Monday, July 31, 2006

How to apologize Japanese style



This video teaches you how you can do the Dogeza, the Japanese art of apologizing. Might come in handy during moments when saying sorry is simply not good enough.

(Video posted on YouTube by BarutoKaido)

(Thanks raphuiel)

Previously: How to eat at a sushi-ya

The end of the world according to...

Over at EndOfWorld.net, you can view a funny flash animation showing how the world is going to end. Damn those nuclear weapons.

(Thanks ENG)

The World Map of Happiness

The World Map of Happiness is the world's first interactive map to illustrate the international differences in happiness. The map is based on an analysis of the results from over 100 studies. It uses data published by by UNESCO, the CIA, the New Economics Foundation, the WHO, the Veenhoven Database, the Latinbarometer, the Afrobarometer, and the UNHDR. Singapore is at number 53 in the Satisfaction With Life rankings, way below neighbour Malaysia who is at number 17.

(Thanks Shawn)

Malaysia bans unsuitable names

Malaysians will not be able to name their children Chow Tow, Hitler or 007 because of a new rule that prohibits parents from giving their children unsuitable names. From BBC:
Now names like the Hokkien Chinese Ah Chwar, meaning snake, and Khiow Khoo, meaning hunchback, are being ruled out.

So too are Cantonese monikers Chow Tow, meaning smelly head, and Sor Chai, meaning insane.

Members of Malaysia's Tamil community will be discouraged from using the likes of Karrupusamy (black god), and Malays from trying names like Woti, meaning sexual intercourse.

But the ban extends further.

Parents will not be able to call their babies after animals, insects, fruit, vegetables or colours.

Friday, July 28, 2006

How to write an email

Here's an easy guide to writing emails and how to get a promt reply from your recipient. From Blue Flavour:
Short emails rule. When I get an email that's several pages long, I have to make some decisions: do I have time to handle this now? Is it important enough to come back to? Can I pass it on to someone else? If I can't say yes to any of these, I will probably never get back to it.

You may have lots of information to share, but in email you are in a long list of others competing for your recipient's attention. Keeping it brief is a sign of respect, and it's less likely to cause added stress to your reader.

Supporting material or other important info can be attached, but keep it separate from who you are, what your issue is, and what you want from me.

If you're passing a thread along, trim what isn't needed. Why make the email look longer than it really is?
(Thanks GeekGod)

Lebanese blogger finds something positive out of the war

Jamal, a blogger from Lebanon reports on Day 16 of the terrible war in his country. Finally, he has found something positive out of the war. He lost weight! From Jamal's Propaganda Site:
If you look beyond the 500 civilians killed so far and the immeasurable pain and suffering he inflicted on the people of Lebanon and the people of Israel for that matter, you might find a positive.

Back in January I tipped the scales at 96.5 Kg. When I saw that number I freaked out and started a serious diet. My goal was 89 Kg, but when I hit 91 Kg I was content with my achievement and went back to pigging out. Since then I've hovered around that weight.

Today, after 2 weeks under siege and no working elevator, I weigh 87.5 Kg.

I look and feel great. Heck, Ariel Sharon has had tubes up every orifice in his body over that same period of time, he has kept a strict diet of liquid dripping from a sac(yummyyy), he's had half his brain removed, and he probably still weighs more than me.

Surveillance planes are overhead now. That's usually a sign that the F-16s will be following soon.

Netscape.com hacked by Digg users



Digg copycat Netscape.com has been defaced by who else, but Digg users. From F-Secure:
Netscape.com has been hacked via a persistent Cross Site Scripting (XSS) vulnerability in their newly launched Digg-like news service. Attackers (who are obviously fans of Digg) have used the XSS vulnerability to inject their own javascript code snippets into pages on the website, including the homepage. As of now, it has only been used to display javascript alerts with "comical" messages and to redirect visitors to Digg.com!

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Singapore kids spell better than Aussies

It is official! Kids in Singapore are better at spelling than their Aussie counterparts according to writing tests conducted by the University of NSW. From The Australian:
About 9 per cent of Year 3 students in Singapore could spell words such as chaotic, dilemma, laborious, perceive and voyage, while only 1 per cent of Year 3 students in NSW reached an equivalent score.

The improvement in students' spelling over two years was also markedly different, with 36.5 per cent of Year 5 students in Singapore able to spell at the same level, compared with 12 per cent of Year 5 students in NSW.

The tests, conducted by Educational Assessment Australia at UNSW and involving more than 110,000 Australians and more than 10,000 Singaporeans, required students to construct a news story based on an event.

Watch Back To the Future I and II on a split screen

Here's a treat for fans of the Back to the Future movies. You can now watch a synchronized split-screen of 'The Enchantment Under the Sea' scene from Back to the Future parts I and II on Google Video. Makes me want to watch the entire Back to the Future trilogy again.

(Thanks JayJay)

Famous logos redesigned Web 2.0 style

Famous logos like Fanta, Lego, NBC and UPS redesigned, Web2.0 style! Dang. Some of them are really good. In fact, they are much better than their current version.

Did Israel intentionally bomb the UN post?

Israel says it was an accident when it bombed a UN post in Lebanon but seriously, how can it be an accident when they were given 16 pleas to stop the bombing? From Guardian Unlimited:
The Unifil commander, Major General Alain Pellegrini, 59, who has served in international missions in Bosnia and Sarajevo, made several calls to a liaison team within the Israeli military, known as the foreign affairs unit, to say the strikes were dangerously close to his troops.

An Irish army officer in the area also warned the Israeli military six times that their attacks were putting UN observers at risk, Ireland's foreign ministry said yesterday. "On six separate occasions he was in contact with the Israelis to warn them that their bombardment was endangering the lives of UN staff in south Lebanon," a department of foreign affairs spokesman said. "He warned, 'You have to address this problem or lives may be lost.'"

But at 6.30pm four artillery shells landed inside the UN position at Khiyam. "It caused extensive material damage to the building," Mr Strugar said. An hour later, two bombs landed at the site. One fell within the UN position, the other hit the building, killing the four observers. "It completely destroyed the position," Mr Strugar said.
Meanwhile, China which lost one of its citizens in the bombing has called the UN to condemn Israel for attacking the UN post. From China Daily:
"For China and for others," China's UN Ambassador Wang Guangya said, "we condemn this because I think any attack on the United Nations positions and the United Nations personnel is inexcusable and unacceptable."

Also on Wednesday, Chinese President Hu Jintao expressed "deep condolences" over the death of Chinese UN observer Lieutenant-Colonel Du Zhaoyu and expressed utmost sympathy to his family.

The president instructed officials to condemn the attack, said a statement from the Foreign Ministry.

Hu "demanded the departments concerned properly handle the aftermath of the incident and take every measure necessary to ensure the safety of Chinese nationals in Lebanon," it said.
So the question still remains. Did Israel intentionally bomb the UN post? Investigations are under way but one person thinks he knows the answer. Former Australian Deputy Prime Minister says that rouge elements within the Israel military are behind the attack. From News.com.au:
Mr Fischer, who gained combat experience while serving with the Australian Army in the Vietnam War, said Israel and Hezbollah guerrillas in Lebanon were to blame for the increasingly bloody cross border conflict.

He said the Israeli response to Hizbollah left Israel open to criticism.

"I blame both sides. The Katushya rockets (fired by Hezbollah), their first salvo in Nazareth killed two Arab Israelis," Mr Fischer told ABC radio.

"Clearly there are rogue elements on both sides of the border. There is a rogue element in the Israeli military machine and it's about time the world called a spade a spade and recognised that that element has been there for several years and continues.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Latest 40 LiveJournal images

Ever wondered what images are LiveJournal users posting on their blogs? This website allows you to view the latest 40 images posted to LiveJournal. Just refresh the page to see the latest. I've been refreshing non-stop for the last 5 minutes. Hehe.

(Thanks morton27)

How to make a coin ring

Dude provides instructions on how you can make your very own coin ring. All you need is a coin, a hammer (or spoon?!), some steel and a good drill. I have some doubts if you can actually fold the edge of a coin like what he says but oh well, try it out and tell me if it works.

(Thanks Mr Big)

Elephant Pepper: Buy sauce and save an elephant

You can now buy Elephant Pepper, a line of chilli products made from the same chillis that African farmers are growing to keep elephants away from their crops. From LiveScience:
Elephants do not like capsaicin, the chemical in chilis that makes them hot. So farmers surround maize and other crops with buffers of chilis. They also mixed crushed chilis with used grease and smear it on fences. And they mix chili with animal dung to make briquettes, then burn them at night to create a noxious smoke.

Chilies are also sold to the Elephant Pepper brand for hot sauce products, which have been marketed in South Africa, Zambia, Botswana. They are now available in the United States, the WCS announced today.

Proceeds from the sales of the products are then donated to Elephant Pepper Development Trust.

"The Elephant Pepper product line now offers U.S. consumers a means of supporting both elephants and sustainable development in Africa," said James Deutsch, director of WCS’ Africa Program.

Unflinching Triumph



Last month, I blogged about the funny animated video of the World Cup Staring Competition. Today, I found out that there exists a real staring competition in the US. Organised by the National Association of Staredown Professionals, staredown contests got the attention of a filmmaker who decided to make a documentary film about the underground world of professional staredown. He then made his film titled Unflinching Triumph free for anyone to watch. Above is the trailer of Unflinching Triumph. You can watch the entire film on its website.

Previously: World Cup Staring Competition

Ashes to space service in China

Soon, people in China can send the ashes of their loved ones to space. The US firm Space Services which delivers cremated human remains to space, is hoping to offer its services to the Chinese market. From USATODAY:
"With the growth and success of the Chinese space program, people here will be more space-aware and will find space to be an appropriate venue for memorial services," said Charles Chafer, chief executive officer of Houston, Texas-based Space Services Inc.

Chafer said his company is discussing an arrangement with Beijing Great Wall Chinese Shrine, a funeral home and columbarium in the Chinese capital.

... Chafer said he hoped to arrange a distributorship with the Beijing funeral home but couldn't say when that might happen.

Sun Yi, the vice general manager of Great Wall Shrine, said two people in Beijing have expressed interest in the service but declined to give details.

Space Services ships either 1 or 7 grams (0.04 or 0.28 ounces) of a person's cremated remains — less than 1% of the remains of the average cremation.

They travel in lipstick-size containers aboard commercial rockets carrying other cargo.

Eurovision coming to South East Asia

South East Asia may have its own version of Eurovision, the popular singing contest in Europe. Malaysian Foreign Minister hopes that his proposal can build regional unity among the ASEAN people. From Reuters:
In a region where late-night karaoke knows no shame, and national leaders sometimes sing on request, the idea for a song contest caught fire at a meeting of foreign ministers this week.

Malaysia, chair of the Association of South East Nations (ASEAN), suggested styling it on the "Idol" TV series, with contestants voted off until only the winner was left singing.

It could help bring the region's masses of young people into the ASEAN swing of things, Malaysian Foreign Minister Syed Hamid Albar was quoted as saying in a local newspaper on Tuesday.

"This will also make it easier for them to work together for ASEAN because they would from an early age be made to feel part of the association," he said.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

The Internet in 1996

Dude looks back to the year 1996 when websites are so damn ugly! From eKarjala:
You'll notice a few things about Bestbuy.com. The first thing is that although Best Buy has cornered the market on computers, their website looks like complete ass. The second is that they, too, are obsessed with Dalmatians, going so far as to include an "101 Dalmatians Holiday Savings Coupon Book." Sounds pretty good, but not good enough to reward Best Buy with the annual "Your Dalmatian Location" trophy. The last thing you will notice about this website is that there is a pig on the left who is giving us a gift. When I actually visited the website, he was animated: he pulled out the gift from behind his back and then presented it to me, as if I was supposed to know who the fuck he was and why I had made his gift list. Next time I'm in 1996 remind me to never visit Bestbuy.com.
(Thanks Ken)

Who friends who in the Middle East?

Who friends who? Who hates who in the Middle East? Slate has a cool Middle East Buddy List which charts all the players in the Middle East and their relationships with one another.

Somewhere in a remote farm



Taken with the ultra cool HP iPAQ rw6828. Video made using eyespot. The beautiful song in the video is 'Falling Away with You' by Muse.

Used cars smuggled from Singapore into Batam

Used cars in Singapore are in huge demand especially to those who are interested to smuggle them into Batam. The Jakarta Post reports that smuggling of used cars from Singapore into Batam is a daily occurance and even the Indonesian police, navy, army and the customs office are in the act as well. From The Jakarta Post:
"As soon as the ship arrives, the drivers have to immediately go aboard and climb into the cars. No lights are allowed, everyone must work in the dark," Sumandi said.

The ship and the land are only separated by two wooden planks just wider than the car's tires. Hitting the brakes is not an option because it would set off the back lights.

"All roads that we will pass through have been 'cleared' by the police officers paid by our boss. We're just avoiding officers who are not satisfied with the agreed payment," Sumandi said.

He said the police aiding the smuggling operation received payments of up to Rp 1.5 million each, but he did not know how much their bosses got.

The business is a profitable one. An importer who buys a used car at a price of between S$3,000 and $8,000 in Singapore can sell it in Batam for up to $30,000, depending on its type and year. If the car is sent outside Batam to Medan or Jakarta it means even more profits.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Top Ten Signs I'm not Superman

Reader Johnny Q sent me this list of top ten signs why I'm not Superman. Great, Johnny. Next time when you are in trouble, don't hope that I will fly to come and save you mate.

Top Ten Signs I'm not Superman

1. The only way you got the pickle jar open was by smashing it with a hammer.

2. Exposure to Kryptonite only gives you a ringing in the ears.

3. Evil supervillains don't know your girlfriend or where she lives.

4. When your therapist says "Lex," you say "-us"

5. The armor piercing bullets rip through your flesh like a hot knife through butter.

6. Instead of "It's a bird, it's a plane..." people say "What the fuck is that ugly thing?"

7. Your home planet is still habitable, but your father sent you here anyway.

8. You look pretty dorky in a cape.

9. Your X-Ray vision only enables you to see through glass.

10. Your application to the Justice League was rejected.

(Thanks Johnny Q)

Super Mario War

Super Mario War is a fanmade Super Mario multiplayer game which uses artwork and sounds from the Nintendo games. Your mission is to stomp as many other Marios as possible to win the game. Features up to four players deathmatch fun!

(Thanks voicuz)

Kim Jong Il has a blog!

North Korean dictator Kim Jong Il keeps an online journal of his conversations with George Bush. LOL. From Kim Jong Il (the illmatic)'s Journal:
License2KimJongill: Knock Knock
Bush43: Oh for Christs sake
License2KimJongill: Knock Knock
Bush43: Fine. Who's there?
License2KimJongill: Wait I messed up.
License2KimJongill: Let me start all over again.
License2KimJongill: Knock Knock.
Bush43: Who's there?
License2KimJongill: Typo.
Bush43: Typo who?
License2KimJongill: Typo Dong Missile!
Bush43: You don't scare me Kim.
Bush43: Bring it on!
License2KimJongill: Oh I will
Bush43: Knock Knock
License2KimJongill:Who's there?
Bush43: Economic sanctions and six way party talks!
License2KimJongill: Uh
License2KimJongill: I don't think you understand the structure of the knock knock joke.

PlayPumps

The PlayPump is an ingenious solution for rural African communities to get easy access to clean drinking water. Installed near schools, the PlayPump doubles as a water pump and a merry-go-round for children. This is how the PlayPump works. When children play and spin the PlayPump, clean water is pumped from underground into a tank standing seven meters above the ground. To collect water, just turn on the tap. It's that easy and fun.

(Thanks perry)

ESPN Sportscenter Hotdog Challenge video infringes copyright says ESPN

Over the weekend, I received an email from YouTube saying that they had to disable a video that I posted to the site because it is infringing. Here's the email:
Dear Member:

This is to notify you that we have removed or disabled access to the following material as a result of a third-party notification by ESPN claiming that this material is infringing:

ESPN Sportscenter Hotdog Challenge: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D9N--9JvhE4

Please Note: Repeat incidents of copyright infringement will result in the deletion of your account and all videos uploaded to that account. In order to avoid future strikes against your account, please delete any videos to which you do not own the rights, and refrain from uploading additional videos that infringe on the copyrights of others. For more information about YouTube's copyright policy, please read the Copyright Tips guide.

If you elect to send us a counter notice, to be effective it must be a written communication provided to our designated agent that includes substantially the following (please consult your legal counsel or see 17 U.S.C. Section 512(g)(3) to confirm these requirements):

(A) A physical or electronic signature of the subscriber.

(B) Identification of the material that has been removed or to which access has been disabled and the location at which the material appeared before it was removed or access to it was disabled.

(C) A statement under penalty of perjury that the subscriber has a good faith belief that the material was removed or disabled as a result of mistake or misidentification of the material to be removed or disabled.

(D) The subscriber's name, address, and telephone number, and a statement that the subscriber consents to the jurisdiction of Federal District Court for the judicial district in which the address is located, or if the subscriberis address is outside of the United States, for any judicial district in which the service provider may be found, and that the subscriber will accept service of process from the person who provided notification under subsection (c)(1)(C) or an agent of such person.

Such written notice should be sent to our designated agent as follows:

DMCA Complaints
YouTube, Inc.
PO Box 2053
San Mateo, CA 94401
Email: copyright@youtube.com

Please note that under Section 512(f) of the Copyright Act, any person who knowingly materially misrepresents that material or activity was removed or disabled by mistake or misidentification may be subject to liability.

Sincerely,
YouTube, Inc.

Copyright © 2006 YouTube, Inc.
Great work ESPN! I wonder how infringing can a 33 seconds clip of two of your presenters eating hotdog be. I posted the clip on YouTube and on my blog posting on July 7. In that post, I reported the bizarre thing that happened during an ESPN Sportscenter news episode in which the two presenters began challenging each other in a hotdog competition. I captured a video of it and then decided to use it to accompany my posting since I felt that no amount of words can describe how funny it was. I wasn't in anyway out to infringe the copyrights of ESPN. And hey, I even provided few seconds of exposure for their sponsor Toyota at the end of the clip. So lighten up ESPN.

Previously: ESPN Sportscenter Hotdog Challenge

Friday, July 21, 2006

Inspirational Posters

VIRGINITY

Need some inspiration? Here's a collection of Inspirational Posters. I'm sure you can find one that will inspire you.

How to win at Monopoly

Next time when I play Monopoly, you guys better watch out. All your properties will be mine! Muahahahaha (evil laughter)! From About:
# Know the odds. Most players make a complete lap around the board in five turns; you're likely to roll doubles once in those five turns (doubles happen about 17 percent of the time).
# Buy smart. Always pick up available properties if: (1) no other player owns one of the same group; (2) the purchase would give you two or three of the same group; or (3) it blocks someone else from completing a set.
# Remember that Illinois Avenue is the square most often landed on (not including Jail). The B&O Railroad also is among those most landed on; Go rounds out the top three.
# Railroads are better to own than utilities, but utilities should be purchased if the opportunity arises (especially if you can get both of them). Short Line is the least useful railroad to own, because it is visited least often.
(Thanks GeekGod)

Descendant of Jesus and Mary Magdalene publishes novel

Those of you who love The Da Vinci Code will be glad to know that a new book more controversial than Dan Brown's best seller will be out in bookstores soon. Titled The Expected One, it is a religious thriller written by none other than a descendant of the union between Jesus and Mary Magdalene. Or so, she claims. From USATODAY:
McGowan's novel, like The Da Vinci Code, is replete with conspiracies, hidden documents and a Vatican hierarchy that keeps close watch on individuals searching for secrets hidden for 2,000 years.

But that's where the similarities end. The Expected One is the story of Maureen Paschal, a woman who begins to have visions of Mary Magdalene, discovers she is a descendant of Mary and Jesus and undergoes a dramatic search for a gospel written by Mary that is hidden in southwestern France. In a parallel plot, McGowan tells what she says is the actual story of the marriage and children of Jesus and Mary Magdalene.

The title of the book, she explains, is taken from an ancient prophecy that tells of a woman chosen by divine providence to bring the real story of Mary Magdalene's life to the world.

McGowan calls this a novel but says it mirrors her own life. Maureen's visions, she says, are "verbatim" accounts of her own visions of Mary Magdalene. "Maureen is a fictional character," she says, "but there is a lot of me in Maureen. I know it will be hard for people to accept this, but it's true."
You can read a preview of her book here.

How to blog and keep your job

The BBC offers some tips on how to blog and keep your job. From BBC:
Remember you can never be entirely sure who is reading
Don't rely on a pseudonym to preserve anonymity
Be aware of the dangers of defamation
Respect copyright and intellectual property laws
Avoid jokes which could provoke a sexual or racial harassment claim
Previously: Fired Bloggers Update

Thursday, July 20, 2006

NDP 2006 tickets hit eBay and Yahoo! Auctions

National Day is coming and tickets to this year's parade have hit eBay and Yahoo! Auctions. The tickets are given out free but because they are so highly sought after, some enterprising ticket holders have decided to cash out by selling them. I decided to go to eBay and Yahoo! Auctions to check out some "good" buys.



wsonica is selling four yellow sector NDP 2006 actual day tickets on eBay. She writes, "On sale are 4 tickets to NDP (National Day Parade) 2006 on 9 August. (serial no. 032923-032926) Selling because I have extras. Seats are located in the yellow sector of the stadium. Here is your chance to catch the last NDP Parade at the National Stadium together with your family and friends!" So far, she has received 32 bids with the highest at S$243!



Another eBay seller is selling his four green sector NDP 2006 actual day tickets because his "family can't go to the parade due to last minute personal matter." The current bid is at S$252! He has received 11 bids so far.



Tickets for the Preview parade are also on sale like this one by genlex2004 on Yahoo! Auctions. He is selling two green sector NDP 2006 Preview tickets at S$80 each. The dude also has a sms service to accept orders. How enterprising!

But not everyone is selling their tickets. yiling on Yahoo! Auctions who has two white sector (VIP) NDP 2006 Preview tickets, wants to trade her two VIP tickets with four normal NDP tickets.



And for those of you who do not want to buy NDP tickets, how about getting a NDP 2006 Goody Bag instead? aw jacqueline is selling it for S$25. She writes on Yahoo! Auctions, "NDP Goody Bag comprising of an electric cap studded with mini-light bulbs depicting the Singapore flag. Beautiful especially at night! Also include a Nokia handphone torch light. Truly one of its kind!Other items include a large and durable bagpack, Singapore flag with stand, NDP 2006 tattoo, Pong bong sticks x2, magazine, catalogue, cookies, newater, etc."

Ah the spirit of National Day.

Top 10 coolest superhero costumes

Dude lists his top 10 coolest superhero costumes. The number 1 on his list is Spiderman. From This Man... This Monster!:
From the angular, opaque eyes to the way the gloves, shoulders and chest and all integrated in one smooth, flowing pattern, Spider-Man broke the mold when it came to coolness. I've read that Ditko always tried to design his costumes so that, even if a panel only displayed an arm or a leg, it would still be instantly recognizable. This is most evident in Spidey's case. With but a glimpse of the distinctive red webbing pattern that has been driving inkers mad since 1962, we are immediately aware that Spider-Man is on the scene.

Spider-Man's costume is unique in that it was designed within the story to be cool, at least in the eyes of its creator. Peter Parker needed to whip up a flashy costume for his big debut on the Ed Sullivan Show, and the end result really looks like something a 17-year-old nerd would sew together in his aunt's basement. Pete threw together some blue and red tights, spiderwebs attached at the armpits (!), a big corny spider on the back and a mask that left his face completely covered (presumably to hide the ravages of acne that are all too common during those awkward years), and somehow ended up with perhaps the second most recognizable superhero costume in history.
Go ahead and send him hatemails for leaving out Batman. There's no Superman too.

(Thanks kraptor15)

Pizza anyone?

This is what will happen when we let government and corporations collect information about our personal life and habits. They will be able track our purchases, our medical records, our relationships, etc. They will eventually eliminate our rights to privacy completely. Watch the flash movie here. Don't forget to turn on your sound. Now, who wants to order pizza? Scary aye.

(Thanks sweetsweet, Juntilla)

Masturbate-a-thon coming to London

A one of a kind marathon will take place in London next month. Called the Masturbate-a-thon, it is expected to attract hundreds of people to gather in a hall in central London to pleasure themselves in aid of charity. From Masturbate-a-thon:
Participants ask friends and loved ones to sponsor them for a certain amount of money for every minute they masturbate during the Masturbate-A-Thon, or simply for having the nerve to turn up and take part!

In aid of global sexual and reproductive health agency Marie Stopes International and HIV/AIDS charity Terrence Higgins Trust, and sponsored by ID Lubricants (UK), the leading UK brand of personal lubricants, the event also aims to act as a public education device to increase the use of self pleasure as a strategy for safer sex. The Masturbate-a-thon seeks to raise awareness of, and dispel the shame and taboos that persist around, this most commonplace, natural and safe form of sexual activity.
There are also prizes up for grabs. From Guardian:
Prizes will be on offer for those who clock up the most orgasms and those who can masturbate the longest - the current record, according to the organisers, is a chafing eight-and-a-half hours.

To qualify for the record, the organisers say "at least 55 minutes of every hour shall be spent self-pleasuring by manual or sex toy stimulation" with participants getting just five minutes to "replenish and renew".
Eight-and-a-half hours!!! Crikey!

(Thanks Sir Thomas)

Blogging the war from Lebanon

Lebanese dude blogs about the destruction in his country caused by the attacks by Israel. From Lebanon Israeli Crisis:
And I'm noticing that this country is really being turned into rubble. I'm about to cry but not from fear, from the fact that there are heartless people out there demolishing and ruining peoples lives and all they can do is laugh about it. Lebanon is being torn to shreds, I don't know what else I can say. It's truly a sad day. My parents are thinking of leaving this place. I swear I feel that if I come back it'll be back to a new Israel and not a Lebanon. It's just too ridiculous. Fuck the nations of the world. I hope they get what they deserve.
He also has several videos of the bombings on his blog.

Bricks and Windows

Today on my photoblog Katoomba Syndrome: Bricks and Windows

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Maybe with salad on the side. Maybe...



Funny menu! It says, "Sausages served with freshly chopped onions and mustard sauce. Maybe with salad on the side. Maybe..."

(Thanks Mitch)

Indonesian govt did not send tsunami warning to its people

As the death toll in the recent Indonesian tsunami rises to 531, the Indonesia government said that it did not send a tsunami warning to people in Java because it did not want to alarm them. WTF! From The Age:
The government yesterday acknowledged it received international warnings about the impending disaster but did not pass them on to threatened communities along Java island's southern coast.

Science and Technology Minister Kusmayanto Kadiman said Indonesia received the bulletins 45 minutes before the tsunami struck but "did not announce them" because they did not want to cause unnecessary alarm.

"If it (the tsunami) did not occur, what would have happened," he said in the capital, Jakarta, without elaborating.

Answering reporters' questions as to why no warning was issued, Vice-President Jusuf Kalla claimed there was no need because most people had fled inland after the earthquake that created the tsunami.

"After the quake occurred, people ran to the hills ... so in actual fact there was a kind of natural early warning system," he said in Jakarta.
Natural early warning system, my ass! The Indonesian government is made up of fools and they should be blamed for the deaths.

Blogs blocked in India

Bloggers in India are angry with the government for blocking access to their blogs hosted by Blogger, Typepad and Blogsite since the weekend. From The Hindu:
The Indian portal, Rediff.com was the first to report the trend on Sunday, quoting a Gurgaon teacher, Mridula Dwivedi, who had discovered the anomaly while trying to visit Blogsite.com blog. Since then, other bloggers established that the "cyber gag" had emanated from a communication from the Central Government on July 13 to all the ISPs, listing some 20 odd sites — mostly blogs — which were to be blocked forthwith.

Coming within days of the Mumbai train blasts, this was seen to be a belated attempt to cut off the lines of communication of extremist groups who might be spreading inflammatory or anti-national messages.

But instead of blocking those specific Web addresses, most service providers seem to have taken the easier way out: they have shut off wholesale all major blogging sites, thereby affecting thousands of lay bloggers whose postings were innocuous.
The Indian government said that it's intention was to ban 17 websites but ended up blocking access to thousands. It has pointed the blame at Indian ISPs. From Hindustan Times:
Dr Gulshan Rai, director of the Computer Emergency Response Team, the apex organisation under the IT Ministry responsible for the nation's cyber-security, told HT: "There's no attempt to block www.blogspot.com from our side. The order issued by the DoT has four blogs hosted on Blogspot.com. The order didn't ask the whole site to be banned."

Then why isn't any Blogspot site opening on most computers? The answer lies in the way our internet service providers -- like Tata, Airtel, Sify and Reliance -- have implemented the order.

"Indian ISPs don't have the technology to block individual name servers -- say a particular blog hosted on Blogspot. So they had no choice but to block the root servers of major blogging networks -- blogspot, geocities and typepad," said a senior official in the IT Ministry. A senior official from an ISP confirmed this.
Meanwhile, this blunder by the Indian government has tarnished India's image in the foreign media. From The Statesman:
By Tuesday afternoon most of the world’s major blogger bastions like BoingBoing.com and Digg.com were discussing the censorship. Mainstream media such as The Inquirer and The Guardian were also slamming the move.

At Digg, one user named CaptainSparrow wrote: “For a democracy like India, this is a shame… censoring is different from blocking/banning… if media ain’t free, fear creeps in… and it wont be a democracy no more... can’t watch India walking in the footsteps of China.” OB Kenobi throws in his bit as he says: “Maybe we should block all those Indian customer service outsourcers”.

The situation is best summed up by Mr Griffin when he said: “The whole world will be laughing at India and its obvious incompetence and lack of knowledge reflected in an ill-conceived and poorly executed Internet ban.”
Update: IZ Reloaded reader Jeevan writes, "I use pkblogs.com to read your blog from India. It is a free blog gateway that allows you to access blogs that are banned in China, Iran and India." (Thanks Jeevan)

Americans blog to express themselves creatively

The Pew Internet & American Life Project has released a report based on a telephone survey of 233 self-identified bloggers conducted between July 2005 and February 2006 to find out more about bloggers in America and why they blog. From Reuters:
About 77 percent of blog authors, or "bloggers," said they post to express themselves creatively rather to get noticed or paid, according to the report, released by the Pew Internet & American Life Project.

The report also found that 37 percent of bloggers cited their life and experiences as their primary topic, while politics and government came in second at 11 percent.

Entertainment was the next most-popular blog topic, with 7 percent, followed by sports, at 6 percent and news at 5 percent. Religion or spirituality was the aim of 2 percent.

About 8 percent of Internet users, or 12 million American adults, keep a blog, Pew estimated. Some 39 percent of U.S. Web users, or 57 million adults, read them, the researchers said.

More than half, or 54 percent, of bloggers are under age 30.

Fishing at the beach

Today on my photoblog Katoomba Syndrome: Fishing at the beach

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Holy Shit! It is World War III?



No wonder I have been sleeping uneasily during the past few nights. Former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich recently said that America is in World War III (watch the video above). Holy Shit! From The Seattle Times:
Gingrich said in the coming days he plans to speak out publicly and to the administration from his seat on the Defense Policy Board about the need to recognize that America is in World War III.

He lists wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, last week's bomb attacks in India, North Korean nuclear threats, terrorist arrests and investigations in Florida, Canada and Britain, and violence in Israel and Lebanon as evidence of World War III.

He said Bush needs to deliver a speech to Congress and "connect all the dots" for Americans.

He said European leaders and some in the Bush administration who are urging a restrained response from Israel are falling short of what needs to be done "because they haven't crossed the bridge of realizing this is a war."
Boy, I sure hope he is wrong.

Why am I so tired?

If you eat right, excercise regularly, sleep 7.5 hours each night, in good health but still feel extremely sluggish throughout the day and literally cannot function without at least two cups of coffee at work and then come home from work and just pass out on your bed exhausted, then surely you would ask yourself, what is wrong with you? Why are you so tired? Hmmm, maybe you should drink more. From Ask Metafilter:
Increase you water intake. I went through the same problem about a year ago. I was getting enough sleep and I was working out regularly. I was only drinking about a liter of water a day. I increased that to about three liters. (The amount varies on your diet and body type). Within a week I noticed a HUGE difference. After about a week and a half I could actually sleep less and feel more alert.

A formula to use:
8oz when you wake up
8oz ever two hours throughout the day
8oz before you go to bed

From what I understand the body is only capable of absorbing 8oz every two hours. Anymore is just jettisoned. So drinking all of it in 1 hour has no real benefit. If you continue to drink that amount of coffee you will need to drink even more water. Try drinking a natural apple juice in the morning instead of coffee. It is proven to give you more energy with less of a crash.

Human Space Invaders



The classic video game Space Invaders, recreated using 67 people sitting in a theatre. From Not So Noisy:
On Saturday June 24, 2006, 67 people sat thus down during almost 4 hours in the steps of room of spectacle Espace Nuithonie in precise places and simulated the pixels of the play. For each of the 390 catches of sights, these human pixels moved or not, of seat in seat. All the images of the performance were assembled to make a 3 minutes of them video. The result: a group of people appearing the vessel defender of the Earth balances individuals on the extraterrestrial armada consisted various groups of people, which, in return, release human beings on the vessel. Was the Earth invaded? Not this time!
(Thanks Sing Huat)

Baby tsunami kills more than 100 in Indonesia

A tsunami with waves up to 2m high triggered by a 7.2 magnitude earthquake off the coast of Java yesterday, has killed more than 100 people. From BBC:
One resident, Teti, said high waves had destroyed hotels in Pangandaran and thrown boats onto the beach.

"Waves suddenly came and we ran to the hills," she told local radio.

"Many small hotels were destroyed," she said. "Boats have been thrown into hotels."

Putu Suryawan, a Red Cross official in the area, said 105 people were believed to have been killed, with 148 injured and 127 still missing.

"Possibly this number could rise because many people are still missing," he told the Reuters news agency.
Survivors of the tsunami include a few expat Australians living in Java. They vow to rebuild the village they called home. From The Age:
"We all felt the quake, but the first we knew of the tsunami was a roar," he said.

"When we looked up, we saw fishing boats sort of jumping in the air out in the bay."

With close friend Andrew Warmbrunn from Melbourne and board supplier Lyal Mackintosh, Malligan said the trio grabbed wives and children "and headed for the hills".

"Boats were going down the street," Warmbrunn said.

"There were about six waves. The second was the biggest and the locals said it was as high as the point, I guess about four or five metres."
Update:

Bloomberg says that the death toll reaches 337. (Thanks Shy)
ChannelNewsAsia has a picture gallery of the tsunami. (Thanks GeekGod)

Monday, July 17, 2006

Ghost exhibition in Malaysia

The Sultan Alam Shah Museum in Selangor, Malaysia is holding a “Genies, Ghost, Coffin?” exhibition till 4 October 2006. On exhibit are "real" ghosts and other spiritual beings that have been exorcised and captured. Also on display is a mermaid. From the star:
Encased in glass, the exhibit is half-a-metre long with hair and scales on its body and the tail of a fish.

The mermaid’s owner, Safuan Abu Bakar, is adamant that the exhibit is real.

He told The Star that he and a group of bomoh (mediums) took months to locate the mermaid “in a secret location in a neighbouring country.”

“After locating it, we performed special prayers, including throwing yellow rice into the sea, to entice the creature out,” he said.

The mermaid died when it surfaced.

A visitor, Mohd Rafi Osman, 35, said he came out of the exhibition with mixed feelings.
For pictures of the ghosts on exhibit, click here. I'm sure they are all hoaxes but they sure give me the creeps.

(Thanks Shy)

Update:

baybe foxx describes her experience at the exhibition: As we entered the place, I felt a bit uncomfortable as the ‘kemenyan’ smell was lingering all around us. It was dark. The first stop was the pontianak cube. All that I could see was a replica being half buried on the ground and nothing else. But a dear friend of mine, two dear frens actually, L and M, said they saw something else...

Stephanie meiyu complains about the queue: It was a disaster i tell! 1st, we went there at night thinking there'll be lesser people, but no!!!! it was my 1st time queuing to go in a Museum and the queue was not normally short but it was longer than the Great Wall of China!!!!!

The Bernama report on the exhibition: "Almost 90 per cent of the exhibits are real and in their original form. Apart from the ghosts, we also have exhibits related to offerings and sacrifices. These artefacts are loaned from Muzium Nurul A'la in Kuang, Selangor," said Mohd Lotfi. In total, there are 100 artefacts related to ghosts and genies exhibited at the museum with 13 ghost artefacts in their original form.

(Thanks Fadz, Rina)

Notice Your Nuts



If after watching this doesn't make you want to look at your nuts, then I think nothing will.

(Thanks Mr Big)

How to make a Chewbacca puppet

Kanja Chen who is a brilliant puppet maker, teaches us how to make a Chewbacca puppet on his Chensational Blog. I remember when I was a kid, I used to make my own puppets out of socks and cardboards after watching The Muppets on tv. It is no suprise that pupetteers like Jim Henson and Frank Oz were my heroes back then.

How to buy a laptop

Buying a new laptop? Then this CNET guide will help you find a suitable one, from choosing which size is good for you to what accessories you may need. From CNET:
The smallest, most lightweight laptops are called ultraportables. Their compact form factor is crucial for people who need to have their PC with them all the time, especially frequent business travelers. What you gain in portability, however, you usually give up in terms of weaker performance, smaller keyboards and displays, and fewer features. And what's more, ultraportable laptops almost always carry a premium price tag. Still, a compact, lightweight profile can make all the difference if you spend a lot of time on the road.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Age-Maps

Age-Maps is a brilliant work done by photographer Bobby Neel Adams. He has a collection of images formed by splicing together two photographs of the same person taken from years apart. You can immediately see how much his subjects have aged through the years. Now I'm tempted to dig out some of my baby photos to try one myself.

(Thanks yvette)

When cute turns naughty

Kawaii Not is a four panel webcomic by freelance illustrator Meghan Murphy, that features cute versions of everyday objects doing and saying naughty things. She also has an icon section where you can use any of her 100x100 Kawaii Not-themed avatars.

(Thanks CalbeeLee)

Fields of Dreams

TIME Magazine has collected some of the best World Cup 2006 pics for their special online photo essay. I like this one by AFP. It is a shot taken of ze German goal when the ball went it to send ze Germans out of the World Cup. Probably the second best World Cup moment for me. The best is of course seeing the Italians lift the trophy.

Aussie sex workers battle it out with their Asian counterparts

Poor Aussies. Even the local prostitutes have to deal with Asian competition. From The Age:
Cut-price Asian sex workers are flooding Australia's sex market, stealing the "bread and butter" of more expensive local prostitutes, a Perth madam says.

West Australian brothel owner Mary-Anne Kenworthy says she spent thousands of dollars investigating Asian women listing their sexual services in Perth newspapers.

She said she found hundreds of the women working out of illegal suburban brothels, for half the going rate of $250 an hour.

The majority of them were working illegally on tourist and student visas and more were arriving all the time, she said.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Zidane headbutt hits the web



The Zidane-Materazzi headbutt incident has taken the internet by storm. Dozens of animation depicting the headbutt have appeared online. Many have been combined into videos with catchy songs like this one above. Here are two more videos.

In the latest news, Zidane has apologised for his headbutt and there is also a talk of a reunion between Zidane and Materazzi, urrmm minus the headbutt of course.

Update:

Here's another video. Mr Big says, "The headbutt is infecting people on the streeets. Everyone is doing it!" (Thanks Mr Big)

And here's the Zidane headbutt recreated using LEGO. (Thanks Rod)

Previously: The Zidane Headbutt

The Mumbai Train Blasts

Dilip D'Souza on the horrific terrorist acts that have shocked the people living in Mumbai and the rest of India... From Death Ends Fun:
Lot of traffic there, sir, says the rickshaw driver when I tell him to take me to Bandra station. Never mind, I say, let's get as close as we can. Turns out we get all the way there in a jiffy, through pouring rain. Fire engines outside, distant disjointed sounds of sirens. Inside the station, people standing around talking, eyeing anyone who walks past. Nearly continuous announcements on the PA system, saying no trains are going anywhere on account of bomb blasts, please stay calm and cooperate with the authorities...

I've travelled in these very compartments, at this very time of day. Hundreds of times. I know how packed they are, how people hang from every inch. What happens to those people packed like that when a bomb left by a non-human goes off in there?
He has more on his blog. For more updates, do check out the Mumbai Train Blasts blog and the Mumbai Help blog.

(Thanks prakash, Illy)

World Cup Staring Competition



This isn't the Fifa World Cup but I reckon it is just as exciting. I'm preparing to take part next year. All I need is a staring partner to train with.

(Thanks rou1in)

England is fifth strongest team in the world

England, which dissapointed many with their performances in the World Cup, has moved up to fifth place in the new Fifa World Rankings. From Times Online:
The rankings, released yesterday, suggest that England are the fifth strongest team in the world, behind Brazil, who retained the top spot, Italy, who are in second place despite their World Cup victory, Argentina and France. Portugal, who also knocked England out in the quarter-finals of Euro 2004, are rated the eighth strongest team.

The new system, which was revamped over the summer, takes into account matches played over the past four years instead of the past eight. It also changes the weighting system, with more importance given to World Cup games rather than friendly matches. Regional strength is also considered, as are opponents, goals scored and conceded, and home or away venues.
England, the fifth strongest team in the world? Haha. What a load of crap!

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Down with Brown?



Looks like the Mr Brown saga has spilled overseas. LOL. Well, the world does need some anti-Brown demonstrations to counter the silent demonstration held in Singapore recently by Mr Brown supporters. This is what Chee Soon Juan, Singapore government's most dislikable man says about the saga:
"What is surprising though is that for once Singaporeans are not sitting back and taking it silently," he told Guardian Unlimited. "Only a few years ago nothing would have happened."

Mr Chee said the government reacted so strongly because the article was in a traditional media outlet. "If it had just been on his blogsite, then I think they would have left him alone," he said.
Previously:
Mr Brown suspended! Suspend the editor too!
Did Mr Brown distort the truth?

World Cup 2010 logo revealed

The logo for the next World Cup in 2010 to be held in South Africa was revealed in Berlin recently. I see a frog jumping over a pork chop. Do you? Maybe it's just me. From IOL:
Some like it, some hate it, others are not so sure. The newly-unveiled 2010 Soccer World Cup logo has been met with a mixed response from Cape Town's soccer fraternity.

The logo, designed for the 2010 event in South Africa, represents the shape of Africa in the colours of our flag. Superimposed over it is a somewhat abstract figure of a footballer, possibly inspired by San art, executing an overhead "bicycle" kick.

Goolam Allie, CEO of Santos Football Club, said that he was not overwhelmingly impressed. "It just didn't say 'Wow' to me. I didn't see it for long but I don't believe I should have to. I am not an artist and as a non-artist something either appeals to me or it doesn't - and this doesn't."

Scoopasia in Marketing Magazine

My favourite guys at Scoopasia just informed me that they have been featured in Marketing Magazine. Congrats mates! From Marketing Magazine:
The website, http://scoopasia.com, receives daily press releases from regional agencies and organisations as well the latest public and private event listings from organisers around Asia. Scoopasia also features job ads from the Asian media and marketing industry.

The site has a free-to-post content policy, RSS syndication as well as useful search and archiving tools like Scoop Line, and access is free without requiring any login.

According to Scoopasia co-founder Melvin Yuan, the concept is a first for Singapore.

“To the best of our knowledge, Scoopasia is the first free and open resource for the media and communications industry and it was started in Singapore for Asia”, Yuan said.
(Disclaimer: I'm an advisor to Scoopasia and will be guest blogging on The Scoop Blog real soon.)

The Zidane Headbutt



Here's a video of the infamous Zidane headbutt incident during the World Cup final, shot in a different angle from the one we saw live on TV. Now the question on everyone's mind is what made Zidane headbutt the Italian defender Marco Materazzi? We now know that the Italian did insult Zidane. From BBC:
"I held his shirt, for only a few seconds," said Materazzi, who had scored Italy's equaliser after Zidane put France ahead from the penalty spot.

"He turned towards me and scoffed at me, looking at me with super arrogance, up and down.

"He said 'if you really want my shirt, you can have it later.'

"It's true, I shot back with an insult."
So what were the actual words he said to Zidane? He did not say but lip readers are out in full force trying to decipher the Italian's words. From The Age:
An Italian lip-reader, who claimed to have deciphered Materazzi's words, told the BBC that Materazzi had said: "I wish an ugly death to you and all your family", and then added, "Go f--- yourself."

Britain's top forensic lip-reader, Jessica Rees - whose skill has led her to be summoned as an expert witness at criminal trials - believed Materazzi called Zidane a "son of a terrorist whore" before he added, "So just f--- off".

The Daily Mail said it, too, engaged a lip-reader who reached the same conclusion as Rees.

Brazil's Globo television also employed lip-reading experts, who concluded Materazzi had twice told Zidane his sister was a "whore", before directing "a coarse word" at him.
Whore. Fuck Off. Verbal insults such as these are a common thing in football. It is the black art of provocation practiced by football players for years to try to gain an advantage over their opponents. From BBC:
"In Italy, it's part and parcel of the game and a basic way of trying to get one over your opposite number," Hateley told BBC Sport.

"That sort of things goes on all the time. It's non-stop with the defenders, especially. They pinch you, try to annoy you by telling you you are playing really badly. I've even known spitting.

"They try and get a reaction from you, it's always been like that and it always will be."
In my opinion, what Zidane did was a disgraceful act no matter how bad the verbal insult he received. You just cannot go headbutting another football player. As the world waits to hear Zidane's own version of the incident, we are being reminded by the following story that headbutting has been around for ages. Even the dinosaurs did it! Maybe it's a male thing afterall. From The Age:
Before we harshly judge Zidane, let's explore the anthropological and cultural origins of the headbutt. As old as the dinosaur, the headbutt is the universal male symbol for territorial aggression when hands and words just aren't enough. The message it sends, in so many words is: I'm angry and don't feel like punching you or beating you fairly, so I'm going to launch my head at yours. And the idea, roughly speaking, is to establish dominance and win the girl, or the soccer match, whichever comes first.

Zidane joins a Who's Who of other male creatures who, in striking moments of desperation, frustration, lust, passion and even silliness, resorted to the primordial act. The list includes just about any professional wrestler, the cartoon dad Homer Simpson and Star Wars bounty hunter Jango Fett, who headbutted Obi-Wan in Episode 2: Attack of the Clones. In one of the most celebrated incidents, writer Norman Mailer headbutted literary opponent Gore Vidal — for suggesting that Mailer was a violent man.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Dead Malaysian man fights to get his life back

Poor Mr Minggu. He has been fighting with the government for nearly three years to convince them that he is not dead. His problem is that being dead makes it impossible for him to apply for work. From Bernama:
"Please help me to convince the relevent authorities that I am not dead. I am very much alive. The going has been very tough, very stressful since I was officially certified dead by Nyalau Hospital in Bintulu four years ago," he appealed to reporters at a news conference he called to publicise his case.

Minggu Mang, now 40 and a former contractor, said he learnt that he had been certified dead when he went to the Road Transport Department here to renew his two-year duration driving licence on Dec 19, 2003.

That was when he discovered he had "died" in 2002.

The Road Transport Department officer told him that all his records with the department had been erased and he was advised to clarify his status with the National Registration Department.

As he no longer "existed" officially, he could not work and has been depending on the generosity and understanding of his in-laws, relatives and friends.
Remember people. You can't get a job when you're dead.

Circumcised men have less HIV risk

Hooray for circumcision! A study suggests that circumcision may stop millions of HIV deaths worldwide. From Reuters:
They analyzed data from trials that showed men who had been circumcised had a significantly lower risk of infection with the AIDS virus, and calculated that if all men were circumcised over the next 10 years, some two million new infections and around 300,000 deaths could be avoided.

Researchers believe circumcision helps cut infection risk because the foreskin is covered in cells the virus seems able to easily infect. The virus may also survive better in a warm, wet environment like that found beneath a foreskin.

So if men were circumcised, fewer would become infected and thus could not infect their female partners.
Thank god I did mine eons ago.

In the past 30 days has your PC...



Got this in my Inbox few days ago. Thanks Apple. You guys don't have to keep telling me that it is about time I switch to a Mac.

World Cup Worst Eleven

The worst eleven players in the World Cup chosen by Soccernet, to be managed by who else but England's now departed manager, Sven Goran Eriksson. From ESPNsoccernet:
Midfield: Frank Lampard (England)
Spectators, stewards and cameramen alike knew when to duck. It was whenever, as frequently happened, Frank Lampard lined up a shot. One of the most prolific goalscoring midfielders in domestic football tried his luck 24 times and failed to find the net on each occasion. No one - not top scorer Miroslav Klose, nor any of the World Cup finalists - had more attempts. And despite this record of profligacy, he was selected to take England's first penalty in the shoot-out against Portugal. There have been hints that Lampard would be willing to take David Beckham's place as England captain; instead, he displaced the Real Madrid man - just - as the worst member of England's midfield. As a consolation prize, he can skipper this team.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Cool barcode designs

Design Barcode

Boring barcodes will be a thing of the past thanks to a design firm in Japan called Design Barcode, Inc. The firm is hoping to revolutionise the industry by introducing cool new designs to make barcodes more eye-catching. Each Design Barcode is seperated into two parts. One will be read by the scanner and the other is just the design.

Italy to win the World Cup



I know I have said it in a previous post that my World Cup was over the moment England crashed out of the tournament. But oh well, since I've already subscribed with StarHub to catch the World Cup live on cable, I might as well catch all the games leading to the final. Why waste my money aye? Besides, the World Cup comes once every four years and we are talking about the world's most beautiful game being played at the world's biggest stage here.

Talking about the final, I'm taking Italy to win the World Cup by beating France later. I'm going for a 1-0 victory for the Italians. For those who are waiting to catch the final, here's something to keep you pumped up for the game. A video of babes in bikinis taking penalties. Crikey! They can't shoot for nuts. Oh well, at least they are still enjoyable to look at.

(Thanks xXx)

Update: Congratulations Italy, the 2006 World Cup winners after beating France on penalties.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

OfficeGuns can cause serious damage... YEAH!

Going to your boring office will never be the same again thanks to one of these OfficeGuns. OfficeGuns use materials that are commonly found in most offices and converting them into lethal weapon systems. If an office war is what you want, then having one of these OfficeGuns by your side will certainly increase your chances of victory. Ha! Seriously, these OfficeGuns are dangerous. Do not use them on that irritating colleague or that ass boss of yours.

(Thanks Bala)

Google is now a verb

You can now officially use the word "google" as a verb in your English sentence. Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary has decided to include Google is its latest edition. From CNet:
And google is defined as a transitive verb meaning "to use the Google search engine to obtain information about (as a person) on the World Wide Web." While the entry retains capitalization in explaining the word's etymology--"Google, trademark for a search engine"--the verb google is lowercase.

"A noun turns into a verb very often. Google is a unique case. Because they have achieved so much prominence in the world of search, people have been using the word google as a generic verb now. Our main aim is to respond to the use of the language that we see. We consider ourselves very respectful of trademark. That (google as a lowercase verb) is really a lexicographical judgment based on the evidence that was analyzed," Thomas Pitoniak, the associate editor and composition manager for Merriam-Webster, told CNET News.com.

del.icio.us contest offers US$100



Ok I am also in after reading that Steve has decided to try his luck in winning the US$100. What am I talking about? Well, a dude is offering US$100 to one lucky person who bookmarked his page using del.icio.us. At the time of this posting, 1803 people have bookmarked it. Interesting idea to get more links. Hopefully he does pay.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Reading Someone Comes to Town

Someone Comes To Town

I'm currently reading Cory Doctorow's fantasy novel Someone Comes to Town, Someone Leaves Town on my HP iPAQ rw6828. Here's an excerpt:
Now they were on Queen Street, walking east in the early evening crowd, surrounded by summertime hipsters and wafting, appetizing smells from the bistros and Jamaican roti shops. She stopped abruptly and grabbed his shoulders and gave him a hard shake.

"You're full of shit, Ad-man. I know it and you know it."

"I really don't know what you're talking about, honestly!"

"Fine, let's do this." She clamped her hand on his forearm and dragged him down a side street and turned down an alley. She stepped into a doorway and started unbuttoning her Alice-blue babydoll dress. Alan looked away, embarrassed, glad of the dark hiding his blush.

Once the dress was unbuttoned to her waist, she reached around behind her and unhooked her white underwire bra, which sagged forward under the weight of her heavy breasts. She turned around, treating him to a glimpse of the full curve of her breast under her arm, and shrugged the dress down around her waist.

She had two stubby, leathery wings growing out of the middle of her back, just above the shoulder blades. They sat flush against her back, and as Alan watched, they unfolded and flexed, flapped a few times, and settled back into their position, nested among the soft roll of flesh that descended from her neck.

Involuntarily, he peered forward, examining the wings, which were covered in fine downy brown hairs, and their bases, roped with muscle and surrounded by a mess of ugly scars.

"You...*sewed*...these on?" Alan said, aghast.

She turned around, her eyes bright with tears. Her breasts swung free of her unhooked bra. "No, you fucking idiot. I sawed them off. Four times a year. They just grow back. If I don't cut them, they grow down to my ankles."
Ha! No, its not porn. You can download the book for free here. For those in Singapore, you can also buy it at Borders.

Ah, I love free ebooks.

Protect your banana

Now thanks to the Banana Bunker, all you banana lovers out there can bring along your bananas everywhere you go without fearing that they will be squashed. Warning: Do not use it for other purposes. Ahem.

(Thanks spike3)

ESPN Sportscenter Hotdog Challenge



After reporting the news that Takeru Kobayashi had once again won the annual Independence Day hotdog eating contest, the ESPN Sportscenter presenters decided to have a battle of their own. I'm not sure if you can hear it from this clip I took off the TV, but I swore I heard some laughter by the crew in the background.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Modified tuk-tuk hits Britain

The tuk-tuk is a popular form of transportation found in countries like Thailand, Cambodia and Laos. Soon, it will be popular in Britain too. From Times Online:
Despite their poor reputation for safety, Mr Ponniah, 26, became convinced that tuk-tuks would catch on in Britain, especially if he added a few reassuring features such as roll bars, side-impact protection and seatbelts.

He has imported 12 from Pune in India and today begins Britain’s first tuk-tuk service in Brighton. A service for Central London is planned for next year, followed by others in Bristol, Manchester, Birmingham and Edinburgh.

In Brighton, adults will pay a flat fare of £2.50 and children £1.50. They will share the ride with strangers, with up to three people squeezed into the open-sided cabin behind the driver. The service will run all year on a set route. Mr Ponniah is confident that there will still be a demand in winter, when the only protection from the cold and rain will be a plastic curtain.

What's your shit like today?


What's your shit like today? Is it seperate hard lumps like nuts or is it like a sausage/snake smooth and soft or...?

For more on the Bristol Stool Scale, click here.

(Thanks Rickie)

Mr Brown suspended! Suspend the editor too.

An anonymous reader left a comment two days ago on my post, "Did Mr Brown distort the truth?" He said, "today will sack brown and its editor." And on the same day, I received an email most probably sent by the same person which echoes the same words as above.

The sacking did happen. Mr Brown today revealed in his blog that he has been "suspended". From Mr Brown:
I have been informed that TODAY has suspended my column.

It has been a trying few days for me, my family, my mum and my friends. Thank you all for your emails, letters, calls, SMSes, blogs and comments, I don't know what to say.
"It is not the job of government officials to take a position on newspaper articles or blog posts unless they are clearly illegal," says Reporters Without Borders regarding the MICA-Mr Brown incident. Well, apparently here in Singapore such views on newspaper articles are clearly illegal.

It is not surprising that TODAY took the action on Mr Brown but what I would like to know is if the editor incharge of Mr Brown's column is still in the job. If Mr Brown is at fault for airing his government un-friendly views on the paper, then I strongly feel that the editor should also take the blame because it was him that gave it a green light for publication.

So to the bigwigs at TODAY newspaper: Suspend Mr Brown? Suspend the editor too.

Related: Down with Brown?
Previously: Did Mr Brown distort the truth?

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

At the Thai Festival



Video taken at the Thai Festival 2006 on Sunday at the Thai Embassy in Singapore. Here are some more clips uploaded to YouTube: Part 2, Part 3, Part 4 and Part 5 taken with my lovely HP iPAQ rw6828.

The Personal Library Kit

Keep track of the books that you lent to your friends with the personal library kit. I think you can even issue a fine if they did not return the books to you on time.

(Thanks GeekGod)

World Cup winner will not bring home the real trophy

I just learned that whoever wins the World Cup this Sunday (please let it be the Italians), will only receive a replica of the World Cup Trophy. From BBC:
In 1970 Brazil's third victory entitled them to claim the Jules Rimet Trophy permanently, and a new trophy, the World Cup Trophy, was contested at the next tournament, four years later in West Germany.

The World Cup Trophy will not be retired until the name plaque has been filled with the names of the winners, and is expected to remain in use until 2038.

As well as winning the original trophy three times, Brazil have won the World Cup Trophy twice.

Italy won the original Cup twice and the new Trophy once, in 1982.

Germany/West Germany have won the tournament three times, twice lifting the current Trophy, and Argentina have also won the current Trophy twice.

But even if they win it again, no-one will receive this Trophy outright.

This year's winner will receive a replica of the World Cup Trophy regardless of how many times they have won it.

Eat your heart out, Clark Kent!

Eat your heart out, Clerk Kent!
Off to save the world.

Support Superman by uploading any photo depicting the famous Superman symbol. I've just uploaded mine. And no, I won't be photographed with just the blue and red spandex on.

Related:
Which Superhero are you?
Top Ten Signs I'm not Superman

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Shy Babe

Today on my photoblog Katoomba Syndrome: Shy Babe

Did Mr Brown distort the truth?


The blockbuster movie of 2006. Coming soon to a cinema near you.

The Ministry of the Information, Communication and the Arts (MICA) attacks Mr Brown for his column on the TODAY newspaper. From Mr Brown:
mr brown's views on all these issues distort the truth. They are polemics dressed up as analysis, blaming the Government for all that he is unhappy with. He offers no alternatives or solutions. His piece is calculated to encourage cynicism and despondency, which can only make things worse, not better, for those he professes to sympathise with.

mr brown is entitled to his views. But opinions which are widely circulated in a regular column in a serious newspaper should meet higher standards. Instead of a diatribe mr brown should offer constructive criticism and alternatives. And he should come out from behind his pseudonym to defend his views openly.

It is not the role of journalists or newspapers in Singapore to champion issues, or campaign for or against the Government. If a columnist presents himself as a non-political observer, while exploiting his access to the mass media to undermine the Government's standing with the electorate, then he is no longer a constructive critic, but a partisan player in politics.
Wow. That's some serious allegations there. MICA is saying that Mr Brown distorts the truth and labels him as a partisan player in politics. Give me a break. So what is the truth then? That the increase cost of living has nothing to do with the government? And that the government has done all it can to help Singaporeans to cope with this? Don't give me the shit about the Progress Package's main purpose is to help lower income Singaporeans cope with higher costs of living. We all know and the world knows what it is really meant for.

And yes we all know that price increases in electricity tariffs and taxi fares are the inevitable result of higher oil prices but that's more of an excuse to up the price. Take for example the recent news that Comfort, CityCab and Yellow-Top cabs will be increasing their fare. One of the fare adjustments is the raising of the peak hour surcharge from $1 to $2. $2!!! ComfortDelGro which owns the above mentioned fleet of taxis says that the fare adjustments have been made to help their taxi drivers supplement their incomes and that they remain committed to the welfare of their 32,000 drivers. Welfare my ass! If they want to talk about welfare, how about making it easier for the taxi drivers by reducing the taxi rental instead of forcing the consumers to pay more.

Mr Brown, like all Singaporeans should be worried and unhappy about the rising cost of living in Singapore. And as a columnist for a local paper, Mr Brown made use of his column to voice out that unhappiness. Is that wrong? When is voicing your unhappiness about the increase cost of living in a country suddenly makes one a partisan player in politics. Give me a break. So tell me who is really distorting the truth now?

Update: Mr Brown's column is suspended

Counter-Strike McDonald's



Those of you who play Counter-Strike will love this video made by the staff at a McDonald's restaurant in the US.

(Thanks Jim)

10 uses for an unwanted English flag

Crikey! The England exit at the World Cup affected me more than I thought that I couldn't blog for two days. That's it folks. My World Cup is over. Good luck to the remaining teams in the competition especially to the Italians. Please don't let ze Germans win. For those of you English fans in Germany or elsewhere, here are some uses for your unwanted English flag. From BBC:
1. Use them to dry your eyes. Despite most flags being made from synthetic materials, typically woven polyester, some of them can be absorbent enough for your most lachrymose moments.

2. Continue to display your England flag with pride (part I). If anybody asks, point out England are still in the competition, Saturday was all just a bad dream, lightning never strikes so many times, it's going to be an England v Germany final. Place hands over ears and repeat "naa naa naa, I can't hear you".

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Why you shouldn't buy F18s



Ex-Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamed gives the world a good reason why not to buy the American F18 Hornet fighter jet:
But this great aircraft called F-18, which we bought from America, after buying it, after several months, I got to know that this aircraft cannot be used for any attacks against any country, even if it is not Singapore. The Americans sold the aircraft but the source code is kept by them so you cannot plan anything. You cannot fly the airplane to carry out any bombing attacks against anybody...
(via Tomorrow.sg)

All hail Chairman Optimus Prime!



Somewhere in a remote corner of mountainous Southern China, stands the giant Chairman Optimus Prime!

(Thanks redflux2)
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