Sunday, December 31, 2006

Happy New Year!



This shall be the last post of 2006. Hooray!

I like to wish everyone a Happy New Year and the best of health and happiness in 2007. Enjoy your New Year's eve and remember to party hard aye.

Dubai is fucking nuts!

It has the largest artificial islands in the world and they can be seen from space. It currently has 15-25% of all the world's cranes. It will have 300 artificially created islands in the shape of the world and the largest waterfront development in the world. It already has the worlds tallest hotel and the world's only '7 star' hotel. And that's not all. According to this site, Dubai is fucking nuts! But I think Dubai is just so fucking cool.

A Tourist Map of Gotham City

Just in case if you get lost next time when you visit Gotham City, here's a handy tourist map. Ah, now I know where to find the Batcave.

(Thanks Soh)

Covers Rolling Stone Didn't Do in 2006

The Rolling Stone magazine blog is featuring the dream covers they didn’t have a chance (or the balls) to run this year. The best of the lot has got to be the one with the face of the aging Axl Rose on the cover. Chinese Democracy in stores at last in 2041. Crikey! Hopefully I don't have to wait that long for the Guns N' Roses album aye.

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Love Letters: An Animated Proposal



Jeff Paul is one cool guy. He produced this animation as a way of proposing to his girlfriend. He assembled a team of 20 animators to assist him, including co-workers, as well as students from his 3D character animation class at the Art Institute of California-San Francisco. Together, they created more than four minutes of animation in just three months. When it was completed, he surprised his girlfriend by bringing her to a theater, where they played the animation on the big screen in front of over 100 of their friends and family. Sweet!

Update: Here's the wedding invitation!



(Thanks Emily)

Cardboard Faces

Dude drew stupid and funny faces on pieces of cardboard. I think they are brilliant! Love the characters. He should make this into a cartoon or a comic. Can call it 'Cardboard Man and Friends' or something.

(Thanks Rory)

Saddam Hussein Hanged

The former President of Iraq, Saddam Hussein is dead. He was hanged early this morning. From CNN:
"This dark page has been turned over," Rubaie said. "Saddam is gone. Today Iraq is an Iraq for all the Iraqis, and all the Iraqis are looking forward. ... The [Hussein] era has gone forever."

Rubaie, who witnessed the execution, said the former leader was "strangely submissive" to the process.

"He was a broken man," he said. "He was afraid. You could see fear in his face."

Rubaie said the execution was videotaped and photographed extensively from the time Hussein was transferred from U.S. to Iraqi custody until he was dead.

Many of those who witnessed the execution celebrated in the aftermath.
You know, I'm against any form of capital punishment. Saddam may be an evil man but I would prefer if he was put in jail for life. Taking away a life even if its evil solves nothing but just feed the revenge needs of mankind.

It's interesting to note that at the end of World War II, not all Japanese who were convicted of war crimes faced the death penalty. Some were not even charged.

Here's a comparison:

Saddam Hussein: Hanged for his role in the 1982 Dujail massacre, in which 148 Iraqis were killed. Still facing another charge for killing 100,000 Kurds during the 1988 Anfal campaign against Kurdish rebels.

Emperor Hirohito: Japanese Emperor and commander in chief of the Imperial military, was deeply involved in the day to day management of Japan's military aggression during World War II. Between 1937 and 1945, the Japanese military murdered near 3,000,000 to over 10,000,000 people, most probably almost 6,000,000 Chinese, Indonesians, Koreans, Filipinos, and Indochinese, among others, including Western prisoners of war. His punishment: None!

At the end of World War II, the Australian government wanted to prosecute Emperor Hirohito as a war criminal but Douglas MacArthur, the American general in charge of the Allied occupation forces, felt that keeping the emperor in place would help smooth the democratization of Japan. He made sure that the Emperor would not be prosecuted in the Tokyo war crimes trial that began in 1946. In fact, many Japanese war criminals were set free and some took over positions in the new government, etc.

Some of you may be asking me, what am I trying to say here? Should we free Saddam instead? Maybe. I'm using Japan as an example here. Japan would have faced a tough time over the years to become what it is now - a peaceful, rich and advanced democratic nation, a friend of the US and the free world - if the US had prosecuted Emperor Hirohito. I believe that the US should have made a similar deal with Saddam Hussein when he was captured. A deal that could have prevented the bloody mess in Iraq right now.

Update:

The world reacts and the Vatican says that the execution of Saddam Hussein was a "tragic event like all capital punishments" and risked fomenting a spirit of vendetta and sowing new violence in Iraq.

Still and video cameras were in the chamber at the time of the execution. Michelle Malkin asks how long before it's on YouTube?

Saddam's Cyber Palace says his final goodbyes, "What a pisser! I can't believe they're about to hang me. And please, no wisecracks about me being "well hung." I'll come back from the dead and personally kick anyone's ass who makes a joke like that. What did I do to deserve this? Well, aside from gassing those villages, I mean. Has anyone stopped to consider the fact that once I'm gone, there won't be anyone left to put Iraq back together again? You think Bush is going to do it? HA!! Not a chance."

Fox News has shown a video of the execution of Saddam.

France to publish its own X-Files online

The French space agency is planning to publish all its Unidentified Flying Object (UFO) reports on the web. From Cnet:
Jacques Arnould, an official at the Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales (CNES), said the French database of about 1,600 incidents would go live in late January or mid-February.

He said CNES had been collecting statements and documents for almost 30 years to archive and study them.

"Often, (reports of unidentified flying objects) are made to the Gendarmerie, which provides an official witness statement...and some come from airline pilots," he said by telephone.
It will be interesting to hear any official word from the French space agency regarding these UFO reports that they have collected. Are they really alien crafts or are they hoaxes? Over the years, there have been many governments such as the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, France, Belgium, Sweden, Brazil, Mexico, Spain, and the Soviet Union investigating UFO reports but none has publicly suggested that these UFOs are of extraterrestrial origins.

Friday, December 29, 2006

Doing housework can reduce breast cancer risk

Research on more than 200,000 women from nine European countries shows that women who do housework can reduce their risk of breast cancer. From BBC:
Out of all of the activities, only housework significantly reduced the risk of both pre- and post-menopausal women getting the disease.

Housework cut breast cancer risk by 30% among the pre-menopausal women and 20% among the post-menopausal women.

The women were studied over an average of 6.4 years, during which time there were 3,423 cases of breast cancer.

The international authors said their results suggested that moderate forms of physical activity, such as housework, may be more important than less frequent but more intense recreational physical activity in reducing breast cancer risk.

Dr Lesley Walker of Cancer Research UK said: "We already know that women who keep a healthy weight are less likely to develop breast cancer.

"This study suggests that being physically active may also help reduce the risk and that something as simple and cheap as doing the housework can help."

How to Hide an Erection

It happens and when it does, you guys need to know how to hide it. From WikiHow:
# Clothes are key in concealing an erection. Never wear tight clothes, or clothes that restrict movement. Jeans can be good or bad, as looser jeans tend to shield the growth, and tighter jeans accentuate it. Khaki pants are said to be good for hiding the erection, as well.

# Underclothes can also be a factor. As a general rule, underpants are better than boxers. However, realizing that many men prefer boxers, it is not necessary to wear underpants.

# Loose shirts are great if you can get away with them. If you're at school or someplace casual, use an untucked shirt at groin length to hide the erection. Sweatshirts work even better.

# When you can't get away with clothing, resort to dire measures! Physical barriers aid the concealment of this problem quite well. Get something between your member and the people you're around. Hiding it under a desk, putting a book in front of it (held casually with one hand, not obviously), or anything else you can think of is great for concealing it.
(Thanks Boywonder)

Nashville Pussy and other cool and wacky records

Here's a groovy Flickr photoset called Cool and Wacky Records. There are a lot of gems among the 193 records found in the photoset such as this one, Nashville Pussy. "The Devil Controls Them By Radar!" What the?!

Dude sold a picture through Flickr

Dude posted a photo he took in 2003 on Flickr. He then received an offer by a designer to use the image as a cover for a book. Neat! From Amateur Inspiration:
I had recently started posting pictures on Flickr, and as we planned our 2006 trip, I started wondering if I had any shots from our first venture that might be worth uploading.

I dug into iPhoto, found the above shot, "antiqued it," and posted it to Flickr.

Then I promptly forgot about it.

That was until I received an email a few months later from a designer saying that he wanted to pay me for the rights to use the image as part of a book cover for a Simon and Schuster paperback.

I was shocked. I assumed it was a joke or a scam. But he provided his credentials and it quickly became apparent that he was completely legitimate. I agreed without hesitation.
(Thanks GeekGod)

A giant ice shelf breaks free from Canadian Arctic

Earlier today, I blogged about the plight of the polar bears which are about to be listed as a threatened species by the US government. Now, here's a more disturbing news. A giant ice shelf that dates 3000 years ago has broken free from the Canadian Arctic, another alarming sign that something is just not right with the climate. From CNN:
The mass of ice broke clear 16 months ago from the coast of Ellesmere Island, about 800 kilometers (497 miles) south of the North Pole, but no one was present to see it in Canada's remote north.

Scientists using satellite images later noticed that it became a newly formed ice island in just an hour and left a trail of icy boulders floating in its wake.

Warwick Vincent of Laval University, who studies Arctic conditions, traveled to the newly formed ice island and could not believe what he saw.

"This is a dramatic and disturbing event. It shows that we are losing remarkable features of the Canadian North that have been in place for many thousands of years. We are crossing climate thresholds, and these may signal the onset of accelerated change ahead," Vincent said Thursday.

In 10 years of working in the region he has never seen such a dramatic loss of sea ice, he said.

The collapse was so powerful that earthquake monitors 250 kilometers (155 miles) away picked up tremors from it.

The best of IZ Reloaded in 2006


The Blog Celebrity Deathmatch makes it to the best of IZ Reloaded in 2006!

It's that time of the year again folks when I browse through a year's worth of posts and pick out the best of them. So here is the best of IZ Reloaded in 2006. Phew. What a year aye. Enjoy!

Make your nose nicer with HanaHana
Friday, January 06
I remember when I was a kid, my beautiful mum who was obsessed with noses I think, used to put a clothes peg on my nose every morning. She said that doing it will make me have a nicer nose. I think she's right.

My first Goatse reaction
Wednesday, January 11
My reaction after viewing Goatse, a series of shocking photos of a man showing off his anal stretching abilities.

Beware of the pedicure
Friday, January 13
Is having a pedicure in Singapore safe? I asked 10 salons offering pedicure services and this is what I found out. None of them know anything about Mycobacterium fortuitum. Only 3 out of the 10 that I spoke to told me that they heard of possible bacteria infections caused by pedicure.

Blog Celebrity Deathmatch
Saturday 14 January
Xiaxue, Sillycelly and Sandra take on Blinkymummy and Xialanxue in Celebrity Deathmatch!

Don't do a Tammy
Tuesday, February 21
Tammy, the Nanyang Polytechinic student makes the headlines with her sex video clips. Go Tammy!

Lots of Brokeback Mountain mashups
Tuesday, March 07
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) and lots more!

So where the bloody hell are you?
Wednesday, March 15
Australia's "So Where The Bloody Hell Are You?" tourism campaign vs Singapore's "So Nabeh Where You?"

Tell us if it is paid for TODAY
Monday, March 20
My attack on TODAY's newspaper misleading readers with their paid for headlines.

Sorry I'm shutting this blog down
Saturday, April 01
The day I nearly shut down this blog. Ha!

Catching the next total solar eclipse in our neighbourhood
Tuesday, April 04
Where and when to catch the next total solar eclipse in the region.

Singaporean dude has 400 Star Wars action figures!
Friday, April 28
Ng Hak Beng has to be Star Wars biggest fan in Singapore. He has collected 400 Star Wars action figures and 50 toy vehicles across 28 years!

The person I want to meet in heaven
Monday, May 15
"Lost love is still love. It takes a different form, thats all. You can't see their smile or bring them food or tousle their hair or move then around a dance floor. But when those senses weaken, another heightens. Memory. Memory becomes your partner. Your nurture it. You hold it. You dance with it..."

" I thought Merapi just erupted..."
Sunday, May 28
I interviewed reader razzi who was in Yogyakarta when earthquake struck.

England to win the World Cup!
Friday, June 09
I decided to do some prediction of the World Cup matches with a little help from my crystal ball. Of course, I was wrong.

Did Mr Brown distort the truth?
Tuesday, July 04
The Ministry of the Information, Communication and the Arts (MICA) attacks Mr Brown for his column on the TODAY newspaper.

Eat your heart out, Clark Kent!
Wednesday, July 05
I AM Superman. Really.

The Zidane Headbutt
Wednesday, July 12
The infamous Zidane headbutt incident during the World Cup final. Here's more.

NDP 2006 tickets hit eBay and Yahoo! Auctions
Thursday, July 20
National Day Parade 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.

Everyone can look like Captain Jack Sparrow
Friday, August 04
If your favourite bloggers can look as sexy as Captain Jack Sparrow, so can you.

Pluto is officially dead
Thursday, August 24
It is official. Pluto is now no longer a planet. Here's more.

The crap that is Joakim Gomez
Friday, August 25
Singapore's most hated man of 2006, Joakim Gomez, Singapore Idol contestant.

The day my hero died
Monday, September 04
To Steve Irwin: May god bless you mate and thanks for being my hero. RIP. "Croc Rules!" Here's the very moving memorial service.

High-5 Bread in Singapore is safe to eat
Wednesday, September 27
Photos showing the extremely dirty conditions in a bread factory in Malaysia that makes High-5 bread spread all over the internet.

Glory, Glory Tottenham Hotspur!
Monday, November 06
My favourite club Spurs finally beats Chelsea!

Watch music videos played on MTV's first day
Wednesday, November 08
Relive MTV's first day on August 1, 1981 with this list of all the music videos played on that day.

Piggybacking on other's WiFi: We are all serial offenders!
Sunday, November 12
The word "piggybacking" means when someone finds an open network and logs into it without permission. I think many people including myself would be serial offenders if piggybacking is a crime! The question some of you may ask, is it REALLY a crime? Is it stealing?

Watch Intro Clips of 1980s Cartoons
Friday, November 17
Links to 79 intro clips of cartoons like MASK, He-Man and GI Joe.

One Man Bandwidth speaks...
Tuesday, December 19
One Man Bandwidth talks about the recent Weblog Award polls, his concession speech, my currying favour with Xiaxue and the poor girl with cancer who became the rallying cry for his supporters.

Previously: Best of IZ Reloaded in 2005

Thanks Hallmark Channel!

I rarely watch the Hallmark Channel (Ch 17 on StarHub Cable TV) but at around 2am last night, I was playing with my remote and I switched to Ch 17. Usually, I will just move on to the next channel but something caught my eye. Two guys were on TV. One, a sickly old man and the other a much younger man. And as they were talking, I realised that, oh my god, it's Tuesdays With Morrie!!!

There was a problem with the regular Hallmark Channel feed so they were showing recorded shows instead. This is the actual message that came across the bottom of the screen once in awhile:

"You are now watching recorded programme from Hallmark Channel as there is a temporary breakdown in transmission of the live feed due to undersea cables disruption caused by earthquakes off Taiwan. We apologise for any inconvenience caused."

Apologise?! Ha, no need to! Man, I have been dying to watch Tuesdays With Morrie, the award winning made for TV movie starring Hank Azaria and the late Jack Lemmom. The movie is based on the best selling novel of the same name by Mitch Albom. I have a soft spot for all Mitch Albom's books and Tuesdays With Morrie is one book that has a real special meaning for me. When my mum passed away, that book was my only company. I read it like it was some holy book, again and again to find some meanings and answers. While I was watching Tuesdays With Morrie on TV last night, my mind kept shifting back to what was written on the book and the events that happened few years ago, how my mum suffered from her illness and her death. So you can imagined how red my eyes were after the movie ended and the amount of tissue paper used to wipe off my tears and blow my nose.

Anyway the movie is brilliant. Hank Azaria is perfect as Mitch and Jack Lemmom's portrayal of Morrie is even better. Anyone who read the book will fall in love with the movie version too. It's so beautiful and touching.

Many thanks to the Taiwan earthquakes and Hallmark Channel for giving me that special moment last night. Now, can you guys in Hallmark show Five People You Meet In Heaven too?

Polar bears may be listed as threatened species

The US Interior secretary wants to list polar bears as a threatened species because of concerns that their habitat is melting away. From CNN:
The announcement by the Bush administration comes in response to a lawsuit filed by three conservation groups, who sued the Department of the Interior in an effort to protect the polar bear from the effects of global warming.

"The science is extraordinarily clear: Global warming in the Arctic threatens polar bears," said Kassie Siegel, an attorney with the Center for Biological Diversity based in Tucson, Arizona.

Greenpeace and the Natural Resources Defense Council are the other groups that were part of the lawsuit.

Kempthorne said the proposal to consider polar bears threatened involved the receding sea ice that the animals use for hunting. While he acknowledged that the melting ice is the result of climate change, Kempthorne stressed that the broader aspects of global warming are beyond the scope of the Endangered Species Act and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the agency that enforces it.
It's great that finally the US government is doing something really good for wildlife but this may be too late. Listing the polar bears as a threatened species will highlight the problems that these great animals are facing today but more needs to be done to ensure their survival and other animals like them that are struggling with the effects of global warming.

All life on earth is precious. We need to protect them all. Because if we don't, very soon it will be us humans that need the protection.

Previously: Pledge your love to the polar bears and win

Thursday, December 28, 2006

The Virus of Faith



This is part 2 of Root of All Evil?, the documentary by Richard Dawkins, author of The God Delusion. In The Virus of Faith, Dawkins examines two further problems about religion. One, he believes it can lead to a warp and inflexible morality and two, he is very concerned about the religious indoctrination of children. I posted part 1 yesterday.

(Thanks primus)

Previously: The God Delusion

The Caffeine Curve



Some of you coffee addicts out there may find this graph so familiar.

(Thanks Carl)

International Children's Digital Library

The International Children's Digital Library Foundation believes that children and their families deserve to have access to the books of their culture, as well as the majority culture, regardless of where they live. So they are making the best in children's literature available online free of charge. The collection includes 1585 books in 38 languages from various countries including Singapore.

Internet services may take weeks to return

Internet and phone access in Asia may take at least two weeks to resume full services after earthquakes that struck Taiwan damaged all seven undersea cables. From Bloomberg:
Chunghwa Telecom Co., the island's biggest phone company, said four ships are heading to the site off Taiwan's south coast for repairs starting Jan. 2 that may take two to three weeks. KDDI Corp., Japan's second-biggest carrier, said such operations can take "several weeks to months.''

Companies from Kuwait Finance House, the Persian Gulf's largest Islamic investment bank, to Nippon Yusen K.K., Japan's biggest shipping line, are suffering from the loss of online services after a 7.1 magnitude quake struck southern Taiwan on Dec. 26. Cable operators are using back-up systems to help alleviate the bottleneck as parts of Hong Kong, China, Singapore and India remain without access.

"In terms of lost business, that amount will exceed the amount for repairs,'' Rob Enderle, an analyst with the research firm Enderle Group in San Jose, California. "Think of the trading organizations that exist in these geographies that trade in world markets that can't trade right now.''
Previously: Taiwan earthquake disrupting internet

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

More Singaporeans downloading legal music from Soundbuzz

Soundbuzz announced that its recent online sales of music downloads have skyrocketed, thus prompting industry players to believe more Singaporeans are now downloading music legally. Yeah right. From Channel NewsAsia:
"It's my own principle that downloading is wrong. Everybody has seen the advertisements in the theatres. Would you go out and steal a car? Would you go out and steal a handbag? You won't do that. Why would you download? It's exactly the same theory," says Ong Pang Soon, an avid online music buyer.

And that's a theory that is helping companies like Soundbuzz witness a healthy growth in the digital market.

They are projecting a 60% to 70% increase in online music sales from Singapore by this year-end.

Mobile music sales are also increasing.
And in a related news, Soundbuzz is still selling songs with DRM nonsense in the WMA format that is not compatible with your iPod. It is still not supporting Mac users and browsers other than Internet Explorer. Oh wait. They've just made their site compatible with Firefox, if you bother to install the IE Tab extension. Bah!

Previously: Thank you for visiting the Soundbuzz music store

South Koreans offered cash for no sex

South Korean men who stay away from sex with prostitutes can earn some some cash for the companies they work for, courtesy of their friendly government. From BBC:
The Ministry for Gender Equality is offering cash to companies whose male employees pledge not to pay for sex after office parties.

Men are being urged to register on the ministry's website. The companies with most pledges will receive a reward.

Officials say they want to put an end to a culture in which men get drunk at parties and go on to buy sex.

But some critics have described the move as a waste of money.

The God Delusion



This is a documentary based on the book The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins. The documentary and the book make a compelling case that belief in God is not just wrong but potentially deadly.

(Thanks Mr Big)

Create your own action figure online

Herobuilders.com allows you to create your own hip hop or urban action figures online. You can choose the race, pants, shoes, clothes, weapons, etc for your action figure. I've just created mine which will cost me US$22.35. And yes, the site will deliver it to your doorstep.

China: All weather forecasts belong to us!

China now wants to keep all weather forecasts from falling into wrong hands. It says acquisition of its meteorological information by foreigners may threaten its national security. From Xinhua:
China Meteorological Administration (CMA) statistics show that there have been about 20 breaches by foreign individuals or institutes in China since 2000.

In 2005, a Japanese company was found to have established an illegal meteorological observation station around a photovoltaic power plant in Hami, Northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.

This year, a British group set up a meteorological observation station without the government's approval near a military harbour and the venue for yachting events for the 2008 Olympic Games in Qingdao, East China's Shandong Province.

"Illegal meteorological surveys and data collection, or other activities have infringed China's sovereignty, hurt normal international co-operation and exchange of meteorological information, and threatened the country's security," said Zheng Guoguang, vice-minister of the CMA.

Taiwan earthquake disrupting Internet

I have been having problems with the Internet connection since early this morning. I found out later that it is due to the Boxing Day earthquake that struck Taiwan. From Starhub:
Dear valued MaxOnline customers

Due to an earthquake in Taiwan yesterday, the undersea cable was disrupted resulting in slow Internet access to some international sites. You can be assured that our topmost priority is to quickly restore services and we have deployed all available resources to address the situation as soon as possible.

Since yesterday, we have started re-routing the affected Internet traffic to other routes. Our engineers have been working round-the-clock and are doing their best to rectify the matter as soon as possible.

We sincerely apologise for the inconvenience caused and thank you for your patience. An update will be provided as soon as we can.

Regards
StarHub Web Administrator
And here's the message from Singnet:
Dear customers, you may experience slow Internet access to overseas websites due to an earthquake that occurred in Taiwan. We are in the midst of restoring our service. Sorry for any inconvenience caused.
Some websites are still unaccessible now and most are super slow but at least I'm able to access Blogger.

Powerful earthquakes rocked Taiwan on the 2nd Anniversary of Deadly Tsunami

Sometimes Mother Nature has a knack of scaring the living daylights out of us. On the 2nd Anniversary of the deadly tsunami that killed more than 200,000 people in the region, three strong earthquakes rocked Taiwan, triggering a tsunami warning. Thankfully, there was no deadly tsunami this time. From Channel NewsAsia:
The US Geological Survey reported two quakes, one of 7.1 magnitude and one of 7.0 magnitude.

In Japan, authorities said a one-metre (three-foot) tsunami could be headed toward the Philippines, while the US Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre (PTWC) cautioned nations in the region to be on alert.

"Earthquakes of this size sometimes generate local tsunamis that can be destructive along coasts located within 100 kilometres (60 miles) of the earthquake epicentre," the PTWC said on its website.

"Authorities in the region of the epicentre should be aware of this possibility and take appropriate action," it said.

The Japanese Meteorological Agency said the quake was "able to trigger" a one-metre high tsunami that would be on course to hit Basco in the northern Philippines.

"But since it's been nearly two hours since the quake without any tsunami being observed, the possibility is declining," an agency official said.

After Tuesday's alert, there was some immediate confusion about the strength and danger to the region.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

So you think you're fat aye?



You think you're fat? Well this video should put things into perspective for you.

(Thanks xXx and yes, you can now stop sending me more videos of really fat chicks doing exercise)

Pledge your love to the polar bears and win

The Singapore Zoo is asking you to pledge your love to the lovely polar bears. Just tell them why you love the polar bears and want them to live and you stand to win limited edition National Geographic Wild journals. From Singapore Zoo:
While average worldwide temperatures have risen 0.6 degree Celsius (one degree Fahrenheit) over the past century, the colder regions like the Arctic have warmed up to a far greater extent.

The Arctic is home to arctic animals like whales, walruses, seals, music oxen and polar bears. And these animals are in direct danger due to the melting of ice throughout the Arctic. The melting of ice will particularly impact polar bears and ringed seals as they spend substantial time living and feeding on the ice.

The melting ice raises the sea level of the oceans. Every inch 2.5 centimetres (one inch) of sea-level rise could result in 2.4 metres (eight feet) of horizontal retreat of sandy beach shorelines due to erosion.

Put yourself in the polar bears' paws now. Save them before they disappear from the Arctic.
And not forgetting, Happy Birthday to 16 year old Inuka!

(Thanks Myra Leong)

Merry Christmas from President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

Iran President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the dude that wants to wipe out all infidels off the face of this planet (especially those Jews in Israel), wishes everyone a Merry Christmas. From Ahmadinejad.ir:
Merry Christmas to everyone!
My sincere congratulations to everyone for the Glorious and Auspicious Birthday of Divine Prophet - confirmed and authenticated by Gabriel, the angel of Divine revelation - the Obedient of Almighty God,
Jesus Christ, the Messiah (peace be upon Him)

He was a messenger of peace, devotion and love based upon monotheism and justice. He was raised in His Mother’s hand – Virgin Mary (peace be upon her) – that Almighty God stood her as impeccable and exalted her above the women of the world. The Mother and the Son that in the Divine Sight are reputable and prestigious. And they are positioned by God – The All Wise- at a sublime level.

There’s no doubt, after God – the Peerless Creator, the Beneficent, the Merciful – created the human beings, did not forsake them on their own. By sending and assigning the emissaries – prophets and messengers - along with the righteous individuals, and on top of that, by providing and utilizing the mankind with the gifts of intellect and human nature, they are guided in the right path – in order to achieve the complete perfection. The human generations – one after another – were not created to live in anguish, intimidation, skirmish, aggression, oppression, and misery. And without enjoying an amity and fraternity atmosphere - replete of love and justice – depart this life and leave it for the next generations
(Thanks Sir Thomas)

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Happy Holidays Everybody!



Ho! Ho! Ho! Have a great Christmas weekend and holidays everyone!!!

Click play to listen to my Christmas greeting:


powered by ODEO

Christmas Toilet Paper

There are a lot of weird gifts this Christmas and this one should be in the list: the Christmas Toilet Paper! Don't forget to say, "Ho! Ho! Ho!" when you wipe your ass with it aye.

(Thanks finatiq)

Word Wrapping Paper

Are you running out of wrapping paper for your Christmas gifts? Don't worry. Here's Microsoft Word to the rescue! That's right, you can make your own wrapping paper with Word and a printer with some paper, of course.

(Thanks Boywonder)

Swinging! Yeah Baby! Yeah!

Swinging has become a thriving underground scene here in Singapore, with more than 10 swingers clubs in Singapore, most of them private, some of them online. Here's everything you want to know about swinging. From Wikipedia:
Swinging activities can include (but are not limited to):

* Exhibitionism: having sex with a partner while being watched.
* Voyeurism: watching others have sex (perhaps with the above mentioned partner).
* Soft Swinging or Soft Swap: kissing, stroking, or having oral sex with a third or fourth person. This may be in the form of a threesome or group sex, or partners may literally be swapped.
* Full Swap: having penetrative sex with someone other than one's partner, which is the commonly understood definition of swinging (though not necessarily the most common type).
* Group Sex: An all inclusive term for activities involving multiple partners in the same vicinity.

Typically, swinging activities occur when a married or otherwise committed couple engages with either another couple, multiple couples, or a single individual. These acts can occur in the same room (often called same room swinging) though different or separate room swinging does occur. Sex on these occasions is often referred to as play.

While the vast majority of swingers are heterosexual couples, a major part of Lifestyle activities are bisexual in nature. A large portion of female swingers, while they may or may not identify as bisexual, are interested in female-female sexual contact. Male-male contact is very rare, and usually never allowed in at a Swing Club/Party.

Ultraman Toy Collection

Ultraman Toys has a large collection of Ultraman toys from the 1960s to the present time. Ultraman is a very popular TV show made in Japan in the 60s. The show spawned numerous toys that are as popular as the show itself. The Ultraman Toys website provides a brief history of the toys from each era. This picture on the left shows the Ultraman shampoo bottles available in the 1970s-80s. There's one for Ultra Jack, Ultra Leo, Ultra 80 and Ultra Ace.

Drawings of friends and family

Dude drew his friends and family and posted the drawings on his blog. How I wish I can draw my friends and family like the way he does.

Friday, December 22, 2006

New Transformers Movie Trailer



Here's why I can't wait for 2007. The new Transformers movie will be out on 4th July next year. Judging from this latest trailer, damn, the movie looks bloody awesome.

Update: There's an Easter Egg in the Transformers trailer! (Thanks GeekGod)

Napkin Drawings and Quotes

Here's something all fathers should do. A guy made a series of drawings and quotes on napkins every day over a 5 year period and left them in his daughters' lunches during their junior high and high school years. "My middle daughter directed me to a bottom drawer somewhere and there I found... all the napkins from the entire year! She had saved every one and given them back to me for Father's Day. It truly was the best present I ever got, I cried when I found them." What a sweet story aye, and the drawings and quotes are really a joy to look at.

Why is Singapore in the Wrong Time Zone?

The current Singapore local time is different from what it used to be. For those of you who do not know, back in the old, old days till 1905, we used to be 6hr 55m 25s ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT). We are now 8 hours ahead. Here's a very interesting story on the different standard/local times that were used for Singapore throughout its history and why Singapore is in the wrong time zone:
1942. 16th Feb 1942, Japanese formally occupied Singapore. Singapore time moved ahead by 1 hr 30 min to conform with Tokyo Standard Time, which is 9 hours ahead of GMT.

1945. 12th Sep 1945, Japanese formally surrendered in Singapore. Singapore time reverted to “pre-invasion” standard: 7 hrs 30 min ahead of GMT. The exact dates for the change to and from Tokyo Standard Time have not been ascertained yet. The dates given here are based on educated speculation...

1981. Sometime in 1981, Malaysia declared that West Malaysia would move their clocks ahead by 30 min to match the time in use in East Malaysia (8 hrs ahead of GMT). This meant that Singapore would be in a rather awkward position in time if she didn't follow suit, especially with the amount of traffic and trade across the causeway. Singapore Government Gazette Notification S 392/81 (dated 31 December 1981) notified the nation that as of 1st Jan 1982, Singapore Standard Time would be 8 hours ahead of GMT.
(Thanks Marcus Chen)

Watch 101 Classic Christmas Videos

If none of these 101 classic Christmas videos can get you into the Christmas spirit, then I'm afraid nothing will. You may need the entire weekend to watch all 101. I've just started with The Smurfs Christmas Special. La la la la la la la la la la la! Man, I miss the Smurfs.

(Thanks Johnny Q)

Watch the 50 Greatest Cartoons

In 1994, the animation industry voted on the 50 greatest cartoons. The cartoons in the list include the first Superman cartoon in 1941, Snow White in 1933 and Bambi meets Godzilla in 1969. Thanks to CityRag, now you can watch all 50 of these great cartoons online. Want more? Here's my own list of 80's cartoon intros.

(Thanks GeekGod)

Fallen Heart

Today on my photoblog Katoomba Syndrome: Fallen Heart

Moderate alcohol drinking may extend your life

Now here's a damn good reason to start drinking (moderately). Researchers from Italy report that moderate drinking may extend your life but drinking too much may shorten it. From MSNBC:
According to the data, drinking a moderate amount of alcohol — up to four drinks per day in men and two drinks per day in women — reduces the risk of death from any cause by roughly 18 percent, the team reports in the Archives of Internal Medicine...

Men who have more than four drinks per day and women who have more than two drinks per day not only lose the protection that alcohol affords, but they increase their risk of death, the data indicate.

The reason why men are protected at up to four drinks per day, while women lose the protection after two glasses has to do with how men and women metabolize alcohol, researchers say. It’s been shown that when men and women who drink the same amount of alcohol, women experience higher blood alcohol levels than men.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

60,000 people evacuated in Malaysia floods

CNN is now reporting that 60,000 people in Malaysia have been evacuated due to heavy rains that have flooded some of its southern states. From CNN:
Torrential downpours since Sunday have caused rivers and dams to overflow in the states of Johor, Malacca, Pahang and Negeri Sembilan. Weather officials have described the flooding as the worst in the area in a century.

Johor, the worst-hit state, opened nearly 300 flood relief centers on high ground to house 53,000 residents evacuated from their homes across all eight districts, Che Moin said. In the other three states, more than 7,500 people were forced to leave their homes.

Che Moin said the government will allocate money to help flood victims, although the amount has yet to be announced. Last December, $29.2 million in aid was given to help victims of the monsoon in northern Malaysia.

Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi "has asked us to expedite all assistance to the victims," Che Moin said, adding that relief teams were flying food and other supplies from Kuala Lumpur to areas largely cut off by the floods.
The report also says that there could be a spike in vegetable prices in Malaysia and Singapore because most of the farms there have been wiped out by the flood.

Previously:
Flooding in Singapore videos
Drama as floods hits Singapore and Johor

How many condoms at once?

Question: How many condoms can you put on? Answer: A lot. Hundreds. Warning: Putting a large number of condoms on an actual male sex organ would most likely result in severe penile injury. Don't say I never warn you aye.

(Thanks mturk)

The Mountain Dew Christmas Tree

Photos showing how a Christmas tree is being constructed out of hundreds of empty Mountain Dew cans. I like the idea of using the Mountain Dew plastic bottle at the top of the tree. Check out the photo of the tree when it's completed and with the lights on. Beautiful!

(Thanks mindbender44)

Who stole Jesus' foreskin?

Forget about The Da Vinci Code, the real holy grail and one that makes a better movie is Jesus' foreskin which was stolen in 1983, in the small town of Calcata, near Rome. Now the question is. Who stole the holy foreskin? Must be the Vatican. From Slate:
Even before its disappearance, the relic had a strange history. It was discovered in Calcata in 1557, and a series of miracles soon followed (freak storms, perfumed mists engulfing the village). The church gave the finding a seal of approval by offering a 10-year indulgence to those who came to venerate. Lines of pilgrims stretched from the church doors to beyond the walls of the fortress town. Nuns and monks from nearby villages and monasteries made candlelit processions. Calcata was a must-see destination on the pilgrimage map.

That is, until 1900. Facing increasing criticism after the "rediscovery" of a holy foreskin in France, the Vatican decreed that anyone who wrote about or spoke the name of the holy foreskin would face excommunication. And 54 years later, when a monk wanted to include Calcata in a pilgrimage tour guide, Vatican officials didn't just reject the proposal (after much debate). They upped the punishment: Now, anyone uttering its name would face the harshest form of excommunication—"infamous and to be avoided"—even as they concluded that Calcata's holy foreskin was more legit than other claimants'.

Yesterday's dinner at Crab Shack



Last night, WH and I went to Crab Shack for dinner. Crab Shack specialises in all things crab. We ordered 3 flower crabs, all steamed...



and the Crab Shack Sampler...



which contains 3 pieces of stone crab claw, 1 soft shell crab with chicken floss topping, french fries, crab croquettes (watch out for the yummy creamy centre!), 1 crab au Gratin and a corn on the cob as the side dish. They ran out of crab claws last night (business must be damn good!) so they gave us an extra flower crab instead.

The crabs are caught fresh every morning by the Crab Shack founder who is in his mid 20s. He goes to the kelong everyday at 5am. Crikey! You know, I usually prefer my crabs big but I have to say the flower crabs at Crab Shack are really good despite being small in size, they are full of flesh and juicy too. In fact, all their crab dishes are yummy.

But don't expect a restaurant ambiance. Located along a row of shophouses, Crab Shack has a kopitiam (coffee shop) setting and it has no air con. It's very laid back and the best thing about it is its cheap and good food. Most of the dishes are under S$10! Ah, and not forgetting the cheap ice cold beer too, which is a must when eating the flower crabs.



So if you love crabs like I do, do head down to Crab Shack aye. Next time when I'm there, I'll be having the crab spaghetti. I heard it's really good.

Crab Shack is at 227 Upper Thomson Road. It opens from 5pm to midnight daily.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Flooding in Singapore videos



An expat family living in Singapore took a video of the flood outside their house. Great video (nicely edited) and an even greater background music! Video by darktobe.

Here's another video taken by psychosyan showing some vehicles stuck in the flood.



(Thanks Mr Big, finatiq)

Previously: Drama as floods hit Singapore and Johor

Have a Pink Christmas!

If you love pink and Christmas, then I'm sure you will enjoy browsing through the Pink Christmas Pool on Flickr. Photographers go on a mission to find pink this Christmas and oh boy, did they find lots of pink alright.

Where can I find recycling bins in Singapore?

Locating the nearest recycling bin in Singapore is now easier thanks to the handy location maps put together by the National Environmental Agency. It has a complete listing of all recycling bins in Singapore. You can also find the addresses of specialised recyling bins for print catridges, computers, handphone, handphone batteries, cash converters and recycling trash banks.

Sam Loyd's Cyclopedia of 5000 Puzzles, Tricks, and Conundrums

Scans of Sam Loyd's 1914 book, Cyclopedia of 5000 Puzzles, Tricks, and Conundrums (With Answers) are available here. The book is now in public domain. Here's what a reviewer said, "This book is so full of atmosphere of the USA prior to WW 1, with its thousands of puzzles, sly problems and riddles, that there is nothing like it, and never will be due to racial overtones. This is not intentional slurs, but instead how things were at the time, and illuminates what US citizens saw in their daily paper."

(Thanks googlite)

20 reasons why its wise to marry late

Marriages that start later last longer according to life coach and best-selling author, Karen Salmansohn. From MSN:
1. You've had the breakups that led to breakdowns that led to the breakthrough.

2. You've sowed your wild oats—and now think, "Sow what?" All those tempting choices aren't as tempting as you'd thought.

3. You're healthier and more together—meaning the relationship now has at least a 50% chance of being healthier and staying together.

4. After having endured a gazillion bad dates, suddenly your fear of working at a relationship is a lot less scary than your fear of more bad dates.

5. You now know when a relationship is on the road to nowhere—and how to find the exit ramp away from emotionally unavailable territory.
(Thanks Myra Leong)

Self-cleaning toilets in Malaysia

In a bid to woo more tourists, Malaysia has introduced its first self-cleaning public toilets located in the Kuala Lumpur shopping district. From AHN:
"People say toilets represent the level of development of a country," Najib said in his speech.

"The adequate number of toilets, quality and maintenance of public washrooms are a benchmark of the infrastructural development of a country," he said.

The new toilets are air-conditioned and are outfitted with a seat cleaner that automatically cleans after every use.

The facilities also include a baby change station and seats for children.

Consumers will be charged one ringgit or $0.28 dollars per use.

The government is hoping to place 23 toilets around Kuala Lumpur, more so in major shopping districts and tourist sites.

Drama as floods hit Singapore and Johor

Floods and mudslides have hit parts of Singapore due to the unusual heavy rain since Monday. The rainfall was the third-highest recorded in Singapore in the last 75 years. From The Raw Story:
Members of the Civil Defence Force rescued three employees Tuesday from an office building after flooding prevented them from opening the main gate. A hole was cut in a side fence to let them out...

Vehicles were diverted from several traffic junctions rendered impassable by the rising water.

Mudslides carried soil and trees down a slope, covering two cars, parts of a playground and the front yards of several homes.

"What a backbreaking task, scooping water out of the house," 60- year-old housewife Habsah Rohe told The Straits Times.

Within two hours, water that started rising around the wooden home was up to her knees.

A tall tree toppled and smashed the windows of four flats at a housing block and damaged a concrete ledge.
Occasional heavy rain is expected to continue over Singapore till Wednesday morning and places like Chinatown and Tanjong Katong are prone to flash floods. From Channel NewsAsia:
As the incoming tide is expected to reach its highest point of 2.6m at 11.55pm on Tuesday night, flash floods could still occur at low-lying areas such as:

i) Chinatown/ City area
Mosque Street, Pagoda Street, Temple Street, Trengganu Street, Upper Pickering Street between South Bridge Road and New Bridge Road, South Bridge Road, Upper Hokkien Street between South Bridge Road and New Bridge Road, Chulia Street beside UOB Plaza, Circular Road and McCallum Street/Boon Tat Link;

ii) Tanjong Katong area
Dakota Crescent, Meyer Place, Meyer Road, Dunman Road, Fort Road, Rose Lane and Stadium Road;

iii) Geylang area
Guillemard Road between Lor 26 to 32 Geylang, Lor 4 to Lor 22, Geylang, Lor 101 to 106, Changi Road and Langsat Road;

iv) Area off Jalan Besar between Weld Road and Kitchener Road;

v) Lorong Buangkok.
Our neighbour Johor is also affected by the heavy rain which was described as a "once in 100 years phenomenon". The situation there is much worse with more than 10,000 people evacuated. From Bernama:
As at 5 pm, 3,743 people from 561 families were sent to 35-flood relief centres in Skudai, Pasir Gudang, Masai and Ulu Tiram.

These people are from Kampung Melayu Sengkang, Kulai (88), Kampung Laut, Skudai (722), Lorong Aris (170), Kampung Sungai Beso (113), Kampung Maju Jaya (243), Kampung Bendahara (10) and Kampung Mohd Amin (102).

Kampung Kangkar Tebrau had its 150 residents evacuated, Kampung Pasir Tebrau (200), Kampung Paya Kenangan (150), Kampung Plentong Baru (200), Kampung Sentosa Barat (100), Kampung Rinting (200), Kampung Paya Nam Heng (44), Batu 20, Sungai Tiram (30) and Kampung Mados Batu 19 (56).

Other areas affected were Kampung Bukit Pulai, Pasir Gudang (20), Kampung Sri Bahagia, Plentong (110), Kampung Sepakat (400), Kampung Sungai Tiram (eight) Kampung Oren, Bukit Tiram (200), Kampung Sentosa, Pasir Gudang (60), Kampung Melayu Pandan (500) and Kampung Taman Saujana (100).

Abdul Ghani said that in Batu Pahat, a total of 542 people from 90 families had to be moved to 13 relief centres while in Segamat, 679 people from 138 families were moved to 14 centres.

Some 1,651 residents were evacuated in Muar, and 170 people from 48 families were moved to two centres in Pontian while 85 people from 20 families have been evacuated to two centres in Kota Tinggi.
Update: Watch the videos of the Singapore flood

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

52 new species discovered in Borneo

Scientists have discovered more than 52 new species of plants and animals on the Borneo island since 2005. From MSNBC:
“The more we look the more we find,” said Stuart Chapman, WWF International coordinator for the study of the “Heart of Borneo,” a 85,000-square-mile rain forest in the center of the island where several of the new species were found. “These discoveries reaffirm Borneo’s position as one of the most important centers of biodiversity in the world.”

...The discoveries bring the total number of species newly identified on the island to more than 400 since 1996, according to WWF, known in North America as the World Wildlife Fund.

Other creatures discovered between July 2005 and September 2006 were six Siamese fighting fish, whose unique colors and markings distinguish them from close relatives, and a tree frog with bright green eyes.
Hopefully this will show everyone, especially the governments of the world, how important it is to conserve the habitat and species of Borneo and other rain forests. We must not let our forests and the animals living in them be rooted out for the sake of more wood, palm oil and rubber.

Think you are sexy?


Your palm and fingers can determine how sexy you are. Go try it. Ooh lala! I'm in between a hot 8 and a steamy 9.

(Thanks pinkdior)

One Man Bandwidth speaks...

One Man Bandwidth left a comment on my earlier post regarding the results for the Best Asian Blog in this year's Weblog Awards. In his comment, he talks about the polls, his concession speech, my "currying favor" with Xiaxue and the poor girl with cancer who became the rallying cry for his supporters. Here it is in full, for those who have not yet read it:
"IZ...

I watched the polls the last couple of hours and it was close. My site was up and then down and...

I signed off at 11:00 and you were ahead...So, I wrote the concession speech...It appeared you had won....

Several of my readers told me that your readers, not you, were rallying support on Xiaxue's blog..."Currying favor" was not meant to be negative. It was a competition and I knew your fans and Singapore were going to support you and in a big way...They SHOULD have...You should be proud of your readership....

Combined we doubled and tripled the vote tally of some of the most popular blogs on the planet...That alone is something we both should be proud of...

Re: The girl with cancer...
On my blog you will see a few feedblitz ads. The Paypal account that receives those funds donates ALL proceeds to two charities: The China-US Medical Foundation and The League of Extraordinary Chinese Women (a fund to aid victims of cancer) a group that has one of my past students in the ranks...She is 22 and in need of an artificial leg after undergoing surgery last month...

The students at her school, rural students with few resources and ardent readers of my blog, fought for Coffee (the girl's name) as well as to just have a dogfight with Singapore....

We ALL won. My traffic has increased I am sure has yours, and it is a win-win regardless of who was tagged as Best Asian Blog. More money will go to my charities and your readership will increase....I hope you will not allow people to cheapen a sincere effort for a much needed....

I like your blog...You are on my blog list and will remain there...

I intend to delete any sour grapes comments from my blog that would put you, Xiaxue or ANYONE in a bad light...My blog, except for rallying against PRC censorship and poverty in China, is a positive one and will remain so....

Mine is NOT the best blog is Asia, but I will wear the tag for a year if the results hold....And I will applaud you if they do not...

Thanks for a great battle....

Lonnie B Hodge
Onemanbandwidth"
Ah, don't we just love blog awards and for the record, I DID NOT curry favor with Xiaxue or sleep with her just to get votes from her or her fans. And no, we are not getting married and she's not having my baby either. I'm not worthy.

Previously: Thanks everyone for your votes

Monday, December 18, 2006

Design your own Penguin book cover

Penguin Books have published six of their classic books, Emma, Meditations, The Waves, The Picture of Dorian Gray, Magic Tales and Crime and Punishment with naked front covers! They are asking you to create your own front cover. See some of the covers submitted by readers here.

(Thanks kishwen)

Time's Person of the Year 2006 is YOU!

For seizing the reins of the global media, for founding and framing the new digital democracy, for working for nothing and beating the pros at their own game, Time has chosen YOU as its Person of the Year for 2006. Hooray! Let's celebrate everyone!

Thanks everyone for your votes

The 2006 Weblog Awards

The winners of the 2006 Weblog Awards have been announced. In the Best Asia Blog category, I lost out to One Man Bandwidth (6591 votes vs his 6887 votes). It was a tight race till the end. So congrats to One Man Bandwidth.

As some of you have pointed out to me during the last day of the race, if the poll was to close at the time that was stated, I would have won the category instead of One Man Bandwidth but the poll surprisingly continued to be open for at least one more hour and One Man Bandwidth managed to get the votes needed to get ahead of me. Bloody organisers! Ha!

Anyway, thanks to everyone who has voted for me. I've said it before and I will say it again. You peeps have been great. Many thanks and lots of love.

Put your best foot forward

Today on my photoblog Katoomba Syndrome: Put your best foot forward

Sally's Song



This is a clip taken from Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas, my favourite Christmas cum Halloween movie of all time. I love Sally's Song very much and I was delighted to find out today that they did a re-release of the movie soundtrack in October this year, and included a cover of Sally's Song sung by Fiona Apple. Here's the same clip but with Fiona's version.



I've listened to the full song by Fiona and although I prefer the original song done by Catherine O' Hara, who did the voice for Sally, I think Fiona's version is still commendable.

And if you have never watched The Nightmare Before Christmas before, then you should go grab the DVD or VCD and watch it soon, preferably on the night before Christmas aye.

Update: Sing along to Sally's Song with this YouTube karaoke video. (Thanks Mike)

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Chinese Democracy gets March 6 2007 release date

Dear Santa Rose,

I know that you're going to let me and millions of other Guns N Roses fans down this year. I know that by Xmas, we will not see the very much awaited Chinese Democracy album under our Xmas trees. I also know that you did try your best and give us the next best thing: A Chinese Democracy release date (finally!). From GunsNRoses.com:
It takes approximately eight weeks for an album to hit the shelves once it has been turned in to the record company. For whatever reasons, it appears that it may have been mistakenly inferred by management that this time period could be condensed to three weeks. With that being said, this is not a promise, a lie or a guarantee, but we do wish to announce a tentative release date of March 6. This is the first time we have done this publicly for this album. Others have made up all the other dates for their own reasons. We would like to assure the fans that everything in our power will be done to meet this date. Once it is finalized and official, you will be notified. If we are delayed for unseen reasons, you also will be notified as soon as possible in regard to a new date, and the album will be released as shortly thereafter as is possible. We thank you for your patience.

In the end, it’s just an album, but it’s one that I, the band, our record company and all involved believe and feel is a true Guns N’ Roses album. Ultimately the public will decide, and regardless of the outcome, our hearts, lives and our passion has been put into this project every step of the way. If for no other reason, we feel those elements alone merit your consideration. We do hope you can hold on just a bit longer, and if not, please take a break and we’ll be more than glad -- if you so choose -- to see you again later.
March 6 2007. The real countdown to Chinese Democracy begins now. Or is it? Will Axl Rose freak out and fail to deliver the album again? Will he disappear, only to return in 2020, by then China would have been a fully democratic country (not!) ?

Sigh. Just another day in the life of a long suffering Guns N Roses fan.

P.S. Santa, if you are reading this, I want to tell you that I have really been a good boy this year. Really!

How to make a paper rose

Do something really sweet for your date this weekend by making a rose out of a piece of napkin (link goes to a video on Metacafe). I'm sure she will be very impressed. I know I will.
And if you're looking to score more points with your date, then don't forget my earlier post on how to give a passionate kiss. As always, you can thank me.

Bunnies and Boobies

The reason why I love bunnies and boobies! Awww... those bunnies look so cute and comfy lying there aye.

(Thanks nazi)

DJ Riko Christmas Music Mixes

Looking for some music to get you into the Xmas spirit? Don't bother wasting money on new Xmas cds because it's that time of the year again when DJ Riko releases his popular Merry Mixmas for you guys to download and listen. This year's Xmas special mix contains tracks such as 'Gee Whiz, It's Christmas', 'Twas the Night Before the Goose Got Fat', 'Super Sharp Santa', 'Papa Noel', 'I'll Be Your Santa, Baby', to name a few and my favourite track, 'The 12 Days of Mixmas'. Also available for download is the entire DJ Riko Merry Mixmas collection (from 2002 to this year).

Friday, December 15, 2006

Fool's World Map

For those of you who do not know where Singapore is, take a look at this map here. Can you find Singapore? It is located just south of Saudi Arabia and beside India, also commonly known as Indonesia. Nah. That's not a real map. It is a world map imagined by the fools in the world. Now, where the hell is Jurassic Park?

(Thanks Rickie)

Blogging to peak next year?

I'm not a big fan of analysts, whether they are from the technology or financial side, but this is interesting. Analysts from Gartner said that during the middle of next year the number of blogs will level out at about 100 million. From BBC:
Gartner analyst Daryl Plummer said the reason for the levelling off in blogging was due to the fact that most people who would ever start a web blog had already done so.

He said those who loved blogging were committed to keeping it up, while others had become bored and moved on.

"A lot of people have been in and out of this thing," Mr Plummer said.

"Everyone thinks they have something to say, until they're put on stage and asked to say it."

Last month blog tracking firm Technorati reported that 100,000 new blogs were being created every day, and 1.3 million blog posts were written.

The Door to the Other Side?

Today on my photoblog Katoomba Syndrome: The Door to the Other Side?

Thursday, December 14, 2006

10 gadgets that changed the world

Wired Magazine lists down the 10 gadgets that changed the world. Included in the list is the Sony Walkman cassette player which first came out in the late 1970s. It changed the way we listen to our music. Look at all the iPods today. Portable music devices are here to stay and they have to thank the Sony Walkman cassette player for their success. Where will they (or we) be without the Walkmans aye?

(Thanks GeekGod)

Are you a present peeker?

Do you peek at your gifts? Well if you do, then you are not alone. A survey found that 1 in 5 adults in the US are habitual peekers. From Reuters:
The survey of 2,287 U.S. adults by research firm Harris Interactive found the main culprits tend to be women, with 21 percent unable to resist the temptation for a sneaky peep compared to 15 percent of men.

The younger 18 to 34 crowd also have less self-control than the 35-plus crowd, with 32 percent taking a sneaky look compared to 12 percent, according to the survey that was conducted on behalf of Yahoo! Shopping.

Gift wrapping expert Christine Fritsch, author of the book "Gifted Wrapping", suggested hiding present for children up high and trying to disguise adult's presents.

Condom Testers Wanted

Durex is looking for suitable candidates to test out their condoms in New Zealand. From Newswire.co.nz:
Victoria Potter, Durex NZ Manager says past Durex Global Sex Surveys consistently revealed Kiwis are an active nation when it comes to sex. Each year Kiwis were found to have one of the highest numbers of sexual partners and one-night stands. In addition, it was also revealed that Kiwis are relatively more adventurous when it comes to experimenting in the bedroom.

"Over the years Kiwis have proven they're a sexually energetic bunch, and therefore it makes sense that a select few will have the chance to try our latest condom innovation, all in the name of research.

"Durex values the opinions of its customers and we see this as another way in which we can receive feedback on our products," says Ms Potter.

"Durex wants to ensure that its condoms are best meeting the needs of New Zealanders from delivering on sexual pleasure, to keeping them safe."
Come on you Kiwis! Join the Durex Explorer Club now.

(Thanks xXx)

Circumcision helps prevent AIDS

Two trials of around 8,000 men in Uganda and Kenya have revealed a stunning conclusion that circumcision can cut the rate of HIV infection in heterosexual men by 50%. The trials were so overwhelming successful that researchers decided to stop them early so that the men acting as controls, be offered circumcision too. From BBC:
The trial in Kenya found a 53% reduction in new HIV infections in heterosexual men who were circumcised while the Ugandan study reported a drop of 48%.

Results last year from a study in 3,280 heterosexual men in South Africa, which was also stopped early, showed a 60% drop in the incidence of new infections in men who had been circumcised.

There are several reasons why circumcision may protect against HIV infection.

Specific cells in the foreskin may be potential targets for HIV infection and also the skin under the foreskin becomes less sensitive and is less likely to bleed reducing risk of infection following circumcision...

Dr Kevin De Cock, director of the HIV/Aids department of the World Health Organization told the BBC the results were a "significant scientific advance" but were not a magic bullet and would never replace existing prevention strategies.

"We will have to convene a meeting which we hope will happen quite soon to review the data in more detail and have discussions about the implications.

"This is an intervention that must be embedded with all the other interventions and precautions we have. Men must not consider themselves protected. It's a very important intervention to add to our prevention armamentarium."
This is really an amazing discovery. I'm glad I did mine when I was a boy. Ok, off topic here. I don't really like to make fun of people's names but how can one not laugh at the name of the director of the HIV/Aids department in the story above. Dr Kevin De COCK! Dude, you're so perfect for the job.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

20 ways to save energy

Here's how you can save energy and cut your energy bills with ConsumerReports.org's guide to reducing energy costs:
1. Wash clothes in cold water. You might guess that most of the energy used by a washing machine goes into vigorously swishing the clothes around. In fact, about 90 percent of it is spent elsewhere, heating the water for the load. You can save substantially by washing and rinsing at cooler temperatures. Warm water helps the suds to get at the dirt, but cold-water detergents will work effectively for just about everything in the hamper.

2. Hang it up. Clotheslines aren't just a bit of backyard nostalgia. They really work, given a stretch of decent weather. You spare the energy a dryer would use, and your clothes will smell as fresh as all outdoors without the perfumes in fabric softeners and dryer sheets. You'll also get more useful life out of clothes dried on indoor or outdoor clotheslines--after all, dryer lint is nothing but your wardrobe in the process of wearing out.

3. Don't overdry your laundry. Clothes will need less ironing and hold up better if you remove them from the dryer while they're still just a bit damp. If you are in the market for a dryer, look for one with a moisture sensor; it will be less likely than thermostat-equipped models to run too long.

4. Let the dishwasher do the work. Don't bother prerinsing dishes with the idea that your dishwasher will work less hard. Consumer Reports has found that this added step can waste 20 gallons of heated water a day. All you need to do is scrape off leftover food. Enzyme-based detergents will help make sure the dishes emerge spotless.

5. Put your PC to sleep. Keep your computer and its monitor in sleep mode rather than leaving them on around the clock. You stand to use 80 percent less electricity, which over the course of a year could have the effect of cutting CO2 emissions by up to 1,250 pounds, according to EPA estimates.

The Humanure Handbook

Learn how to recycle your own shit by reading this online version of The Humanure Handbook. The book has won awards in the US such as "Outstanding Book of the Year" and the book "Most Likely to Save the Planet." Some words from the author: "Nevertheless, I first published the Humanure Handbook with a great degree of trepidation. After all, recycling your own crap can be as bizarre to some people as a chicken with tits. You could suddenly beam down from the planet Uranus and raise less eyebrows than someone who refuses to flush. In fact, sometimes I feel like I did beam down from another planet when I see all the crazy things humans do to the Earth's environment. So I wasn't sure I even wanted anyone to read the book, and although I knew some people would be fascinated, I just didn't know who or where they were. I estimated there were maybe 250 people in America interested in the topic of humanure composting (roughly one in a million), so I printed a small number of books the first time around and assumed they would sit in my garage for the rest of my life until I discovered, one by one, those potential readers."

(Thanks Sir Thomas and no, I'm not going to recycle my shit anytime soon)

Make your own plush monster kit

Ever wanted to make your own monster come alive (in plush form, at least)? The folks at FAO Schwarz has partnered with the talented designers and artisans at the North American Bear Co. to offer this extraordinary chance to design your very own one-of-a-kind monster. For US$200, you will get the Make-Your-Own-Monster Design Kit, that includes colored pencils, paper, and a detailed questionnaire. You then have to draw your monster and create a story about the monster and describe his or her personality. Complete the kit and send it back to FAO Schwarz and they will then reproduce your design as a plush monster, including a descriptive hang-tag that tells the story of your monster as you have described it and identifies you as the creator.

It'll be over by Friday

The 2006 Weblog Awards

Polls for the 2006 Weblog Awards will close in two days time (11:59 PM, US - Eastern, December 15, 2006). For those of you who have voted for me in the Best Asia Blog category, I would like to say a very big thank you. You peeps have been amazing. And for those of you who haven't, what the hell are you waiting for?

Do keep on voting till the poll close aye. Remember, you can vote once daily. Don't cheat ok. If you cheat, I won't friend you anymore.

:op

Also, do check out the other finalists in the Best Asia Blog category and those in the other categories too. But remember, vote for me. Because...

unlike the rest, I can sing. Really.



Vote for IZ Reloaded!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Merry Xmas and here's a toy to damage your kid's hearing!

The charity Deafness Research UK tested 15 toys for sale this Christmas and found out that 14 of them could damage your child's hearing. From BBC:
The most noisy toys were found to be toy guns, including a mechanical toy machine gun, a plastic tommy gun and a cap gun.

They had the potential to cause serious damage to a child's hearing and could cause instant hearing loss, the researchers said.

Other toys tested included bestsellers such as Pixar Cars 'Lightening McQueen', Fireman Sam's Action Jupiter and Tomy's 'Spin n'Sound' remote-controlled car...

Researcher Dr Brad Backus said: "Children's toys clearly have the potential to do harm to their hearing so it's important that people are aware of the dangers and what to do about them.

"With most of the toys we tested, apart from the guns, there is a potential for harm but they're safe if used sensibly.

"With most toys, your child will only damage their hearing if they use them too often and for too long a duration, or if they stick them in their ear."

Dr Backus said parents should ensure that their children did not hold noisy toys too close to their ear, or let them play with them for more than an hour a day.
You can click on the BBC link for the list of all the toys tested and the average noise level they produce.

No more ice in the Arctic by 2040

Researchers simulating the earth's climate with computer models say that there will be no more ice in the Arctic by 2040 unless current greenhouse gases are significantly curtailed. From LiveScience:
"We have already witnessed major losses in sea ice, but our research suggests that the decrease over the next few decades could be far more dramatic than anything that has happened so far," Holland said. "These changes are surprisingly rapid."

However, the future of the Arctic doesn't have to be so grim: running simulations with less greenhouse gases, the researchers found that the summer sea ice melted at a much slower rate.

"Our research indicates that society can still minimize the impacts on Arctic ice," Holland said.
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