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Saturday, June 02, 2007

Picture with a Teddy Bear on your blog

Hi there!

This will probably be the most random blog comment ever, but I figure I'll try it anyhow. Throughout my day of researching blogs and clicking through endless seemingly unrelated links, I somehow found my way to your post from June 14, 2005 and saw a picture you had on there with a little blue teddy bear in it. I have a friend who has a bear almost identical to that one that she's had since childhood and it's been this big mystery as to where it came from/what company makes it, etc. because the tag wore away. I know this is a huge long shot, but do you have any idea what company made the bear or where it came from?

I'm so sorry this is such a weird comment! But I just think it would be so funny if I could find one on eBay or somewhere and give it to her sometime.

Any info you have would be great. Thanks!

Unfortunately, I am unable to help. Maybe someone else can.

Addendum: They look different.

Friday, June 01, 2007

This one's too good to only post extracts of:

College girls put their whoring behind them (May 9, 2003)

"Anybody on the lookout for a bit of bush on Japanese college campuses these days is more likely to find the George W variety than anything else as female university students' lower bodies have turned neo-conservative, according to Spa! (5/13).

Gone are the days when female university students could be relied upon to staff Japan's myriad sex services or simply spread their goodwill, and their legs, for all and sundry.

Instead, according to the weekly, a combination of excess, repulsion and horror have seen Japan's female university students clam up and regard fornication with frigidity.

Female university students in today's early Noughties are the same schoolgirls who were most active when enjo kosai, the euphemism for prostitution literally translated as compensated dating, was at its peak in the late '90s. But that same enjo kosai has caused many to turn off the tap.

"Having sex just to pick up a bit of pocket money is outright stupid. I can't understand how anybody could ever prostitute themselves," Rie, a second-year student, tells Spa! "I don't do one night stands, either. I did once, but I felt like a slut afterward and have regretted it ever since."

Tomoko, also a second-year student, is another turned off by the idea of enjo kosai and playing around.

"I only have sex with my boyfriend and it's absolutely exquisite," she tells Spa! "All those girls who play around with everybody must have no idea how good it is if you only do it with one guy."

Some girls standing off are simply plum tuckered out after playing around for years during their schooldays. Others think chastity arises from maturity.

"When I was in high school, it was almost a status symbol to go off and have sex with a good-looking guy you'd just met," second-year student Risa tells Spa! "Recently, though, I've come to think that one-night stands are something that high schoolgirls do. Now that I'm in university, it's become more interesting to see just how far you can string a man along. Getting picked up really easily is for dorks."

Sexually transmitted diseases can also take some of the blame for female university students' newfound sexual conservatism. Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare statistics show chlamydia rates grew sixfold in the time the average Japanese girl began high school and the time she graduated. In addition, one in every 13 female university students has contracted the same STD. As a result, some who'd still love to be playing around, simply can't.

"My experience with guys runs into triple figures. I've picked up some just for sex, sold myself off and picked up plenty to show for it, too ... chlamydia, gonorrhea, herpes, genital warts," first-year student Ayaka tells Spa! "The state of my body now means that I can't go looking for a sex or a boyfriend any more."

Horrific experiences resulting from teen-age promiscuity have also turned some university students off sex.

"When I was in my first year at high school, it was the in thing to go out hitch-hiking and offer yourself up to any guy who picked you up," Yoshimi, a second-year student, tells Spa! "As a result, I've been dragged out into the middle of the countryside and dumped on the side of the road, I've been gang-raped in a car in suburban Tokyo and I've had a light bulb shatter after it was shoved up my vagina. Ever since then, I simply can't stand the sight of men.""
"The reserve of modern assertions is sometimes pushed to extremes, in which the fear of being contradicted leads the writer to strip himself of almost all sense and meaning." - Sir Winston Churchill



"I might often be accused -- correctly -- of over-generalising in some of my comments, making the odd sweeping statement here and there, and so on. But who cares? I know I'm generalising, you know I'm generalising, so what's the problem? There are too many pedants on the Net who insist that people attach a mass of qualifiers to everything they say, preface every statement with an IMHO and follow it with a list of exceptions. But such qualifiers don't make anything more true -- just more boring. Truth, if it is to be found at all, lies somewhere in a dialectical space between a statement and its antithesis. Better to push at the boundaries of such a space than potter about in the middle."


German burglar pays dearly for credit card trick - "A hapless German thief snapped his credit card in two while prying open a lock, inadvertently leaving behind his name and account details for police."

Global warming rally cut short by cold weather - "More than two dozen demonstrators braved cold, wet weather Saturday in Reno to attend a rally designed to draw attention to global warming."

Straight Dope Staff Report: What casino games offer the best odds? - "A savvy observer can keep track of cards as they’re dealt, and when the ratio temporarily favors the player, bet high. This is known as “card counting.” The method was first shown definitively in the early 1960s by Edward Thorp, a professor of mathematics at MIT. Thorp developed a system to count cards, simulated his system on an IBM 704 in FORTRAN code, and ultimately went to Las Vegas to test his theory, winning over $11,000 in a single weekend"

Gay pub can bar heterosexual drinkers - "A Melbourne pub catering for gay men has won the right to refuse entry to heterosexuals in a landmark ruling at the state planning tribunal. The owners of Collingwood's Peel Hotel applied to ban straight men and women to try to prevent "sexually based insults and violence" towards its gay patrons."

Inside the Creation Museum - "In the next scene, after the fall from grace, Adam and Eve, looking far less happy than before, are standing next to two lambs they have slaughtered on a sacrificial stone table. The sacrifice has a practical value -- the original couple are now wearing lambskin suits and the lambs are skinless -- and a spiritual one; the lambs are sacrificed, a visitor explains to me, in partial payment for the debt incurred by Adam and Eve for eating the fruit of knowledge. I tell the visitor it seems unfair for the lamb to pay for their mistake. "Well, it wasn't enough," he says. "God had to send his only Son to pay the ultimate price for their sin." When I tell him that sounds kind of extreme, he looks at me and shakes his head slowly a couple of times before moving on... In the middle of this urban mess is a big wrecking ball with the words "Millions of Years" carved into it. Ham blames the notion that the Earth is quite a bit older than the Bible suggests for just about all the world's problems. Evolution, which requires large amounts of time for small changes to accumulate into larger ones, makes it far too easy for people not to believe the Bible, he says. And that loss of belief "is at the root of modern evil.""

YouTube - Facebook Infomercial Parody - "Well, to be honest, we really just like hooking up. A lot. Often. But commitment really isn't our thing. Nah, I just got out of a nasty relationship. And I'm bicurious. And we didn't really know what to call it either. I mean, we're friends with benefits, hookup buddies or what you really want to call it. But that Facebook gave us the label that our relationship needed. 'It's complicated' *start making out*... Thanks to Facebook, I have found so many friends with similar interests. Like, I'm in this group that's called "I love beer, especially drinking it". I mean, who knew that there were so many people out there who love beer as much as I do? *takes sip* Amazing!"

What in.... Hell? - "English teacher Denice Kovanda gave her students at Fillmore Central High School in Geneva, Neb., an assignment: 'Create a travel brochure for a place you'd like to visit.' Michael Sattler, 16, got a grade of zero on his. "I asked what was so wrong with it," Sattler said. "She said I used the word Hell in every part of it. It was all about Hell, Hell, Hell." But, Sattler argued, his brochure wasn't for 'the afterlife', but rather Hell, Michigan.""
Person 1: i luv ur "tribute" to nyps,and yes, i still go there.thank kami im leavin thi yr.anyway this yr,they make us go up,up,up to class(5th floor),put bag in class,then down,down,down to courtyard (2nd floor)
Btw,they have holiday supplementary from 7 to 12 and if you wear PE uniform,you have to run 3 rounds round the track unless you have a valid excuse.
Yea,and did you know that now they have a lightning alarm.When there is lightning this lame alarm will sound&whoever is still outdoors,(field/courtyard)will get a pink slip.

Person 2: omg! i cant believe nyps is still the SAME after all these years...it was pure tortue to be in nyps. everyone seemed to want to get it but we were all fighting to get out...
USP-Stanford Multiculturalism Forum
Day 5 (10/5) - Art, Macbeth

Most entrepreneurial ventures and startups fail, so if you're not willing to risk your asset values disappearing, your apartment being worth a fraction of what it is, your jobs being in peril, your security at risk and your women becoming maids in other people's countries, foreign workers you're not going to become an entrepreneur. Ditto for a people as a whole.

I saw a "Washington - Evergreen State" license plate this day, but never saw any "California - Golden State" license plates throughout the three weeks.

Wireless was very erratic at the hotel.

In many US buses you signal a halt by pulling ropes strung along the sides of the buses. This is good because you don't need to look for the stop buttons, and can just reach up from anywhere you're sitting. For the company this is cheaper because you only have to wire one contact point at the front of the bus on either side, instead of the whole bus for buttons.

The day began with a forum at the Haas Center for Public Service. Because it started later than scheduled, we got to walk around first; I met a bunch of 3 conspiracy theorists from an organisation called LaRouche giving the usual crap about a cabal, and how global warming is an evil plot to suppress development and kill people in the Third World, and Al Gore is controlled by corporate interests out to make money. Even more amazingly, the guy who I engaged claimed LaRouche had refuted the principle of Supply and Demand in the 70s. Another kept calling to passerbys, but I noticed he only targeted one sort by calling 'young lady' to various girls repeatedly; naturally they gave him the 'go away you creep' look.

At the forum we were told that students like us and students from the National Taiwan University would be the future leaders of our country. Funny, I thought that role would fall to the Singaporean students at Stanford.

Some of us were skeptical about the idea of student led public service. I pointed out that you always see the same few names floating around in these circles: for example someone one of the students who spoke to us talked about was also very active in RI and RJC. The reply was that this was often because no one else wanted to participate in this sort of activities, and that perhaps their examples would inspire others.

Public Service in the US is a very broad term. Besides encompassing working for NGOs and Human Rights organisations it also includes what Singaporeans know as the Civil Service - working for Federal, State and other governments.

Why would anyone throw peanuts into a recycling bin?!

Rear of Memorial Church. There's a 2 year wait to be married inside, so people sign up before they get engaged.

We then went for a talk on Race and Incarceration. I told my neighbors to send me to the Medical Center if I got beaten up during Q&A.

After unveiling supposedly shocking statistics about how blacks are disproportionately represented in incarceration statistics, one of the speakers quoted Massey, 2007 in 'Categorically Unequal' claiming that the US criminal justice system had created an American Gulag. At this ludricrous assertion which mocks and trivialises the suffering of the people in the *real* gulags, I muttered an audible curse, causing someone in front of me to turn around and look at me.

The talk was supposed to end with a debate between the two speakers, but really there wasn't much to debate, since they weren't so much opposed to each other (I'm not asking for diametric opposition, but they didn't disagree on anything) as talking about different things. Unfortunately we had to run off, so I didn't get to ask my classic question about the criminal justice system being biased against men ("If the fact that blacks and other minorities form a disproportionate share of the prison population means that they're discriminated against and that the system is rigged against them, does that mean that men are also discriminated against and that the system is rigged against them?"), or why they had to look at it as a race issue rather than a class issue, which would certainly be more helpful.

Unfortunately not everyone found the talk as fascinating (albeit in a bad way) as me - of the 11 of us, 9 were sleeping at one point or other. Hurr hurr.

We then had a lecture on racial and ethnic politics in the US, by Prof Luis Ricardo Fraga, who introduced the interesting concept of ascriptive inegalitarianism - some segments of the population are excluded from political consideration by those in power. This happened to non-property owners before Andrew Jackson and to blacks both during Slavery and the Jim Crow period. Presumably it would apply too to women before the suffragettes.

In the US, many people are obsessed with the original meaning of the Constitution. In that case, why don't they reinstate Slavery and exclude non-property owners and women from the electorate?

Someone said (s)he was struck by the optimism of Americans, whether at Google or Professors bringing academia out of the ivory tower and into the realm of political involvement. Tsk, the Singaporean model is different - you should stand for elections if you want to interfere in politics.

It seems MOE has implemented Service Learning too, but the journals students write are graded, so one Raffles Guy had told one of our group that they just borrowed good journals from their seniors and copied them. Hurr hurr.

Having some free time, and with it open till 8 on Thursday, we went to the Cantor Center for Visual Arts and were given some Rodin commentary by our chaperone who wasn't a chaperone.

The Burghers of Calais, with idiots hanging around, near the Main Quad

Since Rodin worked with bronze, he could mass produce his pieces. Hurr hurr.

The Three Shades

The Gates of Hell, with Adam and Eve


Rodin also chopped up pieces of his sculptures for resale:

The Thinker, atop the Gates of Hell

The Thinker, standalone

The Kiss

Age of Bronze, reduction

Bust of Victor Hugo

Nigeria, 20th century. Water-spirit mask
Yes, I was wondering how to put this on.

Butterfield, 1999. 'Untitled' (this is such a popular title these days).
This bronze horse looks like it's mae of wood because it was made from a driftwood model.

Tang Dynasty Horse, c. 700-55

China, Ming Dynasty. Early 15th c. Manjusri (Wenshu)

Japan, 19th c. Dragons holding a crystal ball. Silver.

Japan. Meiji Dragon - Ivory and Mother of Pearl

India, c. 1900. Siva as the Lord of the Dance representing his 5 aspects of cosmic activity.

Vishnu w/Lakshmi and Saraswati, 12th c.

17th-18th c. India, architectural panel

Nage, Flores, Indonesia. Equestrian figure honoring a male ancestor, 20th c.

Great Armor, 19th c. Japan.

There was a wood sculpture of the Buddha in the last age of his life. They explained that when he was 80, he ate spoiled pork and then died, so Buddhists shouldn't eat meat. A modern version might have him eating vegetables contaminated with pesticide, and Buddhists becoming carnivores.

16th vc. Chinese Taoist deity.

11th-13th c. Bear-shaped pillow. China

Colina, Mexico. Terracotta figures. 250-1000 AD.

The pictures seemed grainy when I set my camera to auto ISO, but I didn't have the patience for funny tricks as in Europe. In any case, they seem alright here with 100% magnification.

Chief's regalia. Kwakwaka'wakw, assembled in 2006.

Their 1500-1800 European collection was okay, but god I miss Europe!

Description of a reproduction of a Stanford Dorm Room, 2006.

Dalou. The bather.

Bourdelle, the Sculptress at work, 1906.

Bourdelle, Rodin working on the Gates of Hell, 1910.

Falguiere, 1882. Bust of Diana.

Geets, the Accident ('Kind in 't Water'). 1899.

Aube, 1879. Dante.

Feuchere, 1843. Amazon breaking a savage horse.

Kelth, 1876. Upper kern river.

Whittredge, Italian landscape.

There were prints by Picasso of the Minotaur having sex. Wth.

Picasso, Bacchanal with a minotaur, 1933.
Others had the minotaur raping and caressing women.

Ruotolo's The Doomed, 1917 looks like the Dachau monument to the oppressed.

Hadzi, Thermopylae. 1965-6.
This insults the memory of those who died.

Brown, 1990. Social butterfly.

Ireland. Other Id, 1992.

Long, 1990. Georgia granite circle.

Goldsmith Maid driven by Budd Doble. 1876. Kirby van Zandt

Mosaic of Jane Lanthrop Stanford, c. 1900

Stuffed owl

Some of us who hadn't watched Macbeth the previous night then went to watch it. Forewarned by the experiences of the rest, we brought all our warm clothing, but even then it wasn't enough.

Segal, 1980. Gay liberation.
This is the LGBT monument. Since there're 4 figures, we were trying to figure out which was the L, which the G, which was the B and which one the T was, but we failed.
Someone: siallah lgbt monument looks like the waiting room to an oncology clinic. unhappy people comforting one another

Sans idiots

The first Segway I'd seen. I hadn't even seen one at Google. I think I didn't see any others for the rest of the trip.

Following in my tradition of spending a lot on food, I had a lobster burrito for $7.79. There was a surprising amount of lobster inside.


3 Witches prancing around. It was quite weird, because 2 of them were girls but 1 was an Indian boy with a high voice.

It being so cold, I pitied the actresses acting as females, since they had gowns with open necklines. At least the actresses acting as males could wear stuff under their suits.

Another extract

Sensual stretching by the witches
Somehow I don't think this was in the original by Shakespeare

Chris shuffling to keep warm. The girls were doing more amusing things like jumping jacks, but once I took out my camera they stopped; wet blankets!

We took the 11+pm bus back, and there were a lot of people carrying many things on the bus. The bus driver walked down the aisle waking them up, saying: "I have to wake you up. You can go back to sleep now." Then he handed them flyers for 'Homeless Connect Day'. At least the bus ran 24hrs in a loop, or they'd be screwed.


[On my sweater around my waist] Your skirt looks like a belt (belt)

[On 'ascriptive inegalitarianism'] This is a term only a social scientist could love.

Cynicism is good. Cynicism is what keeps us alive in Singapore. It stops us from commiting suicide... I want you to move from fatalistic cynicism to critical cynicism.
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