When you can't live without bananas

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Saturday, October 17, 2009

"If all economists were laid end to end, they would not reach a conclusion." - George Bernard Shaw


"Although people often say that they cannot appreciate the humor of another country, they rarly make that remark about foreign sexual humor. The reason is that humor distorts the familiar, and sex is familiar to everyone.

There is no limit, geographically or historically, to the popularity of sexual humor. Allusions to sex please Asian readers as much as everyone else. In the Chinese novel Journey to the West, female monsters try to rape the monk Tripitaka; they have heard a rumor that his semen guarantees immortality. In the same book the ladies of the court are unhappy because the usurping King has been neglecting his bedroom duties. In such Indian tales as Sukasaptati (Seventy Stories By A Parrot), Dandin’s Ten Princes, and in the anonymous “Tale of Two Bawds,” sex plays a prominent and entertaining role. Chinese writers frequently add sexual details to increase interest in their narratives.

From Korea comes an anecdote about a one-eyed man who stopped to spend the night at a village inn. He overheard the inn keeper in the adjoining room say to his wife, “Let’s kill one -eye.”

“Good,” she said.

The one-eyed man was terrified and ran to inform the village magistrate, who sent for the inn-keeper and accused him of attempted murder.

“The innkeeper laughingly explained. ‘One-eye is a colloquial term for penis. I was joking with my wife - when we finished with intercourse wouldn’t it be dead? You having one eye, heard us and misunderstood.”

The magistrate laughed and dismissed the case.

Levy also cites three Korean jokes about masturbation, and several anecdotes about bestiality. Whatever a prudish Westerner might think, the Koreans found these stories funny.

In his collection of Ghanaian abuse Owusu Breinpont lists, among many similar sexual insults, the following. Whether one considers them funny or not depends on one’s temperament and cultural conditioning. Ghanaians considered them amusing.

“Your vagina is as wide as a plate.”
“The hair on your vagina is like an Afro Wig.”
“Your clitoris is as long as a pickaxe.”
“Your penis is bent like the gearshift of a Mercedes-Benz.”"

--- The secret of humor / Leonard Feinberg

Friday, October 16, 2009

"I love acting. It is so much more real than life." - Oscar Wilde


Why you should take note of warning signs:

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"Warning: Due to overfeeding some pigeons can become aggressive"
"If you develop an ear for sounds that are musical it is like developing an ego. You begin to refuse sounds that are not musical and that way cut yourself off from a good deal of experience." - John Cage



Spiders on Drugs

Mbeki Says Crime Reports Are Racist - "President Thabo Mbeki has made a withering attack on commentators who argue that violent crime is out of control in South Africa, calling them white racists who want the country to fail. He said crime was falling but some journalists distorted reality by depicting black people as "barbaric savages" who liked to rape and kill."

Asia’s Awesome Bootleg DVD Selection Traced Back To Single Chinese Mafia Boss Film School Dropout - "Chueh’s decision to pirate movies for a living appears to be not only an act of revenge against Hollywood, but also, at the same time, an act of enduring love for film... Also according to Goodman, by 2005 the average bootleg DVD table on Silom road in Bangkok had “a better selection of movies than any legal shop in the world, or for that matter, the whole Netflix catalog.” A sample of recovery from a police raid in 2006 included the Criterion set of Krzysztof Kieślowski’s “Decalogue,” Noburo Tanaka’s “Showa Trilogy,” and both Todd Haynes’ “Poison” and “Superstar,” the latter of which is so rare it is not legally available in the United States. The sheer depth of film knowledge required to have even heard of these movies led investigators to look for film-school backgrounds among known Asian mafia, which eventually led to Chueh."

Clamour to ban fake 'hymen' - "Sheik Sayed Askar, a member of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood who is on the parliamentary committee on religious affairs, said the kit will make it easier for Egyptian women to give in to temptation... Prominent Egyptian religious scholar Abdel Moati Bayoumi said anyone who imports the artificial hymen should be punished. "This product encourages illicit sexual relations. Islamic culture forbids these relations except within the confines of marriage," Bayoumi said... "If this thing enters Egypt, the country is going to go to waste. God protect us," commented a reader on the Web site of Egyptian newspaper Al-Youm Al-Sabie."
When I read the title I thought it was the feminists.

Spy SG: Spying the secret life of local female celebrities and bloggers - "We are tracking pretty / sexy / cute female SG and MY bloggers :
-blogs (wordpress, blogspot)
-video (youtube)
-photo (flickr, picasa)
-social network (friendster, facebook, twitter)
and many many more to come."

Product Info. Female Viagra - The Trusted Meds Online for everyone - "Product info: Women's health Erectile Dysfunction"

Why young single men are more xenophobic II | Psychology Today - "Social and cultural ornamentation presents men with one problem that males of other species, who lek via physical ornamentation, do not face: It does not travel well. Social and cultural ornamentation is, by definition, socially and culturally specific... This is in clear contrast to women’s status and mate value... Yanomamö men will see that a Victoria’s Secret lingerie model is extremely moko dude (a Yanomamö phrase meaning “perfectly ripe”)... One empirical study with a large European sample shows that, controlling for age, education, and income (factors that are expected to, and in most cases do, affect people’s ability to travel), unmarried women are significantly more likely to vacation abroad than unmarried men. The same study also demonstrates that, controlling for age and education, unmarried women are significantly less likely to express xenophobic attitudes than unmarried men toward individuals of other nationalities, races and religions. The pattern is similar among Americans as well. In all cases, the sex difference disappears once the respondents are married"

Women cry more than men - " According to the German Society of Ophthalmology, which has collated different scientific studies on the phenomenon, women shed tears on average between 30 and 64 times a year and men six to 17 times. Men tend to cry for between two and four minutes, but for females sessions last around six minutes. And weeping turns into full-blown sobbing for women in 65 per cent of cases, compared to just six per cent for males. Until adolescence, however, there is no difference... 'showing that blubbing because of joy, sadness or anger is something that is learned'... Women cry when they feel inadequate, when they are confronted by situations that are difficult to resolve or when they remember past events. Men, meanwhile, tend to cry from empathy or when a relationship fails"
Secondary sexual characteristics also manifest at adolescence...

Hard Work's Overrated, Maybe Detrimental - "Late nights are seldom very useful in the grand scheme of things. Hard work? Overrated... 'We agreed that a lot of what we then considered "working hard" was actually "freaking out"'... Fake points to the salient example of Watson and Crick's discovery of DNA. They spent a lot of time lollygagging and goofing off, going to parties and bullshitting over coffee. That might seem like a historical footnote, but our everyday experience vindicates it. After all, have you ever had a great idea at your desk? But how often does that bulb go off in the shower, or in bed? Modern neuroscience actually vindicates this apparently lackadaisical approach. It turns out that the best way to find breakthrough ideas might be to avoid working hard"
This is only true of Creative work, not Routine work

The 100 Most Beautiful Words in English

Google's Marissa Mayer Assaults Designers With Data - "Currently they do employ designers at Google. But if they actually do design or not is up for debate since every decision at Google comes from data testing, not the reasoning of a creative mind"
Ah, the clash of empiricism and romanticism!

Ninth Level Dork - "So Dungeons and Dragons did a lot for me. It made me a little more understanding of rabid, war hawk conservatives... most importantly, Dungeons and Dragons taught me that sometimes it's important to just wade in and be direct about what you want. So if there are any other dorks out there, I'd really, really like to get a game going. I'll even play the cleric."

men who look like old lesbians

Thursday, October 15, 2009

The worst euphemism I've ever heard:

"u love an indian girl?? u can give her ur erm, candle on deepavali"

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

"I always find it more difficult to say the things I mean than the things I don't." - W. Somerset Maugham


The Random Death Of Our Sense of Ease

"The human animal's drive to explain away the random fact of bad fortune...

Sudden death always threatens to strip away our illusions that we have some dominion over fate... When someone is picking off victims with the implacable dispassion of nature, we can't tell ourselves, "Oh, she walked home from the Metro after dark in the wrong neighborhood." Or: "Well, he smoked for 25 years." Or even: "She always did drive too fast."...

What we really labor to keep from our children is the same bitter knowledge that their elders avoid: not that people get killed by strangers, or that there are too many guns in our world, or that madness never sleeps, but that there is no logic at all to some of the worst blows that life metes out. Time and chance happen to us all, darling boy, and even grown-ups can bear it only a little bit at a time."

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Reversal of fortune? Singaporeans heading to China

Reversal of fortune? Singaporeans heading to China

"China is now a favorite destination for retirees to spend their golden years simply because it has become so expensive to retire in Singapore.

When I was in Dongguan last month, I came across a 60 year old ex-civil servant who sold off his HDB flat and bought a sprawling 5,000 square foot bungalow in the suburbs. His wife passed away 2 years ago and his two grown up children have their own families in Singapore. He now lives with his mistress, who is only 24 years old.

According to him, more and more Singapore men are discovering the beauty of Chinese women and the country.

"We are too late!", he lamented to me. "The Taiwanese and the Hong Kongers come before us. Now we are left with the crumbs. Look here, this place is a village only 10 years ago, now it is a metropolis. In another ten years time, Dongguan will catch up with Singapore."

To those who can afford it, China is indeed a paradise on earth. Besides Dongguan, there are now a sizable number of ex-Singaporeans and Singaporeans living in nearby Shenzhen, Guangzhou and Zhuhai. Their numbers are expected to grow in the future."

I wonder if by "crumbs" he means Singaporeans get the ugly women.

But then again, as they say in America, "that's what I like about these high school girls, man; I get older, they stay the same age"

Sunday, October 11, 2009

"I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be." - Douglas Adams


"England’s Glorious Revolution of 1688-89 holds a special place in our understanding of the modern world and the revolutions that had a hand in shaping it. For the better part of three centuries scholars and public intellectuals identified England’s Revolution of 1688-89 as a defining moment in England’s exceptional history. Political philosophers have associated it with the origins of liberalism. Sociologists have contrasted it with the French, Russian, and Chinese revolutions. Historians have pointed to the Revolution as confirming the unusual nature of the English state. Scholars of literature and culture highlight the Revolution of 1688-89 as an important moment in defining English common sense and moderation. All of these interpretations derive their power from a deeply held and widely repeated narrative of England’s Revolution of 1688-89. Unfortunately, that narrative is wrong...

Macaulay’s thesis became the classic statement of the Whig interpretation of the Revolution of 1688-89. It had a number of distinctive facets. First, the revolution was unrevolutionary. Unlike other subsequent revolutions, England’s revolution was bloodless, consensual, aristocratic and above all sensible. The English had no desire to transform their polity, their society or their culture. Instead they worried that James II had intended to do just that. Second, the revolution was Protestant. James II had tried to reinstitute Catholicism in England. The revolution insured that England would remain a Protestant polity. Third, the revolution demonstrated the fundamentally exceptional nature of English national character. Continental Europeans vacillated between the wild extremes of republican and popular government on the one hand and tyrannical royal absolutism on the other. The English, by contrast, were committed to limited monarchy, allowing just the right amount of tempered popular liberty. Just as the English church was a sensible middle way between the extremes of Roman Catholicism and radical Protestant sectarianism, so the English polity, by maintaining its ancient constitution, was sensible and moderate. In this context the English remained committed to their hierarchical social structure precisely because it did not impose unbridgeable gaps between the aristocracy and the people. Fourth, there could have been no social grievances under-girding the revolution of 1688-89 because English society had changed little in the period prior to James II’s flight. It was only once English property rights were secured by the revolution, only once absolutism was no longer possible in England, that the English economy could truly flourish.

This book challenges every element of this established account... the English experience is not exceptional, but in fact typical (if precocious) of states experiencing modern revolutions. The Revolution of 1688-89 is important not because it re-affirmed the exceptional English national character, but because it was landmark moment in the emergence of the modern state...

Though we have come to view the Glorious Revolution as bloodless, aristocratic, and consensual, the actual event was none of these things. The Revolution of 1688-89 was, of course, less bloody than the violent revolutions of the 20th century, but the English endured a scale of violence against property and persons similar to that of the French Revolution of the end of the 18th century. Englishmen and women throughout the country threatened one another, destroyed each other’s property, killed and maimed one another throughout the revolutionary period. Englishmen and women, from London to Newcastle, from Plymouth to Norwich, experienced violence, threats of violence, or lived in terrifying fear of violence. This was not a tame event. Nor was it a staid negotiation conducted by elites. Men and women of all social categories took to the streets, marched in arms on England’s byways and highways, and donated huge amounts of money – some in very small quantities – to support the revolutionary cause. When the members of the House of Lords tried calmly to settle the succession issue after James II had fled the country, an angry crowd numbering in the tens of thousands cut short the nobles’ deliberations and forced their hands... The Revolution of 1688-89 was, like all other revolutions, violent,
popular, and divisive.

My central argument in this book, then, is that the English in the later seventeenth-century forged the first modern revolution"

--- 1688: The First Modern Revolution / Steven Pincus
A good chop for those in the business of education:

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(via Temptation Chris)

The Asian Prince Restaurant

Amazing news!!!

My brother-in-law was in Paris when he spotted:

WO-HEN NANKAN!!! (Tuan Anh)

He asked the staff for the poster, and after being asked if he was Vietnamese, he was told that he could not have it - because this was Tuan Anh's favourite restaurant in Paris, and he always visited it when in town!!!

This is a must-visit the next time I am in the City of Lights!!!

Restaurant PIMENT D'OR: QUÁN CÂY O'T - Specialites Vietnamiennes

111, Avenue d'Ivry 75013 Paris
01 53 79 20 60

(an an added bonus, I'm told the food there is really good)
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