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Saturday, October 22, 2011

Links - 22nd October 2011

"It is not worth an intelligent man's time to be in the majority. By definition, there are already enough people to do that." - G. H. Hardy


Obedient Wives Club publishes explicit sex book - "Titillatingly-titled “Seks Islam, perangi Yahudi untk kembalikan seks Islam kepada dunia [Islamic sex, fighting Jews to return Islamic sex to the world]”, the explicit book aims to guide Muslim brides on how to pleasure their husbands in bed. In its foreword, the pro-polygamy OWC said its studies showed women only gave their husbands 10 per cent of what the men desired of their wives’ bodies."
There is actually a word for sex in Malay: "persetubuhan" - Your Guide To The Gods

Deconstructing SlutWalk: San Francisco, August 6, 2011 - "SlutWalks simmer with a jittery yet unnerving erotic tension. Look at me, I'm sexy and gorgeous! is inextricably meshed with If you even DARE to glance in my direction, I will disembowel you. For those marinated in academic feminism, this posture makes total sense; everyone else cringes nervously and expects someone to jump out and say "Ha ha! You've been punked!"... if anybody dares to disagree with you or even raise a minor quibble, you can shoot back, "What? Are you FOR rape? Do you think we SHOULD blame victims? You're part of the problem!" As a result of this stance, your cause becomes above reproach, immune from criticism. THEN... (did you really think the strategy stopped there? Tsk tsk tsk) once you've assumed this mantle of moral perfection, you can start heaping all sorts of ancillary ultimatums and issues onto your list of demands, and no one is allowed to resist or complain, lest you once again neutralize them with "Blaming the victim again, are we? Pig!"... SlutWalk is a set of mutually contradictory statements and attitudes that all cancel each other out and make no logical sense...
Contradiction #1: I'm a slut / Don't call me a slut!
Contradiction #2: Look at me / Don't you dare look at me!
Contradiction #3: Looksism is unfair and patriarchal / See how gorgeous we are?
Contradiction #4: Let's stop rape / Cops are the enemy
Contradiction #5: Casual consensual sex is fun / Men are evil
Contradiction #6: Sexual exploitation of women is bad / Let's glorify prostitution
Possibly the most misguided message of the day: Amidst all the "Keep your hands of me!" signage, this participant wore a "Hug Me" t-shirt. If any man had taken her up on the offer, would he have been beaten to a pulp by the crowd? "Hug Me"'s only competition for "worst t-shirt" came from this SlutWalker who thought it wise to wear her "Itty Bitty Titty Committee" shirt to the march"
This is the best SlutWalk analysis/commentary so far
Addendum: "not a slut", "incoherent", "incoherence"

EU bans pre-ticked website boxes to aid consumers - ""Pre-ticked" boxes on shopping websites will be banned in European Union states under newly approved legislation... Traders will not be allowed to make a profit from the charge levied on customers for using a credit card; those with telephone hotlines will only be allowed to charge customers basic call rates."

Spider-Woman scales castle wall: Ma Jei climbs 70ft to dodge £2.50 admission fee

The Digital Humanities as Composite | Digital Humanities Specialist - "While working on a vector rendition of the Farnese Atlas, a sculpture
now residing in Naples that was carved in the 2nd century as a copy of a Greek sculpture possibly dating back to the 2nd century BCE, I realized that the piece wouldn’t come off as well as I would like if it was based on a single static image of the sculpture (one such image, a photograph taken by Gabriel Seah and released CCSA3 on Wikipedia, served as the primary reference)"

Willingness to lie manipulated with magnets

Angry Birds! - "As I got ready to sling the bird into the pigs building in the fourth level of the game, I began to think “Either am crazy, or this game is political”. The birds started to remind me of Angry Muslim “birds” who would strap bombs and risk their lives to destroy the Jewish ”pigs” who had stolen their eggs… I mean land. Instead of sling-shots the “birds” used airplanes that they hijacked. The largest Jewish (Pig) population is in the USA, so they aimed their sling-shot in that direction. Birds who are angry, and determined. Coincidence? I don’t think so. A man said to the Prophet (SAW): “Counsel me”. The prophet said: “Do not become angry”… لا تغضب And he repeated several times: “Do not become angry”."
This sort of analysis says more about the analyser than the analysed

Good sex? Science serves up the secret - ""One paper suggested that one in 400 pairs of fraternal twins born to white married women in the United States may actually have different fathers"... There's a reason for women to prefer dark men: They're less like to have sperm damage from UV light."

Newspaper thief drives off in lorry, shopkeeper clings onto bonnet - "It was a scene straight out of the movies. A lorry swerving from left to right trying to dislodge a man clinging for dear life on the bonnet."

If It's Hip, It's Here: Soup For Sluts & Other Rad Ramen Noodles

Antiperspirants and Breast Cancer Risk - "For a while now, an email rumor has suggested that underarm antiperspirants cause breast cancer... All of these claims are largely untrue."

Orthodox church appears to be exempt from austerity measures - ""The Greek church is a national church," Karamouzis says, "which means there is a political connection between the church and the state, for the state awarded it these privileges. Its spiritual role is closely linked to its political function, muddying the distinction between its congregation and Greek citizens, a source of confusion which politicians use in their quest for votes""

Deepak Chopra reviews Richard Dawkins - "Shorter Deepak: “Richard Dawkins didn’t endorse my quantum bullshit, therefore The Magic of Reality sucks!” Deepak Chopra actually sounds quite upset — his review of the book reads more like the indignant squawk of a charlatan furious that the presence of a skeptic might cut into his take. It’s largely an exercise in name-dropping and the profession of bleary, vacuous misinterpretations of science on his part, which he then turns around and uses to accuse Dawkins of error because he doesn’t share his inoculation of the ideas with pseudoscience"

My new favorite word: cephalophoric - "This translates, from Greek, as “head carrier” and refers specifically to saints who, after beheading, carried around their own heads... a French scholar found 134 examples in French hagiography alone"

WEST: Shariah goes to Harvard - "What do Pakistan’s Swat Valley and Harvard University have in common? Their leading Islamic authorities uphold the Shariah (Islamic law) tradition of punishing those who leave Islam with death... No one from the public-affairs office I contacted would answer questions or return phone calls... maybe more disturbing than either Mr. Abdul-Basser’s Shariah position or Harvard’s stonewalling is the silence of the media. With the exception of the Harvard Crimson, no news outlets have covered the story. Compare this silence to the uninterrupted media pillory that Lawrence H. Summers endured back in 2005. For suggesting that differences between men and women, not discrimination, accounted for a dearth of women in the sciences, Mr. Summers was ultimately driven from the Harvard presidency. Today, for seeing “great wisdom” in the Shariah tradition of capital punishment for apostasy, Mr. Abdul-Basser not only doesn’t rate a news squib, but he also continues to minister to Harvard’s flock"
More Islamophobia!

Map your Twitter Followers

Fit to fat and back again - "A personal trainer in the US has spent six months pigging out and eating junk food - to help him better understand fat clients. Drew Manning says he was fed up of hearing people tell him he didn't know what it was like to be fat and suffer cravings"

Sola Ratione: William L. Craig debates the undebatable - "Most people who see themselves as engaging in a serious and honest intellectual inquiry wouldn't even dream of resorting to such a devious tactic — much less suspect their colleagues of doing so. What would be the point? You might win the debate, as Craig apparently did — but then what?... I don't think even Krauss could have foreseen just how pointless and disheartening it would be to try and engage with someone like William Lane Craig"

Sexy Gisele ad not too sexist for TV - "Brazil's National Advertising Council has denied a request to ban a television ad featuring lingerie-clad supermodel Gisele Bundchen after a government agency called it sexist. "The stereotypes in this ad campaign are common in society, easily identifiable and do not denigrate women"... Some men had called for the ad to be put down because it took them for "idiots""
Interestingly the Council said nothing about denigrating men

Why I refuse to debate with William Lane Craig | Richard Dawkins - "Most churchmen these days wisely disown the horrific genocides ordered by the God of the Old Testament. Anyone who criticises the divine bloodlust is loudly accused of unfairly ignoring the historical context, and of naive literalism towards what was never more than metaphor or myth... listen to Craig. He begins by arguing that the Canaanites were debauched and sinful and therefore deserved to be slaughtered... 'I think the most difficult part of this whole debate is the apparent wrong done to the Israeli [sic] soldiers themselves. Can you imagine what it would be like to have to break into some house and kill a terrified woman and her children? The brutalising effect on these Israeli [sic] soldiers is disturbing... If the Canaanite tribes, seeing the armies of Israel, had simply chosen to flee, no one would have been killed at all. There was no command to pursue and hunt down the Canaanite peoples. It is therefore completely misleading to characterise God's command to Israel as a command to commit genocide. Rather it was first and foremost a command to drive the tribes out of the land and to occupy it. Only those who remained behind were to be utterly exterminated. No one had to die in this whole affair' So, apparently it was the Canaanites' own fault for not running away. Right. Would you shake hands with a man who could write stuff like that? Would you share a platform with him? I wouldn't, and I won't"
Since one Christian definition of "freedom" is warped ("freedom" means being free to do God's will), it's no surprise that terms like "genocide" and "good" get redefined in doublespeak too

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Observations - 20th October 2011

"After all is said and done, a lot more will be said than done." - Unknown


There seems to be a link between vanity and neuroticism.

Skirt and slippers weather the rain a lot better than pants and shoes. Grr

I saw a boy sitting in a girl's lap wildly gyrating as she giggled. It'd have looked more wrong if they weren't both in Lower Primary. But then they were from Lycée français de Singapour.

I was observing some group dynamics - almost everyone in a certain social group could understand Mandarin, while 1-2 could not, and a large part of the time people chattered away happily in the monstrous English-Mandarin pidgin that most Singaporeans speak. In this way, some diversity can be worse than no diversity. What is the critical mass for linguistic exclusion?

Apparently paid childcare in Singapore is really bad, which is why parents are reluctant to use it if maids, parents or part-time/flexi-work are not options (and why parents sometimes quit their jobs for a few years). Which makes one wonder if and why childcare is better in the West.

I asked 2 RGS girls if they still had the rule against being in uniform at shopping centers. They looked very puzzled.

Hara is an unfortunate name for a halal timsum company. Not only is it a Jewish name, it's one letter away from Haram [especially if it's in Malaysia - Hara (M)]

When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. When shit happens...

"holding on to anger is like drinking poison and expecting someone else to die"
"Don't get angry, plot revenge"

Amused that "冷奴" means "Cold Tofu"

Hand dryers save the Earth. Because they don't work so no one uses them.

When I read "", I think not about the unemployed but transsexuals

"in every relationship u can never ever be truly certain. the only woman who can tell u where her husband is every night... is a widow"

"You are 27, in 2 years you would be 29. Get a boyfriend, I assure you it is better and more satisfying than your PhD" - LKY
[LDPVTP: this is exactly what i did]

RT @markleggett: Love means never having to say you're sorry. So does hate. Also, apathy.

RT @markleggett: For every teacher who inspired their inner-city students with interpretive dance, there's 10,000 who were stabbed for saying "interpretive".

"To most Christians, the Bible is like a software license. Nobody actually reads it. They just scroll to the bottom and click "I agree.""

RT @GodlessAtheist @Biblekid: There's trillions of ways to satan & only one way to God. <-- Why is Satan a more effective communicator? "I have many weird friends, but you're THE weird friend" @sophiewillocq on why she gets so many Formspring questions (and people like me don't): "I'm a blogger lol, and your blog's topics aren't exactly commonplace nor fighting for top position with Makeup Tricks to Brighten Your Eyes!"

"to complain the twitter responses towards the article lacked depth is to say a kiddie pool lacks depth. Isn't that the point?"

RT @sailesh88: why do US army bases allow camera phones but SAF camps do not? Oh right. So no evidence on how incompetent SAF regulars are.

RT @benjaminjoffe: Quality > US: "It works" | JP "It's perfect" | KR: "It's new" | CN "It gives me status" | SG: "There is a queue for it"

RT @DeathStarPR They're calling Kim Kardashian's wedding a "fairy tale". Hopefully the one where she gets eaten by a wolf dressed as her Grandma.

RT @ifalas: Je reviens de l'anniversaire d'une amie boulimique. La surprise de fin c'était qu'un énorme gâteau sortait d'une de ses amies.

RT @MIKAMASUTRA Les filles naturelles ne sont pas parfaites, les filles parfaites ne sont pas naturelles.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

France/Spain 2011 - Day 6, Part 3 - Paris

"A family is a unit composed not only of children but of men, women, an occasional animal, and the common cold." - Ogden Nash


France/Spain 2011
Day 6 - 22nd March - Paris
(Part 3)

I was going to fly off later that day, and had been toying with the possibility of going to the town of Beauvais, near the airport, to have a look at the incomplete cathedral (part of it collapsed and they never got down to completing it), but I decided not to do so, remembering how walking around Rheims with a large backpack had been like. Then again right now I was walking around Paris with a large backpack - with 3kg of salted eggs flown from Singapore inside. But Pascal and jubé were more fun than an incomplete cathedral, and I'd already seen an example of the latter in Utrecht.

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Plaque commemorating the College of Montaigu, where Erasmus was a lodger.

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Queue to register at the Library of St Genevieve. Very good.

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Plaque on the history of the Library of St Genevieve. The College of Montaigu, which was on its site, was known for its anal rules and Erasmus, Calvin and Ignatius of Loyola studied the humanities there. Documents from the Middle Ages to the 18th century are stored there.

Near this area (near the Panthéon) and opposite the Sorbonne, there was:

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Run down event centre

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"Unemployment, precariousness, poverty, loss of social gains, the downfall of the minimum wage... IMMIGRATION KILLS - Movement of Social Action"
The Mouvement d'action sociale sounds really radical

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The joy of being young. And of smoke breaks.

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A side road

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Entrance to the Sorbonne (the church). Notice the guard on the bottom right.

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Remnants of a smoke break

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"Best propaganda
Best colonial hope
Best technological pillage
Best economic offensive
Hu Jintao; Wen Jiabao
The Chinese Speech"
This is a reference to the poster for the King's Speech, of course.

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Sorbonne facade from the side. Again, note the guard.

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Rue Victor Cousin

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Copyright is Capitalism

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This restaurant was noteworthy because it advertised itself as a Chinese restaurant - with no mention of Vietnamese or Thai specialities

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"French Breakfast: Coffee/Tea/Cream/Chocolate + Orange Juice + 1 croissant + 1 slice of toast, butter and jam
English Breakfast: French Breakfast + an egg sunny side up or an omelette"
This is a very strange English breakfast. Actually it's a very strange French breakfast too - that should be a coffee and a cigarette.

I then walked into the Jardin du Luxembourg with my stupid 26 duck eggs. I'd rather have carried toilet paper - at least that was lighter.

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Dancing Faun (if I read the unclear text correctly)

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It was 10:23am and yet people were not sitting in droves. Maybe the day wasn't that nice. Or maybe the unemployment rate wasn't yet that high.

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Statue of St Genevieve

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Chairs with no butts on them

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Sian women. Maybe the one on the left was unemployed and the one on the right was contemplating her future unemployment on graduation.

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Pond and House

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Pillar and Grass

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Pond and House

Having traversed the gardens I sat down at a bus stop to rest, tired out by my great load, and to eat the other pastry I'd bought.

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"Les Français sont des amants exceptionnels. Selon 95% des français..."
("The French are exceptional lovers. According to 95% of French people...")

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Feuilleté Framboise. The flan had been a bit mushy and weird. This was flaky and bursting with flavour.

I walked by the Hungary Institute and this was an amusing sight:

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Statue of woman, and woman
She asked if I wanted to take a photo of the statue, then if I wanted to pose with it. I said it was better with her in it as it'd be more funny (especially since I was not a woman) and she humoured me

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Another memorial to those killed in the Libération

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Interior of some building

Chesterton on the difference between Impartiality and having No Opinion

"What people call impartiality may simply mean indifference, and what people call partiality may simply mean mental activity... If his bias is one of interest, of class, or creed, or notorious propaganda, then that fact certainly proves that he is not an impartial arbiter. But the mere fact that he did form some temporary impression from the first facts as far as he knew them--this does not prove that he is not an impartial arbiter--it only proves that he is not a cold-blooded fool...

The man who took the trouble to deduce from the police reports would probably be the man who would take the trouble to deduce further and different things from the evidence. The man who had the sense to form an opinion would be the man who would have the sense to alter it...

In much more serious matters it is assumed that the agnostic is impartial; whereas the agnostic is merely ignorant... The pure and starry perfection of impartiality would be reached by people who not only had no opinion before they had heard the case, but who also had no opinion after they had heard it. In the same way, there is in modern discussions of religion and philosophy an absurd assumption that a man is in some way just and well-poised because he has come to no conclusion; and that a man is in some way knocked off the list of fair judges because he has come to a conclusion. It is assumed that the sceptic has no bias; whereas he has a very obvious bias in favour of scepticism...

The argument thus stood in a charmingly convenient form: "All men that count have come to my conclusion; for if they come to your conclusion they do not count.""

--- The Error Of Impartiality / G. K. Chesterton

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Australia 2011 - Day 3, Part 3 - Rainforest Walk

"People might not get all they work for in this world, but they must certainly work for all they get." - Frederick Douglass


Australia 2011
Day 3 - 31st July - Rainforest Walk
(Part 3)

We then went for a rainforest walk. I think this was my first time in a temperate rainforest.

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About Ngatanwarr Maits Rest

The rainforest walk was particularly interesting as you could see rainforest and eucalyptus trees side by side: the former had been around for 100 million years and the latter being comparatively new at 34 million years.

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Mountain ash. Potentially the second biggest tree in the world after the Sequoia and certainly the biggest eucalyptus.

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"World of age and wonder"

Myrtle Beech

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Myrtle Beech

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Trees by side of path

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A sign of Civilization

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"Ancient world, another life"

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Oddly the ISO 700-ish images were more pixellated than the ISO 1600 ones of the Fuji camera

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Path again

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Group listening to the driver-guide's lecture. From which I didn't copy down anything

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I don't know why this was supposed to mean

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Tall tree

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Path again

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Looking up a tree. If my note refers to this, this is a top feeder and the bottom of the tree is dead.

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"Giants of the forest"

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Bare tree

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Path again

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"Enjoying the rainforest"
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