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Saturday, September 19, 2009

"In great affairs men show themselves as they wish to be seen; in small things they show themselves as they are." - Nicholas Chamfort


Japan's white-collar workers turn to homemade lunches in face of recession - "And in a sign of the shifting power relationships in Japanese households, many of the men now seem happy to wake up early and cross the kitchen threshold to create their own bento ensemble, typically grilled fish, rice, pickles and an omelette, all lovingly arranged in a compartmentalised box. Despite his popular image as a formidable corporate warrior during office hours, the average salaryman is far more docile when it comes to household finances. About 40% of salarymen hand over their monthly pay to their wives, who dish out pocket money for essentials such as lunch, manga comics, canned coffee, cigarettes and after-hours bonding sessions over beer and saké."
What happened to Japanese patriarchy?

YouTube - I Enjoy Being A Girl Flower Drum Song Movie - "When I hear the compliment'ry whistle
That greets my bikini by the sea,
I turn and I glower and I bristle,
But I happy to know the whistle's meant for me!"
Someone: how feminism has changed

Bananas-for-sex cult leader on the run - "Papua New Guinea police are hunting the leader of a sex cult that promised villagers a bumper banana harvest if they engaged in public sex."
Million dollar question: how is the banana harvest?!

The Amateur’s Guide to Chinese Name Translation - "For a quick sample of the glory and folly of Chinese names and their direct translations, I need to look no further than the colleagues at my office. A team of engineers with names like Leftside Mountain, Plumtree Universe Creator, or Frightened-Look Changes to Flying (sorry, that last one came out looking like the English subtitles on Chinese bootleg DVDs)... come up with things like Beautiful Bright Avenger, Translucent Ginger, Permanent City Wall, or Tiger Cub Field (almost like Tiger Woods!). So, you see folks, despite the fact that all my friends back in California think Chinese get names for their kids by dropping a bunch of pots and pans down the stairs and listening to the first acoustic combination, its actually even more fun than that!"

Taming the Digital Distractions That Make Your PC a Time Waster - "I wish I could say that using these digital nannies has revolutionized the way I work. They didn’t, really. Though blocking time-sucking Web sites did keep me from goofing off on my computer, I found that my brain quickly compensated by wasting time in other ways: As I’m writing this paragraph, for example, I’m also eating a peach. But not just eating it without thinking — I’ve been using a paring knife to try to cut perfectly cubical pieces to pop into my mouth. Perhaps this kind of unconscious fidgeting — whether online or off — is inevitable. The mind is a restless place, and creative pursuits like writing seem unsustainable in long bursts; perhaps the mind just needs frequent breaks."

Atheists 'have more success at online dating' - "Self-effacing men are also more likely to get a reply to their approaches, while nothing puts potential dates off more than textspeak like "ur" and "luv". The advice is based on analysis of more than 500,000 "first contacts" sent by users of OkCupid, the leading US dating website... mentioning "god" in a first approach actually discouraged people from replying. The analysis suggests online daters should avoid making personal compliments too early - "sexy" and "beautiful" sent response rates plummeting - and instead express an interest in their target's hobbies. People who used the words "good taste" or "you mention" in their messages pushed their response rates close to 50 per cent."

Obama rejects racism fuelling protests - "Obama's spokesman Robert Gibbs moved to calm temperatures after ex-president Jimmy Carter claimed that racism was driving anti-Obama demonstrations and rhetoric on the president's health care reform plans and spending policy. "The president does not believe that the criticism comes based on the colour of his skin," Gibbs said. "We understand that people have disagreements with some of the decisions that we've made and some of the extraordinary actions that had to be undertaken by this administration," amid the economic crisis."
He's internalised the dominant paradigm!

Men are producing 'super-sperm' to fast and powerful to impregnate women, as evolution leads to infertility rise - "Evolutionary biologist Oren Hasson believes they race past the defences thrown up by a woman's body so effectively that more than one sperm penetrates the egg. This process, known as polyspermy, ruins the egg - and the chances of fertilisation. In Britain, around one in six couples has trouble conceiving naturally and almost 35,000 women a year resort to IVF."

Vaginal orgasm is associated with less use of immature psychological defense mechanisms - "Vaginal orgasm (triggered solely by penile-vaginal intercourse) was associated with less use of DSQ-40 immature defenses. Vaginal orgasm was associated with less somatization, dissociation, displacement, autistic fantasy, devaluation, and isolation of affect. Orgasm from clitoral stimulation or combined clitoral-intercourse stimulation was not associated with less use of immature defenses, and was associated with more use of some immature defenses. In one regression analysis, more masturbation and less vaginal orgasm consistency made independent contributions to the statistical prediction of immature defenses. In another regression analysis, any use of extrinsic clitoral stimulation for intercourse orgasm, and lack of any vaginal orgasm, made independent contributions to the statistical prediction of immature defenses. Vaginally anorgasmic women had immature defenses scores comparable to those of established (depression, social anxiety disorder, panic disorder, and obsessive-compulsive disorder) outpatient psychiatric groups. Results were not confounded by social desirability responding or relationship quality"
One line summary: Psycho women are not more fun in bed

A woman's history of vaginal orgasm is discernible from her walk - "Research has demonstrated the association between vaginal orgasm and better mental health. Some theories of psychotherapy assert a link between muscle blocks and disturbances of both character and sexual function... The discerning observer may infer women's experience of vaginal orgasm from a gait that comprises fluidity, energy, sensuality, freedom, and absence of both flaccid and locked muscles"

Church altar smites devout Catholic - "A devout Catholic who popped into church to thank God for a his rescue from a lift was crushed to death by a 860lb stone altar... Gunther Link, 45, was "a very religious man and had been scared when he was trapped in the lift and had prayed for release". He continued: "A short while later he was pulled out of the elevator and he went straight to the church to thank God.""

Kissing quest makes Taiwan woman a web sensation - "A Taiwanese woman's ambition to kiss 100 men in Paris has become an overnight web sensation after she provided details of the quest on her much-visited blog... "Three of my four friends who were aware of the plan warned me that I might wind up getting slapped rather than kissed.""
Everybody loves an Asian Girl. And she'd only get slapped if she were a guy.

Burials in Tibet. NOT FOR SENSITIVE SOULS! (61 photos) (NSFW)
"The brain is a wonderful organ. It starts working the moment you get up in the morning and does not stop until you get into the office." - Robert Frost


Strangely, the first Malay spam I've gotten:

Subject: Congratulations - You Have Won (Selamat - You Have Won)

Message: *Boring English version*

Selamat - You Have Won

Yang MICROSOFT PROMO EMAIL MTM adalah senang untuk mengumumkan bahawa setelah berhasil menyelesaikan PROMO menarik diadakan pada 16 September 2009, alamat e-mel, menempel pada menang nombor: (11) (80) (12) (96) (09) (43) menang dalam Kesepuluh lotere kategori.

Oleh kerana itu anda telah diluluskan untuk mendakwa jumlah total £ 150,000,00 Poundsterling tunai dikreditkan ke REF NO: MICRO-L/2009-END10.

Semua peserta diseleksi melalui komputer Microsoft sistem mel suara diambil dari 167.000 Nama, sebagai sebahagian daripada Antarabangsa "E-MAIL" Program Promosi terkemuka kita MS-WORD pengguna di seluruh dunia dan untuk terus digunakan internet. Anda disarankan untuk menghubungi tuntutan prosesor dengan butiran di bawah ini melalui e-mail address:

NAMA: Keith Bryan
EMAIL: mrkeithbryan@yahoo.com.hk
TEL: +44 703 590 2789

NOTA HARAP ANDA UNTUK MENGIRIM MAKLUMAT BERIKUT UNTUK ANDA KLAIM PRIZE: 1.Full Nama: ... 2.Address: ... 3.Phone: ... 4.Country: ... 5.Sex/Gender: ...

Hormat, Larisa Turner.
"Leave it to a girl to take the fun out of sex discrimination." - Bill Watterson


No, It’s Not About Race

"They were carrying “Don’t Tread on Me” flags, “End the Fed” placards and signs condemning big government, Barack Obama, socialist health care and various elite institutions.

Then, as I got to where the Smithsonian museums start, I came across another rally, the Black Family Reunion Celebration. Several thousand people had gathered to celebrate African-American culture. I noticed that the mostly white tea party protesters were mingling in with the mostly black family reunion celebrants...

These two groups were from opposite ends of the political and cultural spectrum. They’d both been energized by eloquent speakers. Yet I couldn’t discern any tension between them. It was just different groups of people milling about like at any park or sports arena.

And yet we live in a nation in which some people see every conflict through the prism of race. So over the past few days, many people, from Jimmy Carter on down, have argued that the hostility to President Obama is driven by racism. Some have argued that tea party slogans like “I Want My Country Back” are code words for white supremacy. Others say incivility on Capitol Hill is magnified by Obama’s dark skin...

My impression is that race is largely beside the point. There are other, equally important strains in American history that are far more germane to the current conflicts.

For example, for generations schoolchildren studied the long debate between Hamiltonians and Jeffersonians. Hamiltonians stood for urbanism, industrialism and federal power. Jeffersonians were suspicious of urban elites and financial concentration and believed in small-town virtues and limited government...

What we’re seeing is the latest iteration of that populist tendency and the militant progressive reaction to it. We now have a populist news media that exaggerates the importance of the Van Jones and Acorn stories to prove the elites are decadent and un-American, and we have a progressive news media that exaggerates stories like the Joe Wilson shout and the opposition to the Obama schools speech to show that small-town folks are dumb wackos.

“One could argue that this country is on the verge of a crisis of legitimacy,” the economic blogger Arnold Kling writes. “The progressive elite is starting to dismiss rural white America as illegitimate, and vice versa.”

It’s not race. It’s another type of conflict, equally deep and old."

Monday, September 14, 2009

"I'm not concerned about all hell breaking loose, but that a PART of hell will break loose... it'll be much harder to detect." - George Carlin


The house that Twitters - "Now the house tells its owner when his dinner is ready, if someone is at the door or when a mouse has been caught in a trap. Dr Andy Stanford-Clark has fitted the grade 1 listed cottage with hundreds of sensors, allowing everything from energy usage to the burglar alarm to be relayed by the blogging website."

Veterinarian’s service that really sucks - "The veterinarian had asked the 27-year old woman to place the squirrel inside her blouse to keep it warm given its “erratic body temperature”... the veterinarian then began to demonstrate to her how to massage her breasts. “He then took advantage by groping and sucking the victim’s breasts"... The squirrel died shortly after returning home"

Why are we suddenly so fascinated by our history? - "A people that is no longer making history looks to the past for reasons to feel proud... no health warning is so preposterous that it will not be prominently reported in the British press, which knows how to turn even the tiniest possibility of risk into a major scare... The success of the Daily Mail would seem to be at least partly based on its propensity to spread unease and insecurity among its readers... it is hard to imagine what kind of appearance would satisfy the Mail. If you look wrinkled or podgy, it mocks you; but if you attempt to roll back the years by artificial means, such as plastic surgery, it mocks you even more"

O Muse! You Do Make Things Difficult! - "Dame Edith Sitwell used to lie in an open coffin for a while before she began her day's writing. When I mentioned this macabre bit of gossip to a poet friend, he said acidly, ''If only someone had thought to shut it.''... the poet Schiller used to keep rotten apples under the lid of his desk and inhale their pungent bouquet when he needed to find the right word. Then he would close the drawer, but the fragrance remained in his head... Balzac drank more than 50 cups of coffee a day, and actually died from caffeine poisoning... D. H. Lawrence once even confessed that he liked to climb naked up mulberry trees, a fetish of long limbs and rough bark that stimulated his thoughts... Alfred de Musset, George Sand's lover, confided that it piqued him when she went directly from lovemaking to her writing desk, as she often did. But surely that was not so direct as Voltaire's actually using his lover's naked back as a writing desk"

YouTube - Chinese Guy LOVES BOOBIES! - "There is three thing you need to do to please your man: Number 1, make a sandwich. Number 2, suck his dick on command. And number 3, don't talk so much"

China schoolgirl aspires to be 'corrupt official':state media - "The young student stated her aspirations in a televised interview that was posted on a southern China website, leading bloggers to describe her comments as "a reflection of social reality"... "A corrupt official because corrupt officials have a lot of things," she replied."

Executive bonus schemes do not work - "It's a wonderful thing, the global economy: it requires us to push up our top salaries in an attempt to match world levels, but at the same time requires wages for ordinary employees to be driven down to the benchmarks set by the lowest-wage economies... bonus schemes often distort performance, diverting attention from the issues that should really be addressed in favour of those which happen to be relevant to the bonus. Because many of the factors that determine a company's performance are beyond the capacity of an individual executive to influence – macro-economic conditions are the most obvious example – they either have to be discounted, or applied even though it is clearly irrational to do so... There is a much better practice, to be found in better-run economies than our own, which we should emulate. Top executives should be paid a proper rate for the job (and I have no objection to high salaries per se) on the assumption that, having been appointed, they will deliver a satisfactory performance. A less than satisfactory performance should be dealt with as a performance issue. An exceptional performance – above and beyond the call of duty – should be rewarded with a genuine, but one-off, bonus."

IN a school photograph taken shortly before her 15th birthday, Semenya stands awkwardly under the blinding African sun. A full head and shoulders above her classmates, she is dressed in men’s pleated trousers and an unflattering shirt. Her friends wear knee socks and skirts. According to Eric Modiba, headmaster at the Nthema secondary school where Semenya was a star pupil, she was “unique” from the start... “I was caught out, too. Caster was always rough and played with the boys. She liked soccer and she wore trousers to school. She never wore a dress. It was only in grade II that I realised she was a girl myself. “The way she looked, so masculine, did cause her some problems but few were brave enough to bully her.”... Unusually for a young woman perhaps, Semenya’s main interest has been WWF wrestling, a sport notable for competitors with extraordinary physiques.

Sexual selection in humans: Mr Muscle | The Economist - "There is another cost to being muscly: men’s immune systems are less effective than those of women (which was known before), and become worse the more muscular the men are (which was not)... The more muscular a man, the more sexual partners he reported, both in the past year and over his lifetime, and the earlier his first sexual experience was likely to have been"

Women, testosterone and finance: Risky business | The Economist - "Besides being a sex hormone, testosterone also governs appetite for risk. Control for an individual’s testosterone levels and, at least in America, the perceived sexism vanishes... The researchers then followed the subjects’ progress after they graduated, to see what sort of careers they entered. As expected, men were more likely than women to choose a risky job in finance. Again, though, the difference was accounted for entirely by their levels of salivary testosterone"
Naturam expellas furca, tamen usque revenit

Bermuda Triangle plane mystery 'solved' - "A new examination for a BBC series provides plausible explanations for the disappearance of two British commercial planes in the area, with the loss of 51 passengers and crew."

Maid cafes show no signs of losing popularity - "Pomeranian is “The Chubby Maid Cafe,” where guests can expect their friendly companions to be portly. No one is quite sure how it all came to this. Maid cafes first appeared in 1998 at sales events for the dating simulation game Welcome to Pia Carrot... It turns out the appeal isn’t gender-specific, either—in 2007, some 35% of customers were women, or “mistresses.”... There is still no shortage of good maids, however. About 300 hopefuls apply for every open position that comes open in Akihabara, even though the wage is only about 850 yen an hour. Most do it because they enjoy it, but a lucky few can become cosplay idols. In response to this, a group called Maid Cooperative has fashioned a standardized test to qualify maids. Today, “maids” in the loosest sense of the word cut hair, massage, sing, dance, gamble, cross-dress and so on. Some of the more bizarre offers worth checking out include Nagomi “Little Sister” cafe, Mother cafe in Osaka, St Grace’s Court (a sister nun cafe), B:Lily Rose (“danso,” or females dressing as “beautiful boys”) and Hibari-tei (“joso,” or males dressing as maids)."

Sunday, September 13, 2009

A more sophisticated version of an old cheap trick (think of a number. Multiply it by X, divide is by Y and add Z. You will get the same number again):

"Think of any quadratic formula in the form kx^2 + nx + c. Tell me the value of that formula applied on x-values of 0, 1 and 2, and I'll tell you the quadratic formula you thought of :P"
A great phrase from Frigid Girl:

"un petit mont feutré de mousse delicate, tracé sur le milieu d'un fillet escarlatte"

"Je te salue ô vermeillette fante,
Qui vivement entre ces flancs reluis:
Je te salue ô bienheuré pertuis,
Qui rens ma vie heureusement contante

C'est toi qui fais que plus ne me tourmante
L'archer volant qui causoit mes ennuis;
T'aiant tenu quatre nuis,
Je sen sa force en moi desja plus lente.

O petit trou, trou mignard, trou velu
D'un poil folet mollement crespelu,
Qui à ton gré domtes les plus rebelles;

Tous vers galants devoient, pour t'honorer,
A beaux genoux te venir adorer,
Tenans au poin leurs flambantes chandelles."
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