When you can't live without bananas

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Saturday, March 03, 2007

My mother's not around today, so I can happily deep fry.

She claims that using the microwave dirties the kitchen, so I might as well get the most bang for my buck since no matter what I do, tomorrow she'll complain the house is very dirty.

On the menu (not all for consumption today):

- Bratwurst with bratkartoffeln
- Macaroni/fusilli with home-made tomato sauce (from last week) and minced pork
- Chicken Cordon Bleu
- Fries

My potato peeler is so powerful it managed to chip my nail.

7pm: The pasta and the fries were a trivial case - I've made them so many times I can do it with my eyes closed and one hand behind my back (the first batch of fries were a bit brown but I shall justify that by saying that they were for my father, who likes chao tah food, and the subsequent batch was perfect).

Bratwurst - Although Giant has lousy quality food (the chicken is thawed from frozen chicken so you can't refreeze it, the honey baked ham does not list honey in the ingredients list and there's even a gallery of 'Malaysian Delights' in the IMM branch), it also sells fresh sausages so I grilled (pan fried) fresh bratwurst. Water must've seeped out from them because they caused my oil to spurt merrily. To my horror, I found out after grilling them (for about 2-3 mins on each of the four 'sides') that you're supposed to simmer them in almost-boiling water before grilling, or they may be raw inside and burnt outside after grilling, so I cut them all into half just to check if they were cooked (they were). I think this is the first time I've had fresh bratwurst - the meat defnitely has more character to it, but I also like the smoother texture of pre-cooked bratwurst - if I wanted to feel the grain of the meat I'd have a pork chop, not a sausage.

The sausages are tiny. I shall have 3 per serving next time, instead of 2.

Bratkartoffeln - I was supposed to cook the potatoes beforehand and cool them before frying so they wouldn't disintegrate. I neglected to cover the container and they oxidised. Next time I should cut the potatoes into smaller pieces, or even flatter slices (instead of the current wedge-like pieces) so they'll crsip better. But actually it doesn't really matter since I'll only eat it on Monday, and my brother in law will have it sometime during the week.

Chicken Cordon Bleu - Unfortunately I forgot to make sure there were toothpicks, so I had to bake this. I couldn't be bothered to put herbs. I should next time. The Mild Australian Cheddar didn't melt and ooze over the ham as was the plan, unfortunately; I cut strips from a thick slice of it and broke the strips into a few pieces before putting them on top of the ham. Maybe I should try using shredded cheese next time. At least it was better than the first time I made Cordon Bleu since I used Japanese Breadcrumbs instead of improvising my own (though the breadcrumbs mostly remained white instead of browning, but then even when you deep fry they turn light brown at most).

someone: u cooked all that food and udidnt invite anybody?

Oops. It didn't occur to me. Maybe I should invite people next time, then they can do the cleaning up!
"People often write me and ask how I keep my wood floors so clean when I live with a child and a dog, and my answer is that I use a technique called Suffering From a Mental Illness." - Heather Armstrong


Someone: i thought it was SCGS because my friends ex-gf was classmates with the girl and we were talking about it in barker in 1999

i don't know WHO
but it was like july/august of 99

i know she was sent to emergency room

try to search for this girl called *** who plays badminton team in scgs as a sec 3 or 4 girl
i'm sure sec 3 in 99 and sec 4 in 200

she was classmates if i'm not wrong

i remember this clearly cos one fine day in chinese class my friend who was dating *** the scgs girl just said this to me screaming it out loud and we were like.. "fuck what?"

it was CHINESE class
i can remember that for sure

I am SO sure
definitely july/august time frame
because Orals were approaching
and so were prac exams?
and mock prac?

[so she did it during the exam] and it broke and you know the rest

This conflicts with another source. Hmm.

HWMNBN: i'm wondering if tehrere have been mor ethan one girl with test tube sbroken off

if you think about it, logically, it can't just have happened to one perso

the retort stand one is more likely to be a one-off

so it becomes less and less of an urban legend and more of a karmic reflection of the female condition - ie. an ouroboros cycle where the same mistakes repeat themselves (like menstruation hahahahaa)

okay i think there's an object set of seconday school girls who masturbate with test tubes (i have this sneaking suspicion its more prevalent than we think)
a small minority of those actually have it broken off. and of this an even tinier minority get found out

Someone else: u heard about the guy who stabbed himself thru the hand with a pipette right ;)

now that one, i can verify's true
sure there wasn't any self-pleasure involved though

during chem prac in j1
he was doing titration and broke the pipette in half. drove it right thru his hand
in the palm, out the side of the hand

5 hours wait in the emergency room. no jabs
apparently cos he wasnt screaming or fainting from the pain
they decide whether you need a jab on the basis of how much noise u make

Me: hahahahahahah
moral of the story: make more noise

Someone else: seriously

oh yeah
that was me btw
straight from the source

i deserve maximum mileage out of such a traumatic experience

HWMNBN: now interesting psychoanlaysis would be what *** said about you - "for a person who goes out of his way to taunt and denigrate female behaviour (she made a distinction between taunting and denigrating female behaviour, which is not feminine, and taunting and denigrating individual females' behaviour - ie. bitchy backstabbing, which is)

he certainly disports a lot of female attributes. is it a conscious parody, unconscious mimicry, or some kind of shamanism? ie. put on the monster's skin to gain the monster's power."

Someone: no wonder all his and his son's body guards all so dashing
they have the NUS girls swooning

the girls just gush
wah that cute guy is coming
kindda thing

they even chat him up

girls find it very "man" i guess

Someone else: i went to RK hse just now....2.30 am

the "myth" is dispelled
there r no such indians around there
and ....the waiter could speak CHINESE!!

Me: are they v popular now
after advertising

Someone else: quite crowded

Me: for all you know it was an advertising campaign by RK house

Someone else: i think so too
good job

but seriously, thumbs up for the prata
A disturbing testimony I received in the Cash Harvest Cult review comments box:

I was browsing through the blogspot on a random & bang, I hit your blog. I'm impressed by your analytical knowledge. This article has indeed opened my eyes. I'm actually an ex-member from CHC. The link which you had put up taught me alot more about satan's signs. It brought me back to one of CHC's service where the whole congregation was told to make the "Devil's Sign" (resembled the one shown in your link) when Sun Ho was up the stage singing. But this round, it involved 2 different signs. I wonder if you have more information about it. I'm pretty curious. [Right Hand: Open Palm face out. Left Hand: "Devil's Sign"] Thank God, I'm out of CHC. It's a pretty weird feeling being there. Somehow, I felt I wasn't myself. Somehow, felt being "brainwashed". When it comes to offering time, there was always a power to push me to dump in all my $$$ to the point that I had to starve myself for the next few weeks to a month. At church, everyone seems to love you so much, but when you bump into them somewhere in the streets, they treat you like a total strangers. I even had frightening encounters where I was sexually harrassed by the male members. Several times being pushed down on bed by 2 different "brothers". One succeded by popping sleeping pills into me. When I woke up, I can't remembered anything except seeing myself naked. At the point, I was still attending their church. I can't explain why. It's only until I left them, then did I realised the shame that I was being "rape". But it had been so long, I don't see on how I could make a police report. Since I've left CHC, I''ve "recuperated" pretty well...Life's back to normal...Continue to provide those informative writeup. Thanks!!!

Unfortunately there was no return address.

Friday, March 02, 2007

"For reasons that I have already discussed one cannot know that the sun will rise tomorrow. Yet at the same time, most people in the world would be happy to bet a large sum of money on the proposition that it will rise tomorrow. So most of us are happy to base our behavior on the supposition that the sun will rise tomorrow. True, there are a handful of fruitcases who would argue that the sun is not going to rise tomorrow - for the End of The World is Nigh - but they are in a minority. One cannot say that these fruitcases are wrong - at least not until tomorrow, by which time it may be too late! - and certainly one cannot prove that they are wrong. Nor indeed can one use the fact that most of the people in the world think they are wrong as a basis for arguing that they are wrong.

This reminds me of a conversation that I had with an eminent economics at a distinguished English university a year or so ago after I had given a seminar there. We were discussing the goodies and the baddies in the faculty there - the goodies being the eminent economist's small band of neoclassical colleagues, and the baddies being the dreaded M*rx*sts. The baddies are a great force for reaction in the faculty, and the eminent economist was complaining how he found them a permanent millstone round his neck. I remarked something to the effect: 'Why doesn't the fact that you and your band are doing lots of good work and getting it published in good journals, while the M*rx*sts are doing nothing of any value at all and publishing at best in second-rate journals, not help in the political process of decision-making in your University? Surely everyone knows that they have to take you seriously and dismiss the claims of the lefties because it is you that brings in all the Brownie Points for Economics at this University?'

The eminent economist replied that the M*rx*sts did not accept that the fact that they published in 'second-rate' journals while the eminent economist's band published in Econometrica and the Review of Economic Studies was any kind of evidence that they were bad and the neoclassicists good. On the contrary, this was just evidence of a counter-revolutionary plot against the true scientific research that the M*rx*sts were doing. Meanwhile, the rest of the faculty, who were sitting round politely listening to this debate, being good middle-class intellectuals, declared the M*rx*sts the winners on the grounds that the eminent economist had not proved his point. Which was indeed true (even if morally disastrous).

So what is the moral of this little story? If you insist on logical proofs of propositions you end up with an economics department with a lower research ranking? Possibly. And if you insist on some logically defensible definition of rationality you waste lots of time in seminars rather than doing serious work...

Whether you like it or not, economists are better than most other people (statisticians and chancellors of the exchequer alike) at predicting (and perhaps, by implication, explaining) economic behaviour."

--- Rationality is as Rationality Does, John D. Hey
I gave Wee Shu Min a USP brochure-card. Haha!

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Damn, now that particular market niche has been filled!

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Instructor: I'd like you to view the video recordings of 2 of these forums and comment on any of the speaker's presentations in the light of Fukuyama's thesis and/or any of the theoretical perspectives that we've encountered so far in the module.

Me: An alternative perspective

The Workers Party does not deserve its name, for by buying into the political process of democracy, it is betraying the workers it purports to represent. If it thinks it can improve the lot of the proletariat by getting into government and enacting socialist policies, it is suffering from false consciousness and perpetuating capitalist hegemony. Alternatively, since they buy into the philosophy of democracy they are part of the ruling class, since the dominant ideas of every age are the ideas of the ruling class.

True freedom for the proletariat will only come when the Revolution occurs, private property is nationalised and economic inequality within Singapore is destroyed. The contradictions of capitalist democracy - of claiming to give everyone an equal voice and yet systematically disenfranchising the proletariat by exploiting them for the profit of the bourgeoisie - will eventually destroy it. We must link up with our compatriots in the Malayan Communist Party and seek to subvert the governments of the peninsula.

Workers of the world unite! You have nothing to lose but your chains!

A: Yo man..

Wow... i think the comments that you have made were put rather bluntly and forcefully ya? "The Workers Party does not deserve its name".. Hmm... I am trying to see the link between democracy and the words "worker's party". I think this is a rather rash assumption to think that having a name "worker's party" automatically forces them to be against democratic ideologies? So should the brand "mango" be selling only mangoes?

"it is betraying the workers it purports to represent". I don't think that we should generalize by assuming that all in the working class want a revolution. In fact, many of my friends are very satisfied to just be in the working and not earn their million by 25. But I think that individuals in the worker's party would be doing their name justice simply by highlighting issues of class and propose change before it gets out of hand, it should not be aiming for a revolution.

Do you really want a revolution, to be led by a party who is not ready to take over total leadership, and do you really want to be studying in university to get a S$900 monthly salary. Let's be realistic in our comments... No offence k?

B: Chin Peng, wake up, you're having a nightmare again!

Event Title: NUS MENSA Admission Test

Description: Take the NUS MENSA Test today and enjoy many of our special priviledges open to only MENSA members. Furthermore, being a member of MENSA means that you are in the top 2% of the population. Think of how that will look on your resume! As a MENSA member, you open the doors to infinite opportunities. Join us now!!


someone once said that in other countries people joined MENSA to meet other weird people but here they just want bragging rights.

Singapore's a really sad place.

Comment: "I have attended Mensa events in several countries and only in Singapore do people actually go around boasting about their IQ. That's why I eventually left. I couldn't stand being with that sort of people.

(The other countries were all non-Asian countries; possibly this kind of behaviour is a uniquely Asian thing...)"
"I don't want any yes-men around me. I want everybody to tell me the truth even if it costs them their jobs." - Samuel Goldwyn


Someone: i think u should listen to the song "some guys have all the luck" by rod stewart
to know why [I see so many upskirts]

but in all honesty, i don't know why
girls can't sit properly with me around
maybe they think i am one of their jie mei

but of coz, i do tell them to sit properly when i see it lahz

but of coz u can be some cynical RI bastards, like my brother and his friends
and think that i want to prevent it from being a positive externality for the guys

Someone else: why do gals in arts simply like to wear ultra short shorts to tutorials
its extremely distracting

Me: hahahahaha
don't look

or do econs modules :P

Someone: i'm only drinking to ward of multiple sclerosis

hell, u just correct my english and dont tell me abt it

Someone else: i heard before
i heard it when i was studying in chinese high

Me: someone in the thread said urban legend cos it's an old story
someone else hints she knows the girl it happened to
someone else else says it supposedly happened to someone in her year

Someone else: yep
so issittru?E

Me: dunno

Someone else: oh well
i thought u would know

maybe on ur blog
u should put a notice
seeking eye witnesses

or u can search factiva
RGS and test tube

Me: hahahahahha
ok on I do that

Someone else: i tryin galos
don't have
nothing of such

i can't find anyone who verifies this
coz all the rgs girls i know are younger than me
it happened during my time

Me: raffles girls school AND (test tube OR boiling tube OR retort stand)
no results

Me: marxism is complete bullshit

I wonder what these psychos are smoking

MFTTW: weed. self-declared marxists tend to be hemp-wearing potheads.

Me: marx is 1/2 deluded
gramsci is 1/4 deluded
adorno and marcuse are 3/4 on the way to the looney bin

MFTTW: i think only the greeks [Plato and Aristotle] got it right
cos every other theorist after them just screws up

of course the greeks were also banging little boys so god knows what THEY were smoking

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

I compressed some pictures at 'Best' compression and the archive was bigger than at 'Normal' compression. Gah.

How to solve the piracy problem: make buggy games/software, and then the patches need a valid CD key to install.

Since Price is very much greater than Marginal Cost for information, there is great allocative inefficiency and welfare loss there. Hurr hurr.

How come lottery spam scams are always from Dutch lotteries? Gah.

A friend whose father runs restaurants in Malaysia commented their Jap food and tim sum suck.

The kopitiam where the Clementi Botak Jones is has no photography signs. Wth. The no photography bug has spread throughout the nation. This is ridiculous. MFTTW told me of when she was in an Esprit store and wanted to buy a jacket for her brother, who wasn't there. As such she needed to take a picture of it so he could decide whether he wanted it. She was told it was store policy that no photography was allowed, so Esprit lost a potential sale that day. I need to get a spy camera.

MFTTW went to watch the Malaysian Philharmonic, and agreed with my quip that they're good because "none of them are Malaysian". Besides most (many?) of them having Hungarian names, there's only one tudung-ed woman inside and she's from the Middle East.

I asked my brother in law what they do in fraternities. He said drink, smoke pot and have sex. I asked him what they do in sororities. He said drink, smoke pot and have sex. And bitch about each other.

Copthorne Waterfront's Piano Bar has a Bachelors' Night, in addition to Ladies' Night. Too bad there're no spinster/gentlemen nights.

A rising tide lifts all boats, but if the tide comes in too quickly, your sampans are going to sink. If you have monsoon storms, even moderately-sized craft will sink, leaving only large ships (owned by rich people or companies). And as a friend pointed out, you need to have a boat in the first place; I might add that if you don't have a boat and the tide rises, you're going to drown.

The bizarre PC logic confusing the range of a distribution with its standard deviation can easily be turned on its head and shot right back at them. For example, to rebut a claim that men are better in maths than women, they point to how some women are better in maths than men, therefore you can't say that men are better in maths. Alternatively, they claim that there cannot be a biological explanation for rape because 70 year old women get raped, or that you can't say that short men generally do worse than tall men because there are short men who have achieved greatness. Besides confusing the propositions 'All A bear relation B to all C' and 'Most A bear relation B to most C', this logic somehow does not apply when we look at racial discrimination. To wit, 'Condoleeza Rice is a black female Secretary of State. Therefore racial and sexual discrimination do not exist.'

There are playing cards with articles of Catholic Doctrine printed on them. Wth.

Someone managed to taste the wine in my pizza sauce even though I only put 3 ice cubes of wine inside. Wow.

How Girls Waste Time:
149 - Refusing to tell people when they're annoyed because they want to be nice and then blowing up without warning when they can't contain themselves any longer.
150. Having too many bags and thus having to spend time making sure each has a wallet, tissue paper, sanitary pads/tampons, comb/hair brush etc.
150. a) Walking out of the house with a bag which lacks one or more of the above, resulting in disastrous consequences (eg Running around bleeding).

Mahjong is an example of successful inter-generational cultural transmission across language barriers. The older generation must be very happy.

Frigid Girl's Lenovo laptop came back from the repairman. Apparently it overheated and the motherboard blew. The man said not to leave it on for more than 8 hours. If you needed another reason not to buy Lenovo, that is it.
NUS VPN (Virtual Private Network) sucks.

I am supposed to either watch a video from 2006 or one from 2005. I couldn't connect to the 2006 one with NUS VPN connected, and I couldn't connect to the 2005 one without NUS VPN connected.

But when I tried viewing the 2005 video with NUS VPN connected, the video was alright but the audio stream cut off 1s after playback started (from the start or from the seek point).

Last time we were able to watch NUScast videos without turning on NUS VPN (the support link now says we need it on); this is stupid. And now the feature to make the people talk faster by setting the video speed at 0.9x / 1.1x / 1.2x is gone too. Grr.

The more complex you make technology, the more cockups will happen. When will they learn their lesson?
"Quit worrying about your health. It'll go away." - Robert Orben


Watching Epic Movie is like watching a Singapore play - cheap shots abound.

Epic Movie was fantastic, with an intellectual depth that belied its low brow marketing. Social commentary abounded.

Among other things there was a penetrating critique of racism, lambasting of George Bush's Imperialism, and a warming paen to sexual equality by showing how women, by peeing while standing up, conquer the final barrier preventing them from achieving full sexual equality with men. All this in addition to satirising the movies it was parodying.

Epic Movie sent a moving social message about the worth and validity of Gay Marriage by allegorising it through the touching and sanctified love of an anthropomorphic beaver and a faun. Social conservatives might not be able to see how two men might love each other, but in the unfamiliar context of cross-species inter-breeding in a C-grade Hollywood flick, the hollowness of impassioned pleas to prevent gay men from marrying is crystal-clear.

There is also much seditious religious commentary about how God tests us by giving us the wrong information. I never expected to see the interrogation of religion in a show written by 2 of the 6 writers of Scary Movie!

Issues of earth-shattering importance aside, the writers also turn their wit on less pressing but no less shocking areas of society. The (Evil) White Bitch is depicted as using a Mac, and the parallels with real life cannot be ignored. The amount of time she takes to realise what her email means exposes Macs as the glorified Fisher-Price activity centres for adults that they are.

Even the young, the presumed target audience of the movie, are not spared in the movie's biting take on society. There is commentary on how empty the life of the Internet generation is, and how touching cold plastic (Macs) and interacting through Myspace cannot substitute for face to face human interaction, as well as how looking at computer monitors for the whole day is causing our linguistic skills to degenerate. The use of music videos ad nauseum to drive the plot also puts paid to the claims that MTV is a form of entertainment; rather, it is shown to be a stupefying and repetitive medium lacking aesthetic or moral value.

Brilliant show, really.

(Tom Yum Goong review

"One of the main villains in the show is a post-op transsexual. In one of the movie's pivotal scenes, she battles discrimination, prejudice and loathing from the rest of the family to emerge triumphant and head her family business. She does this by poisoning her 2 male rivals. She also fights with a whip in one of the movie's last scenes, thus showing that post-op transsexuals are every bit as capable and ruthless as before their operation. She also has the show's only makeout scene, showing that even villains are capable of overcoming prejudice and social conditioning to appreciate post-op transsexuals for who they really are."
"Disciplines, according to [Jeffrey] Alexander, give people ways of managing the inherent babble and confusion. They provide forums for discussion using shared vocabularies - they make possible the sort of fruitful disagreement in which at least the participants have a 'fair idea of what one another is taking about' (ibid.: 31). But because the idea of a discipline implies social organization as well as intellectual work, sometimes disciplines get captured by orthodoxies which suppress or marginalize heterodox perspectives. Then they tend to disguise or to forget the fact that the conflict of interpretations is endemic. Under such conditions of closure and mutual isolation the disciplines become obstacles to theoretical reflection and constraints on debate (see Garland, this volume)...

To qualify as science, Runciman argues, it is not necessary for the social sciences to attempt to expunge problems of meaning, ethics, and evaluation - indeed he insists that this cannot be done. it is only necessary that they (i) are pursued under some degree of methodological constraint which is different from, say, the creative arts; (ii) that they acknowledge the possibility of 'intersubjectively testable knowledge'; and (iii) that some such knowledge may be cumulative. That is, whatever their special complexities, the social sciences still in some sense aspire to 'discovery' (1983: 4-9). Unless we accept some such baseline, Runciman argues, we cannot rule anything out - for example the assertion that the First World War was initiated by the Belgian Army's invasion of Germany."

--- Richard Sparks, Social Theory and Crime and Punishment, The Oxford Handbook of Criminology (2nd edition)

"Debates over the causes and control of white-collar crime do connect to different political evaluations of the misdeeds of business or capitalism (thus it is interesting to note how political conservatives tend to favour structural explanations of business malpractice rather than peronal (sic) guilt - thus changing places with liberals in comparison with their positions on ordinary crime (Zimring and Hawkins, 1993)." - David Nelken, White-Collar Crime, The Oxford Handbook of Criminology (2nd edition)

Table of Contents of Girl wide web : girls, the Internet, and the negotiation of identity

Wah, so funky.

Title: Girl wide web : girls, the Internet, and the negotiation of identity / edited by Sharon R. Mazzarella.
Imprint: New York : Peter Lang, c2005.

Introduction : it's a girl wide web / Sharon R. Mazzarella
1 Victims, villains, and vixens : teen girls and Internet crime / Lynne Y. Edwards
2 What are gURLS talking about? : adolescent girls' construction of sexual identity on gURL.com / Ashley D. Grisso, David Weiss
3 Making an about-face : jammer girls and the World Wide Web / Debra Merskin
4 Gender, power, and social interaction : how Blue Jean Online constructs adolescent girlhood / Susan F. Walsh
5 Exploring Dora : re-embodied Latinidad on the Web / Susan J. Harewood, Angharad N. Valdivia
6 You're sixteen, you're dutiful, you're online : "fangirls" and the negotiation of age and/or gender subjectivities in TV newsgroups / Christine Scodari
7 What if the lead character looks like me? : girl fans of Shoujo anime and their Web sites / Kimberly S. Gregson
8 Claiming a space : the cultural economy of teen girl fandom on the Web / Sharon R. Mazzarella
9 Teen crossings : emerging cyberpublics in India / Divya C. McMillin
10 "IM me" : identity construction and gender negotiation in the world of adolescent girls and instant messaging / Shayla Marie Thiel
11 The constant contact generation : exploring teen friendship networks online / Lynn Schofield Clark
"Where is human nature so weak as in the bookstore?" - Henry Ward Beecher


Hooked: Why your brain is primed for addiction

"Several studies of the brain and behaviour back the idea that there's very little biological difference between what goes on in the head of a gambling addict and that of a crack addict. A growing number of researchers believe that the same processes lie behind all addictions, behavioural or chemical, whether it's gambling or shopping, computer gaming, love, work, exercise, pornography, eating or sex. “They have more in common than different,” says Sabine Grüsser-Sinopoli, who runs a clinic and research lab for behavioural addictions at the Charité Medical University in Berlin, Germany. “Addiction is all the same.”

That's a controversial claim. There's a common perception that overindulgence in certain behaviours is all down to individual choice. If you are overeating, oversexed, gambling away your earnings or spending all your time online, you are more likely to be considered morally abhorrent than the victim of a disease. Calling these problems “addictions” has triggered debates about whether our society or our biology is to blame, and whether people that fall foul of a behavioural obsession should be offered help and treatment rather than punishment...

The debate about whether behaviour can be considered a true addiction is not an entirely new one. In 1975, psychologist Stanton Peele wrote a book called Love and Addiction, which argued that all kinds of drug and non-drug experiences, including love, could be described as addictions. At the time, this was a term only really used to describe heroin abuse, he says. But look at how we talk about a lost love, and how similar to drug withdrawal it sounds: we are unable to think of anything else or to get out of bed, we're crying and physically in pain. “There really is no way to differentiate the behaviour of gambling, a love affair or pursuing a drug,” he says...

Joanne, 25, doesn't see herself as an addict, though her habit takes up several hours of each day, occupies her thoughts continuously, and has even made her walk out of university exams. She is obsessed with exercise, mostly a type of martial arts, but any form of exercise will do. She describes the buzz as like being on amphetamines. She has developed a tolerance for it, and so has to exercise ever longer for the same effect, working out for several hours a day now just to feel normal. If she can't, she gets anxious and irritable, and suffers headaches and nausea. She spends beyond her means to fund her habit, and has lost friends and her partner to it...

Graham, a 41-year-old computer programmer, had never gambled in his life until he was put on a new medication for Parkinson's disease that boosted his dwindling dopamine levels. Within a month of commencing the treatment he was consumed by the desire to gamble on the internet, losing $5000 within a few months. He also bought many items he didn't need, and was fixated on sex with his wife. When his neurologist reduced the medication, the habits were switched off “like turning off a light”...

One thing that this focus on behavioural addictions highlights is that we all have the potential to be addicts, says Jim Orford of the University of Birmingham, UK, author of a report on behavioural addictions for the UK Office of Science and Technology. “Almost any of us can become behavioural addicts, given the right exposure, the right timing and so on,” he says. “But there are multiple causes: our personalities, genetics – it's not simple.” Why some people develop addictions while others can safely dip into these activities with no ill effects is still unknown...

Whether behavioural addictions, such as playing slot machines, are a gateway to more physically harmful ones is still hotly debated, just as it is with drugs. There are signs that teenage exposure to gambling or gaming seems to predispose the developing brain to more severe problems later, says Griffiths."

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Someone: i HATE working with gay guys.
gay men function like DAMN FRIGGIN STUBBORN WOMEN

Me: women are already damn friggin stubborn :)

Someone: gay men are a zillion times worse!

they can pretend to listen understandingly, and then continue on as though you never said anything!

it's a good thing that by virtue of their sexual preference they're already impotent.
they do not understand the meaning of the word concession!!

Me: I wonder why sexual identity affects personality

Someone: i don't think it's personality per se
but kinda like how some truths hold for 99% of a sexual identity

Someone else: A long time ago, one of my acquaintances expressed disappointment that her bf was not in OCS (in fact he was going to OOC). This struck me as odd. If you really care about the health and safety of someone you love, why would you want him to be in OCS? Shouldn't you be wanting him to be doing office work? This reminds me of the time before I entered NS. My mom told me not to run so fast and be first when I entered the army. See, my mom cares for me.

Someone who didn't go to a local university: i learnt that my companion the previous night earns twice what i pay - base - and gets 10 months bonus regularly. for "qualitative market reesarch"

that's insane

oh and she gets housing allowance on top of hre pay
and she did psychology at NUS

sprad the good word to your uni mates

Me: btw
what's "the Brotherhood" on Intelligent Singaporean?

Someone else: morons

they hijack blogs and leave comments
that are some fantasy game they are playing
and it is annoying as hell cos they will do it to yr blog posts
that have NOTHING to do with the post

v often it is ONE guy talking to himself
using some stupid space terms

Someone: anyone can claim membership in the brotherhood as long as they pretend to be some commandoes, or leet gamers with a backstory that mentions Brother darkness

it sounds like a parody of the anonymous conspiratorial blogger-commentor thing

Someone (2): they are a group of mysterious writers with a big fan base

u know those who go under the nick 'the brotherhood' are fakes
the real brotherhood have their individual identities
like astroboy, darkness, bambi etc

anyone else claiming to be brotherhood is bullshitting

Someone: the three most popular "in-demand" majors for med school apps

Computer Science

the most ones that get rejected?


Me: hahahahahahaha

Someone: yup

med schools want people to show diverse intellectual capabilities

esp if you are humanities + Pre-med
very powerful

Monday, February 26, 2007

Gramsci, Marx and Obscurantism

Gramsci is unintelligible.

"I’m a pessimist because of intelligence, but an optimist because of will." - Letter from Prison, Dec. 19, 1929.

"Marx's 'true' position on this is not easily recoverable. Like most interesting thinkers, he took insufficient pains to make himself understood, thus leaving room for considerable controversy over the meaning of the concepts and laws he enunciated. Pareto once likened Marx's statements to bats: you can see in them something that looks like a mouse and something that appears like a bird." - Joseph V. Femia (1987) Gramsci's Political Thought: Hegemony, Consciousness, and the Revolutionary Process

Someone: Sounds like the Bible.

Frigid Girl: it's like the bible, then

Sunday, February 25, 2007

New study links race and DNA material - "A recent study conducted at the Stanford Medical School challenges the widely held belief that race is only a social construct and provides evidence that race has genetic implications... Only four clearly distinguishable clusters appeared. In all but five cases, individuals within each cluster were of the same race, Risch said. “Socially defined categories of race-ethnicity correspond extremely closely to genetically defined categories,” he added."
The differences within a 'sex' - women, say - can be just as great as those between 'sexes' - women versus men, for instance... Thus when people talk about sex, they think they know what they mean because they think they can see it with their own eyes. Yet, did you know that the lovely lady Kumar is supposed to be a man? I did not, until last year, because he looks female. So what you see may not be what you think you are getting... There are no non-reproductive differences that are only to be found in all people of one sex but not people of other sexes. In fact, the differences tend to be distributed in a continuous, overlapping fashion across geographically separated populations... Using the same criteria that are applied to human races, humans simply do not possess genders.

Negotiating with the Chinese: Or How Not to Kowtow - "The Chinese ultimately approach trade talks as if they were a political rather than an intellectual debate, the aim being to win the audience, not the argument. Thus the U.S. negotiating team was composed of trade experts, lawyers and economists, while the Chinese side was made up of politicians and historians. The Americans were there to solve problems; the Chinese to state at every turn that their point of view was correct and justified because of China's historical circumstances or current conditions. And because China is drenched in history, at least one historical point could be found to bolster any argument. In the end, the Chinese goal was to blur the political and philosophical distinctions between the U.S. trading system, which is largely open with some flaws, and the Chinese system, which is essentially a collection of flaws with one or two openings (Some U.S. negotiators saw parallels with the Soviet Union's approach to human rights. The Soviets would routinely find some transgression in the West, particularly in the United States, and advance the moral equivalency argument that all countries have human rights problems. Finally, the Soviets would turn on their previous statement and deny that they had any problem at all)? Talks sometimes took on the air of theater in which the Chinese lines were all scripted. The Chinese were not actually negotiating anything, at least not as Americans understand the term."

Lee Kuan Yew and his Use of Spatial-orientational Metaphors - "The following speech, delivered on the eve of the National Day in 1966, is representative of Lee's rhetorical skills, which is marked with an idealism sponsored by industry and strategy. He presents the case at hand in vivid terms, strategising ways to overcome difficult storms and implementing the course of action that will propel Singapore's relative productivity, worker attitudes and technical skills among the highest in the world. As we will see, Lee uses spatial orientational metaphors to the fullest advantage."

How I got rid of my 'moobs' - "Farcical, saucy, and somewhat tragic, man-breasts make ideal fodder for the British tabloid media. And as someone who sported a spectacular pair for most of his life, I can confirm that people do find them vividly intriguing. During my ample-chested days I lost count of the (unwanted) pleas of others, both male and female, to give them an exploratory mash... Humble in defeat, the two little piles of orangey-pink offcuts resembled Nigella Lawson’s mango salsa. I felt a very masculine rush of man’s mastery over nature. Then the nurses tipped my man breasts into the bin, which dashed any hopes of having them preserved in formaldehyde... I could accept them as part of me, but it was still pretty unpleasant to cast my gaze down, during sex for instance, and see two white chocolate walnut whips dripping down from my chest."

YouTube - The Dawkins Delusion - "Does Richard Dawkins exist? Many people would say yes. Terry Tommyrot thinks otherwise. In a revealing interview on "The Big Questions", Dr. Tommyrot explains how belief in Richard Dawkins is, in fact, a harmful delusion, and how it can be explained scientifically."

Asean News Network: A Chronology of Authoritarian Rule in Singapore - "Aug 1997 : The Internal Security Department, Singapore's secret police, was alleged to have burglarised the home of an American academic helping political exile Tang Liang Hong take up a six-month fellowship at an American university. The break-in, which seemed intended to find computer files and other records listing people interested in Singapore affairs, was investigated by local police and the FBI."
Wah, they have lovingly chronicled every event that I can recall since late 1994 to early 2006, as well as some I didn't know about. Looks like my friend is almost right - little has changed.

Eternal Sunset - "Eternal Sunset endeavours to ensure you can enjoy the sunset live from any location, at any time. As the sunset moves westward, Eternal Sunset continuously tunes into different webcams, chasing the sunset around the globe. This service is currently provided through the use of 245 west-facing webcams across 41 countries."

The Straight Dope: What does Queen Elizabeth carry in that purse? - "1 person said she carried nothing at all; it was like a security blanket. I hope you can help."
"A conservative is a man who sits and thinks, mostly sits." - Woodrow Wilson


Me: yet another female friend of mine got engaged to a girl on facebook
bloody hell

Someone: engaged? ?

Me: it's fake
they're just doing it for fun

so I'm looking for a guy to get engaged to haha

Someone: are you proposing to me

Me: dunno
want or not

Someone: you could at least propose properly
may as well offer to buy me a hdb

Me: ...
found someone who's less fussy hahaha

Someone: shameless hussy

Someone else: signalling

economic theory
Intermediate Economics

Advanced Economics
will be fun!


Me: Applied Maths

Someone else: haha
i ran away from a math major
now i'm coming back to it again

might as well be a physics major

Someone: if there's one thing i love about america
it is to embrace my awkwardness

people don't care

one of my best friends on campus is an accomoplished dancer
and when she started out she said she was horrible

the quote i take away?

"I thought about losing face at tirst then I realised that it wasn't worth it."

Someone else: u noe facebook has this group, Mental Illness Awareness

i noticed tat almost everyone who wrote on the group's wall are girls.
seems like they are gettin all the depression, bipolar, mental illness, panic and anxiety attacks, etc.

and now form a group to encourage one another to live on, be well, have fun, etc. how enigmatic girls are really

Me: aiyoh
I'm like [a] "misogynist" magnet :P

Someone else: i was scrolling the wall posts and everyone said a lot of things but mostly women
then they even made everything positive! "bipolar bad? no it's good!"

at the rate they are going in typical gender relations, its unsurprising that more of them become insane

like the typical stupid things lar. expecting ppl to read their minds, play mind games, act slut but wanna be feminist, etc. then when the system doesnt have room for their irrationality its either they cry or become insane

but fortunately there's an equilibrium most of the time, thanks to men who want sex and thereby have to play their games and thus there's a balance
so those who fall thru the cracks get all the depression etc. and hence the gender imbalance in that facebook group!

cuz i dont think they'll form a group that says "girls who cry"
so now its more like "understanding mental illnesss"

they're more suicidal too

Someone: if u've never been attached before that's the easiest

just say that you're single so long because you will devote yourself to the first woman that you find.

girls will fall for it

well send desperados who can't get girls my way
i'll teach them the art of sweet talking girls

even my fiancee says that I'm damn good at sweet talking..
and although she knows when i am sweet talking
she's a sucker for that

Me: ok I'll pimp you on my blog

then you get business

Someone: prepare big ang pow please

Me: no lah
charge by commission
money back guarantee

Someone else: *** video! http://www.youtube.com/watch?***
haven't seen it either, but am told i look exquisitely pained.

Me: wah
school project?!

Someone else: yeah. o_O i haven't bitched to you about it?

Me: err no

"Designing Content for New Media"
so you get to make a youtube video
good ah

does your grade depends on the rating on youtube

Someone else: YES!
it does!

the better the rating the better our grade!

Me: I sense the creating of an perverse incentive structure
» The smugness of ignorance I: Fact check in aisle 14, please « e pur si muove - 智に働けば角が立つ;情に棹させば流される

AcidFlask: It may surprise you that we both want the same thing: for Singapore to succeed in become a world-class location for quality R&D. I assume we also share the same desire that the taxpayers’ dollars alloted for that purpose are well spent. Among other things, I just do not see how making 3.8 the only criterion achieves that purpose.

Philip Yeo: I have been paying taxes since 1970.

My taxes per year easily fund at least 2 BS students for their 3 years of overseas studies.

You have not worked one dayu and have yet to pay one cent of tax. Right?

Stop pontificating.

AcidFlask: Wrong. In the US, I pay the relevant income, property, municipal and utility taxes. In Singapore, I pay GST on all my relevant Singapore expenditures just like everyone else [Ed: This is something that is often forgotten - GST is also a tax. Maybe this is why they're shifting to indirect taxes]. I paid estate taxes. And let’s not forget national service.

May I also remind you that your own scholarship awards and your salary as a civil servant over all these years ultimately came (and still come) from other taxpayers’ dollars. Are all the taxes you have paid sufficient to pay your own wages?

The Chairman sounds like my brother in law. Maybe they teach all civil servants to argue the same way.
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