"The happiest place on earth"

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Saturday, January 13, 2007

I should've done this long ago, but a feed for YACCS comments is now available, in addition to the main site feed.
"To be willing to die for an idea is to set a rather high price on conjecture." - Anatole France


Why work sucks:

- Being in the same location the whole day dulls both the mind and the body
- Sitting in the same spot is even worse
- You're not surrounded by people of your age, let alone disposition
- Being inundated with Business Bullshit, or worse: forced to produce it
- Perhaps the worst bit: you have the knowledge that you've chosen to be where you are

The air-conditioning went crazy in the library for one period, and I saw the librarian with a scarf and gloves. Heh.

The Home Team trainees only sing silly songs while running, and not when marching. What a relief.

Irritating things about being in a uniformed organisation: people shouting and screaming ('lup ride', counting 1-2-3 etc).

Prisons is less regimental than Slavery - people are called/call each other/sign off as Mr, Ms and Mrs even if they have a rank.

My office was so cold that I, who had never worn extra clothing in school, took to wearing a sweater much of the time. Though my not desiring to get sick again probably has something to do with that too.

The noodles tapaoed from the canteen at work were very filling. On both occasions when I did that for breakfast, I was so full I skipped lunch.

I had some really bad prata for breakfast one day. It was not freshly made and was sitting in a pile, and so was soggy and not crispy. I must go to Merlin prata in JB again. I think one reason why Singaporean food is bad is that Singaporeans like to rush and can't wait for their food to be prepared freshly, so the hawkers pre-prepare food which then ages with time.



On my right, the preposition (proposition)

Convenient store (convenience)

How many reindeers do Santa Claus has? (reindeer does, have)

Friday, January 12, 2007

Oh my god! Is that an atheist?

A FEW years ago, I interviewed a now retired US Congressman who revealed to me that although he represented a district in a Midwestern state aka 'America's Heartland' where God is as American as Motherhood and Apple Pie, he was a non-believer - an atheist.

'But don't tell that to anyone,' he added. 'I plan on getting re-elected.'

Indeed, as renowned British scientist Richard Dawkins has suggested in his book, The God Delusion, documented evidence of the hatred and misunderstanding of atheists in the US makes it easy to conclude that it is 'virtually impossible for a honest atheist to win public election in America'.

Mr Dawkins suggests that if one assumes that the majority of the lawmakers on Capitol Hill are an educated sample of the American population, 'it is statistically all but inevitable that a substantial number of them must be atheists'. Like the Congressman I had interviewed, 'they must have lied, or concealed their true feeling, in order to get elected', Mr Dawkins speculates. 'It is universally accepted that an admission of atheism would be an instant political suicide for any presidential candidate.'

Interestingly enough, according to a recent Gallup opinion polls, more Americans were willing to vote for a qualified gay person for political office (79 per cent) that for an atheist (49 per cent).

So taking into consideration that kind of prejudice against atheists, including incidents of loss of jobs, shunning by family and even murder, how does one explain the fact that Mr Dawkins' book, which is a very provocative manifesto of a radical atheist - he bashes religious education as 'brainwashing' and 'child abuse' - has been on the top of The New York Times bestseller list for several weeks?

Or that another critic of religion, American philosopher Sam Harris, whose two books attacking the role of religious faith in American life, Letter to a Christian Nation and The End of Faith have also been instant bestsellers, has become a celebrity of sorts and has been interviewed in leading broadcast and print media?

Similarly, a lot of media attention has been focused on a recent conference in La Jolla, California, 'Beyond Belief: Science, Religion, Reason and Survival', that brought together leading scientists, most of whom were either atheists or agnostics, who seemed to agree that members of the scientific community need to play a more activist role in combating the influence of religion on American society, culture and education.

Or as The New York Times put it, somewhere along the way, the conference 'began to resemble the founding convention for a political party built on a single plank: in a world dangerously charged with ideology, science needs to take on an evangelical role, vying with religion as teller of the greatest story ever told'.

So what exactly is going on in a country where according to public opinion polls, a large majority of Americans believe in God, and in fact, more than 50 per cent of them subscribe to 'creationism', the belief in a literal interpretation of specific religious works referring to God creating the universe, as opposed to the explanations based on science? Interpreting the success of the books by Mr Dawkins and Mr Harris and the growing interest in their perspective as a sign that Americans are becoming more atheistic would certainly be an exaggeration.

Instead, it seems that what we are witnessing is an intellectual and public reaction to several decades of rising influence by the member of the so-called Christian Right in America, especially through their dominant position in the conservative wing of the Republican party.

What ignited this response may have been a series of 'tipping points' that
exposed the enormous influence of the Christian Right:

  • Efforts by groups associated with the Christian Right to force educational institutions, especially of the local level to embrace the concept of Intelligent Design (which assumes that certain features of the universe and of living things are best explained by an intelligent cause not an undirected process such as natural selection) as a scientific theory that stands on equal footing with, or is superior to, current scientific theories regarding the evolution and origin of life.

  • The campaign by Christian activists to place constraints on the funding of research on stem cells, including the support President George W Bush and many conservative Republicans have given to the ban on extracting stem cells from surplus, unneeded, frozen embryos left over from in-vitro fertilisation procedures in fertility clinics.

  • The (unsuccessful) attempts by religious groups (again, backed by Mr Bush and conservative Republicans) to overturn a decision by a US court to remove the feeding tube from Terri Schiavo who was in persistent vegetative state.

In a way, the rise of the Christian Right has been a reaction to the more libertine counter-culture fostered since the 1960s by liberal intellectual, artists and activists and that helped strengthen the political of power of groups that campaigned in favour of the feminist agenda, gay rights and legalisation of abortion and drugs.

Now it looks as though the political pendulum may be turning into the other direction, with rising public uneasiness over the religious dogmatism and intolerance that the Christian Right and its allies have been cultivating.

In any case, Mr Dawkins, Mr Harris and other proponents of the secular insurgency are proposing that atheists and agnostics try to organise themselves and to exert more political power as a way of countering the influence of evangelical Christians and other members of the Christian Right. According to Mr Dawkins, 'the isolation of American atheists is an illusion, assiduously cultivated by prejudice' and by the reluctance of non-believers to 'come out' of the closet. 'Exactly as in the case of the gay movement, the more people come out, the easier it will be for others to join them,' Mr Dawkins argues

Provenance unknown
Henceforth, Noodles shall be known as Cupcake!

12:35AM: Due to feminine fickleness, Noodles is Noodles again.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

"An idealist is a person who helps other people to be prosperous." - Henry Ford


Someone: it's one of the tougher courses in level 4

Me: toughER?
not toughEST

Someone: but it's only one course
i think it's the toughest la
but i got A+ so if i say toughest like very buey paiseh

Me: you *** shenmah

Someone: no lah
some one has to get the A+
for my sem that person turned out to be a very handsome young man

Me: it's "over the rainbow"
no "somewhere"

Someone else: some - where
>_> okay

there are different versions
more people I know refer to it as Somewhere over the rainbow than over the rainbow

Me: that doesn't mean it's right
the song is titled Over the Rainbow

Someone else: I went there ages ago

The song is often referred to as Somewhere Over The Rainbow, however the actual title of the song is simply, Over The Rainbow

Me: if I got everyone to call you Jailbait would that be your name?

Someone else: it's a song not a human being

Me: so
its name is still invariant

actually humans can change names

Someone else: i can't
the circumstances are different if my parents were dead maybe I wouldn't mind changing it

Me: to?

Someone else: to jailbait

Me: erm.

Someone else: (:
anyway I'd have to change it again in two years

Me: yah lor
to "barely legal"

Someone else: and then to "I'm legal come fuck me"?

Me: hahahahaha
you want ah

barely legal is still legal

Me: wthdoes your nick (GET A BOYFRIEND!!!) mean ah

Someone: haha just something me & my elds batchmates say to each other regularly

reason varies
like if someone is being crabby. e.g. today i was pms-y. then someone can go GET A BOYFRIEND.
or if someone goes 'my life sucks'. we can say GET A BOYFRIEND.

Me: that'd make them more crabby / complain more :P
what about those with bfs

Someone: haha none of us do. it's the sportspeople who tend to have boyfriens
they interact with boys more lor. we stay away from the ***. they're weird. they're all a bit gay. & annoying. & short.
& of course. many of us are exploring girls too. ha, ha, ha.

Me: girls calling each other gay is weird

Someone: we don't call each other gay.

Me: wah so you call them gay

Someone: yeah. hahaha.
"Since the Second World War economists have applied their paradigm to many new areas, a process that Jack Hirshleifer has compared to imperialism." - Economic Perspectives on Criminality: An Eclectic View, Llad Phillips
Feminism, the Noble Lie, Robert Sheaffer

"The world as depicted by contemporary feminist scholarship is a peculiar one. It teaches a history that is at variance with that taught in history departments, a view of science incorporating only selectively that taught in science departments, and a paradoxical, illiberal approach to morality in which the correctness of an action depends to a large extent on who is performing it... Indeed, it is difficult to quell the suspicion that the reason feminists have always insisted on a separate department for their "Womens Studies" program is because they require exemption from the peer review and critical scrutiny that their material would otherwise receive were it taught as history, philosophy, or science.

Feminists have largely gotten away with these deceptions because the widespread and highly-successful inculcation of male guilt allows feminists to claim that any critical scrutiny of their dubious claims amounts to "blaming the victim." Additionally, chivalrous feelings make most men feel it is somehow unfair to "attack women," even if those same women are spouting bizarre nonsense in the process of vigorously attacking men...

The proponents of the Idyllic Goddess theory of history teach a variant of the "lost Garden of Eden" myth. In this new version the human race was ejected from a paradise because of the sins of men, but not those of women; in the Genesis version, the woman may have sinned first but both committed the offense. Note that in the feminist fable, men alone are responsible for evil, and women represent everything good. This sentiment is encountered again and again in feminist thought, clearly implying the moral superiority of women. Other feminists claim to find gender-reversed or gender-equal societies in other always-inaccessible places. Alleged matriarchies., like alleged occurrences of psychic powers, exhibit a "shyness effect," and can never be observed directly. Some claim the existence of actual contemporary "matriarchies." in a remote place in Africa, Asia, Madagascar, or wherever, but when pressed for substantiation invariably there is none...

Margaret Mead's somewhat disingenuous description of Tchambuli men as "effete," claiming that this demonstrates a society in which the usual sex roles have been reversed. This conveniently ignores the fact that the Tchambuli men were literally headhunters, who kept as trophies the severed heads of enemies. To call such fierce warriors "effete" is to misuse the word. Mead herself repeatedly denied ever having discovered any sex-role reversed society. Yet sociologist Steven Goldberg found that 36 of 38 new introductory textbooks of sociology cited Mead's supposed discovery of the "role-reversed" Tchambuli as "proof" that sex-roles are environmentally determined. Such are the lies that are being fed to students today in the pious name of feminism...

Those who argue that "socialization" must somehow explain sex roles find themselves unable to explain why socialization always proceeds in a uniform direction, when according to their assumptions it ought to proceed randomly, resulting in a patchwork of matriarchies. interspersed with patriarchies. Why does every society, without exception, socialize men for leadership, and women for domestic tasks? Why not the reverse?... societies observe the patterns of behavior that biology seems to render inevitable, then attempt to socialize women and men into roles that it is expected they will be able to fulfill...

Contemporary Politically Correct feminists, like Marxists, feel obligated to postulate a purely environmental explanation for all sex-related differences in behavior, because as soon as biological differences are admitted as relevant factors, the presumption that women are "victims of discrimination" cannot be supported. Should any male/female differences in behavior and career choices be admitted as innate and real, then the "null hypothesis" - the assumption that in the absence of discrimination, no differences in the two groups would be observed - is no longer tenable...

Philosopher Michael Levin wryly describes feminist theory as a form of "Creationism," which he defines as

"any refusal to apply evolutionary theory to man. It is irrelevant whether this refusal is sustained by a literal reading of scripture or commitment to a secular ideology."

... That men predominate in higher-paying positions is itself seen as evidence of a vast conspiracy to keep women out of better jobs, in spite of the fact that when we correct for factors such as the number of hours worked, the number of years of education and in the position, etc., the differences all but vanish. That women spend far more money on themselves - money presumably earned for them by the exertions of men - is never even considered. If it were really true that women were being paid 59 cents (or whatever number you choose to believe) for every dollar that men make, for doing the same work at the same level of skill, then no business could possibly be competitive if it employed any men...

Contemporary Politically Correct feminism with its emphasis on group rights and group offenses is fundamentally illiberal, a dramatic break from the long humanistic tradition which emphasizes individual rights, rewards and punishments. It attacks free speech wherever freedom is used in ways it does not approve; feminists have recently joined forces with the Religious Right to attack so-called "pornography"...

It is invariably objected that the kinds of positions and doctrines objected to above are those of "the extremists", and that "reasonable" feminists and feminist organizations do not hold them. The critics of feminism are accused of concentrating their attacks on so-called "extremists" such as Catherine Mackinnon and Andrea Dworkin. But Mackinnon is the inventor of the legal concept of "sexual harassment"; do "reasonable feminists" reject that concept as 'extremism? Of course not; this line of argument enables them to "savor the fruit" of Mackinnonism while "cursing the vine." If Andrea Dworkin is such an "extremist," why has she been praised so lavishly by Gloria Steinem? (And if Gloria Steinem is not 'representative of feminists', then who is?)...

The rhetoric of the feminist movement portrays history as a dismal scenario of the unending oppression and subjugation of women, for the selfish benefit of men. (That men might themselves be a "victim" class, given that men have made up 100% of the cannon fodder of every battle in history, is not worthy of consideration.) But the depiction of woman as Perpetual Victim does not survive critical scrutiny, most especially not today. Whatever rights women may not have had at various points in history, such as the right to vote, had typically only been won by men a short time earlier. Throughout most of history, nobody had any rights, outside the ruling elite!...

If convicted of a felony, a man serves out a sentence averaging more than 50% longer than a woman convicted of the same crime, and a man in prison is more than ten times as likely to die there than is a woman. Mens' suicide rate is four times that of women. Twenty-four out of the twenty-five jobs ranked "worst" in terms of pay and working conditions by the Jobs Related Almanac have one thing in common: they are all 95%-100% male. Of those killed in work-related accidents, 94% are men, as were 96% of those killed in the Gulf War. If men have supposedly arranged everything to be so wonderful for themselves, then why are they dying, being mutilated, murdered, or killing themselves at rates vastly higher than those of women, who end up with more money in spite of having worked less?...

The world-view erected by contemporary Politically Correct feminism, the only kind that plays any role in shaping public policy, is a house of cards. It requires its adherent to jump from one unsteady limb to another, never quite sure whether sex differences in behavior are illusory, or very real but ex cathedra insignificant; uncertain whether women behave exactly the same as men, or are emotionally and morally superior, oriented toward life (unlike men, who love death); switching from "absolute egalite" to "special provisions," depending on which confers greater advantage in the circumstance. Women are simultaneously strong and independent, fully prepared to prevail in the hell of combat, yet at the same time so weak as to need special rules under which they receive compensatory advantages to assist them in competition with men; they also need legal protection against unwanted sexual advances and dirty jokes. This is much like a magician's silk that appears to have a different color each time it is revealed. Experience has shown that these objections to feminist absurdities are answered far more with ad hominem insults and expressions of moral outrage than with reasoned argument; such are the defenses employed by illusionists who are infuriated when their deceptions are revealed."
"Ought I not to begin by describing how the change from timocracy to oligarchy arises?


Well, I said, no eyes are required in order to see how the one passes into the other.


The accumulation of gold in the treasury of private individuals is the ruin of timocracy; they invent illegal modes of expenditure; for what do they or their wives care about the law?

Yes, indeed.

And then one, seeing another grow rich, seeks to rival him, and thus the great mass of the citizens become lovers of money.

Likely enough.

And so they grow richer and richer, and the more they think of making a fortune the less they think of virtue; for when riches and virtue are placed together in the scales of the balance the one always rises as the other falls.


And in proportion as riches and rich men are honored in the State, virtue and the virtuous are dishonored.


And what is honored is cultivated, and that which has no honor is neglected.

That is obvious.

And so at last, instead of loving contention and glory, men become lovers of trade and money; they honor and look up to the rich man, and make a ruler of him, and dishonor the poor man.

They do so.

They next proceed to make a law which fixes a sum of money as the qualification of citizenship; the sum is higher in one place and lower in another, as the oligarchy is more or less exclusive; and they allow no one whose property falls below the amount fixed to have any share in the government. These changes in the constitution they effect by force of arms, if intimidation has not already done their work.

Very true.

And this, speaking generally, is the way in which oligarchy is established...

The inevitable division: such a State is not one, but two States, the one of poor, the other of rich men; and they are living on the same spot and always conspiring against one another.

That, surely, is at least as bad.

Another discreditable feature is, that, for a like reason, they are incapable of carrying on any war. Either they arm the multitude, and then they are more afraid of them than of the enemy; or, if they do not call them out in the hour of battle, they are oligarchs indeed, few to fight as they are few to rule. And at the same time their fondness for money makes them unwilling to pay taxes."

--- Plato, The Republic

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

When I first started sending files to people using file transfer services, I was fond of dropload because it'd tell me when the other party had picked up the file.

After a while, though, I got sick of it and moved to YouSendIt. However, in recent months it's required users to have an account and login in order to receive files. Furthermore, it used to have a maximum filesize of 1 GB, but it's now a paltry 100 MB.

Either before or after YouSendIt, I was using Megaupload, but the requirement to enter the file description is annoying, I get irritated by the ads and the 45 second waiting time before you can download a file pisses me (and the people I send files to) off.

I then moved to SendSpace, which didn't require registration and had a file size limit of 300 MB. However, for the past few days it's been RapidSharing* me, leaving me unable to download some files someone sent me.

Web services are always like this. They offer a good deal at the start, but once they get popular they mistreat you and try to extract money from you by RapidSharing* you or some such.

The good news is that you can always move on. Some promising replacements I've shortlisted: TransferBigFiles.com (no files I've sent using it have ever reached the other person), MediaFire (recommended by Ray the Wannabe Economist), zUpload.com and Up-File.

* - RapidShare is a file-sending service I've always hated, since it always claims I've either exhausted my bandwith allocation for the day or am already downloading something. This is because Starhub uses a transparent proxy, so someone else behind the same proxy has already spoilt the market for me.
I tried to upgrade my Blogger template so I could use the funky new features, but Blogger won't accept it with the YACCS code, so I'll hold off until either or both are fixed.

In other news, I didn't know that YACCS had stopped accepting donations in November last year.

Due to a false alarm, I almost thought I missed tutorial registration.

That whole iteration 1 and 2 thing is just too confusing. They should put CELC/ECE tutorial registration under a separate listing to avoid unnecessary panic.

On the up side, I'd actually forgotten about registration in the first place anyway (I've only 2 tutorials so I've been more concerned with settling the LKY SPP module/ISM), so I won't forget it this time.
Wah lao. To think I've been doing this for 9 years.

Eye on English

Spot signboards written in poor English and win great prizes!

Have you been irritated or confused by signs written in poor English in Singapore? Then submit photographs of them between 10 January and 21 February 2007 to the PROSE “Eye on English” Contest. If your entry is selected, you stand to win an attractive cash prize.

Grand prize: $300
Second prize: $200
Third prize: $100

Book Vouchers will also be given to participants whose entries are displayed on the contest website.

The top 3 winners will be ranked on 1st March. You will decide who these top three winners will be!

The contest is open to all NUS staff and students. Please log on to http://www.nus.edu.sg/prose for more details from 10 January 2007 onwards.

Grab your digital cameras / mobile phones and hit the streets today ! Keep an Eye on English …

A news broadcast by OSA
"Cocaine is God's way of saying that you're making too much money." - Robin Williams

Ed: I might say the same of tobacco.


JB: "Someone (2): *amused* interesting how every female whose read your page interprets it as taunting denigratio[n of female behavior]"

HUH? Is this guy retarded or what
tell him that not all girls do that
only those who're blind to what they do

Me: maybe he just knows a biased sample haha

if you see my HGWT comments page you'll know not all girls are like that
in fact most of the feedback does not interpret it as taunting denigration

what other shit
aiyah. to list all the crap he claims about me would take years

even I have better things to do sometimes :P
maybe it's compromising youthful idealism [not to argue with obstinate people till the cows come home]. hurr hurr

Noodles: just come up with something to do tmr leh
otherwise find convo topics to entertain me

Me: we can talk about how screwed up you are
or how nice my hair is

Someone on the above: how come u even entertain this someone at all
must be a girl right

if it's me who said such things

u will either
1) ignore me
2) say gah and ignore me

Someone else: hmmm
wha the tennis court closed till 21 jan
den canteen closed till june

wat else in nus is open man
they might as well just open YIH study room now
we can start studyin for exams

Me: when do you finish

oh man

see this shows your lack of interaction with phd students... :P
you NEVER ask when they will finish... it's highly taboo.

this one
this is true loh

many, many labs i have visited have this comic printed out and posted in a place of prominence

Someone: he always wins things with choirs from everywhere

give him a choir of 80 year old grannies
and he'll win something for you

just that yuo don't get anythign out of it
cause he keeps all the money

when i was still in ***
*** of us formed an acappella group

he helped us find performance venues
and he pocketed all our money

Someone else: did i tell you i went for a physics class at engineering and there were soo many girls!

Me: hahaha
how come
but the quality all like...

Someone else: muuuuuuuch better than soc
"By all means marry; if you get a good wife, you'll be happy. If you get a bad one, you'll become a philosopher." - Socrates


"Brazilian Waxing - 'Brings out the women in you'". I guess this means women have Multiple Personality Disorder.

Funky Management book cover

RI toilet at swimming complex: 'IMPORTANT: This changing room will be used by boys during the teaching hours of 7:50AM to 11:00AM (Mon to Fri)'

"Safe sex starts with me: 2 1/2 hours of fun, hands-on, interactive discussions and games". This poster was obviously designed to pique interest. After all, who would turn down fun, hands-on, interactive... discussions and games about safe sex? But then I saw it was organised by AWARE and 'Only open to females aged 18 years & above'. I guess they're still pretending that those younger than that are pristine and innocent (never mind that the age of consent is 16). And how come males don't need advice? But in any event, I now knew just how the event could be fun, hands-on and interactive.

Evidently you can buy this student special even if you're not a student, it just costs more. Wth.

These aren't as grotesque as Malaysian Mannikins but they're still weird.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

"I love what you've done with the place"

"Chatterbox. Probably the best student's lounge in NUS.

Take a break, meet up with friends or simply go on a rendezvous (sic) with your readings.

Welcome to Chatterbox! With an even cosier environment , and more seats in personal spaces, now you can meet more often with your buddies. And enjoy your complimentary coffee and cookies.

Feel privileged, as this is probably the best student's lounge in NUS."

Entranceway. There was some funny discourse about its place in the overall scheme of things and how it shapes the landscape, but I forgot what it was about.

"Living area", including a bed (big 'nuff for two, in a very public location)

Desks behind the "Living area"

"Dining area"

Lounging (?) room

"Games room" (the aircon was spoilt/off)

"Study 2"

"Study 1" (Bloody hell, they spoilt my "Worth" demotivational poster.

Let's hope it lasts the week.

MFTTW: the walls with windows on top, and the furniture (chairs and tables) make it look very WWII era leh.... this is post-renovation???

it looks like those lounges that colonial brit officers meet in to smoke and drink scotch and go "bloody hot today wot? where's my tiffin?"

Sign: "The Eternal Economics Seminar"

"Oh man... It's even worse than I thought"
"Computer Science is no more about computers than astronomy is about telescopes." - E. W. Dijkstra


My brother in law says that no one would visit Malaysia. KL has bad shopping, no good restaurant food outside of Chinese and there's nothing fun to do there. "KL will continue to be a backwater of South East Asia... You also have to contend with the horrible taxis outside KL. Never use meter one. Even in China, people use meter. China, Vietnam - people all use meter."

"I think it's the Apple ethos where everything is done for you and all your actions are predicted. For anyone who actually wants to know what's going on (read Windows users..) it's a mystery."

James Dobson had a column on recognising mental illness in your teen. Unfortunately he didn't talk about demonic possession.

I'm told that Traditional Chinese has been compared to Simplified Chinese in the same way English is to SMS speak.

Apparently when the KMT was defeated, not everyone fled to Taiwan. Some went West, and ended up in Thailand where they became mercenaries for the Thai government, fighting 5 battles in 22 days at one point. They can still be found in a village near the Burmese border.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Wo-hen's Fast Cars

"Since I have many vehicles to choose from, it is sometimes hard to decide which one to take on a date. This is a videoclip of some of my fast cars. I couldn't decide which car to bring, so I brought all three. My sexy friends drove the Civic and Integra as I drove the SLK.

Since I am spontaneous, my date was very excited when I showed up with all three cars. I could hear her heart pounding as I slickly got out of the SLK, walked up her, gently put my hands around her waist and asked her, "Which one would you like to ride in?" I swept her off her feet. I am every woman's knight in shining armor.

NOTE: This video was made before I started modifying my Civic and Integra."

I found the following on YouTube, labelled as "Asian Prince Dance - Lost footage of the Asian Prince dancing and singing", but it looks very dubious.

Probably either today (8th January) or next Monday (15th January), I will be on Girls Out Loud (Channel 5, 10 pm) assessing the claims of a bomoh, a witch and a wizard, in the episode on the supernatural.

Sgbox1988 hasn't uploaded last week's episode yet (episode 5), so I don't now if the next 2 will be on YouTube.

After the episode, I will of course review their editing and comment on that section as a whole.

Addendum: From the pre-show teaser, it doesn't look like I'm on this week, so it's probably next Monday (unless my inside info is wrong). (from the trailer).
"The older I grow the more I distrust the familiar doctrine that age brings wisdom." - H. L. Mencken


Someone: he was my family doctor.
a great man who knew my body inside out.

Someone else: screw the dean
i didnt ask to be on the list

Someone (2): *amused* interesting how every female whose read your page interprets it as taunting denigratio[n of female behavior]

Someone else: cant we have a mcq econs gem
tt will be so exciting

i relish the challenge of getting at least 90% to get an A....whoops
and whereby every 2% drop constitutes a drop in grade

tt was the case for EC1301
one of the yrs e students compared answers

it was fully mcq
and friend A had 2 marks more than friend B, who in turn had 2 marks more than friend C
so friend A,B,C got A,A- and B+ respectively

Someone on one of my theories: will this be ur thesis?

i am serious
the economics of ***

Me: can for mmodel or not

parallels are one thing
forming model another

Someone: oh
u see that's the problem

i don't know lahz
but i am under the impression that
u don't have to have a model for everything

i read the work of north's book
which won the nobel prize in 1993
his entire book only got arguments
no models at all
no math no nothing

u can argue properlyu
there's no need for modules
the book is
institions, instutitional change and economic performance

Me: haha
this is NUS

Someone: so?
ur point i what?

Me: so I'll get 2nd upper but nobel prize ah :P

Someone else: huh why you got secret diary

Me: hehe

Someone else: -_-

Me: every boy needs some secrets

Someone else: tsk
need meh... doesn't it usualyl consist of the porn collection

Someone: modelling with ODE [Ordinary Differential Equations]
it's a class where u strut down the walkway with the latest fashion
or something liek that

Someone else: hahahahhahaha. it's bliss, lab with no other girls
girls are so mafan

Me: you're the only girl
hurr hurr

Someone else: yes

trust me
having more girls in the lab always ups the drama
cos girls HOLD GRUDGES
it's fucking annoying
then you'll have to join one camp or another

Me: women are like elephants
so even elephants forget

Someone else: no it's not elephants, they just HOLD GRUDGES FOREVER
like my previous lab, all girls, and very few guys

Me: so even elephants forget
but not girls?

Someone else: nope
they never forget
and they HARP on it all the time too. harpies.

Me: haha
ok. even better than elephants

Someone else: yeah
then they'll take offense over the smallest little shit thing

i mean like now, with te guys... if you do something wrong, they'll be like "you fucker" then punch you. and then it'll be over

i can deal with that much more than the girl approach: where they smile and grin and say never mind, it's no big deal, then backstab you for the next 5 months

Sunday, January 07, 2007

The new Blogger's implementation of labels is a nice try, yet it is only a half-hearted implementation of the concept of labels and tagging.

So far I've tagged posts till late October, but notice that when searching posts in Blogger, you get a maximum of 20 results. So for example, although I've 30 posts under the label "women", when you search for this tag, you're only going to get the 20 latest posts on the topic.

On other blogging services, what would typically happen is that there'd be a link to go to the next page of results for posts with the label you're searching for, but Blogger doesn't have this (yet, if you're not using one of their special templates; many other New Blogger features don't work with old templates too, for some reason).

Also, you can't search for more than one label at a time, ie Searching within search results.

In any case, labels don't really work for me, because I often talk about multiple topics in a post. Also, as it is I can either remember roughly where everything is or do a Google/hard disk search of my archives to locate it.

It doesn't help that I've 5+ years worth of posts to label, and labelling is inconsistent (ie I may not label my posts methodically or uniformly, and not all suitable labels come to mind the first time).

Current label count:

blogging (1)
bs (3)
censorship (1)
cock (2)
comics (2)
conversations (22)
copyright (2)
creative (1)
crime (1)
economics (16)
education (4)
europeans (3)
extracts (35)
feedback (2)
food (1)
foreignlanguages (1)
forum (1)
funny (17)
gamebooks (2)
general (25)
guns (1)
hair (4)
hardware (1)
ideology (1)
intellectual (14)
law (6)
libertarianism (1)
links (19)
literature (3)
logic (2)
macsucks (1)
maths (1)
metacognition (1)
mmpr (1)
motivationalshit (1)
movies (6)
music (7)
nostalgia (1)
ntu (1)
nus (36)
observations (9)
pc (4)
personal (11)
pictures (24)
pscmicrochip (1)
psychology (1)
quotes (7)
rape (1)
referrals (3)
religion (19)
reporting (1)
review (5)
satire (1)
sedition (9)
sex (2)
sexism (5)
singapore (7)
slavery (2)
smu (1)
statistics (3)
technology (2)
theories (1)
travelogue (21)
women (30)
wth (9)
xmod (1)
yr (3)

Incidentally, republishing posts with labels is screwing up my feed.

Addendum: There's a "max-results" string you can add to the end as a workaround. So for example, entering http://gssq.blogspot.com/search/label/women?max-results=100 will give you the 100 latest posts labelled "women".

Tip from Hackosphere.
Skeptic's Dictionary: Forer effect

"The Forer effect refers to the tendency of people to rate sets of statements as highly accurate for them personally even though the statements could apply to many people.

Psychologist Bertram R. Forer found that people tend to accept vague and general personality descriptions as uniquely applicable to themselves without realizing that the same description could be applied to just about anyone. Consider the following as if it were given to you as an evaluation of your personality.

You have a need for other people to like and admire you, and yet you tend to be critical of yourself. While you have some personality weaknesses you are generally able to compensate for them. You have considerable unused capacity that you have not turned to your advantage. Disciplined and self-controlled on the outside, you tend to be worrisome and insecure on the inside. At times you have serious doubts as to whether you have made the right decision or done the right thing. You prefer a certain amount of change and variety and become dissatisfied when hemmed in by restrictions and limitations. You also pride yourself as an independent thinker; and do not accept others' statements without satisfactory proof. But you have found it unwise to be too frank in revealing yourself to others. At times you are extroverted, affable, and sociable, while at other times you are introverted, wary, and reserved. Some of your aspirations tend to be rather unrealistic.

Forer gave a personality test to his students, ignored their answers, and gave each student the above evaluation. He asked them to evaluate the evaluation from 0 to 5, with "5" meaning the recipient felt the evaluation was an "excellent" assessment and "4" meaning the assessment was "good." The class average evaluation was 4.26. That was in 1948. The test has been repeated hundreds of time with psychology students and the average is still around 4.2 out of 5, or 84% accurate.

In short, Forer convinced people he could successfully read their character. His accuracy amazed his subjects, though his personality analysis was taken from a newsstand astrology column and was presented to people without regard to their sun sign. The Forer effect seems to explain, in part at least, why so many people think that pseudosciences "work". Astrology, astrotherapy, biorhythms, cartomancy, chiromancy, the enneagram, fortune telling, graphology, rumpology, etc., seem to work because they seem to provide accurate personality analyses. Scientific studies of these pseudosciences demonstrate that they are not valid personality assessment tools, yet each has many satisfied customers who are convinced they are accurate."
Curse of the Golden Flower was one of the worst films I've ever watched. And considering I've low standards for movies, that says a lot.

On the other hand, Rotten Tomatoes rates it at 60%, and IMDB at 7.0.

Proof that Orientalism is well and alive today!

At first I thought the cleavage was a marketing ploy, but my brother-in-law went to Xi'an and saw some of the Tang dynasty murals in the mausoleums and there was a lot of cleavage.

Someone in IMDB: "While the Tang Dynasty was very open-minded and liberal, I don't believe the fashion revolved around cleavage-enhancing dresses with push-up action. From paintings depicting fashion at the time, it appears that low cut dresses emphasized roundess of shoulders and a deep neckline, but not Victoria's Secret-esque cleavage. Besides, in interviews with the costume designer for the film, she stated that Zhang Yimou asked her to sex up the dresses."

Someone: they've a skewed perspective
i think i saw someone comment on rotten, that even jay, on his 2nd cinematic appearance, was amazing

i beg to differ
the whole theatre was laughing at his attempts to emote

Addendum: FlickFilosopher.com:

"Seriously, where can I get some of whatever Zhang Yimou was on when he was directing this grotesquerie of a cinematic disaster? I mean, yes to opulence, yes to passion, yes to political murder and courtly intrigue and illicit sex and all that. But no -- please god no -- to histrionics overblown on a nuclear scale and ludicrousness that blots out the sun and total disconnect from reality that would make even Bugs Bunny go Wha...?

You have to understand where I’m coming from when I state that Curse of the Golden Flower is one of the very worst films of 2006...

But before too long you start to realize that none of it makes sense -- and I mean way beyond the not-making-sense that movies can often get away with. You start to lose track of who’s doing what to whom, and why, and then you come to appreciate that you never knew, actually, what the hell was going on. And then ninjas are attacking some faction or other, and we don’t know who they’re working for. And then armed and armored soldiers are swarming out of nowhere like orcs leftover from The Lord of the Rings who heard there was some good fighting to be had and rushed over."
"The 12th Century Sephardic legal scholar, Moses Maimonides, wrote, "It is better and more satisfactory to acquit a thousand guilty persons than to put a single innocent man to death." He argued that executing an accused criminal on anything less than absolute certainty would lead to a slippery slope of decreasing burdens of proof, until we would be convicting merely "according to the judge's caprice." His concern was maintaining popular respect for law, and he saw errors of commission as much more threatening than errors of omission."

YouTube - College Saga

"Once upon a time, when Earth was still a beautiful place, an evil force came to turn all living things into Vegetarians.

Three students from suburban Massachusetts would step up against this catastrophe... to end Vegetarian Supremacy.

Mark, Jesús, Maria and their foes would make amazing personal discoveries as the two forces clash.

And so began the ultimate saga about friendship, heritage, sex and explosions."

Why do people like Bastard Fantasy so much? I don't know how they got so much manpowerfor this. It's lucky that Diculous was wearing a mask or he'd never be able to show his face in public again. And I loved the part about Mac OS X and TI-83: "Error. All software incompatible."; "Error. Interface makes no sense." They even managed to squeeze in a seditious reference to Muslim "Science", tsk. And how come Mark has a POSB card in his wallet?!

The connclusion has got to be the best part thought: "Each year, millions of Vegetarians bully animals, cheat in relationships, watch porno and cause pollution. So join the fight now and stop the Vegetarians."

One of the disadvantages of YouTube compared to Google Video is you can't seek to the parts of videos not downloaded yet.
"A jury consists of twelve persons chosen to decide who has the better lawyer." - Robert Frost (attr)


Variation in Risk Taking Behavior Among Female College Students as a Function of the Menstrual Cycle - "There is some evidence that women are less likely to be raped during the mid-portion of the menstrual cycle. In order to determine if women might be behaving in ways to decrease their chances of sexual assault when they are most likely to conceive, female college students were asked to complete a questionnaire about their activities during the past 24 hours and indicate the first day of their last menstruation. A statistically significant decrease in risk taking behavior during the ovulatory phase of the menstrual cycle was obtained for respondents who were not taking birth control pills."

Maintaining the Characteristics of Fitrah - "Since it is obligatory on Muslims to following the commands of the Prophet Muhammad, may God bless him and give him peace, as the previously mentioned verses from Qur'an clearly state, all Muslims should make every effort to comply with and maintain the characteristics of fitrah as described by God's Messenger, may God bless him and give him peace, when he said: "Five practices are characteristics of the fitrah: circumcision, shaving the pubic hairs, cutting the mustaches short, clipping the nails and plucking the hair of the armpits." (Reported in Sahih al-Bukhari and Sahih Muslim.)"
One comment: "Ive heard some people suggest that a lot of the really strange religious laws are for the purpose of enforcing segrigation - to keep the faithful from associating with the heathens. The dietary laws, for example, make it extremally difficult for a follower to even share a meal with a non-believer. The pubic shaving just makes the non-believers laugh, and not want to be near the crazy people."

Incidents may mar Malaysia's tourism bid - ""I was walking in Chinatown," he told the BBC, "when a gentleman in very scruffy type clothes, nothing that you would associate with police or anyone in authority, walked up to me and asked me, "Can I see your passport?"." Fearing a scam, Mr Wright refused and tried to move away. "At that point he essentially lunged at me, grabbed me, put handcuffs on me really tightly and called for a few other people out in the crowd," he explained. Mr Wright, a serving US Navy lawyer, says he protested that he was a US citizen and told the men who had grabbed him that his passport was in his hotel room, a matter of a few hundred meters away. He was taken, shackled, through Chinatown and put into a caged truck used by the Malaysian immigration department."

10 myths -- and 10 truths -- about atheism - "Pretending to know things one doesn't know is a profound liability in science. And yet it is the life-blood of faith-based religion. One of the monumental ironies of religious discourse can be found in the
frequency with which people of faith praise themselves for their humility, while claiming to know facts about cosmology, chemistry and biology that no scientist knows. When considering questions about the nature of the cosmos and our place within it, atheists tend to draw their opinions from science. This isn't arrogance; it is intellectual honesty."
Amazingly, this seditious article was republished in the Shitty Times. Has anyone been fired yet?

Polygamy and the Marriage Market: Who Would Have the Upper Hand? - "The traditional argument against plural marriage is that it harms women, particularly younger women who may be coerced to enter such marriages. Needless to say, society should prohibit forced participation in any marriage, whether plural or monogamous. But mature women who freely choose plural marriage reveal a preference for that arrangement. So if plural marriage harms women, the victims must be those who prefer monogamy... In short, the logic of supply and demand turns the conventional wisdom about plural marriage on its head. If the arrangement harms others, the most likely victims are men, not women."

Johann Hari: The intriguing tale of the gay sheep - "Whatever happens in 2007, we already have the most surreal headline of the year: "Sheep have right to be gay, says Martina Navratilova"... The latest US poll found that 79 per cent of people who think human beings are born gay support full gay equality, while only 22 percent who believe homosexuality is a choice agree... Some black and Asian groups understandably objected to research into the genetic differences between ethnic groups, but they have led to breakthroughs in the investigation of diseases that afflict mainly them, such sickle cell anaemia. The path of scientific progress is jagged; this may well produce advances as well as dangers for gay people."

Benjamin Libet - a short delay. - "However, research carried out in 1965 by Kornhuber and Deecke showed that when subjects were asked to move their wrist of fingers at a moment of their choosing, the act was preceded by a measurable electrical change in the brain... The RP [Readiness Potential] appeared some 500 milliseconds before the reported awareness of a decision to move... The research (subsequently repeated and corroborated by others) seemed to provide a scientific proof that free will was a delusion. How could we consider ourselves responsible for decisions we were not even aware of until after they had been made?"

A girl's guide to eating and drinking - "While men want a concise menu, something to the point and well signposted like a PowerPoint presentation (bacon and eggs; sausage and mash; liver and bacon; chicken in a basket; hog in a bun; that sort of thing), women prefer to slow-dance through the dishes in a manner similar to the way in which we buy shoes, with leeway for thinking, 'Oh, shall I? Shall I? Ooh maybe', et cetera. This window-shopping could take some time. Almost as long as a nice cold bottle of Chablis... Restaurateurs should also note that Making Menus for Girls involves a certain amount of sophistry. Thus, if a pudding involves 'churros' or 'beignets', we will order it. If you call them 'doughnuts', we won't."

Bad argument - "I've noticed a formulation frequently employed by anarcho-libertarians to explain why there is nothing the state is justified in doing. It goes something like this: 1. My theory predicts that in general any positive outcome achieved by the government will be achieved by voluntary effort in the absence of government. 2. This "in general" principle applies to all particular circumstances. 3. Therefore the government shouldn't do anything at all."

Everything Bad Is Good for You: How Today's Popular Culture Is Actually Making Us Smarter - "Worried about how much time your children spend playing video games? Don't be, advises Johnson—not only are they learning valuable problem-solving skills, they'd probably do better on an IQ test than you or your parents could at their age. Go ahead and let them watch more television, too, since even reality shows can function as "elaborately staged group psychology experiments" to stimulate rather than pacify the brain. With the same winning combination of personal revelation and friendly scientific explanation he displayed in last year's Mind Wide Open, Johnson shatters the conventional wisdom about pop culture as pabulum, showing how video games, television shows and movies have become increasingly complex. Furthermore, he says, consumers are drawn specifically to those products that require the most mental engagement, from small children who can't get enough of their favorite Disney DVDs to adults who find new layers of meaning with each repeated viewing of Seinfeld. Johnson lays out a strong case that what we do for fun is just as educational in its way as what we study in the classroom (although it's still worthwhile to encourage good reading habits, too)."
"To succeed in the world it is not enough to be stupid, you must also be well-mannered." - Voltaire


Explaining happiness -- Easterlin

"What do social survey data tell us about the determinants of happiness? First, that the psychologists' setpoint model is questionable. Life events in the nonpecuniary domain, such as marriage, divorce, and serious disability, have a lasting effect on happiness, and do not simply deflect the average person temporarily above or below a setpoint given by genetics and personality. Second, mainstream economists' inference that in the pecuniary domain "more is better," based on revealed preference theory, is problematic. An increase in income, and thus in the goods at one's disposal, does not bring with it a lasting increase in happiness because of the negative effect on utility of hedonic adaptation and social comparison. A better theory of happiness builds on the evidence that adaptation and social comparison affect utility less in the nonpecuniary than pecuniary domains. Because individuals fail to anticipate the extent to which adaptation and social comparison undermine expected utility in the pecuniary domain, they allocate an excessive amount of time to pecuniary goals, and shortchange nonpecuniary ends such as family life and health, reducing their happiness. There is need to devise policies that will yield better-informed individual preferences, and thereby increase individual and societal well-being...

One may ask whether social learning occurs, don't people eventually realize how their material aspirations escalate with economic achievement, and become aware of the self-defeating nature of the pursuit of pecuniary goals? The answer is no, because the change in material aspirations itself works against social learning. When asked how happy they were 5 years ago, people, on average, systematically understate their well-being at that time, because they evaluate their past situation in terms, not of the lower material aspirations they actually had at that time, but on the basis of the new higher level of aspirations they have now acquired. As a result, they tend to think they are better off than they were in the past, rather than realizing that there has been no net improvement."


Pornography and Female Sexual Agency

"A new female sexual agency, most visible among the young women of East Asia, is now progressively complicating the gender/sexuality system that the anti-pornography stance relies upon...

While female sexual agency can only be expressed, according to anti-pornography feminists, as a loud “no” to sexual images and sexual expression, pro-sex feminists, on the other hand, point to an extremely complex relationship between female sexual agency and pornography. Although pornography does not always meet the needs of women and its content is often sexist and degrading for women, its existence at least provides a fantasy space for the ineffable sexual feelings and impulses in women...

What is more, there are numerous women who enjoy pornography, who enjoy their own feelings of sexual potency, who enjoy taking the initiative as well as taking charge of the sexual act. To deny such female sexual agency as pure fabrication or false consciousness, to denounce such sexual activity as a mere imitation or duplication of male sexuality, is to flatly deny the power that these women have forged out of their own experimentations and struggles in the sexual realm...

To the dismay of many women’s groups, the more adventurous young women are also becoming entrepreneurs in the production and distribution of sexually explicit images and discursive productions. Many are filling BBS boards with numerous stories telling their sexual encounters and adventures to the last detail. Others have joined the line-up of “underwear anchorwomen”(內衣主播)in combining on-line news reporting with strip-tease. Still others are using webcams to stage live shows(真人秀)where paid viewers could watch the girls’ every move as they go through their most intimate life routines (including taking showers, getting dressed, and even going to the toilet). Recently, the new generation of cell phones equipped with digital cameras and photo messaging services are also helping young women collaborate with cell phone operators to start their own business of sending on-the-spot photos(自拍美人), some of which are obviously adult material, to their paid subscribers."

"Camilla the Chicken shows her appreciation for Colonel Sanders."

Now that I've finished my travelogue I'm finally changing my blog header picture.

Heil lebkuchen!
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