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Friday, April 16, 2010

Fluff of the Day: "Every evil regime has been overcome by good"

"It is a common delusion that you make things better by talking about them." - Dame Rose Macaulay


In a feel-good TED talk, Jane Goodall quotes Mahatma Gandhi as saying that:

"If you look back through human history, you see that every evil regime has been overcome by good."

This is one of those things that sounds very deep and profound but ultimately doesn't mean anything. This resembles (but is not quite the same as) what Daniel Dennett calls a "deepity" (about which more, perhaps, later)

Depending on how loosely you define your terms, you can also say (perhaps even more truly) that:

"If you look back through human history, you find that every good regime has been overcome by evil."

This is because nothing lasts forever, and all regimes - "good" OR "bad" - will eventually fall.

Addendum: Quote corrected from "you find" to "you see"


"j'ai dit que JE SUIS CHAUD les dames au travail ont pensé étaient drôles"

A great example of Princess Syndrome

"Maturity is only a short break in adolescence." - Jules Feiffer


it's either you hate me TTM or you'll love me TTM- choose one!: MY PERFECT BOYFRIEND CRITERIA - do u have what it takes?

"5. must love me for who i am. i am loud, possessive, emotional and sassy.

8. must adore me like a princess, i wont say queen luh, cuz queen is my mother. lol.

9. always pretend i am right even when im wrong ( out of 100 times, i am always 99 times right, so do not argue with me unless u have ful confidence)

10. will always listen to my troubles eg; i broke my nail. i have bad hair day today...etc...

12. even when i remove all my make up also must tell me im cute and pretty, even though i am not.

20. never ever compare me with ur ex-gf.but if i ask u about ur ex gf, u will and u must tell me the absolute truth b4 i find out myself.

21. protect me at all times. even when im at fault u also must protect me.

22. 3 basic smses are a must ; when u wakeup, where u go, b4 u sleep."

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Links - 15th April 2010

"I maintain there is much more wonder in science than in pseudoscience. And in addition, to whatever measure this term has any meaning, science has the additional virtue, and it is not an inconsiderable one, of being true." - Carl Sagan


PETA’s Pet Killing Program Set a New Record in 2009 | PetaKillsAnimals.com - "During all of 2009, PETA found adoptive homes for just eight pets. Just eight animals -- out of the 2,366 it took in. PETA just broke its own record... PETA has a $33 million annual budget. But instead of investing in the lives of the thousands of flesh and blood creatures in its care, the group spends millions on media campaigns telling Americans that eating meat, drinking milk, fishing, hunting, wearing leather shoes, and benefiting from medical research performed on lab rats are all “unethical”... The Virginia Beach SPCA, just down the road from PETA’s Norfolk headquarters, manages to adopt out the vast majority of the animals in its care. And it does it on a shoestring budget"

9 Reasons Men are Jealous of Women - "More Life Choices: "Women in my company regularly opt to go part-time or quit when they go back to school, marry or become mothers," says Bradley, an accountant. "Yes, they may not get ahead as quickly as their male colleagues, but they can lead fuller lives and nearly everyone understands. For a guy, it’s up or out. In most companies, even in the P.C. times, if a man decides not to advance he’s considered lazy, a non-go-getter""

Why are so many girls lesbian or bisexual? - "Psychologist John Buss estimates that for most of human history, perhaps 2% of women have been lesbian or bisexual (see note 1, below). Not any more. Recent surveys of teenage girls and young women find that roughly 15% of young females today self-identify as lesbian or bisexual, compared with about 5% of young males who identify as gay or bisexual... Female sexuality is different from male sexuality. If a straight boy kissed another boy, perhaps to amuse some girls who might be watching, he would be unlikely to undergo a change in sexual orientation as a result. But, as Professor Roy Baumeister at Florida State University and others have shown, sexual attraction in many women seems to be more malleable"
Incidentally, the author calls guys losers. Naturally, that's fine, as long as you don't say anything ba about women.

Would You Interrupt Sex to Tweet? - "7% said they'd even check a message during an intimate moment. Eleven percent of those under the age of 25 would interrupt sex for a message"

Should Kids Be Bribed to Do Well in School? - "A Harvard economist named Roland Fryer Jr. did something education researchers almost never do: he ran a randomized experiment in hundreds of classrooms in multiple cities. He used mostly private money to pay 18,000 kids a total of $6.3 million and brought in a team of researchers to help him analyze the effects. He got death threats, but he carried on... "Kids should learn for the love of learning," he says. "But they're not. So what shall we do?"... Maybe one day we will all approach our jobs that way. But until then, most adults work primarily for money, and in a curious way, we seem to be holding kids to a higher standard than we hold ourselves... "If you pay a kid to read books, their grades go up higher than if you actually pay a kid for grades"... Kids may respond better to rewards for specific actions because there is less risk of failure. They can control their attendance; they cannot necessarily control their test scores"
Ahh, entrenched interests!

Women "lie, cheat and steal" - "HALF of all women would lie to their husbands or partners to keep their relationship going if they became pregnant by another man... 42% would lie about contraception in order to get pregnant, in spite of the wishes of their partner... The favourite fib told by women was "Of course you don't look fat" with "These shoes were only '10" in second place. One bizarre finding was that a third of women (33%) said they would stay with their husband if they found out he was a "secret transvestite", but only half that number (17%) would put up with him if he refused to wash... "To tell a man a baby is his when it's not or to deliberately get pregnant when your partner doesn't want a baby is playing Russian roulette with other people's lives." Eight out of ten women (83%) admit to telling "big, life-changing lies", with 13% saying they do so frequently... An alarming 31% of all women say they would not tell a future partner if they had a sexual disease. This rises for 65% for single women. Nearly half (46%) fake orgasms and more than half (55%) claim they are tired, have a headache, or feel ill to "get out of lovemaking"... Most women (68%) do not trust their partner"

Straight, Gay or Lying? Bisexuality Revisited - "A team of psychologists directly measured genital arousal patterns in response to images of men and women. The psychologists found that men who identified themselves as bisexual were in fact exclusively aroused by either one sex or the other, usually by other men... Bisexuality appears easier to demonstrate in the female sex... most women who said they were bisexual showed arousal to men and to women... Dr. Diamond recruited a group of 90 women at gay pride parades, academic conferences on gender issues and other venues. About half of the women called themselves lesbians, a third identified as bisexual and the rest claimed no sexual orientation. In follow-up interviews over the last 10 years, Dr. Diamond has found that most of these women have had relationships both with men and women"

SuicideGirls, The most expensive meal you will ever eat is... - "The most expensive meal you will ever eat is pussy."

Princess Syndrome Causes, Symptoms, And Treatment - "Use them for sex or ignore them. You may think you’re being mean by using them for sex, but they’re using you to make themselves feel wanted and to cure their insecurities. Females with princess syndrome are whores, they love to be degraded, that’s why these type of girls never go for the nice guys, they want some asshole guido douchebag. Nice guys are the ones that pamper them, so at the end of they day all they want to do is get fucked and call you their daddy."

Lucky Man Marries Thai Twins! - "Mr Wichai, just yesterday, 23 March, got married in pompous ceremony to both twins simultaneously. On being interviewed by the Thai Rath reporters, Mr Wichai declared wholeheartedly, that he didn’t see much problem in having to perform tiresome marital duties with two wives... Both families celebrated the marriage with joy and were said to be delighted for the threesome... 'I would walk past their house each morning and try to decide for myself which one I fancied more, but it was darned impossible – I adored BOTH of them'... The fortunate Mr Wichai, instead of getting a slap in the face, was overjoyed when both girls admitted to having sworn all along, that they wished to marry the same man!... 'For the first three nights of the week, I will sleep with Ms Thipawan and the next three will be spent with Ms Sirintara. As for every Saturday, the three of us will sleep together'"

Les citations - le 15 avril 2010

"Language is the source of misunderstandings." - Antoine de Saint-Exupery


She's going to do things with - Je suis choqué

[On a picture of a guy in a car speeding towards a tree] He's stealing the car. [Teacher: After economics you should study psychology]

[Me: Je suis malade] Because of women, right?

[On handphone use] ***, are you planning my assassination? Very suspicious.

[Student: The writing part, will it be the same as before?] How much are you willing to pay?... As you know, I am the only teacher at Alliance that you can bribe [Student 2: Whatever it takes] [Student 3: Do you accept cards?] [Student 4: I will cancel the assassination]

[On a test] Un, deux, trois, quatre, cinq, six, sept victimes potentielles. Parfait.

The last letter you will ever write to your friends and family. We are so considerate at Alliance, as you can see.

[On a proposed bribe] $5 I hardly pay my char kway teow (can hardly pay for)

[On the test] For the rest, I recommend you to revise - everything (that you) [Student: Especially what?] Especially everything

[On the test] You will suffer. And I will enjoy as much as you suffer (your suffering)

[On his narration of a passage from the CD] Is it better? Is it worse? The same? [Student: Worse] I'm sorry for my bad French accent

[On speaking in whole sentences] I prefer when you waste more saliva and say the whole sentence.

En général, les singapouriens préferent habiter dans des maisons ou dans des appartements ? ... Et les français ? [Student: Chateau] Non

[Student: On l'achète ou pas ?] Be careful. Because what you said was 'We kill it or not?' or 'We kill him or her or not?'

Protestation ? [Student: Can we do it after the break?] You're being very French

[Teacher: R-a-n-g-e-r] Can you spell that in English? [Student 2: Ranger]

[Me: Je suis malade encore] Pourquoi tu es malade? [Me: Je ne sais pas] Les femmes. Les femmes.

I'm sure you're lying. We have a new device at Alliance. Le polygraphe.

Metz est infâme. C'est horrible... Il fait froid... Paysages... The best you can do in Metz is to leave the city as soon as possible

[Teacher: Tu préfère habiter en ville ou à la campagne ?]... [Me: À la campagne... Parce que - le CAP... Common Agricultural Policy... The farmers get a lot of money] Are you having a fever?

[Student on a video zooming in on scenery: Can like that ah?] It's not me. It's the TV. We are not that advanced at Alliance.

[Student on identifying a weird object on the TV screen: Chateau]... [Me: Lamppost?] Why not a Merlion?

[Concernant 2 vieux hommes] Qui est le plus sexy?

[Professeur: Quel casquette ?] Une casquette rose. Je ne suis pas gai.

[On describing a video but not talking about pants] According to you those guys wear no pants [Me: We can't see the pants] [Student: Peut-être] New fashion

Tu est chaud ? [Male student: Non] Pas encore

[Me: Il est un homme blanc] Ah. A white man. You mean 'ang moh' right?... Occidental... Caucasian... It reminds us of prehistory

[Teacher: Elle regarde la fenêtre.] [Me: Elle regarde la fenêtre de la porte] Wah lao

[On Pétanque] This is our mahjong

[[On the French] They have a song for everything, except white suits... Paper on the floor [has a song too]

[Me on an Alliance event: There's free wine and cheese. Who pays for this?] Us.

They are not on top of the car. You are not in Mexico here.

What did you say ***? I heard 'shit' [Student: 'Yay'] [Student 2: He said it in Chinese] I can see that my Chinese is going to improve

[Moi, concernant les questions à poser aux Parisiens: Détestez-vous les Anglais ?] C'est une très bonne idée

[Me practising asking each other questions: Quel est votre âge ?] Of course you can invent. I prefer old people. For you to practise your numbers.

[Teacher: Poser une question.] [Student: Bonjour] Bonjour. [Student: Ça va ?] Ça va. [Student: C'est fini]

Où habitez-vous à Paris? [Student: Un chateau]... Vous habitez à Notre Dame ? 'Je suis riche'

[On an 'ordeal'] The first 10 minutes I thought she was speaking Italian

[On an 'ordeal'] I didn't know what was sujet until the break. I thought it was a country... Who is 'sujet'?

Je suis polonais. Polonaise.

[Student: Je ne chômage pas] Je ne chômage pas ? Je ne chômage pas ? Je ne chômage pas ? [Student: Je ne suis chômage] Do you want more homework?

[On Britanny] This is the exception. It is the only region without cheese

[Teacher on a hexagon on the board: Ça, que c'est ?] La France. Exactement.

[Concernant Bretagne] [Si] vous adorez la pluie... [n'est pas de soleil,] c'est la destination parfaite

Paris, c'est pas exactement la France... Orchard, c'est pas exactement Singapour

[Professeur: Quel est le taux de chômage en France, en ce moment?] Cent pourcent

[On silence in class] Do you understand me? I don't hear anything.

[Moi: Une femme qui a 29 ans, c'est une 'fille'?] Oui. 30 ans - *secouant la tête*

[Doing a Jeopardy style exercise] 'Malo, Malo Declas' [Me: Je m'appelle Bond, James Bond]

[Professeur: Guyone est très important pour France, et Europe.] Fromage ? [Professeur: Totalement différent.]

[On ceux] In order to explain that, I will need a few handphones please. [Student: *keeps his*]

[On 120 Days of Sodom, The Movie] It's banned here? It's on TV in Poland. Much later. After the news. After the kids' stuff.

Une question un peu inquisitive - *Girl's name*, combien de paires de chausseures as-tu ? [Me: Haven't you asked us that before? Yes, but she was not here

Gabriel? [Me: Ça m'est t'égal] You don't care. Sorry to the question.

Les tatouages. You just don't understand because it is an English word pronounced by the French.

[Me: Le style nu ?]... ***. Il est le style nu ?... [Student: Peut-être pour toi] (lui)

Le style singapourien. Le short. Le t-shirt. Les sandales... I'm not criticising. I'm describing.

Je porte un jean... Un jean jean (bleu)

Vous allez décrire un collègue... Not me, otherwise I'm going to blush.

[On the exercise] Let's write about him. 'Il n'est pas sympa'

[Student: La personne est très gentil. Et son français est très bien.] It's me? You're not supposed to describe the teacher

[On her tudung] ***, je pense que ses cheveux sont rouges, non ? [Student: Peut-être] Les cheveux verts à lundi.

[Student: La personne porte un t-shirt orange...] Guantanamo colours style.

[On why there is no Mandarin onomatopoeia for a cock's crow] They don't have time to make the sound before they are eaten

'Available'. It's not a French word. ***, tu es available ce soir?... 'Busy'. New French word. [Me: C'est anglicisme]

[On il a arrivé] Utilisez avoir, c'est inacceptable. You saw that 8 months ago [Me: That's why we forgot] Une bonne justification

Une action ou une situation ? [Student: Situation] Donc. Donc. Donc. Donc. Donc. [Student: L'imparfait] Merci.

[On the last lesson] I think we should start today with a test [Student: Let's have a party instead] It will be an unforgettable experience. I want you to be marked forever

How did you know it [aller] was an exception [in the conditional]? [Teacher: Because he studied] [Student in question: I guessed]

[Student: Je venirai] Ce, c'est espagnol. N'est pas français

*** [Student: Yes?] You're allowed to say 'oui'

Quelle est ta profession idéale ? [Me: Je voudrais séduire des femmes et prendre ses d'argents] (argents)

Quel est ton rêve ? [Student: Je n'ai pas de rêve] I'm going to cry... [Student 2: Je voudrais rencontrer Lady Gaga]

Quelles sont ses préoccupations ? [Student 1: Tigres indes] [Student 2: Crocodiles en afrique] (indiens)

[On someone's pronunciation] 'Je n'ai pas d'argent'. I heard 'I do not have a joint of marijuana'

[Me: Femme de ménage ?]... [Teacher: Cleaning lady] You pervert [Me: What?!]

[Moi: Je voyagerais à Côte d'Ivoire] Pour parler français ? [Moi: Pour trouver les diamants]... [Pour donner à] les femmes ? [Moi: Je n'ai pas de femme dans ma vie] [Tu peux les chercher] en Côte d'Ivoire [Moi: Les femmes en Côte d'Ivoire ont les diamants encore] [Pas toutes les femmes] (en, ont déjà les diamants)

[Me: Killer litter] For cats?

C'est mon appartement. C'est ma chein [Student: *kicks*] Non !

[Student on a drawing of her house plan: Vous habitez seule ?] J'habite avec ma sœur. [Me: Mais il y a 3 lits] I have 2 sisters.

80% des personnes habitent à HDB. Où habitent 20% des personnes autres ? [Student 1: Dans la rue] [Student 2: Officialement, il n'y a pas des personnes sans habite]

À Singapour, il y a plus de sacs de Louis Vuitton qu'il y a 10 ans

Utilisez trois phrases... 'C'est une ville aussi agréable que Vladivostok' [Me: What city don't you like?] [Student: KL lah]

Get a French girlfriend lah. Then you can practise everyday. Sweet nothings.

Life would not be fun without exceptions.

Les stéréotypes de la France ? [Moi: Les français boivent du vin tous les jours ?] Ce n'est pas stéréotype. C'est vrai.

Pour devenir électri'chien [Professeur: électricien]

[Pour donner les conseils] 'Pour trouver un travail, ce n'était pas facile. Je n'avais pas de diplôme' [Moi: J'ai marié un acteur célèbre] (je me suis mariée)

Passé composé ou l'imparfait?... 'That's how everything started' [Student: Oh] English! Yay!

[On a job interview] Vous parlez français aussi ? [Student: Un peu] You have to lie

[On interviewing as a secretary] Que'est-ce qui vous aimez?... [Me: J'aime faire du café]

[Concernant le travail] J'aime bien commencer très tôt et finir très tôt [Moi: J'aime bien commencer très tard et finir très tôt]

[On Medishield] You can't take it out until you die

I [will] drill you until you ingest and digest the mechanism (memorise)

Je suis pas du tout de féministe... Are there many feminists in Singapore? The Charter is pretty strong... In France the kids go half-half. In France it was like this [like Singapore] 15 years ago. Now the guys are speaking up for their rights.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

A ST Forum letter on Singaporean women from 2004

"Against stupidity the gods themselves contend in vain." - Friedrich von Schiller


Time to play the 'little woman'
Girls here are smarter, driven but do they better good partners than neighbouring girls?

A FEW weeks back, I was intrigued when two male friends started lambasting the Singapore female and exalting the China girl.

It was not because of the concept of cross-matching across countries. That has been going on for centuries now, and I, being half-Peranakan, should be the last to raise an eyebrow about outsourcing for mates. Rather, it was the mindset of the men that was interesting.

'China girls are so pretty and have lower expectations,' said one. Added the other:
'Singapore girls are too demanding, they have a long list of expectations.'

Each glanced at me expectantly, as if waiting for me to put up an impassioned defence of the hard-to-please Singapore woman.

I half-smiled, waiting for the 'prawn-peeling' issue to surface. This was the mode of conversation I would have expected from 50-year-old single or slighted men, but coming from the mouths of 22-year-old boys with bright futures was a stunning revelation of the mindset of the young Singaporean male.

Either they have no originality or Singapore girls are really too much to handle.

The news of the past two weeks confirmed the latter for me: Young 20-something men going to Bintan for cheap sex; 30-something men going to Vietnam for quick marriages. What is going on here?

I have been to Vietnam, and I love the place. The girls, true to form, are slim, tall and soft-spoken. Every word is punctuated with a smile, even when you are driving a hard bargain with them.

Their speech is melodious, and they work hard without complaining, carrying loads of cloth and vegetables in the market stalls and food places. Simple, gentle and hardworking, it's hard not to fall in love with them.

So too are Malaysian girls. Having friends who are dating these girls, I have observed that they are generally of the 'saccharine' variety. Neither loud nor argumentative, they pander to the boys' needs.

Not as doormats, but as cheerful assistants, who see it as their obligation to help their men without expecting anything in return. Not that they are stupid - oh, no, the Malaysian girls I know are smart and hardworking, with careers of their own.

But when it comes to matters of the heart, they play the docile, giggly girlfriend with as much aplomb as their Viet counterparts.

Again, it's easy to see where their attraction lies.

I cannot comment on the Chinese girls or the girls from Bintan, but I can contrast the Malaysian and Vietnamese girls I know with Singapore girls. We are, generally, extremely driven by ideals and emotions.

In an argument, the Singapore girl is twice as likely as her Malaysian or Vietnamese counterpart to stride away in a huff or throw water on the male's face or hold a public screaming or crying fit.

Not for this girl are soft, barely audible replies. The Singapore girl debates and argues impassionedly. She wants to win at all costs and treats her love conquests like those fought in the office arena.

She may be pretty, yes, smart, yes, but, oh, so demanding.

The Singapore girl, in short, is a challenge to love. Although she may, at the end of the day, be a supportive and faithful spouse, the barbs hiding her soft interior are daunting to the suitor.

She is materialistic, and loves being so. Shopping is a major hobby, and looking good is absolutely essential. The man is but another accessory, a helper, chauffeur, bag carrier.

Her girlfriends egg her on, smiling at one friend as her boyfriend picks her up after class each day and cheering the girl who unceremoniously dumps her cheating boyfriend in the middle of the road.

Girl power, we think unanimously. We are not going to be one of those docile wives who nod their heads and cook for you at the slightest command. We are not going to have wool pulled over our eyes by your romantic nonsense. No way. We are women of the new age, liberal, free and... single?

Somehow the whole idea of women's liberation in Singapore seems to have come at the expense of our love lives. We have assimilated Western role models of strong women without taking into account the men that are alongside us.

I have no answers, short of comforting Singapore women with the fact that pets make quite good companions.

However, for the sake of government procreation policies, I think it's imperative that a compromise be struck between the Singapore woman and man, before the Singapore born and bred woman becomes a relic of the past.

I remember an interview years ago in which a prominent local host, very much an image of the career-driven Singapore woman, said that with her then boyfriend, she played the role of the 'little woman'. Perhaps therein lies the secret weapon that Singapore women need to cultivate: a softer un-barbed personality for matters of the heart.

Wong Mei Xuan (Miss)
Straits Times
Oct 23, 2004

A 419 scam among 419 scams

"Skiing combines outdoor fun with knocking down trees with your face." - Dave Barry


From: FBI (fbi@live.com)


Message: Attention

I am Mr. Robert S.Mueller, The FBI Director; After proper investigations, we discovered that your impending payment that have been withheld by imposters, claiming to be Professor Charles Soludo (Governor of the Central bank of Nigeria), Mr. Patrick Aziza, Mr. Frank Nweke, None existing officials of the Oceanic Bank of Nigeria and Zenith Bank, UK winning Lottery, Senator David Mark,Andy Lear of Hsbc bank, Coca-Cola winning lottery and among a list of others is now under our custody with the help of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Local Police Force.

Investigations revealed that you have spent a lot on your personal earned money just to conclude the successful transfer of your funds to your nominated bank account by obtaining transfer documents as requested by the imposters, costing you a lot of money but all to no avail.

The FBI had to send some financial crime investigators from our head quarters in Washington DC to Africa in other to carry out proper investigation, after receiving series of other reports similar to yours as you are not the only person awaiting the legal transfer of funds from Africa.

The FBI has giving authority to the International Monetary Funds (IMF) to assist the Federal Ministry of Finance and all the organization involved; such as the Central Bank, Zenith Bank, and Legit lottery organizations to immediately commence with the compensation of all the beneficiaries awaiting the successful transfer of their funds.

With the help of some of the best Internet investigators attached to the FBI, we traced your information from the Internet as one of the beneficiaries awaiting the successful transfer of funds to your nominated account.

I am pleased to inform you that a meeting was held as regards the best way to carry out with the compensation exercise for transparency and most especially to avoid reoccurrence of the delay in transferring your funds and the high cost of procuring transfer documents and came to a final conclusion as all head of organizations involved was duly represented.

It was approved to be issued to you as a valid international ATM card cashable at any ATM machine designation in the world. The ATM account has already being credited with two million, five hundred thousand United States dollars. ($2.5,000, 000.00USD) , with a daily Limit of withdrawal of Ten thousand United States Dollars. ($10.000, 00USD).The ATM card has already being packaged and approved to be delivered to your door step via express courier delivery service.

Contact Mr. Derrick Wilson {Our FBI ATM Rep.} at the ATM PAYMENT CENTER and reconfirm your delivery information as stated below and your security code with five digit (12090) number has to be submitted alongside with your delivery information for security reasons.


NAME: Derrick Wilson
EMAIL : derrick.wilson2@gala.net



NOTE: Under normal circumstances you are suppose to come and collect your ATM CARD in person and sign some documents as proof of the collection of your ATM CARD but the IMF and the Finance Ministry insisted that you pay for the SECURITY KEEPING FEE ONLY of your ATM CARD via western union money transfer, which will cost you only $250.00 USD to cut down travel expenses in other for the western union payment receipt and the receipt of payment of $250.00 USD to the nominated courier company that will carry out with the delivery to your door step to be documented in your file as proof your collection. We hope that is very clear. A receipt to this effect will be sent to you and a copy kept in your file for future documentation.

We also advise that you stop further communications with these imposters and forward any correspondence / proposal you receive from them to Mr. Derrick Wilson in other for the FBI to bring justice to does still at large.

Mr. Robert S.Mueller III

This hilarious scam is trying to scam people who have already fallen prey to one 419 scam.

Besides the over-the-top story, they mention all the major scams (they're just missing some Banana Republic's General who needs to get rid of his ill-gotten riches) and bring in the IMF (as if they have time for scammers).

Oh, and making the FBI an issuer of credit cards.

You know what they say:

"Fool me once, shame on you.
Fool me twice, shame on me."

(Yes, this is unashamed victim blaming. So sue me.)

Monday, April 12, 2010

On upskirts in Singapore

"For four-fifths of our history, our planet was populated by pond scum." - J. W. Schopf


From today's ST:

'More upskirt voyeurs' on the prowl
Camera phones make it easier to commit offences; more cases cropping up: Lawyers

AS CAMERA and video functions on mobile phones become more commonplace, so too have the cases of those caught for shooting upskirt videos and pictures.

These images are generally shot with cameras pointed directly up women's skirts. Those caught taking such images may face up to a year's jail and a fine for insulting the modesty of women.

Lawyers and psychiatrists who spoke to The Straits Times said the number is likely to have more than doubled from the 50 cases in 2006.

According to police figures, there were 28 cases of people committing upskirt offences out of the 161 cases that involved insulting the modesty of women in 2004. The proportion went up to 50 out of 172 cases in 2006.

In 2008 and last year, there were about 350 cases that involved insulting the modesty of women. However, the police said they no longer provide a breakdown of the figures for upskirt offences among the cases. No reason was given.

Still, lawyers said more of these gadget-savvy peeping Toms are prowling about and getting caught.

Lawyer Rajan Supramaniam, who handles such cases, said: 'From about four cases a month in the courts in 2006, now it's common to have about eight to nine such offences in the same period.'

Another lawyer, Mr Christopher Bridges, said he would not be surprised if the number exceeds 100 cases this year.

'At the district courts, lawyers talk among themselves and upskirt offences seem to be popping up regularly on a weekly basis in these conversations,' he said.

As for the increase in such cases, lawyer Leonard Loo said the availability of small, easily concealed camera phones is one key reason.

'I think it's much easier and less suspicious to steal a peek with a camera phone than to try to catch a woman in a state of undress in a toilet,' he said.

Other lawyers said it could also be due to more awareness about such behaviour.

'There has been a lot of publicity on such crimes, so women are on the alert when a stranger comes too close,' said lawyer Winnifred Gomez.

Psychiatrist Nelson Lee, who did not see any such voyeurs before 2006, said he is now consulted by about 10 such patients a year.

Like him, psychiatrist Brian Yeo and psychologist Daniel Koh said there was no difference between the peeping Toms of the past and the present-day digital voyeurs.

'The only difference is that technology has opened up more opportunities for a whole group of voyeurs. Putting cameras on mobile phones allows for easy filming and playback to relive the moment over and over again,' said Mr Koh.

However, repeated viewing may well lead them down a slippery slope to danger.

'Like all addictions, tolerance develops over time and images obtained online may no longer provide the same level of excitement. Then the person needs something stronger to get the same gratification and he proceeds to go out and get his own images,' Dr Lee said.

My favourite line here is:

"The police said they no longer provide a breakdown of the figures for upskirt offences among the cases. No reason was given"

Of course, this article elides the issue of downblouses.

Links - 12th April 2010

"Absurdity, n.: A statement or belief manifestly inconsistent with one's own opinion." - Ambrose Bierce


Drawing Board: Ideal Life

History Of Cartoon Violence (Graph)

Man Attempts To Assassinate Obama, 'But Not Because He's Black Or Anything' | The Onion - "'Croft was quiet and mostly kept to himself, except when encountering a black person, when he would become exceedingly chatty, going so far as to invite complete strangers to hang out'... 'Obama must be killed, he's got a dark soul... Nah, that's not what I meant'... 'He had ruled out explosives for fear it might conjure up memories of the racially-motivated Birmingham church bombings, and he discounted using a gun because-' 'Martin Luther King' 'Exactly. Ultimately to allay all suspicions of racism, Croft decided to shoot the President with a crossbow with a list of important Black historical figures taped to the arrow. But the FBI apprehended Croft while he was parked outside the White House in a car blasting Sly and the Family Stone'"

Paul Popenoe, eugenics, and marriage counseling - "A National Marriage Boycott is on: its members pledge not to get married, no matter how many people ask them, until the Defense of Marriage Act is repealed... Dick is about to leave his wife, Andrea, for another woman. He is bored with Andrea... Andrea is urged to make herself more interesting. She learns how to make better conversation, goes on a strict diet, and loses eight pounds. The affair is averted"

Fourscared and Fourscammed - "Ten minutes after checking in on Foursquare at the Loteria Grill one chilly night in February, Gim received a phone call from someone at the restaurant’s front desk. When she picked up the phone, the caller asked her what she was doing there and told her he’d be waiting for her at her apartment. Gim didn’t go home that night... Paige Craig was FourStalked at Gold’s Gym in Venice, where he checks in frequently... An employee at the front desk called him and told him Ron was on the phone for him. When Craig got on the line, Ron said he was gym manager, and that Craig’s credit card had been declined. Craig relayed that he had just returned from a skiing trip, where he had been using the same card the entire time. Ron said he tried to process the card again and then said, “Sorry, it’s still not working. Let me confirm the credit card number with you. Craig asked the employee at front desk if Ron worked for him. The employee responded with nothing but a confused stare"
Comment elsewhere: "I had someone look up historical data on my checkins and put themselves in places so they would ‘run into me’... In trade for being at risk of stalkers, you get $1 off your beer. The tradeoff just doesn’t seem worth it."

Pleasing your man – and Jesus – with breast implants? - "“Augmenting the body that God gave you is actually a sign of ultimate love and devotion, as long as you hand that body directly over to your husband.” “The ‘unnatural’ aspect of Breast Implants for Jesus doesn’t concern me—it’s the completely bizarre attempt to justify plastic surgery through scripture that sets my bullshit meter off.” Really? It shouldn’t. Using the Bible to justify ridiculous behavior is as old as the document itself... slavery was sanctioned by God since the Bible contained stories about people being cursed with black skin"

Thrill of the chaste: The truth about Gandhi's sex life - "Gandhi called for his 18-year-old grandniece Manu to join him – and sleep with him. "We both may be killed by the Muslims," he told her, "and must put our purity to the ultimate test, so that we know that we are offering the purest of sacrifices, and we should now both start sleeping naked"... He had an almost magical belief in the power of semen: "One who conserves his vital fluid acquires unfailing power," he said... Tragically for him, he was already being sidelined by the politicians at the time of independence. The preservation of his vital fluid did not keep India intact, and it was the power-brokers of the Congress Party who negotiated the terms of India's freedom"

Do men really make the best chefs? - ""Of course there is sexism in the culinary industry," she said. "Most restaurateurs are more likely to hire a young man because they can run around the kitchen faster with heavy pans and create more business. Men have greater muscle power, yet women are calmer in the kitchen." But celebrity chef John Burton Race says: "It is a fact that men are the best cooks, professional or not. Industrial kitchens may have heavy equipment, but men are the best cooks because they are more passionate and take cooking more seriously"... Stacie Stewart impressed many top chefs as part of her MasterChef experience. She is now back in the North-east working as a PA and running an online bakery, and has some traditional views on the subject. "It's a high-pressure environment. Hard work and long hours, late into the night. If you want to have kids and start a family, I don't see how you can do that and be a chef... I'd love to get my own restaurant, get a book published, get on the TV circuit. But I don't want a Michelin star, it doesn't interest me. [I'd rather] teach people how to be really good home cooks. I'm very traditional and, dare I say it, I believe a woman's place is in the home""
It's sexism to discriminate against the less able, and women are engaging in self-inflicted violence!

Facebook 'friend request' lands UK man in jail - "A man who joined Facebook to look at his friend's wedding pics, was sent to jail after the site automatically sent a "friend request" message to his estranged wife."

Why Men's Friendships Are Different - "Researchers say women's friendships are face to face: They talk, cry together, share secrets. Men's friendships are side by side: We play golf. We go to football games... men generally resist high-maintenance relationships, whether with spouses, girlfriends or male pals. When picking friends, "men don't want someone who is too needy," he says. A third of the men in his study said they learned positive things from female friendships, but 25% had a negative impression of women as friends, citing issues such as "cattiness" and "too much drama." And women are more likely than men to hold grudges toward friends"

Brit mum almost kills her lover during sex -- with her 40LL boobs

Bad guys really do get the most girls - "The self-obsession of narcissism; the impulsive, thrill-seeking and callous behaviour of psychopaths; and the deceitful and exploitative nature of Machiavellianism... those who scored higher on the dark triad personality traits tended to have more partners and more desire for short-term relationships... the correlation only held in males... James Bond epitomises this set of traits, Jonason says. "He's clearly disagreeable, very extroverted and likes trying new things - killing people, new women... This observation seems to hold across cultures... "They still have to explain why it hasn't spread to everyone," says Matthew Keller of the University of Colorado in Boulder. "There must be some cost of the traits." One possibility, both Keller and Jonason suggest, is that the strategy is most successful when dark triad personalities are rare. Otherwise, others would become more wary and guarded"

Outer-space sex carries complications - "Sex in space would likely be "hotter and wetter" than on Earth, Bonta said, because in zero-G there is no natural convection to carry away body heat. Also, scientists have found that people tend to perspire more in microgravity. The moisture associated with sexual congress could pool as floating droplets... "Sex in zero-G is going to have to be more or less choreographed. Otherwise it's just going to be a wild flail""

The ‘‘Booty Call’’: A Compromise Between Men’s and Women’s Ideal Mating Strategies - "Traditionally, research on romantic and sexual relationships has focused on 1-night stands and monogamous pairs. However, as the result of men and women pursuing their ideal relationship types, various compromise relationships may emerge. One such compromise is explored here: the ‘‘booty call.’’ The results of an act-nomination and frequency study of college students provided an initial definition and exploration of this type of relationship. Booty calls tend to utilize various communication mediums to facilitate sexual contact among friends who, for men, may represent low-investment, attractive sexual partners and, for women, may represent attractive test-mates. The relationship is discussed as a compromise between men’s and women’s ideal mating strategies that allows men greater sexual access and women an ongoing opportunity to evaluate potential long-term mates."

"Stability" in China

"A man may be so much of everything that he is nothing of anything." - Samuel Johnson (attr)


China News: Yu Jianrong (于建嵘): Maintaining a Baseline of Social Stability (Part 7)

"[China has] "rigid stability"...

True social stability is about long-term social stability; it’s about the long-term stability of the nation’s laws. However, our [stability] is not like this. All of our stability is centered around a single goal: maintaining a monopoly on political power. In other words, the ultimate goal of all the Communist Party’s goals is how it can hold a monopoly on political power. This is what is called “Adhering to the Leadership of the Party”...

Things that would ordinarily be considered regular social activities can all be seen as “elements of instability.” For example, demonstrations, labor strikes, transportation strikes—these activities are all being seen as “unstable.” Now, even petitioning higher levels of government has been turned into an “element of instability”... Actually, petitioning higher levels of government is your constitutional right; it is a right provided for by the Regulation on Complaint Letters and Visits... an assault on any power is [considered a source of] instability...

To control society [and achieve] “rigid stability” does not primarily rely on the judiciary and primarily relies on the following: state violence, ideology, and controls on societal organizations... However, “rigid stability” brings with it an enormous danger. Currently, [funds spent on maintaining] stability have become one the nation’s extremely significant expenditures; [maintaining stability] has become an enormous burden. For so-called stability, local officials are all running up to Beijing to catch people, running up to Beijing to set up offices. This type of stability has thrown the entire nation into disarray... Does everybody all feel like this kind of stability can last? Let me tell you that it cannot. This kind of stability will certainly bring about massive social catastrophe...

People often say that Western institutions are not suited to us in China. No matter, don’t you also say that Taiwan is a part of China? Since Taiwan is also China, why was that group of people able to answer “impossible” [to the questions of whether the government could demolish their house without their approval, whether a judge would not accept their case, and whether a legislator would refuse to make an investigation]? We should not [just] look at China Central Television saying today that the Taiwanese are fighting, or saying tomorrow that Taiwan is cursing Ma Yingjiu. It doesn’t matter. Taiwan’s society, on the ground level, is extremely harmonious and stable"

The other parts (from 1 to 9) are also interesing:

"Why do Chinese people take to the streets? Ordinary Chinese people will say, “You promised to give me ten Yuan, why are you now only giving me five Yuan? You’re not honoring your word. Your law says that rural people should be having elections and that land takings should only occur if the villagers approve. So why aren’t there elections? Why are you selling our land without gaining our approval? You local governments are not doing things according to the nation’s laws.” In summary the issue is about the [government] not honoring its word. So what do Westerners say when they take to the streets? They say, “Why are you only giving us ten Yuan? According to human rights, according to natural rights, you should be giving us one hundred Yuan. Your rules [providing ten Yuan] are wrong."

On the alleged virgin/slut dichotomy

"The truth is always a compound of two half- truths, and you never reach it, because there is always something more to say." - Tom Stoppard


"The SDS [Sexual Double Standard] has been a popular topic for researchers over the last two decades (e.g., Gentry 1998; Jacoby & Williams 1985; Marks & Fraley 2005; Sprecher 1989), but evidence for its existence has been elusive. For instance, Gentry (1998) employed a person-perception task and found that raters judged men and women who had an above average amount of sexual activity similarly. In another person-perception study, Marks and Fraley (2005) found that even in the absence of valenced sexual information regarding sexual behaviors (e.g., insinuating that having many partners is a negative characteristic), individuals tended to equally derogate men and women who had similar sexual histories."

--- Common vs. Uncommon Sexual Acts: Evidence for the Sexual Double Standard / Peter K. Jonason & Michael J. Mark

Addendum: Translation - contrary to feminists' claims, there does not seem to be a sexual double standard - i.e. sluts vs studs (or studs vs sluts)

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Justice is blind

Dilbert: Is that Legal?

Pointy-haired Boss: It's better than legal. We're using the Law to keep Justice away!!

Dilbert: I feel sick.

Pointy-haired Boss: That's how you know it's working.

I love pandas

"Pandas are the least racist animal. They're white, black AND asian"

Macau - Day 2, Part 3

"Parents were invented to make children happy by giving them something to ignore." - Ogden Nash


Day 2 - 27th February - Coloane (Part 3)

After lunch I took a bus to the island of Coloane, the further island from Macau; Taipa (the nearer island) sounded more urban and less interesting.

The bus dropped me off at the very sleepy Coloane Village

Coloane was cooler than the city, but I wasn't up to hiking (mostly because I'd injured my foot in January and hadn't completely recovered yet).

My attention was drawn by this queue outside Lord Stow's Garden Café. Lord Stow, of course, is famous for having popularised egg tarts and having the finest examples of that culinary form Macau.

Lord Stow's Menu. Oddly, the only Portuguese/Macanese desserts were Egg Tarts and Serradura (milk, cream and biscuit crumbs), and the only Macanese food was Capella (Macanese-style Pork Loaf). The Macanese don't seem to love their cuisine all that much.

As the cafe was full, I got for takeaway:

2 egg tarts. I was still quite full so I didn't get anything else.

These were better (flakier and richer) than the ones I had for breakfast.

Incidentally the KFC ones in Singapore are not bad where the crust is concerned, but the filling is lousy as it has the consistency of badly-made kaya (i.e. lumpy).

"Flying Eagle Training Center. Macau's Only Army Training Camp" - I suspect this is run by the People's Liberation Army to indoctrinate Macanese kids.

Largo do Presidente Antonio Ramalho Eanes. An ex-Portuguese President who supposedly was stationed in Macau.

I love "Sam Seng Temple"

"Lord Stow's Bakery. Estd. Macau 1989".
They claim to be the "Creator of the Egg Tart now famous throughout Asia", but it's more accurate to say (as the website admits) that the late Englishman modified the traditional recipe and popularised it.

Purple Dog. It wasn't as cute as:

Samurai Dog (Kyoto)

A pier in the dump that is Coloane Beach

The Dump that is Coloane Beach. The shouts you hear come from old people playign cards. You can see Zhuhai (China) in the distance.

Largo do Balzar

Largo Eduardo Marques. The monument commemorates the 1910 victory over the last pirates in Coloane. At the end you see St Francis Xavier Church, which used to house St Francis Xavier's humerus (now in a seminary on the mainland) and the Japanese and Vietnamese martyrs' remains that are now in the crypt of the Ruins of St Paul's (Timeout 2006 incorrectly claims that they are still there).

Interior of the very modest St Francis Xavier Church (1928). Notice what is probably a dove, representing the Holy Spirit (the shape that looks like a KKK member) above the portrait of Christ.

Although the church was very simple and could not compare to European ones, I greatly enjoyed my visit - because of the air-conditioning.

There were also some interesting pieces inside St Francis Xavier Church.

Madonna and Child represented as Chinese gods

Something from Vietnam and Korea, and I love that hat!

At first I thought these were about Christianity in Japan, but it doesn't look like the Japanese style. Perhaps it's Korean.

The Shroud of Turin makes an appearance

Exiting the church, I wandered the alleys. It was no Cinque Terre, but the humidity aside, it was a semi-pleasant walk.

Travessa da Igreja

European street lamp, Chinese house

I never associated the [Sub-]Tropics with ivy, but there you are.

Next was the Kum Iam Temple (Guan Yin), dating from the mid-1800s.

Kum Iam Temple Altar


Weapons rack

Entrance to Kum Iam Temple

I wondered if this was a joke - outside the Guan Yin Temple was (among others) a mini-Altar with Guan Yu

Rua do Caetano. More juxtaposition.
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