When you can't live without bananas

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Saturday, October 13, 2012

Trying to blow up Hogwarts

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Friday, October 12, 2012

Off till the 28th

Off to France for 2 weeks! My flight got delayed by 15 hours from 11pm to 2:35pm

(Yes, I am terribly behind on my travelogues. Mayhap I shall use Lean methodology to churn out posts more quickly)

Links - 12th October 2012

"The only thing we have to fear is fear itself, but raptors are pretty dang scary." - Devin J. Monroe


Conscription: Necessary Or Outdated? - "We need to realize that the norms of international relations are vastly different today. The political situation that Venice was in at the time was highly volatile and so different than the one Singapore is in today. Today we are living in a globalized, interconnected world in which Singapore is trading heavily with many other countries. Global norms of behavior have changed, and now attitudes toward warfare are not the same as it once was in the 17th century. Economic interdependence makes warfare highly unlike for a country like Singapore. The current length of our national service is not justified at all on a comparative scale! With the second longest duration just behind Israel, do we dare say we face nearly the same kind of danger they do? (Israel has enemies that threaten to ‘wipe them off the map’... a voluntary professional force would be much more motivated, cohesive and better trained... 'This act of conscripting is just as much a deed of unjustifiable aggression — of kidnapping and possibly murder — as the alleged aggression we are trying to guard ourselves against in the first place... "Society" and "country" are in this case mythical abstractions that are being used to cloak the naked use of coercion to promote the interests of specific individuals”'... If shared experience leading to unity was our objective, shouldn’t we also extend this policy to include females too? After all, they make up almost about half our population, and we sure wouldn’t want them to miss out on the joys of the shared experience national service can bring!... let us conclude this article with a parting quote by Robert Heinlein: “Any country that has to defend itself with forced conscripts is not worth defending.”"

No More Angling for the Best Seat; More Meetings Are Stand-Up Jobs - WSJ.com - "Stand-up meetings are part of a fast-moving tech culture in which sitting has become synonymous with sloth. The object is to eliminate long-winded confabs where participants pontificate, play Angry Birds on their cellphones or tune out. Atomic Object even frowns upon tables during meetings. "They make it too easy to lean or rest laptops," explains Michael Marsiglia, vice president. At the end of the meetings, which rarely last more than five minutes, employees typically do a quick stretch and then "go on with their day," he says... standing meetings were about a third shorter than sitting meetings and the quality of decision-making was about the same... Holding meetings before lunch also speeds things up... Obie Fernandez, founder of Hashrocket, a Jacksonville, Fla., software design firm, says his team passes around a 10-pound medicine ball during stand-ups"

Open-plan offices are making workers sick, say Australian scientists - "the switch to open-plan has led to lower productivity and higher worker stress... Working in an open-plan office could contribute to higher blood pressure, Dr Oommen said, and an increased risk of illnesses as bugs such as the influenza virus were more swiftly passed around"

Nazi Titanic - DocuWiki - "During a bizarre chapter of WWII, Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels decided to make a movie based on the sinking of the Titanic. This epic film was so large in scale that the Nazis were forced to divert men, material and ships from the war effort in order to complete it"

When comforting a grammar Nazi, I always say softly, “There, their, they’re.”

Women Drivers Crash More Than Men - "The statistics tell a paradoxical story. According to a controversial study by researchers at the John Hopkins Schools of Medicine and Public Health, women are more likely to be involved in car crashes than men - despite the fact that men are three times more likely to be killed when they do crash... teenage boys start recklessly, with about 20 per cent more crashes per mile driven than teenage girls. Males and females between the ages of 20 and 35 run almost identical risks. Females over the age of 35, however, are significantly more likely to crash than their male counterparts"
Keywords: men women better drivers, women drive better

Men and Women Drivers: The Gender Divide - "some research suggests that men do show more technical proficiency in driving as well as a greater tendency to declare themselves “above average drivers”... Research finds that drivers using both hand-held and hands-free cellular phones are four times more likely than non-users to get into a crash that can cause serious injury. It multiples the risk of a fatality nine-fold. Whereas some studies suggest the same use and risk for men and women, government reports find that adult women drivers were observed to be on cell phones more... Whereas women have more crashes based on slips or lapses, men’s crashes are due to driving violations that tend to be more deliberate and risky- speeding, non-seat belt use and drinking... men and women both engage in risks – it depends on the category. Overall men were found to be bigger risk takers than women but women were more likely to go white water rafting, be hypnotized and skip class than males were. Men and women equally ranked activities as roller coaster riding, quitting their jobs without one lined up, and shoplifting. Consistent with driving statistics, however, men were more likely to drive 25mph over the speed limit, ride a motorcycle or get on the roof of a moving car!"

Women are better at parking than men, study suggests - "Covert surveillance of car parks across Britain has shown that while women may take longer to park, they are more likely to leave their vehicles in the middle of a bay... The findings contradict not only popular belief but also previous research. Figures from the Driving Standards Agency last year disclosed that tens of thousands more women fail their driving test on parking errors than men"

APPLICATION FOR EMPLOYMENT - "I refer to the recent death of the Technical Manager at your Company and hereby apply for the replacement of the deceased Manager"

Man jailed nine months for molesting policewoman - "The accused was walking by when he bumped into her and touched her buttocks. However, the accused disputed that and denied touching her. According to Assistant Public Prosecutor Raja Mohan, the accused did not apologise to the woman and was unremorseful. He added that the man's "nonchalant attitude infuriated her" and the incident caused her "deep emotional distress." APP Mohan also told the court that the victim "couldn't accept that being a policewoman in uniform, she got molested." The court also heard that the man, who has a daughter, was tipsy during the incident. In his sentencing, District Judge Low Wee Ping said that there was "a streak of arrogance" in the accused and agreed with APP Mohan that he showed no remorse. DJ Low also noted that the accused gave various versions of his accounts which resulted in inconsistencies"
If I were tipsy, I'd give inconsistent accounts too. If I didn't touch someone, apologising and showing remorse would be an admission of guilt

Most from megachurches see wealth as sign of blessing - "As many as 77.6 per cent of the respondents from megachurches believe that full-time staff, including pastors, should be paid competitive salaries. Among other conclusions, the survey also found that Protestants from megachurches tend to separate religious values from public views about politics"

What does the Match.com 2011 survey tell us about singles and money? By Dr. Jonathan Rich « Official Match.com Blog - "Although 45% of men declare they are ready to step up to the challenges of being a “househusband,” the partner primarily taking care of home and childcare duties, only one out of three women say they are ready to accept men in that role. In spite of social and economic changes, certain male/female roles appear slow to change. The moment when the bill arrives after a first date has become an increasingly awkward moment. Thirty-seven percent of men but only 19% of women believe that it is always the man’s responsibility to pick up the check on the first date"
I wonder what a Singaporean survey would show

This Is The Most Entertaining "Lane Change" We've Ever Seen

Classical music affects heart transplants - "Mice with heart transplants survived twice as long if they listened to classical music rather than pop music after their operation"

Tree-kangaroo - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - "Tree-kangaroos are macropods adapted for life in trees. They inhabit the rainforests of New Guinea, far northeastern Queensland, and nearby islands"

The Magic of Doing One Thing at a Time - "when you switch away from a primary task to do something else, you're increasing the time it takes to finish that task by an average of 25 per cent... if you're always doing something, you're relentlessly burning down your available reservoir of energy over the course of every day, so you have less available with every passing hour... Stop demanding or expecting instant responsiveness at every moment of the day. It forces your people into reactive mode, fractures their attention, and makes it difficult for them to sustain attention on their priorities. Let them turn off their email at certain times. If it's urgent, you can call them — but that won't happen very often... Encourage renewal. Create at least one time during the day when you encourage your people to stop working and take a break... Do the most important thing first in the morning, preferably without interruption, for 60 to 90 minutes, with a clear start and stop time... resist every impulse to distraction, knowing that you have a designated stopping point. The more absorbed you can get, the more productive you'll be. When you're done, take at least a few minutes to renew... Establish regular, scheduled times to think more long term, creatively, or strategically. If you don't, you'll constantly succumb to the tyranny of the urgent"

Europe on Five Wrong Turns a Day: Book Trailer: How to Pack Like a 1960s Tourist - "Arthur Frommer started modern tourism as we know it with Europe on Five Dollars a Day. Before his guidebook started the budget travel boom, opening the continent up to the masses, the general mentality was was that travel was something only rich people did. No one fit that aristocrat-on-the-road archetype more than Temple Fielding, the most prominent guidebook writer of the day until Frommer came along... Its contents included “a bottle of maraschino cherries, a bottle of Angostura bitters, a portable Philips three-speed record- player, five records (four of mood music and ‘one Sinatra always’), a leather-covered RCA transistor radio, an old half- pint Heublein bottle full of vermouth, and a large nickel thermos with a wide mouth”"

Europe's blind spot on anti-Semitism - "When the prejudice -- and even the call for murder -- is made in connection with the Palestinian cause, people look the other way and give it a pass... A couple of years ago, I was in the Netherlands when a pro-Palestinian demonstration broke into a familiar chant: "Hamas, Hamas, Jews to the gas." The "Jews to the gas" is a common cheer at Dutch soccer games... Political leaders and government authorities often act dismissively when Jews are the target of violence, particularly from Arabs... Often, when the Palestinian link is made, the prejudice comes from the left, couched as passion for human rights. At times, human rights activists seem to have no problem with anti-Semitism -- even of the genocidal variety -- condemning it forcefully only if it is accompanied by anti-immigrant or anti-Muslim sentiment... Portraying Israelis as baby killers fits neatly into the old anti-Semitic narrative that outrageously claims Jews kill Christian children to make Passover matzos... In Hungary, Spain and Poland, anti-Semitic sentiment is "off the charts"... The sentiment is most common among European Muslims, some of whom have attended Islamic schools, whose Saudi-financed textbooks explained that Jews look like monkeys and pigs and seek "world domination""

Thursday, October 11, 2012


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"Skin-tight clothes cause intimate darketing"

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

I don't qualify for this study, but you might

"We always felt as if every show was the most important thing in the world, but knew if we bombed, we'd live." - Raymond Joseph Teller, Fury Letter written to Brian Brushwood


STI/HIV/AIDS Risks Related to Heterosexual Behaviours of Singaporean Men: Survey Phase

Dear sir,

We are pleased to invite you to participate in this on-line research survey study on sexual behaviours of Singaporean men who pay for sex and/or who have casual sex with women. The Principal Investigator of the study is Associate Professor Wong Mee Lian from the Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health, National University of Singapore (NUS) and Co-Investigators are Ms. Mandy Govender and Mr. Chan Lit Fai.

HIV infections are increasing in cases associated with commercial sex and casual sex. A recent study by Health Promotion Board found that 20% of men in Singapore had engaged in casual sex in the past year, a statistic that shows that casual sex is becoming more common in Singapore. The purpose of the survey is to find out the HIV and STI risk behaviors and the health-seeking practices of men who use Internet to seek sex with women. This online study will help us design better health education programmes to promote awareness of the potential epidemic and to encourage safer sex practices.

A similar survey is currently being conducted at the brothels and entertainment outlets throughout Singapore. If you have already filled up the survey before, please do not take this survey again. You must also be within the age range of 21-70 years old in order to participate in this survey.

The survey is anonymous and all information entered will be kept strictly confidential. No identifying information will be collected other than your email address, which will be deleted once it has been sent to an independent third party to process your compensation (details stated below).
If you are interested to participate in this study, please read the participation information sheet: https://docs.google.com/document/pub?id=1DgmdDck0D_Ie1_SlUB2LAZBPj__7e-Z-YSm6Col9szE

Your participation in this study is entirely voluntary. The survey period is from 11th June 2012 to 31st December 2012.

As compensation for your time and participation in the survey, you will receive $15 worth of credit from http://www.liveoffcoupon.com/ that you can use to purchase any items from the website.
Thank you very much.

o Yes, I agree to participate, https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/Singapore_HSM
o No, I don’t wish to participate, https://www.surveymonkey.com/optout.aspx

Best Wishes
A/Prof Wong Mee Lian
Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health

I like this question, doubtless inserted at the request of IRB:

9. What is the compensation for any injury?
No injury is expected as this study involves only a survey.

Links - 10th October 2012

"All God's children are not beautiful. Most of God's children are, in fact, barely presentable." - Fran Lebowitz


Search is on for boyfriend for Feng Tianwei - "He must be Singaporean and someone who can speak Mandarin... The task has been entrusted to Acting Minister for Community Development, Youth and Sports Chan Chun Sing, revealed Singapore Table Tennis Association president Lee Bee Wah"

Where the Minutes Are Longer: The Weird Science of Telling Time on Mars - "Mars actually spins a bit slower than our own planet, and as a result, its whole day is a bit longer -- 24 Earth hours and 39 Earth minutes... "Since I was a young child I've put my heart into making very precise time pieces, now I was being asked to create a watch that was slow on purpose""

Grace Dent: Take the fight to men – we'd give them a good kicking - "the irony of men anonymously slagging off woman who could hospitalise them from behind a keyboard several miles away is simply too delicious"
Comments: "in going through the article line by line, there are 12 negative references to men by the female author, of those 12, 5 advocate or fantasize physical violence against men, 1 reference only could be construed in the context of girl on girl conflict. I think both you and the author have repressed violent issues, and she in particular is using the triumph of female victory at the Games in previously male orientated sports ( weren't they at all at one point) to push her sexist and violently orientated agenda. More tea anyone?"
"Yes I'm now going to encourage the young ladies to smack the teeth out of any other girl who upsets them, kick the head of older men who leer at them, and beat the proverbial cr&p out of anyone who spills their drinks in a bar or eyeballs them wrong in the street. Clearly this is progress and just what the UK needs. "

Samantha Brick on the downsides to looking pretty: 'Why women hate me for being beautiful' - "f you’re a woman reading this, I’d hazard that you’ve already formed your own opinion about me — and it won’t be very flattering. For while many doors have been opened (literally) as a result of my looks, just as many have been metaphorically slammed in my face — and usually by my own sex. I’m not smug and I’m no flirt, yet over the years I’ve been dropped by countless friends who felt threatened if I was merely in the presence of their other halves. If their partners dared to actually talk to me, a sudden chill would descend on the room. And it is not just jealous wives who have frozen me out of their lives. Insecure female bosses have also barred me from promotions at work. And most poignantly of all, not one girlfriend has ever asked me to be her bridesmaid. You’d think we women would applaud each other for taking pride in our appearances."
Misogynist: A man who hates women as much as women hate each other

Consciousness and Cognition - Uncorking the muse: Alcohol intoxication facilitates creative problem solving - "The current experiment tested the effects of moderate alcohol intoxication on a common creative problem solving task, the Remote Associates Test (RAT). Individuals were brought to a blood alcohol content of approximately .075, and, after reaching peak intoxication, completed a battery of RAT items. Intoxicated individuals solved more RAT items, in less time, and were more likely to perceive their solutions as the result of a sudden insight"

How an 18-Year-Old Made $35K for Tweeting Parody Accounts - "In the last four months, King has earned more than $35,000 by tweeting sponsored messages on the microblogging platform. Not too shabby for an 18-year-old high school student"

9GAG - Does McDonald's put less sesame seeds on their buns?

Mr.Smith: Event Blogging Template 101 - "Today I was invited to XXX event by YYY company.
[insert picture of event entrance]
I am so excited about the event! The event was so awesome it's a blast!
[insert camwhore1.jpg]
[insert camwhore2.jpg]
[insert camwhore3.jpg]
Look who i bumped into! The Famous [insert another half pass 6 self proclaimed popular blogger with unique click of around 100 per day] "

Artur Davis: Biden "in chains" comment "insulting to African-Americans" - "Artur Davis, a Democrat-turned-Republican former congressman from Alabama, on Wednesday accused Vice President Joe Biden of using racially divisive rhetoric that is "insulting" to African-Americans. "I know what Joe Biden was doing yesterday," Davis said in an appearance on CNN. "Every black person in that room knew who the 'y'all' was. They knew what the chains were. They knew what the metaphor was about." In remarks at a campaign event in Virginia Tuesday with a number of African-American audience members, the vice president lambasted Romney for allegedly wanting to repeal financial regulations enacted after the Wall Street crash of 2008. "He's going to let the big banks once again write their own rules - unchain Wall Street!" Biden said. He added: "They're going to put you all back in chains." Republicans pounced on the remarks. Biden later clarified his comment, stating that he had meant to say "unshackle" in reference to Republican claims that regulations "shackle" the economy"
Everyone can play the Offence Game!

"Your Mother Would Like Me": Self-Presentation in the Personals Ads of Heterosexual and Homosexual Men and Women - "(a) gay men emphasized physical characteristics most and lesbians least; (b) heterosexual women mentioned attractiveness more than lesbians did; (c) women solicited more expressive traits and offered more instrumental traits than men; (d) gay men mentioned sexuality more than other advertisers; and (e) heterosexuals were more likely than homosexuals to pursue long-term relationships and to mention sincerity and financial security. The advantages of using personals ads as a source of data about self-presentation, societal definitions of attractiveness, and changing social forces are discussed"
No wonder lesbians are ugly

Ira Weissman: 7 Reasons Why Diamonds Are a Waste of Your Money - "1) The most common misconception about engagement rings is that they're some kind of ancient tradition that's deeply embedded in human history in societies around the world. This is completely false
2) Diamonds are not an investment -- they are a retail product like any other
3) The diamond jewelry market is a shark tank
4) Spending a month's (or two!) salary on something so impractical -- at the exact same time you are beginning your new life together as a budding family -- is a very poor financial decision
5) Men, you don't need to waste a ton of money to prove your manhood
6) Women, you don't need your man to waste a ton of money to prove that he loves you.
7) If your man buys you a diamond as a means to keep you quiet for another year about marriage, he probably should be dumped anyway...
Ira Weissman is a diamond industry veteran with a decade of experience at one of the world's largest diamond polishers"

Comment sauver sa vie grâce à un tampon! - "Vous pouvez également l’utiliser comme filtre à eau si vous l’insérez dans le goulot d’une bouteille. L’applicateur peut quant à lui servir de paille pour boire. Si vous laissez le tampon dans son applicateur, vous ferez alors d’une pierre deux coups, en filtrant l’eau que vous buvez!"

Vers une suppression des bordels animaliers en Allemagne ? - "Les bordels animaliers ont le vent en poupe en Allemagne, et cela a le mérite d’en irriter certains. En effet, les services de protection de nos amis les bêtes souhaitent que la zoophilie soit reconnue comme un crime (il convient de noter que si la pornographie à caractère zoophile est prohibée, l’acte lui-même ne l’est pas dans ce pays). Selon les autorités allemandes, avoir des relations sexuelles avec des animaux est de plus en plus perçu comme un choix de vie alternatif, et est relativement mieux toléré qu’auparavant"

WikiWeapons: 3D printed guns for everyone - Boing Boing

Mass. couple dies trying to rescue dog from lake - "A Massachusetts couple boating on a lake drowned after jumping into the water to rescue their dog, who survived. Police say the small dog named Sadie jumped into Hampton Ponds in Westfield on Monday night, prompting 64-year-old Donald Cyr to follow his pet into the lake. Police told The Westfield News that he became distressed and his wife, 61-year-old Patricia Cyr, tried to rescue him. Their daughter, Miranda Landry, told The Boston Globe that her mother jumped into the water despite not being able to swim."

Singapore tau huay too low class for French upscale event Diner en Blanc?! | The Moonberry Blog - "Diner en Blanc will be taking place next Thursday at a secret location and even though there has been a lot of positive buzz and general excitement, I am somewhat disturbed upon finding out that fellow blogger Daniel from DanielFoodDiary.com has been asked to modify remove his blog post in which he has suggested some local food (which are white, to suit the all-white theme of this event) to bring. Specifically, his suggestion of soybean pudding aka tau huay is deemed by Diner en Blanc organizers to be “not up to par” with the event’s upscale nature. Whoa. Are they implying that tau huay is too low class to bring to and be eaten at Diner en Blanc?!... the organizers have decided to uninvite all bloggers from the event. From what I heard, the Diner en Blanc organizers feel that there is little value in inviting bloggers because they do not regard social media influencers to be that influential anyway. Everyone on the social media invitation list, specifically bloggers, has been nixed"

Does roux-en-Y gastric bypass cure diabetes?

Top 5 reasons Icebreaker underwear are my favorite pieces of travel gear - "I so enjoyed Icebreaker's boxer briefs that they have become my favorite piece of travel gear. With each passing day of the trip, as temperatures approached 90°F and humidity constantly hovered at around 98%, I was increasingly more thankful that the most intimate parts of my body were enrobed in Icebreaker"

Desk Rage: The Tell-Tale Signs of an Overworked Employee (graphic)

Americans Abroad Renounce U.S. Citizenship Due to Tax and Reporting Reasons

Renouncing citizenship: Did Eduardo Saverin do anything wrong? | The Economist - "Half a billion dollars! That is not scot-free. Did the marauding aliens in "Independence Day" leave behind a half billion American dollars after having successfully invested in Earth? They did not! One wonders how many pounds of flesh Mr Manjoo and Ms Hogue think Mr Saverin owes for the privilege of having Uncle Sam's hooks out once and for all"

Twitter / si_vault: This may be the most entertaining golf photo I've come across

This is what happens when a gamer couple wants to cuddle. We seriously played like this for a good hour 8D (image)

Tuesday, October 09, 2012


On Slavery being more Moral than Capitalism

"We can have facts without thinking but we cannot have thinking without facts." - John Dewey


"There is slavery – there are maybe 30 million slaves in the world. But we no longer approve it, regard it as the natural order, or make up stories about how it's better for the slaves. Yet the arguments that were given for slavery – which were not insubstantial – were never answered; they were just rejected as being morally intolerable through a period of growth of moral consciousness. I haven’t heard a sensible answer to the main argument offered by slaveholders in the United States – it was a perfectly sensible argument, and has implications. The basic argument was that slaveholders are more moral than people who live in a market society. To take an anachronistic analogy, if you buy a car and I rent the same car, and we look at those two cars two years from now, yours is going to be in better shape than mine, because you’re going to take care of it; I’m not going to take care of mine. Well, the same is true if you rent people or you buy them. If you buy them, you’re going to take care of them: it’s a capital investment. If you rent people, they’re just tools; you throw them out when you’re done with them — if they can’t survive, who cares, you can throw them out on the dump yard. That’s the difference between a slave society and a market society. In a market society, you rent people; in a slave society, you buy them. So therefore slave societies are more moral than market societies. Well, I’ve never heard an answer to that, and I don’t think that there is an answer. But it’s rejected as morally repugnant — correctly — without following out the implications, that renting people is an atrocity. 1f you follow out that thought, slave owners are right: renting people is indeed a moral atrocity. It’s interesting that 150 years ago, when there was an independent, free, labor-based press, it was just taken for granted — so fully taken for granted, that it was even a slogan for the Republican Party, that wage labor is fundamentally no diffèrent from chattel slavery except that it’s temporary, and has to be overcome."

--- The Science of Language: Interviews with James McGilvray / Noam Chomsky

Observations - 9th October 2012

"I never get my hopes up so I never get let down." – Eeyore


Is there a factory which makes blogshop models?

Amused at a DSLR I used with a laser sight for focusing. One could hide a gun in there.

Isn't 22 too young to be using SK II?

The worst thing about being a girl... is interacting with other girls

Tout le monde aime une jolie jeune fille

Does it offend Hindus to talk about slaughtering sacred cows?

In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is King. But he still has only one eye

A good sign you are no longer a young adult: getting excited about furniture

Me: "I'll pull it out real fast"
Her: "no, I don't trust you"
#letstakethisoutofcontext (we were talking about my sparkler & her lantern)

RT @kellyoxford As kids we want to be adults who 'can do whatever they want' and as adults we wish we were kids who 'can do whatever they want.'

"Many airline pilots feel horrendously overpaid as they're mostly glorified bus drivers"

RT: @rev_revolver: once a woman in the mall said "isn't everything cuter with babies?!" and jeff replied "not coffins" and just stared at her until she cried

RT @_underjoyed: Sudden realization: the year tt Changi Airport privatised was the year it stopped winning Best Airport (2009). Used to be under CAAS (govt)

RT @Xiaxue Really, there is nothing worse than holier-than-thou mothers. I've been warned by friends, but I didn't know they were THIS bad.

"Aujourd'hui, mon ex que j'aime encore m'a appelée après deux mois de silence radio pour demander à passer chez moi. Il voulait venir "s'entraîner" à dégrafer mon soutien-gorge d'une main pour ne pas paraître incompétent devant sa nouvelle copine. VDM"

RT @mrbrown: Losers gonna lose too. @occupysg: Haters are gonna hate.
That's why we delete them.

RT: @JorgeBaker: “L'ARGENT NE FAIT PAS LE BONHEUR” 1 minute ago via iPhone 5, from London, via Ferrari with Megan Fox.

RT: @9GAG: There is no “u” in awesome... But there is a "me".

RT @astyrred When you use positive self-talk openly it exposes your innermost insecurities. FACT.

RT: @DefineThat: Whore: A woman that sleeps with everyone but you.

MT @food_blogger: "猴不吃蕉,按不得猴头低。"; Cecilia: I felt 'fear' and was 'unwilling'

RT: @CauseWereGuys: Teacher: What's the opposite of laughing? Student: F*cking! Teacher: How's that? Student: Laughing is ha..ha..ha & F*cking is ah.. ah.. ah..

"I don't understand the point of lap-dancing clubs. If I wanted a woman to take all my money and sexually frustrate me, I'd stay at home with the wife"

Monday, October 08, 2012

"allow the lies to stand unchallenged and the public to believe that the defamations are true"

"The council must issue an edict. Any man heard speaking of incest or calling Joff a bastard should lose his tongue for it."

"A prudent measure," said Grand Maester Pycelle, his chain of office clinking as he nodded.

"A folly," sighed Tyrion. "When you tear out a man's tongue, you are not proving him a liar, you're only telling the world that you fear what he might say."

"So what would you have us do?" his sister demanded.

"Very little. Let them whisper, they'll grow bored with the tale soon enough. Any man with a thimble of sense will see it for a clumsy attempt to justify usurping the crown. Does Stannis offer proof? How could he, when it never happened?" Tyrion gave his sister his sweetest smile.

"That's so," she had to say. "Still..."

"Your Grace, your brother has the right of this." Petyr Baelish steepled his fingers. "If we attempt to silence this talk, we only lend it credence. Better to treat it with contempt, like the pathetic lie it is."

--- A Song of Sex and Blood

Links - 8th October 2012

"You have to love what you do. If you want to make money, sell weapons
or become a mafia boss." - Amir Kassaei


Gender Differences in Personality Traits Across Cultures: Robust and Surprising Findings - "Secondary analyses of Revised NEO Personality Inventory data from 26 cultures (N = 23,031) suggest that gender differences are small relative to individual variation within genders; differences are replicated across cultures for both college-age and adult samples, and differences are broadly consistent with gender stereotypes: Women reported themselves to be higher in Neuroticism, Agreeableness, Warmth, and Openness to Feelings, whereas men were higher in Assertiveness and Openness to Ideas. Contrary to predictions from evolutionary theory, the magnitude of gender differences varied across cultures. Contrary to predictions from the social role model, gender differences were most pronounced in European and American cultures in which traditional sex roles are minimized. Possible explanations for this surprising finding are discussed, including the attribution of masculine and feminine behaviors to roles rather than traits in traditional cultures... self-reported gender differences are more pronounced in Western, individualistic countries. These countries tend to have more progressive sex role ideologies, endorsing such items as "A women should have exactly the same freedom of action as a man" and "Swearing by a woman is no more objectionable than swearing by a man"... Williams and Best (1990) also found that gender stereotypes were most differentiated in Western, individualistic culture"
This extension to the Five Factor model shows that besides being crazy, women are emotional and closed-minded; contrary to feminist theory, gender stereotypes are not responsible for all gender differences
Keywords: five factor model gender, psychological disparities societies greater gender equality, larger equity society

Lawyer: Is it right to jail Shaw for 'honest' mistake? - "He said the underage prostitute was neither trafficked nor coerced into prostitution and worked hand-in-glove with the agency to actively misrepresent herself as above 18... "Is it right to send anyone to jail who makes an honest and reasonable mistake as a result of a fraud or deceit perpetrated upon him? Is it even right to convict such a person in the first place?" He added: "It is no exaggeration to describe this case as falling at or very near the extreme outer edge ofculpability. "It is so very far removed from the type of predatory, conscious and exploitative conduct which this offence is really aimed at. "In my respectful submission, it would be an 'absurdly draconian result' and abhorrent on these facts to send Mr Shaw (and others in like position) to jail, let alone convict him.""

24 testimonials couldn't save Howard Shaw - "the common law has long recognised that a person who commits an act under an honest and reasonable mistaken belief is treated, in the eyes of the law, as morally blameless because he lacks criminal intent. "The question to be asked in this case is: What possible public policy objective is served in sending to jail someone who has no criminal intent, who makes an honest and reasonable mistake and genuinely believes he is engaging in perfectly lawful conduct? Why won't a fine do?" he added. Mr Singh said it was the underage prostitute who had engaged in predatory conduct, entrapping men who were entirely unaware of her deception. But Judge See said the fact that Shaw did not ask the girl about her age or make any effort to verify her age, showed it was not an "honest and reasonable mistake". "It may have been a genuine mistake, but not an honest and reasonable one. He made no enquiries about her age and went ahead to have sex with her. He could have been guarded against an offence, but he took the risk," the judge added. "Perception is subjective and prone to errors and lies. Our senses are not always reliable and prone to mistakes." Shaw must have realised the risk that he was putting himself into, should she not be 18, added Judge See""
Perhaps the silver lining in this case is that more men will be aware that they need to ask for ages (and preferably ID too) if they are not psychic (though that won't save them if the ID is fake). I don't think many people realise that this also applies to non-commercial sex with girls under the age of 16 - a "reasonable mistake" is no defence their either.

Man hailed as hero for saving wife over mother - "Xiao Guo told reporters he had heard of people asking married couples the question, "If your mother and your wife were drowning, who would you save?" But he never imagined it would happen to him."

Goodbye Hotmail, hello Outlook.com - "Microsoft tells me its new email header contains 60 per cent fewer pixels and 30 per cent more messages are viewable in a user’s inbox"

Star Wars: The Old MMO Problem - "there's a problem with what we've come to accept as conventional MMO design. It's that that design rests on ideas which are explicitly manipulative of players, having been cynically created to trap them in a system that will never reward them enough to make them feel they can stop playing. This is the dirty little secret of most MMOs. They are not designed to be fun, interesting or even social experiences. They are designed purely so that you keep playing. They are not entertainment; they are traps. "

F2P vs subs - "F2P players never end up paying $60 for a game they then find they dislike, as happens in the packaged goods world. In packaged goods, there are a lot of marketing practices designed to make you pick up and pay for something you do not want, often in large lump sums. (In grocery stores, it’s making you move more slowly on the expensive aisles, by doing things like having smaller, bumpy tiles on the floor; in games, it is things like touched-up screenshots). As a consequence, free to play is more democratic... people playing for free are subsidized by those who pay — often quite a lot... Whales exist independently of the business model, and what free-to-play does is allow them to spend more on their hobby. Thus the free to play business model ends up monetizing core fans better while actually giving access to more players at the free-to-cheap end... If you’re freaked out by seeing business practices nakedly, realize that what’s changed is that you can see them. And to my mind, that’s actually better for you than blissful ignorance"

Email Attachments in Body instead of in Attachment Line - McCombs Wiki - "When I attach a file to my email, why does it sometimes go in the body instead of the header? Usually this has to do with the format of the email. When you send new email messages through Outlook, by default they are set to be HTML emails. However, some mail programs use Rich Text or Plain Text messaging. If you are replying to a Rich Text email, you’ll notice that the attachment goes in the body of the email. If you are replying to an HTML or Plain Text email, it will go in the Attachment line."

Are Butterflies Two Different Animals in One? The Death And Resurrection Theory

In Olympics weightlifting, you need every drop of power to win. on Twitpic

mashapotato: littleyoshiie: the fuck is going... - Tell what? - "Choi was checking why the sensor reacted even though the foil touched his butt(in fleuret, only upper body is valid target area), by POKING HIS BUTT WITH THE OPPONENT’S FOIL."

Is India ready for ‘Jism 2′? - "It stars a hard-core adult film actress and has a title that would appear to leave little to the imagination. But it’s not a porn movie — Bollywood is certainly not ready for that. Jism 2— the word means “body” in Hindi language — will be released across India on Friday, promising to be one of the most graphic films in Bollywood history... ”Pretending to police the moral values of a society is the easiest way for politicians to earn brownie points”"

What Pericles would say about Obamacare - "The mess in and around Obamacare is a good illustration of what’s wrong with democracy in the United States. Notice I do not say “what’s wrong with democracy”... Pericles’ democracy was designed to reduce the power of wealth to a minimum and it did so. We know that, because for the almost two hundred years of democracy in Greece, the rich often tried to bring it down and replace it with oligarchy. A second cause Pericles would point out is our dependence on elections. “Elections!” you exclaim. “But aren’t they the essence of democracy?” Not at all. Pericles’ democracy cut way back on the use of elections for two reasons: elections give money an opportunity to exercise power, and elections make cliquish infighting the norm in politics. What ought to be the norm (Pericles would say) is serious discussion of what is best for the people... powerful representative bodies in Athens, such as the Council (like our senate), the courts, and the lawmakers, were composed of representatives selected by a lottery to represent equally the divisions of the city, somewhat like an American jury. These representatives didn’t have to run for election, so they didn’t need to listen to special interests, build up a war chest, or do stupid things to embarrass a political party"

Why Most Manufactured Pet Foods Should Not Be Fed To DOGS & CATS - "Scientifically formulated, manufactured pet foods are packed with chemical supplements used to ‘fortify’, i.e. make up for deficiencies in the basic ingredients that are slaughter house and food and beverage industry waste byproducts, and other chemical additives to flavor/taste-enhance, stabilize, preserve, color and ‘texturize’ ( appear like meat and gravy rather than a grey mush)"

India’s first Playboy bunny, under siege - "Hefner is a sexist pig that lives off the objectification of women’s bodies and posits nudity as faux-empowerment... I am now forced into an awkward position where I have to defend Chopra’s decision to pose nude for Playboy in the face of misogynist ideas about women’s purity and modesty as it relates to Indian nationalism. Critique the retrograde and sexist ideas about sexuality that give a magazine like Playboy so much capital, fine. But not the women that choose to do it. Conflating a woman’s sexual expression with the purity or modesty of her culture is one of the roots of sexism and patriarchy."
Translation: like children, women have no moral agency and can do no wrong. Vive le féminisme !

Fighting Fantasy is back! Try your skill in Blood of the Zombies - "I shall satisfy my nostalgic yearnings with this, one of the best things you will see all week. It's a collection of "you chose wrong" endings from the Fighting Fantasy and Choose Your Own Adventure books, and it couldn't be more brilliant. Here's a couple to whet your appetite. From Fighting Fantasy #12: "When you offer the fruit to the chief he takes a piece, bites it and promptly falls over dead. The rest of the aliens are appalled, and leap at you with needle-sharp spears; the ferocity of the attack breaches your armour. You collapse under the wave of bodies, never to rise. You have failed." Disaster! And from Fighting Fantasy #11: "She strikes you down, before helping you to your feet. You walk together into the Valley of Death, where your spirit will wander alone until the end of time." Bleak for a children's book, no?"

YOU CHOSE WRONG - "Your adventure ends here. Badly"

"When did Singapore become more expensive than Hong Kong?"

"Reading out the figures in a shrill, rapid voice, he proved to them in detail that they had more oats, more hay, more turnips than they had had in Jones's day, that they worked shorter hours, that their drinking water was of better quality, that they lived longer, that a larger proportion of their young ones survived infancy, and that they had more straw in their stalls and suffered less from fleas." - George Orwell


A (who left in 2007): When did Singapore become more expensive than Hong Kong?

B: yes A. decent low level entry car 100k, decent small condo 1 mill. property prices have effectively tripled from 7 yrs ago with salaries inching up by 2-3% per year

C: Singapore is more expensive than the rest of the world, period. I am finding it more expensive than the US!

A: I've always found the US to be quite affordable although that is quite a generalisation given the scale of the US. Exceptions are property in some major cities and healthcare, but from what I hear, Singapore is fast catching up.

D: Tau Huay 1.50 油条 80-90 cts..used to be selling with my late grandpa at 10 cents a piece...

C: Well, I think with the exception of NY, none of the other major metropolises are as expensive as Singapore. Not forgetting that in US, a great equalizer in any non-location specific goods is Amazon. And so called branded goods in Singapore are lowest denominators in US - Crocs shoes that cost US$20 goes for SGD75. And let's not even start on the electronics. The only things which are cheaper are labor intensive stuff like barbers and hawker center food.

A: It's the same in the UK in that amazon, eBay and freecycle mean things are at least half the price in Singapore. And even barbers can be same price if one knows where to look, ie Brick Lane, Finsbury Park.

E: Interestingly, that could call the top of a bubble. When cities get really expensive, it's often just before it blows. What does the Economist say about Singapore property prices?

Sunday, October 07, 2012

Another point of view of the Ping Pong Show

"Do not do unto others as you would that they should do unto you. Their tastes may not be the same." - George Bernard Shaw


The vagina monologue: About those Bangkok ping-pong shows | GlobalPost
There's nothing sexy about Bangkok's most popular "sex show." Here's why.

"Before I came to Bangkok, I couldn’t decide whether I could stomach witnessing a real ping-pong show, the so-called “staple of the local sex industry.”

I thought I would either feel disgusted by the humiliating displays of female genitalia, or would just plain feel sorry for the women whose best chance to make a living is to use their pelvic muscles for entertaining the masses.

Enough has been written about the sexual exploitation of women in Thailand that I had to think twice (or more like hundred and twice) about whether I should contribute to Thailand’s sex trafficking by venturing to one of these venues.

But like many people visiting Bangkok, I couldn’t resist seeing it with my own eyes.

Most of all, I was dying to see the super-women who were able to use their privates in ways unimaginable to most women west of Bangkok.

Here is where my thinking on this subject was completely off.

A ping-pong show may be many things — comedic performance, a type of synchronized swimming routine using genitals, if you will — but it is certainly NOT a sex show.

Yes, women do insert and pop out various (and often quite impressive) objects out of there — namely ping pong balls, bananas, razor blades and ribbons, among other things — but that makes it about as much of a sex show as birthing of a baby.

Not unlike childbirth, the ping pong show is a graphic — and equally visually disturbing — testament that the vagina is capable of incredible feats.

In between the various performances — or as they put it: ping pong shoots, banana shoots, candle blowing, cigarette lighting, vulva writing, etc. — I chatted to the women who perform these kinds of “vagina monologues” for a living.

“How long did it take you to be able to blow out a candle this way?” I asked one of them.

“Oh, many, many years,” said a woman who came to Bangkok from northern Thailand. She looked proud.

“Who did you learn it from?” I wanted to know.

“My friends,” she said. “I can teach you if you want.”

“Oh, okay. Maybe next time,” I said.

As appealing as it sounded to one day be able to insert a marker in my nether regions and write “Welcome to Thailand," I couldn’t see taking actual lessons while I am here.

By the end of the night, I not only developed a new found respect for the vagina, I also came to the conclusion that the most disturbing thing about the whole experience was the inflated price of the drinks. And the girls always demanding you buy them some too, so they make some extra money.

Why don’t they charge a hefty entrance fee instead and make the performance sort of like a genital Cirque du Soleil?

Let’s be honest here, until the Canadians made a high-brow entertainment out of it, working in a circus had always been frowned upon. My point is that a Thai ping-pong show is nothing more than a cheesy circus show.

Take the guys who perform in “Puppetry of the Penis.”

They have been able to make a pretty good living making comedic shows with their male genitals.

And last time I checked, nobody was accusing them of being sexually exploited.

Maybe it’s time we trusted women enough to make their own choices how they want to make a living."
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