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Saturday, January 24, 2009

What Do Women Want? - Discovering What Ignites Female Desire

"In times like these, it helps to recall that there have always been times like these." - Paul Harvey


What Do Women Want? - Discovering What Ignites Female Desire

"The genitals of the volunteers were connected to plethysmographs — for the men, an apparatus that fits over the penis and gauges its swelling; for the women, a little plastic probe that sits in the vagina and, by bouncing light off the vaginal walls, measures genital blood flow. An engorgement of blood spurs a lubricating process called vaginal transudation: the seeping of moisture through the walls. The participants were also given a keypad so that they could rate how aroused they felt...

The men, on average, responded genitally in what Chivers terms “category specific” ways. Males who identified themselves as straight swelled while gazing at heterosexual or lesbian sex and while watching the masturbating and exercising women. They were mostly unmoved when the screen displayed only men... The men’s minds and genitals were in agreement.

All was different with the women. No matter what their self-proclaimed sexual orientation, they showed, on the whole, strong and swift genital arousal when the screen offered men with men, women with women and women with men. They responded... markedly... as they watched the apes. And with the women, especially the straight women, mind and genitals seemed scarcely to belong to the same person. The readings from the plethysmograph and the keypad weren’t in much accord. During shots of lesbian coupling, heterosexual women reported less excitement than their vaginas indicated...

These researchers and clinicians are consumed by the sexual problem Sigmund Freud posed to one of his female disciples almost a century ago: “The great question that has never been answered and which I have not yet been able to answer, despite my 30 years of research into the feminine soul, is, What does a woman want?”...

While men with high sex drives report an even more polarized pattern of attraction than most males (to women for heterosexuals and to men for homosexuals), in women the opposite is generally true: the higher the drive, the greater the attraction to both sexes, though this may not be so for lesbians...

In 1992 Komisaruk, collaborating with the Rutgers sexologist Beverly Whipple (who established, more or less, the existence of the G spot in the ’80s), carried out one of the most interesting experiments in female sexuality: by measuring heart rate, perspiration, pupil dilation and pain threshold, they proved that some rare women can think themselves to climax...

In men who have trouble getting erect, the genital engorgement aided by Viagra and its rivals is often all that’s needed... In women, though, the main difficulty appears to be in the mind, not the body, so the physiological effects of the drugs have proved irrelevant. The pills can promote blood flow and lubrication, but this doesn’t do much to create a conscious sense of desire...

Chivers said that she hopes her research and thinking will eventually have some benefit for women’s sexuality. “I wanted everybody to have great sex,” she told me, recalling one of her reasons for choosing her career... For the discord, in women, between the body and the mind, she has deliberated over all sorts of explanations, the simplest being anatomy... men may rely more on such physiological signals to define their emotional states, while women depend more on situational cues. So there are hints, she told me, that the disparity between the objective and the subjective might exist, for women, in areas other than sex...

'Ancestral women who did not show an automatic vaginal response to sexual cues may have been more likely to experience injuries during unwanted vaginal penetration that resulted in illness, infertility or even death, and thus would be less likely to have passed on this trait to their offspring.' Evolution’s legacy, according to this theory, is that women are prone to lubricate, if only protectively, to hints of sex in their surroundings...

From early glances at her data, Chivers said, she guesses she will find that women are most turned on, subjectively if not objectively, by scenarios of sex with strangers... Though women may not want, in reality, what such stimuli present, Chivers could begin to infer that what is judged unappealing does, nevertheless, turn women on...

“In 1997, the actress Anne Heche began a widely publicized romantic relationship with the openly lesbian comedian Ellen DeGeneres after having had no prior same-sex attractions or relationships. The relationship with DeGeneres ended after two years, and Heche went on to marry a man.” So begins Diamond’s book, “Sexual Fluidity: Understanding Women’s Love and Desire”... Among her answers, based partly on her own research and on her analysis of animal mating and women’s sexuality, is that female desire may be dictated — even more than popular perception would have it — by intimacy, by emotional connection...

Among the women in her group who called themselves lesbian, to take one bit of the evidence she assembles to back her ideas, just one-third reported attraction solely to women as her research unfolded. And with the other two-thirds, the explanation for their periodic attraction to men was not a cultural pressure to conform but rather a genuine desire... Judging by experiments in animals, and by the transmitter’s importance in human childbirth and breast feeding, the oxytocin system, which relies on estrogen, is much more extensive in the female brain. For Diamond, all of this helps to explain why, in women, the link between intimacy and desire is especially potent...

“The female body,” she said, “looks the same whether aroused or not. The male, without an erection, is announcing a lack of arousal. The female body always holds the promise, the suggestion of sex” — a suggestion that sends a charge through both men and women... She, even more than Chivers, emphasized the role of being desired — and of narcissism — in women’s desiring... She pronounced, as well, “I consider myself a feminist.” Then she added, “But political correctness isn’t sexy at all.” For women, “being desired is the orgasm”...

Wearing goggles that track eye movement, her subjects looked at pictures of heterosexual foreplay. The men stared far more at the females, their faces and bodies, than at the males. The women gazed equally at the two genders, their eyes drawn to the faces of the men and to the bodies of the women — to the facial expressions, perhaps, of men in states of wanting, and to the sexual allure embodied in the female figures...

The problem was how to augment desire, and despite prevailing wisdom, the answer, she told me, had “little to do with building better relationships,” with fostering communication between patients and their partners. She rolled her eyes at such niceties. She recalled a patient whose lover was thoroughly empathetic and asked frequently during lovemaking, “ ‘Is this O.K.?’ Which was very unarousing to her. It was loving, but there was no oomph” — no urgency emanating from the man, no sign that his craving of the patient was beyond control.

“Female desire,” Meana said, speaking broadly and not only about her dyspareunic patients, “is not governed by the relational factors that, we like to think, rule women’s sexuality as opposed to men’s.”... Although bad relationships often kill desire, she argued, good ones don’t guarantee it. She quoted from one participant’s representative response: “We kiss. We hug. I tell him, ‘I don’t know what it is.’ We have a great relationship. It’s just that one area” — the area of her bed, the place desolated by her loss of lust.

The generally accepted therapeutic notion that, for women, incubating intimacy leads to better sex is, Meana told me, often misguided. “Really,” she said, “women’s desire is not relational, it’s narcissistic” — it is dominated by the yearnings of “self-love,” by the wish to be the object of erotic admiration and sexual need. Still on the subject of narcissism, she talked about research indicating that, in comparison with men, women’s erotic fantasies center less on giving pleasure and more on getting it. “When it comes to desire,” she added, “women may be far less relational than men.”...

“What women want is a real dilemma,” she said. Earlier, she showed me, as a joke, a photograph of two control panels, one representing the workings of male desire, the second, female, the first with only a simple on-off switch, the second with countless knobs. “Women want to be thrown up against a wall but not truly endangered. Women want a caveman and caring.”...

Between one-third and more than one-half of women have entertained [rape] fantasies, often during intercourse, with at least 1 in 10 women fantasizing about sexual assault at least once per month in a pleasurable way.

The appeal is, above all, paradoxical, Meana pointed out: rape means having no control, while fantasy is a domain manipulated by the self. She stressed the vast difference between the pleasures of the imagined and the terrors of the real. “I hate the term ‘rape fantasies,’ ” she went on. “They’re really fantasies of submission.” She spoke about the thrill of being wanted so much that the aggressor is willing to overpower, to take. “But ‘aggression,’ ‘dominance,’ I have to find better words. ‘Submission’ isn’t even a good word” — it didn’t reflect the woman’s imagining of an ultimately willing surrender...

As soon as I asked about rape fantasies, Chivers took my pen and wrote “semantics” in the margin of my notes before she said, “The word ‘rape’ comes with gargantuan amounts of baggage.” She continued: “I walk a fine line, politically and personally, talking frankly about this subject. I would never, never want to deliver the message to anyone that they have the right to take away a woman’s autonomy over her body. I hammer home with my students, ‘Arousal is not consent.’”...

Had Freud’s question gone unanswered for nearly a century not because science had taken so long to address it but because it is unanswerable?"

To summarise the article:

- Women lie more than men
- Female sexuality is more fluid than male
- Female sexuality is more complicated than male
- What women say they want, what women think they want and what women really want aren't always the same
- Women are more selfish than men
"I envy people who drink. At least they have something to blame everything on." - Oscar Levant


Trials Loom for Parents Who Embraced Faith Over Medicine - ""The free exercise clause of the First Amendment protects religious belief," the judge wrote in his ruling, "but not necessarily conduct." Wisconsin law, he noted, exempts a parent or guardian who treats a child with only prayer from being criminally charged with neglecting child welfare laws, but only "as long as a condition is not life threatening."... Recalling her own experience, she said, "we knew that once we went to the doctor, we'd be cut off from God."... An essay on the site signed Pastor Bob states that the Bible calls for healing by faith alone. "Jesus never sent anyone to a doctor or a hospital," the essay says. "Jesus offered healing by one means only! Healing was by faith.""
Praise the Lord

Wakefield rapist wanted jail English lessons - "The court heard after his arrest Majlat told a psychiatrist he decided to rape the woman because he wanted to go to jail where he would be fed, housed and be taught English. Doctors ruled Majlat is not mentally ill."

We are innocent! - "The two junior college student councillors who were photographed making out on a bus have been stripped of their leadership positions The female student was also made to write a statement of repentance... The male student not only had his title stripped, but has also been suspended from school for sneaking out at 2 am during a school camp over the weekend to purchase a copy of Shin Min Daily so that he could read about the report."
Well done, STOMPers. Citizen journalism takes a quantum leap. I don't get why only the girl had to write a statement, though.

Acupuncture 'works for headaches' - "Traditional acupuncture is effective at preventing headaches, a scientific review finds - but so is a sham form. The Cochrane Review reviewed 33 separate trials into acupuncture and its so-called "sham" counterpart. The latter also involves the insertion of needles - but not into traditional "energy points". The scientist leading the review said the results showed that putting needles into particular locations might not be that important."

Mr Wang Says So: Ministerial Salaries And A Sentimental Stroll Down Memory Lane - "You know, the cure for all this talk is really a good dose of incompetent government... your asset values will disappear, your apartment will be worth a fraction of what it is, your jobs will be in peril, your security will be at risk... Maybe we should give them another pay raise, before we get another good dose of incompetent government.
Unfortunately, Rational Expectations do not hold

YouTube - The best and most ridiculous fight ever filmed. - "This fight is complete with knife licking, shirt tearing, gratuitous shirtlessness, and the best part is the girl with a broken arm who comes out of nowhere to save the day. This clip is from the movie "Undefeatable""

Agent Provocateur: a suspender too far for Valentine's Day? - "In Love Me Tender…Or Else, Burberry model Huntington Whiteley receives a disappointing call from her on-screen lover to say that he has to work late on Valentine's Day. To exact her revenge she decides to turn up at his office in her underwear to perform the dance, which culminates in her punching him in the face."
One comment: Of course an advert showing a man turning up to his wife's work, performing a dance for her then tying her up and punching her in the face would be considered completely unacceptable. Funny that.

Feedburner Needs To Get It Together - "Complaints about Feedburner, a service that helps websites manage their RSS feeds, have been around as long as the company itself. But you’d think that when Google spent $100 million to buy the company, they’d get it together."
Ahh, I'm not the only one.

How To Organise A Circle Line Party - "On 10th March 1999 The Space Hijackers held a party on London Undergrounds Circle Line, it attracted around 150 people and lasted for just over 1 lap of the circle before we all scarpered. With a mobile sound system and lights disguised as luggage we decorated the train and danced the night away... The basic premise for a party on the circle line is that you attempt to get everyone on board, set up everything, have your party and clean up without the authorities ever getting wind of what is going on. This is a lot easier said than done."
If this had happened in Singapore, everyone would've been arrested for causing a public nuisance

Richard Michael Genelle - "Richard Michael Genelle age 47, resident of Corona, formerly of Riverside (Woodcrest) for 24 years, passed away 12/30/2008 at Corona Regional, due to a heart attack. Richard was born on 10/12/1961 in New York."
Ernie is dead.

What REALLY happened - the first MMPR Movie - "What REALLY happened in Sydney all those years ago? On this page we will take a close look at some of the quirky problems that made the "Power Rangers Movie" what it was. Without holding any bias, I honestly believe this production was a landmark for the Australian film industry, a time when many fractions became one whole. The experience of working on MMPRM was kind of similar to successfully negotiating your way past the gates of hell. Many very long and trusting friendships were forged - these same relationships now the key in holding together Sydney's emerging work doing things like "Star Wars", "Moulin Rouge", "Mission Imp 2" and success with "The Matrix". In decades to come as historians track the beginnings of Sydney's film business, they'll always find one common denominator on all the CV's (usually the first film that person did). I have no doubt that many of tomorrow's Oscar winners know what I'm talking about."
"It is hard enough to remember my opinions, without also remembering my reasons for them!" - Friedrich Nietzsche


"Democracy Versus Dictatorship

No other topic of the politics of economic growth has been more intensively studied or yielded such heterogeneous results as the democracy-growth link. Theories suggest thaI democracy affects both policy inefficiency and political uncertainty. Moreover, different theoretical approaches diverge on whether democracy increases or decreases inefficiency and uncertainty.

Democracy and Policy Choices
In the early post-war years, mainstream development theory argued that a cruel choice existed between rapid economic growth and the evolution of democratic processes. Different reasons were put forth about why only dictatorships could prevent inefficient policy choices. As the public choice school gained ground, this argument has become unfashionable. The prevailing view today is that dictatorships are more prone to inefficient policies.

Democracy and Inefficiencies
Two views on the inefficiency of democratic political systems claim that democracy leads to less than optimal savings levels or that democracy increases the power of special interest groups. An influential postwar strand of development economics tried to explain the backwardness of LDCs by market failures in need of correction by strong, paternalistic States. Briefly stated, growth depends on investment and investment depends on saving, but market failures or considerations external to investment produce insufficient private returns to savings, providing incentives for over-consumption. The State must therefore force private citizens to save in order to finance socially beneficial investments. Kaldor (1956) and Pasinetti (1961) elaborated on this theory in their well-known theoretical analysis of savings behaviour. They argued that savings rates differ between the poor, who tend to consume because they cannot do more than finance subsistence consumption, and the rich, who can. In a poorly developed country, the poor outnumber the rich. In a democratic country, the poor cannot be forced to save and can vote for redistributing income in their favour, leading to over-consumption and forcing the country into a low level of capital accumulation and slow economic growth. This view leads to the conclusion that the State must be strong and have a sufficiently long-term vision to carry out a policy of forced capital accumulation that would, at least in the short run, be unattractive to the average individual. This development theory clearly favours independent autocratic systems over tightly checked democratic systems with limited governments and reelection constraints. This cruel choice theory was so persuasive that it influenced the basic principles of development economics at least until the early 1970s.

A second argument advanced by Olson (1965) is the uneven influence of interest groups in democratic systems. He argued that the cost-structure of interest group organisation leads to a disproportionately strong influence of highly concentrated interests compared with encompassing interest groups that are very hard to organise. Olson (1982) relates this theory explicitly to inefficient policy choices and slow economic growth, arguing that the longer-lived a peaceful democratic system, the greater the influence of narrow interests representing industries with structural problems that use democratic avenues to establish selfishly favourable policies which damage overall efficiency and economic growth. This theory can, at least in principle, be used to call for strong autocratic governments uninfluenced by narrow interest groups and able to act for the common good. The line of reasoning can be developed by considering rent-seeking arguments in democracies.

Dictatorship and Inefficiency
This argument leads to the conclusion that dictatorships are advantageous because a dictator can implement policies unfettered by the pressures of interest groups. The objections are rather obvious: why assume that a dictator is sufficiently benevolent to implement efficient (in Pareto’s sense) development strategies? Indeed, most realistic political models dealing with autocracy assume that a dictator maximises whatever serves his purpose above all, rather than efficiency. Brennan and Buchanan (1980) forcefully analyse the problems created by dictators whom they realistically assume to maximise tax revenue this is certainly far from the efficient policies needed for private sector investment-driven development. In their view, dictators choose inefficient policies precisely because they are unconstrained by democratic control; introducing a democracy would tend to move policies towards the preferences of average voters and greater efficiency. The rent-seeking argument can be used to develop the point. In most cases, a dictator is not completely independent, but must satisfy an elite of rent seekers who support him. It is not at all clear why rent seeking should be more damaging in a democracy than in a dictatorship.

The idea that self-serving leviathans choose policies that private citizens would find inefficient is uncontroversial enough. However, a recent argument explains that even a benevolent dictator might chose policies that induce inefficient private sector behaviour because he cannot commit himself to a defined course of action unless it covers all situations. The most influential application of this argument has been for a Phillips curve type of interplay between government and the private sector analysed by Barro and Gordon (1983). Announcing future monetary stability is not credible if the private sector knows that this strategy does not serve the government in the future. Therefore, even if a benevolent government implements an ex ante optimal policy, rational private citizens will neither believe in nor react to policy stability. A dictator’s inability to bind himself to a future course of action thus leads de facto to inefficient policies and reduces economic growth.

This view therefore suggests that only democratic institutions can constrain the State to act in the common interest. The State must maintain a reliable political framework for private economic activity and a democracy is the best political system for this."

--- Politics and Economic Growth: A Cross-country Data Perspective / Aymo Brunetti, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development Development Centre

Friday, January 23, 2009

What do people like about porn? Everyone knows the answer to that

"A liberal is a conservative who's been arrested. A conservative is a liberal who's been mugged." - Wendy Kaminer


What do people like about porn? Everyone knows the answer to that

"Ignorance is bliss, yes? When considering the introduction of laws, or setting up government bodies to implement them, it's important that the people involved in public debate, in legislation, and in enforcement, should know nothing about the area in question...

It's John Laws' position when he states with pride in his radio program that: "I have to confess to not having looked at any pornographic movies" - and takes that as his credential for talking long and loudly about precisely what he thinks is in them...

What's actually in the pornography that Australians are buying? Who's making it? Why? Who's buying it? And what do they think about it?

Of course, I could answer all of these questions simply by drawing on the stock of common sense that Manne, Laws and many other public figures employ. The answers would be, in order: slim blonde large-breasted women being objectified; criminals and prostitutes; probably because they're drug users with no self esteem who are desperate for the money; dirty old men in macs who can't sustain relationships; and, they believe it's reality and it leads them to be violent against women. Easy...

We set up a content analysis of 50 of the best-selling porn videos in Australia, measuring the body shapes of the people shown, the kinds of sexual acts presented, who was involved in them, and how they related to each other.

It quickly became apparent that pornography is one of the more open-minded forms of culture when it comes to sexual attractiveness. Compared to women's magazines, fashion shows or advertising, pornography finds all kinds of people attractive - skinny people and normal-sized people and generously proportioned people. In the range of videos we have seen, "big racks" are popular - but so are smaller-breasted women. Interestingly, fake breasts are not hugely popular - pornography shows natural breasts as the most attractive...

Women in these videos are not objects in any recognisable sense. We have measured how much they talk, how often they are in control of a situation, and how much attention is paid to their pleasure. On every count it seems that porn videos place women in the driving seat...

Some people do it purely for the money - not necessarily because they're desperate or can't get it any other way but because it's relatively safe work that pays well.

One issue that keeps recurring - and doesn't feature in our common sense view of pornography for some reason - is the importance of exhibitionism...

About the only thing they have in common is that the gender politics of these consumers is overwhelmingly pro-feminist. Only a single respondent to this stage has stated that he doesn't think women should be allowed abortion on demand; every other respondent says yes to this, as well as to women being encouraged to remain in the workplace after having children should they wish. Not a single respondent believes that women ever deserve to be raped. Most think that pornography has either had no effect on them, or improved their lives slightly - most often by making them realise that they're not perverse for wanting sexual pleasure."

Addendum: In other words, there is a lot of diversity in pornography - in both supply and demand, pornography does not objectify women (but instead prioritises them), is a good job and pornography consumers have classical feminist views

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

"Beware of the young doctor and the old barber." - Benjamin Franklin


The very grand-sounding "Association of Bloggers (Singapore)", which I'd first heard of today, sounded bizarre enough already in their "exclusive interview with Today", with talks to get (presumably exclusive) coverage of various events sounding suspiciously like an attempt to form a cartel to corner the market.

If nothing else, 10 bloggers coming together to form an association hardly represents "the blogging community in Singapore... getting more organised" (maybe I should get 9 longhairs together and form a support group Association).

At first I thought this might just be the article's misleading phrasing, but as the (protem) Vice President - Membership notes:

The Association of Bloggers (Singapore) is different from those groups who just simply register a .com or a .sg website and claim to be representing the Singapore blogosphere. The association is a registered society with Ministry of Home Affairs. It is govern by a set of constitution and we have to oblige to The Societies Act (Chapter 311). The registration of the association will also be published under the Gazette.

Presumably, then, registering yourself as a society with MHA, having a constitution and obliging (sic) by the Societies Act means you represent the Singapore blogosphere.

Meanwhile, two of the Association's missions are:

- "To promote professionalism in blogging among members."
- "Fostering a positive identity with creditability."

That probably tells you all you need to know; the definition of professionalism is "professional status, methods, character, or standards". Even for "professional" bloggers (i.e. those who do it for a living), I'm not sure that there are a tangible set of methods or standards (except a general aim of making money from their blogs), let alone the casual blogger.

As for fostering a "positive" identity, you might as well try to get people who live in HDB flats or fans of Chinese food to form an association. I'm also not sure how "creditability" might be fostered - perhaps they will award certifications: "Singapore Blogging Award".

Mockup of award: "Bloggers Singapore"

Mockup of award (2): "Singapore Bloggers Class"

Then again, given the record of food certification and awards in Singapore (tastiness is inversely proportional to the hygeine rating, "Certificate of Award for the Fine Culinary Skill" [sic] is worse than useless), this will serve as a reverse signalling mechanism, warning readers to STAY AWAY!!!

Oh, and don't forget a healthy sprinkling of delusions of grandeur:

Singaporean bloggers were like loose sand, they were not united. They were easily manipulated and even banned for standing up against the foreign tyrant from self-proclaimed 'community meta weblog for Singapore bloggers'. Small bloggers are just too isolated to be able to fight for their rights...

We are calling out to bloggers who are willing to serve your fellow bloggers in this Association and the people of Singapore to step up and volunteer your service...

We want to revive the 'kampung spirit' - bringing bloggers of different races (and nationalities) together, helping one another, fostering the neighbourly spirit.

A foreign tyrant?! A barely-disguised dig at another Singaporean blog community is very professional!

Also, reviving the kampung spirit (and presumably also everyone's favourite playground activity - gotong royong)? This is beginning to sound like some gahmen-approved Propaganda National Education initiative (then again, since it "received the official nod on Friday", it literally is gahmen-approved)

Based on what we've seen so far (admittedly not much), I think it's a tossup as to whether this is better than "The Brotherhood" (at least their trolling has gone on for at least a year).

tinkertailor: "i'm gonna start the association of computer users (singapore) soon. anyone want to join? "

Monday, January 19, 2009

"After an access cover has been secured by 16 hold-down screws, it will be discovered that the gasket has been omitted." - De la Lastra's Corollary


The Perils of Being a Good Samaritan in California - "The Supreme Court of California has ruled that one good deed may very well not go unpunished — unleashing a debate not only on who is a Good Samaritan but who shouldn't even think about being one. On Dec. 19, the court made a decision in the case of Alexandra Van Horn v. Lisa Torti. The case alleged that Torti worsened the injuries suffered by Van Horn by yanking her "like a rag doll" from a wrecked car on Nov. 1, 2004, thus rendering Van Horn a paraplegic. The court found that Torti wasn't protected from legal action under California's current Good Samaritan laws."

Apple: Choose Your Own Apple CEO Adventure - "After a long and fruitful tenure as CEO, Steve Jobs steps down in early 2009 to fanfare and industry fawning. Apple needs a new leader. It’s time to choose your own adventure."

Cat Banned from Post Office for Not Paying Taxes - "An Alabama town rallies around Sammy the cat by buying a PO Box in his name after he was evicted from the local post office."

Pretty women likely to cheat - "Dr Li and Ms Durante found that women with higher levels of oestradiol were rated as more attractive by themselves and others, and were more willing to cheat in a relationship - but not more likely to have a one-night stand. Their study was published online this week in the journal Biology Letters. They concluded that such highly fertile women 'are especially motivated to be acquainted with other, presumably more desirable, men', in a strategy of 'trading-up'."

Invisible Surgery: Appendix Removed Through Patient's Vagina - ""Unfortunately," Udelsman said, "there is not a comparable approach for men, at least for the appendix."

Monopod on Flickr - "Custom-made cheap monopod, here's more info. Two joined poles, camera almost 6 meters up."

High caffeine intake linked to hallucination proneness - "People with a higher caffeine intake, from sources such as coffee, tea and caffeinated energy drinks, are more likely to report hallucinatory experiences such as hearing voices and seeing things that are not there, according to the Durham University study... Caffeine use can lead to a condition called caffeine intoxication. Symptoms include nervousness, irritability, anxiety, muscle twitching, insomnia, headaches, and heart palpitations. This is not commonly seen when daily caffeine intake is less than 250mg."
I suspect omitted variable bias: those who take more caffeine do it because they sleep less. Anyhow, we can add this to the "Say no to drugs!" campaign posters and be rid of the scourge of caffeine forever - one sip and you're hooked for life!!!

Lawyer questions different treatment - "CRIMINAL lawyer Subhas Anandan wonders if there is one law for the rich and another for the poor. Writing in the latest issue of Probono, the official publication of the Association of Criminal Lawyers of Singapore (ACLS), Mr Anandan pointed to stark discrepancies in the treatment of compounding of offences. He cited several cases where the courts refused to allow the accused to privately settle with the victims, apparently in the public interest... On the other hand, when the accused is well-off or a professional, the offender is allowed to compound the offence with no objection from the prosecutors.Those thus let off cited by Mr Anandan included a dentist, a doctor and the wife of Venture Corporation head Wong Ngit Liong, who slapped an air stewardess during a flight."
"The law itself will not tolerate any attempt by any person to undermine public confidence in the courts by making false and scandalous allegations" - Chief Justice Chan Sek Keong. Time to throw the book at someone!

Somalia confirmed as piracy capital - " The increased ability of pirates to sail farther out to sea, coupled with the inability of the Somali government to respond, led to what the report called an "unprecedented" rise in piracy in the area. The problems off the Somali coast contributed to a global rise in piracy, which was up 11 percent in 2008 from the year before, the report said... Last year's uptick in hijackings off East Africa has already spurred a number of international navies to patrol the Gulf of Aden."
Anarcho-libertarians should move to Somalia - their ideal land. At least till the evil governments crack down on the pirates.

Man refuses to drive 'No God' bus - "A Christian bus driver has refused to drive a bus with an atheist slogan proclaiming "There's probably no God". Ron Heather, from Southampton, Hampshire, responded with "shock" and "horror" at the message and walked out of his shift on Saturday in protest. First Bus said it would do everything in its power to ensure Mr Heather does not have to drive the buses."
My favourite comment about this whole saga, and the double standards involved: “People don’t like being preached at.” - Stephen Green of pressure group Christian Voice (especially given how tentative the bus slogan was)
aller a

je vais
tu vas
il/elle va
nous allons
vous allez
ils/elles vont

I hate irregular verbs !@#$

Finally, the lyrics to Pasigin!

"Reading made Don Quixote a gentleman. Believing what he read made him mad." - George Bernard Shaw


Someone finally sent me the Pasigin lyrics!


Isa sadtong kahaponanon
Sa higad sang amon punong
May lukon kag may hipon
Ikaw didto nga matipon
Sibot-sibot sa panghigaron
Pasayan amon nga sundon
Sikop-sikop sa hagapisik
Mga ulang gatalalsik

Panakla klaklaklaklakla
Panakla sang mga mangla
Panakla klaklaklaklakla
Panakla sang mga mangla (Repeat)

Si nonoy nagapangahayhay
Walay isda isampot sa balay
Nag-abot iya nga sibot
Kay sumang-it sa talibog

Si nonoy nagapangalipay
Gapanagoy nasampot sa balay
Madamong kuha nga isda
Ipasalubong kay palangga

Isa sadtong kahapunanon
Sa higad sang amon punong
May bangus kag untidos
Ikan dito mapadulos
Naga-isol ang mga uson
Gakamang mga bagungon
Alimango ga kapay-kapay
Nagasunod mga kalampay

Ang gataw sang mga isda
Nagalimid sang mga taba
Hinay-hinay pagbutwa
Agod siguro ang kuha (Repeat)

Si nonoy nagapanghayhay
Walay isda isampot sa balay
Nag-abot iya nga sibot
Kay sumang-it sa talibogsok

Si nonoy nagapangalipay
Gapanaghoy nasampot sa balay
Madamong kuha nga isda
Ipasalubong kay palangga
Ipasa lubong kay palangga

(Courtesy of broadwaylover95)

[Ed: This, a Filipino Folk Song, was sung by the University of Santo Tomas Singers (Philippines ) at the Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod 2010 (July 10, 2010 )]
Stock cubes make my stew taste funny.

Maybe it's the MSG.

Maybe it's the "spices".

Maybe it's the PALM OIL.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

"I don't have an English accent because this is what English sounds like when spoken properly." - James Carr


Japan trip
Day 16 - 21st June - Matsushima Bay
(Part 3)

Luckily the mist seemed to have cleared up a bit compared to the morning.


Oyster farms


Seagull food - Y100

Unfortunately the mist returned.

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