When you can't live without bananas

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Friday, December 11, 2009

From @miyagi

If we had to fight for or defend Singapore, what would you be fighting for? What would you be protecting? Pin it down.
Feel free to annotate with images / videos. 

Changi Airport - the way out (Me)
"Very important area to defend - the airport. So that you can get out if need be."

Changi Airport (jim)
"So my family can go somewhere else..."

Looks like someone else had the same idea...


Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us
Chicago O'Hare Airport (AcidFlask)
"I'd fight for my right to walk through the immigration counter here."

This is an even better idea!
"Everyone has a right to a university degree in America, even if it's in Hamburger Technology." - Clive James


Lesbians raped to "correct" their sexuality - "Sky News approached a group of men about attitudes towards gay women, with one man claiming lesbians should be "whipped, as there is no mention of lesbians in the Bible." The men all agreed women should behave like women and this was a way of teaching them that."

MP3 vs. CD Audio Quality Tests - "2006-05-19: I've found the High Quality settings (-V 2 --vbr-new) - ~190kbps - to provide sufficent quality that I find CD's burned from the output to be sonically indistinguishable from the originals"

Do Higher MP3 Bit Rates Pay Off? - "With the possible exception of the USB Key that survived a washing and drying cycle, no other Maximum PC Challenge has ever surprised us as much as this one. It’s downright humiliating, in fact, that in many cases, we were unable to tell the difference between an uncompressed track and one encoded at 160Kb/s, the bit rate most of us considered the absolute minimum acceptable for even portable players. Some follow-up testing confirmed our suspicions: variable bit rate encoding makes a tremendous difference in the audio quality results, certainly enough to justify—many times over—the slight file size increase. Capping the bit rate at 160Kb/s in MP3 files can be pretty harsh on a track, but allowing the bit rate to wander upwards during more complex passages—as variable bit rate encoding does—and throttle down during quieter sections captures an astonishing amount of complexity while keeping file sizes down to an impressive minimum."
"Audiophile: A person who believes they can detect minor flaws in any audio system that cause them to enjoy music and other audio much less than the average person in 99% of normal situations"

Bizarre HR: Bankers indulge their cheating hearts - "More bankers have been turning to adultery since the collapse of the financial markets in October last year... most bankers said they embarked on extra-marital affairs because of a public revulsion for bankers, combined with a lack of affection in private. This was followed closely by the excitement of doing something risky, escaping boredom, feeding their ego and giving in to the peer pressure of having a mistress for the sake of status"

SPCA STERILISATION CAMPAIGN “DESEX IN THE CITY” DECEMBER 2009 - "Unsterilised cats and dogs often suffer from cancer of the reproductive organs, testicular tumours, peri-anal tumours, prostate tumours, ovarian tumours, mammary tumours and chronic uterine infections such as pyometra and metritis. Sterilised animal have reduced chances of getting these ailments."
Wow, I almost want to get sterilised too.

Japanese noodle bath. [VIDEO] - Literally. Damn Japs.

Guide to Singapore Work Culture for Newcomers - "If you have just found a job in Singapore, a good way to conform to hierarchical relationships is to follow these guidelines:
* Treat employers and superiors with utmost respect.
* Refrain from calling their employers by first names – preferring instead to call them “Mr/Mrs/Miss” and followed with their surname/personal name or simply “Sir/Madam/Boss”.
* Practise the “arrive before the boss, leave after the boss” working hours... Majority of Singaporeans and local firms practise group-centredness, that is, the traditional value of cooperation amongst group members to maintain group harmony. In a workplace, teamwork and group efforts (cooperation) are seen as the main means of achieving company goals (group harmony). Anti-group-centredness behaviors such as disagreeing with the group’s decisions, putting individual wants above the group’s needs and boasting about individual efforts are frowned upon as these behaviours jeopardize group harmony. This Collectivist culture has a preference to work together and share rewards more than to strive for individual recognition; sharing responsibilities, helping each other and learning from each other"
Sounds like Singapore 20 years ago - or China now

Dah Sing Bank, Limited - Wealth Management - VIP Banking - Hello Kitty VIP Banking Services Information - "Women nowadays are well-versed in business and competent in many different roles in society, with a better position to achieve wealth accumulation. Dah Sing Bank understands the great emphasis modern women place on the quality of life. To accommodate you to pursue a quality and sparkling lifestyle, Dah Sing Bank is launching the Hello Kitty VIP Banking to provide you with professional and personalized financial srvices, allowing you to manage your wealth conveniently and flexibly"

Geist: Record industry faces liability over `infringement' - "The infringer has effectively already admitted owing at least $50 million and the full claim could exceed $60 billion. If the dollars don't shock, the target of the lawsuit undoubtedly will: The defendants in the case are Warner Music Canada, Sony BMG Music Canada, EMI Music Canada, and Universal Music Canada, the four primary members of the Canadian Recording Industry Association... After years of claiming Canadian consumers disrespect copyright, the irony of having the recording industry face a massive lawsuit will not be lost on anyone, least of all the artists still waiting to be paid. Indeed, they are also seeking punitive damages, arguing "the conduct of the defendant record companies is aggravated by their strict and unremitting approach to the enforcement of their copyright interests against consumers.""

Thursday, December 10, 2009

"There is always a well-known solution to every human problem--neat, plausible, and wrong." - H. L. Mencken


"The presumption on campuses today is that any sexual relation between a teacher and a student constitutes sexual harassment... The policies assume that there is, in fact, no such thing as a consensual relation between a teacher and a student...

Students do not have full freedom of choice; thus their consent is not true consent but merely the appearance of consent. The very existence of 'a professional power differential' between the parties means a relationship will not be treated as consensual, regardless of whether consent was in fact granted...

As a teacher of feminist theory, I recognize this critique of consent. It is based on a radical feminist critique of heterosexuality. Students cannot “really” consent to sex with professors for the same reasons that women cannot “really” consent to sex with men. Feminists saw that economic arrangements make heterosexuality generally “compulsory” for women. In a society where women are economically disadvantaged, most women must depend upon sexual relations with men (ranging from legal marriage to literal prostitution) for economic survival...

The crucial question is whether women are treated as mere sex objects or whether we are recognized as desiring subjects...

I don’t think you could get [university administrators] to agree to policies likewise prohibiting heterosexuality on the grounds that the power differential means a woman’s consent is always to some extent coerced. Yet campuses around the country are formulating and enforcing policies that are the equivalent of the much-decried and seldom-embraced fringe feminist injunction against women sleeping with men.

As a feminist, I am well aware of the ways women are often compelled to sexual relations with men by forces that have nothing to do with our desire. And I see that students might be in a similar position with relation to teachers. But, as a feminist, I do not think the solution is to deny women or students the right to consent. Denying women the right to consent reinforces our status as objects rather than desiring subjects...

Prohibition of consensual teacher-student relations is based on the assumption that when a student says yes she really means no. I cannot help but think that this proceeds from the same logic according to which when a woman says no she really means yes. The first assumption is protectionist; the second is the very logic of harassment. What harassment and protectionism have in common is precisely a refusal to credit women’s desires. Common to both is the assumption that women do not know what we want, that someone else, in a position of greater knowledge and power, knows better."

--- Feminist accused of sexual harassment / Jane Gallop

Background (book overview):

"Sexual harassment is an issue in which feminists are usually thought to be on the plaintiff's side. But in 1993 amid considerable attention from the national academic community Jane Gallop, a prominent feminist professor of literature, was accused of sexual harassment by two of her women graduate students. In Feminist Accused of Sexual Harassment, Gallop tells the story of how and why she was charged with sexual harassment and what resulted from the accusations... She argues that anti-harassment activism has turned away from the feminism that created it and suggests that accusations of harassment are taking aim at the inherent sexuality of professional and pedagogic activity rather than indicting discrimination based on gender that anti-harassment has been transformed into a sensationalist campaign against sexuality itself"

Monday, December 07, 2009

"I enjoy being a highly overpaid actor." - Roger Moore


17-year-old charged with cheating

"For $25, a 17-year-old boy told an unemployed man that he would find the man a prostitute.

But after getting the money, Raguvaren Bala told the man that the prostitute did not want to provide any service.

Feeling cheated, 37-year-old Sng Meng Teck called the police and Raguvaren was arrested.

Raguvaren pleaded guilty in court on Monday to cheating Sng of the $25 by lying to him.

Raguvaren will next appear in court on December 28. He is expected to be sentenced then."

For $25, Sng Meng Teck now has his name in the public domain as an unemployed person who visits prostitutes.

"Wine makes a man more pleased with himself; I do not say that it makes him more pleasing to others." - Samuel Johnson


The Food Lab: The Importance of Resting Meat - "Asides from over/under-cooking/seasoning, not resting meat properly is probably the cooking blunder that we are all most guilty of... Ideally, no matter how well-done you've cooked your meat, you want to allow it to cool down until the very center has reached 120°F (49°C). At this stage, the muscle fibers have relaxed enough that you should have no problem with losing juices"

US university links exam success to weight loss

Gropenhagen Conference: Prostitutes Offer Free Climate Summit Sex - "Copenhagen Mayor Ritt Bjerregaard sent postcards to city hotels warning summit guests not to patronize Danish sex workers during the upcoming conference. Now, the prostitutes have struck back, offering free sex to anyone who produces one of the warnings"

Sexy Girls Have It Easy - "Does being sexy mean that life is financially easier? One girl goes on a mission to find out... 'This really really lovely man just gave me a piece of cake. Offered himself to me as well. I haven't taken him up on the idea'"
All of the people she tried were men. I wonder how women would've reacted. I actually prefer the normal her

'Accidental' Download Sending Man To Prison - "Matthew White... discovered that some of the files he had downloaded were images of children. Matt claims he quickly erased the files... Investigators later were able to recover the deleted images from deep within the hard drive... The FBI could not comment on this specific case, but said if child pornography is ever downloaded accidentally, the user needs to call authorities immediately. They may confiscate your computer, but it's better than the alternative"

Mom blames son's death on air freshener

Boys who go to single-sex schools 'more likely to be depressed and divorced in their 40s' - "'There is a need to avoid an intimidating atmosphere for other boys, which can be generated among all-boys’ classes, and to be alert to the dangers of generating a homophobic environment. There is also a need to beware of girls becoming aggressive towards each other.'... the study found that girls who studied at single-sex schools were no more likely to suffer marriage break up or separate from their partners when they were older... Dr Leonard's study was also unable to confirm the belief that children from single-sex schools are more likely to have a homosexual lifestyle. 'Only 21 men and 22 women reported living with same-sex partners at age 42,' says the research... Men were also more likely to speak of a 'dislike' for their school days if taught in a boys-only school."

Loneliness can be contagious, study finds - "The data showed that lonely people “infected” the people around them with loneliness, and those people moved to the edges of social circles... Previous work suggested that women rely on emotional support more than men do, and in this study women were more likely than men to report “catching” loneliness from others”... Research also shows that as people become lonely, they become less trustful of others, and a cycle develops that makes it harder for them to form friendships. Societies seem to develop a natural tendency to shed these lonely people, something that is mirrored in tests of monkeys, who tend to drive off members of their groups who have been removed from a colony and then are reintroduced, Cacioppo said"

Book Review - 'What the Dog Saw - And Other Adventures,' by Malcolm Gladwell - Review - "When a writer’s education on a topic consists in interviewing an expert, he is apt to offer generalizations that are banal, obtuse or flat wrong... The common thread in Gladwell’s writing is a kind of populism, which seeks to undermine the ideals of talent, intelligence and analytical prowess in favor of luck, opportunity, experience and intuition. For an apolitical writer like Gladwell, this has the advantage of appealing both to the Horatio Alger right and to the egalitarian left"

New Paper journalist Joanne Soh got rapped for remark that “All men are pigs” - "'If men are pigs….then who are the asses that married us?'... 'Can we call women bitches, sluts, crows if they commit adultery?' Not surprisingly, the women-folk are supportive of Joanne and jumped to her defence"
While those who condemn sexism (at least when it's in the other direction) will doubtless, when pressed, disavow such statements, I am reminded of moderate Muslims who only condemn their extremists when asked why they don't

Sunday, December 06, 2009

New blog picture:

It's a sign!
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