Friday, March 31, 2006

iGoatse, the new skin for your iPod

I know it is just a matter of time before someone decided to do this. Introducing the iGoatse, an iPod skin that looks like the famous Goatse. Comes in five different colours.

(via Gizmodo)

Related:
Tribute to Goatse
My first Goatse reaction

Mortal Combat game using real people



Ever played Mortal Combat? Then you will love this video of two dudes fighting each other Mortal Combat style. Oh, check out the flying chair! Brilliant!

Thursday, March 30, 2006

10 rules to manage your boss

Wanna learn how to manage your boss? Is that even possible in the first place? Oh yes it is, according to Jacques Horovitz. He wrote 10 rules to manage your boss. Give them a try. If they don't work, then you can go ahead and shoot the world's best resignation letter. From rediff.com:
5. Problems: Don't just come with problems, come also with solutions.

Good bosses hate two kinds of behavior. The courtesan who always comes to tell you how great you are and the pyromaniac/fireman who comes to tell you "There is a huge problem" and then says "but don't worry, I will solve it!"

There is also a third kind, the monkey transferor. She has a problem and she puts it on your shoulders, rather than bringing a solution or at least some options.

Problems usually have several aspects. It is usually a gap between an objective and the result; there are options to close the gap; there is a choice of one option to be made; key tasks, dates, people and resources needed must be defined.

On which of those steps in problem solving do you want your boss's input? Just be clear on what input you want rather than come with the stressful -- "I have a problem…" and throw the monkey.
(Thanks Sir Thomas)

Don't mess with your system administrator

To all bosses out there, don't ever mess with your system administrator. You do not want to receive a resignation letter like this one. I'm reproducing the whole letter here. From Al Lowe's Humour Site:

Dear Mr. Baker,

As an employee of an institution of higher education, I have few very basic expectations. Chief among these is that my direct superiors have an intellect that ranges above the common ground squirrel. After your consistent and annoying harassment of my co-workers and me during our commission of duties, I can only surmise that you are one of the few true genetic wastes of our time.

Asking me, a network administrator, to explain every nuance of everything I do each time you happen to stroll into my office is not only a waste of time, but also a waste of precious oxygen. I was hired because I know how to network computer systems, and you were apparently hired to provide amusement to your employees, who watch you vainly attempt to understand the concept of "cut and paste" as it is explained to you for the hundredth time.

You will never understand computers. Something as incredibly simple as binary still gives you too many options. You will also never understand why people hate you, but I am going to try and explain it to you, even though I am sure this will be just as effective as telling you what an IP is. Your shiny new iMac has more personality than you ever will.

You wander around the building all day, shiftlessly seeking fault in others. You have a sharp dressed, useless look about you that may have worked for your interview, but now that you actually have responsibility, you pawn it off on overworked staff, hoping their talent will cover for your glaring ineptitude. In a world of managerial evolution, you are the blue-green algae that everyone else eats and laughs at. Managers like you are a sad proof of the Dilbert principle.

Seeing as this situation is unlikely to change without you getting a full frontal lobotomy reversal, I am forced to tender my resignation; however, I have a few parting thoughts:

  1. When someone calls you in reference to employment, it is illegal for you to give me a bad recommendation as I have consisted performed my duties and even more. The most you can say to hurt me is, "I prefer not to comment." To keep you honest, I will have friends randomly call you over the next couple of years, because I know you would be unable to do it on your own.

  2. I have all the passwords to every account on the system and I know every password you have used for the last five years. If you decide to get cute, I will publish your "Favorites," which I conveniently saved when you made me "back up" your useless files. I do believe that terms like "Lolita" are not viewed favorably by the university administrations.

  3. When you borrowed the digital camera to "take pictures of your mother's b-day," you neglected to mention that you were going to take nude pictures of yourself in the mirror. Then, like the techno-moron you are, you forgot to erase them. Suffice it to say, I have never seen such odd acts with a ketchup bottle. I assure you that those photos are being kept in safe places pending your authoring of a glowing letter of recommendation. (And, for once, would you please try to use spellcheck? I hate correcting your mistakes.)

I expect the letter of recommendation on my desk by 8:00 am tomorrow. One word of this to anybody and all of your twisted little repugnant obsessions will become public knowledge. Never f*ck with your systems administrator, Mr. Baker! They know what you do with all that free time!

Sincerely

David Blocker

Network Administrator

Kinda reminds me of my first and only resignation letter many years ago. Ha!

(Thanks mjr)

Why you shouldn't play with your tabs



You shouldn't play with your tabs unless you want your tabs to take up more space than your browsing area.

What's an oil cum?

Contest time people! Who can tell me what the hell is an Oil Cum? The person with the correct answer will get a year's supply of....

What esle? Oil Cum! Those who want to check out the Oil Cum for yourselves, head down to Daryl Sng's neighbourbood supermarket.

You stupid fuck!

Ladies and gentlemen, I realised that we have some major assholes reading this blog for sometime now like this whorring slut and this one and we also have some mother fucking bastards like this one and this one.

I wanna thank you four punks for fucking up this blog, my friends and those who are dear to me.

And hey if you wanna flip me up, come down here face to face you punks!

You're fucking stupid motherfuckers and whorring sluts you know that?!

You are going to get the shit kicked out of you and you keep asking for more, you stupid fuck!!!

Boy, I'm fucking pissed. Where's the chivas?

Oh one more thing. For those of you who are pissed off that the comments in this blog are now going to be moderated, please direct your emails to my blog manager. And if you punks decided to screw her too, I will fucking screw your eye balls out, you stupid fuck!

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Total Solar Eclipse LIVE

Live blogging of the total solar eclipse in Turkey has ended with the moon now slowly creeping out of the sun. It has been a great total solar eclipse.



Time: 6.58pm (Singapore time)
WOW! Totality! Look at the corona (surrounding the sun). The corona is the outermost layer of the solar atmosphere. Usually during solar minimum, the shape of the corona will be elongated like what we are seeing now.




Time: 6.55pm (Singapore time)
WOW! The diamond ring effect! This effect is caused by the last bit of sunlight shining through valleys on the edge of the Moon.




Time: 6.48pm (Singapore time)




Time: 6.31pm (Singapore time)
Totality is coming!




Time: 6.21pm (Singapore time)
A close-up shot showing the sunspots at the bottom of the sun. Sunspots are cooler regions of the sun. The appearance of these sunspots during the eclipse is a welcome surprise since the sun is in its minimum solar activity (least number of sunspots).




Time: 6.01pm (Singapore time)
The moon covers more of the sun. By now, the sky will get darker as less sunlight gets through.




Time: 5.46pm (Singapore time)
The eclipse is underway! The moon is creeping infront of the sun.




Time: 5.37pm (Singapore time)
The sun before the eclipse. Note the sunspots at the bottom

All images taken from the Exploratorium team's webcast in Side, Turkey.

Related: Catching the next total solar eclipse in our neighbourhood

Update:
How to watch the August 1 2008 Total Solar Eclipse
Live: August 1 2008 Total Solar Eclipse

Live blogging the total solar eclipse

I will be live blogging the Total Solar Eclipse that is visible today across parts of West and North Africa, Turkey and Central Asia using images available via various live webcasts.

A total solar eclipse is one of the most remarkable sights of nature. Solar eclipses can only happen during the new moon and when the moon happens to be in the direct line of sight with the sun. The Sun is about 400 times as far from Earth as does the Moon and it is also about 400 times the diameter of the Moon. Therefore, the moon is seen to cover the sun completely during totality. Each year, there will always be at least two solar eclipses and as many as five but some are only visible as partial eclipse. The last total eclipse took place on November 23, 2003 visible only from a part of Antarctica.

The live blogging will start at approximately 5.30pm (Singapore time). Do check back later.

Together Forever

Today on my photoblog Katoomba Syndrome: Together Forever

Oldest quake and tsunami happened in India

Scientists have discovered the oldest earthquake and tsunami. It happened some 1,600 million years ago in what is now eastern India. From The Hindu:
The scientists analyzed sedimentary rocks deposited in "Chaibasa Formation" in eastern India. "The layers show deformations that have never been described before," Rajat Mazumder, lead author and currently a Humboldt Fellow in the university of Munich said.

Mazumder and co-workers show that earthquakes caused the deformations "while the sediments were still being deposited and before their consolidation," they said...

Considering their occurrence in sediments deposited between 1,600 and 2,100 million years ago, "they are among the earliest records of earthquakes known in the Earth's history," the scientists reported.

(Thanks prakash)

Google accidentally deletes its own blog... duh!

Google has admitted that it accidentally deleted its own blog. The Official Google Blog was unavailable for a period of time on Monday night (US time). Google initially thought it was a systemwide vulnerability for Blogger. From The Official Google Blog:
The Google Blog was unavailable for a short time tonight. We quickly learned from our initial investigation that there was no systemwide vulnerability for Blogger. We'll let you know more about what did happen once we finish looking into it.
There was a suspicion early on that the Google Blog was hacked and taken over by a blogger called lazykarma. Apparently, he found out while surfing the Google Blog that it was not registered so he decided to register it under a new username. From lazykarma:
Regarding Google's Official Blog, I didn't hack it. I did re-register the username when I noticed, due to a Blogger bug, it had been deleted. (It's not the first time I've done something big on Blogger.) I tried keeping it as Google-oriented as possible. Right before I got to another update, Google had regained control of it.
The latest statement from Google:
We've determined the cause of tonight's outage. The blog was mistakenly deleted by us (d'oh!) which allowed the blog address to be temporarily claimed by another user. This was not a hack, and nobody guessed our password. Our bad.
Update: Here's a screen capture of the Google Blog after it was taken over by lazykarma. (Thanks Tim)

Latest Post: Live blogging the total solar eclipse in Turkey!

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

First Chinese Democracy review!!!

It is finally here! Oh man, I'm fucking excited! Spin.com has got hold of the much awaited new Guns N' Roses album, Chinese Democracy and does a review of it. From Spin.com (url not working, see updates below):
Does Chinese Democracy offer glimpses of the paranoid, misogynistic genius we once heard on the soundtrack of Interview With the Vampire? Absotively. "The Blues" might be Rose’s crowning career achievement: It’s an epic combination of mid-period Stevie Wonder, early Elton John, and side two of In Through the Out Door. This is the kind of gutter-glam boogie ballad that makes "November Rain" seem like a bucket of burro vomit warming in the afternoon sun. Chinese Democracy is simultaneously propulsive and ponderous, and there are some electrifying guitar arpeggios on both "Silk Worm" and "Thursday Morning Strip Club" (performed, I assume, by either Buckethead, Robin Finck, Zakk Wylde, Johnny Marr, or Brian May -- all five are listed in the liner notes). But this transcendence is sporadic at best: All too often, Rose’s sonic neurosis plunges into self-reflexive self-indulgence, most notably on the outdated 14-minute rap-rock anthem "Pound You (Good)" and an embarrassing "roots rock" duet with new buddy Dave Pirner titled "You’re Still Too Sweet Not to Be My Baby Anymore." Several songs make thinly veiled references to the architect who designed Rose’s backyard topiary garden, a move that may confuse casual listeners.
I have no idea how they got the album but the review does look genuine. Come on! Give us Chinese Democracy now!

Update: Borivoj Krgin of Blabbermouth tells me that he thinks it's an early April Fool's Day joke. Hmmm...... No! No! No! It can't be! Tell me it isn't! No!!!!!!!

Update: Spin.com has changed the url of the Chinese Democracy review and even changed the date to April 1. Damn! It is indeed an April Fool's Day joke.

What if everything you know about Jesus is wrong?

One of the authors of Holy Blood, Holy Grail, a book that first talked about Jesus having a secret bloodline with Mary Magdalene, is releasing a new book to take on The Da Vinci Code. Titled The Jesus Papers, the book is saying that Christianity is one big lie. From LA Times:
As with "Holy Blood," Baigent supposes that Jesus married Mary Magdalene and sired a child, though he concedes "we are short of evidence -- all that we have is circumstantial." Critics have said even circumstantial evidence is lacking.

From there, "Jesus Papers" proceeds to speculate that Jesus didn't die on the cross. Rather than supposing that somehow someone substituted for Jesus, Baigent follows another older theory, that Jesus remained alive and was spirited away to recuperate, which is why his tomb was empty on Easter morning.
You can read an excerpt of The Jesus Papers here.

Singapore bans Feelin' Good party at MOS

Singapore banned a party to be held at Ministry of Sound last Sunday. Feelin’ Good, a party organised by gay and lesbian media and events company Fridae, has been cancelled after MOS received a telephone call from Tanglin Police on Friday evening demanding that they cease venue provision for the event because the party would promote gay activities. From Fridae:
Feelin’ Good would have been Fridae’s first party in Singapore in more than a year and a half, featuring popular Australian DJ Kate Monroe.

In response to previous criticism by current Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong that Fridae’s parties “should not be targeted at gays alone” (December 2004), Feelin’ Good has been actively promoted to the mainstream public through a variety of media, including Lush 99.5FM radio and local publications IS and Juice.

“The reaction from the police has been completely unexpected,” said Dr Stuart Koe, CEO of Fridae. “Feelin’ Good is simply a party, not unlike any party held at clubs all around Singapore. There is no legal justification for what the police has done. This is yet another example of institutionalised discrimination against gays and lesbians.”
It's a shame what the police has done and just shows that Singapore still has a long way to become a "free" country.

(Thanks Gaylord)

Presenting Cutie Mish

If McDonalds, KFC and Pizza Hut were to ever do a joint marketing promotion, they should get Cutie Mish, a 17 year of Chinese gal living in UK. In this YouTube video, she dances and lip syncs to The Fastfood Song. You can view her other videos here. She is also on MySpace.

Everybody now. Oh Pizza Hut! Oh Pizza Hut! Kentucky Fried Chicken and a Pizza Hut! McDonalds! McDonalds! Kentucky Fried Chicken and a Pizza Hut!

(Thanks xXx)

Thailand Tsunami Then and Now Pics

The WarShooter has posted comparison photos of Thailand taken by photojournalist Zoriah showing how things were back then when the tsunami hit Thailand and how things look now after the rebuilding process.

(via FriskoDude)

Malaysia's drive-in massage parlour

How do you reduce road accidents? Setup a drive-in massage parlour along your busiest highway so that drivers can stop to have a massage. From BBC:
Malaysia has opened a motorway drive-in massage parlour, with the aim of reducing road accidents by relaxing stressed-out drivers.

Drivers have to realise "the importance of stopping to have a rest", Works Minister Samy Vellu told Malaysia's Bernama news agency.

The new parlour is on the North-South Highway, which stretches the length of the Peninsular of Malaysia.
No word yet if the new drive-in massage parlour provides "special service".

Monday, March 27, 2006

Top 10 guitar solos

Led Zeppelin's Stairway to Heaven has been named as the best guitar solo of all time by Total Guitar magazine. Van Halen's Eruption and Guns n' Roses' Paradise City are also in the top 3. More than 2000 readers of Total Guitar magazine voted in the poll.

I'm glad that my favourite band, Guns n' Roses are in the top 3 but Paradise City? Surely, Sweet Child O' Mine would be a better choice. I reckon more people recognise the guitar parts of Sweet Child than any other rock songs out there.

Here's the Total Guitar top 10 guitar solos of all time list. I've also included links to the music videos found on You Tube.

01. LED ZEPPELIN – Stairway to Heaven
02. VAN HALEN - Eruption
03. GUNS N' ROSES - Paradise City
04. THE EAGLES - Hotel California
05. METALLICA - Enter Sandman
06. CREAM - Crossroads
07. JIMI HENDRIX - Voodoo Child
08. OZZY OSBOURNE - Crazy Train
09. FREE - All Right Now
10. QUEEN - Bohemian Rhapsody

Budget Terminal opens in Singapore

Blogger Wandie went to the newly opened Budget Terminal in Singapore and thinks that it looks more like an army camp. From educatewandie:
The colours were all wrong inside and out (which felt to me like that of an army camp) and the place looks like a large hanger hurriedly cleared and converted into an airport. Exposed beams, ugly clocks, sports hall lighting... ugh. Since when did budget = gawdy and obiang?
She has some photos of the Budget Terminal on her blog.

From the official website of Singapore's Budget Terminal:
It comprises of 2 adjacent single-storey buildings for departure and arrival, covering about 25,000 sq metres, which is about 3 football fields.

The BT will be able to handle about 2.7 million passengers per year initially and there is scope for further expansion should more airlines decide to use it.

There will be 18 departure Check-in counters, 6 Immigration Automated Clearance System (ICAS) Counters each at Departure and Arrival Hall, 10 Boarding Gates, 7 Departure Gates to accommodate up to 10 aircraft, 10 Aircraft Parking Bays, 3 Arrival Baggage Claim Belts and an open carpark for about 300 cars.
Check out the Services and Facilities page. Got trolleys in the Baggage Claim Hall. Wah!!!

The Cleaning Hunk

The Cleaning Hunk is a marketing campaign for Xtra-Pine, a cleaning product. The video on the marketing website shows a sexy, muscular young man doing housework for a lonely woman as he strips off his clothes. I'm sure every lady would want The Cleaning Hunk to clean her house....

with Xtra-Pine, of course.

(Thanks Melanie)

Google Idol

Move aside American Idol. Here comes Google Idol, a new online competition that puts publicly submitted videos from Google Video in a head-to-head knockout tournament of 4 heats and 2 semi finals leading up to the grand final when a winner is announced. The Grand Final for the lyp-sync competition is now underway between Pomme and Kelly and The Back Dormitory Boys. Looks like the Aretha Franklin wannabes are thrashing the Asian Backstreet Boys.

(Thanks Lord Kimbo)

Friday, March 24, 2006

South Park strikes back!

The new season of South Park started yesterday with the airing of the first episode 'The Return of Chef'. In it, Chef a famous character voiced by Isaac Hayes who quit the show recently because he was unhappy that it made fun of his religion Scientology, suddenly reappears after he went missing. The South Park boys found out that he has been brainwashed by a group that he joined recently and try to help him.

The creators of South Park have been under pressure recently after Isaac Hayes' departure and Tom Cruise (another Scientology follower) threatening not to promote his new movie, Mission Impossible III if Comedy Central reairs the episode that made fun of Scientology. The Return of Chef is South Park's way of exacting revenge on Isaac Hayes, Tom Cruise and Scientology. Here are the links (parts 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5) to watch the episode on YouTube or you can also download the torrent via Mr Twig's net and here is the episode that started it all.

Dogs with handkerchiefs on their heads

A gallery of dogs with handkerchiefs wrapped on their heads. They are so cute!

(Thanks Maggie)

Vietnam softdrink review

Noodlepie has been reviewing canned softdrinks found in Vietnam. This one is a TriBeco Cola. He writes, "It's not the real thing, no sir. However, the taste is better than the industrial smell emanating from it. At the same time it does leave something resembling cleaning fluid coating your tongue and mouth walls. Nasty, dangerous cleaning fluid that is."

Meteorite Stamps and Coins

This dude has a nice collection of stamps and coins that depict images of meteorites and asteroids. This one is a souvenir sheet from North Korea depicting people and events in the history of the study of Mars. The two moons of Mars in the souvenir sheet, Phobos and Deimos are actually asteroids captured by Mars gravity.

(Thanks greenday22)

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Babes in ASCII

Angelina Jolie, Kate Beckinsale, Britney Spears, Shakira and other babes in all their ASCII glory! Wait a minute. There's also Fann Wong!

(Thanks kktan)

Message board user predicts 7-0 scoreline!

A BBC 606 message board user has successfully and amazingly predicted the 7-0 scoreline between Liverpool and Birmingham recently. From BBC:
The mystery punter, with the username "Messi better than cesc", posted their forecast at 1905 GMT on Tuesday - a full 40 minutes before the match started.

# He or she not only got the score right but they also claimed: There would be a goal in the first minute.
# Three goals in the first half.
# Four goals in the second half.
# The sixth would be an own goal.
# Djibril Cisse would score very late on.
Not sure if he bets on football matches but if he can predict the scoreline for every match, he will be making lots of money.

China puts tax on chopsticks

China is stepping up its efforts to protect its environment and natural resources. That's great news but slapping a tax on chopsticks as one of the measures? Hmmmm. From CNN:
Plans to impose a 5 percent consumption tax on both disposable wooden chopsticks and wooden floor panels would help curb the plundering of timber resources and efforts to protect the environment, the Ministry of Finance said.

Disposable chopsticks used up 1.3 million cubic metes of timber each year, depleting the country's forests, the ministry said.

From April 1, China will make its biggest adjustments to consumption taxes in 12 years, with its newly stressed national goals of slashing energy consumption and stemming environmental degradation in mind.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

World Water Day

Today is World Water Day. This year's theme is Water and Culture. From World Water Day:
We plan our cities near water; we bathe in water; we play in water; we work with water. Our economies are built on the strength of water transportation - and the products we buy and sell are all partly water, in one way or another. Our daily lives are built on water, and shaped by it. Without the water that surrounds us - the humidity of the air, the roughness of the river's current, the flow from the kitchen tap - our lives would be impossible.

In recent decades, water has fallen in our esteem. No longer an element to be revered and protected, it is a consumer product that we have shamefully neglected. Eighty percent of our bodies are formed of water, and two thirds of the planet's surface is covered by water: water is our culture, our life.
Do take a moment when you drink a glass of water today to think about how important water is to our lives and also think about the many people in the world that do not have easy access to clean drinking water.

Remote control robotic shark

Here's something that will scare away those people at the beach. This remote control robotic shark has a full-range of motion to replicate the smooth, sleek swimming of a real shark. Cue the Jaws theme.

The woman who can't forget

Here's an amazing woman who has the ability to remember everything, even minor details about virtually every day of her life. From ABC News:
McGaugh's journey through an intellectual purgatory began six years ago when a woman now known only as AJ wrote him a letter detailing her astonishing ability to remember with remarkable clarity even trivial events that happened decades ago.

Give her any date, she said, and she could recall the day of the week, usually what the weather was like on that day, personal details of her life at that time, and major news events that occurred on that date.

Like any good scientist, McGaugh was initially skeptical. But not anymore.

"This is real," he says.
Being the forgetful person that I am, I would love to have her brain.

Where'd you go? I miss you so...

Where'd you go?
I miss you so,
Seems like it's been forever,
That you've been gone.
Where'd you go?
I miss you so,
Seems like it's been forever,
That you've been gone,
Please come back home...

Music video of the beautiful song Where'd you go? by Fort Minor (Mike Shinoda of Linkin Park) featuring the lovely voice of 19 year old newcomer Holly Brook (signed by Linkin Park's own label!).

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

TODAY responds...

Reader Shyller sent an email to TODAY newspaper to tell them about my blog posting yesterday regarding the newspaper's use of a subheadline that leads to a full page ad. She says that their Voices editor, Yvone Lim replied to her. This is the editor's email:
Thanks for your email and the link to the blog. Just to clarify, the blurb on
page one was a paid advertisement in itself and not an editorial blurb.
Different fonts were used to distinguish this, but unfortunately it could have
been made clearer that this was an ad.

We'll take the feedback into account and strive to make the distinction clearer in future.
Great work Shy and good to know that TODAY takes this seriously. The distinction between ads and real news should be made clear so that readers are not misled!

(Thanks Shy)

Previously: Tell us if it is paid for TODAY!

Lord of the Rings in Lego

The story of the Lord of the Rings retold using Lego! This one is the scene where Sam and Frodo confronts Smeagol after it attacked Frodo demanding his precious.

(Thanks wsuok31)

Soft Claws for cats and dogs too

Soft Claws are colourful vinyl nail caps that glue on to your cat's claws. It covers the claw tips so no damage occurs when your cat scratches your furniture. There's also one for dogs too.

(Thanks t pauline)

We all wanna bed Angelina Jolie

Here's one similarity between lesbians and straight men. We all wanna bed Angelina Jolie! According to the magazine Diva, she has been voted by lesbians as the woman most of them want to have sex with. From The Sun:
The magazine reports: "She's our undisputed dream-girl sending pulses racing and sales rocketing every time she graces the magazine."

The Tomb Raider star beat gay actress Portia De Rossi and Basic Instinct star Sharon Stone to the top spot.

The full Top 10 are:

1. Angelina Jolie
2. Portia De Rossi
3. Gina Gershon
4. Sharon Stone
5. Jodie Foster
6. Queen Latifah
7. Halle Berry
8. Charlize Theron
9. Salma Hayek
10. Drew Barrymore
(Thanks Wileen)

Bush asked about the apocalypse

I enjoyed watching US President George Bush's speech at the City Club of Cleveland which was telecast live over CNN. I don't really like the dude and his policies but oh man, he is funny when he answers questions. Talking about questions, there was one that was addressed to him by a lady from the floor. She asked him about the apocalypse.

Lady: My question is that author and former Nixon administration official Kevin Phillips, in his latest book, American Theocracy discusses what has been called radical Christianity and its growing involvement into government and politics. He makes the point that members of your administration have reached out to prophetic Christians who see the war in Iraq and the rise of terrorism as signs of the apocalypse. Do you believe this, that the war in Iraq and the rise of terrorism are signs of the apocalypse? And if not, why not?

Bush: I haven't really thought of it that way.

And then he went on and on (typical of his long windedness) explaining that his job is to protect Americans from any threats and he takes a practical view doing the job. As usual, he didn't provide a direct answer. Pity. I thought he could give the whole world a tip off about the apocalypse.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Monster cyclone hits northern Australia

A category 5 cyclone is wrecking havoc on parts of northern Australia. Cyclone Larry is the biggest storm ever to hit Australia's Pacific coast. From CNN:
Earlier Monday, the cyclone hit Australia as a category five storm -- the strongest rating possible. The eye hit Innisfail with gusts up to 290 kilometers per hour (180 mph) at about 7:30 a.m. (2030 Sunday GMT), according to Australia's Bureau of Meteorology...

The sounds of metal and lumber being torn from structures could be heard above the winds as the cyclone passed, journalist Phil Willmington told CNN.

"There's just devastation everywhere in this coastal community," he said.

A motel proprietor told Australia's Sky News TV that residents of Innisfail ventured out as the calm of the eye of the storm passed over the town.

She said the town looked as if a bomb had hit it with trees uprooted and tin and roofing material scattered everywhere.
Cyclone Larry hit the beautiful beach town Innisfail in Cairnes. Innisfail in my opinion is one of the most beautiful places in Australia. I've been there a few times in the past on the way to dive at the Great Barrier Reef. From the news reports I read, it looks like the cyclone may have destroyed most of the town. I sure hope the good folks there survive. To make matters worse, there is another cyclone called Cyclone Wati tagging behind Cyclone Larry.

For updates on Cyclone Larry, check out this blog, Cyclone Larry: The Aftermath. My favourite storm chaser Dangerman Geoff Mackley is in Cairnes to report on the cyclone. He has posted some photos on his site.

Tell us if it is paid for TODAY!



Many of you who grabbed today's edition of the TODAY newspaper most likely would have noticed the attention grabbing subheadline at the top of the front page that says, "Happily married couple take on a third partner". There's also a tiny line below it which tells you to read all about it on Page 13.

Readers who turned to Page 13 expecting a news story about a couple thinking of having a baby, or buying a pet or more excitingly getting another sex partner, instead see a full page coloured ad by GE Money promoting their new loan scheme called James.



To you punks in TODAY, next time if you want to put another attention grabbing subheadline, make sure you don't mislead your readers thinking that it goes to a real news story. If it is a lead for an advertisement, do add an advertorial notice below the subheadline damn it!

Update: TODAY responds...

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Chinese jaywalkers will lose work bonuses

China is implementing a new set of traffic regulations to reduce the number of its citizens jaywalking. The new punishment for jaywalkers in China - no work bonuses and promotion! From ChinaDaily:
Under the new rules, work promotions and bonuses could be denied for employees who are repeatedly reported for jaywalking by traffic policemen, reportedly Yangtze Evening Post...

Lawyer Liu Zhengchao, from the Contemporary Security Law Firm, questioned the feasibility of the proposal.

"People's salaries should be based on one's professional performance. It is nonsense to say their wages could be affected by things that happen outside of work," said Liu.

But the country's Road Traffic Safety Law states clearly that every institute or company has the responsibility to educate their staff on traffic regulations, according to a worker surnamed Zhang with Nanjing Municipal Traffic Administration Bureau.

Star Charts for PSP

Finally, I may have found a reason to buy a PSP. Some dude has created star charts to be used with the PSP! These PSP star charts are resized from the magnificent Mag 7 Star Atlas Project. If you want high quality and free star maps that plot stars down to magnitude 7, then download these two!

Quackle is here!

If you love Scrabble, then you will definitely love Quackle. Quackle is a crossword game artificial intelligence and analysis tool that rivals the best players in the world. It can be configured to play with different board configurations and use the newest lexicons. Quackle includes a move generator, move evaluator, simulator, and Qt-based user interface and can be used with any board layout, alphabet, lexicon, and tile distribution. The authors of Quackle claim that using Quackle's flexible postmortem analysis and fine-grained simulation capabilities will make everyone a stronger crossword game player.

How to install Windows on a Mac

For those of you who want to install Microsoft Windows on your Mac machines (god knows why you wanna do such a thing!), Dan of UNEASYsilence teaches you how to do so. From UNEASYsilence:
The instructions list for a iMac, but I have been assured it will work on any Intel Mac..

What you’ll need:

1. An original XP PRO SP2 CDROM. It doesn’t have to be bootable, but it should have a I386 directory on the root.
2. The xom.zip file.
3. Nero Burning ROM
4. A blank CD
5. A PC of course…
6. 20-30 minutes

Life and Death Masks

Here is a collection of life and death masks of some famous people. A life/death mask is a plaster or wax cast made of a person's face. The picture on left shows a death mask of Ludwig van Beethoven made two days after his death.

(Thanks Bernz)

Ludwig's Dream

Today on my photoblog Katoomba Syndrome: Ludwig's Dream

IZ Reloaded down yesterday

Thanks Blogger/Blogspot for putting my blog and others offline for more than 12 hours yesterday. Some blogs were down for close to a day! You guys sure know how to make your users happy.

I deeply apologise to all my readers who couldn't read my blog yesterday, but it's really Blogger's fault. And thanks for all your emails and messages. Apparently Blogger had a major problem that they couldn't solve quickly. From Blogger Status:
The filer that we have been having trouble with in the last few days failed again. Those blogs that are stored on the bad filer are temporarily not available for publishing and viewing. We are working on replacing the filer and restoring access to the blogs affected.
Let's hope that's the end of their bad filer problem.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

New Star Wars TV series

The new Star Wars TV series will have around 100 episodes and will be based on a storyline set between Episode III and IV. It will be about the early years of Luke Skywalker. From The Register:
McCallum said the series would introduce new characters and be "much more dramatic and darker" than the films...

The TV series is likely to feature a different cast from the actors who played in the films. This, plus the fact the project will kick off after Star Wars creator George Lucas has finished with a third Indiana Jones sequel, make the Star Wars TV series sound like The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles.
(Thanks Jackie)

16 ways to tie your shoelaces

Thanks to Ian, now I know there are actually 16 different ways to tie shoelaces. 16! Wow! Over at Ian's Shoelace Site, he provides step by step instructions and diagrams to help you tie all 16 shoelace knots.

(Thanks finatiq)

First Malaysian astronaut could be an Indian lady

Malaysia has narrowed down its astronaut search to four candidates. One of them is a 35 year old Indian female engineer. From Space.com:
S. Vanajah, 35, and three Malay men will be sent to the Russian Space Agency in Moscow soon to undergo medical and technical tests that will determine who will take part in a scientific expedition on board the orbital station in 2007.

The other finalists are Malaysia Airlines pilot Mohammed Faiz Kamaluddin, 34; army dentist Faiz Khaleed, 26; and Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor, a 34-year-old hospital medical officer, Deputy Prime Minister Najib Razak announced.
Only one of them will get a chance to fly to space and live onboard the International Space Station for 10 days. I bet the pilot will get the nod.

Super Mario: Blue Twilight DX

Super Mario: Blue Twilight DX is an unofficial game created by a fan based on the popular Nintendo Super Mario series. It combines elements from 3D Mario titles with classic, 2D gameplay, set in Halloween-themed levels. Go Mario!

(Thanks jhung9)

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

So where the bloody hell are you?



So where the bloody hell are you? is Australia's latest attempt to get more people from all over the world to come and visit the country. The TV ad depicts several Aussies saying things like, "We've poured you a beer and we've had the camels shampooed." It ends with a lady in bikini saying, "So where the bloody hell are you?"

In the UK and some countries, the TV ad has been banned and a censored version is forced to run in its place. Apparently the word "Bloody Hell" isn't suitable for TV in those countries.

Click here to view the full TV ad on YouTube. You can also view it at the official site. To listen to the "So where the hell are you?" official song, go to the official site and click Send A Postcard. The song will then play in the background once the new page loads.

I was thinking what will it be like if Singapore does a similar tourism ad campaign. Well, here is just an idea. Nabeh, where you?



Lots of people will be flocking to our little island with this one!

Build a lightsaber

Build your own lightsaber in 33 minutes using parts you can get from a plumbing store. Blade not included.

(Thanks Manni)

Google China censors image search

Here's a Google Image search on Tiananmen.




And here's another image search on Tiananmen but this time using Google China.



See the difference? Where are all the Chinese tanks pics?

There you have it. Google China censorship at work. For more info on the Tiananmen Square incident in 1989, click here.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

The anti-social networking site

Friendster, Myspace, Orkut. These are just some of the popular social networking sites out there. Finally, someone decided to create one which is uniquely different. Introducing the first anti-social networking site called isolatr. With its patented technology, it will help you find where other people aren't. It also comes with an instant messaging client that will always list you as Away and if people tried to contact you, it will set their hands on fire. Hahaha! I like that.

Excited? Don't be. Because this is just a parody. Dang!

A blog for your dreams

Dreamsbox is an interesting project that seeks to document people's dreams. If you have a dream and wish to share it with others, just post it there. I had a fun time reading some of the entries. These people can really dream! The following is a favourite of mine. From Dreamsbox:
I had a strange dream in which, I was walking in my underground carpark and I saw a girl there so I went up to her, and found out she was selling flowers. When I approached her, she looked up to me and then took my hand and she led me to my own apartment, and into my own room and we started having sex, and halfway through...my parents started banging on the door and I looked down at the girl and it was me! So, I told myself to hide, and I jumped out of my window (I'm on the 28th floor) so I was hanging onto the ledge, waiting... then I woke up.
We all have sex dreams once in a while but that guy's dream is the ultimate. He having sex with himself. Ha! I too have been having strange dreams (quite often nowadays) but most of the time I can barely remember them in detail. Maybe tomorrow morning, if I'm lucky, I may just contribute my own dream to Dreamsbox.

(Thanks maccay)

Singapore gay history according to Wikipedia

For those of you who are interested to learn about the history of homosexuality in Singapore from the early 1800s to 1990s, do check out Wikipedia's entry on it. From Wikipedia:
Meanwhile, several nightlife entrepreneurs realised the unmet social demands of the emerging gay market, and gradually allowed their establishments to cater to gay customers on certain nights. One of the earliest was The Hangar, located in a seculaded area outised the city centre where, for the first time, a large group of gay men could freely congregate and even dance together. Encouraged by this precedent, homosexuals started to patronise other, mainly straight, discos in the city area such as My Place, Black Velvet, West End, El Morroco, The Library, Studio M and even the NCO Club at Beach Road. Nightclubs like Pebbles Bar located on the ground floor of the now demolished Hotel Singapura, and less popularly Treetops Bar at the Holiday Inn, were increasingly packing in the gays and became iconic institutions of the local gay scene. Some heterosexual clubbers complained about this, so the managements of some of these outlets were pressurised by the authorities to display signs proclaiming 'No man and man dancing' (sic). Over time, the ruling was relaxed for fast songs, but same-gender slow dancing continued to be proscribed.
Here's another one for post 2000.

(Thanks Gaylord)

Giant Pacman on Google Maps

Last month, I blogged about the huge Eddie Fuck crop message that was found on Google Maps. Now, a giant pacman has been found on Google Maps too.

(Thanks Fred)

Monday, March 13, 2006

The right font may give you better marks

Phil Renaud is at the end of his sixth semester of university. He finds out the reason why he has been getting good grades recently is because of the font he used for his essays. Do you want A grades for your essays? Use Georgia font. From fadtastic:
Well, would you believe it? My essays written in Georgia did the best overall. This got me thinking as to why that might be: maybe fonts speak a lot louder than we think they do. Especially to a professor who has to wade through a collection of them; Times seems to be the norm, so it really doesn’t set off any subconcious triggers. Georgia is enough like Times to retain its academic feel, and is different enough to be something of a relief for the grader. Trebuchet seems to set off a negative trigger, maybe just based on the fact that it’s not as easy to read in print, maybe on the fact that it looks like something off a blog rather than an academic journal. Who knows.

Andaman earthquakes threaten again

A series of recent earthquakes in the Andaman region has put Thailand on alert. Thai authorities are worried that these quakes are a sign of a real big one to come. One that may trigger the dreaded tsunami. From Xinhua:
Thailand will begin to draw up evacuation plans for provinces along its southern coastline after waves of underwater tremors struck the region last week.

"The situation is worrying and we want to alert local authorities and people so that they can prepare for an evacuation"if a big quake strikes, Smith Dharmasarojana, the head of the National Committee on Natural Disaster Warning, was quoted by Bangkok Post as saying Monday.
Over in Perlis, Malaysia, the state government has put its Fire and Rescue Department on extra alert. From The Star:
Kangar Station operations officer Zaharul Amin Ahmad said they received instructions from the department’s state director Pauzan Ahmad to ensure that firemen were on standby to handle any emergency.

He said the Thai government had alerted those staying along the coast to be on the alert after detecting some changes in the sea currents.
Here's a map showing the series of recent earthquakes in the Andaman region.

I love Coke!



What's not to love when your favourite drink has your favourite girl on it?

I love Coca Cola! I love Coca Cola! I love Coca Cola!

Get your Jun Ji Hyun Coke wallpaper here and here.

(Thanks sista19 and Elton)

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Fix your own vibrator

Imagine this scenario. One night while using your vibrator, it suddenly fails to work. It can't be. You just bought new batteries. Horrors! The vibrator ain't vibrating anymore.

What are you going to do? Who do you call? Erm. How about fixing it yourself?

(Thanks xXx)

IE7.com

IE7.com = Firefox?

This must be the work of a hardcore Firefox fan.

Hehe.

Go Firefox! Go!

For Microsoft's official IE7 (Internet Explore 7) website, click here.

(Thanks Reddy)

Garbage Scout

Who says you can't find any 'treasure' in garbage? Garbage Scout is a site which uses Google Maps to pinpoint where people in New York can find interesting or useful things that are being thrown away. Definitely a dumpster diver's best companion!

(Thanks Jim)

3D pavement drawings by Julian Beever

Julian Beever is a very talented artist who makes amazing 3D pavement drawings such as this one of a Sony VAIO notebook drawn on a street in London. I also like the series of photos that show him digging up a street for treasure.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Conversation of the week

It's always nice to get a phone call from a friend early in the morning.

Shyller: Where are you?

Me: I'm now at a park mate.

Shyller: Park? What are you doing there?

Me: Watching the sunrise.

Shyller: Sunrise? That was like more than an hour ago.

Me: I know but they are going to do an instant replay.

Shyller: Really?

Google's plan for world domination revealed

Some dude took a photograph of a whiteboard in Google Campus that shows a highly detailed plan by Google to rule the world. The word Google OS can be clearly seen on the whiteboard which only confirms what some have speculated all along that Google is planning an operating system of its own. What's more surprising are the words found on the whiteboard such as spy satellite, orbital mind control and buy New Zealand.

(Thanks Sir Thomas)

The first Chopper PC is here!

This is completely insane. Here is a company that specialises in building computers using the body frame of a chopper. Each of their Chopper Computers is custom made. You can tell them how you want your Chopper Computer to look like. Besides the radical design, the Chopper Computer has a unique water cooling technology that can be found in the gas tank. The only thing that is missing for me is a cool handle bar and maybe a front wheel.

Origami is indeed an ultra mobile pc... yawn


Microsoft has finally revealed details of its much hyped Origami. Origami is actually the code name for Microsoft's Ultra-Mobile PC (UMPC) project. According to Microsoft, the Origami project's goal is to create a small touch-screen PC that is highly mobile/portable and easy to use. Microsoft is currently working with Samsung, Asus and Founder for the first batch of UMPCs. It is providing the operating system, the Windows XP Tablet edition to run the UMPCs in addition to a new set of software built exclusively for the UMPC called the Microsoft Touch Pack.

The Microsoft Touch Pack is designed to make it easier to interact with the UMPC. It is a set of five main applications. They are the Program Launcher - a customizable interface that let's you quickly get to the programs and websites , Brilliant Black - a Windows Media Player skin that allows you to interact the interface with your finger, DialKeys - for typing text on the touch-screen computer, Touch Improvements - settings that make Windows easier to use and view and lastly Sudoku - a popular game.

Hmmm. That's all?

Yup. Yawn.

Previously: Origami is an ultra mobile pc....yawn

Thursday, March 09, 2006

IZ Reloaded Chinese Restaurant



IZ Reloaded reader r'chelle sent a picture of the IZ Reloaded Chinese Restaurant. Wow. I didn't know I have a chinese restaurant. Ha! Ha! Nice tagline too. Btw, don't go searching for this restaurant because it doesn't exist. r'chelle used the Chinese Restaurant Sign Generator to create this pic.

(Thanks r'chelle)

The Four Sisters

Today on my photoblog Katoomba Syndrome: The Four Sisters

Hottest temperature on Earth is hotter than the sun

The record for the hottest temperature on Earth has been set by scientists working with the largest X-ray generator in the world known as the Z machine. They have created superheated gas with temperatures exceeding 3.6 billion degrees Fahrenheit. That's hotter than the Sun's interior. The best part is that they have no idea how they did it. From LiveScience.com:
Sandia researchers still aren’t sure how the machine achieved the new record. Part of it is probably due to the replacement of the tungsten steel wires with slightly thicker steel wires, which allow the plasma ions to travel faster and thus achieve higher temperatures.

One thing that puzzles scientists is that the high temperature was achieved after the plasma’s ions should have been losing energy and cooling. Also, when the high temperature was achieved, the Z machine was releasing more energy than was originally put in, something that usually occurs only in nuclear reactions.

Lego Batman

Lego is launching its new line of Batman toys. In 4 hours time, you can preview the toys at Lego's Batman website. Over there, you can also read the first episode of the Lego Batman online comic titled The Great Escape.

(Thanks loudrope)

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

1978 Star Wars Holiday Special

If some of you thought that the Star Wars prequels were not as good as the original trilogy, then maybe you have not seen the Star Wars Holiday Special. It is so bad that Goerge Lucas has been trying to get rid of every single copy of it since 1978. I think I'm gona be sick.

The Transition: A car that flies

Flying cars will soon be a reality thanks to the Transition. It is a Personal Air Vehicle (PAV) designed to make general aviation more practical for personal transportation. The Transition will be capable of driving at normal highway speeds, flying at speeds that approach the light sport aircraft limit, and parking in a standard garage. You will need a light sport pilot's license in addition to a driving license to drive and fly the Transition.

(Thanks dykes)

Touch yourself with iBuzz

Now you can enjoy more than just music when you listen to your iPod. Introducing the iBuzz. It is a music activated sex toy. It works with the iPod or any other portable music player. Just plug the iBuzz into your iPod, play your music and the iBuzz will vibrate to the sound of the music.

(Thanks Giselle Loh)

Origami is an ultra mobile pc....yawn



Microsoft's much hyped Origami. Not an iPod killer. Not a PDA killer. Not a PSP killer. Not a laptop killer. It is just a personal computer that is getting real small. Microsoft's Origami partner Intel calls it the Ultra Mobile PC. I call it the big yawn.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Posh Spice 10 Style Commandments

I doubt anyone would want to look like Victoria Beckham aka Posh Spice but for those who want to, here is Victoria's 10 Style Commandments. From This is London:
Rule 9 - Trust In A Few Faithful Opinions
"Generally, I go with my own instincts when it comes to fashion. It's such a personal thing, so of course you're not going to get it right in everyone's eyes. On the whole, I've given up asking for other people's opinions, but I do still listen to the views of my mum and my sister, Louise, who I guess is my main shopping buddy."

Rule 10 - It's Fun To Experiment, But Follow Some Classic Style Must-Dos
It's great to make a statement now and again, but try and stick to a few classic guidelines. I always think if you're revealing lots of cleavage, you should have your legs hidden. Or if you want to show some leg, wear a jumper dress on top. Don't let it all hang out; it's much sexier to leave a little to the imagination."
(Thanks Ju)

China wants world to share bird flu info

China which was criticized several months ago for refusing to share samples of bird flu, is now asking the world to share more information about bird flu cases. From CNN:
Few developing countries other than China have submitted bird flu samples from humans to international organizations, the state-run China Daily newspaper said, citing an unidentified Agriculture Ministry official.

"The international community should further improve the information-sharing mechanism for the disease," the official was quoted as saying.

The report came as health experts were attending a World Health Organization conference in Geneva, Switzerland that was meant to produce guidelines for public health officials to stop a possible human pandemic in its early stages.

Lots of Brokeback Mountain mashups

Brokeback Mountain may not have won Best Picture at this year's Oscars but that hasn't stop its legions of fans from creating many trailer mashups like this one called Brokeback Snake Mountain (Brokeback Mountain meets my favourite cartoon of all time, He-Man).

Here are other Brokeback Mountain trailer mashups: Brokeback Island (Brokeback Mountain meets Lost), The Brokeback Phantom Menace (Brokeback Mountain meets Star Wars: The Phantom Menace), Brokeback to the Future (Brokeback Mountain meets Back to the Future), Scrubs Mountain (Brokeback Mountain meets Scrubs), Brokeback of The Ring (Brokeback Mountain meets Lord of the Rings), Brokeback Justice League (Brokeback Mountain meets Justice League), Spongeback Mountain (Brokeback Mountain meets Spongebob Square Pants), Brokeback Hobbiton (Brokeback Mountain meets the Hobbits), The Empire Breaks Back (Brokeback Mountain meets Star Wars), The Brokeback Samurai (Brokeback Mountain meets The Last Samurai), Brokeback Gump (Brokeback Mountain meets Forest Gump), Brokeback Hunting (Brokeback Mountain meets Good Will Hunting), Brokeback Team America (Brokeback Mountain meets Team America), Shellback Mountain (Brokeback Mountain meets Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles), Brokeback Trek (Brokeback Mountain meets Star Trek) and Brokeback Penguin (Brokeback Mountain meets March of the Penguins).

Here's the original Brokeback Mountain trailer.
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