When you can't live without bananas

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Saturday, January 09, 2010

"Nothing can so alienate a voter from the political system as backing a winning candidate." - Mark B. Cohen


Left 4 Dead 2's Frying Pans Kill a Tank 3 Times Faster than Shotguns

Basics - Another Challenge for Ethical Eating - Plants Want to Live, Too - "The more that scientists learn about the complexity of plants — their keen sensitivity to the environment, the speed with which they react to changes in the environment, and the extraordinary number of tricks that plants will rally to fight off attackers and solicit help from afar — the more impressed researchers become, and the less easily we can dismiss plants as so much fiberfill backdrop"

PR stunt gone wrong? - "Several 'acts of vandalism' carried out on SingPost mailboxes over the past few days, attracting public attention, now appear to be an attempt by SingPost to drum up publicity - and the police have stepped in... "Police will be taking the matter up with SingPost as this whole episode has caused unnecessary public alarm and wasted valuable resources""
Die mauer im kopf is like der Polizist im Kopf. We can get rid of the policemen on the streets, but never the policeman in our heads

Simon Koh Yong's Braised Abalone - "Incidentally, it doesn't mean that the bigger the abalone, the better. Size is a matter of personal taste and the 'head count' - that is, 10-head or 15-head, etc, simply refers to the number of abalones that make up a kati of weight (600 gm). The smaller the abalone, the younger it is, and as it takes years to grow to a large size, it's generally agreed that the bigger and older the abalone is, the better the taste."

New scanners break child porn laws - "The rapid introduction of full body scanners at British airports threatens to breach child protection laws which ban the creation of indecent images of children"
Under-aged suicide bombers, here we come!

Save the trees, say NO to junk mails from SingPost - "These fliers are delivered by our friendly postmen who are able to unlock the anti-junk locking devices on our letterboxes, junk mail seep through. This defeats the entire purpose of HDB installing these devices. Singaporeans wonder why because they do not know their postmen have colluded with the spammers and that Admail is an auto opt-in subscription."

KFC accused of racism over Australian advertisement - "An outnumbered white cricket fan handing out pieces of fried chicken to appease a dancing, drumming and singing group of black West Indian supporters... "The ad was reproduced online in the US without KFC's permission, where we are told a culturally-based stereotype exists, leading to the incorrect assertion of racism"... some commentators [are] accusing Americans of "insularity"... the association between fried chicken and ethnic minorities was a distinctly US issue: "They have a tendency to think that their history is more important than that of other countries""
Let's hope no one in Singapore makes an advertisement about "Jap food"

i.Saw - The World's First USB-powered Chainsaw

Newark terminal locked down; search continues for man - ""I just saw one woman pleading with a gate agent, saying that she had two small children and a heart condition -- that she simply could not take this," Cho said. "But of course, there will be no exceptions.""
Perhaps one day we'll find that security measures kill more people than terrorism

What Israeli security could teach us - "US airport security remains obstinately focused on intercepting bad things -- guns, knives, explosives. It is a reactive policy, aimed at preventing the last terrorist plot from being repeated... things don't hijack planes, terrorists do... But because federal policy still bans ethnic or religious profiling, US passengers continue to be singled out for special scrutiny mostly on a random basis. Countless hours have been spent patting down elderly women in wheelchairs... time that could have been used instead to concentrate on passengers with a greater likelihood of being terrorists... It is not racism or bigotry to argue that the prevention of Islamist terrorism necessitates a special focus on Muslim travelers, just as it is not racism or bigotry when police trying to prevent a Mafia killing pay closer attention to Italians"

How to nap - "A short afternoon catnap of 20 minutes... you can drink a cup of coffee before you nap. Caffeine requires 20 or 30 minutes to take effect, so it will kick in just as you're waking"

The 30 Most Disturbing Twilight Products - "Bella's Womb Well, it was bound to happen, someone was bound to make a felt version of Bella Swan's womb... wait WHAT. HER WOMB? SOMEONE FELTED HER WOMB? WITH THE MUTATED BLOOD-CRAVING ADULT BABY RENESMEE INSIDE? TELL US WHY. WHAT DO YOU DO WITH THIS?? TwiCrotch: Edward Panties Who doesn't need panties where the crotch faces INSIDE. Yeah, mull that one over, fans.... The Vamp: The Sparkly Dildo"

25kg of cocaine hits Spanish supermarket shelves - "Drug smugglers in Spain are at least 25 kilos of cocaine short after boxes of bananas in which they'd hidden the Bolivian marching powder ended up on supermarket shelves."

Amazon.com: Daniel A. Koblosh's review of Denon AKDL1 Dedicated Link Cable - "After I took delivery of my $500 Denon AKDL1 Cat-5 uber-cable, Al Gore was mysteriously drawn to my home, where he pronounced that Global Warming had been suspended in my vicinity... One heck of a cable. Didn't notice any improvement in audio quality though. The $800 Apple iCable is clearly superior."

Ten Psychology Studies from 2009 Worth Knowing About - "1. If you have to choose between buying something or spending the money on a memorable experience, go with the experience 7. If someone is trying to sell you something, be extra careful to keep your psychological distance 10. If you’re a man and find yourself in an argument with your significant other, choose your words very carefully... Women may just be better at communication, or just luckier in this particular biological lottery"

Explosives planted on man to test airport security - "Irish police have released a man held over an explosives find, after Slovakian authorities admitted planting them in his luggage."
They could've framed him for drugs also

Sex doesn't sell in mainstream cinema, study says - "Crunching data from 914 films released between 2001 and 2005, researchers Dean Keith Simonton from the University of California, Davis, and independent Vancouver-based researcher Anemone Cerridwen discovered sex and nudity have a negligible impact on the box office... On average, the less sex and nudity, the higher the gross... "I think it reflects and reinforces sexism in society, in general. Even if the performer genuinely doesn't mind having to do this stuff as a condition of employment, it creates a hostile environment for the rest of us: other women on camera, behind the camera, in acting classes, plus women, in general""
Chanting "get your rosaries off our ovaries" creates a hostile environment for Catholics.
Someone: "stinky men next to me on the train creates a hostile environment for me"
On why you should not take up an A*STAR post-graduate "scholarship":

Me: "People who take A* scholarships post-bacc are... the biggest morons. There is no nice way to put it. MORONS"

A: whyyyyyyyyy

Me: You get a bond and you would probably have gotten post-grad funding in the first place

A: but what if the person doesn't get a post-grad funding in the first place

B: i'm sure there's a rationale for it. perhaps they couldn't get into some fully funded program or didn't want to live on a meager graduate assistantship for 7 years

C: It's a form of selflessness I guess

D: PhD is generally fully-funded in better universities. so you should aim to get to those fully-funded programmes. might have to live on meagre salary for 5-7 years, but if that's what you want, you should do it. (and dun even think of doing PhD in NUS!)

E: phds in the states are fully funded at any university worth getting a phd from. in fact, guidance counselors and faculty advise not to enter any phd programme that doesn't fully fund its phd candidates.

F: I second E. It is not difficult at all to get funding for a PhD in the US. For most programs ALL PhD students get funding upon admission. If you cannot even get into one of these programs, then you should not do a PhD.

Also, grad assistantships in the sciences aren't that meagre. I'm in the humanities, we get less money than the sciences, but some students in my program still save enough to buy a house while they are still in the program.

G: That said, its easier to get into top programs if someone else is footing the bill

H: 2 reasons:
1. priority to top positions given to scholars (as usual)
2. it's significantly easier to get into top programmes if you bring your own funding (as geoffrey pointed out)

F: The purpose of getting into top programmes is presumably for better career prospects later. Signing your soul to A* defeats that purpose. In the first place, if you're really outstanding in grad school, you can secure a good post-doc right off the bat (or, in some fields, even go straight to a tenure-track position). But no matter how outstanding ... See Moreyou are in grad school, there is no guarantee that you can find a similarly good post-doc position in A* (you cannot jump straight into a senior position, not even if you're a scholar). In the first place, there is the very real question of whether there exist good post-doc positions in A*. In the second place, your choice of post-doc has to be approved by scholarship administrators. In the third place, A* is only one organisation and obviously the available post-doc positions in your field within A* are going to be much fewer than the total number of post-doc positions available on the world market. Your options are very, very much reduced if you are on a scholarship.

If that is not your purpose, but you want to get into top programmes just because you like the feeling of being somewhere 'prestigious', well, good luck to A* having such people in their team.
"I have never met a man so ignorant that I couldn't learn something from him." - Galileo Galilei


Here're some of my better French constructions - my favourite lines from the past year (post-correction).

Previously quoted material will not be repeated.

En 2010, je chercherai des petites amies françaises et des petits amis français. Je nagerai dans l'océan d'Atlantique en hiver.

Il y aura un grand esclave qui m'attends dans ma chambre, et une belle esclave dans ma cuisine.

Avant, je couchais aves les hommes et, un jour, j'ai rencontré Alice.

Q: Quand j'avais vingt ans, j'ai rencontré un garçon.
A: Il était très beau, mais je n'étais pas gai. Quel dommage!

Q: Votre petit garçon a mangé du chocolat et il en a sur ses vêtements et dans les cheveux
A: Jette-lui dans le fleuve

Q: Pourquoi est-ce qu'elle ne veut pas porter cette robe?
A: Parce qu'elle n'est pas assez mince

Q: C'est l'anniversaire de Marina. On lui offre des fleurs?
A: Non, je déteste Marina

Q: Vous voulez un verre de vin avec votre viande? Il est très bon
A: Je suis désolé. Je suis Musulman.

Quand nous sommes passés sous le Pont des Soupirs en bateau, j'ai soupiré parce que mon amie est tombée dans le Rio de Palazzo

Q: Alors, on achète cette maison?
A: On pourra acheter cette maison quand tes parents mourront et te donneront beaucoup d'argent

Q: Tu ne vas plus au cinéma?
A: Je pourrai aller au cinéma quand je prendrai ma retraite

Q: Pourquoi est-ce qu'elle est partie en Afrique?
A: Elle est partie en Afrique pour chercher le yéti

Q: Pourquoi est-ce qu'il va dans une école de langues?
A: Il va dans une école de langues pour flirter avec les femmes

Q: Pourquoi est-ce que tu vas au supermarché?
A: Je vais au supermarché pour voler à l'étalage

Q: Et vous, qu'est-ce que vous venez de faire?
A: Je viens d'apprendre l'imparfait

[Le conseil donné au vacanciers] Ne vous habillez pas à l'extérieur

[Lisez les phrases ci-dessous et dites où se trouve la personne. Puis, imaginez la question]

Q1: Non, merci, je ne peux pas boire de vin.
A1: Dans l'église.

Q2: Oui, bien sûr, j'ai travaillé en Angleterre.
A2: Dans des toilettes. Vous parlez Anglais!


Mes dernières vacances, j'ai voyagé en Malaisie.

Il faisait trop chaud, comme à Singapour.

Je suis allé à KL en avion. J'ai pris l'avion de SIA, mais j'ai détesté, parce que les femmes SIA étaient trop vaniteuses.

Le premier jour, j'étais malade parce que j'ai déjeuné d'un restaurant sale.

Le deuxième jour, j'ai visité le Musée National. Il n'y avait pas assez de choses, et c'était trop cher.

Le troisième jour, une femme m'a volé. Les gendarmes ne m'aidé pas.

La Malaisie, c'était horrible!

Friday, January 08, 2010

"Human beings are the only creatures that allow their children to come back home." - Bill Cosby


The official MFX 1209 trailer is a lot less fun than the famous version.

Happily, I've found a working mirror! The original url is still trying to get your credit card details, and another mirror replaces the original music with Rick Astley (yes, that song - and they still dare to call themselves "the official free" video), so this is a welcome find.

Interestingly, they've rebranded the original to take advantage of its inadvertent infamy.

Original Cover

New, Rebranded Cover

Thursday, January 07, 2010

French vs German Music

"If you would be known, and not know, vegetate in a village; If you would know, and not be known, live in a city." - Charles Caleb Colton


"The American Composer Ned Rorum likes to classify music as either French or German.

By French, Rorum means music that is sensuous, economical and unabashed superficial.

By German, Rorum means art music that strives to be brainy, complex and impenetrably deep."

(Wednesday's Composer's Datebook)

Elsewhere, in his own words:

"I'm very French by nature and I lived in France for a long time and I am very sympathetic to French music as distinguished from German music. And I feel that all aesthetics in the universe are divided between French and German. Everything is either one or the other. If that's true, then I fall roundly into the French category. German means extravagance and beating your breast and repitition and thickness and heaviness. French means continuity and transparency and say what you have to say, then shut up, with a certain overlay of sexuality. As opposed to German which is sexuality with a lot of sweating. It is loud. Beethoven is pretty crude"

"The world is divided into two aesthetic styles: French and German. The color red is German. The color blue is French. Men are German, women are French. Japan is French, and China is German. German art is known for being profoundly superficial, and French art, for being superficially profound... I am French. If you disagree with my analysis, then you are German."


"Unlike 30 or 50 years ago, there is no culture in Europe. There is nothing coming out of France that I know about—and I would know—in terms of serious theatre or music, or literature or painting, either good or bad; likewise Germany. England is fairly interesting but, strange as it may seem, America, with all its vulgarity, is the most interesting country culturally on earth today in music, in literature, in theatre, in painting."

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

"One thing I have noticed from a lot of reviews online and from this website, is that Singaporeans tend to be easily fooled by ambience. I've seen a lot of good reviews of restaurants based on Sentosa, and honestly, my reaction upon reading those reviews is often "you must be -expletive involving a mother and a verb-ing kidding me... do these idiots doing the reviews know how much money the restaurant spends on RENTAL vs. FOOD??" Especially since I have eaten at some restaurants at Sentosa, and think that (a) I'm glad I don't live on the ex-Pulau Blakang Mati, and (b) the food is really suitable for the dead.

Really, all it seems to create a "great" restaurant in Singapore with "great" reviews by food journalists with no tastebuds, is to have decent air conditioning, (b) hire a great interior design decorator. The food is often blah, tasteless, and cooked with as much fire and passion as a Toyota car factory robot."


Rediscover Your Womanhood: A Health Seminar on Delicate Female Issues

My first question:

1) Are men welcome to rediscover their womanhood?
2) Why are all 4 of the speakers male?

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

"I have never made but one prayer to God, a very short one: 'O Lord, make my enemies ridiculous.' And God granted it." - Voltaire


More great stories from the Malaysian press. WaiWai would be proud!

I wonder if these stories being run in the Malaysian press is a subtle attempt to discredit Singapore. Or at least make it sound as wacky as Malaysia.

Husband's organ donor is wife's lover

A BUSINESSMAN who was given a new lease of life after receiving a kidney transplant found out later that the donor was his wife's lover, China Press reported.

The daily quoted the businessman, in his 40s, who said that the man had saved his life but took away his wife.

Things got worse when he realised that the biological father of a child whom he had regarded as his own was actually that of his wife's lover.

The Singaporean, known as John, had been suffering from kidney problems for seven years and started undergoing dialysis in 2007.

"My wife told me one day that a friend of her buddy named Peter was willing to donate one of his kidneys and I was so touched," he said.

"Two months after undergoing surgery in August 2008, my wife of 12 years told me that she had been sleeping with Peter since 2006."

"I had wanted to reconcile with her for the sake of the child but a private investigator I hired found out that she was still on good terms with her lover and this disappointed me," he told the daily.

> Sin Chew Daily reported that a widow in Singapore has slept with at least 24 men in two years, including a married man resembling her late husband.

The daily said the businesswoman had to "pleasure herself" during the six months after her husband's death from a heart attack.

A few months later, she met a man, who looked like her late husband, and began pursuing him with expensive gifts.

He became her lover but they broke up six months later as he could not fulfil her desires.

She began picking up men in various night clubs and could not focus on her work even after consulting a psychologist.

She has since met a divorced man, in his 50s, who was able to satisfy her.
"Both the cockroach and the bird would get along very well without us, although the cockroach would miss us most." - Joseph Wood Krutch


Christian teacher sacked for offering to pray for sick pupil

Shanghai Bridge Made of Rubbish Collapses - "After only a short period in operation the bridge began to collapse, with investigators finding such sturdy construction materials as bags of rubbish, Styrofoam, scrap wood and waste plastic used in the structure in place of reinforced concrete."
Looks like hairbands aren't the only things made of junk in CHina.

For Some of Japan’s Jobless, Homes Just 5 Feet Wide - "The rent is surprisingly high for such a small space: 59,000 yen a month, or about $640, for an upper bunk. But with no upfront deposit or extra utility charges, and basic amenities like fresh linens and free use of a communal bath and sauna, the cost is far less than renting an apartment in Tokyo... The government says about 15,800 people live on the streets in Japan, but aid groups put the figure much higher, with at least 10,000 in Tokyo alone. Those numbers do not count the city’s “hidden” homeless, like those who live in capsule hotels. There is also a floating population that sleeps overnight in the country’s many 24-hour Internet cafes and saunas"

Park ranger sacked over 'racist joke' wins £40k compensation after tribunal tells council 'skin colour is a fact of life' - "A park ranger sacked for asking a black colleague if he 'put polish' on his legs has won £40,000 compensation... employment judge Lindsay Hall-Smith has ruled that he was unfairly dismissed, saying: 'An individual's race or colour is a fact of life. It does not follow that alluding to such matters to or in the presence of the individual concerned necessarily involves racism or less favourable treatment of the individual.'... The judge said the switch to shorts 'usually provoked humorous comments', and one woman, Diane Nash, even wolf-whistled at Mr Parker when he arrived"

What Israel can teach us about security - ""When the security agency in Israel (the ISA) started to tighten security and we had to wait in line for – not for hours – but 30 or 40 minutes, all hell broke loose here"... Despite facing dozens of potential threats each day, the security set-up at Israel's largest hub, Tel Aviv's Ben Gurion International Airport, has not been breached since 2002... "They're not looking for liquids, they're not looking at your shoes. They're not looking for everything they look for in North America. They just look at you... and that's how you figure out the bad guys from the good guys.""
If North Americans adopted behavior-based screening, people would be screaming about racial profiling.

SSRN-How Movies Created the Financial Crisis by Larry Ribstein - "Narrative makes sense out of reality and can forcefully persuade listeners to a particular point of view. Artists in general have a narrative of business which springs from their belief that at least some aspects of business are antithetical to art. Filmmakers add to this a resentment of the constraints capital places on their art. Film is particularly persuasive because of its vivid images and because of the consistency of filmmakers’ anti-capitalist perspective on business. Filmmakers’ negative portrayal of capitalists has helped to prepare the public to believe that capitalists - and not government, economic cycles, greedy people or business generally - caused the financial crisis. This will help the public accept a regulatory agenda built on this premise, specifically including the regulation of hedge funds."

Smacked children more successful later in life, study finds - "Youngsters smacked up to the age of six did better at school and were more optimistic about their lives than those never hit by their parents. They were also more likely to undertake voluntary work and keener to attend university... "The idea that smacking and violence are on a continuum is a bizarre and fetishised view of what punishment or smacking is for most parents"... Previous studies have suggested that smacking children can lead them to develop behavioural problems such as being more aggressive"

iPhone users are delusional, consultants say - "Apple has launched a beautiful phone with a fantastic user interface that has had a number of technological shortcomings that many iPhone users have accepted and defended, despite those shortcomings resulting in limitations in iPhone users' daily lives... When we examine the iPhone users' arguments defending the iPhone, it reminds us of the famous Stockholm Syndrome... you will discover the 10 great myths about the iPhone. Here are just two: it doesn't attract new business for operators, and it is not a technologically advanced mobile phone"
From their How will psychologists describe the iPhone syndrome in the future?: Below is a selection of some of the arguments that various hard-core iPhone fanatics have been using since the iPhone initially launched:
3. You cannot forward a SMS: This is a function that hardly anybody uses and was therefore not included in the first iPhones.
8. Apple decides which applications you can install on the phone: This is good, because Apple thereby ensures that you do not get inferior programs on your phone.
9. The app store is a closed universe: Apple knows what is best for end users, which is good for the many iPhone users.
15. You can only purchase the iPhone from operators chosen by Apple: Apple has spent a great deal of time and energy selecting the best operators for customers.
17. The iPhone does not support memory cards: Iphones already offer the necessary memory people require and end users can choose between two models, one with a little memory and one with a great deal of memory.
18. You can not install your own browser: The browser Apple has designed is so superior that you do not need any other browser on your phone.

What an anti-climax: G-spot is a myth - "The scientists at King’s College London... claim there is no evidence for the existence of the G-spot... outside the imagination of women influenced by magazines and sex therapists. They reached their conclusions after a survey of more than 1,800 British women... If one identical twin reported having a G-spot, this would make it far more likely that her sister would give the same answer. But no such pattern emerged, suggesting the G-spot is a matter of the woman’s subjective opinion... Andrea Burri, who led the research, said she was anxious to remove feelings of “inadequacy or underachievement” that might affect women who feared they lacked a G-spot... The quest for the G-spot will not be abandoned. The Journal of Sexual Medicine, which is publishing Burri’s and Spector’s work this week, is planning a debate, with publication of research from the pro and anti G-spot camps. Meanwhile, David Matlock, a Beverly Hills cosmetic surgeon, is credited with creating an artificial version of the G-spot. In some cases this has resulted in an over-sensitive zone which induces orgasms when, for example, women drive over bumps in the road."

WiFi for passive-aggressives - "Choose a wireless network: 'We can hear you having sex."

6 reasons why I’m dumping my iPhone for a Nokia N900 - "What does it take to ‘kill the iPhone’?
1. Web browser
2. Installing Apps
3. Contacts
4. Media
5. Messaging
6. Photos
Let’s face it. Apple needs to stop being stubborn and start looking at what we really want. They have, hands down, revolutionized the mobile industry. But they need to start evolving again. People need multitasking. Proper multitasking. Seamless integration of social networking is a must. And for god’s sake.. If we want to change the way our phone works.. even to the point of breaking it, can we not do that without playing a cat and mouse jail-breaking game?"

Meet the lipstick entrepreneurs - "Lots of people don’t like the term ‘lipstick entrepreneurs’. They think it’s sexist. But it reminds me of the women I’ve always admired most in business — the ones who look like they’re so in control, they still have time to dress well and do their hair. They make it look effortless.”"
"If God had really intended men to fly, he'd make it easier to get to the airport." - George Winters


This is quite sad:

Voulez Vous Sortir Avec JOSHUA TAN

Who we are: We're two friends, Shannon and Matthew, and we're on a mission. We plan to set up a date for our third friend, Joshua Tan (He's semi-oblivious about the whole thing). Joshua's our dear friend and he just got out of a serious relationship awhile back, and kinda lost his bearings for abit. SO, we're hoping to get him back on his feet, and that's where YOU come in.

The plan: For one lucky girl out here in the world of Facebook (preferably in Singapore as well), to go on an all expense-paid night out/date with Joshua...

PROCEDURE: Okay, so here's how it's gonna go. The first female (sry, females only), to post on the wall consenting to the night out/ date with Joshua, will be the the lucky girl to win it. Just add a comment or post below, and we'll be in touch! cheers!


Height: 1.8m
Weight: 72kg
Ngee Ann Poly
Mass Communications

The day was November 9th 1990.

That was the day doctors first laid eyes on Joshua Tan and immediately knew the small but inquisitively engaging child laying in their hands was destined for greatness.

As doctors lightly tapped Joshua on his buttocks in a hot, sweat-stenched delivery room on a clear, crisp Wednesday morning, expecting him to cry like most other babies, but instead were greeted with his hazel-brown eyes staring longingly up at them, as a soft smile slowly etched itself upon his face, they knew they had met a child like no other.

Doctors would later swear to his mother they saw Joshua give a slight wink of his eye, as if to say “I’m good, I’m good.”

And for Joshua Tan, affectionately known as “JT” (read Justin Timberlake) or “J-Bird” to his peers, that has been the case for the most part of his 19 years in life.

Counting the books A Walk To Remember and The Notebook as a couple of his personal favourites, Joshua isn’t afraid to embrace his sensitive side, admitting to only his closest friends (and the rest of Holland Village) in a drunken spur that he once shed a couple of tears as he watched the first Pokemon movie where Ash was turned to stone but was miraculously brought back to life by the tears of the heartbroken Pokemon.

But we digress.

In all seriousness, Joshua Tan is your boy-next-door meets Johnny Depp cum Ewan Mcgregor in Moulin Rouge, who strongly believes in the beauty of love and what it stands for, is steadfast and loyal, yet firm and assertive at all the right times. He would gladly walk the ends of the earth for the right girl, but remains his own man.

In conclusion, Joshua Tan is the clean-cut, well-spoken boy that both girls and their parents would love to have over for dinner, and maybe even stay for supper. So why not give him a try this New Year, after all everyone's entitled to a new start right? =)

Go with Love. Do the right thing."

My comment on the wall: The first? Isn't there any quality control?

Bunny Girl: after reading the entertaining copy, i'm more intrigued by Shannon/Matthew! sorry :x
"Sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast." - Lewis Carroll


Libertarian Reluctantly Calls Fire Department | The Onion

CHEYENNE, WY—After attempting to contain a living-room blaze started by a cigarette, card-carrying Libertarian Trent Jacobs reluctantly called the Cheyenne Fire Department Monday. "Although the community would do better to rely on an efficient, free-market fire-fighting service, the fact is that expensive, unnecessary public fire departments do exist," Jacobs said. "Also, my house was burning down." Jacobs did not offer to pay firefighters for their service.

Monday, January 04, 2010

I got spam in Mandarin from "Vanessa Crenn" and "Grégory SCHMITT" (and with final-line-advertisements in French).

I can't imagine why they'd think this would make their messages more likely to be acted upon.
Random tidbit:

In Imperial China the minimum age for marriage was 16 for men and 14 for women.

This was set during the Song and the Ming and Qing continued it.

The ROC bumped the age limits up by 2 years in 1931.

Source: Grandpa's Letters by Wang Jingshan

An amusing passage from the same:

"In the South people have a habit of getting married early - eighteen for a man and seventeen for a woman - mainly out of regard for the fact that it is difficult for the young couple to maintain their virginity if they marry much later...

Based on human physiology, no matter whether in a nation or a society, men are always the principal players whereas women are subordinate. This is the way it is; no one can do anything about it... As far as a woman's responsibilities at home are concerned, a high school education is enough, why college?"

Addendum: @reivad:

"I feel its hypocritical of the older generation to expect young ppl to remain virgins b4 marriage when they married so young."
"Everyone is entitled to be stupid, but some abuse the privilege." - Unknown


Tan Ern Ser on racial classification in Singapore:

"Doing away with race may be politically correct, but it does not necessarily eradicate race-related problems... I am not suggesting that we emphasise race, but we must recognise its existence and work towards integration and strengthening national identity"

The prime example of a country which does not track racial demographics is France, and we can see how that doesn't work with the recurrent trouble in the banlieues.

Apparently India doesn't either - but they track you mother tongue and/or scheduled tribe, which is a good proxy for race, so.

The Daily Kos's comment:

"if one does not collect data including a race category, then one does not even notice that the problem exists, one cannot attack the problem, one cannot track the problem to see if what one is doing is have an effect, etc."

Of course, active racial management and manipulation is a different story.

MMPR Remastered is weird :/

Sunday, January 03, 2010

"Television news is like a lightning flash. It makes a loud noise, lights up everything around it, leaves everything else in darkness and then is suddenly gone." - Hodding Carter


How women love their mobile phones... more than their boyfriends

Passions over 'prosperity gospel': Was Jesus wealthy? - "Jesus' wealth is evident even in the Gospel accounts of his execution, some pastors say. The New Testament reports that Roman soldiers gambled for Jesus' clothing while he hung on the cross. They wouldn't gamble for Jesus' clothing unless it was expensive, Anderson says.... "The only way you can make Jesus into a rich man is by advocating torturous interpretations and by being wholly naive historically""
"torturous interpretations and by being wholly naive historically" describes apologetics perfectly

Bingo caller told to cut 'fat ladies' patter by council - "John Sayers, who runs charity games in Sudbury, Suffolk, says he was told by a council clerk the traditional bingo call could upset some players. Mr Sayers said no-one had complained before, but now players moaned his new numbers-only style was boring. A town council spokeswoman said it was "sad" they had to give the advice but they had to be "politically correct"... A council spokeswoman... added: "It is very sad because it is part of the fun of bingo but unfortunately in today's society people take it literally""

A new study shows that singletons might be just as psychologically well-off as married people.

Probably Bad News: News fails, because journalism isn't dying fast enough. - One example: "A TEENAGER who tried to copy a scene from the hit film American Pie by shagging an apple pie was rushed to the hospital with serious burns to his penis"

The longest literary sentence - "Move over, James Joyce and all the other pretenders. The new owner of the record for the longest sentence in published literature is Mathias Enard for his 517-page French novel “Zone.” In fact, the entire novel, except for a few pages of flashbacks, is made up of a single 150,000-word sentence."

Physics Buzz: For a Quick Exit, Just Block the Fire Door

Pictures of 56 Chinese Ethnic Groups
A lot of them carry rifles. Too bad that won't save them from the CCP.

ExitAhead! Last.fm to eBay Search - "1. You tell us the username of your last.fm account.
2. We check last.fm for the artists you have recently scrobbled, and the artists recommended by last.fm.
3. We search eBay for music by those artists."

Men Stare at Opposite Sex 43 Minutes a Day - "According to a new study, men stare at up to 10 women a day, which equals about 43 minutes spent every day ogling... women gawk at men about half as much"
The more interesting question: how much do women look at other women?

Men Who Help Clean Get More Sex?

Atheist Ireland Publishes 25 Blasphemous Quotes - "From today, 1 January 2010, the new Irish blasphemy law becomes operational... Blasphemy is now a crime punishable by a €25,000 fine... In this context we now publish a list of 25 blasphemous quotes, which have previously been published by or uttered by or attributed to Jesus Christ, Muhammad, Mark Twain, Tom Lehrer, Randy Newman, James Kirkup, Monty Python, Rev Ian Paisley, Conor Cruise O’Brien, Frank Zappa, Salman Rushdie, Bjork, Amanda Donohoe, George Carlin, Paul Woodfull, Jerry Springer the Opera, Tim Minchin, Richard Dawkins, Pope Benedict XVI, Christopher Hitchens, PZ Myers, Ian O’Doherty, Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor and Dermot Ahern."
I'm surprised the Hitchens quote (in God is not Great) made it to Singapore - it's very seditious, calling Islam "not much more than a rather obvious and ill-arranged set of plagiarisms"!

Security charade: how I made a bomb and blew up a plane - "Unless we are all actually forced to strip naked at the airport - and probably not even then - the fact is that we can never erect a Berlin wall to physically stop everyone taking bad things on planes. All our efforts to do so, all the silly routines to which we dutifully submit, are at best a minor hindrance, a deterrent to nutters; at worst a charade and a distraction from the real target... the editor of the magazine Aviation Security International, said he could not recall a single time when a bomb had been found using an airport X-ray machine alone. Airport security, he said, was "theatre", designed to reassure the public rather than to stop bombers... Airport security means, above all, starting long before the airport, with intelligence... the guilty get missed because the authorities are spending too much time hassling the innocent"

Singapore workers work longest hours: ILO report - "Only workers in Iceland put in almost as many hours in 2008 and the first quarter of 2009. Real wages also fell at the same time. Though nominal wages rose 4.2 per cent in 2008 according to the Ministry of Manpower, real wages dropped 1 per cent, according to the ILO report"

Sure, God has a sense of humour. Shame about some of his followers - "I was accused of knowing too many words and too few facts; of being stupid and anti-Christian - many assumed these were identical; of being overly subtle and of laying about me with a blunt instrument. Of not having read the Bible, of having read but not understood it, of having got the wrong Jesus (easy to do), of being one of the chosen (are they serious?), of misunderstanding history (no doubt), of misquoting Brian Houston (no way), of being insulting (I do try) and of showing off (well, natch)... Taking up religion seems to involve having your humour gland surgically excised. There's no obvious explanation for this. Comedic failure is generally a sign of class insecurity. Feminists, for example. Cyclists."

Sex differences in driving and insurance risk - "Men are more likely than women to be involved in crashes that occur on bends, in the dark or those that involve overtaking. Women, on the other hand, have a greater frequency of crashes occurring at junctions than men. This supports the suggestion by Storie (1977) that men are more at risk from accidents involving high speed while women are at more likely to be involved in accidents resulting from perceptual judgement errors... [The WHO] concludes: "Research is needed to examine the potential benefits of gender and age-differentiated policies for issuance of driving licences and related issues". The fact that this WHO report was prepared by the Department for Gender and Women’s Health suggests that driving-related policies that differentiate between genders are not seen as cutting across broad notions of equality in this context.
When you discriminate against men, it doesn't cut across broad notions of equality.

Men's and Women's Irritating Driving Habits - "Women were certainly harsher about men than the other way around... "The old stereotype that men are always criticising women's driving has been turned on its head by these results, as it's definitely women who get the most irritated""

Sex Drive: How Do Men and Women Compare? - "Nuns do a better job of fulfilling their vows of chastity than priests... 62% of priests admitted to sexual activity, compared to 49% of nuns. The men reported more partners on average than the women... Homosexuality is a more fluid state among women than men. In another broad review of studies, Baumeister found many more lesbians reported recent sex with men, when compared to gay men's reports of sex with women. Women were also more likely than men to call themselves bisexual, and to report their sexual orientation as a matter of choice... Women's attitudes towards (and willingness to perform) various sexual practices are more likely than men's to change over time. Women who regularly attend church are less likely to have permissive attitudes about sex. Men do not show this connection between church attendance and sex attitudes... Women with higher education levels were more likely to have performed a wider variety of sexual practices (such as oral sex); education made less of a difference with men. Women were more likely than men to show inconsistency between their expressed values about sexual activities such as premarital sex and their actual behavior"
I found this by looking for gender differences in driving. Grr.

Sex and the SUV: Men, Women, and Travel Behavior - "University of Washington sociologist Pepper Schwartz reports that in 9 of 10 households that identify themselves as “feminist,” the man does most of the driving when both partners are in the car."
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