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Friday, March 29, 2013

L’amitié et l’amour

« J’ai dit quelque part que je savais mieux faire l’amitié que l’amour. L’amour est à base de spasmes brefs. Si ces spasmes nous déçoivent, l’amour meurt. Il est bien rare qu’il résiste à l’expérience et devienne amitié. L’amitié entre homme et femme est délicate, c’est encore une manière d’amour. La jalousie s’y déguise. L’amitié est un spasme tranquille. Sans avarice. Le bonheur d’un ami nous enchante. Il nous ajoute. Il n’ôte rien. Si l’amitié s’en offense, elle n’est pas. Elle est un amour qui se cache… »

--- La difficulté d’être / Jean Cocteau

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Links - 28th March 2013

Budget 2013: Sexual services refund among 4,000 requests for consular help - "one Singaporean requested help to seek a refund after he had procured illegal sexual services. A Singaporean living in Indonesia asked the Ministry to ship to him a desktop computer that he had ordered online from the United States. Yet another Singaporean sought MFA's help to persuade his foreign girlfriend to expedite her own divorce proceedings. Mr Tan said that these requests divert the ministry's limited resources from other requests."
People don't usually bash these people for "wasting taxpayers' money"

O-Level Lit in Singapore - Three Myths, Three Problems, and a lot of generalisations. - "As a student of Literature from O-level to university, the recent debate on the decline of Literature students from 16,000 to 3,000 in the last decade or so has been of great concern to me. My immediate reaction was to write a fluffy and emotional piece lamenting the loss of our souls and accusing everybody from parents, principals to the PAP for ripping out the spinal cord of the Singaporean spirit. As an undergraduate business student, however, I realised that nobody besides other (clearly biased) Lit students would probably give a shit... If your analysis of an Unseen Poem consists of emo tripe like “I like this poem very much because it moves my soul”, you will fail the paper just as badly as any Maths student who tries to solve questions without algebra. To appreciate a Lit text, you don’t immerse yourself in the life-changing beauty and wisdom and (insert generic nonsense abstraction) of the work. You identify in detail the techniques the author has utilised, recognize patterns and themes, draw out supporting evidence, cross-reference throughout the text, and build a comprehensive case for why you think he is doing what you think he is doing.There is no multiple choice. There is no ten year series. Just you, your brain, and a bunch of words... O-level Literature is NOT about “reading a book.” It’s like saying I can be a doctor because I know how to eat Poh Chye Yun when I have diarrhoea. I am an economist because I play the stock market. I am a historian/physicist/linguist/geographer because, Wikipedia. Who needs an expensive education when you can get one for $1.50 in library fines?"

Two lesbians become 1st gay couple to wed at Tokyo Disney Resort - "The event on Friday was the first homosexual wedding in the popular amusement park even though gay marriage has no legal standing in Japan... The couple first hit the headlines after the theme park initially told them there would be no problem with the ceremony provided they dressed "like a man and a woman". A staff member said a same-sex wedding would create "repercussions" among visitors if both brides wore wedding dresses or both grooms donned tuxedoes."

Chinese divorce to avoid property tax: Report

Report Malaysia Taxi - Android Apps on Google Play - "Tired of being cheated or harassed by taxi drivers? Use this app to submit a complaint. SMS, email, use social media, and call to government departments, consumer groups, government ministers, news media, and traffic police.
Available in English, Chinese (举报马来西亚的士), and Bahasa Malaysia (Aduan Teksi).
Double check your fare by using the Fare Calculator in the Resources menu.
Was the meter covered to hide the true fare? Take a photo with your phone's camera and attach to the complaint. Did the driver refuse to take you because he preferred to wait for a higher fare? Record his refusal with your phone's voice recorder and attach to the complaint.
Do not be afraid of taxi drivers. Report them. Take a stand and don't let them bully you.
Use your own discretion to select the appropriate audience for you complaint from the list below. Report Malaysia Taxi is not affiliated in any way with the government or any other group. This app will simply forward your complaint on to them.
Government Departments: SPAD, JPJ, KPDNKK
Consumer Groups: TRANSIT, NCCC
Ministers: Minister of Transport, Minister of Tourism, Prime Minister
News Media: The Star, Star Metro, Malay Mail, New Straits Times, New Straits Times Streets, The Sun, Malaysia Kini, the Malaysian Insider"
Malaysia Boleh!

About Me | My Korean Husband - "I’m a Caucasian Australian woman. I’m married to a Korean man. I don’t mean an Australian man with Korean ethnicity I mean Korean Korean. A Korean man who has lived most of his life in South Korea- actually rural South Korea."

Harold Kingsberg's answer to Colonialism: What explains the differing legacies of colonialism in Latin America, Africa and Asia? - Quora - "Colonialism was not monolithic. Although most Western powers engaged in it, they did so at different times and using different methods... why were various colonies treated differently? There are several obvious reasons, but one that seems to be gaining traction in the field of historical research these days is "how easy was it for Europeans to live in a given place?" In general, this itself was highly correlated with climate, which explains why colonies located closer to the Equator were frequently treated rougher than those further from it... borders between colonies were drawn without any regard to the geographic locations of various ethnic groups, but then, ethnic diversity did not cause the same sorts of problems in Indonesia or South America... Because Sub-Saharan countries also tend to not be strong or rising economies (unlike, say, India), the paternalistic assumption is "oh, we screwed them up good until about fifty years back and they've not done anything on their own since." You'll notice that "the legacy of colonialism" is much less frequently cited than "the legacy of Apartheid" when talking about South Africa today - even though, of course, apartheid was very much the legacy of colonialism"

Singapore Hall of Shame: Confession of a MILF Sex Worker - "A few months later, one day, I coincidentally met Fiona, an old friend from my village and she appeared to be doing rather well. I had heard that she had recently built a house for her parents after working overseas for just a few years. I told her about my plight and asked her to recommend me a job too. She was reluctant at first but eventually agreed after I brought her to visit my son and she saw the condition of my small apartment. I was surprised when she told me what she was actually doing (prostituting herself in Singapore). She told me the money was good and she could make more than 25,000 renminbi (approx. SGD5,000) a month. For the sake of my child, I agreed and asked her to help me arrange. In any case, the job is overseas so nobody will know back home."

Singapore Hall of Shame: Confession of a Bisexual Man - "I am tired of the minority vocal gay community who go all high and mighty preaching for equal rights for all and screaming discrimination when the community are actively engaged in sexual activities in private like any straight people would do without any fear of caught. The same minority gay people are giving a bad name to the majority quiet gay couples who are eager not to draw additional attention to them... I am not trying to put the gays in a bad picture. I am just sharing some of my experiences as a former gay Singaporean who is perplexed by some of the vocal gay minority who screamed foul and discrimination when they have all the rights to enjoy their life peacefully. Be it knowing more gay friends or engage in their sexual fetishes or seeking out long term gay partners, the gays are not singled out by anyone in public or persecuted by the authorities. Are these vocal gays making the silent gay majority look bad? If you are caught in public by the public engaging in blowjob, it is just too bad, why do it in public in the first place? Some gay friends I know are in committed relationships - I know an older gay couple, who have been together for more than 7 years, although they have their quarrels and tiffs, they enjoy their lives doing community work, taking care of their dogs and the occasion overseas travels. What discrimination have they suffered? They asked. They have 2 HDB flats (with 1 rented out to collect passive income) and they have named their partners as beneficiaries for their CPF and insurance policies"

Be Mine Forever: Oxytocin May Help Build Long-Lasting Love - "The high-oxytocin couples finished each other’s sentences, laughed together and touched each other more often"

Oxytocin keeps committed men away from attractive women

Large Labia Project - "I’m prepared to bare all, make myself vulnerable, and open up my most intimate parts, to show that labia are beautiful no matter their size, shape, colour, length, texture, symmetry (or lack thereof). Lots of other women have taken the big and very brave step of photographing their vulva and submitting them here."
If everything is beautiful, nothing is.

This nap is NOT happening - YouTube - "We popped open our baby monitor app in time to see what really happens when Jude is "trying to go to sleep""

Homophobia in Africa: the White Gay Man's burden - "A couple of months ago, singer Elton John and plagiarist Johann Hari wrote an article calling for tougher international action against African states that repress or harry homosexuals... If George W Bush ever so much as hinted that US foreign aid should come with moral strings attached – for example, promoting Christian values or discouraging abortion – the outrage in Western human-rights circles would become deafeaning. Yet barely a peep of criticism has been raised in response to the Obama administration's plan to use foreign aid as a tool of social re-engineering, where the message is effectively: "Embrace gays or you don't get your dinner." It seems Western liberals don't like it when aid is used to try to make Johnny Foreigner more Christian, but they don't mind if it is used to make him more homo-aware, to wake him from his prejudicial stupidity about all things gay. It seems it is not the moralisation of aid per se that human-rights types are worried about, but rather the question of which moral values it is used to promote: Christian values bad, liberal values good... the moralisation of aid is a brutal and undiscriminating measure, which punishes everyone in a country for the sins of their rulers... the depiction of parts of Africa as cesspits of homophobia which need to be saved by the better-educated, more enlightened people of the West is likely only to entrench the backward outlook of certain African politicians, who will revel in presenting gayness as a "foreign thing" being foisted on Africa by Clinton and Obama and Elton John"

Wednesday, March 27, 2013


50000 块?不管今晚来多少人!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Links - 26th March 2013

Placebos Are Getting More Effective. Drugmakers Are Desperate to Know Why. - "It's not that the old meds are getting weaker, drug developers say. It's as if the placebo effect is somehow getting stronger... geographic location alone could determine whether a drug bested placebo or crossed the futility boundary... ratings by trial observers varied significantly from one testing site to another. It was like finding out that the judges in a tight race each had a different idea about the placement of the finish line. Potter and DeBrota's data-mining also revealed that even superbly managed trials were subject to runaway placebo effects... response to placebo was considered a psychological trait related to neurosis and gullibility rather than a physiological phenomenon that could be scrutinized in the lab and manipulated for therapeutic benefit... Like any other internal network, the placebo response has limits. It can ease the discomfort of chemotherapy, but it won't stop the growth of tumors. It also works in reverse to produce the placebo's evil twin, the nocebo effect. For example, men taking a commonly prescribed prostate drug who were informed that the medication may cause sexual dysfunction were twice as likely to become impotent... volunteers in this high-interaction [with the doctor] group got as much relief as did people taking the two leading prescription drugs for IBS. And the benefits of their bogus treatment persisted for weeks afterward, contrary to the belief—widespread in the pharmaceutical industry—that the placebo response is short-lived... The main objections to more widespread placebo use in clinical practice are ethical, but the solutions to these conundrums can be surprisingly simple. Investigators told volunteers in one placebo study that the pills they were taking were "known to significantly reduce pain in some patients." The researchers weren't lying... Soothing blue capsules make more effective tranquilizers than angry red ones, except among Italian men, for whom the color blue is associated with their national soccer team... why would the placebo effect seem to be getting stronger worldwide? Part of the answer may be found in the drug industry's own success in marketing its products."

Wealth Over the Edge | WSJ.Money Spring 2013 - WSJ.com - "Past the bouncers, a walk through a long tunnel with blue ultraviolet lights and a ride up an elevator reveal one of the world's most exclusive parties. Michael Ault, Pangaea's founder, sits at the club's most prestigious table by the bar, on cushions covered in exotic African ostrich skins. His table is covered with bottles of Belvedere vodka, Cristal champagne, buckets of ice and dozens of glasses for his friends. His wife, Sabrina Ault, a former fashion model and now his business partner, wears a fake shark's head and wields a plastic gun while dancing on a table top. At Pangaea, all surfaces are made for dancing—even tables made from the trunks of 1,000-year-old trees and the crocodile-skinned couches... [In Singapore] the rich feel, well, rich, and unusually secure. And where they seem to know only one common language, the language of excess—all too shamelessly displayed in his club... "What I see here is what I imagined must have happened in the U.S. in the 1880s, in the Gilded Age, when it first took over England in terms of wealth," he says. "It is truly shocking how much wealth there is—and how willing people are to spend it." Welcome to the world's newest Monaco, a haven for the ultra-rich in what until recently was mocked as one of the most straight-laced, boring cities in the world... Singapore also now has the highest gross domestic product per capita in the world at $56,532, having overtaken Norway, the U.S., Hong Kong and Switzerland, according to a 2012 wealth report by Knight Frank and Citi Private Bank... what really checks all the right boxes for many of the world's ultra-rich is Singapore's obsession with order, predictability and control, all of which give comfort to individuals whose fortunes have recently gone down the drain in many parts of the world. It doesn't hurt that Singapore has some of the lowest taxes in the world, including none on capital gains and most foreign dividends. But it also has relatively secretive private banking laws and zero harassment from paparazzi or protestors, whose activities are narrowly proscribed by Singaporean authorities, further creating an aura of order and stability... The irony, as with other earlier boomtowns, is that the very sources of Singapore's success may ultimately prove its undoing. The gushers of cash that have flooded Singapore in recent years have put relentless upward pressure on property prices... "aged Singaporeans with grossly inadequate savings can be seen on the streets collecting plastic bottles for recycling"

Couples Thrive When They Have a Common Goal - WSJ.com - "the upturn in our standard of living has been accompanied by a downturn in our patience and tolerance for each other"

Alex Bryce: A Regressive Move Which Would Further Stigmatise and Endanger Sex Workers - "Rhoda Grant MSP and Lord Morrow were invited to speak about their respective proposals to criminalise the purchase of sex in Scotland and Northern Ireland at an event in the House of Commons tellingly entitled 'Prostitution and Sexual Exploitation: Tackling Demand in the UK'... They are not supported by public opinion, academic evidence, sex workers themselves or by the majority of those delivering front-line support to sex workers... Rhoda Grant and Lord Morrow both lauded the Swedish model - where the purchase of sex is criminalised - as an ideal without possessing a thorough understanding of the impact the legislation has had since it was introduced in 1999. Classic displacement occurred with consistent reports of sex workers using their own cars to collect clients, doing business in taxis, advertising online (often on Danish websites) and dispersing to neighbouring countries to avoid the law. According to the Rose Alliance, a sex worker led organisation in Sweden, there is no evidence at all that the indoor sex markets are slowing down and, if anything, more people are entering the industry. In addition, reports from sex workers and those working front line with sex workers confirms that, as expected, a drop in custom has resulted in lower prices charged, less choice in clients and clients pressing for quicker, more risky transactions all of which increases the levels of risk and danger. In addition, though the expected dip in the numbers of visible street sex workers occurred initially, according to the Swedish National Board of Health and Welfare, by 2007 "about two thirds of street prostitution [was] back"... It was pointed out by a representative of the English Collective of Prostitutes at the meeting that for many reasons - such as being a single parent, or the fact that elements of their work is already criminalised and many have criminal records as a result - feasible alternative employment is not always available to sex workers, so these proposals, whatever their intentions, would plunge them into poverty... she suggested that damage to individual sex workers was a price worth paying for the settlement to be established. A fascinating insight into the mind of an individual so focused on the ideology that the impact for those she seeks to 'help' is of little consequence.

Lara Croft in Tomb Raider: I don't need reminding that she's a woman - "She's wearing a conveniently skimpy, low-cut vest top which every time she bends down gives viewers an uncanny excuse to look straight down it. The reason she's not wearing a T-shirt? She was resting in her bed when the boat she's on crashes, and doesn't have time to find any decent clothing. Naturally... Lara Croft ends up swimming underwater a lot, with conveniently placed camera angles"

Soshiok.com - Flavourful Cajun chicken at Botak Jones - "Five other outlets, branded as Botak's Favourites, are halal - which means the menu is not authentic American; Mr Utchenik, who is Muslim by marriage, said the halal outlets were started under the heat of the recession. Still, the taste is as close as he can get it, and he is adamant about keeping things as authentic as possible: "If some people didn't care for the flavours, well, that was to be expected. As they say, if you try to please everyone, you end up pleasing no one.""

On Choosing Sex Music - "A good rule of thumb, I think, when it comes to selecting music to have sex to is to choose stuff that is as nondescript as possible"

Japan man dies after hospitals reject him 36 times - "Paramedics rushed to his house but were told in turn by all 25 hospitals in the area that they could not accept the man because they did not have enough doctors or any free beds"

Controversial Hong Kong fortune teller 'gives up feng shui' - "Now Mr Chan has described feng shui as the work of the devil after he recently embraced Christianity and changed his name from Tony to Peter... "This is the happiest day in my life. It felt like getting married, and I could tell everyone that I am a Christian""

Tibetan self-immolators inspire Chinese painter

Visiting the UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Geramny - "Starting Monday, March 11 I will spend 2-weeks driving around Germany with the goal of exploring 28 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, 27 of which I have not previously visited"

The Single Biggest Thing You Can Do To Stay Safe While Traveling - "STAY AWAY FROM NIGHTCLUBS Nothing good happens at nightclubs. Nothing. The best you can hope for is to spend outrageous amounts of money for the same stuff you could buy at a liqueur store. "

Indian tribe puts women in control - "The Khasi tribe in the picturesque state of Meghalaya places women at the centre of its society from the cradle to the grave. “Go to any hospital and stand outside the maternity wards and listen,” says Keith Pariat, a men’s rights activist. “If families have a boy, you will hear things like: ‘oh okay, he’ll do’. But if it’s a girl then there is joy and applause.” Pariat is the chairman of Syngkhong Rympei Thymmai (SRT), an organisation fighting to eradicate a tradition with tremendous staying power. According to Khasi tradition, the youngest daughter inherits all ancestral property, men are expected to move into their wives’ homes after marriage and children must take their mother’s family name. And, in a ruling which helps explain the grand welcome for female babies, all parents with ancestral property but no daughters are required to adopt a girl before they die, since they cannot leave the inheritance to their sons. The matrilineal system has endured for thousands of years here, but now activists like Pariat are determined to overthrow it. “When a man has to live in his mother-in-law’s house, it tends to make him a little quiet,” Pariat says. “You are just a breeding bull. No one is interested in hearing your views about anything, you have no say in any decision whatsoever.” The 60-year-old businessman believes that the matrilineal system has been “totally detrimental” to Khasi men. “It puts no responsibility on their shoulders so they tend to take life easy and they go into drugs and alcohol and that cuts their life short,” he told AFP in the state capital Shillong. It also makes them unappealing to Khasi women, who exercise their right to marry outside the community instead. Teibor Langkhongjee, a 41-year-old entrepreneur and SRT member, says the choice is easy to understand. “Khasi men don’t have any security, they don’t own land, they don’t run the family business and, at the same time, they are almost good for nothing,” he said. A men’s rights movement did emerge in the early 1960s but petered out after hundreds of Khasi women turned up at one of their meetings, armed with knives... Men’s rights have never been the subject of debate. In Shillong, most women dismiss the suggestion that their society is biased. Although Khasi women are empowered to make their own decisions over marriage, money and other matters, political participation remains low, with women accounting for only four out of 60 state legislators... The state’s sex ratio currently stands at about 1,035 females for every 1,050 men, higher than the global norm of 1,000 women for every 1,050 men"
Again I had a quick look and the feminists seem to be silent; it is telling that even in a matriarchy women do not participate in politics

Pourquoi les femmes ... sont folles ?

Pourquoi les femmes ... sont folles ?

"En étant une femme qui aime les femmes, et qui en a côtoyé (et pratiqué) pas mal (dans un cadre amical, ou/et autre), je parle en connaissance de cause.

Nous ne sommes jamais satisfaites (oui, je généralise, toutes les autres sont des exceptions), si on nous aime beaucoup, on nous étouffe. Si l'on est un peu distant à notre égard (justement pour ne pas nous étouffer), on nous trompe, ou on ne nous aime plus.

Nous ne sommes jamais satisfaites, si on nous drague, on les trouve vulgaires, si on ne nous drague pas, on se pose des questions quant à notre charme (personne ne m'a dragué, oh mon Dieu) !

Nous n'arrivons pas à communiquer (nous sommes bavardes, c'est différent), nous ne pouvons pas prendre les mots dits tels qu'ils sont, avec objectivité, et essayer de COMPRENDRE. Non, les femmes ne comprennent pas.

Nous sommes jalouses et possessives (à moi ! à moi ! ) Même si certaines disent aimer les relations libres, dès qu'il y a une autre femme dans le ring, elle sort les griffes (à moi! à moi!)

Les femmes pleurent, et c'est notre plus grande arme ! C'est attendrissant, mais attention, les femmes pleurent quand leurs amoureux(ses) les quitte comme quand elles se cassent un ongle.

Nous sommes rancunières, attention ! La moindre faute, et l'on crie vengeance ! à mort ! à mort !

Nous n'avons pas un sens d'humour développé, (non, non !), on peut pas se moquer de nous mêmes, et on peut pas se moquer (sans mauvaise foi) des autres femmes sans que ces dernières ne crie vengeance (justement) !

Nous ne pouvons pas avoir de relations sexuelles sans séparer âme et corps, on ne comprend pas comment on nous a tellement aimé le soir, et tellement oublié le jour levé. Alors qu'on aurait pu faire la même chose.

Nous ne sommes pas très stratèges, en voulant des droits, on s'est séparé de notre plus grand atout, notre féminité ! Et on a opté pour le féminisme. On aurait pu régner sur le monde, uniquement par ruse.

Nous sommes notre propre ennemi, et les unes envers les autres."
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