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Tuesday, January 22, 2008

"Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way." - Leo Tolstoy (1828 - 1910), Anna Karenina, Chapter 1, first line


Singapore culture shock: civility and lack thereof « e pur si muove - recherche en dépaysement - "I hate to be sexist, but girls in their late teens were by far the rudest demographic that I’d encountered. Why do so many of them behave as if that the world has to bow down to them? Gee, I’m sorry that I didn’t throw my coat over a puddle in your way, Your Royal Highness. No, the world doesn’t owe you any favors if Orchard Road runs out of hot pink handphone attachés. And please stop spouting feminist Nazi-esque dreams of unconditional male servitude, ‘cos yo’ sure a hollaback girl, girl... An ah ma I helped chope a seat for on the MRT as she was boarding (and thus earning me many dirty looks from several SACSAL-types) whispered in my ear: “You don’t have to be so nice. People nowadays aren’t.”"

When Harry Met Sally... - "Romantic comedies often are derogatorily referred to as "chick flicks." There are many reasons why the genre has been associated more with women than men. Perhaps the most plausible is that a majority of romantic comedies purposely cater to women and, in the process, isolate men not sold on the format. The female characters in such films are usually fleshed out, well-rounded individuals, while the males are either portrayed boorishly at worst or bland at best."

Woman jailed for testicle attack - "A woman who ripped off her ex-boyfriend's testicle with her bare hands has been sent to prison. Amanda Monti, 24, flew into a rage when Geoffrey Jones, 37, rejected her advances at the end of a house party, Liverpool Crown Court heard. She pulled off his left testicle and tried to swallow it, before spitting it out. A friend handed it back to Mr Jones saying: "That's yours." Monti admitted wounding and was jailed for two-and-a-half years."
I'm quite sure the reverse would've gotten a penalty at least twice as severe.

Tiny magnet that soothes the misery of menopause - "Tests on hundreds of women have shown that the LadyCare magnet can relieve symptoms from anxiety and mood swings to hot flushes and memory problems."
Too bad double-blind tests are impossible with this.

Savage Love - January 9, 2007 - "When you write an advice column, gentle readers, it looks like you have all the answers because you only run questions for which you have answers. This is as it should and must be; we advice professionals need people to think we have all the answers so they'll keep sending us their questions. But this scam has a cruel and unintended consequence: When we don't respond to a question, the reader who sent it thinks, "He/she doesn't care," or "He/she is too busy," or "He/she thought my question wasn't interesting." When the reality may be that he/she has no fucking clue. And here, to mark the New Year, are a few other letters that I haven't answered for want of a clue... I'm a guy into she-male porn, and I've noticed that almost all the models in said porn have very tight scrotums. Like they're cold. So I'm wondering, what's the deal? Is it just the hormones? Or do they employ some kind of pre-shoot scrotal-tightening technique? A bit of both, perhaps? Never Understood Tranny Scrotums... My wife and I enjoy a vigorous BDSM lifestyle and take part in some pretty heavy activities. One we haven't tried but are anxious to is Tabasco sauce on mucous membranes, e.g., nostrils, clit, and anal tissues. Our question: What would we use to cool the burn should the application of Tabasco sauce to her anus or clit prove to be too much for her to endure? Master & Servant"

"Sellout," Randall Kennedy, racial politics, affirmative action, African-Americans - "Black critical thinkers often face an extra step in the writing process -- we have to separate what we think from what our comrades of color expect us to believe, presume we believe, or would rather we didn't discuss in racially mixed company, in public, or at all. For us to reason independently of Negro orthodoxy -- especially to criticize sacred cows of black America like affirmative action -- means risking banishment from the black community. The threat of getting kicked out of blackness (impossible as that sounds), or at least being seen as outside black solidarity, looms large... You can bet that the words of William Hannibal Thomas, the first black man to attend Otterbein College, have never been trotted out at graduations, sermons, or rallies. Thomas' 1901 screed, "The American Negro: What He Was, What He Is, and What He Will Become: A Critical and Practical Discussion," posits that "the negro represents an intrinsically inferior type of humanity, and one whose predominant characteristics evince an aptitude for a low order of living.""

We're here, we're queer, I'm sick of it - "Once pride was essential to curing the shame of the closet. Today it is the medication we're addicted to. Once pride captured the spirit of a revolution. Today it is too often the gay equivalent of pro forma patriotism. Once pride made a compelling moral argument. Today it is becoming the Ten Commandments on every wall. And when pride in the simple courage that it takes to come out of the closet in a hostile world turns into complacence and ideological rigidity, it threatens everything that we've won so far... As Dan Savage has recently argued, pride wasn't counted as one of the Seven Deadly Sins for nothing. "The fwap of rainbow windsocks is making us dull and slow," he writes... At first it's easy to think, "Well, fuck them if they're not comfortable with out-and-proud sexuality." This is dangerous and unnecessary. It's true that we'll never reach the rabid anti-gay kooks, but writing off average people like Will assures that millions who might be persuaded to help us -- or who at least might be vaccinated against inflammatory anti-gay rhetoric -- will remain obstacles to overcome... As Savage says, "Surrounding oneself with constant reminders to feel prideful is to constantly be reminded of shame ... American gays and lesbians act like cancer patients who, having been cured, remind themselves that they aren't sick anymore by dropping by the hospital every once in a while for a little chemotherapy.""

The intravenous use of coconut water - "Medical resources routinely used for intravenous hydration and resuscitation of critically ill patients may be limited in remote regions of the world. When faced with these shortages, physicians have had to improvise with the available resources, or simply do without. We report the successful use of coconut water as a short-term intravenous hydration fluid for a Solomon Island patient, a laboratory analysis of the local coconuts, and a review of previously documented intravenous coconut use."
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