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Monday, December 31, 2012

How I'm spending the last few hours of 2012: the Singapore Workforce (2012)

"It's no longer a question of staying healthy. It's a question of finding a sickness you like." - Jackie Mason


I must be one of the few people fascinated by the MOM report on the Singapore Workforce (2012).

Some choice bits:
- 74% of women between 25 and 54 worked (vs 92.7% for men)
- The total employment rate for 55-64 is a whole 19% lower than for 25-54. Women evidence a larger decline than men
- 11.5% of resident employees were on term contract and this has been quite steady since 2006
- Despite what you might be lead to believe by www.transitioning.org (no, not a trans-gender site), PMETs (Professionals, Managers, Executives & Technicians) have quite a low unemployment rate (2.3% vs 3.4% total)
- The industry with the lowest unemployment is Real Estate (1.6% vs 3.4% total)
- As long as you work for 1 hour in the week, you are considered employed

And the most interesting part (the reason why I started reading the report in the first place) is on economic inactivity.

A plurality of men (44.5%) who are not economically active are in school, on course or training.

43.3% of women residents say that they are economically inactive because of family responsibilities (including "housework, childcare and care-giving to families/relatives"). Unfortunately there is no breakdown of this, as those who give the first reason only are either very finicky about cleanliness or are just using it as an excuse.

Meanwhile, I have heard of many cases (I've lost count) of girls leaving the workforce (many in their 20s!) to "take a break" (or otherwise - being NEET), but only 3 cases of guys doing the same thing: one could say that he was studying for his CFA, another was (is) traveling the world and a third was sick of Mammon.

However, the gender gap in the data is much less than these anecdotes would suggest: 14,600 men and 16,000 women (of course, some will give "housework" as the reason for economic inactivity). Ironically I've been looking for this kind of data for a long time, when all along MOM had it.

There are also more discouraged men than women (5,500 vs 4,100). This could be because of social expectations that men be the breadwinners - so when they are unable to find work, women are not discouraged.

On Wisdom and Hating Evil

"My theology, briefly, is that the universe was dictated but not signed." - Christopher Morley


"I think the essence of wisdom is emancipation, as fat as possible, from the tyranny of the here and now. We cannot help the egoism of our senses... No one can view the world with complete impartiality; and if anyone could, he would hardly be able to remain alive. But it is possible to make a continual approach towards impartiality, on the one hand, by knowing things somewhat remote in time or space, and on the other hand, by giving to such things their due weight in our feelings. It is this approach towards impartiality that constitutes growth in wisdom ...

We are told on Sundays that we should love our neighbors as ourselves. On the other six days of the week, we are exhorted to hate. But you will remember that the precept was exemplified by saying that the Samaritan was our neighbour. We no longer have any wish to hate Samaritans and so we are apt to miss the point of the parable. If you want to get its point, you should substitute Communist or anti-Communist, as the case may be, for Samaritan. It might be objected that it is right to hate those who do harm. I do not think so. If you hate them, it is only too likely that you will become equally harmful; and it is very unlikely that you will induce them to abandon their evil ways. Hatred of evil is itself a kind of bondage to evil. The way out is through understanding, not through hate. I am not advocating non-resistance. But I am saying that resistance, if it is to be effective in preventing the spread of evil, should be combined with the greatest degree of understanding and the smallest degree of force that is compatible with the survival of the good things that we wish to preserve.

It is commonly urged that a point of view such as I have been advocating is incompatible with vigour in action. I do not think history bears out this view. Queen Elizabeth I in England and Henry IV in France lived in a world where almost everybody was fanatical, either on the Protestant or on the Catholic side. Both remained free from the errors of their time and both, by remaining free, were beneficent and certainly not ineffective. Abraham Lincoln conducted a great war without ever departing from what I have called wisdom."

--- Knowledge and Wisdom / Bertrand Russell

Sunday, December 30, 2012

A poem on Free Will

"Life is a long lesson in humility." - James M. Barrie


At the Fair
---Christmas, 1984

At this summer's fair,
I asked an attendant if,
being at the head of the line at last,
I might ride the next train
of his roller coaster.

Was I sure I wanted to? he asked,
as this ride was known for high
acceleration, breathtaking plunges,
and being impossible to control
once underway.

Having survived lesser rides,
I assured him I was ready.

Then he laughed and told me
I had been for some time in the last car
of the already departed train,
having no choice anyway.

The rest of his words were lost
in exhilaration as I was
ripped out into the starlight.

--- Gary Cruse

L'enfer, c'est les autres

"J'aime mieux me faire chier tout seul que d'être heureux avec les autres. J'ai horreur de partager un plaisir quel qu'il soit, avec une bande de cadres ou un troupeau de handicapés. C'est pas de ma faute, je hais l'humanité. C'est dur à vivre, pour moi. Plus je connais les hommes, plus j'aime mon chien. Plus je connais les femmes, moins j'aime ma chienne."

--- Accents toniques / Pierre Desproges

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Links - 29th December 2012

"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts." - Bertrand Russell


Are smart people ugly? The Explainer's 2011 Question of the Year. - "In the U.K., for example, attractive children have an additional 12.4 points of IQ, on average. The relationship held even when he controlled for family background, race, and body size."

MPs call for compulsory relationship education - "The UK has twice the level of teenage pregnancy of France and Germany... While the level of teenage pregnancy was brought down by the previous government's efforts - between 1998 and 2010 it came down by 24% - the numbers of babies born to women aged between 15 and 19 remains the highest in Western Europe... Many agreed that while there was, in the words of their report, "plenty of information and availability of contraception... the relationship advice that should go with this is totally absent."
"Girls who do not become pregnant are also penalised by the system, the report warned, “creating a perverse incentive to become pregnant in order to gain social housing”" - even in the decision to get pregnant, economic incentives affect behavior; the law of unintended consequences still holds

Miss Piggy Snackcercise - YouTube

Does the Earth's magnetic field cause suicides? - "a 2006 review of research on cardiovascular health and disturbances in the geomagnetic field in the journal Surveys in Geophysics (DOI: 10.1007/s10712-006-9010-7) concluded that a link was possible and that the effects seemed to be more pronounced at high latitudes"

Breast Prosthesis | Attachable Breast Forms | MyRealBreast.com - "RealBreast is a line of ultra realistic wearable breast forms available in multiple sizes and 6 standard skin tones: fair, medium, tan, Asian, light-African and dark-African. These colors encompass most natural skin tones. In addition, you may custom blend the silicone color with your skin using blushes and/or foundation make up powders, or alcohol based body inks. Our product is perfect for anyone desiring to emulate the look and feel of natural breasts. Whether you're crossdressing, a transgender individual, or a woman looking for fuller breasts, we have the perfect solution here!"

Exaggerating the strength of the Israeli lobby. - "For purposes of contrast, let us look at two other regional allies of the United States. Both Turkey and Pakistan have been joined to the Pentagon hip since approximately the time of the emergence of the state of Israel, which coincided with the Truman Doctrine. Pakistan was, like Israel, cleaved from a former British territory. Since that time, both states have carried out appalling internal repression and even more appalling external aggression. Pakistan attempted a genocide in Bangladesh, with the support of Nixon and Kissinger, in 1971. It imposed the Taliban as its client in a quasi-occupation of Afghanistan. It continues to arm and train Bin Ladenists to infiltrate Indian-held Kashmir, and its promiscuity with nuclear materials exceeds anything Israel has tried with its stockpile at Dimona. Turkey invaded Cyprus in 1974 and continues in illegal occupation of the northern third of the island, which has been forcibly cleansed of its Greek inhabitants. It continues to lie about its massacre of the Armenians. U.N. resolutions have had no impact on these instances of state terror and illegality in which the United States is also partially implicated. But here's the thing: There is no Turkish or Pakistani ethnic "lobby" in America. And here's the other thing: There is no call for "disinvestment" in Turkey or Pakistan. We are not incessantly told that with these two friends we are partners in crime. Perhaps the Greek Cypriots and Indians are in error in refusing to fly civilian aircraft into skyscrapers. That might get the attention of the "realists." Or perhaps the affairs of two states, one secular Muslim and one created specifically in the name of Islam, do not possess the eternal fascination that attaches to the Jewish question"

Singapore Hall of Shame: Alfian Saat's Untold Secrets - "Oh...I wonder how does Alfian feel when the Malaysians call Singapore dog during the last Suzuki Cup (http://sg.sports.yahoo.com/news/malaysia-dog-football-chant-riles-singapore-fans-055434743--sow.html). How do you feel being called a dog by people from the same country that you admire so much?"

Royal nurse who answered hoax call about Duchess of Cambridge had attempted to kill herself twice before

FileCrop - Search and Download Rapidshare Mediafire and Hotfile Files - "Search Engine for Shared Files"

Long Live the Start Menu [Infographic] | Pokki Blog - "Ironically, in ”about six weeks”, we saw millions of Windows 8 users beg to differ. In the six weeks following the launch of Windows 8, Pokki itself saw half a million downloads of our Start menu, Stardock sold tens of thousands of copies of Start8, and it took only 30 days for 30 different Start menu replacements to come to market. All of which is early proof of our original hypothesis that people need, want, and use the Start menu more than ever... People use the Start Menu more often than they Check Facebook"

Ep3: Shit Singaporean Girlfriends Say - YouTube - "Singaporean girls are sweet & angelic girlfriends! Or.......are they?"

Why the world is running out of helium - "Scientists have warned that the world's most commonly used inert gas is being depleted at an astonishing rate because of a law passed in the United States in 1996 which has effectively made helium too cheap to recycle. The law stipulates that the US National Helium Reserve, which is kept in a disused underground gas field near Amarillo, Texas – by far the biggest store of helium in the world – must all be sold off by 2015, irrespective of the market price. The experts warn that the world could run out of helium within 25 to 30 years, potentially spelling disaster for hospitals, whose MRI scanners are cooled by the gas in liquid form, and anti-terrorist authorities who rely on helium for their radiation monitors, as well as the millions of children who love to watch their helium-filled balloons float into the sky... Professor Richardson also believes that party balloons filled with helium are too cheap, and they should really cost about $100 (£75) to reflect the precious nature of the gas they contain"

Flu fears, rains buoy Cambodia rat exports to Vietnam - ""If you prepare them well and fry the meat with garlic and put some mint on it, they're tastier than chickens"... "Rat meat substitutes well for pork these days," said Khe Le, adding that her family exported up to a tonne of live rats across the border on good days. Rat meat was eaten in Cambodia under the Khmer Rouge regime in the 1970s and for some time afterwards when little else was available. The poor took to rat meat last year when the price of other meat soared, but younger Cambodians tend to avoid it. In Vietnam, rat meat is something of a delicacy... "Some rats are as big as piglets, 2 kilos, and that has intrigued the Vietnamese. They see them as wild animals and they find them tasty," Marong said. Bun Tuon Simona, a Cambodian official in the southern province of Kandal, said the Vietnamese appetite for rat meat has helped a government campaign to get rid of the rodents that were destroying rice fields"

Sexual satisfaction in premarital relationships: Associations with satisfaction, love, commitment, and stability - "At each wave of the study, sexual satisfaction was associated positively with relationship satisfaction, love, and commitment for both men and women. In addition, change in sexual satisfaction between Time 1 and Time 2 was associated with change over the same period in relationship satisfaction, love, and commitment. Furthermore, some evidence was found that sexual satisfaction was associated with relationship stability. Overall, sexual satisfaction had stronger links with relationship quality for men than for women."

Bob's House -- Pepsi's new Super Bowl Ad - YouTube
Comments: ".....what.the.fuck. Who the fuck thought it was ok to mock the deaf like this?"
"Ahhh another uninformed/unintelligent individual with internet access. Do you know anything at all about the Deaf culture??? They know how to joke a lot and definitely love this commercial. Learn before you post man."
"They're not mocking them. It's joke people within Deaf culture would understand and laugh about. You only think it's mockery because people who are differently abled are pitied in our society. Deaf people actually joke about this themselves."

How Yoga Can Wreck Your Body - NYTimes.com

Your Looks and Your Inbox « OkTrends - "a woman is as likely to be considered extremely ugly as extremely beautiful, and the majority of women have been rated about “medium.” The chart looks normalized, even though it’s just the unfiltered opinions of our male users... women rate an incredible 80% of guys as worse-looking than medium. Very harsh. On the other hand, when it comes to actual messaging, women shift their expectations only just slightly ahead of the curve... the two curves together suggest some strange possibilities for the female thought process, the most salient of which is that the average-looking woman has convinced herself that the vast majority of males aren’t good enough for her, but she then goes right out and messages them anyway... Paradoxically, it seems it’s women, not men, who have unrealistic standards for the “average” member of the opposite sex."
"the two curves together suggest some strange possibilities for the female thought process" is a nice euphemism is a good euphemism for "women are crazy"

In-flight internet: Coach potatoes | The Economist - "To prove that this is not an early April fools jape, Boeing has even produced a video, and a bunch of experts, explaining the approach. Potatoes, it turns out, affect the a Wi-Fi signal in much the same way people do."

Michael Kimmel: The Unbearable Whiteness of Suicide-by-Mass-Murder - "In urban settings, when young men of color experience that same sense of aggrieved entitlement - that perception of victimhood despite everything men expect for themselves - they may react violently, and even with lethal violence. But the victims of their violence are usually those whom the shooter believes have wronged him, and the unintended and accidental victims caught in the line of fire. And it rarely ends with his suicide. White men, on the other hand, have a somewhat more grandiose purpose: they want to destroy the entire world in some cataclysmic, video-game, and action movie-inspired apocalypse. If I'm going to die, then so is everybody else, they seem to say. Yes, of course, this is mental illness speaking: but it is mental illness speaking with a voice that has a race and a gender"

S Korea's mass event for singles flooded by men - inSing.com - ""Where the hell are the girls? I can't find any," said Kim Sung-Sik, a 23-year-old college student, describing the event as "utterly disappointing".
"This is awful... I didn't come all this way to get stuck in a bunch of smelly guys," said another male participant who declined to be named. "It looks like there are more doves flying around here than there are girls... I feel like I'm in the army again," he said, referring to the two years of military service mandatory for all South Korean men."

The Manic Pixie Dream Girl in Real Life

"Deep down, my adored Papa, you would have been very unhappy with a woman like me, because I am an excitable person who only understands life lyrically, musically, in whom feelings are much stronger as reason. I am so thirsty for the marvelous that only the marvelous has power over me. Anything I can not transform into something marvelous, I let go. Reality doesn't impress me. I only believe in intoxication, in ecstasy, and when ordinary life shackles me, I escape, one way or another. No more walls. You try to live in both worlds: time for the marvelous and time for ordinary life. I choose the moon, even for breakfast. But no concessions to the quotidian" ― Anaïs Nin

Observations - 29th December 2012

"Ability will never catch up with the demand for it." - Malcolm Forbes


If a girl posts a hideous pic of herself, will her girlfriends still all gush about how gorgeous she looks?

Part of being a feminist seems to be being needlessly confrontational. Probably as an outlet for anger.

I am tempted to scold all the cyclists who ride on the pavement, but I might get beaten up, since they treat pedestrians as if the latter are the ones are in the wrong.

"I checked in on 4sq so if I get murdered people will know how to find my body"

Breastfeeding has been described as a religion. Yet, it's not so much that it is a religion as that children - and anything related to children - are one, from the examples of: Megan's laws, the "Gay Agenda", Tuition, TV violence, Neuro-linguistic programming, Music lessons, Child porn etc

"When I was a University professor, I came in contact with a lot of very young people through mentorship and outreach programs. Little girls were brilliant and scientifically minded. That is, until they discovered makeup. Then it was like a great cosmic ice pick plunged into their foreheads."

"The best way to get over a guy is to get under another one"

RT @TheFunnySexist: I believe in equality. All women are equally insane.

[On the People's Association] "I'm of the persuasion that the PA serves absolutely no purpose to the average citizen for the amount they cost, let alone additional overseas retreats :P... I've never met or heard of someone attending or signing up to attend PA organized activities."
"I've never had to live in nursing homes and I don't know people who does. But I'm not stupid enough to claim nursing homes serves no purpose though."
(this was on the whole affair about the overseas trip - one reason why working for the government sucks)

On PRCs not integrating in Singapore: "It's funny, I think back to (mainland) Chinese students in the US and have the impression that they may think some parts of US culture are silly but they work pretty hard to integrate, pick up a good accent, etc. I guess the US is the promised land, or maybe it was just my school."

I'm sure a lot of people who are against the ISA are the same people who are for a separation of Church & State. (On the Nicholas Chia ISA affair)

Overheard: "were you born a vegetarian?"

"I've lived in cities in the UK, US, and Canada for extended periods and traveled extensively (no less than 40 countries) and I have to say people in general are much less friendly in Singapore. The only place that I can think of with people as unfriendly exist in the NYC subway."

"I exercised once but found that I was allergic to it. My skin flushed and my heart raced. I got sweaty and short of breath. Very dangerous."

"Facebook is where people tell lies to their friends and Twitter is where people tell the truth to strangers"

"Occupy Wall Street just pitch tents and drink $8 lattes while complaining about how poor they are on Twitter with their $1500 MacBooks"

RT: @TheFunnySexist: I just read that iPhone users have more sex than Blackberry users. Should I worry that my girlfriend has an iPhone and I have a Blackberry?

"The weather is bad. The people are loud. The girls are ugly" - on Hong Kong (some say this should refer to Singapore instead)

Friday, December 28, 2012

Diplomacy TOS

Play Diplomacy Online ::: web version of the classic Diplomacy board game:

"I promise that I will not play more than one account
I promise I will not communicate in games outside of the game mechanisms
I promise I will not ally based on who I know in the game
I promise I will not carry grudges across games"


Then again this apparently almost caused someone's divorce, so...

Another law AWARE is silent on

"Blessed is he who expects nothing, for he shall never be disappointed." - Alexander Pope


Defamation Act (CHAPTER 75)

Slander of women
Words spoken and published which impute unchastity or adultery to any woman or girl shall not require special damage to render them actionable.

According to a lawyer friend of mine, the difference between libel and slander is that libel is written while slander is spoken.

The written word is presumed to be more important than spoken, so you can prosecute someone for libel (written) even if you cannot show that you were personally harmed by what they wrote.

On the other hand, for slander (spoken) one must show that one has suffered damages from the slander before one can sue under the Defamation Act. Except in this case, when a female is accused of unchastity or adultery.

This all fits in perfectly with the conception of women in Singapore law as Inviolable Sacred Beings (and of their bodies as Sacred Temples), where men get prosecuted for showing women their middle fingers, which was why before 1st August 2012 the Evidence Act allowed a woman's credibility to be impeached if she was of "immoral character" (AWARE of course was against this bit).

Of course, they forgot this complementary bit, since it is not in women's interests to repeal it (indeed, it benefits them).

But then, despite their avowed vision of "A society where there is true gender equality", their homepage *is* titled "Women's Rights - AWARE Singapore".

The irony is that, as always, even laws that don't actively harm women such as this do more subtle, insidious damage. In this case, that chastity and fidelity in marriage are more important to women than men, with the accompanying implications of the sexual double standard, objectification of women and so

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Conversations - 26th December 2012

"Barometer, n.: An ingenious instrument which indicates what kind of weather we are having." - Ambrose Bierce


Frigid Girl on "Apparently psychosis does not deter everyone. Caveat Amator.": so it doesn't deter u?

Me: hurr
of course it does
that's why I ignored the crazy girl [time period]

Frigid Girl: so what does your status mean

Me: apparently that psycho girl has been dating one guy since [quite a long time ago]
I'm surprised. maybe she's not psycho with white guys

Frigid Girl: usually they aren't
maybe white guys are used to psycho girls

Me: hurr hurr

Temptation Chris: y u think men have more unrequited love than women
i find women are more practical
when the woman has unrequited love there is usually less sympathy
(great expectations/les mis)
maybe cause writers are men

Me: nope
because we live in a world where man proposes and woman disposes
so a lot of men are turned down by women
then they have unrequited love until it's requited, or they move on, or they find someone new to chase

Temptation Chris: i guess so
but women who do unrequited love are stupid
cause they have other ppl proposing?

Me: perhaps
as a good economist I believe in the concept of opportunity cost =D

Temptation Chris: ???????
so because women have options
their unrequited love is simply opportunity cost?
men leh

Me: no
the opportunity cost is the other men after them
if they choose to consider unrequited love

Temptation Chris: yar lor
but what if the other men are not as good haha
anyway men also opportunity cost
can try luck with other girls

Me: presumably the other men are not as good
that's why the girl won't want them
yah got opportunity cost for men
but those sales are not guaranteed

Temptation Chris: haha
thats why for women to have unrequited love is even more ennobling right
since it doenst make pragmatic sense
plus the woman is not conventionally the pursuer
so more jialat for her
plus women and age etc

Me: "Character is what you have left when you've lost everything you can lose"

Someone in Europe: I'm taking a Literature class this semester to fulfill university
graduation requirements
I'm just doing it out of necessity and not out of interest, and I said
as much during my self-introductiong in the first class
After attending the lectures, I really understand why some parents are
so upset that their kids choose to study the humanities at university

Me: oh?

Someone: Literature classes are especially bad
They're still discussing really out-moded theories like psychoanalysis
and they like to 'read between the lines' even when there are possibly
no hidden meanings

Me: as I always say, there's a reason psychoanalysis is under the
literature department, and not the psychology department

Someone: Generally they are just really prone to fuzzy thinking, or
interpreting things in a way that's 'poetic' or 'romantic'

Me: well get back to me at the end of term!

Someone: I feel like my prefrontal cortex shrinks a little bit with every class

Someone else: that day i heard *** talk bout this girl
then i realised i prob turned *** off ten thousand times
cause im so unenthu
:/ oh well

Me: sad.
see lah want to be chased

what does ***'s girl have to do with ***

Someone else: ***'s girl is unenthu about replying him
so *** gave up

Me: haha
when a lady says no...

Links - 26th December 2012

"War is much too serious a matter to be entrusted to the military." - Georges Clemenceau


David Edelstein on Les Misérables -- Vulture - "When an actor begins to sing, the camera rushes in and fastens on the performer’s face, positioning itself just below the head, somewhere between the navel and the Adam’s apple—and canted from 30 to 45 degrees, although the angle changes as the performer moves and the operator scampers to keep up. I imagined the cameraman to be small, fleet, and extremely high strung, like Gollum. The actors must have had to cultivate an inner stillness to keep from recoiling from him/it. A Zen forbearance would also have kept them from grimacing at all their missed notes... I must cast my lot with the late Nora Ephron, who resisted Susan Boyle’s thunderous debut on Britain’s Got Talent singing the show’s most famous song, “I Dreamed a Dream”: “That song is worse than all of Andrew Lloyd Webber, and it’s worse than ‘It’s a Small World After All.’ [It’s] the all-time most horrible song ever in history, and the reason is simple: It sticks in your brain and never stops playing … And just when you think it’s gone, you see the title in print, and it starts playing again... The actors appear visibly relieved to have gotten through it and not to have to do it again eight times a week. Or perhaps it’s because for the first time all evening, they’re not being charged by a rampaging camera”

Les Miserables hits the big screen - as Britain bids to become the musical-movie capital of the world - "Clearly emotional, genuine tears rolled down Hathaway’s cheeks as her hair was hacked away in front of a hushed cast and crew. ‘I wasn’t expecting it to be a big deal,’ she said immediately afterwards. ‘It was my idea to do it since it was something my character did. But then I realised I couldn’t take it back. I was crying so much. I was inconsolable.’"

Theologian Hans Küng condemns pope's modern 'Inquisition' - "Ratzinger shifted to the right, embracing institutional continuity. Küng attacked papal infallibility as an accident of history, devoid of genuine theological meaning. Küng sees the clergy abuse crisis and the crackdown on the leadership council of American nuns as symptoms of a pathological power structure. By his lights, the impact on church moral authority, and finances, is a crisis rivaling the Protestant Reformation... Polls since 1968 have shown that some 85 percent of Catholics do not follow the birth control teaching... Küng likened Ratzinger to the Grand Inquisitor, in Dostoyevski’s “The Brothers Karamazov” — the sinister monk who tells Jesus the masses must be subdued by superstition for religion to maintain its power... “The Roman Inquisition continues to exist,” he writes, “with methods of psychological torture and the use in our day of many enforcement manuals”"

Scholarly Standards in Feminist Science Studies - "I submitted an article to the feminist journal Women’s Studies International Forum, and in February 2010 I was informed that the journal had decided against publication. Nothing unusual in that, of course. No doubt the great majority of articles submitted to journals are rejected, for a multitude of reasons. But when I enquired why no reason had been given, the Editor-in-Chief replied that the paper had not been sent out for review as she did not feel that it had sufficient evidence in terms of references or citations to back up some of the claims that were made. Now, whatever deficiencies there may have been in the article, insufficient citation was not one of them. In fact it was profusely referenced, with some sixty citations in an article of approximately 4000 words (Esterson 2009). The explanation was clearly spurious... Rose writes that the marriage was initially happy and mutually appreciative, exemplified by Einstein’s “explain[ing] to a group of Zagreb intellectuals that he needed his wife as ‘she solves all the mathematical problems for me’.” Now one might have thought that the contention that Einstein’s first wife solved all his mathematical problems for him is something that required further investigation before endorsement. However, Rose is content to take the claim at face value... A highly regarded feminist sociologist has uncritically reproduced claims about alleged contributions to Einstein’s celebrated 1905 papers by his first wife on the sole basis of an article which itself is almost entirely based on contentions in a book that fails to comply with the most fundamental scholarly standards... both authors reveal a propensity to endorse claims that are in accord with their preconceptions regardless of the calibre of the purported evidence. It is perhaps unsurprising that the editors of Women’s Studies International Forum are reluctant to be a party to revealing information of a nature likely to be unpalatable to many of its readers"
More outstanding Feminist Scholarship

Giving Feminism a Bad Name - "In CBS’s nationwide random sample of 1,150 U.S. adults, 65% of women and 58% of men identified as feminist when an equal-rights definition was provided, but only 24% of women and 14% of men considered themselves feminist in the absence of a definition... A female journalist with apparent gender feminist leanings writing for a gender feminist blog about women's issues has attacked an idiotic study co-authored by two weirdos female scientists that may help women avoid falling prey to predatory sexual abuse by men.  If that passes for feminism, then what in the world constitutes misogyny?  Is there really any wonder why the overwhelming majority of American women and men want nothing to do with the feminist label?  Why one-in-five people consider calling someone a feminist an insult? "

What Women and Men Should Be, Shouldn't be, are Allowed to be, and don't Have to Be: The Contents of Prescriptive Gender Stereotypes - "Women in masculine roles, like our Princeton female undergraduates, are not just held to higher (irrelevant) standards of feminine niceness than are their male counterparts; they are also not held to equally high (relevant) standards of agency and achievement. If they show high levels of intelligence, competence, rationality, and ambition, that is good—these qualities are certainly desirable for Princeton women. But if they do not, that is not so bad—not as bad as if Princeton men failed to demonstrate high levels of these qualities. Do these disparate standards constitute discrimination against women? We believe they do. In a context in which achievement is paramount, the leeway given to women on achievement-related traits is no favor. Instead, it reflects “the soft bigotry of low expectations,” to borrow a phrase used by President George W. Bush to describe the treatment of ethnic minority students in the classroom. The fact that Princeton women are perceived as equal or even superior to Princeton men on most of these traits does not render the disparate standards any less discriminatory."

Divine Gamebook Creator - "Powerful tools
Use the powerful condition system to create variables that persist through pages and lead to different outcomes.
You can even create a full RPG-like system with it!"

Most work more than 40 hours a week - "A survey conducted last month by Singapore Press Holdings' online job portal STJobs found that 65 per cent of over 3,000 respondents clock an average of more than 40 hours a week, spending more time than they should at work... almost eight in 10 employees in Singapore have not fully utilised, and are likely to forgo, their annual-leave entitlement this year"

Wealth and happiness across the world: Material prosperity predicts life evaluation, whereas psychosocial prosperity predicts positive feeling. - "Income was a moderately strong predictor of life evaluation but a much weaker predictor of positive and negative feelings. Possessing luxury conveniences and satisfaction with standard of living were also strong predictors of life evaluation. Although the meeting of basic and psychological needs mediated the effects of income on life evaluation to some degree, the strongest mediation was provided by standard of living and ownership of conveniences. In contrast, feelings were most associated with the fulfillment of psychological needs: learning, autonomy, using one's skills, respect, and the ability to count on others in an emergency. Thus, two separate types of prosperity—economic and social psychological—best predict different types of well-being"

Women and gay men are 'worst drivers' - "both perform poorly in tasks involving navigation and spatial awareness when compared to heterosexual men... Both tend to rely on local landmarks to get around, and are also slower to take in spatial information... gay men, straight women and lesbians navigated in a similar way, sharing the same weaknesses. The results back earlier studies supporting the stereotype that women are poor navigators"

Vipul Naik's answer to Do some women hate feminism? If so, why? - Quora - "My best guess regarding this is that women who find certain tenets of feminism disagreeable take more offense because they are concerned that feminists presume to speak for women at large, and are concerned that they, as individual women, might be blamed for the actions of feminism, or might be believed to have feminist beliefs. For this reason, their opposition to feminism tends to be stronger than that of men who are equally unconvinced by feminism. To take a related example, Americans might be a lot more offended at wrong-headed statements from an American politician than by equally wrong-headed statements from, say, a French politician, because they (rightly or wrongly) think that the American politician's statements will be taken as reflective of how Americans at large think and speak."

The Knights of New Vegas: How Obsidian Survived Countless Catastrophes And Made Some Of The Coolest Role-Playing Games Ever

Herbert Kretzmer dreamed a dream – and Les Misérables never looked back - " He did not merely translate Les Misérables – his French is “wretched”. He read Victor Hugo’s novel in English and worked with a literal translation of the French libretto. “You cannot translate a song,” he says. “You can translate a textbook and even a novel, but a song is no more than a compendium of nuances and references and illusions, with a resonance within a particular culture. It does not have much resonance outside that culture. “So simply to translate the words into their dictionary meaning isn’t going to work. It doesn’t interest me”... Song-writing and journalism are, he says, compatible. “Both involve the manipulation of the English language under duress""

Nathan Grindal Kicked Out Of Darts Tournament For Looking Like Jesus

Exclusive: Corrupt Apple Store Employees Come Forward Across America - "any cute girl walking in would get checked out... the first thing we'd do is ask for a passcode and say we were going to open it in the back... I can't even tell you the number of girls that take pictures of their tits and more"

Squeezing breasts 'can stop cancer'

Monday, December 24, 2012

La responsabilité morale

"sa pensée était ailleurs, à des songes, à des rayonnements impossibles, à des amours en l’air, à des folies ; et cependant des créatures humaines, ses frères en Jésus-Christ, ses frères dans le peuple, agonisaient à côté de lui ! agonisaient inutilement ! Il faisait même partie de leur malheur, et il l’aggravait. Car s’ils avaient eu un autre voisin, un voisin moins chimérique et plus attentif, un homme ordinaire et charitable, évidemment leur indigence eût été remarquée, leurs signaux de détresse eussent été aperçus, et depuis longtemps déjà peut-être ils eussent été recueillis et sauvés ! Sans doute ils paraissaient bien dépravés, bien corrompus, bien avilis, bien odieux même ; mais ils sont rares, ceux qui sont tombés sans être dégradés ; d’ailleurs il y a un point où les infortunés et les infâmes se mêlent et se confondent dans un seul mot, mot fatal, les misérables ; de qui est-ce la faute ? Et puis, est-ce que ce n’est pas quand la chute est plus profonde que la charité doit être plus grande ?"

Sunday, December 23, 2012

u r wt u wr - 23rd December 2012

"Honesty pays, but it doesn't seem to pay enough to suit some people." - Kin Hubbard


u r wt u wr:
- 'A beauty for your eyes' (I wanted to puke. 'I'm sure he used to be a man' - friend I was with)
- 'Am not fat I'm fluffly' (She was thin)
- 'We're so glad we're at the same place' )I wasn't. It was damn hard to read the tee)
- 'Beautiful
Gorgeous' (She was average
- 'I ♥ boys'
- 'Heart -pic of broken heart- breaker'
- 'Free love -something-'
- 'I ♥ your smile'
- 'I'm not perfect but I'm limited edition'
- 'please reuse me' (it's not often women advertise themselves as used goods)
- 'love makes me happy'
- 'Merci beaucoup mon amour *moustache, French flag*' (Girl of 6)
- 'I'm a part-time lover' (was she a social escort? if so she needed to up her game)
- 'No trespassing . Violators will be shot. Survivors will be shot again" (Violate me once shame on you. Violate me twice...)
- 'out of control'
- 'You make me feel awesome'
- 'Meet me under the mistletoe'
- 'I'm always in love'
- 'Love' (The V was an upside-down Eiffel tower. Did it mean one could find love below?)
- 'Kiss my abs'
- 'Hope it's not a taboo when my heart says... I love you'
- 'My lover there before you'
- 'Love me more' (the words overlapped with a heart)
- 'I prefer the drummer'
- 'kinda like your look'
- 'I'm so sweet
I'll give you candies'
- 'Intriguing and mysterious'
- 'work hard so I can party harder'
- 'You & me -anchor- We are sailing in a love story'
- 'Love. Kiss. Hug' (The "ov" in "love" were in a heart)

- 'Smile if you're gay'
- 'I'm retired. Do it Yourself' (Old grey haired guy)
- 'Good guy goes to heaven
Bad guy goes to patpong'

Comment ne pas commencer les relations amoureuses pour de mauvaises raisons

Il y a quelque temps, une amie m'a relaté l'histoire de sa vie amoureuse.

A un certain âge, elle a entamé une relation amoureuse avec un homme, parce qu'elle n'avait jamais vécu une relation amoureuse et elle se sentait seule. Ils sont sortis ensembles pendant quelques ans, jusqu'à ce qu'elle rompe avec lui.

Donc, l'amie m'a dit qu'elle avait à ce moment-là un amant.

En ayant une relation purement sexuelle, elle n'entrerait pas dans des relations amoureuses pour de mauvaises raisons.

Je le considère comme une perspicacité inédite. On a tous des besoins, et on cherche souvent à les satisfaire dans une relation amoureuse.

Mais en fait, on mélange toujours ces besoins :

- l'amour
- les relations sexuelles
- l'intimité émotionnelle
- l'intimité physique
- l'amitié
- l'acceptation d'un autre
- le toucher
- l'attirance physique
- l'attirance émotionnelle
- un rite social
- la joie d'être désiré(e) et que quelqu'un veut vous donner du plaisir
- la joie de désirer et de vouloir donner du plaisir à quelqu'un

J'ai partagé cet avis avec quelques amies, mais elles ne sont pas convaincues. Je crois que les asiatiques (surtout les femmes) sont plus conservateurs. J'espère qu'elles n'entreront pas dans des relations amoureuses pour les mauvaises raisons !

Links - 23rd December 2012

"Age is not a particularly interesting subject. Anyone can get old. All you have to do is live long enough." - Groucho Marx


To Save Congo, Let It Fall Apart - NYTimes.com - "If some enterprises, public or private, can be said to be “too big to fail,” Congo is the reverse: it is too big to succeed. It is an artificial entity whose constituent parts share the misfortune of having been seized by the explorer Henry Morton Stanley in the name of a rapacious 19th-century Belgian monarch. From the moment Congo was given independence in 1960, it was being torn apart by centrifugal forces, beginning with separatism in the mineral-rich southern province of Katanga... Rather than nation-building, what is needed to end Congo’s violence is the opposite: breaking up a chronically failed state into smaller organic units whose members share broad agreement or at least have common interests in personal and community security"

Unicorn lair 'discovered' in North Korea - "they have "recently reconfirmed" the lair of one of the unicorns ridden by the ancient Korean King Tongmyong, founder of a kingdom which ruled parts of China and the Korean peninsula from the the 3rd century BC to 7th century AD."

SHAOLIN STYLE KICK IN THE NUTS 2 - YouTube - "The book of 'Chinese Shaolin Kungfu'. This is Iron Egg Skill. It's also called 'Groin Skill' or 'Gold Armour'. This is a mysterious skill of soft techniques. It is to practise the testicles"

Thanks for Not Sharing - NYTimes.com - "It is tempting to call this unctuous ooze of status updates and vacation snaps seeping across Facebook and Twitter and the rest information overload. But that would be to debase the word “information”... As for Kate she let the world know the status of her labor: “Contractions 3 minutes apart and dilated at 2 cm.” Social media does not mean that you have to be that social. And then there was a Facebook post from Scott telling Addie how she is “my lover, my heart” and — my own heart sank — his “best friend.” It is very fashionable these days to call the love of one’s life one’s best friend. I cannot imagine why. Surely one has best friends in part in order to be able to talk to them about the problems with one’s loves"

Prosecutors Drop Charge Related to "Passing Gas" in DUI Case - "When police were trying to get fingerprints, police say Cruz moved closer to the officer and passed gas on him. The investigating officer remarked in the criminal complaint that the odor was very strong. Cruz is now charged with battery on a police officer, as well as DUI and obstruction"

‘The Generals,’ by Thomas E. Ricks - NYTimes.com - "“a private who loses a rifle suffers far greater consequences than a general who loses a war”... The flip side of the current system is that promotion even for the most successful combat leaders occurs at a glacial pace: Just as there is scant penalty for failure, there is also little short-term promise of reward for outstanding leadership. No one rockets to the top the way Eisenhower did... rather than admit institutional failure, the Army hierarchy usually prefers to keep a manifestly mediocre or even incompetent commander in his or her post on the theory that the officer will rotate out anyway before long"

Escher Girls - "Now THAT makes total sense! Maybe that’s what’s going on with some of the pictures in the “boobs don’t work that way” tag"

Fake compliments vs. fake insults - "Fake insults from a friend with a tell-tale smile are not exactly hard to decipher. Female dishonesty is much more dishonest, though equally well-intentioned, because it is the whole point of giving a fake compliment is that the person believes what you say... To quote Louis Armstrong, a fake compliment is really saying "I love you". But I believe that we should get into the habit of saying "I love you" instead of giving false compliments... Disbelieving reality is called psychosis, and should generally be avoided. In other words, it doesn't matter how many people tell you that you can jump off a cliff and survive, people that jump off cliffs die. Reality trumps society. That's why false compliments lead to trouble. Let's take an obvious example: terrible singers who audition for American Idol because their friends told them they were good. Eventually, the false perception caused by insincere compliments will be contradicted by reality. In the case of American Idol, that contradiction is public and humiliating... I never believe a compliment from anybody who has not given me solidly negative feedback a few times"

“Girls Don’t Propose! Ew.” - "A sample of 277 undergraduates (M = 19 years) completed a survey that included open- and closed-ended questions about attitudes toward marriage traditions and gender-role ideology. Results of the thematic analysis indicated that both women and men tended to hold traditional marriage preferences—especially with regards to marriage proposals. Multiple regression indicated that endorsing benevolent sexism was related to holding more traditional preferences"

Rachel La Voix D'Homme - Incroyable Talent 2012 - YouTube - "Rachel est une chanteuse de Heavy Metal, avec une voix étrangement grave."
Maybe she's from France's RGS

Battle of the Sexes: Are Men Better Drivers Than Women? - "Researchers who studied thousands of traffic accidents over a 20-year period came up with a finding that even they found surprising: Female drivers are far more likely to run into a car driven by another woman than a man... Crashes involving two female drivers were "overrepresented" in five out of six different crash scenarios: Variations on crossing another vehicle's path, side-swiping, turning in front of another vehicle, and head on. But here's the baffling part - when both vehicles were driven by a female, the crashes exceeded the expected frequency by at least 50 percent in two scenarios, and more than 25 percent in three others... In a nutshell, what that says is a woman is far more likely to crash into another woman than a man, but a man is less likely than expected to crash into another man"
Keywords: men women better drivers, women drive better

Stoya™, Hysterical Literature - "He’s filming women sitting at a table reading literature. The twist is the things going on below the table... I’ve been told to dress as I would for a date with a man, not a boy. I’m wearing a dress from Vivienne Westwood’s Anglomania collection last year. The cut limits the range of motion of my arms, but ideally I wouldn’t need to open my own doors or feel the desire to talk on my phone while on a date with a man. My makeup is simple, my heels very high but relatively practical, and my panties are both sophisticated and expensive... This attempting-to-read-aloud-and-maintain-composure while being sexually stimulated game is new. The video camera adds a dash of exhibitionism which I always appreciate. Most interesting, though, is the Hitachi that my vagina is about to be making very good friends with for the first time"

Bin2Iso - CodeProject - "This is a free tool for converting one CD image format (Bin) to another format (ISO). The conversion routine is very simple. Just read the Bin image and according to it's structure, write the data in another format"
At 24k this is a really efficient program to convert BIN to ISO

JP’s Panzers Wargame & History Forums • View topic - SSI's Fantasy General (1996) ?
The full BIN of Fantasy General was on a Russian site. Good old Russians (everyone else only has the stripped version with no music etc)

Study: 'Tiger Mom' Parenting May Backfire - "Chinese American students were more depressed, had lower self-esteem, and more anxiety than white students... One key may be to encourage social activities like sleepovers, which Chua infamously banned in Battle Hymn. “Children need the ability to work well with other people, to relate”"

justin bieber turned into a sex doll - "TEEN heartthrob Justin Bieber is reportedly furious after a sex toy company has put his name to a blow-up love doll for gay men. "

Gender roles: When women dare to outearn men | The Economist - "As long as the woman earns less, her income does not cause trouble in the marriage. Once she earns more, however, marriage difficulties jump and divorce rates increase. Interestingly, it does not seem to matter whether she earns only slightly more, or substantially more—an indication that it is not female income per se, but the mere fact of earning more, that causes trouble. Economists may wonder why people with "rational expectations" enter such a marriage at all. The answer is: many do not. The marriage market, as economists bluntly call it, clears much less often in regions in which more women have the potential to outearn men, the paper shows."
How come people never say women want richer men? If you ignore the role of women's preferences you are objectifying them
Addendum: The paper is "Gender Identity and Relative Income within Households"

» Amae – 甘え - "Amae (甘え) is a Japanese concept/word that is used to describe people’s behavior when you desire to be loved, you desire someone to take care of you, when you want unconsciously to be depending on another person (your parents, your wife/husband or even your boss) with a certain meaning of submission. For example, a person with lots of amae would be the one who is capricious so he/she gets the attention from other people, children are the best example of amae behavior, always aiming for pamper from their parents. There is amae everywhere in the world, but it is interesting that in the Japanese language there is a concrete word to describe it, there is even a verb amaeru that means “depend on the benevolence of others”. It happens that in Japan the amae phenomenon is very exaggerated and you find 40 years old women who act like a 15 years old girl. Japanese men like girls with childish faces, they expect childish behavior from women, they like them submissive; they usually prefer this prototype, known as “kawai”, than an elegant, beautiful woman with a strong character. Here in Japan, men/boyfriends/husbands like to be the protectors of their women, it seems they don’t like to feel that the women is the one with the control over them"
This sounds slightly less irritating than sajiao/sa jiao

LGBT Gamers Calling In GLAAD Over Long Delayed Star Wars Romances - "some of the players have taken the step of bringing Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation in order to try and get BioWare to live up to their promise to bring in same-gender romances before much longer"
Apparently they are "bigoted". Next up: the asexual lobby

Saturday, December 22, 2012

If she's amazing, she won't be difficult

"Camping is nature's way of promoting the motel business." - Dave Barry


A paragraph I've seen some girls quote (seemingly approvingly), and is very popular online (turning up about 266,000 Google results as of this post):

"If she's amazing, she won't be easy. If she's easy, she won't be amazing. If she's worth it, you wont give up. If you give up, you're not worthy. ... Truth is, everybody is going to hurt you; you just gotta find the ones worth suffering for." - Bob Marley (attr)

I find the provenance suspect (ergo the "attr"), but be that as it may, the sentiment can be taken on its own terms.

In other words,

"If a lady says 'no', she means 'maybe'.
If a lady says 'maybe', she means 'yes'.
If a lady says 'yes', then she's no lady."

I did a search of public Facebook profiles to see if there was any gender divide in support for this quote, and taking cases where the gender of the profile/page owner was discernible, I tabled the following:

14 girls
6 guys

(strangely, a lot of people cited this as an 'inspirational' quote - perhaps everyone loves playing games)

So we can see that there is a clear gender difference in the endorsement of this sentiment, though frankly it is not as much as I'd expected.

Naturally, there is empirical non-anecdotal support for this:

"Reiss reported that 87% of the females, as opposed to 58% of the males, had come to accept sexual behavior that initially made them feel guilty. Of these, far more more females than males cited the relationship with the opposite-sex partner as the key factor in bringing about this change...

With regard to sex, the discrepancy between women's attitudes and behavior has been noted by several authors. Commenting on their study of Black high school girls, Roebuck and McGee (1977) said that "of interest are incongruities in expressed attitudes and behavior" (p. 104). Social class correlated with sexual attitudes, for example, but not with behavior. Antonovsky, Shoham, Kavenocki, Modan, and Lancet (1978) devoted special study to the inconsistency between attitudes and behavior in their study of Israeli adolescent girls, in which they found that a third of the nonvirgins endorsed as important the value of a female remaining a virgin until she married. These researchers found that such apparent self-disapproval was partly maintained by making external attributions for their past sexual experiences--yet the girls continued to engage in sex even when they disapproved of their doing so. In considering the gap between attitudes and behavior, Antonovsky et al. pointed out that "overt behavior is much more influenced by situational factors than are attitudes" (p. 270)...

The attitude-behavior gap was noted by Croake and James (1973). Their research involved multiple surveys of college students of both genders. Comparing their findings regarding sexual attitudes with concurrent findings from other work on coital experience, they noted "a much higher percentage [of women] experiencing sexual intercourse than those in the same age group who approve of such behavior" (p. 96) as evidence of inconsistency among females...

The singles bar sample studied by Herold and Mewhinney (1993) also showed inconsistency between women's attitudes and behaviors regarding casual sex itself, which was defined as having erotic contact beyond hugging and kissing with someone the respondent had just met that same day. Only 28% of the women said they anticipated sometimes having sex with someone they had just met, but the majority (59%) had done it. The high rate of having had sex with a new acquaintance was especially remarkable in view of the findings that the women reported high rates of guilt over such activities (72%) and low rates (2%) of saying they consistently enjoyed them. The authors pointed out that this inconsistency was peculiar to women, although they had not predicted it and had no explanation: "The apparent contradiction between the negative attitudes expressed by many of the women regarding casual sex and the fact that most of them had engaged in casual sex provides more questions than answers" (p. 41)"

--- Gender Differences in Erotic Plasticity: The Female Sex Drive as Socially Flexible and Responsive / Baumeister, R.F

Though the research is on sex, I think it is safe to draw similar conclusions about relationships (and am also unable to find research on the latter).

In other words: What woman say they want, what women think they want and what women really want aren't always the same (this is a complimentary, not necessary a competing explanation/aphorism).

The paper quoted also has fun bits on female desire-attitude inconsistency with regard to sexual orientation and BDSM (previously quoted on this blog)

Possibly related posts:
When a Lady says No, she means...
When a Lady says No...
If a Lady says No...
Un diplomate, un militaire et une jolie femme

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

On the anti-PAP bloc in Singapore

"the segment of Singaporeans who would vote against the PAP comprise an unstable coalition of liberal progressives and what I would call "anything but the PAP". The problem is that the liberals still comprise a minority within this segment. Even though I do not have concrete statistical results, a sampling of the anti-PAP media will show you that the number of anti-PRC comments far outweigh any comments that express concern for their working conditions"

Monday, December 10, 2012

Do we actually want to rid Europe of its sex workers?

Do we actually want to rid Europe of its sex workers?

""Towards a Europe free from prostitution" – this is the call from the European Women's Lobby, a coalition of some 200 women's rights NGOs from across the EU, which met at the European parliament last week to launch their campaign. And to build a world where sex is no longer commodified and pleasure is freely exchanged is indeed a laudable feminist project. But we make our lemonade with the lemons we're given, and 21st-century capitalism, under which women's economic and social rights remain grossly circumscribed, does not lend itself to the foundation of such a utopia. So you'll forgive me for concluding that the Women's Lobby might as well be demanding a Europe free from vaginas.

At the launch conference, the lobbyists also heard assessments of the competing policies in Sweden and the Netherlands. Though not designed for societies free from sex work, these represent the two most widely recognised models for reducing violence against and exploitation of sex workers. In 1999, Sweden became the first country in the world to criminalise the buying, but not the selling, of sexual services. By contrast, under the Dutch approach prostitution has been legal and state-regulated for over a decade...

The trouble is that this is not a morally neutral discussion – prostitution provokes that almighty feminist fissure. Are you a rescuer, for whom one woman's willing wage-earning cannot trump the plight of the exploited, drug-addicted abuse survivor? Or an enabler, swallowing whole the inevitability of sex work, mythologising the happy hooker, or daring to suggest that in times of recession plenty of working-class women feel themselves but one step away from the oldest profession?

The experience of sex workers themselves is instructive about both models. A crackdown on clients forces them to work in the shadows, beyond the protection of the law. Legalisation sets up a two-tier system. Women working outside the toleration zones face the same dangers as before. Those working within them have less control over their conditions, pay higher taxes and essentially cede to the state as their pimp. Sex workers themselves say this, but sex workers are not always listened to. Perhaps because what they say doesn't always suit those who claim to advocate on their behalf.

Meanwhile, hard facts are hard to come by. Research is limited, inconclusive or methodologically dodgy, with data plucked out of context and moulded to one agenda or another. The oft-cited Home Office statistic that more than half of prostitutes have been raped or seriously sexually assaulted is in fact taken from two relatively small sample studies of street workers...

So who do we mean when we speak about sex workers? A Europe free from prostitution, after all, means a Europe free from prostitutes. The collective imagination offers polar opposites: the highly educated, economically savvy Belle de Jour and the trafficked eastern European innocent, robbed of her passport and imprisoned in a brothel. Both of these are, to an extent, fantasies of what non-sex-workers would like a prostitute to look like. And they ignore the huge variety of women who want protection from exploitation without being treated like a disease to be wiped out in order to end the oppression of all women. Pity is seldom far away from contempt...

In July a report by the UN-backed Global Commission on HIV and the Law recommended that all countries decriminalise private and consensual adult sexual behaviours, including same-sex sexual acts and voluntary sex work. It specifically stated that this should also apply to the Swedish model, concluding that criminalising the buying of sex had actually worsened the working lives of prostitutes in that country. Decriminalisation, which is very different to legalisation, has been in place in New Zealand since 2003. Safety has improved, the segregation that occurs with tolerance zones has been avoided, and there has been no increase in prostitution.

In Brussels, the European Women's Lobby described prostitution as "a form of violence, an obstacle to equality, a violation of human dignity, and of human rights". And for too many women, it is. But that will not change until it is also accepted that prostitution is also, for some, the best economic choice."

Sunday, December 09, 2012

SG Tipsy Trivia

SG Tipsy Trivia

Join us for the only pub quiz in Singapore with a Singaporean theme!

Date: Thu 27 Dec 2012
Time: 7.30pm
Venue: The Pigeonhole, 52/53 Duxton Road
Fee: S$5 per player, no more than 6 players per team


The most fun you can have on Duxton Road on a Thursday night!

Not everyone bothers about the important things, like how long a pig's orgasm is, or the National Day Parade themes from 1965 till today.

But if matters like these are everyday knowledge for you and your friends, then join us at The Pigeonhole on Thu, 27 Dec 2012 at 7.30pm for a night of Singapore-themed Tipsy Trivia!

It's the only pub quiz in town with a Singaporean theme, in which each category has six Singapore-themed questions and four international-themed questions.

For $5 per player, your team of six players gets to flex your brains over six rounds of trivia.

What's more - the winning team stands a chance of bringing home six bottles of beer along with 60% of the pot for the evening!

You'll also be joining the quiz for a good cause - as The Pigeonhole needs to raise $15,000 to carry on operations, we'll be donating 40% of the pot to keep The Pigeonhole alive!

So do join us - because, really: how much more fun can you get up to on Duxton Road on a Thursday night?

Singapore-themed Tipsy Trivia!

Thu, 27 Dec 2012
The Pigeonhole
Price: $5 per player (max. of six players per team)

Top Prize: One bottle of beer per player + 60% of evening's pot

Remainder i.e. 40% of pot goes to saving The Pigeonhole.

Email us at eisenteo@gmail.com to reserve a table for your team. There are limited spots so reserve your table now!

(Facebook event)

(I am one of the organisers for this event)

A new height in sick shit

Despite all my years on the Internet, I still sometimes come across stuff that shocks even me.

This time, it is the source of this animated gif called "Oh children, it's Dinner Time":

Uploaded with ImageShack.us

The highlights reel (1:17) is titled "Video WTF Of The Week":

In its full glory:

One of the videos of this... performance has the description "une bonne raison d'aimer la dance contemporaine" ("a good reason to love contemporary dance")

There seems to be another version of the dance under the same name ("(HQ) Part 1. Body Remix - Goldberg Variations, Marie Chouinard.") I haven't yet decided if it's marginally more or marginally less disturbing, but there're certainly more people onstage.

Naturally, there is an academic interpretation to all this:

The In-tensions of Extensions: Compagnie Marie Chouinard's bODY rEMIX/ gOLDBERG vARIATIONS

"This essay explores the affective intensity of movement in a recent choreography by noted French Canadian choreographer Marie Chouinard. In bODY rEMIX/ gOLDBERG vARIATIONS, dancers perform with all manners of prosthetics and bodily extensions--crutches, ski poles, coat racks, pointe shoes worn by men and women, on one or two feet or on hands--to a score that remixes Glenn Gould's recordings of the Goldberg Variations with his recorded interviews. Drawing on Gilles Deleuze, José Gil, and André Lepecki, I argue that despite its engagement with forms of extension, the use of prosthetics in Chouinard's bODY rEMIX fundamentally explores the intensive movement of affect, particularly through its engagement with suspense (as the generation of an ambiguous image in the tension between extensive and intensive movement) and the sound image. This exploration of the in-tensions of extensions, when, rather than simply extending into the world, movement develops a centrifugal force, likewise argues that the movement of affective intensity is the way in which the body activates its inherent capacity for change. Extension is a fundamental attitude of the dancing body; dancing “projects lines into the invisible” in a movement of outward intentionality. Yet that movement is always doubled and deviated by a responsive (not simply reactive) intensity of movement, a dynamic activation of the body's potential charged by the encounter that pushes against and reworks the constitution of the very bodies that compose it, a movement of a different quality whose effects cannot simply be determined by a reverse calculation from extension."


Saturday, December 08, 2012

Blaga Dimitrova vs Nietzsche

To be a woman - this is pain.
To become a girl is to ache.
To become a lover is to ache.
To become a mother is to ache.

But the most unbearable pain on earth
Is the pain of being a woman
who has not felt all these aches
to the very last.

--- To Be A Woman / Blaga Dimitrova (Bulgarian Poet)

"Everything about woman is a riddle, and everything about woman has a single solution: that is, pregnancy."

--- Thus Spake Zarathustra / Friedrich Nietzsche

Keep The Pigeonhole Alive

"The Pigeonhole opened its doors on Duxton Road in March 2011. Over the past 20 months, we've supported the arts and civil society in Singapore by hosting events, exhibitions, gigs, and talks. We've also made friends with amazing musicians, artists, volunteers, geeks, and many more...

Now, because of issues with rental, we have to close down. Our last day will be Saturday 29 December 2012...

We started this fundraising campaign because we - and many of our friends and customers - really don't want us to close down. We don't have the funds to carry on in a new location, but we really want to continue to support the arts and civil society in Singapore."

There're no perks (I would've liked to have graffiti-ed something on the wall in their new premises) but go ahead and give anyway!

(also I'm helping organise an event that will take place there in late December, which hopefully will not be their last event. Watch this space [and others] for more details soon!)

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

50 shades of Grey

#4e5054, #272727, #282828, #292929, #2b2b2b, #2c2c2c, #2e2e2e, #313131, #323232, #343434, #353535, #373737, #393939, #3a3a3a, #3c3c3c, #3f3f3f, #404040, #424242, #444444, #454545, #474747, #484848, #4a4a4a, #4b4b4b, #4d4d4d, #4e4e4e, #505050, #515151, #535353, #565656, #575757, #585858, #595959, #5b5b5b, #5c5c5c, #5e5e5e, #616161, #626262, #646464, #656565, #676767, #6a6a6a, #6b6b6b, #6c6c6c, #6d6d6d, #6f6f6f, #727272, #737373, #757575, #767676, #777777, #7b7b7b, #7c7c7c, #7d7d7d, #7e7e7e, #808080, #818181, #838383, #868686, #878787, #888888, #898989, #8b8b8b, #8c8c8c, #8e8e8e, #919191, #929292, #949494, #959595, #979797, #9a9a9a, #9b9b9b, #9c9c9c, #9d9d9d, #9f9f9f, #a0a0a0, #a2a2a2, #a5a5a5, #a6a6a6, #a8a8a8, #a9a9a9, #ababab, #aeaeae, #afafaf, #b0b0b0.

Monday, November 26, 2012


An Unlikely Thanksgiving Stand-In - Pasta Carbonara - NYTimes.com

"[It has been] turned into an Italian tradition that, like many inviolate Italian traditions, is actually far less old than the Mayflower...

According to one Italian food historian, there are at least 400 versions, from the most classic Roman to variations that are delicious but drive traditionalists mad.

Though Mr. Trillin did not address the subject, carbonara can be tricky to make well, partly because it is so simple: at base, egg, cheese, cured pork, pasta and black pepper. There is little margin for error. I learned this to my great embarrassment at a poolside party a few years ago with a bunch of posh Italians and their sunburned, hungry children...

Eggs, bacon, cheese and pasta taste great, almost no matter what. It’s worth the effort, though, to get right, and that’s what I’ve striven for since, to the point of curing my own guanciale at home, which is less difficult than it sounds. No obsession here, I swear...

Which carbonara you would take to the other side. One with guanciale, pancetta or plain bacon? Only pecorino cheese, made from sheep’s milk? Or is a bit of Parmesan O.K.? Peas or not? Onion? Whole eggs or yolks?

Or, heaven forbid, the ingredient that most divides devotees of a dish that, above all, aims for creaminess: actual cream?...

What seems clear is that carbonara, like many so-called old standards in Italy, is a fairly new invention. Al dente pasta became the benchmark relatively recently. Pizza was often considered revolting, some food historians say, until Queen Margherita of Savoy sanctified it in a trip to Naples in 1889, inspiring the name of the most famous pizza. Some old Italian cookbooks treat even garlic with suspicion.

Tradition is often invoked in Italy, but often it means what you kind of like or what Mamma made...

An unapologetic apostate (“I’m going to get angry e-mails,” he said as he made it one recent night), he invokes science for the use of cream: it makes it less likely, he said, for the eggs to scramble under the heat of the fat and pasta. That is vital, he added, in a dish that is either great or wrecked right at the end.

“This dish really is about the last three minutes,” he said"

"I also enjoy the fact that Italians have such strong opinions on the right way, and wrong way, to make something. When I'm am there on our active culinary tours, I just listen, and agree, and learn. There is little point in arguing. Then I return home, and make it my own. It's just shows how much they care about their food - paying attention to ingredients, being passionate about what you create all contributes to a great meal."

"One trick that has helped increase my success is to combine the beaten eggs and cheese in a bowl and then temper them with a small amount of pasta water. Then I add this to the hot pasta, and quickly toss with tongs adding small amounts of pasta water until I get the right consistency. There's something the starch in the pasta water that magically brings it all together."

"I finally got it right after going to google.it and searching for videos of Italian chefs preparing the dish. I now use the recipe from one of those sites - it uses cream, with the chef's note, "lo so che non è ortodossa, scusatemi" (I know it's not orthodox, forgive me)."

"Well of course those "posh" Italians mentioned in the article did not want to eat your Carbonara. It was summertime."

"Do you now how ridiculous this article sounds to people who have trouble putting food...any food on the table?"
"oh for heaven's sake Can't anybody write anything about food without someone making this kind of comment? Do we have to suspend all food writing everywhere till every last person on the planet has enough to eat? "

"who wants to live forever when there's carbonara to be eaten? I'd rather die young-ish than deprived of joy."

Addendum: "Emilio Dente Ferracci, an Italian food historian and son of a great Roman cook, Anna Dente of Osteria di San Cesario outside Rome, has collected scores of stories of how carbonara came to be: He doesn’t believe it existed before 1944, based on cookbooks and Roman menus. He does think that, in the deprived days after the war, Romans used American food aid (bacon and powdered egg yolks) to gussy up pasta dishes.

“The Americans left, and the Romans perfected the recipe,” Mr. Ferracci wrote in an e-mail. “Instead of bacon, pancetta or still better, guanciale; in place of powered egg yolks, fresh eggs; and for the cheese, pecorino Romano.”

“While in other parts of Italy and the world, garlic, onion, butter or cream are added, in Rome these ingredients are forbidden,” he said. “There are only five permitted ingredients: pasta, guanciale, egg yolk, pecorino Romano and black pepper.”

And so, “tradition,” or so it seems, was born."

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day

A grade school teacher was asking his pupils what their parents did for a living.

"Tim, you be first. What does your mother do all day?"

Tim stood up and proudly said, "She's a doctor."

"That's wonderful. How about you, Amy?"

Amy shyly stood up, scuffed her feet and said, "My father is a mailman."

"Thank you, Amy" said the teacher. "What does your parent do, Billy?"

Billy proudly stood up and announced, "My daddy plays piano in a whorehouse."

The teacher was aghast and went to Billy's house and rang the bell.

Billy's father answered the door.

The teacher explained what his son had said and demanded an explanation.

Billy's dad said, "I'm actually a system programmer specializing in TCP/IP communication protocol on UNIX systems. How can I explain a thing like that to a seven-year-old?"

(interestingly, before 2003, "Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day" was "Take Our Daughters To Work Day")

Euler on Experience being Unnecessary

"Many journalists have fallen for the conspiracy theory of government. I do assure you that they would produce more accurate work if they adhered to the cock-up theory." - Bernard Ingham


(following on from The Inadequacy of Experience)

In 1727, Leonhard Euler tied for the second prize of the Paris Academy on the best way to arrange masts on a ship.

This, despite his never having been on a ship.

Indeed, Euler was

"The youthful inhabitant of the Alps", who, other than freighters, ferry boats, and simple canoes on the Rhine river, had never yet caught sight of a ship!
(Leonhard Euler / Emil A. Fellmann)

On his own proposal (Translated & Annotated by Ian Bruce):

Here at last I put an end to my meditations, since it is seen that I have carefully assessed the matter proposed in the problem, and I may have satisfied the problem. I do not think that it is necessary to confirm my theory by experiment, since the whole has been deduced from both the surest and the most irrefutable principles of mechanics, and thus concerning that there cannot be the least doubt or the truth can be put to the test in practice

No doubt there were sailors who, valorising the reality of lived experience, ignored the work of the mathematicians.

(I am reminded of some people who, when I presented them with copious evidence that the Sexual Double Standard did not exist, refused to believe it and fell back on anecdotes - no doubt salient due to Confirmation Bias, and in the end claimed that when a "minority" shares something, other people should listen)

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Why women cannot be bishops

Susie Leafe - Is organised religion sexist? | 4thought.tv

She's gotten a lot of flak, perhaps because it was too short for her to elaborate on her argument, which I assume is on the lines of the following:

Men are biologically incapable of having a baby, so it is not sexist to say they cannot give birth to them.
It is delusional to imagine that they can give birth to children.
Nonetheless, they play an important role in the care and bringing up of a child.
Men and women play (or can play, at least) different but equal roles.

Similarly, women are spiritually incapable of leading a church (let's take the family leadership part out for now), so it's not sexist to say they cannot be bishops.
Nonetheless, they play an important role in the church, serving it.
Men and women play (or can play, at least) different but equal roles.

Amusing bits of the Windows 8 EULA

"Misunderstandings and neglect create more confusion in this world than trickery and malice. At any rate, the last two are certainly much less frequent." - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe


"Please read this so you know what you're agreeing to...

The Additional Terms contain a binding arbitration clause and class action waiver. If you live in the United States, these affect your rights to resolve a dispute with Microsoft, and you should read them carefully...

You and Microsoft will attempt to resolve any dispute through informal negotiation within 60 days from the date the Notice of Dispute is sent. After 60 days, you or Microsoft may commence arbitration...

If you and Microsoft do not resolve any dispute by informal negotiation or in small claims court, any other effort to resolve the dispute will be conducted exclusively by binding arbitration. You are giving up the right to litigate (or participate in as a party or class member) all disputes in court before a judge or jury. Instead, all disputes will be resolved before a neutral arbitrator, whose decision will be final except for a limited right of appeal under the Federal Arbitration Act. Any court with jurisdiction over the parties may enforce the arbitrator’s award...

Any proceedings to resolve or litigate any dispute in any forum will be conducted solely on an individual basis. Neither you nor Microsoft will seek to have any dispute heard as a class action, private attorney general action, or in any other proceeding in which either party acts or proposes to act in a representative capacity. No arbitration or proceeding will be combined with another without the prior written consent of all parties to all affected arbitrations or proceedings...

Microsoft excludes all implied warranties, including those of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, and non-infringement"

Apparently the "no class action suit" clause began with Xbox 360 in late 2011. I'd have thought they'd have tried to add it in earlier.

I'm assuming the implied warranty clause is to guard against their own marketing.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Links - 21st November 2012

"I am a flute player, not a flautist. I don’t have a flaut, and I’ve never flauted." - James Galway


Save the earth, drive your car? - "The average American car carries 1.6 people -- not many, of course, when you're comparing it to mass transit. On the other hand, the average bus carries only 10 people. And a bus burns a lot more fuel than a car. Not exactly what mass-transit advocates would have us believe... 'moving a passenger a mile by bus requires roughly 20 percent more energy than moving a passenger around by car'... light-rail systems in places like Cleveland, Pittsburgh and Memphis actually do worse than cars in terms of energy efficiency, simply because they're underused"

History transformed in VCE exam - "THE VCE exam body has been left red faced after a doctored artwork depicting a huge robot helping socialist revolutionaries during the Russian Revolution was accidentally included in this year’s year 12 history exam taken by 5700 students... they found an altered version of the work with what appear to be a large "BattleTech Marauder" robot aiding the rising revolutionaries in the background."

Twenty eight gym girls squeeze into Mini

If Cats Watched Porn, I Guess They'd Watch This

Neda Soltani: 'The media mix-up that ruined my life' - "In June 2009, a woman was shot dead in a demonstration in Tehran. Neda Agha-Soltan became the face of the Iranian protest movement - except that it was not her face to begin with, but the face of university teacher Neda Soltani... the people I am most angry with are the Western media. They kept using my photo even though they knew it was not a picture of the real victim in that tragic video. They knowingly exposed me to extreme danger"

Council ordered to move park benches from underneath trees in case branches fall on peoples' heads - "
Just days after a health and safety report condemned 'cotton wool culture', over-zealous officers have ordered a council to remove park benches - in case a branch should fall on someone sitting there... On Monday a report by health and safety watchdogs admitted the 'cotton wool culture' had eroded children’s freedom to play outdoors. They said a blizzard of regulations is being used as an excuse to deny children scope for fun... The HSE said health and safety laws were being ‘wrongly cited’ as a reason to deny children play opportunities. The statement cited ‘shocking’ ICM research that half of children aged seven to 12 are not allowed to climb a tree without an adult present and that one in five children in the same age group have been banned from playing conkers. Councils, schools, charities and other providers should use 'sensible adult judgments' instead of allowing misplaced fears of prosecution to rid play spaces of fun and challenge... Last week residents of a block of flats were ordered to take pictures down from communal walls and get rid of doormats because they are dangerous and breach health and safety rules... Thousands of JLS fans were lashed by torrential rain for two hours because of a health and safety ban on umbrellas at an open air concert"

Another tragic death, and how health and safety nannies are brainwashing us - "Simon Burgess died in a model boating lake in Gosport in Hampshire after apparently suffering an epileptic fit. A doctor told his inquest in Portsmouth that he might have been saved by emergency crews who had been called and were at the scene. However, they were ordered by a superior not to rescue him. Wading into 3ft of water does not obviously demand a great amount of courage. At least two emergency workers were prepared to do it. PC Tony Jones told the inquest he was willing to go into the lake, but was overruled. A paramedic called Robert Wallace, though able to swim in strong currents, was also informed by fire station watch manager, Tony Nicholls, that his help was not needed. The inquest heard from Mr Nicholls that he had ‘made an assessment it was a body retrieval and not a rescue’. He added: ‘The officers were trained to go into ankle-deep water, which is “level one”, so we waited for “level two” officers, who can go in chest high.’ By the time a ‘specialist team’ arrived, Mr Burgess was dead... Shannon Powell, 14, collapsed on a cross-country run in North London but paramedics refused to move her because the terrain was too slippy. She subsequently died and a coroner ruled that the delay may have cost the young girl her life. In July 2008, Alison Hume fell down a mine shaft in Ayrshire. The poor woman was left languishing there for eight hours because, although there was a winch available, it was supposedly only to be used to save rescue workers. The mother-of-two died from a heart attack brought on by hypothermia. And in May 2007 police support officers stood by while Jordan Lyon, ten, drowned in Wigan after diving into a pond to save his younger sister. By the time a suitably trained policeman had arrived it was too late to save Jordan, though the sister survived."
On The Guardian, (predictably) many commenters brand protest against H&S as part of a capitalist plot to exploit workers and increase corporate profits

The Obama campaign asks women to vote with their 'lady parts'. Can liberals get any cruder? - "Now we have the Democrats’ culture war message distilled in a handy e-card. It’s this. If you are a woman, don’t vote on jobs, debt or foreign policy. Vote on the basis of a narrow gendered agenda. In fact, vote how you think your sexual organs might vote if they only could. (It goes without saying that they would vote Democrat)... It’s a rejection of individual will and the idea that someone is defined by their character rather than their physical person. In short, it’s un-American. It’s also based on fear. Nobody’s lady parts depend on the outcome of this election"

Confessions of a troll: 'Trolling is an art' - "At the very least, Cochran concedes “evil trolling” exists, but that the label does not apply to her. “I try my best to always be facetious, but not malicious,” Cochran says. “Most of what I do, I do with great jest and playfulness. I'm not trying to hurt anyone's feelings, I just want to make people think and laugh along the way. “I also look at [trolling] as a form of culture jamming, in the sense that it can disrupt the status quo to hopefully stop and make people think for a moment. I'm an activist as well and absolutely have no problem trolling people that are activists too, even if we're on the same side. "I troll Anonymous, I troll Occupy, I troll Wikileaks. I do it because I'd like them to see the hypocrisies of their and our ways and as a reminder that the emperor wears no clothing”... “Hopefully I've just made people laugh and maybe think about things differently. If I've offended people, then they should take a long hard look at themselves, because what I do is harmless fun. If I've really offended people, it's probably because they deserved it and that's their own fault.”"
Trolling is not always a bad thing

Breakfast, lunch and dinner: Have we always eaten them?

Topless Femen protesters attacked in Paris after chanting "In gay we trust" (warning: some nudity) - "Shevchenko revealed that members of the group began removing their T-shirts in 2010 because no one reacted to their protests over the previous two years. Taking off their clothes, she said, was a way for women to demonstrate they have control over their bodies... They entered the crowd dressed as nuns before peeling off their habits and chanting, "In gay we trust." This caused a furious reaction. The feminist group undergoes intense training in advance of its actions"

Jim Sleeper: Blame the Latest Israel-Arab War on... Singapore?
Comments: "2. How did a discussion of the Arab-Israeli conflict and Singapore's early independence history turn into a rant on the Yale-NUS college?
3. Are you really a lecturer in Yale? The lack of a coherent argument, citation and accurate referencing in this essay would be highlighted for plagiarism or given a Fail in any university in the world. "

Vacation Deprivation Survey Facts
Most vacation-deprived: South Korea, Japan, Singapore, Mexico, Canada, United States

9GAG - Cute cat resting on her owner's breast.

Why some things are more expensive in S'pore - "Some factors that could explain the price differentials include productivity and wage differences across countries, variation in non-tradable costs like rental and taxes, transport costs and price stickiness when it comes to exchange rate fluctuations, the MAS stated in its tender document... A 2001 study using prices of 119 IKEA products across 25 countries - including Singapore - concluded that price differentials were not due to differences in exchange rates, local costs, tariffs or taxes, but were largely due to differences in mark-ups as a result of strategic pricing across countries"

How to Live Without Irony - NYTimes.com - "Scoffing at the hipster is only a diluted form of his own affliction. He is merely a symptom and the most extreme manifestation of ironic living. For many Americans born in the 1980s and 1990s — members of Generation Y, or Millennials — particularly middle-class Caucasians, irony is the primary mode with which daily life is dealt... the nostalgia cycles have become so short that we even try to inject the present moment with sentimentality, for example, by using certain digital filters to “pre-wash” photos with an aura of historicity. Nostalgia needs time. One cannot accelerate meaningful remembrance... it signals a deep aversion to risk. As a function of fear and pre-emptive shame, ironic living bespeaks cultural numbness, resignation and defeat"

Sex, every day, for a year. Even when tired - "Doug says the experiment is still paying dividends. “If you force yourself to do it, you realise how special sex is, how unique. It’s different from anything you have with anyone else. And if that leaks away in a couple, it’s really sad.” Self-enforced intimacy created “a familiarity between us – but in a good way. A kind of mutual comfort. Each knows what the other likes. And it’s led to it not feeling strange or shaming for us to suggest things. “There’s just a physical ease there, a naturalness. That’s stayed with us. It’s great now when we both know it’s going to happen. It kind of feels like coming home. And it has really taken away the pressure”... if “intimacy every day may not be a long-term sustainable model, neither is no intimacy at all”"

Chinese gramps models women's clothes for grandkid's store, goes viral

DigitalOne - Say no to e-mail after hours - "Outside the United States, some major corporations, such as French IT-services group Atos, have virtually banned e-mailing once employees have clocked out for the day. "There is a growing sentiment that e-mail is not very productive, and actually decreases productivity... A typical manager receives hundreds of e-mails a day, and that consumes a substantial amount of work hours... many employees are consumed by e-mail messages because they are driven by a need to feel that they are part of an organisation"

Clampdown after burqa-clad man flees Jakarta jail

Polish coffin-maker uses nude models to sell wares - ""My son had the idea of creating the company's calendar so that we could show something half-serious, colourful, beautiful; the beauty of Polish girls and the beauty of our coffins"

Democratic Tax Cheats Outnumber Republican, 72% v. 28%
This is as fun as anti-gay male figures being found in compromising positions with other men
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