with it.

An examination of the psychology of the reaction:

Medical Student: man
the fake one is grosser

like GEEZ
its sick
and i'm from a profession which doesn't really squirm at such stuff

maybe because it looks pristine despite the supposed infestation that makes it surreal

cos if teh canal tracts are like 5cm deep
the whoel breast should be compromised and scerwed already
the skin should be messed up cos the underlying structure is dead

Me: uhh
it looks too good so it's gross?

I think the juxtaposition adds to the disgusting feel

Medical Student: something like that
what i meant to say was
if its all black and gooey and messed up with worms, i might not react so strongly to it, cos that's something i'm used to?

but that one just looks uhm, peacefully sick, it doesn't really look like the worms have drilled 5cm holes in her breast
"Singapore lies in the tropics, but it has grown faster than all but perhaps a handful of countries in the last 40 years. Explain why Singapore is an outlier to the pattern of tropical underdevelopment. Give particular attention to the concept of social infrastructure in your discussion."

An economics exam with maths, essays *and* NE.

Hong gan liao.

Monday, November 27, 2006

This can be expressed as either ~s -> f OR (more correctly) s v f

A pity. It should've been s -> ~f, but even ~s -> f <-/-> s -> ~f.
"Kidnapping for kidneys is rubbish:?? what world are you living in? and just as your entry says its all rubbish, i am sure there are many more sites that do claim this is true... maybe in safe singapore it might not be the case but venture out to the developing worlds where the organised crime is way more common and things such as kidnapping for kidneys is way more real than the rubbish you think it is...

besides that, the forum is a place for discussion not dictatorship. everyone has a right to what they choose to believe in so saying things like "rubbish" may be your opinion but it does not have to be mine."


(The above was posted in one of my module's IVLE forum)

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Day 4 of the SDP candlelight Vigil at Queenstown Remand Prison: There were 6-7 people there.

Pictures by my brother in law.

Unfortunately this little diversion hasn't cured my exam sian-ness. I can imagine how much worse it'd been if I'd gone on full sabbatical instead of semi-sabbatical.
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