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Saturday, May 28, 2011

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2011 Net profit: $161 million
Cash raised from US since 2006: $3 million
Asking for fare hikes: PRICELESS

The Casual Misandry of Advertising

"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." - Benjamin Franklin


I was initially pleased and amused to learn about the Peranakan Museum's offer of free admission for men (from 26th May to 3rd July), with women who accompany them getting a 50% discount - a reversal of the usual Ladies' Night promotions.

Notwithstanding the promotion's aim - which was to promote an exhibition on the evolution of the sarong kebaya over four centuries (in other words, this exhibition will be of greater interest to women - a point explicitly conceded since it is to "encourage women to bring along their male [associates]"), this was a rare (if essentially negligible) instance where men are given an explicit privilege over women.

The promotion is titled "Women Don't Get It!", a spin on the common female refrain of "Men don't get it" (which is referenced in UOB Lady's Card's slogan of "The Men Don't Get It.")

However even here a contradiction suggests itself - if Women's don't get "It", how come they get a 50% discount on admission? This would suggest that while women may not partake of the full privileges of "It", they are not altogether left out in the cold.

The real problem comes when one reads the text of the promotion:

"Ladies! Drag your man to the Peranakan Museum. Time to dump him if he can't be bothered to take you to your favourite Kebaya exhibition, especially when it's free for him"

(let us ignore for the sake of charity how many women's 50% discounted admission will be paid for by - you guessed it - the guys bringing them there)

Despite the promotion's claim to be "tongue-in-cheek", just imagine the outcry if similar language were used about women.

"Guys! Drag your woman to the football game. Time to dump her if she can't be bothered to take you to your favourite game, especially when it's free for her"

For one, AWARE would be on their tails, given that they shriek and bitch over much less significant matters (even tongue-in-cheek ones, no less).

It would be no surprise if they once again remained silent on this matter, as on other more important ones, given their revealed ideology that only men can do wrong. Again, we can profit by asking the sociological question: "Who Benefits?"

To be clear, I am not against humour of this sort. Why, then, is this post titled "The Casual Misandry of Advertising"? This is because what I'm against is the double standards of Female Privilege - where in this case it's acceptable to use men as the targets of gentle mockery, but not women; if everyone were subject to the same standards, it would be non-discriminatory.

To look at it another way - there is no discrimination if the police accosting and fining people who jaywalk. There is a problem of discrimination if the police accost and find only people of a certain race who jaywalk.

Meanwhile, anyone who starts talking about how misandry and/or double standards are acceptable because of 'Male Privilege' gets rocks in their mouth:

Links - 28th May 2011

"Some editors are failed writers, but so are most writers." - T. S. Eliot


Apple upgrades leave bitter taste - "A pricey but stylish MacBook laptop, a variety of iPods and now a wallet-busting iPhone 4 … I've bought them all. So why is Apple now penalising me and thousands of other loyal customers by effectively declaring that our computers are obsolete?... Yet my MacBook isn't ancient: it's only about four years old. And it's not as if I'm trying to hook up one of the latest devices to a Sinclair ZX Spectrum. What adds insult to injury is that if I had a 10-year-old Windows PC, I wouldn't be experiencing these problems. I'd be able to happily download the new iTunes. But my four-year-old Mac? 'Fraid not... I thought one of Apple's selling points was that its products don't require much technical know-how to set up or use"
Apple can do this because it knows its customers are suckers

The hard drives in new iMacs can't be self-upgraded - "Apple generally tends to overcharge for its hard drive upgrades and replacements. Now customers have no choice but to pay up. It couldn't be more clear-cut that Apple does not want you tampering with their hardware guts. For most Apple customers, this might be fine, but as a person who's replaced a hard drive on every single Mac I've ever owned, whether that was due to to failure or an upgrade, I can say losing the ability to replace the stock drive is a big downer"

Singapore reeling from murder spree, drug scourge - "Between 2007 and 2009, there were fewer than ten a year, compared to an average of 27 or 28 executions a year between 1999 and 2003, and 76 in 1994... something changed. It was international pressure wasn’t it? Yeah, it works"

MP "horrified" after bus spot checks - "Mr Lim told Channel NewsAsia he was "horrified" that three bus services -- 158, 12 and 197 -- took half an hour to arrive, and said he has written to the Public Transport Council"

Why Monogamy Matters - "There are different kinds of premarital sex. There’s sex that’s actually pre-marital, in the sense that it involves monogamous couples on a path that might lead to matrimony one day. Then there’s sex that’s casual and promiscuous, or just premature and ill considered... Their research, which looks at sexual behavior among contemporary young adults, finds a significant correlation between sexual restraint and emotional well-being, between monogamy and happiness — and between promiscuity and depression. Female emotional well-being seems to be tightly bound to sexual stability — which may help explain why overall female happiness has actually drifted downward since the sexual revolution... Liberals argue, not unreasonably, that Planned Parenthood’s approach is tailored to the gritty realities of teenage sexuality. But realism can blur into cynicism, and a jaded attitude can become a self-fulfilling prophecy"
I am amused to see the "self-fulfilling prophecy" invoked in this scenario

Apple causes ‘religious’ reaction in brains of fans, say neuroscientists

YouTube - Understanding GIRLS!!!

PM Lee now and in 1984 - "Support for the PAP dropped even lower, however, in the 1988 elections, when it won 63.2 per cent of the votes. In the 1991 elections, it won just 61 per cent – almost the same as this year. In 1997, it won 65 per cent. In 2001, after the national security scare following the 9/11 terrorist attacks in America, the PAP won an astonishing 75.3 per cent of the votes. But in 2006, the PAP vote slipped back to 66.6 per cent"
Plus ça change...

Girl refuses to give up seat to old woman, even after being asked repeatedly - "Given no choice, I took out my mobile and took pictures of her and the old lady, and announced openly and publicly that I was going to post this on STOMP"
Given no choice, she should've threatened to call the police unless he deleted that photo

Atheists have 'better sex than religious followers who are plagued with guilt' - "Both groups of people admitted that they carried out the same activities such as masturbation, watching pornography, having oral sex and pursuing affairs. But followers of religion did not enjoy the experiences as much due to the stigma... the stronger their religious beliefs were the more powerful their feelings of sexual regret... Worryingly, children raised in strongly religious homes were more likely to get their sex education from pornography, as they were not confident enough to talk with their parents... People who had lost their belief and became atheists reported a significant improvement in sexual satisfaction... 'Of course, they have to return to their religion to get forgiveness. It's like the church gives you the disease, then offers you a fake cure'"
The report is actually more complicated than reported (for example all the respondents were currently secular) - but that's to be expected

The stupidity of our copyright laws is finally laid bare - ""Could it be true," he asks, "that laws designed more than three centuries ago with the express purpose of creating economic incentives for innovation by protecting creators' rights are today obstructing innovation and economic growth? The short answer is: yes." The notion that laws framed in an era when copying was difficult, imperfect and expensive could work in an era when copying was effortless, perfect and cheap was a proposition that only imbeciles and industry lobbyists could entertain. But up to now, our politicians subscribed to it."

Hiding the Lockheed Plant during World War II - wow this is amazing!

Google’s in-house philosopher: Technologists need a “moral operating system” - "To illustrate how ethics are getting short-shrift in the tech world, Horowitz asked attendees whether they prefer the iPhone or Android. (When the majority voted for the iPhone, he joked that they were “suckers” who just chose the prettier device.) Then he asked whether it was a good idea to take data from an audience member’s phone in order to provide various (and mostly beneficial) services, or whether he should be left alone, and the majority of audience voted to leave him alone. Finally, Horowitz wanted to know whether audience members would use the ideas proposed by John Stuart Mill or by Immanuel Kant to make that decision. Not surprisingly, barely anyone knew what he was talking about. “That’s a terrifying result,” Horowitz said. “We have stronger opinions about our handheld devices than about the moral framework we should use to guide our decisions.”"

23 Amazing Examples Of Military Photography

Being a slut, to my mind, was mostly fun – wearing and doing what you liked - ""Slut" seems mild to me. But now I see people getting fairly worked up about this very bad word used by men about women. I have only ever heard it used by women about women"
'Slutwalks' are just like the campaign to get men to stop committing "violence" against women - selective focus which results in men-bashing

Singapore's People's Association — Central Intelligence Agency - "The program deliberately confused the roles of government and party so that the people tended to praise the party for activities undertaken by the government, Funded by the government but exploited by the ruling party, it cultivated an image independent of both. Thus Singapore's unique People's Association was born."

Le boom de la pornographie en Afrique - "« En Côte d’Ivoire, au Cameroun… les acteurs porno sont adulés et présentés comme des modèles de réussite pour la jeunesse, qui ne se fait pas prier en cas de sollicitation »"

Is Singapore boring? CNN list sparks debate - "Singaporeans know more about food and English football than anyone in the world, but they are not so keen on the arts or culture"

Feminists hopping mad over Bunny Girls
Comments: "'Women dressed as bunnies is not empowering'. Maybe not, but the £1000 a night they can clear in tips most definately is."
"Did a single man protest when the Chippendales first appeared?"
"Girls, well done for publicising the opening of a new Playboy Club. Mr Heffner is, no doubt, very pleased."
"I reckon those two didn't get the job." [Ed: We can use a sociological tool here - asking 'who benefits?'

The line between party and nation - "There is a vast difference between many Third World countries and First World countries in how the political system works. In some Third World countries, it is not just wholesome rivalry between parties but deep hostility that often
manifests in assassination, detention and persecution. One admirable feature of some First World democracies is that when the election is over, the opponents shake hands and get down to work together for the greater good of the nation with little personal ill feelings. The interest of the nation prevails over that of the party... On National Day, I feel something amiss when People's Action Party parliamentarians show up in party uniform"

Idol Otaku Spends $110,000 on 5500 AKB48 CDs
Comments: "“If you just offered this Yuuko girl 5 million yen to sleep with you she’d most likely go for it…”
“You could get a handjob from all 48 for that much.”
“How many times could you go to a soapland for that?”"

Residents fear long-time contamination in Woodlands water tanks - "Residents suspect that workers bathed frequently in the water tanks, and in extreme cases, washed there after having sex with their female companions!"
The fact that there wasn't a rash of poisoning incidents tells you that either Singaporeans (or at least Woodlands residents) have stronger stomachs than we give them credit for, or that people are paranoid

One-third of girls in the United States get pregnant before the age of 20.

Socialite Jamie Cuaca's extensive fashion collection - "Her favourite movie is Breakfast at Tiffany's and Marie Antoinette. These two movies have a common theme - a woman's desire for luxury living, and expensive taste in clothes and items."

Robots have an odd job to do in China – Collect Semen! - "This very-unique gadget has a monitor which would show you exotic pictures, with audio. Down-under is a “semen-collection sheath” which stimulate the movement and the feel. If this is not all, another company which sells the same product promises temperature control. They come with an additional “infrared heating to stimulate the feeling and temperature of a female vagina”. Once attached the “semen-collection sheath” vibrates, until, the donation process is completed... If this does not tickle your funny bone then wait to hear this. There’s a bonus feature: “premature ejaculation training function.”"
This sounds like a cover for a masturbation machine. The patent for the Fleshlight is very funny also

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Malaysia Boleh in 2011

For the two people who haven't yet seen it:

Rosalinda - Welcome To Malaysia Song

Monday, May 23, 2011

Vilaine femme

"Aujourd'hui, je me suis réveillé avec un Post-it sur le front sur lequel était inscrit "C'est l'anniversaire de ta femme". J'ai donc acheté un bouquet de fleurs à celle-ci. Quand je suis rentré à la maison, elle m'a dit : "Merci, je suis sûre que je peux t'avoir une troisième fois cette année." VDM"

Sunday, May 22, 2011


"Ne parvenant pas à nommer la spécialité de son désir pour l'être aimé, le sujet amoureux aboutit à ce mot un peu bête : adorable !"

--- Roland Barthes

France/Spain 2011 - Day 2, Part 3 - Colmar: Unterlinden Museum

"Competence, like truth, beauty and contact lenses, is in the eye of the beholder." - Laurence J. Peter


France/Spain 2011
Day 2 - 18th March - Colmar: Unterlinden Museum
(Part 3)

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Martin Schongauer. Orlier Altarpiece: The Annunciation. 1470-5

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Attributed to Workshop of Veit Wagner. Bergheim Altarpiece. About 1515.

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Chapel with Issenheim Altar

Interesting fact: the Unterlinden Museum is the second most visited provincial fine arts museum in France. I wonder what the top one is.

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Funerary Slab of a Knight. Ulrich von Hus, lord of Issenheim.

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Issenheim Altar: the arms are elongated for *word I can't read in my notes*
The audioguide said that it is unusual to have John the Baptist in a crucifixion scene
At the side you see St Sebastien and St Anthony alive but on pedastels like in a church - as if they're beatified. The former is martyred with a crown *something* (you can see metal rods in his body), while the latter is being attacked by a she-devil.

Sick people were taken to meditate in front of the Crucifixion - to reduce their suffering. Gah.

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"The commandery of the Antonines of Issenheim"

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"The altarpiece of Issenheim: origin and function"

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The Annunciation here is the most traditional, medieval, scene. The fluttering of the angel's robe is seen in the Baroque style. Mary is reading Isaiah, and the green curtain represents the Old Testament and the red the New.
On the left you see the Resurrection and it's most funky - there's a hippie air to the scene.

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The Virgin is playing with the baby. The swaddle cloth foreshadows the loincloth of the Crucifixion. The daily items strewn around represent humanity. Lucifer is here (?!) and God the Father is on top.

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What the ensemble would've looked like originally

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Temptation of St Anthony. His thoughts on punishment are on the bottom right of the left panel: "Where were you Jesus? You didn't heal my wounds"
On the bottom left a guy is dying of ergotism as he is a connoisseur of something related to it (rye, perhaps - I missed it). He also has symptoms of syphillis.
On the right St Anthony and St Paul are meeting. The former thinks he's the only hermit in the desert.

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St Anthony with 2 donors at his feet
You also see St Augustine and St Jerome
Antonine monks valued pigs for cheap food, so you also see them here

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Martin Schongauer and gang. ~1480. Deposition and Entombment
At the bottom right he is telling Mary Magdalene: "Do not touch me". Empty space is at the centre of the composition.

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How everything would've looked together

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Gang of Martin Schongauer: Mystical Chase x2, Adoration of the Magi, Presentation at the Temple
The dogs in the first Mystical Chase panel represent Justice, Peace and Truth. They're forcing the unicorn to take refuge at Mary's breast.

Besides Medieval art, the museum also had other things. The Merovingian and earlier material was nothing special.

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Funerary Stele, 2nd c. AD

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Funerary Stele, 3rd c. AD

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Bronze Age burial

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Etruscan Ceramics: Urn for ashes
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