When you can't live without bananas

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Saturday, October 24, 2009

"Horse sense is the thing a horse has which keeps it from betting on people." - W. C. Fields


More evidence of the evolution of spam (emphases mine):

Subject: Reply..........

Message: Hello,

This is Harry Barnes of the 1st Battalion Scots Guard, but redeployed to Iraq, and presently stationed in Mushirij South West of Basra. I will like to share some very vital information that would bring some good financial returns to us in just a few weeks or days depending on how fast we pursue the matter. I am seeking your assistance to evacuate the sum of $12.7m to you,as far as I can be assured that it will be safe in your care until I complete my service here.

This may not be the best medium to make this kind of contact because of the numerous scam offers transmitted through the Internet, but it is all I have access to for now.

I will be very grateful if you can give me the opportunity to discuss this matter with you by assuring me that you will not use any part of it against me in anyway, I hope you understand my limitations here. Should you have reasons to reject this offer, please destroy this mail as any leakage will be too bad for us.

I will continue with the details when you signify your intention to work with me.

Harry Barnes

Message: not to come off creepy but i saw some pictures of you and you are really cute, come and find me on windowslive messenenger add myname on it ***@hotmail.com because we can talk more there and ill share some of my photos with you as well. looking forward to hearing from you soon, ttyl :)

Friday, October 23, 2009

"Mankind have a great aversion to intellectual labor; but even supposing knowledge to be easily attainable, more people would be content to be ignorant than would take even a little trouble to acquire it." - Samuel Johnson


"For most things which present themselves in life, and which, to judge from their actions, men think to be the highest good, may be reduced to these three: wealth, honor, and sensual pleasure. The mind is so distracted by these three that it cannot give the slightest thought to any other good.

For as far as sensual pleasure is concerned, the mind is so caught up in it, as if at peace in a [true] good, that it is quite prevented from thinking of anything else. But after the enjoy flnd ment of sensual pleasure is past, the greatest sadness follows. If this does not completely engross, still it thoroughly confuses and dulls the mind.

The mind is also distracted not a little by the pursuit of honors and wealth, particularly when the latter is sought only for its own sake, because it is assumed to be the highest good. But the mind is far more distracted by honor. For this is always assumed to be good through itself and the ultimate end toward which everything is directed.

Nor do honor and wealth have, as sensual pleasure does, repentance as a natural consequence. The more each of these is possessed, the more joy is increased, and hence the more we are spurred on to increase them. But if our hopes should chance to be frustrated, we experience the greatest sadness. And finally, honor has this great disadvantage: to pursue it, we must direct our lives according to other men’s powers of understanding— fleeing what they commonly flee and seeking what they commonly seek...

All those things men ordinarily strive for, not only provide no remedy to preserve our being, but in fact hinder that preservation, often cause the destruction of
those who possess them, and always cause the destruction of those who are possessed by them.

There are a great many examples of people who have suffered persecution to the death on account of their wealth, or have exposed themselves to so many dangers to acquire wealth that they have at last paid the penalty for their folly with their life. Nor are there fewer examples of people who, to attain or defend honor, have suffered most miserably. And there are innumerable examples of people who have hastened their death through too much sensual pleasure.

Furthermore, these evils seemed to have arisen from the fact that all happiness or unhappiness was placed in the quality of the object to which we cling with love. For strife will never arise on account of what is not loved, nor will there be sadness if it perishes, nor envy if it is possessed by another, nor fear, nor hatred--in a word, no disturbances of the mind. Indeed, all these happen only in the love of those things that can perish, as all the things we have just spoken of can do."

--- Treatise on the Emendation of the Intellect and on the way by which it is best directed toward the true knowledge of things / Spinoza

Thursday, October 22, 2009

"The desire to take medicine is perhaps the greatest feature which distinguishes man from animals." - Sir William Osler


Would-Be Burglars Foiled By Billiard Balls - ""I hollered out 'Death from above!' I'm not kidding. And no sooner than I said that, I started chucking pool balls at them.""

YouTube - Baby Laugh-a-Lot Commercial - "Tickle Me Elmo meets the Bride of Chuckie!! (From the psychiatrist's couch years later...) "That laugh! That EVIL LAUGH!!! That's all I kept hearing....!!!" Some toymakers sure had some strange ideas in their day..!"

Japan’s Sex Gap: 25% Now “Middle-Aged Virgins” - "As many as 24.3% of males aged 30-35 are virgins, a statistic which seems to have been worsening... 73.9% of those with annual incomes of less than $20,000 had no partners, whilst only 33.3% of men with incomes of from $90-120,000 lacked partners. The same survey suggested these poorer men could or would not use prostitutes; 85.5% of the below $20,000 group had never used a brothel, whilst only 37% of men with incomes from $90,000 to $120,000 had never visited such an establishment, itself a rather disturbing figure... the “cut-off line” for marriage for 46% of women was $40,000 a year, with 29% demanding $60,000. However, 2007 government statistics indicated there are only 2,544,900 employed bachelor men with incomes over $40,000 in the whole country, meaning millions of “excess” women are present hunting for the tiny number of high-income men they consider eligible, whilst the rest are left with only the prospect of fantasies."

Let's Get Short! - "FACT: The average senior citizen probably assumes "bit.ly" is the URL for a Lithuanian overbite clinic; "tr.im" looks like the homepage of an Islamic transportation consultancy.
FACT: On the other hand, "urlshorteningservicefortwitter.com" lays it all out on the table!"

God is not the Creator, claims academic - Telegraph - "Prof Van Wolde, 54, who will present a thesis on the subject at Radboud University in The Netherlands where she studies, said she had re-analysed the original Hebrew text and placed it in the context of the Bible as a whole, and in the context of other creation stories from ancient Mesopotamia. She said she eventually concluded the Hebrew verb "bara", which is used in the first sentence of the book of Genesis, does not mean "to create" but to "spatially separate". The first sentence should now read "in the beginning God separated the Heaven and the Earth" According to Judeo-Christian tradition, God created the Earth out of nothing."

Modern academic economics 'a disaster and a disgrace', says leading analyst - ""A year ago we came perilously close to utter catastrophe," he adds. "But the neoliberal, free-market people are already on the warpath. They remind me of some mythical creature – cut off one head and it sprouts more""

Passwords used by the Conficker worm
Some I like: "fuck", "sql", "coffee", "freedom", "anything", "love123"

He had 500 offensive photos in his phone - ""My husband and I were shocked when we were shown the data because there were more than 500 pictures of various women that this man took. All the pictures were of their chests and breasts.""
For once, the comments are mostly sensible, though AsiaOne seems to disagree, e.g. "if the pictures taken are "offensive", then the "victims" in the pictures should be charged for INDECENT EXPOSURE!
Where is the logic that a picture of a sexy girl is offensive but the same sexy girl walking in public is not offensive?
IS IT UPSKIRT? NO! if i take a 18megapix wide lens camera and take the picture of a crowd, then crop out a sexy girl in the picture taken.. is that offensive?"

Media may be next target - "A Taliban group also sent two letters... warning that if the media “does not stop portraying us as terrorists ... we will blow up offices of journalists and media organisations”... The group said that Taliban should be referred to as mujahideen"

YouTube - The Shan + Rozz Show: EP9 - The Boomz Girl
If you actually believed Ris Low's bad english was a one-off and due to bipolar disorder...

Man Arrested for Being Naked in His Own Kitchen - "Fairfax police say Williamson wanted to be seen naked. Which I guess means Williamson's front yard is a pretty popular spot at 5:30 in the morning"
My favourite comment: "One day my sister walked in on me naked and called me a pervert. The next week I walked in on her naked and she called me a pervert."

On the myth of sex trafficking

"It is even harder for the average ape to believe that he has descended from man." - H. L. Mencken


Facts will never stop those who argue on the basis of emotion and for political advantage:

Inquiry fails to find single trafficker who forced anybody into prostitution

"The UK's biggest ever investigation of sex trafficking failed to find a single person who had forced anybody into prostitution in spite of hundreds of raids on sex workers in a six-month campaign by government departments, specialist agencies and every police force in the country.

The failure has been disclosed by a Guardian investigation which also suggests that the scale of and nature of sex trafficking into the UK has been exaggerated by politicians and media.

Current and former ministers have claimed that thousands of women have been imported into the UK and forced to work as sex slaves, but most of these statements were either based on distortions of quoted sources or fabrications without any source at all...

The problem of trafficking is one of a cluster of factors which expose sex workers to coercion and exploitation.

Acting on the distorted information, the government has produced a bill, now moving through its final parliamentary phase, which itself has provoked an outcry from sex workers who complain that, instead of protecting them, it will expose them to extra danger...

In spite of six months of effort by all 55 police forces in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland together with the UK Border Agency, the Serious and Organised Crime Agency, the Foreign Office, the Northern Ireland Office, the Scottish government, the Crown Prosecution Service and various NGOs in what was trumpeted as "the largest ever police crackdown on human trafficking".

... 10 of the 55 police forces never found anyone to arrest. And 122 of the 528 arrests announced by police never happened: they were wrongly recorded either through honest bureaucratic error or apparent deceit by forces trying to chalk up arrests which they had not made. Among the 406 real arrests, more than half of those arrested (230) were women, and most were never implicated in trafficking at all...

After raiding 822 brothels, flats and massage parlours all over the UK, Pentameter finally convicted of trafficking a grand total of only 15 men and women...

10 of Pentameter's 15 convictions were of men and women who were jailed on the basis that there was no evidence of their coercing the prostitutes they had worked with. There were just five men who were convicted of importing women and forcing them to work as prostitutes...

"There are more people trafficked for labour exploitation than there are for sexual exploitation. We need to redress the balance here. People just seem to grab figures from the air."...

There are also fears that if the new legislation deters a significant proportion of customers, prostitutes will be pressurised to have sex without condoms in order to bring them back."

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

"There are some that only employ words for the purpose of disguising their thoughts." - Voltaire


A very bizarre take on religion:

A: There is nothing to stop someone from continuing in the tradition of his religion without believing in the myths of that religion. If I may pick a personal example, I am a devout and committed Christian and yet I do not believe in the existence of God and his supernatural buddies. There is nothing inconsistent about that. If I am asked, I acknowledge most readily that God probably doesn't exist because there is no evidence to support his existence. He's in the same boat as the fairies and unicorns, pixies and trolls. But I continue with the TRADITION of the faith. You see enough examples of bishops who do not believe in God all over the world.

I look upon religion as a human culture. I have sung Bach and Handel in the choir and when I'm singing the great music of the finest composers our species has been able to come up with, I am transported to a religious plane where I feel myself communing with God. It's the same when I play my musical instrument well - I feel I'm actually touching the face of God. That is a human emotion we all need to express through art. Or when I read Milton or Herbert or Yeats, I receive affirmation of the beauty of God. But of course, I know in my head that this is just a human feeling. We need a focal point for goodness and beauty and God is a convenient instrument for that purpose.

Religion has evolved to supply a human need. One need not deprive oneself of that need. But personally for me, to cook up the idea that God really exists is a bit of a tall order.

This is just the opinion of a devout Christian who knows in his head that God does not exist, any more than fairies do.

Me: Err, you mean you are a cultural Christian? Your description is not too different from what would be considered partaking in normal Western/Judeo-Christian culture.

But then there are cultural Christians like Bob Price who go to church and go through the ceremonies even though they don't believe in them. I assume you don't do this?

You'd be somewhere in the middle, then.

I think it's important to make the distinction between those who are culturally Christian and those who are Christian.

When you say you are Christian the meaning is entirely different from what you intend.

And I'm not sure that it is coherent to feel yourself communing with an entity you know does not exist.

A: A good example is this - everyone knows the virgin birth mentioned in Matthew's gospel is the result of a mistranslation. That famous alma-parthenos mistranslation. So, no intelligent Christian can possibly believe in the truth of the virgin birth. And yet we all say the Creed which affirms the virgin birth. Why do we do it? It's tradition. We simply acknowledge and "accept" this human tradition of the virgin birth, knowing that it arose from a gross mistranslation. It's like we are chuckling at ourselves for this error.

Let us say that for centuries, a group of people have been reciting a creed that includes the statement that "the sun is a ball of yellow cheese dragged through the sky on a chariot". Even though everyone knows that is not true today, we may still recite such a creed because of tradition. We smile at the thought of the errors our ancestors made and their ignorance too.

We should also consider the issue of harmony. We all have families and parents who practise the same religion. As long as it's an innocuous non-violent religion, I really don't see what harm there is in saying "I believe in God the Father, maker of blah blah blah". I can see how a dogged refusal to practise the religion can cause people close to us to feel upset...

Religion is purely cultural. You can practise the culture without compromising on your intellect...

Christianity is a lot easier because there are so many bishops and priests who don't accept God. I'm referring to the Church of England and the Methodist Church, both of which are filled to the brim with non-believing priests.

B: I got a question, (for u and myself). Will be be attending the church when ur parents are no more?
will you be asking ur children to attend church? You have a choice to make.

And culture thing ....is not a very big circle for many of us. Its just our immediete family.

A: I will probably attend church still. It's different for me. I love music and when I was very young, I used to sing soprano in the boys' choir. We used to sing Bach and Handel and some of Bach's cantatas still bring tears to my eyes even though I don't sing soprano any more (thank goodness!). Today, I still play music in church. Music is very important to me. I will probably continue with church even after my parents have died because of the music.

I suppose deep down, all of us want to make our children clones of ourselves. Naturally, I would want my children to be rational in their thinking and by that, they have to be able to see how illogical it is to accept the God of the Bible as real. Or any other gods for that matter.

Once they can see God is not real, I would like for them to accept God as a symbol or the focal point of goodness and beauty in a poetic sense. So much of culture is tied to the God of the Bible...

I think the beauty of humanity lies in the diversity of our cultures and religion is very much a part of it. The ideal world is one in which everybody practises his own culture without believing in the legend behind it. Just imagine this - will Bali be as attractive as it is now if every Balinese stops his colourful religious practices? How can anyone honestly say that he finds the Land of the gods more alluring when it's become the Land of no god?

... Recently, my mother asked me if I had turned atheist. She remembered years ago when my brother told me not to take Christmas communion but I didn't want to be the only one remaining in the pew so he said he would sit with me and forego communion. My mother was most upset with that. She wanted all of us to take communion and I was happy to do so but my brother thought it would be a sacrilege because he's a bit of a mad fundamentalist. So, she took communion with my Dad and she was crying when she went back to the pew.

It's so unnecessary to make people unhappy just because of a tasteless wafer. If a Muslim friend is dying and he wants me to say a Muslim prayer so he will be assured that he will see me one day in paradise, I will gladly say the prayer just for his comfort. The same with a Hindu friend. Of course I will stop short of going through a circumcision or kavadi-carrying but a prayer just to please a friend is no big deal.

... I love music and one of the greatest things about Christianity is the fine music that the greatest composers on this planet have written for a non-existent God. I have no problem with singing God's praise. It's the height of our culture and it's in praises to God that we find the finest works of art from paintings to music to literature. The analogy [of the Bible being as gory as] a gladiator's fight is incorrect because the Christian God is an impotent, innocuous and non-existent God. There is no gore. There may be stories that are violent but it's no more violent than Little Red Riding Hood which has threats by the big bad wolf to eat up the Grandmother. The good thing is, like Little Red Riding Hood, the stories in the OT are largely fictitious...

I don't normally think of my own religion as real, if you know what I mean. It's like going to church on Christmas day or attending a Christmas party and singing about the Star of Bethlehem, the wise men, Mary and Joseph, the Virgin birth, the stable, etc and all of a sudden, people ask me if I REALLY believe these to be absolute truth, ie historical truth. Of course not!!! But it's not something we normally say. To me, it sounds inappropriate to tell everyone it's all just a fable or a legend. The Holy Trinity was cooked up AFTER Jesus and the concept was finetuned over the next few hundred years so that even great Christian leaders such as Origen became a heretic retrospectively.

Anyone who has a passing knowledge of Church history would know all that. Of course the church tries to pretend that what they have come up with over the centuries has always been believed but it's very obvious to anyone that that is not true. It's just that we have to be polite not to contradict the teachings of Christianity today. It's normal to just follow along while knowing that the teachings aren't correct.

I know perfectly well that my religion hasn't got a leg to stand on if you turn on the search lights of fact and truth. I know the whole concept of God will simply crumble to dust when exposed to the light of truth. Religion and absolute truth can never get along. Religion belongs more in the realm of poetry, music and the arts. That's why I say it's purely cultural.

From my experience, the greatest mistake my fellow Christians make is to think that God is real. I mean in the sense that they believe he really exists as a separate entity. Of course I would agree that God exists as a symbol or as a representation of something or as a poetic metaphor and in that sense, he is real but that is a different thing altogether. To many of my fellow Christians in Singapore, God is as real as the one-horned rhino in Southern Nepal. They really believe that he exists as a separate living, intelligent being.

Me: I still don't see why you describe yourself as a "Christian" and why you consider yourself to have a "religion".

If you go by this reasoning, someone can be a Christian and a practitioner of traditional Chinese religion and the gods know what else - all at the same time.

Which should strike you as counter-intuitive.

If I am passionate about Classical Mythology and love to look at paintings and sculptures describing the various tales and stories, and even sacrifice a heifer for fun occasionally, this does not make me a follower of Zeus.

A: What you have said is what I'm always told when I'm in atheist forums. They insist I'm not a Christian. But surely whether I am a Christian or not must be determined by the prelates of my church. Is that not right?

I have informed my Bishop about my stand and I am still given office in church. I have in fact been told by one pastor that there are bishops who believe even less than I!

My name still remains in the rolls of the church. I receive Communion. I submit to church authority and say the creeds more than willingly. I follow the Liturgy with all my heart. I even serve in one of the ministries - of course not the teaching ministry.

I'm not a member of any organisation which is frowned by the church. I don't practise traditional Chinese religion but like I've said in another email, if a friend who's dying asks me to pray to the Chinese gods for his healing, I will do it in his presence just to bring peace and comfort to him.

By all accounts and all records, I am a Christian.

D: "By all accounts and all records, I am a Christian."

Cultural-Christian, I get. Charming solidarity, sing-a-long holidays blah-blah-blah.

But "Christian"? By your really broad against-the-grain definition, so are all of us.

A: Of course not. Most of you aren't Christians. You don't say the Creeds (at least you won't do it willingly), you don't say prayers, follow the Liturgy in church, take the Eucharist, kneel at the altar, etc etc. I'm of course assuming that most of you are atheists but I may be wrong. [Someone else] certainly will kneel, genuflect, pray, chant, sing etc. But how many of you really will do all these things? And submit yourselves to the teachings of the church?

My definition of "chistians" isn't broad at all.

Me: If I:

- wear Red Clothes during Chinese New Year
- give unmarried children Red Packets for luck
- eat nian gao during Chinese New Year (remember that the sticky cake is supposed to seal the kitchen god's mouth shut so he cannot tell on you)
- have a picture of the Monkey God in my home because I think it's well-drawn
- hang a bagua because I think it makes my house look good
- go to a Taoist fortune teller for fun
- eat vegetarian food on festival days because I am used to it
- appreciate the moon and eat pomelos during the mid-autumn festival

Am I a practitioner of traditional Chinese religion?

Again, a minimal definition of religion is "a belief in spiritual beings" - and not cultural practices...

This reminds me of how in Japan they like to hire Westerners to pose as priests - when some of these Westerners aren't Christians and they certainly aren't ordained.

If external behavior were sufficient to determine one's "religion", there wouldn't be very much difference between an actor acting as a Christian and a Christian who goes through the motions but doesn't actually believe them.

A: But I'm not acting. I come from a long line of Christians. I was born into the faith. It's not something I adopt for fun or for photo-taking (which is presumably what the Japanese you mentioned are looking for). It's my identity and the cultural identity of my family. I do not know of a single ancestor of mine who does not belong to the church. There is no acting at all.

D: When you can pick and choose what makes a "Christian", prayers and whatnot.

Why can't anyone else?

I can define it as "walking towards a church on Sunday" and I am sure we all do it on Sunday. Note: walking towards church is a subset of "walking towards a Church in sight", which is a subset of "walking into a Church", which is a subset of....

A: I was brought up an Anglican and Anglicanism is according to Richard Dawkins the most innocuous and intellectual form of religion. But unfortunately for me, the Anglicanism practised in the church I used to go to with my parents is different from the Anglicanism practised in Singapore. For some very strange reason, Singapore Anglicanism is a bit like American fundamentalism. I couldn't believe it when I read that Josie Lau and her "charismatic" friends who believe in miracle healings and voices from God are Anglicans!!!...

In America, there are Methodist churches that have excluded God from the services. I attended one where the only mention of God was in the liturgy which is fine. The sermon was all about how to be a good neighbour. You won't believe how progressive Christians can be outside of Singapore...

Your list of Chinese culture sounds interesting but I bet you made up some of them. I'm sure pomelos aren't eaten at the mid-autumn festival, or are they?

... I mentioned an incident in my life when my brother told me not to take Christmas communion. When we got home, my mum had a long argument with us. I told her I wanted to take communion but my brother stopped me. My brother said I was an atheist and should not take communion. Anyway, my mother called our vicar some days later and he questioned me. He said he did not see how I could be prevented from taking the Eucharist. My brother said belief was all that matter. He said I was prepared to recite the Creeds. He said "belief" can vary from time to time depending on a person's mood. He also said nobody really can have a 100% belief in something like religion. It always varies. He said no communicant should be denied the communion. He administered Christmas communion for me there and then, to the outrage of my brother.

... I can't have a Creed that is not in line with the Nicene Creed. The UUs do not accept this Creed. If there is a death in my family, I will not feel comforted if the funeral is not conducted by the church. I must have the name of the Holy Trinity invoked. I've seen a dear uncle in grief over the death of his wife and even though he didn't believe God really exists, he sought comfort in the funeral service and the constant reminder that the dead in Christ shall rise again.

I know in times of extreme grief and bereavement, I will be just as weak and I will seek solace in God and the funeral service.

I look upon religion as a human right. We have the right to be comforted where logic and reason are sure to fail us. Our species has developed religion for our comfort for tens of thousands of years and I'm not about to give it up. For me, there is comfort in a God fashioned after the Christian tradition. Another person may find more comfort in Allah or Buddha or Vishnu because that is the tradition he was brought up with.

Me: I've seen a dear uncle in grief over the death of his wife and even though he didn't believe God really exists, he sought comfort in the funeral service and the constant reminder that the dead in Christ shall rise again.

I've read this line a few times and I still can't grasp the concept

If you know something is not true, how can it comfort you?

Is it because you're lying to yourself on some level?

Or is your meaning that someone is comforted by a familiar ritual and ceremony, even if it has no real meaning?

All this reminds me of a marriage where a couple have fallen out of love, but are still nominally married and go through the motions of married life, even kissing each other (having Congress too, if you like) - but not feeling anything at all for each other.

Which strikes me as incredibly sad.

A: I found your email amusing not because you are wrong but because that is the usual answer I get when I talk to atheists. Mind you, I'm not saying you are wrong at all. You are absolutely right but human emotions don't work according to pure logic.

Let's say someone dear to me has died and I'm naturally devastated. I know that's the end of the person's life and I'll never see him/her again. Death has robbed me of that person.

The Order for funerals is very comforting. The words of Scriptures are familiar. We are reminded of how Christ's resurrection trumps death. Death, where is thy sting? Your family is with you and you share that special bond as you participate in the funeral service. You know millions of people have invoked the same name of our Triune God. Because Christianity is such a common religion, you share the same religion in this hour of grief with most of humanity. It may be someone really talented like Michael Jackson or beautiful such as Princess Diana but all of them were buried with their loved ones calling on this same God.

I acknowledge it is a weakness but I do find comfort in religion when I'm really in the depths of misery. I might even convince myself that the deceased is now in the arms of Jesus and even if it's hard to really believe it, the image of someone I love in the arms of Jesus is so powerful it's bound to offer me some comfort. And we don't live alone. What about younger children in our families? Saying that so-and-so is now in the loving arms of our Lord can only have a good impact on kids psychologically. I know it will make me feel better.

I saw an atheistic funeral service order in Dawkins' link once. Frankly, I found it very depressing because what I find comforting - this triumph over death and the comfort that God and the angels give - is sadly lacking.

I suppose in the end it really shows how different we all are. Some are comforted at the thought of a non-existent God while others are content to have a funeral service without religious elements. That's the beauty of human diversity.
"Literature is an occupation in which you have to keep proving your talent to people who have none." - Jules Renard


Frigid Girl: i met all your UD 1 and 6

must be like pokemon
gotta catch em all


PPBI: my guy friends never compliment me

not that i am expecting them to
but it's nice anyway

Me: ok

well your boobs are nice, I guess
but I never see very clearly

PPBI: !!!


you must say
that dress flatters your figure very well


Me: ... women

PPBI: you never see very well how you know they are nice!

a good bra always helps

Me: you wanted a compliment what

PPBI: not that type of compliment

Frigid Girl: women make every disagreement sound like some dynasty shit

"she's out to destroy me!"
"this is war between us"

Someone: **** = scum beneath my shoe.*

Me: haha why are they scum

Someone: for reasons that u and i both know?

Me: haha
didn't know you felt that strongly

migrate lor!

Someone: oh yeah that's definitely in my list of to do things.

seems like nobody i knwo wnats to come back

or even if they do, they want to be seen as foreign talent.
which is ironic how alot of ppl who go abroad to study have this aspiration to come back as a foreign talent

Frigid Girl: it's all your fault

now when i hear the starting notes of tuba mirum i think of that fucked up version that you let me hear

can't listen to it with a straight face

PPBI: u know was in flowerpod

then got this thread
the OP accidentally stumbled in front of a angmoh guy
and the angmoh guy was pissed so he elbowed her

and some other posters actually suggested that she shout molest

Me: ah, female privilege.

Someone on hating Singaporean co-workers: ang moh better la

i hate singaporeans
all chee bye

v anal
talk a lot
v for themselves lor

sgrean v neow
n lousy
australians get the job done faster n less anal

Me: haha
foreign talent are superior huh

Someone: i think they are better
because they are nice to u
when u do stuff for them

sgreans tend to wanna exert some authority
altho they have little

at least the FT know where the goal is
sgreans run ard the park but nv score

my life was much better when i worked w the australians

Someone else: i can imagine that there are vested interests in keeping it vague
"the powers of the police/auxiliary police"

we are still a very authoritarian society
in the libertarian west the police have extremely strict and transparent codes of conduct
what they can do and cannot do

Me: here, people assume that if the police come look for you, you must be doing something wrong

Someone else: yes
and the confer upon the police wide and ambiguous powers

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

"One man alone can be pretty dumb sometimes, but for real bona fide stupidity, there ain't nothin' can beat teamwork." - Edward Abbey


Amusing bits from the FAQ of the Registry Of Societies:

Should all Committee Members be Singaporeans?

For the categories of societies listed below, the majority of the Committee Members must be Singapore Citizens. In addition, the President, Secretary, Treasurer and their deputies shall be Singapore Citizens or Singapore Permanent Residents. Foreign Diplomats shall not serve as Committee Members.

a) Religious societies

b) Societies which identify themselves publicly as or whose membership is confined exclusively to members of a single race

c) Any society whose object, purpose or activity, whether primary or otherwise, is to represent; promote any cause or interest of; or discuss any issue relating to a class of persons defined by reference to their gender or sexual orientation

d) Any society whose object, purpose or activity, whether primary or otherwise, is to represent persons who advocate; promote; or discuss any issue relating to any civil or political right (including human rights, environmental rights and animal rights)

e) Any society whose object, purpose or activity, whether primary or otherwise, is to promote or discuss the use or status of any language.

Given the allergy to any discussion of Race, Language or Religion, a, b and e are not surprising. After all, you need the society's committee members to be within the power of the law (which is why Foreign Diplomats, with Diplomatic Immunity, cannot be in the committee).

What IS surprising is the fear of militant feminists or homosexuals (presumably miffed that the Constitution prohibits discrimination against citizens only on the grounds of "religion, race, descent or place of birth in any law").

And, of course, Amnesty International, Greenpeace and PETA.

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A clear threat to Public Law and Order

What are the guidelines for Names of a society?

Please provide a letter of support from the relevant authorities if you are using any of the following words as part of the name of the proposed society.

"College" (with exception of an alumni)
"Institute" (with exception of an alumni)
"Lion City"
"Stamford Raffles"

I've no idea who one might go to for permission to use the words:

- Temasek (Temasek Holdings?!)
- Raffles (RI? Raffles Hospital?)
- Merlion (the Singapore Tourism Promotion Board?)

The inclusion of "Ministry" is also strange - Christian groups must experience some annoyance with this.

What are the guidelines for Place of Business of a society?

Please note that the following addresses are prohibited from use as the society's place of business:
(a) HDB flat

Is this to prevent peasants from getting ahead of themselves?

What are the guidelines for drawing up a Constitution of a society?

Statement of Faith(compulsory for Christian religious groups): Spells out the religious beliefs of the society.

The prohibition clauses listed from 13.1 to 13.7 in ROS' Guide Constitution are compulsory [Ed: the current version was offline but an older one I found forbade "The introduction of... bad characters into the premises"]

Maybe this is to prevent another Marxist Conspiracy. Which presumably was more dangerous than the Jemaah Islamiah.

The schedule specifying societies that do not qualify for automatic registration includes:

Any society whose object, purpose or activity, whether primary or otherwise, is to promote, discuss any issue relating to, or to provide training in any form of pugilistic or martial arts.

To exclude Falungong? Or maybe they're scared of another Boxer Rebellion.

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The discussion of "any matter relating to the governance of the Singapore society" is also seen as separate from what a "political association" does.
"One doesn't have a sense of humor. It has you." - Larry Gelbart


I find this extract hilarious:

“Be with me always—take any form—drive me mad! only do not leave me in this abyss, where I cannot find you! Oh, God! it is unutterable! I cannot live without my life! I cannot live without my soul!”

He dashed his head against the knotted trunk; and, lifting up his eyes, howled, not like a man, but like a savage beast being goaded to death with knives and spears. I observed several splashes of blood about the bark of the tree, and his hand and forehead were both stained; probably the scene I witnessed was a repetition of others acted during the night.

Monday, October 19, 2009

"I'm just a person trapped inside a woman's body." - Elayne Boosler


OMG! I found something I'd been looking for (or at least, very close to something I'd been looking for) for a long time in the most unlikely place:

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"Cranberries, Orange, Peaches, Lemons, Grape Fruit, Watermelons, Pears, Cucumbers, Sweet Potatoes, Bee Stings, Flap Jacks, Has Been, Pointers, Mail Bags, Under Chinners, Cup Cakes, Balloons, Water Wings, Coat Hooks, Block Busters, Hot Water Bottles

Women all over the world love Triumph
Note: To avoid mistakes order by model name

TRIUMPH makes the best out of any breast !"

I seem to recall a version with mostly (or only) fruit, and in full colour, but this is close enough (and as close as I'm likely to get!)
"Sometimes I think the surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us." - Bill Watterson


Boy initiated acts and was fixated with sex

"COURT proceedings to decide on sentencing for a 37-year-old tutor, convicted of allowing a nine-year-old boy to perform oral sex on him on five occasions, took an unusual turn yesterday.

The focus turned to the boy, as details emerged in court about his fixation with sex and how he had made advances to his tutor.

The tutor's lawyer, Mr Denis Tan, gave a disturbing picture of a child who harboured sexual fantasies, performed lewd acts and exposed himself to others.

Arguing that the case was not a typical one in which a predatory adult victimises a child, Mr Tan fought for his client to be placed on probation.

The prosecution did not dispute that the child had issues with sex.

A government child psychiatrist who saw the boy said he had a 'definitive mindset' about sexual matters and showed 'hyper-sexualised behaviour'.

Dr Cai Yiming from the Child Guidance Clinic found that the boy was not traumatised by the sex acts and, in fact, needed psychiatric help to rid him of his sexual fantasies and desires.

No other details of Dr Cai's report were revealed in court.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Gillian Koh Tan pushed for a deterrent sentence, arguing that the tutor had exploited the child's sexual curiosity and 'gamely acquiesced' to his advances.

'The crux of the case is that an adult had repeatedly engaged in sexual activities with a nine-year-old,' she argued.

'Yes, the nine-year-old may have peculiar characteristics, but does the uniqueness of the situation warrant a significant discount on sentence? The answer is 'no'.'

However, Justice Kan Ting Chiu noted that this was a 'unique' case and it was clear the boy had initiated the sex acts.

At one point, the judge disagreed with the DPP's use of the words 'sexual assault' to describe the offences.

Despite the DPP's objections, the judge made the unusual move of calling for a pre-sentence report on the tutor.

Such reports are typically called to determine whether young offenders are suitable for probation.

Justice Kan added that, assuming probation was unlikely, the report could still help the court in deciding the sentence.

The man started tutoring the boy at his grandparents' home in July 2007. During one session in February last year, the boy started talking to his tutor about sex and male genitalia.

Two months later, the boy followed the tutor when he went to the toilet, pushed the door open, entered and fondled the man. The tutor then allowed him to perform oral sex on him.

Yesterday, Mr Tan described the boy as a problem child who hit his tutor and hurled vulgarities at his grandmother.

The lawyer rattled off a list of the boy's lewd acts to give the court an idea of his obsession with sex.

The lawyer said his client tried to fend off the advances of the boy, including refraining from going to the toilet, but eventually succumbed.

Mr Tan argued that his client, who is not married, had not done anything to his 20 other students and was unlikely to re-offend.

But the DPP argued that the victim was still just a vulnerable child who could not fully understand his own sexual curiosity or the implications of the tutor's 'heinous acts'.

She pointed out that the tutor had failed to tell the boy's parents about his unusual interest in sex.

The DPP noted that there was an escalation in the tutor's conduct - on the last occasion, he had deliberately left the toilet door unlocked.

The punishment for having oral sex with a minor under the age of 14 is a jail term of up to 20 years, and possible caning or a fine."

Somehow, we don't see such testimony when men have sex with underaged girls.

It's a straightforward case of: wham, bam, slam (for the man).
"Equations are the devil's sentences." - Stephen Colbert


Recently, I've discovered a bizarre new Singaporeanism:

"creme la crop"
(The correct version, of course, is "crème de la crème")

Whereas there're other English faux pas, this one seems Uniquely Singapore (there're only 2 isolated examples of its use outside the Singaporean Internet, and even then both are a variant: "la creme la crop")


Sunday, October 18, 2009

"The fool says in his heart that there is no god; the wise man shouts it from the rooftops"
"Always do right. This will gratify some people and astonish the rest." - Mark Twain


A book that will be released soon (I've already pre-ordered my copy!):

Dear friends,

After more than two years of writing, research, rewriting and polishing, the book Singapore: A Biography, by Mark Ravinder Frost & Yu-Mei Balasingamchow, is going to be launched this October in Singapore.

* 400 pages of lively writing about Singapore history, as you've never quite heard it before
* Over 300 illustrations – prints, paintings and photographs
* Pirates! Prostitutes! Secret societies!
* David Marshall! Lee Kuan Yew! Lim Chin Siong!
* And much more, of course ...

Learn more at our website: http://www.singaporebiography.com/

And come to our book events:

* Sun, 18 Oct 2009, 2pm, National Library: "History as literature: the writing of Singapore: A Biography"
* Tue, 20 Oct 2009, 7.30pm, Polymath & Crust: "Singapore: A Biography – a reading & discussion"
* Sat, 24 Oct 2009, 2pm, National Museum of Singapore: "Heroes, villains and ordinary citizens: a short history of Singaporean dissent"
* Sat, 31 Oct 2009, 11am, Singapore Writers Festival, at Earshot, The Arts House: "Finding the Singapore Story"

The book will be sold at all events and available from mid-October at bookstores in Singapore, Hong Kong, China and Australia. It will be distributed in the US and the UK in early 2010.

More event details below, with a preview of our book cover. Registration is required for the National Library and National Museum events:

* National Library RSVP: http://golibrary.nlb.gov.sg/Event.aspx?EventID=30211
* National Museum RSVP: http://www.nationalmuseum.sg/nms/nms_html/nms_content_6c.asp?content_template=4&content_id=12&tab_id=12&cine_id=1847&fest_id=0

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Penis at a Gay Bar

"Our constitution protects aliens, drunks and U.S. Senators." - Will Rogers


This guy walks into a bar and two steps in, he realizes it's a gay bar. "But what the heck," he says, "I really want a drink."

When the gay waiter approaches, he says to the customer, "What's the name of your penis?"

The customer says, "Look, I'm not into any of that. All I want is a drink."

The gay waiter says, "I'm sorry but I can't serve you until you tell me the name of your penis. Mine for instance is called 'Nike,' for the slogan, 'Just Do It.' That guy down at the end of the bar calls his 'Snickers,' because 'It really Satisfies."

The customer looks dumbfounded so the bartender tells him he will give him a second to think it over. The customer asks the man sitting to his left, who is sipping on a beer, "Hey bud, what's the name of your penis?"

The man looks back and says with a smile, "TIMEX."

The thirsty customer asks, "Why Timex?"

The fella proudly replies, "Cause it takes a lickin' and keeps on tickin!"

A little shaken, the customer turns to the fella on his right, who is sipping a fruity Margarita and says, "So, what do you call your penis?"

The man turns to him and proudly exclaims, "FORD, because 'Quality is Job 1.' " Then he adds, "Have you driven a Ford, lately?"

Even more shaken, the customer has to think for a moment before he comes up with a name for his penis. Finally, he turns to the bartender and exclaims, "The name of my penis is 'Secret.' Now give me my beer."

The bartender begins to pour the customer a beer, but with a puzzled look asks, "Why secret?"

The customer says, "Because it's STRONG ENOUGH FOR A MAN, BUT MADE FOR A WOMAN!"
"In theater you have the text and then below it you have the subtext. In opera it is pretty much the opposite, the subtext is what you are really dealing with first and foremost. So what you usually have are big, raw emotions, which are supported by the text. So, the source is really not that important as long as it has a strong enough subtext to support the format of opera"

--- William Bolcom
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