When you can't live without bananas

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Thursday, March 22, 2012

Something to do this Saturday

Alexis was pimping an event called Real Love Works 2012 (it's not supported by SDN but MCYS is behind it and anyway it's in the SDN spirit so I've tagged it as such).

At Punggol Waterway this Saturday from 5:30pm-7:30pm, entry to this event is billed as "Free for all in love".

Description of the event: "Come celebrate the excitement and joys of marriage with Marriage Central at the launch of Real Love Works. Stroll down Punggol Waterway in this fun and unique walk with meaningful couple activities from tying a love knot on the Heart of Marriage, harvesting the flower of love, to capturing memorable moments with our iPhone "Love Journal" app and more! Cuddle up close to your spouse as you watch the sunset together and enjoy an evening of smooth jazz featuring popular artistes."

Meanwhile the registration form just asks for:

"Name of Contact person
IC no.
Contact no.
Partner’s name
Partner's IC no.
Partner's Contact no."

It doesn't ask for gender, or say you to have to be married. So I'm now looking for a guy friend (one I already know, of course - preferably married, even) to go with!

Where "Militant Secularism" is an appropriate label

"faith is meant to be personal right? so why display it off? its either insecurity or arrogance. hence need to be banned. I would even ban the usage of Insha'Allah in every other sentence from a muslim as well...

anything to do with any religion have to be banned from workplace and if possible from public streets. You can wear it at home and at ur place of worship. anything other than that is a bomb waiting to explode.

I am totally against anything to do with family or religion displayed at workplace. its just a distraction from being focused on your job...

u dont let a drug addict wave his stash of marijuana in public do u?? Or do you let ur dominatix friend come to work on a latex suite with a whip?? same goes for religious nuts. displaying source of their addiction/perversion is hardly appropriate in any society."

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Pink-haired student invited back to school

(Reuters) - A school that barred a sixth grader after she dyed her hair pink with her parents' blessing to celebrate her good grades lifted its ban on Tuesday following an outcry from civil rights advocates.

After missing three days of classes, pink-haired Brianna Moore headed back to Shue-Medill Middle School in Newark, Delaware, on Tuesday after administrators reversed their decision after a call from the Delaware branch of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).

"We're on our way right now," said Kevin Moore as he drove his 12-year-old daughter to school.

At his daughter's request last week, he helped dye her hair a shade called crimson storm, which has a pink hue, as a reward for improving her grades.

But when she showed up for school the next day, she was sent home and told not to return until her hair met school policy mandating a "natural color, brown, blond, black, natural red/auburn."

The ACLU soon got in touch with attorneys for the school district and asked, "Don't you think this is unconstitutional?" said Kathleen MacRae, ACLU executive director in Delaware.

Moore was invited back to school with assurances she would not be punished, said Wendy Lapham, school district spokeswoman.

"The hair is not going to be an issue," Lapham said.

Meanwhile, in Singapore...

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Mass Grave Blasted For Lack Of Diversity

Mass Grave Blasted For Lack Of Diversity | The Onion - America's Finest News Source

"SARAJEVO, BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA—Members of the International Coalition for Equality criticized a newly unearthed mass grave Monday, saying it lacked religious and racial diversity. "The funereal pit is brimming with Croats, nearly 300 of them, without a single representative Serb," ICE spokesman Jacques Marchand said. "Exclusionary burial practices like this send a negative message to the world. Corpses of all races and creeds should be tossed together to decay in harmony." Marchand acknowledged that the grave did, at least, have a sprinkling of women and children."

The Misery of the Human Condition / Music & Rebellion



Monday, March 19, 2012

An Asian Lady Dating Site unlike any I've seen

"O, my America, my Newfoundland,
My kingdom, safest when with one man mann'd,
My mine of precious stones, my empery ;
How am I blest in thus discovering thee !"
- John Donne


Someone sent me a profile on the Transpacific Marriage Agency -Japanese women's marriage agency (because the poses were quite suggestive)

The description is quite funny:

"Since 1994 Transpacific Marriage Agency (TMA) has specialized in introducing Japanese women to Western men for dating, romance, love and marriage. TMA's Japanese women clients are among the most beautiful women on earth, both in appearance and in their supportive attitudes towards men. However, they are not "mail order brides." A Japanese woman cannot be bought "off the shelf" – she needs to be attracted to a man for his own merits, not for his money or the country he lives in."

The ticker text is also hilarious:

"TMA's Japanese lady clients are gentle, kind, supportive, well-educated, slim, clean, feminine, and sincerely seeking lifetime partners." (emphasis mine)

"You never have to meet a TMA woman client without first knowing basic information about her and how she looks."

"Japanese women aren't seeking a man just to get a visa to live in his country."

"Japanese women know how to make a man feel like a man, and they can help you achieve your full potential in life."

"Even though Japanese women treat men like men, they maintain their own womanly dignity, spirit and individual femininity."

"Japanese ladies aren't the meek, obedient and completely subservient "girls in kimono" that some imagine them to be."

"The average Japanese woman has $50,000 in the bank. She is not looking for your money."

"TMA has seen many instances of men who were "below average" who succeeded in spite of initial low expectations."

From the FAQ:

"Please try to avoid photos that make you look intimidating, unfriendly, angry, goofy, depressed, or undignified."

"TMA's registration materials for women are all in Japanese -- imagine the difficulties this creates for scammers, almost all of whom are from outside Japan... Japanese women are not poor. The Japanese as a whole are very honest people. They aren't like the many scammers from Russia and various poor countries. The economic and social conditions that exist in those countries simply are not present in Japan. Our Japanese women join for one reason -- to find a marriage partner. They are not economic basket cases desperate for a Sugar Daddy. There is virtually no possibility that any of our women clients would ever try to scam you."

"Once I meet a lady and we like each other, how long will it take for us to actually get married?" (this is a question)

"I'm over 50, but only want ladies in their 20s and 30s. What are my chances?" (this is a question)

"Why doesn't TMA send me ALL the profiles in my preferred age range instead of sending them in smaller monthly profile sets?"
"Do you think YOUR profile will be more likely to be noticed by our women clients if we send it together with 900 other men's profiles, or if we send it together with 30 other men's profiles?... That is a hopeless system with a high failure rate, and we feel it also disrespects both men and women. It treats people like data entries, with photos, on a hard disk. It's a cold and heartless system, and TMA never used it."

"Why doesn't TMA allow me to search its entire database of women for characteristics like height and weight, etc.?" (this is a question)

Links - 19th March 2012

"I was born not knowing and have had only a little time to change that here and there." - Richard Feynman


The Power of Habit: How the history of toothpaste explains why you can’t lose weight. - "This, scientists say, is how habits emerge, and why they are so powerful: They create neurological cravings. Most of the time, these cravings emerge so gradually that we’re not really aware they exist. But as our brains start to associate certain cues (a doughnut box!) with certain rewards (yummy jelly!), a subconscious craving emerges. And so whenever we see the Dunkin' Donuts container in the break room we start craving a donut—even if, just moments before, we weren't hungry at all... Studies indicate that anyone can use this basic formula to create habits of her or his own. Want to exercise more? Choose a cue, such as going to the gym as soon as you wake up, and a reward, such as a smoothie after each workout. Then think about that smoothie, or about the endorphin rush you’ll feel. Allow yourself to anticipate the reward. Eventually, that craving will make it easier to push through the gym doors every day"

NUS students invited to ‘mentor’ newbie PRC MOE scholars like Sun Xu « THE TEMASEK TIMES - "Like Sun Xu, the new PRC MOE scholars will have their tuition fees at NUS paid for entirely by Singapore taxpayers on top of a generous living and housing allowance as well as a to/return ticket back home to China each year. Senior Parliamentary Secretary, Ministry of Education & Ministry of Law Ms Sim Ann revealed recently in Parliament that the Singapore government spends some $36 million dollars on scholarships to over two thousand students each year, or about S$174,00 per scholar"

Are there human races? « Why Evolution Is True - "Nevertheless, even if most human variation occurs within rather than between races, there are statistical differences between human groups that can, when combined, be used to delimit them. Here’s a figure from the paper by Noah Rosenberg et al. (reference at the bottom) that uses these “multilocus” genotypes to distinguish human populations. Their study involved 1056 individuals studied from 52 geographic populations. The genetic analysis was comprehensive... At a sorting algorithm involving 5 groups, the authors note that the genetic clusters “corresponded largely to major geographic regions.” Those regions are roughly sub-Saharan Africa, Europe and the Middle East, Eastern Asia, Melanesia and Oceania, and the America... This shows the difficulty of answering the question of “how many races are there?” One could call Eurasians a race, or one could call Bedouins a race. It all depends on how finely you want to divide things up, and this is precisely what is expected if populations have evolutionary ancestry, which produces clusters of groups nested within each other. What is clear, though, is that human populations are genetically different, and can be diagnosed as genetically different using multiple pieces of DNA... It’s just as scientifically unsupported to say, for example, that there is no difference among populations in mathematical ability as it is to say that there are differences... The “sociological constructs” thing is simply political correctness imposed on biological reality. In view of the morphological and genetic differences among human populations, how can such differences be “constructs”?"
"No one claims that races, either in humans or other animals, must be clear divisions. The best way to illustrate is by pointing out the problems with defining species– there are tons of species concepts. However, the fact that there is no clear concept doesn’t invalidate the idea of races and species."
"I challenge you to walk the color palette and tell me where red ends and orange begins. Clearly such notions as “red” and “orange” are meaningless."
"Asian women tend to have poorly defined Galton ridge patterns which means that they have (more!) difficulty using some kinds of biometric fingerprint sensors."

The Dull New Global Novel - "What seems doomed to disappear, or at least to risk neglect, is the kind of work that revels in the subtle nuances of its own language and literary culture, the sort of writing that can savage or celebrate the way this or that linguistic group really lives. In the global literary market there will be no place for any Barbara Pyms and Natalia Ginzburgs. Shakespeare would have eased off the puns. A new Jane Austen can forget the Nobel."

The Journal of Medical Ethics infanticide debate and “acceptable” free speech - "A controversial academic paper in the Journal of Medical Ethics has triggered a torrent of abuse, including threats of violence and death. Francesca Minerva and Alberto Giubilini, who wrote After-birth abortion: why should the baby live?, argue that given that those who accept abortion typically do so for reasons that have nothing to do with the foetus’s health (even where the foetus clearly is a potential person), then where abortion is permissible, killing a newborn should be permissible, on grounds of consistency. Not a palatable conclusion for many of us, though it could be read as a Swiftian modest proposal that ultimately attacks the morality of permitting abortion."

LOL Shakesville, Disagree with Melissa = Rapist - "No Melissa, the only people who behave like rapists are RAPISTS. Its insulting to victims of rape to compare the heinous crime of rape to people that annoy you on the internet"
Sadly LOL Shakesville was last updated a year ago

Yoga Fans Sexual Flames and, Predictably, Plenty of Scandal - NYTimes.com - "Yoga teachers and how-to books seldom mention that the discipline began as a sex cult — an omission that leaves many practitioners open to libidinal surprise... The rites of Tantric cults, while often steeped in symbolism, could also include group and individual sex. One text advised devotees to revere the female sex organ and enjoy vigorous intercourse. Candidates for worship included actresses and prostitutes, as well as the sisters of practitioners... scientists have measured sharp rises in testosterone — a main hormone of sexual arousal in both men and women. Czech scientists working with electroencephalographs have shown how poses can result in bursts of brainwaves indistinguishable from those of lovers. More recently, scientists at the University of British Columbia have documented how fast breathing — done in many yoga classes — can increase blood flow through the genitals. The effect was found to be strong enough to promote sexual arousal not only in healthy individuals but among those with diminished libidos... Since the baby boomers discovered yoga, the arousal, sweating, heavy breathing and states of undress that characterize yoga classes have led to predictable results... If yoga can arouse everyday practitioners, it apparently has similar, if not greater, effects on gurus — often charming extroverts in excellent physical condition, some enthusiastic for veneration"

When Technophobia Becomes Toxic - "Responding to the bleating of activists, policymakers have subjected the testing and commercialization of genetically engineered crops to unscientific and draconian regulations, with dire consequences. A groundbreaking study of the political economy of agricultural biotechnology concluded that over-regulation causes “delays in the global diffusion of proven technologies, resulting in a lower rate of growth in the global food supply and higher food prices.” Current policies also create “disincentives for investing in further research and development, resulting in a slowdown in innovation of second-generation technologies anticipated to introduce broad consumer and environmental benefits.” Everyone involved in food production and consumption has suffered: consumers (especially in developing countries) have been subjected to avoidable health risks, and food producers have placed themselves in legal jeopardy for selling products known to have “design defects.” Public policy that discriminates against and discourages vital innovations in food production is not policy that has the public’s interest at heart."

Many Animals Harmed In Catering For New Film | The Onion - America's Finest News Source | Onion Radio News
The American Humane Association has much to answer for!

Breast-feeding as religion - Dennis Prager - Townhall Conservative Columnists - "In Norway, for instance, it is now illegal to advertise baby formula... I acknowledge having no scientific basis on which to challenge the many scientific studies that point to the health benefits of breast-feeding... Is there a shred of evidence that adoptive mothers bond less with their children? Do women who cannot breast-feed bond less well with their child? Do women who breast-feed one child and bottle-feed the other love the breast-fed child more? Are men incapable of equal love of their children?"
Amusingly I usually see these arguments coming from the other side of the aisle

Fortune cookies pulled from Linsanity flavor: report - "There seemed to be a bit of an initial backlash about it, but we obviously weren't looking to offend anybody and the majority of the feedback about it has been positive"
As with all allegations of offence, the veto complainers have over ideas - even if most others welcome them - drives everything down to the lowest common denominator. As with cases where people are offended by nudity, obscenity or homosexuality, offence is in the mind of the beholder; "If you don't like it, don't buy/watch/read it"

Flight of the Conchords Ep 8 'Foux Da Fa Fa' - YouTube
I'm amused because the person through whom I found this found it amusing, but if the video had been gently mocking Zulu or Malay, she would probably have been epileptic

Laura Maggi Le Cafe: Busty barmaid serves up drinks in skimpy outfits - "Some customers were travelling up to 70 miles just to have a coffee in her bar... 46 per cent of respondents said partners of her male customers should be ‘asking themselves why their partners prefer Laura to them’... Bagnolo’s mayor Cristina Almici said... ‘We can’t stop people from going to her bar and I know it is very popular with men in the town – personally I don’t see any problem with how she looks or dresses. If anything, it’s the men who go there who have a problem.’ She added, however: ‘My husband is certainly not allowed to go there’"

Does the tomb of St Mark in Venice really contain the bones of Alexander the Great?

Sean Hood's answer to Why do studios rewrite scripts after buying them? - Quora

Mighty Morphin Power Rangers DVD news: DVD Plans for Power Rangers - "Factory has signed the deal to distribute DVDs (and Blu-rays, if they wish, although that's not initially expected) from Saban Capital Group's Saban Brands division. That includes the Haim Saban-created series Power Rangers, including all incarnations of the show from 1993 to 2009"

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Ending sentences with prepositions

Visitor in Harvard Square: "Excuse me, where's the library at?"

Harvard student: "Sir, this is Harvard. We don't end our sentences with prepositions."

Visitor: "Oh, I'm sorry. I meant to ask, where's the library at, asshole?"

When Jingoism meets History

On the question Why does Argentina believe that the Malvinas/Falklands are its sovereign teritory when the population of the islands disagrees?:

Me: Nationalism and jingoism, especially when stirred up for political purposes, do not respect the principle of self-determination.

Someone: i would like to go to your house, and use my self-determination principle to decide your kitchen is mine.

Me: First I'd kick all the Argentines from Patagonia and the Misiones, then I'd deport all of the mestizos and whites from the rest of Argentina

Someone: LOL that's a pretty clear answer that shows your racism.

Me: LOL tell that to all the victims of the genocide during la Conquista del desierto

Someone: in fact, let's talk about the american conquer, or about neardental victims.

Me: You brought up history, not me.

Historical note: La Conquista del Desierto or the Conquest of the Desert, which involved genocide by Argentina against the "real" natives of Patagonia, took place in the 1870s.

This was 4 decades after Britain re-established control over the Falklands making this case, if nothing else, more historically relevant than the "Malvinas", even if one ignores the Iberian conquest of the Americas (which resulted in the replacement of native Americans by whites and mestizos), which were a mere 3 centuries before 1833 (which in turn is only about 2 centuries before the current date)

Australia 2011 - Day 7: Pictures from MR

"A camel is a horse designed by a committee" - Many people


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Anzac hill sunrise

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Another bird

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Thorny Devil

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Lazing kangaroos

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Ranger talk. I don't think I personally went to this

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Our windscreen again: the joys of not having to wash a car

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Our license plate

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The Northern Territory flag is quite sad

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Alice Springs Airport - what non-Australians would go back?

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"Shenannigans" pub
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