When you can't live without bananas

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Saturday, March 08, 2008

First image that appears when I Google "Belize":

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us

QuickPost Quickpost this image to Myspace, Digg, Facebook, and others!

Friday, March 07, 2008

New blog pic:

Happy New Year to you too!

Thursday, March 06, 2008

"It pays to be obvious, especially if you have a reputation for subtlety." - Isaac Asimov


Singapore Dissident: One year has passed. A word of thanks

"There are thousands of other bloggers who share my views about Singapore. Like me, they are disgusted at this dictatorial regime of Lee Kuan Yew in Singapore. They consider him, like me, no better than a thief who steals $3.7 million each year for each person. They are angry at the lack of human rights. At the persecution of political dissenters. So like me, they write, but with one difference. Out of fear, they prefer to remain in disguise. They use names such as Robin Hood or Botakbotak for their blogs. It is sad to see this. I am sure deep in their hearts, they deeply wish if only they could identify themselves. But alas, they are in a grip of fear. Since I am not a doctor or psychiatrist, I cannot say this with certainty, but personally I think this all consuming pent up fear is not only bad for them mentally but also physically...

Simply because I write from California does not mean I am entirely safe. As you know the Russian recently who had criticized Yeltzin from London had been murdered in London by poisoning. In 1979, while I was in London, the Bulgarian correspondent at the BBC English language section was murdered while crossing London Bridge by someone who stuck an umbrella into him, tipped with poison. Well Lee Kuan Yew may one day decide enough is enough and finish me off in California. Furthermore, I come to Singapore almost twice a year travelling on an American passport. They could stop me in Changi, arrest me and do whatever they want. These are dangers that I face by criticizing Lee Kuan Yew. But none of this scares me. There is a saying in Gurkhali which goes like this "A brave man dies only once. A coward dies many times over".

I believe my blog is doing a tremendous amount of good. For one thing, the educated who have been reading my blog has resulted in increased rates of emigration among them, particularly to Australia. They can see that Singapore is nothing more than a tiny island with a dictator and his son strutting around as if they own the place. This is not the first world country they want to live in, so they leave. My blog helps them in their decision to leave. My blog has been instrumental for the increase in brain drain. This is hurting the Lee Regime. There is not enough people to run the place...

Lee Kuan Yew has not sued me. He cannot because he knows he will lose. The truth is on my side, not his... [you] may be killed by a Singapore hit man but as far as I know, Francis Seow is still alive and kicking. So is Tang Liang Hong...

Such blogging causes massive emigration from Singapore, warns foreigners about the true political state of Singapore thus preventing good immigrants making Singapore their home, adversely affects Singapore's international trade by revealing the lack of rule of law in Singapore, makes Singaporeans willing to publicly protest and demonstrate against this regime, discourages many European companies from investing in Singapore because of the lack of human rights. Blogs such as this reveals to foreigners in Singapore the truth about Singapore which they take back with them to their countries where the reputation of Singapore is ruined at their places.

Blogging is hurting the Lee Administration. Please join me in hurting them further. Become a blogger. A public one at that."


(He does have one good point though - more than 2 years after we'd taken Mr Toilet Break into custody, we still hadn't charged him for anything and were holding him under the ISA. This would make him an alleged terrorist rather than a terrorist per se)

In the comments:

"I am a second-year student in NTU doing Sociology & hoping to minor in Public Administration... Secondly, if its not too much to ask, I need some help for a term paper. For my PA (Public Admin) module, I am required to submit a paper evaluating a certain policy in Singapore and give recommendations to improve it etc etc. The problem is, I feel that there's too many 'flawed' policies in Singapore ranging from CPF (and the new annuity policy), our healthcare policies, our education policies... that I'm at a loss. I think it'd be great if you could just give me your ideas on which policy, or which area of Singapore society I should focus on in order for me to narrow down my choices. If you were in my position, (I mean, I can't change any of the policies, sadly this is merely a term paper) what would you have chosen?"
"This country has come to feel the same when Congress is in session as when the baby gets hold of a hammer." - Will Rogers


"Dear Students

In celebration of International Women's Day and to showcase the company's intitiative in appreciating women and their contribution to the workforce, ACCENTURE will be on campus this Friday, 7 March, 11.30am - 1.30pm to distribute roses to female students.

Distribution will be at Yusof Ishak House (near the NUS Career Centre) and Forum.

Support this cause that connects all women around the world.

While stocks last!"


And by associating women with flowers, they are reinscribing gender stereotypes. Tsk.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

"Cogito cogito ergo cogito sum (I think that I think, therefore I think that I am.)" - Ambrose Bierce



'I didn't fall into the toilet bowl. My ass didn't bleed when I rubbed it with toilet paper. Praise the Lord!'

He's not the only one to have changed his name. Later on we'll be talking about another Australian philosopher who has changed his name, though in this case I do know why.

Rough Waldo Emerson (Ralph)

[On nature lovers like Emerson and Thoreau] They didn't look at it in a scientific way. They didn't look at it in a philosophical way. They looked at it in a literary way... They were literary people... The way they talked about nature was at best sentimental and at worst emotional... There's no argument given. That's why it's not a philosophical position.

[On Richard Routley / Sylvan and his wifw] Being a liberated man... They both changed their name to 'Sylvan'. That's how they could both have the same name.

[On non-emotional reasons to push a button to destroy Nature after the Last Man's death] Let's imagine that your thumb is a bit sore. Pressing the button will help.

[On K Gourmet] I went to dinner last night... I've a piece of paper in my pocket. I don't know why I still have it. Is there anything wrong if I tear it up? If I litter, that's something else. *shreds drop to the ground* [Me: No, because it's a bad restaurant] It was a bad restaurant.

[On objections to the Last Man argument] Gee, you are so stubborn. And because I knew you would be stubborn, I have another story to tell you.

[On choosing between getting $10 today versus $15 next week, with the latter decreasing in $0.25 intervals] You guys are too polluted to be my subjects. Economics students are damaged goods... I've done this before with 2nd year economics students... I don't know why... They zig-zag. It should only switch one way. Because of monotonicity... Either people are not paying attention, or they are thinking in a strange way... to save you from embarrassment I didn't ask you to write your name.

[On comparing yourself to others] You go to Cambodia, you're very happy when you come back. Your state variable has changed. How lucky you are... Warm showers.

the loss averse messages (messengers)

[On the test] Email it to me by then. Which in practice means by the time I get to work the following day. [Student: So what time do you get to work?]

Holston (Rolston)

Knowing that something exists doesn't make it exist, unless you take a very hardcore, idealistic view, which I don't want to talk about here.

Just because the baby pulls my hair doesn't mean I can pull the baby's hair. Just because lions and tigers - when they're hungry, they eat you, doesn't mean you can eat them. You have a choice.

[On equality before the law] Bill Gates - in a court of law, he doesn't have anything that I don't. [Me: *sotto voce* A better lawyer]

[On biocentrism] In a jungle, confronted by a hungry lion, do we say: 'I respect your interests. Please eat me'

[On Aldo Leopold] Because of his scientific credentials, he's taken a little bit more seriously than the other environmental heroes.

[On Callicott extending Hume's idea of sympathy to animals] That's an incorrect interpretation of Hume, but that's because I know more about Hume than these guys. But I won't bother to justify that.

Reagan says biocentrists are fair'sis. Moral fair'sis. (fascists)

[Me: There's a sign above saying "Cheapest flowers in NUS". They're selling flowers for $2. So what extra value do you provide?] People don't read signs, unless their name is 'Gabriel'.

It was air'bridged by Readers Digest. (abridged)

[Doing a presentation on Silent Spring] It was published in the United States. It was written in English... The publication date was 27 September 1962. The publisher was Houghton Mifflin.

some conservators (conservationists)

Rachel Carson doesn't say: 'Let's ban DDT'. She leaves it to them to decide. But there's a hint that she knows what they'd do.

en'chan'merns (enchantments)

[Concluding what was supposed to be a 1/2 hour presentation] What this presentation has attempted to do in the last - 5 minutes.

the person who founded that out (found)

[On Bolehland failures] They got this small bank. Commerce Bank. Very successful, to buy Bumiputra bank... The result was terrible.

A lot of banks have these values. We asked the staff, no one could remember... 'We want to be eficient, honest'... Which banks wouldn't want to be these things?

[Me on last minute V-day plans: Why don't you cook for her?] *Shocked* Gabriel!... I heard 'What are your plans for her?' [Me: That too.]

Let's get back to my hero - Gerschenkron.

We all are the genie pigs (guinea)

This time inconsistency is almost like what you get in a relationship. During courtship, you convince your girlfriend you're such and such a person... after marriage it's a different story.

Suppose you have a commitment technology. If you don't do your problem set, your friend will beat you up.

[On Ainslie] He did experiments on pigeons and rats and discovered that their behavior is best described by hyperbolic discounting.

[On solving a complicated function] How many of you have done it?... Dynamic programming and all that - which I have never done.

[On the presentation] The variation in presentation grade is not a lot... All these thing are just to raise your grade so you don't have to worry about failing the course (things)

You might want to engage your audience in some ways. By looking at them - that's a start.
"Most people would rather be certain they're miserable than risk being happy." - Robert Anthony


The global nature of spam:

Dear Customer,


You have been chosen by Ceska Sporitelna online department to take part in our quick and easy reward survey.
In return we will credit 2.000 Kc to your account - Just for your time!
Helping us better understand how our customers feel, benefits everyone.
With the information collected we can decide to direct a number of changes to improve and expand our online services.
The information you provide us is all non-sensitive and anonymous - No part of it is handed down to any third party groups.
It will be stored in our secure database for maximum of 3 days while we process the results of this nationwide survey.

We kindly ask you to spare two minutes of your time in taking part with this unique offer!

Customer Satisfaction Survey

© Ceska Sporitelna a.s., For public use

(Česká spořitelna is a Czech bank, albeit the largest in the country)

They don't ask for account information, so I assume there's follow-up telephone phishing.
"The great enemy of clear language is insincerity. When there is a gap between one's real and one's declared aims, one turns as it were instinctively to long words and exhausted idioms, like a cuttlefish spurting out ink." - George Orwell, "Politics and the English Language"


Adult Entertainers, Adult Entertainment Meetups, events, clubs and groups near Singapore

Sample comments:

"hi Hi I am very fair. height 175cm, weight 65kg, average built. I am interested to explore and experiment fun things. what are your interests. do let me know. I luv to give and receive massage also bath and scrub."

"Hi. I am ***. I am a professional sensual massage therapist with 5 years of experience in the art of sensual body massage for females. My massage packages are designed to soothe, relax, and provide pleasure like never before."

"Hey there,Aussie guy for you.Would love to MEATup with you 'meetup'ladies.Arriving in Singapore in May, why not make my stay enjoyable so I can say 'I had my meatup in singapore'? text/sms me on +***,no questions asked if your married."
Pledge: "Aussie guy guarantees to satisfy,or your nighty back!"

"hey guys....lets meet up n get naked... i luv getting naked wth other guys in nature surroundings"

"i am excited to be at a local tantric meet and explore the spiritual energy"

"hello everybody make me company"

"life so short , work is boring , why not having some fun , one night lover looking ."

"I'm a certified massage therapist. I wanna learn how 2 provide a fully satisfying massage to a woman. Any lady game to teach me? You'll get a standard spa rub:- Next... you tell and I follow. I just wanna learn fr what you like."

"so that i can find a potential sex partner or a group who engage in such activity"

"like to acquire more information and new contacts. I use and represent a leading brand, Herbalife. Herbalife is the healthy to weight management. Watch Beckham and team wear the Herbalife Jersey." (I thought he'd be peddling a Cialis or Levitra substitute)

"Just want to look for economic massage service in Singapore"

"I'd like to meet married women who are looking for special friends."

"I want these local Meetups because to meet more friends with same needs"

"I want these local Meetups because live is short so must enjoy yourself when you are young"

"I want these local Meetups because its a great outlet for character" (???)

"I want these local Meetups because it gives a sense for more control over ur hidden emotions."

"I want these local Meetups because ice and ice can create fire!" (???)

"I want these local Meetups because i wish to have more sex and experience hitting a big n beautiful gal until she cums"

"I want these local Meetups because i wan sex.." (This must be one of the most honest comments here. Certainly the shortest and most to the point.)

"I want these local Meetups because I believe in the inner search for nourishment for the soul"

"I want these local Meetups because I am interesting"

"I want local Married Women Meetups because i find local singaporean ladies very good & warm in bed"


"Hi, my name is ***, I would to meet more christian friends and to gathering for some fellowshipe over coffee or drinks. I have been a Chrisitan since 1976 and worshipping at Yishun Methodist Mission Church. I can contacted on my mobile at ***," (I think this guy got the wrong group)

I'm tempted to sign up with the comment: "I want to see who some of these people are."

Monday, March 03, 2008

"The only reason for being a professional writer is that you can't help it." - Leo Rosten


For some reason I can't find a full transcript of this online:

Chuck Berry - My Ding-A-Ling (Full Version) (from "The London Sessions"), 1972

"Well in that case. It gives us one more to do, in that case we got to- *cries from audience*

We got to do our Alma Mater, we must do our Alma Mater. And our Alma Mater - oh yeah, our Alma Mater is a fourth-grade ditty and it's very cute, I learnt it in the fifth, I was a little behind. But it's a beautiful song of togetherness, and when I say togetherness, believe me, I do mean togetherness. If it wasn't for togetherness I wouldn't be here tonight, really. Oh yeah! *cries from audience*

And if it wasn't for togetherness, none of the rest of you would be here tonight - oh yeah! *cries from audience*

Well now this also happens to be a sexy song, and there's nothing wrong with sex, not a thing wrong with sex, nothing wrong with sex, nothing wrong with sex! *cries from audience* Sex is a beautiful thing - it's honourable and it's lovable. My father is a Baptist Minister. He taught us. He told us: 'Son, there's nothing wrong with sex, it's just the way that you handle it, you see'. Oh yeah! *cries from audience*

So, now, the reason it's a sexy song is because the girls have one part and the boys have the other. Very simple. Now we gonna teach the boys their part first, cos they only have one part. See. Oh yeah! No no, I gotta hold the pick with these two fingers. This the only one I got to work with. Okay. Now, it happens to be in E-flat and it's not a rock-and-roll number, so we have to turn our boxes down a little bit, because it's real sweet and groooovy, wow is it groovy.

Okay fellas now here's what you do. Now I'll sing the girls' part and when I lean this way, you come in with your part. Now here's the way it goes. The girls say: "My..." and the boys say "Ding-a-ling". See? That's right. That's right. And then girls say: "My..." then the boys say "Ding-a-ling". You notice how the boys' part starts riiiiising right there? And then the girls say: "I want you to play with my..." and the boys say "Ding-a-ling".

Okay. Alright? Alright? Alright? *cries from audience*

Okay. Okay now. Alright when I lean over this way, fellas, we want you to come in real strong with your ding-a-lings, hear? Okay, here we go: "Oh...". I'm gonna sing the girls' part here, when I lean down this way.

"Oh... My"
"I want you to play with my"
"Oh, my"
"Oh, my"
"I want you to play with my"

Girls! Girls, the boys got their part ready. The boys got their part ready, honey. Yes ma'am. Yes ma'am, they are ready! *cries from audience* The boys got their part ready. Did you hear how they were standing out there? Oh yeah. Okay now girls, now you can't let the boys out, do you? We want you- I want you to sing in your part. We want you to put your part around the boys' part so we can get all all these parts together. Alright. Okay. Okay girls, okay. When I lean out this way, you sing what I was singing, and now this way, fellas, be sure to get your ding-a-lings in there. Okay, here we go.

"Oh... My"
"I want you to play with my"
"I want you to play with my"

Ooh, that was fairly good. That was fairly good. But you know there was about six girls down here taking care of all em ding-a-lings out there. You know, that's too much. That's too much for 6 girls. That's too much. We need more girls. Cos them were some strong ding-a-lings over in here, yeah. We need more girls to sing. Now c'mon girls, now open your mouth, now here and get it, c'mon c'mon. Oh. Oh oh. Naw naw naw naw. Oh naw naw naw, now come on.

"Oh... My"
"I want you to play with my"
"I want you to play with my"

That was beautiful. Had about 58 girls singing here, yeah. Wait till we get along the fifth verse, all the girls will be singing. I told you it was a fourth grade number, is a cute little song too.

When I was a little bitty boy
My grandmother bought me a cute little toy
Silver bells hangin' on a string
She told me it was my ding-a-ling-a-ling

Chorus (sung by audience)
Oh, my
I want you to play with my
My ding-a-ling
I want you to play with my

Beautiful, beautiful, that's what I call togetherness. Mmm.

You know,
Then Momma took me to Sunday School
They tried to teach me the Golden Rule
Every time the choir would sing
I'd take out my ding-a-ling-a-ling


Beautiful. Beautiful. Beautiful, really. You know, it never fails, it never fails. Guess where the strongest manners are? Right over in here. Guess where the strongest ding-a-lings are - right behind, another room. Beautiful, beautiful.

And then Momma took me to Grammar School
But I stopped off in the vestibule
Every time that bell would ring
Catch me playin' with my ding-a-ling-a-ling


That is beautiful. You know what I heard, I heard, I hear 2 girls over here singing in harmony. That's alright, Honey. This is a free country - live like you wanna live, baby. Yeah. Ain't nobody gonna knock you darling. Mmm mmm. Yeah, freedom. Yessir, there's one guy over here singing "my" too. That's alright, brother. That's alright, you got a right, baby. Ain't nobody gonna bother you.

Once I was climbing the garden wall
I slipped and had a terrible fall
I fell so hard I heard bells ring
But held on to my ding-a-ling-a-ling


Mmm, fellas, let's give the girls credit now. Don't they have a beautiful passage here? In the song, in the song, in the song, in the song.

I remember the girl next door
We used to play house on the kitchen floor
She'd be the Queen, I'd be the King
And I'd let her play with my ding-a-ling-a-ling


We got about 500 girls singing now, I'll tell you. You know that's future Parliament out there singing? Future government, really, of England, out there singing. And I'll be glad when you get in office and change a few things. Oh yeah! *cry from audience*

Once I was swimming 'cross Turtle creek
Man them snappers all around my feet
Shure was hard swimming cross that thing
With both hands holdin' my ding-a-*trails off*


Girl downstairs she's so big and bold
Grandma warn me she is too old
Used to take me swinging in the schoolyard swing
Swing down and take my ding-a-ling-a-ling


That's so beautiful, I think it's a beautiful little song, really I do. And guess what? Everybody's still not singing there's a few right down front here who's not singing. We're gonna dedicate this verse to those who will not sing. Yessir. And we're gonna ask the spotlights when we get ready to sing the verse, to look around for those who aren't singing. So here goes to those who will not sing.

This here song it ain't so sad
The cutest little song you ever had
Those of you who will not sing
You must be playin' with your own ding-a-ling


Nah nah nah
Oh your ding-a-ling
Your ding-a-ling
We saw you playing with your ding-*trails off*
Oh, my ding-a-ling
Everybody sing
I want to play with my ding-
Everybody - my
Oh, my
I wanna play - everybody
with my ding-a-ling

Interestingly enough, the girls actually kept to the melody, while the guys just shouted their line (figures).

And I was even more behind - I learnt it in the seventh grade, and a corrupted version at that. Boo.
"Cynically speaking, one could say that it is true to life to be cynical about it." - Paul Tillich


Wives who cannot satisfy husbands sexually are being abusive - "WIVES are deemed to be unjust and abusive if they cannot satisfy their husbands’ sexual needs, Kelantan deputy mufti Datuk Mohamad Shukri Mohamad told Berita Harian. He explained that in a marriage, it was not always the wives who were abused as it could also happen to the husbands. “Islamic laws does not only protect the women but also the men,” he said. “Thus wives who do not provide proper care for their husbands, including not fulfilling their sexual needs, can be considered as being unjust and abusive towards their husbands."
HWMNBN says that in Perlis, if the husband can't satisfy the wife in bed, that's grounds for divorse.

the peoples mario

Taking on Tarzan - "Later, someone asked about non-doms. The questioner warned that Britain's unfriendly attitude would lead him and other non-doms to "go home". "Where's home?" inquired Lord H. "Singapore," came the reply. "Hardly a liberal democracy," remarked Lord H. No, said the questioner, explaining proudly that Singapore was "a guided democracy." Lord H, at his driest, replied: "That's good news - for the guider.""

Horribly Awkward First Sexual Encounter 'Worth The Wait' For Christian Newlyweds - ""I'm so glad we waited until we got married—it made it so much more special," said the 26-year-old Linda, who is "pretty sure" John's penis penetrated her vaginal opening during the brief, fumbling lovemaking session. "I can't imagine what a letdown our first sexual experience would have been if we'd done it at some point during our five years of dating." John, 27, agreed. "As I prepared, sweat-drenched and terror-struck, to insert my semi-erect penis into my petrified new bride, I couldn't help but think what a precious, magical moment it was. Then, as Linda started to cry out from the anticipation of pain from the first-ever breaching of her tightly constricted vaginal walls, a tear of joy streamed down my cheek.""

AlterNet: DrugReporter: Prescription Drugs, Not Illegal Ones, Killed Heath Ledger - ""This would have never happened with weed." I made that declaration for back in May 2007, when Oxycontin maker Purdue Pharma pled guilty to criminal charges of misleading customers about the lethality of their product, promising to pay $600-plus million and be real good people going forward... Last year was the latest in a series of banner years for Oxycontin, which kicked heroin and cocaine to the metaphorical curb to become one of the most popularly abused substances of the 21st century. Of course, it has been joined by painkillers like Vicodin, sleeping pills like Restoril, anti-anxiety poppers like Valium and Xanax, and even antihistamines like Unisom, all of which were found in Ledger's system during his autopsy...a collaborative study from the University of Michigan and the National Institute on Drug Abuse found that teenage abuse of Oxycrack has risen 26 percent since 2002, while overall prescription drug abuse has tripled among teens since 1992. For those who know their immortal hip-hop well, that was the year N.W.A. soundtracker and rapper Dr. Dre scored crossover platinum with The Chronic, a highly influential album dedicated to the love of cannabis that made Snoop Dogg a superstar in his own right. Neither has yet to die of weed. The irony is sweet and sour... it's much easier to bust poor kids (or disabled adults) for possession or cultivation of cannabis than it is to nail rich kids rifling through their parents' medicine cabinets"

Drugs save some lives, but put others at risk - "In 2006, more Arizona teenagers got high on prescription drugs than meth, cocaine and ecstasy combined, according to the Partnership of a Drug-Free America."

God, power and money - "Last November the US Senate Committee on Finance asked for audited financial statements... Hinn is outraged by these demands and sees the hand of Satan behind them... A couple of men I recognised from Hinn's TV show cruised the rows of the sick like sharks, looking for prospects for healing. They were not interested in the profoundly ill... Money argument three is used universally in charismatic churches around Australia. It is called "sowing the seed". God rewards those who sow seeds of faith. As a grain of wheat is sown in the ground and comes up multiplied by 10, even by 100. "God will multiply your gift to him. You give him a little he will multiply a little."... I overheard one of the Hinn veterans speak to another volunteer: "I told you. No one over here who is not 100 per cent healed. Don't just point … move them out."... I judge [Hinn] by the measure of the one he claims to be following. Jesus never promised people wealth, or instant healing. He didn't promise his disciples houses on the coast. Pastor Benny has recast Jesus in his own image. He has forgotten that his Lord died, humiliated, tortured, alone and penniless. But how do you sell that? The Reverend Dr David Millikan is a Uniting Church minister."
Ooh, seditious. Time to jail some people!

Is teen pregnancy cool? - "Get pregnant. Cry once, sort of. Hand the baby over to a rich, loving woman, and then you can spend the rest of your high school career with your boyfriend singing a love duet while strumming the guitar on the porch steps. This is the hit movie "Juno" -- teen pregnancy, Hollywood style. Then, there is reality... Some question whether it feeds impressionable teenagers an oversimplified and glorified spin on teen parenthood... "It's not something you should look up to or aspire to at this age." Not only because of the challenges it can bring into the young parents' lives, but also because of the impact on the babies. Statistics show that the children of teen parents are at a higher risk for a long list of struggles, including becoming teen parents themselves, living in poverty and dropping out of high school."

Sunday, March 02, 2008

"Every hero becomes a bore at last." - Ralph Waldo Emerson


I have no time and energy to do full reviews, but short notes on 2 recent concerts (which were largely-mostly okay):

At the NUS piano ensemble concert on Thursday, all the pieces save one were for piano duo (the exception was a transciption of BWV 974, with an Oboe). While this was more demanding technically, needing good timing and coordination between partners, it would've been nice to have some solo piano pieces for variety and to bring out the piano's (as opposed to pianos') tone better. Also, the limitation to duets meant that at least half the pieces were transcriptions of orchestral or chamber works - it is rare for a transcription to suit the new instrument well and rarer still for it to surpass the original (for example, Mars didn't have the right rhythmn or mood). Also, I hate Gershwin, so the second half was very blah (since it was all Gershwin), but oh well.

Meanwhile, conductors almost never talk to the audience, but at Friday's Symphony Orchestra concert, Lim Soon Lee, the conductor gave the longest talk to an audience I've heard, even going into some detail about some of the structure of Beethoven's 5th. Wah, must remember to go next year (even with the Brass flubs here and there, and the occasional funny chords from the strings).

The cello soloist was good, but Hob VIIb:2 seemed rushed, and the coordination with the orchestra wasn't very good (even though it was smaller than for the other 2 works), with the latter overpowering her at times and not always being on the same bar.
"Learning to dislike children at an early age saves a lot of expense and aggravation later in life." - Robert Byrne


MFM: poor jiekai. most people who know of young republic associate it with you.

Me on food blogs: these people
a lot of pics
not much description

Frigid Girl: haha that's the POINT

first and foremost, judge food by its aesthetic appeal

must be pretty enough to eat

Me: ... women

Frigid Girl: yar don't worry, *** is equally bafffled
he comments "you like your colourful food"

Someone: i like getting hit on! but im just not looking to get laid... it's about attracting male attention without having to give them "some". obviously u dun get my psyche haha.

Me: ... women

I guess that would explain why you wore that revealing top... It was for 'yourself'

Someone else: i once had a crush on a muslim guy and i was like "I WILL GIVE UP PORK FOR YOUUU" but then the next day my dad bought back tonkatsu (that deep fried omg delicious pork cutlet) and i never looked back

Me: what did the muslim guy say

Someone else: he never liekd me back D:
so sad

but pork will never judge me

Someone: i take it you're not a supporter of obama then

he's a uniter, not a divider!
i call him Liberal Bush

Me: well bush was a governor

Someone: yeah, but bush was just about as skimpy on details and strong on rhetoric and feelgoodness as obama

i wanted to resume blogging with a post that points out the hilarity of hillary being slimed by "progressives" with the same republican attacks and phrases from the

HWMNBN: last night's diary entry "maybe all those years of a subjugating a cowardly population of brainwashed zombies have totally failed to prepare them for a detainee who's a real problem"

that's pretty much what i think, rather than any konspirasi

either that or really has powers as some of my malay friends are telling me
"he probably used THE FORCE. tat's the only way the elite crack gestapo of the isa could have been outwitted"

*rhetorically* i guess calibrated coercion doesn't work so good against a person who actually has spine
which is why you never have singaporean terrorists


actually one thing that does tsrike me as weird

most of these guys are totally unknown (except to nuts like rohan gunaratna)
but when they suddenly hit the news they become the next biggest thing
ie "the most dangerous" etc etc

and all of their achievements are laid out in smoe impressive resume that shold've gotten attention much earlier

like that hizbollah dude they whacked recently
looking at his biography he sounds pretty zhai - and has been for at least 20 years
but wonder why no one seemed to have heard his name before

it's like hanbali

Me: they dont tell you about him before so you think you're safe
they blow him up after so you know you must catch him

HWMNBN: fair enough

the only single terrorist i can think of who was a real celeb BEFORE he got caught was carlos the jackal

i mean, i read a fair amount of the literature and even i'd never heard of imad mughniyah in connectio nwith the beirut attack

but some people are seriously misguided man
reading comments like this make me want to puke

What we have learnt and should always remember are that the JI operatives are extremely dedicated and deadly disciples of Osama Bin Ladin. This particular JI operative was forged from the fires of Afghanistan and perhaps the most intelligent and cunning amongst the organisation. How else could he be their leader!

That he has escaped is an indication of how dangerous JI operatives truly are. In my view, it is not the fault of our security forces. It is easy with the benefit of hindsight to criticise but bear in mind that even the CIA and the FBI could not prevent 9-11. Even the British M15 could not prevent the London bombings. We should rally behind and support our security forces and not undermine them

although he has a serious misapprehension of the skills needed to be a terrorist leader

a cell leader isn't necessarily the cunningest or most high level (in RPG terms) character

this guy makes it sound like th eleader of a terrorist cell has to be a level boss
which isn't necessarily the case

jesus, nicholas lazarus is a real name?


we should bear in min dtha tso far all these problems are from indos
even in malaysia, the so-called "malaysian terrorists" were all indos

Me: I thought indonesia was the home of moderate islam

HWMNBN: out of 210m ppl, it's statistically impossible not to have a few wackos

and in absolute terms there rae more wackos
although probably not in relative terms

other factors come into play as well

eg porous borders
places to hang out
soldiers who sell weapons

those factors make indonesia a better breeding ground

in fact, the prevalance of moderate islam is more likely to breed terrorists simply because the minority wackos get more pissed off

same way why hardline islam in malaysia is the result of a backlash against the moderation of the 70s and 80s

(the racism issue at the time was couched in nationalist terms, but only in recent years have they started beating the religion drum again)
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