Tuesday, December 28, 2010



Fable of the Porcupine

It was the coldest winter ever.  Many animals died because of the cold.  The porcupines, realizing the situation, decided to group together.  This way, they covered and protected themselves; but, the quills of each one wounded their closest companions even though they gave off heat to each other.

After awhile, they decided to distance themselves one from the other and they began to die, alone and frozen. So they had to make a choice: either accept the quills of their companions or disappear from the Earth.
Wisely, they decided to go back to being together. This way they learned to live with the little wounds that were caused by the close relationship with their companion, but the most important part of it, was the heat that came from the others. This way they were able to survive.  
Therefore: The best relationship is not the one that brings together perfect people, but the best is when each individual learns to live with the imperfections of others and can admire the other person's good qualities. 

Monday, December 27, 2010

Why spoil the view?

I still do not understand why people insist on taking photos of themselves beside/in front of/outside landmarks. Is it their way of proving they were there?

Get out of the scene and don't spoil the view!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Castrate rapists?

Castration reduces sex offenders' recidivism from 46% to 3%. Don't laugh; castration is merely the removal of the testes, thereby reducing the testosterone; the organ is largely intact. An alternative to caning and custodial sentences?

MediShield should cover pre-existing illnesses, especially hereditary ones

Otherwise, those born with diseases will never get the chance to have coverage!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Un-Profitable Plots

Profitable Plots is being investigated for non-payment of dividends. With a name like that, surely people would know better and not trust dodgy ex-footballers?

Friday, December 10, 2010

Politeness leads Philippine expat to $17m lottery win

Politeness pays!

Maria of Sesame Street is still around!


Students attack Prince Charles' car after fee hike

Not a good time to go to Britain then, what with the cold snap and Camilla's even colder sense of humour.
Furious student protesters attacked a car carrying Prince Charles and his wife, Camilla, vandalized buildings and battled riot police Thursday as a controversial hike in university fees triggered Britain's worst political violence in years.
In a major security breach, demonstrators set upon the heir to the throne's Rolls Royce as it drove through London's busy West End on its way to a theater. A group of up to 20 struck it with fists, sticks and bottles, breaking a window and splattering the gleaming black vehicle with paint.
In the frenzy, some chanted "off with their heads!"
Adnan Nazir, a 23-year-old podiatrist who was following the protesters, said Charles, 62, kept his calm, gently pushing his 63-year-old wife toward the floor to get her out of the line of fire.
"Charles got her on the floor and put his hands on her," Nazir said. "Charles was still waving and giving the thumb's up.
"It was just a surreal thing," he said. "It was completely manic."
Charles' office, Clarence House, said the royal couple was unharmed. But the attack took police completely by surprise and raises serious security questions.
The chief of the Metropolitan Police, Paul Stephenson, said the force would launch an investigation into Thursday's violence.
Prime Minister David Cameron said the violence against the royal couple was "shocking and regrettable."
"It is clear that a minority of protesters came determined to provoke violence, attack the police and cause as much damage to property as possible," Cameron said. "They must face the full force of the law."
Police said it was unclear whether the royals had been deliberately targeted, or were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time.
The couple arrived looking somber but composed at the London Palladium theater, where they were attending a Royal Variety Performance.
Camilla later managed to shrug off the ordeal, saying there was "a first time for everything," the Press Association news agency reported.

Reflection on UniSIM in 2010

Being at UniSIM has allowed me to home my craft as a teacher and hone my knowledge beyond the confines of my classroom. It has also allowed me to interact with like-minded individuals. I've read books I never would've read, studies texts I never would've touched, and discovered things I never would've known. It was, as Russell Crowe would say it, a good year.
There's one line that reeks of sarcasm; can you spot it?

No honeymoon for Pardew

Great article from The Times' George Caulkin:


Alan Pardew is already facing a battle to win over players and fans at St James's Park after an appointment that has surprised many.

Alan Pardew will be confirmed as Newcastle United’s manager this morning, but his will be a marriage without a honeymoon. After a brutal few days that have left players and supporters bruised and bemused, the club will make their latest tilt at the long term, yet they can expect only short-term hostility.

If this is the answer, many will wonder at the point of the question. The abrupt dismissal of Chris Hughton, a man who retained the respect and affection of the dressing room and was instrumental in repairing a fractured relationship with the fans, has threatened everything.

Newcastle have been a delicate coalition since their relegation from the Barclays Premier League last year and now it has been disbanded. What is more, it has been disbanded willingly.

That, of course, is not Pardew’s doing. The 49-year-old was at Slaley Hall hotel in Northumberland last night for discussions with Newcastle’s hierarchy and, given his association with Mike Ashley and Derek Llambias, it is safe to assume that there was little to fret over. His contract with be lengthy — stretching for five years — and a £500,000 salary will be heavily incentivised for avoiding relegation.

Newcastle are fond of Peter Beardsley, the reserve-team coach, but Pardew hopes to name Ray Lewington, Fulham’s youth development manager, as his assistant and Andy Woodman, of Charlton Athletic, as his goalkeeping coach. Their first task would be to re-energise a first-team squad that coalesced and rallied at Hughton’s prompting. Footballers are pragmatic, but the unit has been shaken.
In a recent interview with The Times, Andy Carroll, the Newcastle striker, spoke about Hughton. His words were effusive and sincere. “Chris has brought everyone together,” he said. “It’s like you’re coming in to see your best friends every day, everyone’s so close. We go to the cinema together, share lifts, go for food. It’s down to him. He changed everything around.”

It was born of adversity, but as Newcastle strained for promotion, supporters witnessed something rare: players who, whatever their ability, brought honour to their shirts and fought for the cause. A team. At last, a team. In turn, it restored a link between pitch and stands, which had been frayed by the failings of too many athletes of deep wealth and shallow commitment.

Hughton was liked. He brought patience and a sheen of stability. It meant that after demotion, the treatment of Alan Shearer and Kevin Keegan, the plan to hawk the stadium’s naming rights, Joe Kinnear and Dennis Wise, and so many other miscalculations, despair at the owner could be put to one side. That was the coalition. That is what has been jeopardised.

Ashley and Llambias, his managing director, are not demons. They are three-dimensional figures who have intriguing ideas about football and this week’s events should not be viewed as wanton destruction. They have a logic - they had concerns about Newcastle’s home record under Hughton, who they viewed less as a natural manager than a coach - but it is a logic that can feel desperately illogical. In a season that, as far as Hughton and most rational observers were concerned, was all about consolidation, they have invited pressure upon themselves. It must be remembered that Ashley’s funding has kept Newcastle solvent and their aim is to create a self-sufficient business, but their timing is perplexing. Football may be a business, but emotion still lies at its core.



Referee Claus Bo Larsen unimpressed with Ronaldo

Referee Claus Bo Larsen has named Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo his 'most annoying player'.
Ronaldinho, Claus Bo Larsen
GettyImagesClaus Bo Larsen took charge of Milan's defeat to Ajax on Wednesday
The FIFA Top Class Referee, who took charge of his final Champions League game on Wednesday, claims Ronaldo is always looking to buy free-kicks and that they have to be prepared for his behaviour ahead of Champions League games.
"He's always out to get a cheap free-kick, especially at home," he told Ekstra Bladet. "We tended to talk before games about how he'd go down easily.
"We know not to be biased, but we have to be prepared. He has a clean slate at the start of every game. When he would lie down after failing to win a free-kick, he smiled at me because he knew I didn't fall for his theatrics."
Larsen also said he is on good terms with Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson.
"I have a good relationship with Ferguson, even though he sputters and shouts and screams at referees," he said. "I'll never forget him coming to knock on my door after a Champions League game at Old Trafford.
"He simply said that it had been the best refereeing performance in years. That was great."

The Cast of GLEE Perform on THE X FACTOR

I think Finn is popular cos he most resembles a boring Brit. Watch Mercedes pwn Simon at 4:11.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Dr M's legacy of moneyed Melayu Baru by Helen Ang

Helen Ang
Feb 18, 10

If Dr Mahathir Mohamad lives to greet 2020, he may see not only his son Mokhzani listed among the country's richest individuals but also many more brothers, daughters, and kith and kin of his Umno colleagues and cronies.

Mahathir (below right) would die a happy man if in the annual rich list, Malay billionaires outnumbered the nons. The chip on his shoulder is that Malays are too young to be aware of and to “experience the bitterness and pain of life as a colonized people” [from his 1986 essay Quo vadis Malaysia ?].
His exaggerated fear – “will the Malays who were colonised 400 years be again conquered and enslaved” – is a recurrent theme. His way of assuaging this deep-seated anxiety is through the assurance of the power of money. He wants Malays to be self-assured and successful but the Mahathir measure is calibrated in ringgit and sen.

In his 1970s book The Malay Dilemma, Mahathir wrote: “With the existence of the few rich Malays at least the poor Malays can say that their fate is not entirely to serve the rich non-Malays.” The post-May 13 tutorial frames his bete noireChinese as living “in huge houses” who regarded Malays as Ahmads “only fit to drive their cars”.

“From the point of view of racial ego, and this ego is still strong, the unseemly existence of Malay tycoons is essential,” Mahathir had avowed.

From the point of view of our ex-premier, creating a mere handful of super-duper elites is okay, as long as they are Malay. These captains of industry will show the world that Melayu pun boleh. On a pile of newly minted money, Malays can stand tall.

Excesses of the nouveau riche

The profligacy of 'Melayu Baru' role models is not usually made known to the unwashed masses. We only get an inkling of their fabulous wealth when a politician's home is burgled. Details of the police report tell of 'small change' taken from the safe, or Rolexes, designer clothing and loose jewelry stolen.

Divorce proceedings are yet another enlightening primary source of information. We learned a few years ago how one ageing Datin was given aRM50 million settlement by ex-hubby the former minister 
Effendi Norwawi (right), whose much younger second wife is the glamorous actress Tiara Jacquelina.

Lower-ranked politicians don't do too badly for themselves either.

When former Negri Sembilan state assemblyman for Seri Menanti, Hishamuddin Abdul Kadir, 60, was served divorce papers by his 34-year-old wife Norish Karman last July, she asked for five houses, five cars and his company shares.

In her filing at the Syariah High Court, the starlet sought their RM2 million home in Bangi , three condos in KL and another house in Seremban ; their cars a BMW 6-series, a Nissan Murano , a Nissan Elgrand , a Rexton Stavic and a Toyota Caldina ; RM1,500 monthly maintenance for each child (they have three children); RM900 for the maid plus her own personal expenses of RM6,000 monthly. Oh yes, and the shares too.

This slice of life from the Melayu Baru landscape shows Umno leadership by example.

Too nice by nature

In his opus on eugenics, Mahathir proffered a “therapeutic diagnosis” on what hindered the progress and competitive abilities of the dilemma-ed Malay.

His treatise said Malays were economically backward because they were by nature too nice, and thus unfailingly preyed upon by the “aggressive” and “predatory” Chinese.

His prescriptive treatment of the malaise was for the community to radically alter their 'adat' which in his opinion was an impediment.

The Malay Dilemma advances the most amazing insights, such as this gem: “If race differentiates citizens, then there must also be racial loyalty. Racial loyalty must involve privileges for one's race and denial of rights to others.”

Mahathir views that “Under these conditions, each member of a race must be instinctively guided by considerations of profit and loss for himself. It follows that the more privileges of a given race the greater the gain for the individual member. 'Each member must therefore seek to enhance the position of his race so that he himself may gain in the long run. If this fact of race, race loyalty and privilege are understood, then attitudes on race relations in Malaysia can be better appreciated.”

During his 22-year tenure, Mahathir had ample means to impose and implement his will.

Reengineering the Melayu marque 

Mahathir's pursuit of modernity is Western-oriented, with a nod to Japan during his 'Look East' phase. Under him, Malaysia became car-makers like the Americans, Europeans and Japanese. Mahathir currently wants Malays to master science through English.

True enough, Japanese are in the thick of technology but Mahathir forgets that they did in on their own terms. Japanese until today don't speak English capably. They did not copy the whites and abandon the core of their self-identity.

With the Meiji Restoration, they embraced the technological age with a vengeance but kept their social mores intact.

On the other hand, the Malay Dilemma is a “blaze of amateur sociology” (to borrow from Nobel-winning economist Robert Solow ) to explain Malay lack of productivity and the community's meagre share of national income. That before the NEP Malays were floundering for which Mahathir ascribed to their traditional value system and this held them back from entrepreneurship.

He decried the conservative rural community's propensity to prepare for the hereafter as “a form of escapism from the realities of life, an insulation against the envy Malays must feel for the prosperity of other races”.

To compete with the drive of those other races, he insisted Malays must change their code of ethics , and with thoroughness and speed. He believed attitude to work and money is key to economic advancement. He also believed the Malay approach in this respect was to their disadvantage.

He encouraged Malays to go into business in a big way. But for them to thrive in an environment already dominated by the Chinese, Mahathir felt that the Malay “innocent” must radically transform.

Enter Melayu Baru 2.0
Playing behavioral scientist in 1970, Mahathir saw Malays as polite, generous, having good breeding and possessing “the quality of moderation”.

He felt that to successfully compete, they had to put aside their temperance, fatalism, caution and indecisiveness, as well as leave behind their courtesy, accommodation, tolerance and spirit of compromise.

In short, to get themselves out of their perceived predicament, Malays needed to be remodeled. But into what? As quoted earlier, into a people who are race loyal and willing to deny the rights of others in the course of the rat race.

This religio-ethnocentricity that Mahathir moulded can be glimpsed in the country's present indifference to the plight of those outside the charmed circle – in the inertia of official response to the earthquake in Haiti , to the despair of the Tamil underclass in our own backyard.
Nothing much for Haiti Malaysia gave tens of millions in cash and Mercy Malaysia immediately sent seven missions to Gaza in 2009 following Israel's attack which left between 1,200 and 1,400 Palestinians dead. As far as I know, Malaysia did not send any significant humanitarian relief or medical teams (donation drives privately headed by Unicef Malaysia and Red Crescent apart) to Haiti where 230,000 were killed.

Three days before last Christmas, there was a small news report on a 68-year-old mentally unsound Indian vagabond found dead in a pool of blood. CCTV camera showed the assailant covering the victim's head with a plastic bag and punching him on a corridor of a shop in Georgetown. This heartbreaking story should have sparked national outrage, but it hardly blipped on the radar of public consciousness.

What has the Mahathir solution to the Malay dilemma ultimately wrought?
He handpicked Khir Toyo (left) to be Selangor Menteri Besar. He is now promoting foul-mouthed ally Ibrahim Ali as Perkasa chairman. His mediocre son Mukhriz is a deputy minister. These are among Dr M's tangible Melayu Baru legacies.

More than anyone else, the man has singlehandedly done untold damage to the Melayu Lama adab of graciousness and saddled us with the truly graceless.

HELEN ANG used to be a journalist. In future, she would like to be a practising cartoonist. But for the present, she is in the NGO circles and settling down to more serious writing and reading of social issues. 

Monday, December 06, 2010

Danish actor who inspired Tintin dies

So this is what Tintin will look like when 98.

Danish actor who inspired Tintin has died

Danish actor Palle Huld, who reportedly inspired a Belgian cartoonist to create the comic book reporter Tintin, has died. He was 98.
Huld died Nov. 26 in a retirement home in Copenhagen. The cause of death was not given.
Huld was a stage actor with Denmark's Royal Theater, and he appeared in 40 Danish films between 1933 and 2000.
However, his fame came before his acting career began.
In 1928, he won a competition organized by Danish newspaper that wanted to send a teenager would-be-reporter around the globe.
For 44 days, the 15-year-old traveled to North America, Japan, Siberia and Germany, and was greeted by 20,000 people upon his return to Copenhagen.
Herge, the pen name of Belgian author Georges Remi, heard of Huld's journey which reportedly inspired him to create Tintin, the globe-trotting reporter.


Sunday, December 05, 2010

AFF Suzuki Cup 2010: Singapore 2-1 Myanmar

Impressed with Singapore's fortitude to come back from 1-0 down. Good work, especially on the left from Khairul Amri and up front from the much-maligned Agu Casmir. Terrible positioning from Precious and Baihakki, though. Such huge gaps the Myanmarese could drive a tank through.


Friday, December 03, 2010

Pinoy pinups

I suspect The Younghusband brothers will be very popular among football's female followers. James and Phil respectively: