When you can't live without bananas

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Saturday, March 31, 2007

Normally I find these incredibly lame, but tonight I'm giving someone a Fortune Cookie as a Facebook gift (he asked for anyone to give him one):

Confucius say, top 100

1. Confucius say, virginity like bubble. One prick - all gone
11. Confucius say, passionate kiss like spider web, soon lead to undoing of fly
19. Confucius say, man with tool in woman's mouth not necessarily dentist
21. Confucius say, sex is like the army, the closer you are to discharge, the better you feel
29. Confucius say, man who run through airport turnstile backward going to Bangkok (the one I eventually chose)
32. Confucius say, to meet girl in park is good, but to park meat in girl is better
35. Confucius say, man who live in glass house, should change in basement
43. Confucius say, foolish man give wife grand piano, wise man give wife upright organ
46. Confucius say, woman who go to man's apartment for snack, get titbit
72. Confucius say, sex on beach like American beer - fucking near water
89. Confucius say, man who fall in vat of molten glass, make spectacle of self
91. Confucius say, man who push piano down mine shaft, likely to get A flat minor
92. Confucius say, man who put cock on stove, have hot rod
95. Confucius say, man who fuck in cemetery may end up fucking dead
99. Confucius say, man who finger girl having period get caught red handed
"One area where the evidence is less clear-cut than the findings presented in World Development Report 1997 is the issue of public sector pay and its effects on corruption. There is plenty of anecdotal evidence that the low wages available to civil servants in many developing countries drive them to take bribes in order to supplement their incomes. While at least one study has found systematic cross-country evidence of higher corruption being associated with lower wages in a sample of 28 countries, other studies covering more countries fail to do so. Many of these studies also do not distinguish between countries where petty corruption (which is more likely to be influenced by salaries) and grand corruption (which is less likely to be influenced by salaries) are important.

Careful country-specific analysis is beginning to provide more nuanced evidence on the relative importance of wages and other factors for corruption. For example, a study of procurement contracts in public hospitals in Buenos Aires, Argentina, found that a 10 percent increase in the salary of procurement officers was associated with a 1.2 percent reduction in prices paid for hospital supplies. However, this relationship between pay and performance was apparent only after a crackdown on corruption had been in effect for a period of six months. The crackdown itself also had significant effects on procurement prices, initially lowering them by an average of 18 percent—although this effect weakened over time. Interestingly, this particular crackdown achieved significant results without threats of penalties for wrongdoing. Instead, the staff of the health secretary simply collected data on the procurement prices of basic hospital supplies from each hospital and then circulated this information among all hospitals on a regular basis.

Political institutions that restrain politicians from arbitrary actions, and institutions that hold politicians accountable for their actions, can help reduce the opportunities and incentives for corruption...

The effectiveness of elections as a disciplining device depends on two factors. The first is the extent to which elections are free and fair. Without this minimum condition, elections cannot serve to discipline politicians and sanction them for corrupt practices. Second, provided that elections are in fact free and fair, there is evidence that the design of electoral rules themselves influence the accountability of individual politicians to their constituents.

Recent research has focused on two dimensions of electoral rules that matter for accountability. The first is the extent to which electoral systems reward or punish individual candidates relative to political parties. When legislatures are selected by proportional representation, with candidates chosen from party lists, voters can vote only against particular parties and not against individuals whom they perceive as corrupt. As a result individual politicians have less reason to fear that they will be punished at the ballot box for engaging in corrupt practices. The second is the extent to which electoral rules create barriers to entry for new political parties. When new parties find it difficult to gain representation in the legislature, it is more difficult for them to challenge corrupt incumbents. One factor determining the ease of entry for new political parties is the number of representatives per electoral district, since it is easier for smaller parties to win seats in districts with multiple representatives.

Press freedom and civil society
Lack of information breeds corruption. When the actions of public officials are not subject to scrutiny by the general public, opportunities for official misconduct become more attractive... Without widespread information on the extent of public wrongdoing, the public disgust with corruption that is essential to implementing reforms is slow to form...

The media can help provide information by vigorous investigation and reporting of allegations of public malfeasance. For the media to be effective in this role, they need to be free from political pressures that prevent investigation and reporting of scandals that would embarrass those in power. Across countries, there is a clear association between indicators of press freedom and absence of corruption. An important factor in this regard is media ownership. When the media are controlled by the state, they are more likely to be subject to political pressures (chapter 10).39 The quality of media coverage is also likely to be important in determining the extent to which decentralization will lower corruption."

--- World Bank, World Development Report, 2002

New blog picture - 31st March 2007

New blog header:

Buy his pix!
"Usually, terrible things that are done with the excuse that progress requires them are not really progress at all, but just terrible things." - Russell Baker



I actually look okay in this picture. [Me: So you look like shit normally? Okay.]... You're supposed to contradict me. [Student 2: It's a girl game.]

[Me: It's her second UTI? {Urinary Tract Infection}] [Student 2: Third.] *** has interesting friends.

[Lecturer: Today's lecture deals with a somewhat empirircally oriented theoretical subject. What does that mean?] *Sotto voce* It means usually econs is useless. Here it's useful.

A variational technique or a perturbation technique. I am fond of big words.

In economics there are many Euler equations. Euler was just so creative.

In the real world there're borrowing constraints. Suppose you go to the bank and say 'Today I'm a poor student. In 10 years I'll be the Prime Minister of Singapore'.

C1 is excessive sensitive to W1 (excessively)

[On Jensen's Inequalty] I'm in Applied Maths, not Pure Maths.

S papers are supposed to make you more creative... If you just do Maths, Physics, More Maths, More Physics - I'm sorry to the Maths and Physics people.

[On purposefully mistranslating propaganda songs] We were trying to find the government-approved version, but we couldn't, so we took some artistic license.

[On Semoga Bahagia and Propaganda] I sang this song for 6 years in Primary School and I never knew what it meant.

Reasons why you should go to SMU: the girls are hotter, you can develop relationships with your project mates because there're so many projects, you can talk to professors to upgrade your grades

I remember when my friend started using Friendster, she used her picture, then no one messaged her. She change it to a picture of her stroking her cat. Then all the guys started to message her.

Just think about your experience in groupwork... 2 people in a group - probably okay. 3 - you have the problem of free-riding. And that's only three.

[On a presentation] I'm gonna skip some animations which I did last weekend and have forgotten why.

I went to Japan one day. I went to Toyota. Every morning they pledge allegiance to the flag of [Toyota]

In Japan, reputation is so important. if you are accused of a crime, the proper thing to do is commit suicide. The Livedoor chief is an exception.

[On criticism] As the saying goes, as my mother tells me, if the tree has a lot of ripe fruit, everyone will be throwing stones at it.

I'm going to make a heretic statement (heretical)

an'trer'prer'neer (entrepreneur)

[Lecutrer: What is democracy?] Chaos.

Do you enjoy having long hair? [Me: Do you think I'm masochistic?]... Are you attracted to girls?... Some guys are not attracted to girls [, some are asexual and not necessarily gay]... [Me: Half the people think I'm gay.] You're not gay. [Me: Half the people think I'm asexual]... Does it bother you?

[Student: Do you think the longer your name is the more zai {brilliant} you are?] No. The PRC scholars are all 2-syllables. (all have 2-syllable names)

[On the goverment] They ignore the post-modernist, who is just standing around making noise.

[On stopping NKF corruption] You can pay him more so that he can afford to take First Class flights on his own salary.

You're not allowed to quote me without my express permission.

*** - is that your real name? There's this friend of his. I don't know her name. He calls her 'Frigid Girl'

Here maybe I did [something] wrongly. No no, it's ok, it's ok... I hope I solved [the problem] correctly here.

First degree. Second degree. Third degree price discrimination. It is hard to remember... I had [a] discovery. I came to [a] conclusion. First degree price discrimination is not hard to remember. (made)

Uncertianty is the last topic where you will have real exercises. The rest, small topics. Just blah blah.

[On my hair] Damn nice. Can I kope [take] from you?

I wake up in the middle of the night and ask you: utility should be concave or convex? [Student, sotto voce: I'll tell him I want to sleep]

There are two important numbers in the world. First is this [e]. Second is pi.

[On someone] Her shopping bag is bigger than her school bag. That tells you about her priorities.

I'm sure all of you have been eagerly awaiting - optimal control theory. Today you will finally learn simple optimal control theory.

You're not required to know the proof of the Pontryagin Maximum Principle. I also don't know it. You just employ it. Like a recipe - cook book.

You can look up another book by Alpha Chiang. 'Fundamentals Methods of Dynamic Optimization'... forget the 'Fundamentals'.

Next week we'll have an even more exciting problem.

[On her survey] Are you done? [Me: I'm deconstructing your methodology] [Student 2: You shouldn't give a survey to Gabriel]

Is it okay to be massaged by a guy with a girlfriend?... [Student 2: There's no such thing as a clean massage... and there's nothing wrong with that]

[On anonymous feedback] Even if you put it anonymously, everyone will know it's Gabriel. (give)

[To me] I can see the mockery in your expression, the slight smirk in your smile.

I like Frigid Girls... De-frigidifying them.

The one ironical thing about NUS to me is that girls come to lectures in the shortest skirts and shorts, and then wear a big jacket because they're cold.

[On chili and endorphins] Now you know why people walk on ifre.

[On his term paper] I had to stoop to consulting a children's encyclopedia.

[On not answering her handphone] You know why? Because I like this song so i let it ring freely.

difficult is notation (notation is difficult)

[On becoming more risk averse when you become richer] Why it may happen? People are greedy, for example... I have 5 billion dollars. I don't even want to lose $10.

I think more gays have hit on me than women. [Student: Sadly, I think that's the case for me too]

[On a survey] Why [do] you ask me for my hobbies? [Do] You want to find a boyfriend is it? (boyfriend)

[Me: The have 'Harvard College in Asia'. Do they have 'NUS College in Harvard'?] That's the first question I asked last year.
"Comedy is simply a funny way of being serious." - Peter Ustinov


Abdul's lovingly stitched video of what we spend group meetings doing.

If you're wondering what the music playing in the middle of the video is, it's from the Sheares Hall 2005/2006 Block A senior farewell video. Full video (and more besides) downloading at Sheares Hall : SHout - For Shearites Out There!

When life's a little sad,
It's fun to have a pet, like this.

So when you're feeling scared
Of being lonely, like that.
You just have to stroke a cat.
And everything won't seem so bad.

So I had to borrow and stroke
This lovely little cat

Why must the bed shine?
I play with myself
it's bad for my health
Why must the bed shine?
Oh it really sucks to be left on the shelf

Why must the bed?
Why must the bed?
Why must the bed?
Why must the bed shine?

Pumping my balls
I hear my blockmates call
It's the sound of all the lonely people in hall

In the morning I wake
Feeling all lovesick
There's no one but my wooden hockey stick

So I pump my balls,
And I stroke my stick
As the action gets quick
I even, even take a lick

Why must the bed shine?
I play with myself
it's bad for my health
Why must the bed shine?
Oh it really sucks to be left on the shelf

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
Why must the bed?
Why must the bed?
Why must the bed?
Why must the bed shine?

Friday, March 30, 2007

"You can find things in the traditional religions which are very benign and decent and wonderful and so on, but I mean, the Bible is probably the most genocidal book in the literary canon. The God of the Bible - not only did He order His chosen people to carry out literal genocide - I mean, wipe out every Amalekite to the last man, woman, child, and, you know, donkey and so on, because hundreds of years ago they got in your way when you were trying to cross the desert - not only did He do things like that, but, after all, the God of the Bible was ready to destroy every living creature on earth because some humans irritated Him. That's the story of Noah. I mean, that's beyond genocide - you don't know how to describe this creature. Somebody offended Him, and He was going to destroy every living being on earth? And then He was talked into allowing two of each species to stay alive - that's supposed to be gentle and wonderful." --- Noam Chomsky

We must condemn the committing of atrocities, lynching and hate-mongering


methegirl3: China is driving me nuts.

"This place is crazy. Sure, there're the occasional perks like eating sticks of pineapples that miraculously appears out of the blue on the streets. And then there's the cheap everything as well, whatever.

But cheap isn't necessarily good, as I have just found out. I have grown out of the "best buy must buy!" phase. I am now going for quality thanks to the lessons China gave.

Our house is falling apart, seriously. The sink is forever clogged. My roommate unclogs it by pouring chemicals. I unclog it by using a new plunger. Then the toilet is clogged. Then the toilet cover is broken. Then the washing machine is broken. Then the windows in the apartment does not shut so dirt and cold air comes in.

I would not live here again unless I have to. I will be so glad to get out of China when I do. I'm not having fun dealing with stuff that are of such poor quality!"


OFFER: cat scarer

Posted by: "***" ***@*** ***

Fri Mar 23, 2007 6:38 pm (PST)

I have a cat scarer going spare. It picks up on body heat and emits a high pitched sound (theoretically inaudible to human ears, but that depends on your hearing) in response to warm objects like cats - very effective.


Cock's travelogue:

1- I've managed to lose my hat this trip so far, which I'd only owned for a year. So long, hat!

5- Last evenıng, about 5 mınutes after the traın pulled out of Thessalonıkı statıon, I managed to make the whole traın stop. How? Well, my cabın compartment was pıtch dark, and I was tryıng to feel for a lıght swıtch. I felt thıs handle and pulled ıt. Instead of the lıghts comıng on there was thıs loud whıstle sound. Apparently I had pulled the handle for the emergency whıstle stop. Oops. Fortunately apart from a not-too-amused traın conductor there were no other repercussıons from the ıncıdent.
"This is the first time I'm seeing a movie with no plot" - Someone on McCabe and Mrs Miller (who is going on to say that women shouldn't fight for equality because equality is constructed by men [?])

I thought Don't Come Knocking was bad, but this was even worse. At least in the former there was a motive and the movie was going somewhere. In this, things happen for no reason and the indistinct dialogue doesn't help things (I had to check Wikipedia to find out wth was going on).

This got 89% on Rotten Romatoes, and Don't Come Knocking got 41%, which confirms my aphorism that if the critics love a show, it can either be really good or really bad, but if they hate it, it's probably really bad (unless it's so bad it's good).
"I once wanted to become an atheist, but I gave up - they have no holidays." - Henny Youngman


"In Indonesia prior to 1998, many firms reputedly benefited from their close connections with the government in power at that time. A recent study examined 79 Indonesian firms with varying degrees of connectedness with the Suharto family and studied how their share prices responded to news about then-President Suharto’s health. It found that the share prices of firms that relied more on connections with the Suharto family fell much more sharply than those of other firms in response to news that Suharto’s health—and so his influence—were waning (see figure below). Based on this result, the study concluded that as much as one-quarter of the value of politically connected firms was attributable to their connections."

--- World Bank, World Development Report 2002
"Patriotism is often an arbitrary veneration of real estate above principles." - George Jean Nathan


Bizarre spam mails I got:

Subject: free mature pussy pics


Hi guys,
I found so much useful things here.
Thank you.

Subject: back room facial


My mind is like a fog.
I don't care.
That's how it is.

The script must be broken.

And one that betrays a shocking depth of statistical illiteracy (as well as questionable assumptions about female behavior):

Subject: I knew you couldn't trust her

Message: Don’t let her get it from someone else.

A recent survey has shown us that 4 out of 5 women who cheat do it because their spouse has a small P$NIS.

Another survery shows us that 3 out of 5 men have a below average P$NIS.

Do you need anymore evidence?

Thursday, March 29, 2007

"A happy childhood is poor preparation for human contacts." - Colette


Bring me bow of burning gold!
Bring me my arrow of desire!
Bring me my spear! O clouds unfold!
Bring me my chariot of fire!
I shall not cease from mental fight:
Nor shall my sword sleep in my hand

- Parry - Jerusalem (Extract), words William Blake

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

"These people get my thanks for purchasing, sight unseen, the ''education'' which this thesis brings to a close: the citizens of Ontario, British Columbia, and Canada. I hope someday to compensate them.

... [Quoted from David Gutman, Prokofiev] instead of a classical concerto, I chose one of my own. While I might not be able to compete successfully in performance of a classical concerto, there was a chance that my own might impress the examiners by its novelty of technique; they simply would not be able to judge whether I was playing it well or not! On the other hand, even if I did not win, the defeat would be less mortifying since no one would know whether I had lost because the concerto was bad or because my performance was faulty...

The most common piece of advice selected was ''Try not to leave any holes'' (8 of 24 players). Players' own advice included ''Stay claim'', ''Leave a space by the wall for a tetris [i.e. a simultaneous clearing of four rows]'', ''Don't wait for that perfect piece'', and ''Pretend you are having sex'' (the latter was proffered by player 3, who, judging by his/her score, is adept at following this advice)...

6.3. Personal Conclusion
Even with knowledge of the results in this thesis, I can't get a TETRIS score higher than about 100000. However, 6 of the 24 people in the survey can obtain much higher scores, and the typical high score on TETRIS machines at UBC is roughly 900000. Therefore, I have no choice but to conclude that, at least for TETRIS,

We do not learn from inference and deducation and the application of mathematics, but by direct intercourse and sympathy. [Quoted from Henry David Thoreau, The Natural History Essays]"

--- Can You Win at Tetris? (Masters Thesis in Applied Mathematics, University of British Columbia)

He only cited 2 books in his autobiography, and those were for quotes. Applied Maths is so fun.

Tim the Great (who sent me this): this guy is more frivolous than you
"All the world's a cage." - Jeanne Phillips


Someone: eh your friend wants you to pimp her ah? hook me up leh

Me: she wants nice guy
you not nice

Someone: lanjiao lar. simply because i'm a bastard to you doesn't mean i'm a bastard to girls.

Someone else: eh
hook up

Me: you want ah

Someone else: yah yah
god i am desperate

Me: if you hook up must give me angbao ah

Someone else: ok

Someone: actually christian morality, sans God and Jesus, is not bad.

Me: wth
what's left

Someone: hahaha
things like thou shalt not kill
yeah turning cheeks and the like


and such wonderful maxims as destroying your enemies by loving them

shit it gets very buddhist

hmmmm so yeah.

oh and not judging people

Me: very good.
try constructing a non-theistic system based on those principles :P

Someone: you see
the moralism is appealing
the theism is sustaining

Me: haha
I may be all theory no practice
but I have 1 or 2 tricks

MFTTW: hahahhaha
so its' the one eyed guy leading the blind

Me: better than the blind leading the blind :P

MFTTW: i think your one eye got glaucoma too.
he said "That is so gay"
"i need more professional underhand methods"


Me: what's wrong with "gay" haha

MFTTW: i think *** is of the generation that uses 'gay' to describe many things.

Me: *** would complain it stigmatises gays blah blah

MFTTW: that's cos it's ***. he'd take offense at a garbage bin that's shaped wrongly.

my gain crashed
i think i typed too quickly

Liquid Nitrogen: there's people wearing strapless things to school and pulling 'em up every other minute...people flashing underwear both top and bottom...and leggings were made just for SACSALS. heh that abbreviation aptly sums up the kind of people i've been fed up with for years, even before the anorexic part became widespread: the whole incomprehensible private language and impenetrable cliqueish attitude

Me: Wth. I need to improve my observational skills.

I've seen so many girls in leggings that nowadays certain types of dresses look naked to me sans leggings.

Someone: What I don't like about Ribena is how they keep marketing it to kids
it makes me annoyed

I went to the local grocery store a few weeks back to buy Ribena
and every bottle was packaged with an ugly Ribena melamine plate

I was like, wtf
I'm not 5 years old :(

Me: think of how I feel when watching Power Rangers!

Someone: Dude. You do not deserve any credibility for watching Power Rangers. Not even if you were 5 years old.

Me: gah

Someone else: i'm still taking the line of no girlfriends until i'm ready to quit [cheerleading]
which i'm not..

Me: orh
yah you get to grope enough girls already

My Facebook Fiance: oh well you just love to have fun with fundies

Noam Chomsky - Wikipedia

"Opinion on criticism of science culture

Chomsky strongly disagrees with post-structuralist and postmodern criticisms of science:

I have spent a lot of my life working on questions such as these, using the only methods I know of; those condemned here as "science", "rationality", "logic" and so on. I therefore read the papers with some hope that they would help me "transcend" these limitations, or perhaps suggest an entirely different course. I'm afraid I was disappointed. Admittedly, that may be my own limitation. Quite regularly, "my eyes glaze over" when I read polysyllabic discourse on the themes of poststructuralism and postmodernism; what I understand is largely truism or error, but that is only a fraction of the total word count. True, there are lots of other things I don't understand: the articles in the current issues of math and physics journals, for example. But there is a difference. In the latter case, I know how to get to understand them, and have done so, in cases of particular interest to me; and I also know that people in these fields can explain the contents to me at my level, so that I can gain what (partial) understanding I may want. In contrast, no one seems to be able to explain to me why the latest post-this-and-that is (for the most part) other than truism, error, or gibberish, and I do not know how to proceed.

Chomsky believes that science is a good way to start with history and understanding human affairs:

I think studying science is a good way to get into fields like history. The reason is, you learn what an argument means, you learn what evidence is, you learn what makes sense to postulate and when, what's going to be convincing. You internalize the modes of rational inquiry, which happen to be much more advanced in the sciences than anywhere else. On the other hand, applying relativity theory to history isn't going to get you anywhere. So it's a mode of thinking.

Chomsky has also commented on critiques of "white male science", stating that they are much like the anti-Semitic and politically motivated attacks against "Jewish physics" used by the Nazis to denigrate research done by Jewish scientists during the Deutsche Physik movement:

In fact, the entire idea of "white male science" reminds me, I'm afraid, of "Jewish physics". Perhaps it is another inadequacy of mine, but when I read a scientific paper, I can't tell whether the author is white or is male. The same is true of discussion of work in class, the office, or somewhere else. I rather doubt that the non-white, non-male students, friends, and colleagues with whom I work would be much impressed with the doctrine that their thinking and understanding differ from "white male science" because of their "culture or gender and race." I suspect that "surprise" would not be quite the proper word for their reaction."

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

SUG: "I'm in hcjc publicizing the play, the students are all really wonderful, the guys are cute and everyone's polite and sweet. I must have seen fifty cute guys by now, or maybe nus just plain sucks."
"Why is it that our memory is good enough to retain the least triviality that happens to us, and yet not good enough to recollect how often we have told it to the same person?" - Francois de La Rochefoucauld

I can sympathise.


It was about time:

A: [On Anger at ANU honour for Lee] "which restrict democratic expression and academic freedom and implement the death penalty"

I wish they wouldn't trivialise the fight for democratic rights by putting it alongside the death penalty debate. The first is obviously a priority over the latter.

B: Perhaps for you it is, but I suppose that in civilised, advanced, liberal nations the two are often conflated, because the latter is obviously a gross incursion on liberty and human rights, as is the former.

Oh I reread your post and on second thought found it excessively stupid, so here's a longer reply to demolish the brainlessness and lack of compassion.

1) I am anti-death penalty in whatever circumstance. This is the correct view...

[Y]ou might think that abolishing the death penalty is of lesser importance than the struggle for democracy in general, but it is of the same differing degree of importance as, like, wiping your ass and then cleaning your hands after. If you don't do both, then you won't be clean and healthy. Or whatever. I am bad with analogies.
Blah and blah.

A: Sorry, perhaps I have an overly Americanised approach to law. The death penalty issue is still contested; political rights not so much. Bash Singapore for lack of its political freedoms. But why bash it for the death penalty while it is still a common occurrence in the United States.

C: With all due respect, I fail to see how the death penalty is any more barbaric than life imprisonment. Perhaps you are of the view that drug traffickers and murderers should be subject to corrective, reformative treatment in a friendly, hospitable environment so that they can become useful members of society.

I also fail to understand how applying the death penalty to "DRUG TRAFFICKERS" is considered "indiscriminate". But I suppose it's hard to see how drugs can really destroy families sitting so far up in an ivory tower and comfortably typing out a reply in Gmail.

B: Oh yah. I reread this post and it fucking pisses me off... I just fail to see how you could think that I LIVE IN AN IVORY TOWER because I THINK THAT PUTTING POOR AND DESPERATE PEOPLE TO DEATH IS WRONG. Oh yeah and this in no way disrupts the profits of the Myanmese or what-have-you drug lords, who are still in THEIR ivory tower because they didn't have the misfortune of not being able to PAY SOMEONE ELSE TO TAKE THE FALL FOR THEM.

C: Sorry for the lack of a reply, I had no access to a PC this weekend :/

A few quick bites:

1. With regards to "corrective reformative treatment", yes it was meant to be sarcasm.

2. While it's true that we don't execute casino owners and alcohol peddlers, that's not really my concern since neither gambling nor selling of alcohol is a crime in singapore. Yes they do destroy lives and families as well but our wonderful govt has chosen not to criminalise such acts.

3. Again, why always post nice, heartwarming anecdotes about these "young, innocent" drug traffickers? If somebody gives you a bag of herbs and offers you $10,000 to take them to another country, I hardly think that any rational human being would not at least stop to consider why.

4. Yes I know the executed ones are the poor runners and not the fat rich drug lords, but the fight on drugs has to start somewhere. Some deterrence is better than no deterrence, no?

B: Hello there. Your points are like so dumb. You haven't responded to any of the salient points that the intelligent and thinking people here have brought up. The discussion ends here because you don't even bother to string together a comeback. The argument went like this: You said A. I said A is wrong, because B. You say A again. Hello. Hello. Anybody home.


> You haven't responded to any of the salient
> points that the intelligent and thinking people here have brought up.

i know you're smart and all, but this is just not necessary. nuff said.

B: no. this C character should be subject to ridicule for his views. it is not a personal attack - it is an attack of his arguments, which, as i have pointed out, DO NOT RESPOND TO ANY OF THE POINTS THAT HAVE BEEN BROUGHT UP and furthermore are very faux-witty. but his style is another issue.

there is a correct view in this circumstance: the death penalty for drug trafficking is repugnant. any sane person with a brain and a conscience would think so. but
apparently this is not self-evident.

the horse has been flogged because we've been through this a billion times. the
death penalty is morally questionable. but to apply the death penalty to drug
trafficking is unequivocally wrong. there is no question there.

C: B:

If you could take that stick that's shoved far up your ass for a moment, you'd realise there is no right or wrong, but oh the GREAT BITEME-MEOW is ALWAYS RIGHT. Who are you to say that the "correct view" is that the death penalty for drug trafficking is repugnant? Are you suddenly some great judge of rights and wrongs? Evidently, NOT thinking the same way as you is reason to be an "insane person without a brain and conscience". Get off your high moral horse and get your head out of the clouds thanks. Kids like you have who have never been into the real world and are living under your parents' wings are always very good at spouting moralities and truisms. You've got so much angst and vitriol in you, you make Gabriel look like Jesus Christ.

As a matter of fact, I do not try to respond to YOUR points simply because you are the kind of person who can't seem to be able to take in any view other than your own, so to even respond to you would be like trying to squeeze intellect from a rock. But please, go on trying to "ridicule" me if it makes you any more secure in your little hole.

Me: Hear, hear.

Though I would like to protest the slanderous allegation that I have a lot of angst and vitriol.
"Sometimes the appropriate response to reality is to go insane." - Philip K. Dick


u r wt u wr:

- 'Good girls are bad girls that never get caught'
- 'Voted best kisser'
- 'Hazel-eyed hottie' (the girl in question didn't have hazel eyes, and if my observational skills are up to par this was worn 2 days in a row)
- 'Cutie'
- 'Shakespeare Hates Your Emo Poems'
- 'I (Heart) Freshman Girls' (worn by a girl)
- 'Amateur Pornstar. For Bookings Call 65-64720713' (I know the person who wore this; I tried calling the number but the first time it was a fax line and the second time someone picked up after a long time but I heard silence and eventually got put down on)
- 'Very cold need hug' (a guy wore this but it was ingenious so I noted it down)
- 'Everyone loves an Asian Girl' (I know the person who wore this)

Someone said that while she was in Germany she wore a shirt which read 'Got a beer?', and guys who were strangers bought her beer.

Apparently NTU Mass Comms students don't wear them either. "we wear more hip things than tshirts lol"

There's a veritable treasure trove of u r wt u wr tops at loveyourbody but as it is, I feel noting down designs I only see at bazaars is bordering on violating the spirit of this project, so I shan't note down any from there (though I think I've seen more than half of the designs sold there already).

Someone: i love the fact that the sizes are S and M ONLY. fat girls need not apply

Someone else: yeah they had whole shops of these in bangkok

Guy's shirt:

"Haikus are easy
But sometimes they don't make sense

Xephyris: haha i liked that a lot

but this is not haiku
this is actually senryuu

real haiku needs to include a season word
and they are serious and usually tend to be about nature

Monday, March 26, 2007


"Marine Corps General Reinwald was interviewed on the radio the other day and you'll love his reply to the lady who interviewed him concerning guns and children. Regardless of how you feel about gun laws you gotta love this!!!! This is one of the best comeback lines of all time. It is a portion of National Public Radio (NPR) interview between a female broadcaster and US Marine Corps General Reinwald who was about to sponsor a Boy Scout Troop visiting his military installation.

FEMALE INTERVIEWER: So, General Reinwald, what things are you going to teach these young boys when they visit your base?

GENERAL REINWALD: We're going to teach them climbing, canoeing, archery, and shooting.

FEMALE INTERVIEWER: Shooting! That's a bit irresponsible, isn't it?

GENERAL REINWALD: I don't see why, they'll be properly supervised on the rifle range.

FEMALE INTERVIEWER: Don't you admit that this is a terribly dangerous activity to be teaching children?

GENERAL REINWALD: I don't see how. We will be teaching them proper rifle discipline before they even touch a firearm.

FEMALE INTERVIEWER: But you're equipping them to become violent killers.

GENERAL REINWALD: Well, Ma'am, you're equipped to be a prostitute, but you're not one, are you?

The radio went silent and the interview ended.

You gotta love the Marines!"

Sunday, March 25, 2007

"Gratitude is merely the secret hope of further favors." - Francois de La Rochefoucauld


MFTTW: wah lau eh, you're being subtle again! what did i say about being subtle!?!??!!


there is nothing in the undergrad mentality that makes them good postgrad researchers actuall

well firstly, all of them take research either 1) for credit 2) for fellowship (i.e. money) or 3) to look good on resume

therfore they are not invested in the actual results; i.e. whether hte experiments worked or not
thus they don't give a shit

secondly, they don't have the necessary training yet to do research
they haven't taken enough classes to know what's going on

Me: so only take people doing thesis lah

MFTTW: yeah i did that.
but your thesis isn't dependent on the experiment working
you just have to write it up

the point is they have no motivation
so, if you get a hardworking undergrad, even if unmotivated they will work hard, so that's ok

Someone: i am jealous
u alwasy are able to talk to girls

"wah lau eh, you're being subtle again! what did i say about being subtle!?!??!!"

i am sure a girl said this in a flirting kind of way
like: oh gabriel, wah lau eh, you're being subtle again!
[giggle giggle]

what did i say about being subtle?!?!?!?!?! [giggle more]


Someone else: i was complaining to acidflask about how the local blogosphere has mostly gone to seed, pace the john rieman soong doctrine, and saying how i will announce my withdrawal from the local blogosphere through an Article of Secession

i said to acidflask: after that, i shall continue blogging. without needing to feel the public duty to slam the gahment, the national council of christian ayatollahs, or the GST or minilee

i shall become an agagooga style blogger

the snark in winterfell

Someone: oi

Me: what

Someone: hook me up with a nice guy

Me: wth
you think I'm pimp ah

Someone: simi pimp!
match maker

Me: no guy wants you lah

Someone: tmd

Me: you can join the League in 6 years

Someone: .............
i need company, not sex

Me: get a dog

Someone: i already have one

Me: get a pussy

Someone: i already have one

Me: ok
can't help you then

Me: haahah
damn mac whores

Someone else: sigh
they don't understand, when it comes to gaming, your mac is so completely inferior

that's why i have a powerful desktop windows machine
dual-screen goodness


Me: not just the availability of titles limitation?

Someone else: put it this way
a G4 mac with a geforce 6800 performs slower than a windows PC with a geforce 6800 in DOOM

if you've been inside the development branch of macs, you'l know developers have been clamouring for better graphics card support for a long, long time

apple just doesn't listen
until john carmack wants to port his latest game onto the mac

even on the new intel macbook pros, if you wanna play games the best way to do it is to install windows onto your mac
The Rule of Law, Legal Traditions, and Economic Growth in East Asia, Meredith Woo-Cumings

"More like them: common law ‘Looks East’

Malaysia is a fascinating case to compare to Korea and Japan, given that it long had a more liberal market and a state based in a common law background that was less interventionist than Japan’s (let alone Korea’s), yet under Mahathir it developed the aspiration to be more like Japan and Korea (during the so-called ‘Look East’ strategy), and even though it failed in that effort, it succeeded in destroying its own common-law based constitution. How did it do so, and what happened to its British common law tradition? The simple answer is that Mahathir expanded the power of the executive and used it first to hamstring and then to demolish the judiciary. Law did not appear to be the ‘proxy’ for the state or the determinant of the state-market nexus as the LLSV scholars would claim, but quickly fell away before the advance of a powerful state...

The Malaysian state frankly adopted the Japanese and Korean model, claiming that there was a trade-off between economic growth and democracy. The policy was anti- Western, and more especially, anti-British. Prime Minister Mahathir pursued an interventionist strategy partially modelled on South Korea’s Heavy and Chemical Industries industrial policy of the early 1970s, involving close collaboration between the government and big business. What was ‘Malaysia Inc.’ supposed to look like?

The Malaysian government established HICOM (Heavy Industries Corporation of Malaysia) to diversify manufacturing activity, increase local linkages, and generate local technological capacity. HICOM, however, suffered significant financial losses, and these, combined with a deterioration in the terms of trade (fueled by drops in world prices for major commodities such as petroleum and palm oil) and increasing external debt, alongside a slump in external demand in primary commodities and electronics and curtailed demand for steel, cement and cars, occasioned a recession lasting from late 1984 until 1987. As a consequence, Malaysia experienced negative growth rates, and investments, both public and private, dropped precipitously. In other words Malaysia tried to be Korea and it all ended in an embarrassing and massive failure, a fortunate outcome for rule-of-law believers attributable, among other things, to crashingly bad timing. Many of the firms the state has sponsored proved to be inefficient, usually due to cronyism, but also because there were simply too many competing firms in the region (Pillay 2000: 209).

But the economic failure did not stop Mahathir from decisively defeating judicial activism, at the hands of the executive; basically the independence of the judiciary was destroyed in a few years in the late 1980s. Let us trace this a little bit. Previously Article 4(1) of the Constitution had proclaimed the Constitution to be supreme, and borrowing from the US model, allocated certain powers, including judicial review, to the Malaysian courts. Judicial review was also one of the five pillars of the national ideology, called the Rukunegara: ‘The rule of law is ensured by the existence of an independent judiciary with powers to pronounce on the constitutionality and legality or otherwise of executive acts’ (Milne and Mauzy 1999: 46).

The year preceding the crippling of the judiciary saw a great deal of judicial activism, with a number of important decisions going against the government. For example, in 1986 the judiciary upheld a challenge against a government expulsion order against a foreign journalist; in 1987 it granted habeas corpus to an ISA detainee; but the upshot of this judicial activism (or resistance) was that Mahathir, who had encountered no resistance in the cabinet or the Parliament, felt that he faced resistance only from the judiciary—and so judicial independence had to go. Mahathir got much assistance from the Parliament, which passed the Federal Constitution (Amendment) Act of 1988, removing the powers of the judiciary from the Constitution, deeming instead that they would be conferred by parliament through statutory decree. By this Act, the Courts were summarily stripped of the power of judicial review previously granted in the Constitution (Milne and Mauzy 1999: 47).

Observers were understandably shocked that the whole judicial system could so easily be transformed, but Mahathir claimed that he was merely guarding the prerogatives of the legislature to ‘develop the law’ (Khoo 1995: 288). In general, laws which at first blush seemed to undergird the power of the judiciary and various checks and balances, over time were used to entrench the executive’s power. Rule-making in the executive expanded as its economic activism spread, despite the significant growth of lawyers in the economy (almost 6,000 advocates and solicitors in the country by the end of 1995) (Pistor and Wellons 1999: 91).

In short, there is precious little in the Malaysian case to suggest that the heritage of common law, a carefully-crafted democratic constitution, or several decades of human experience with the workings of the rule of law, offered much of an obstacle to an authoritarian reworking of the system."

(alt link)

"Windows users like to look at sex on their computers. Mac users like to have sex with their computers."

tinkertailor's twitter (documenting the latest in a long line of amorous exploits):

"I joined 2 girls at their table. They didn't pay much attention to me, but when I placed my macbook pro on the table, they started caressing it. Them lesbians!" - 33 minutes ago from txt

"They caressed my hard, 15.4-inch equipment. Frankly I find that it's a little on the big (and heavy) side. But yeah I like to rub it too..." - 23 minutes ago from txt
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