When you can't live without bananas

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Thursday, June 05, 2008

"Public speaking is the art of diluting a two-minute idea with a two-hour vocabulary." - Evan Esar


Outrage as French judge annuls Muslim marriage over bride's virginity lie - "The annulment of a young Muslim couple’s marriage because the bride was not a virgin has caused anger in France, prompting President Sarkozy’s party to call for a change in the law... Mr X went to court the following morning and was granted a annulment on the grounds that his bride had deceived him on “one of the essential elements” of the marriage. In disgrace with both families, she acknowledged that she had led her groom to believe that she was a virgin when she had already had sexual intercourse. She did not oppose the annulment."
Naturally, if a guy lied about his job before marriage, not allowing the wife to annul the marriage would be sexism and yet another ugly manifestation of patriarchy. However, I am informed that in the sexist and patriarchal society that is Singapore, lying about your job is not grounds for annulling a marriage.
Someone: people can get divorced because one of the spouses plays their music too loudly
why not because one of them lied about being a virgin

Why China Loves to Hate Japan - "After Japanese invaders shoot Little Zhang's grandmother in the back, the boy seeks revenge by joining an underground Red Army detachment. He moves among heroic Chinese patriots, sniveling collaborators and sadistic Japanese. The finale comes with Little Zhang helping blow up a trainload of Japanese soldiers and receiving a cherished reward: a pistol with which to kill more Japanese. "I thought about including one sympathetic Japanese character, but this is an anti-Japan war movie and I don't want to confuse anyone," says Sun, who will premier his film on International Children's Day... The problem is that just as Japanese soldiers once dehumanized Chinese, Beijing's propaganda often paints Japanese as pure monsters. Grade school textbooks recount the callous brutality of Japanese soldiers in graphic detail, and credit the Communist Party with defeating Japan. (Another reason for Japan's surrender, it says, was the atomic bombs dropped by the U.S.) More moderate voices are silenced. A 2000 film by one of China's leading directors, Jiang Wen, remains banned because it depicted friendliness between a captured Japanese soldier and Chinese villagers. Although the film showed plenty of brutality, censors ruled that "Devils at the Doorstep" gave viewers "the impression that Chinese civilians neither hated nor resisted Japanese invaders.""
It's no wonder "young people are more anti-Japanese than their elders who actually experienced the Japanese occupation"
Addendum: With all this venom it's no wonder the Chinese grow up brainwashed and blinded by hate.

LiveLeak.com - Evolution of mobile phones 1985-Today (Video) - "Sharp J-SH04 (2001) The first popular cellphone to feature an internal camera, released in Japan in 2001. These days you'd be lucky to find a phone without one"
Maybe on a SAF contract. Oh, maybe it's a conspiracy to increase sales of basic handsets.

Amsterdam delicacy: Herring - "Stamppot is a reflection of traditional Dutch values: soberness, hard labor, and moderation — values rooted in Calvanism, and still very much in evidence outside Holland’s big cities... Traditionally, the fish (minus its head) is eaten by grabbing it by the tail, throwing one’s head back, and — while gently lowering the fish — biting off tasty morsels... Suffice it to say that for most people herring is love at first bite."

UCPD Crime Alerts & Advisories — 2008 - "Annoying/Molesting a Child" is a crime in Berkeley. Truly, it is a Liberal campus.

Japanorama's Subliminal Kana Screen Savers - "Subliminal Japanese Screen Savers allow anyone of any age to learn to read Japanese. With these colorful screen savers slowly cycling on your Windows PC, you can passively absorb characters at your own pace, while protecting your computer's screen!"

Mobile phones expose human habits - "The results showed that most people's movements follow a precise mathematical relationship - known as a power law. "That was the first surprise," he told BBC News. The second surprise, he said, was that the patterns of people's movements, over short and long distances, were very similar: people tend to return to the same few places over and over again. "Why is this good news?" he asked. "If I were to build a model of how everyone moves in society and they were not similar then it would require six billion different models - each person would require a different description." "

Bond breakers - "A couple of months ago, I was asked by a professor J in the office building to review the credentials of a graduate school applicant X from my alma mater, the National University of Singapore... Then, I noticed that X was from the PRC. More specifically, X is an MOE scholarship holder (as stated in his resume), the kind that is obliged to serve out his/her bond in Singapore for 6 years after graduation in exchange for a tax-money sponsored university education in Singapore. What on earth was he doing, applying to go to graduate school in the US immediately after graduation when he has signed a 6-year contract with the MOE?... The irony is, for people like X who will probably 'break' his bond and mind you, not fulfill the terms of his contract, i.e. not pay the financial penalty of not serving out his bond, the Singapore government will stay silent, very very silent. By letting someone like X go, at least 100 to 150 thousand dollars of Singaporeans' tax money spent subsidizing his eduction has gone down the drain. Where is the accountability so often trumpeted by our civil service? On the other hand, in contrast, when one of our PSC/EDB scholars does not serve out his/her bond but pays back the money to the government, plus a little bit more, the national broadsheets scream bloody murder"
takchek: Now you know why there is so much ill-will and resentment by the Singaporean students towards foreign undergrads in NUS/NTU/SMU when it comes to this topic of foreign MOE scholars (leeching off the goodwill and generosity of the Singaporean tax-paying public).
"The most remarkable thing about my mother is that for thirty years she served the family nothing but leftovers. The original meal has never been found." - Calvin Trillin


Japan edition:

MFTTW: i've played [all look same]
i'm not too bad, 13/17 i think

no one else I know has gotten >=10

MFTTW: relaly

it's not too hard, just look at eyes
the koreans are all slitty

Me: we all 6-8
then jap/chi?

MFTTW: facial hair
japs have more

Me: err

MFTTW: it's true lah
jap guys can grow beards

chinese guys cannot
they can only grow cheekopek goatees like ***

Someone: are u going kyomizu dera?
in kyoto

this place is very famous for blessing love

so did you get any luck?

Someone: i din pray for it

Me: damn
cannot test the hypothesis

maybe the gods only understand jap

Someone: no lar not true

Me: maybe chinese ah

Someone: supposed to be omnipotent

Me: not all gods are like God

Someone: there are 2 famous rocks there 18m apart

it is said if one can walk from one stone to the other blindfolded, he/she will definitely be blessed with TRUE love

Me: just memorise the direction lor
if the sacred chickens wont eat, let them drink

Me: sure you dont wnat anything from spore ah

Someone else in Japan: my rmmate wants hello panda chocolate
and instant milo... if u have space...

Me: hahahahah
ok I'll go look


Someone else: dunno...

i dont know... he say cannot find here...
not so common maybe...

Me: people are asking me to buy all sorts of shit from japan

gyoza maker
18 year scotch whiskey
shiroi koibito
love amulet


[Update: I've been asked to get a Tenga Cup also]

Someone: haha
i bought a ice kachang maker in kyoto
Off to the land of Soaplands, shōjin-ryōri (ie no garlic or onions) and disguised racism on a morning flight.

Back on the 23rd.
This summary is not available. Please click here to view the post.
"A verbal contract isn't worth the paper it's written on." - Samuel Goldwyn, Goldwyn's Law of Contracts


"Today I took a cab to school because I had a test at 4.15 and I was freaking still at home at 3.30 so fine. I hailed some comfort cab, and this malay cabbie with a nice smiley face greeted me. I was kinda happy, cause he seemed nice -maybe he'll give me a discount? Total opposite of what was to come!

He was so fucking rude from the start, it's like once I shut the door this whole other person who resented his life as a poor taxi driver took over his smile. He asked;
"do you know the way!?"...

he had the guts to tell me:
"Next time no change don't take cab!"
HELLO ITS NOT LIKE THE CAB FARE COSTS LIKE $2 OR SOMETHING ITS $20 OK and I just shut up cause I had the perfect comeback, which I dished after I collected my change, before slamming his door;
"You're such a stupid useless malay, GOD!""


A: your racist thread is being marked
sending to ISD and Singapore Police Force with a complain for your racist overtone.

Good luck............. :)

B: you fat piece of shit, can't even spell 'underprivileged' properly.

no wonder.. youre from RP.. the shit school.. why so elitist? you don't deserve that right when youre from a shit school like RP.

STOMPed and reported to the ISD and Police Force racist pig

C: If we were to report every single possible cause of "potential racial riots" due to such posts, I believe most cabbies woulda been thrown to jail about now.

I'm sick of the lynch mobs.

You're such a stupid useless malay, GOD!

One small line, and people are rushing to give our security services even more work. Please, they've better things to do.

There're huge differences between "You're such a stupid useless XXX, GOD!", "All XXX are stupid", "All XXX must die" and "All XXX must die, let's kill them now!".

I don't read Malay, but I bet my hat you see similar or worse complaints about Chinese by Malay bloggers; as they say in Malaysia, "tak tipu, bukan cina" ("if you're not a conman, you're not Chinese"). There're similar descriptions of the other two races, but mentioning them would surely be seditious. Presumably, we don't have spiteful idiots who speak Malay.

With the police bogged down taking care of all the police reports lodged by spiteful idiots, it's no wonder we haven't found Mas Selamat yet. And the fact is that people respond to incentives, so the more people you prosecute for making offhand "racist" remarks, the more spiteful idiots you'll have making police reports about alleged "racism" that grows steadily more trivial.

Malaysia is a much more racist, racially charged and racially stratified country than Singapore, but you don't hear the police catching people for offhand racist remarks or the country descending into racial riots. Maybe that's why they're progressing faster than us.

Everyone's a little bit racist
Doesn't mean we go
Around committing hate crimes...

If we all could just admit
That we are racist a little bit,
And everyone stopped being
Maybe we could live in -

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

"The reason there is so little crime in Germany is that it's against the law." - Alex Levin


Law Minister Shanmugam condemns attacks on judiciary

SINGAPORE: Singapore's Law Minister K Shanmugam said it is the duty of all citizens to condemn attacks made on the country's judiciary.

He was responding to questions at a community event on Wednesday on the recent behaviour of Singapore's opposition politicians, Chee Soon Juan and Chee Siok Chin, at the High Court.

This was during a hearing to assess damages for defamation to be awarded to Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew.

The Chee siblings were found guilty of contempt of court and surrendered themselves on Wednesday to begin their jail sentences.

Mr Shanmugam said: "If you take a country like Singapore, based on democratic principles, and you look at the institutions that underpin our society, then conceptually, rule of law is important. It means independence of the judiciary and equality of everyone before the law.

"In order to have that – not just as a slogan but in reality – you need an independent judiciary that really protects the citizens and in fact, anyone who goes before the courts. People must have confidence that the judiciary is independent.

"In order to make sure that we protect the integrity of the judiciary and people's confidence in the judiciary is not affected, you have to be very, very strict with anyone who attacks the judiciary in scurrilous ways or calls into question its independence."

Scurrilous attacks are to be condemned, but if you don't ask questions, you're never going to get answers.
"I would rather be a coward than brave because people hurt you when you are brave." - E. M. Forster, as a small child


Club mad

"He had planned a night of revelry with friends at St James Power Station last Saturday, but when National University of Singapore student Matthew Rao flashed his identity card (IC) at the door of the popular nightclub, he was requested to pay the $20 cover charge.

His four friends - from England, Germany, France and Finland - filed in for free.

The reason: They were foreign students on exchange in Singapore, while he was local...

Ms Khong said the policy aimed to "encourage a cosmopolitan party atmosphere for our young partygoers" and added that St James regularly hosts parties thrown by local tertiary institutions and students."

The reaction to this is unequivocably negative, and there are cries of discrimination and such.

Yet, nary a sound is heard about Ladies' Nights, which are equally discriminatory. This is probably because Ladies' Nights work out for everyone - women like the free entry and men like the women, so no one complains.

Policies designed to attract and which give advantages to tourists are not unique to Singapore. Tourist-only beaches in Cuba aside, the Eurail pass cannot be bought by residents of non-European countries, the Japan Rail Pass cannot be bought by Japanese residents, the Great British Heritage Pass can only be bought by "international visitors to Britain" and in Denmark you have tax-free cars which only tourists can rent. Furthermore, in most countries with Value Added Tax (VAT), tourists can get a refund upon leaving them.


Singapore Peak Oil: Energy, Entropy, Economics, Ecology: Axioms of Sustainability for Singapore

"I compiled these axioms of sustainability from Heinberg, Feeney, Bartlett and Monbiot. The Singapore government needs to abide by these axioms if we are to tackle climate change successfully and ensure a sustainable living environment for present and future generations. Failure to conform to these axioms will render MEWR's blueprint (Green Plan 2012) towards environmental sustainability ineffective in the long term."

Much of this is New Age Neo-Malthusian rubbish. I agree with some parts, but a lot of the rest is dodgy. The more misleading bits:

Our flawed neoclassical economic growth paradigm.
This article accuses Economics of being stuck in the 19th century, but that's because it attacks 19th century Economics. Among other things, there are economic growth models incorporating limited natural resources and there are ways of internalising environmental damage into economic analyses.

Our fractional reserve banking system which is based on a flawed assumption that infinite economic growth is both possible and desirable.
I don't know why fractional reserve banking and economic growth are mentioned in the same breath. Given that the energy intensity of GDP (Energy use per dollar of GDP) has been steadily declining, I don't see what the problem is (ie infinite economic growth is possible). And it is certainly desirable, since without it people are unhappy due to hedonic adaptation.

Food self-sufficiency
Singapore and food self-sufficiency do not go together in the same sentence. One word: trade.

(Tainter’s Axiom): Any society that continues to use critical resources unsustainably will collapse.
True enough, but this is a tautology. Ditto for many of the other lines there.

(Bartlett’s Axiom): Population growth and/or growth in the rates of consumption of resources cannot be sustained.
Yes, but development lowers population growth: look at the Developed World. And if new resources are discovered, then increasing consumption of resources can certainly be sustained.

The system which governs our economic lives, which we call capitalism, is itself is a limited resource. Capitalism is a pyramid scheme.

The response time of populations to changes in the human fertility rate is the average length of a human life, or approximately 70 years. ( Bartlett and Lytwak 1995 ) [ This is called "population momentum." ]
This seems to be a misunderstanding of the term. Fertility rate can change due to many things - family planning, contraceptive availability, one-child policies etc.

The size of population that can be sustained ( the carrying capacity ) and the sustainable average standard of living of the population are inversely related to one another.
This is assuming a static world. Technology progresses.

The benefits of population growth and of growth in the rates of consumption of resources accrue to a few; the costs of population growth and growth in the rates of consumption of resources are borne by all of society.
This ignores how 60 million Chinese were lifted out of poverty between 2001 and 2004 or how the number of people living on under a dollar a day has fallen and is projected to fall further.

When large efforts are made to improve the efficiency with which resources are used, the resulting savings are easily and completely wiped out by the added resources consumed as a consequence of modest increases in population.
This is one of those grand sounding statements that doesn't mean anything. How large is large? How modest is modest?

The benefits of large efforts to preserve the environment are easily canceled by the added demands on the environment that result from small increases in human population.

When rates of pollution exceed the natural cleansing capacity of the environment, it is easier to pollute than it is to clean up the environment.
I would think that it is almost always easier to pollute than clean up the environment.

The chief cause of problems is solutions.

Humans will always be dependent on agriculture. Supermarkets alone are not sufficient. The central task in sustainable agriculture is to preserve agricultural land.
If agricultural yields keep increasing, agricultural land can be reduced.

In every local situation, creating jobs increases the number of people locally who are out of work.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

"People that are really very weird can get into sensitive positions and have a tremendous impact on history." - Dan Quayle


David: So, how was your trip? What was the most interesting thing you saw?

Gotta love these Europeans.
"Making duplicate copies and computer printouts of things no one wanted even one of in the first place is giving America a new sense of purpose." - Andy Rooney


Someone: you're right you know: when women blame men, they say it's patriarchy; when men blame women, they say it's misogyny, like wtf

Someone else: if we go on the basis that hatred is a feeling,
without any necessary rational justification whatsoever,
then a thin form of hatred is just as scary as the thick form

Me: that's like saying if you shout "faggot" at a gay guy it's as bad as if you stab him to death

Someone else: if you stab him to death, you will be charged for murder.

anyway, hatred is just intention, no? not consequences
we're still on defining the word here
this is starting to soudn like a [Jol] conversation

Me: whose fault is that ah

if you shout "faggot" at a gay guy it doesn't mean you hate him as much as you would if you stabbed him to death

Someone else: okay

Me: you claim all hate is as bad

Someone else: no, i said it's as scary

Me: yes
but that draws a faux equivalence

why is it as 'scary'?

Someone else: because it can swing without reason from thick to thin to whatever in between

it doesn't need a provocation, even.
at all.

Me: that's the slippery slope fallacy

just because I shout 'faggot' doesn't mean I'll feel on a level so strong that I want to murder

Someone else: what is this thing about murder

Me: you say small hate and big hate are as scary
I'm saying they're different

My Toy: my lappie is down

Me: too old liao

My Toy: no la
i tried to reformat and fail

this is something tt only happens to a girl
like what can go wrong when u juz have to run the recovery??????

Me: no lah
just that only girls can't solve it themselves :P

Cunning Linguist: btw the one where there was homicide
the person really died

the chancellor sent a circular

Me: err
that's the definition of homicide

Cunning Linguist: hahaha

Someone: it seems your friends thinks you're a purveyor of sex toys and menstrual goods
Japan sketchpad

6 June - Tokyo. Arrive Narita 14:25 (Fri)
7 - Tokyo (Sat)
8 - Tokyo (Sun)
9 - Kyoto (3 hrs from Tokyo) (Museums closed on Monday; Nijo Jinya?! Reservations, Jap-speaker. Closed Wed.) (Mon)
10 - Himeji-jo / Kyoto (1 hr Osaka, 1.5 hr Kyoto) (Tue)
11 - Kyoto (Wed)
12 - Amanohashidate (1.5 hrs from Kyoto): Train info (Thu)
13 - Nara (<1 hr from Kyoto), Horyu-ji (<1/2 hr from Nara) (Fri)
14 - Osaka (Daytrip? AWASHIMA JINJA) (Sat)
15 - Koyasan (more interesting than Yoshino, through Osaka 1.5hr); Festival (Sun)
16 - Hiroshima (Mon)
17 - Itsukushima (1/2-1 1/2 hr from Hiroshima) / Hiroshima (Tue)
18 - Nikko (1.5-2 hrs by train) (Edo Wonderland - similar to Hokkaido place?) (Wed)
19 - Mt Fuji views: Fuji Go Ko. Hakone also? Bus up Fuji? (JX's suggestion: stay a night at Fuji Go Ko, "u feel a sense of peace") (Thu)
20 - Matsumoto Castle (2.5 hrs from Tokyo) / Tokyo (Fri)
21 - Matsushima Bay (30 mins from Sendai: 2 hrs from Tokyo) / Tokyo (Sat)
22 June - Tokyo. Leave Narita 18:40 (Sun)

I considered the overnight bus but:

1) there's no toilet
2) I still need rail travel on shorter routes. eg Tokyo-Nikko, Tokyo-Hakone, so I should be better off getting the JR pass.

Osaka sounds rather boring. Universal Studios can burn down for all I care.

Someone: osaka got food.. and red light district

Someone else: THE AQUARIUM
i'm sorry i swear by it
1i go to it EVERY TIME i go to osaka
but it's just me

Someone: help me buy sofy tampons back

i heard they're good
only found in japan


Someone else: HAHAHA
help me buy vibrators they're cheap in japan

Wth x2
Why are there no toilets on Japanese overnight buses?

"Women's intuition is the result of millions of years of not thinking." - Rupert Hughes


Clear and damning evidence of racism in the French Football team

Why you shouldn't get a boob job

Whoever designed this should be fired

"I love you this much"

Simply indescribable (NSFW)

Monday, June 02, 2008

"Some things have to be believed to be seen." - Ralph Hodgson, on ESP


Because, unlike the last time, I can't be bothered to censor out potentially seditious representations:

A: The God rejected by ATHEISTS is not the God a true Christian would recognise

God cannot be EMPIRICALLY investigated - He is INEFFABLE, beyond our thought capacity

A true believer in the MYSTERY of God knows that proper talk about God is always HUMBLE, always TENTATIVE

As St Augustine said, if you understand it, it is not God

B: Does that mean you are going to STOP trying to tell everyone what God thinks about things like Embryonic STEM CELL RESEARCH and GAY MARRIAGE?

A: No
"It's never just a game when you're winning." - George Carlin


Police arrest former Singaporean for insulting public servant

The sad thing is that the activists are just perpetuating the hegemony they so loathe by discrediting alternatives to it.

Damn, forgot to ask Chee about that when I met him.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

"I'm too shy to express my sexual needs except over the phone to people I don't know." - Garry Shandling


Malaysian-made Pringles are a world away from US-made Pringles.

There's a reason why they're labelled "For sale in ASEAN only" - if you tried to sell it outside of ASEAN, people would complain.

Whereas the Malaysian-made product is thick and insipid-tasting, the real thing feels thin and crisp, and it packs a whole lot more flavour into the chip.

I just popped open a tube of Cheese and Onion from Schiphol and sadly, they are like Malaysian Pringles.

An examination of the first two ingredients in the ingredients list provides us with a clue to solve this mystery:

Malaysian/European Pringles: Dehydrated potatoes, vegetable oil

It is no surprise that potato chips fried in Sunflower oil taste much better than those cooked in "vegetable oil" (read: Refined Bleached & Deodorised Palm Olein, better known as Palm Oil). Given that the centre of European Pringles production is Mechelen in Flanders, it wouldn't be surprising, given that the Dutch are the top importers of palm oil in Europe and Belgium's long history in palm oil production.

Oh well, at least I can't get either Cheese and Onion or Salt and Vinegar in Singapore anyway.

Insist on Kualiti with a Kapital K - buy US Pringles, not ersatz Malaysian shit! (Buy European Pringles only for flavours like Paprika that you can't get here)

(Oddly, my friend had some Indonesian Pringles and she claimed they tasted oily and tasty, like they were fried with **** )

Le Patrimoine Mondial

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