Friday, April 28, 2006

Super Mario LIVE



Dude and friends did a live performance of the first level from the Super Mario Brothers game during a talent show. And oh boy, did the audience love it!

(Thanks Lord Kimbo)

The Milky Way and Friends

Today on my photoblog Katoomba Syndrome: The Milky Way and Friends

.... and the 2006 Photobloggies is now accepting nominations.

Do nominate my photoblog http://katoombasyndrome.blogspot.com for the Best South East Asian photoblog category.

Nomination phase closes in 9 days.

Many thanks!

Singaporean dude has 400 Star Wars action figures!







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! I saw his collection when it was showcased at The Art Of Star Wars exhibition. Amazing! More photos on my Star Wars Toy Collection Flickr set.

The Pussy Pillow

I wonder if sleeping on the pussy pillow will actually get rid of my almost daily nightmares of Barney chasing me with a chainsaw. Check this out. The pussy pillow has luscious lips on one side and luscious lips on the other. It has a secret zipper that "reveals an inner pouch for your personal treasures". It also has a beautiful rhinestone located at THE spot. Now, if Buddha looks like he is sleeping very comfortably on it maybe it will work on me too. No more Barney nightmares for me!

(Thanks NdYo)

Thursday, April 27, 2006

You do not have to vote



No!!!!!! Not OK!

Damn you opposition parties. Why didn't you guys contest the Marine Parade GRC? I wanna vote. I wanna see a fight. There's no fun in walkovers.

Damn it! Damn it! Damn it!

I guess it is too late for me to change my registered address aye.

Click here to find out if you are luckier than me.

Previously: Voting is compulsory in Singapore... really!

LASIK at Home

LASIK@Home is an affordable hand operated laser that allows anyone to do their own LASIK surgery at home. I reckon this is a hoax. Do you really want to trust a product that costs only US$99.95 to cut a small flap in the cornea of your eye and then vaporizes a tiny section of the lens without damaging the surrounding tissue? Do you even trust yourself to do it on your own? You know, I've always wanted to go for LASIK but I'm going to leave it to the professional eye surgeons.

(Thanks Celvin Goh)

Beware of rising tide

Today on my photoblog Katoomba Syndrome: Beware of the rising tide

.... and the 2006 Photobloggies is here again.

Do nominate my photoblog http://katoombasyndrome.blogspot.com for the Best South East Asian photoblog category. Nomination phase closes in 10 days.

Many thanks!

Cancer, AIDS healing plants found in Borneo

Cancer, AIDS and malaria could be a thing of the past. A WWF report says that plants that could help treat or cure these deadly diseases have been found in the forests of Borneo. But WWF says this medical treasure trove is threatened and calls for its long-term protection.

Scientists are currently testing samples collected in the Malaysian states of Sabah and Sarawak, as well as in Kalimantan, the Indonesian part of Borneo. They hope to develop drugs that could contribute to the treatment of major, deadly human diseases.

One pharmaceutical company has identified a promising anti-cancer substance in a shrub found in Sarawak. A compound present in the plant Aglaia leptantha has been found to effectively kill 20 kinds of human cancer cells in laboratory tests, including those that cause brain and breast cancer, and melanoma.

Scientists also found a unique chemical in latex produced by the Bintangor tree. The compound, Calanolide A, appears to be effective against the replication of the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), as well as the tuberculosis bacterium, which affects many AIDS patients. The discovery is particularly important as, to date, no single drug has been able to treat both HIV and TB. If clinically proven, Calanolide A could be a major development for the health of many millions of people worldwide.

Another find is a powerful and previously unknown anti-malarial agent in the bark of a local tree traditionally used by the Kenyah people of Kalimantan to treat malaria. Scientists say that the substance – a triterpenoid – apparently kills the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum in laboratory tests.

According to WWF, 422 new plant species have been discovered in Borneo in the last 25 years, and many other species are waiting to be found and studied, some of them could hold potentially important medical properties. However, the global conservation organization warns that all these promising discoveries could be eventually lost if the disappearing rainforests of the heart of Borneo are not adequately protected.

Today, only half of Borneo's forest cover remains, down from 75 per cent in the mid 1980s. But the three Bornean governments – Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia and Malaysia – have recently launched the Heart of Borneo initiative, which aims to preserve approximately 220,000km2 of equatorial forests and numerous wildlife species.

Read the full press release here.

Make money switching users to Firefox

Four Firefox die hard users are taking the battle with Microsoft's Internet Explorer to a whole new level. They have setup a new website called Explorer Destroyer which aims to increase the number of users converting from Internet Explorer to the Firefox browser.

How are they going to do it?

Simple. They are giving away money.

If you have a website or a blog, all you need to do is to download their script and put it on your site. Your site will then detect a user if he is using Internet Explorer and will automatically prompt him to convert to Firefox. You will receive US$1 for every person that converts to Firefox from your site thanks to Google. Please note that you need to sign up with Google Adsense in order to receive the bounty.

Here's an excerpt from their open letter on why they are doing this:
About 8 months ago, we spent some time talking about an aggressive strategy to get people to switch to Firefox. Remember those splash pages on websites that say 'You must be using Internet Explorer to view this page'. What if it was the opposite? What if websites said: 'You cannot view this page with Internet Explorer. Please download Firefox to continue.'

It's a tough strategy. On the one hand, we knew it would convert way more people than classy-but-tiny "get firefox" buttons. But would bloggers and site administrators really put a splash page between 90% of their readers and their own content? Firefox fervor had reached a point where we thought that some people might actually do it, web-designers who do constant battle with IE6's lack of standards support. But we knew a lot of sites wouldn't. And we were really busy. So we tossed the idea onto the ol' idea pile and kept on trucking.

Then a few days ago, Google announced that they would pay $1 for each referral to Firefox with Google Toolbar. The idea popped back out of the idea pile. Google has just set the stage for Firefox to literally "take back the web" and go from 11% of browsers to over 50%. If people can now spread Firefox, stick it to Microsoft, and make money for each user switched, an aggressive strategy just got more appealing.

Transformers Movie: "Their War. Our World."

Lucky dude from Ain't It Cool News got a chance to meet with Michael Bay, director of the upcoming Transformers movie. Bay revealed lots of interesting info about the movie including its tagline, "Their War. Our World." Now, that's what I called a great movie tagline. Brilliant! From Ain't It Cool News:
Bay then showed me a rough design for the TRANSFORMERS teaser poster. It was a robotic eye overlooking planet Earth, kind of peeking over the curvature of the globe. The eye was in a brow the shape of a right triangle and looked very mechanical, iris and all. The tagline was "Their War. Our World."

...It was around here that I got my first look at Optimus Prime. I saw three concept art pieces on Optimus. The first was a headshot. He is blue, like the cartoon, but I noticed a lack of red in the early stuff I saw. Mostly steel gray and blue. Not sure what I think about that. His face is a bit longer than I remember the cartoon being, but the image I think of when I picture Optimus Prime is when his face guard is up. Bay was quick to point out that the Optimus I was seeing was him without his battle mask. Like the other robot I saw, Optimus was more angular than the cartoon, but he was still hulking. He was by no means lithe and skinny. Bulky, but not blocky.
(via Transformers LIVE)

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Singapore is...

Come on mates! Singapore is a great place to live because... From Republic of Bobby:
In Singapore, the majority of us live in Highly Dangerous Buildings (HDB),

And most people have already got used to Paying and Paying (PAP).
Not only do you have to pay, you Pay Until Bankrupt (PUB).

If that's not enough, somebody still Purposely Wants to Dig (PWD) and get more from you.

So what more can you do when you are in the Money Only Environment (MOE)?

With the current Mad Accounting System (MAS), you are forced to Pay the Sum Ahead (PSA),

Which will leave some people Permanently Owing Some Banks (POSB).
And forced to live on the Loan Techniques Always (LTA) system.

Crazy Monopoly Cards

Here are some Monopoly cards we'd like to see but we never will. I like this one the most. "Bank Error in your favor..."

Yeah!!!!!

(Thanks Andre)

The IKEA Office Planner

Planning to get IKEA furnitures for your office? Then, this free download from IKEA may be handy for you. The IKEA Office Planner is a small software that allows you to plan your office layout. Drag and drop pieces into a layout, view them in a 3-D view, try different colors, print your design, and see the total cost of your new office from IKEA. If only they have a similar software for the home. That will be so cool.

(Thanks Lucca)

Chinese women growing bigger boobs

We all know that China is experiencing an explosive economic growth but that's not the only thing that is "growing" in China. The breasts of women there are also growing larger according to a study. Bra manufacturers have already taken notice of this "booming" trend. They have been producing larger cup sizes for the Chinese market. From China Daily:
Zhang Jing, a saleswoman with the Triumph brand at Landmark Plaza said she's surprised to find many women under the age of 20 need bras with C, D or even E-cups.

"It's so different from the past when most young women would wear A- or B-cup bras," she said. "You will never expect those thin women to have such nice figures if they are not plastic."

...Feng Wei, an official with the Ordifen's design, development and research department, said the company began making more C-cup products last year based on sales feedback and an internal survey.

"We make and sell products differently in various areas based on data collected in those places," said Feng. "For a time we only made A and B-cup bras for many categories of products but now C-cups have become a major focus especially in big cities like Shanghai and Beijing."
The report says that nutritious food and increase participation in sports are the reasons for the bust size increase. I wonder what kind of food they eat there in China.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Bamboo mouse and keyboard


Anyone fancy a keyboard and mouse made from bamboo? I'll be waiting for the bamboo pc.

(Thanks GeekGod)

Is this the biggest burger ever?

A group of friends decided to get together one afternoon to cook one really big burger. Is this the world's biggest burger ever? I'm not so sure but it is one hell of a WHOPPER alright.

(Thanks maccaman10)

History of video games



Video game fans will love this video by Discovery Channel about the history of video games. Find out how the first video game Pong was invented, learn more about the beginnings of video game companies such as Atari and Nintendo and more.

Global warming created 2005 storms

Scientists say that global warming played an important role in the record number of hurricanes in the Atlantic last year and warn us that this is just the beginning of more extreme weather to come. From Reuters:
"The hurricanes we are seeing are indeed a direct result of climate change and it's no longer something we'll see in the future, it's happening now," said Greg Holland, a division director at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado...

Holland, director of the Mesoscale and Microscale Meteorology Division of the federal research center, said tropical storm anomalies in the 1940s and 1950s can be explained by natural variability.

But he said carbon dioxide started changing traceable patterns in the 1970s and by the early 1990s, the atmospheric results were affecting the storm numbers and intensities.

"What we're seeing right now in global climate temperature is a signature of climate change," said Holland, a native of Australia. "The large bulk of the scientific community say what we are seeing now is linked directly to greenhouse gases."

Today is Ben & Jerry's Free Cone Day!



Today, Ben & Jerry's is giving away free scoops of their delicious ice-cream as part of their global Free Cone Day. Here in Singapore, just drop by any of their Scoop Shops at Great World City, United Square, Suntec City Mall or the Singapore Zoo between 12 noon to 7pm to enjoy a free cone of ice cream.

For those in the US, click here to find the participating stores near you while those living in other countries can find out more here.

I HEART B&J!!!

(Thanks Mel)

Monday, April 24, 2006

IZ Reloaded you are mighty!


Thanks to reader Coffee Addict for making me smile today. All I need now is a blue cape and spandex and I'll be a superhero.

(Thanks Coffee Addict. I'll buy you coffee next time.)

Happy First Birthday Snuppy!

The world's first cloned dog celebrates its first birthday today. The dog named Snuppy was created in South Korea by a team of scientists led by one time national hero and now shamed scientist Hwang Woo-suk. From Reuters:
The birthday celebrations at the university where Hwang once ran his lab were subdued. Snuppy, short for Seoul National University puppy, is in good health and weighs about 29 kilograms (64 lbs), university officials said.

For his birthday, Snuppy enjoyed two of his favourite foods; ice cream and sausages...

Dogs are considered one of the most difficult animals to clone because of their reproductive cycle. Snuppy was born after a normal pregnancy in a yellow Labrador surrogate mother.

The process was difficult and costly. A total of 1,095 reconstructed embryos were transferred into 123 surrogates to create two living puppies. The other cloned dog died after 22 days from pneumonia.

Kamasutra Gummy Bear style

You can always count on the gummy bears for a lesson on Kamasutra. Check out the Carma* Sutra for Gummy Bears set on Flickr. Now, that's what I call delicious.

(via MeFi)

Sunday, April 23, 2006

How to put a plaster on your finger



I always have a problem with sticking plaster. Yup, those sticky plastic adhesive bandages (BandAid, Handyplast, Elastoplast, etc) that you use when you have a cut on your finger. Most of the time, they tend to fall off.

You can tell how happy I am after watching this Japanese video showing the proper way to stick a plaster on your finger.

What a neat idea! I love Japanese!

(Thanks Keyes)

Cool new bottle cap

Check out this new bottle cap invented by Sergio Trujillo. On his site, he has several photos of the bottle cap and a YouTube video showing how it works. The site and video are in Spanish but I think they are pretty self-explanatory. Good luck Sergio with the likes of Coca Cola and Budweiser.

T-shirt tape gallery

Austrian artists Christoph Pringlinger, Olive Laric and George Schnitzer used colorful tapes to form the numbers 1 to 50 on Umbro T-Shirts as part of an Umbro exhibition booth in Munich.

(Thanks Uncle Jim)

How to make flip flops using duct tape

Need a new pair of flip flops? Why not make one using duct tape?! Over at the Duck Tape Club, you'll find instructions on how you can make your own flip flops, wallet, bracelet, pencil holder and more. Three cheers for the duct tape.

(Thanks neorod)

Friday, April 21, 2006

The Wooden Fence

Today on my photoblog Katoomba Syndrome: The Wooden Fence

Voting is compulsory in Singapore... really!

Get ready to hit the election centres come May 6. That's the day that the Singapore government has chosen for the country's General Elections. For most of us who have never voted before in Singapore, this could be our chance to finally do so. Well, even if you aren't too eager to vote, you really have no choice because as we all know, voting is compulsory in Singapore. Everyone has to vote!

So if it is compulsory, what happens if someone does not vote? Will the government track you down, charge you in court and put you in jail? No one I talked to really knows. They only say that when it is compulsory in Singapore, it means you have to do it or else. So or else what? What really happens if you don't vote?

Well, I found my answer thanks to the Elections Department Singapore website. Over at its Voting is Compulsory page, it says:
Voting at Singapore’s presidential election or parliamentary election is compulsory for all eligible citizens. It is part of the responsibility of being an adult Singapore citizen.

So, if the presidential election or the parliamentary election in your constituency is contested, and you are eligible to vote, you must present yourself as a voter at your assigned polling station on Polling Day and cast your vote.
There's also a couple of interesting Q&As on the same page:
What if I do not vote at an election?

At the end of the election, the Returning Officer will put your name, together with all others who did not vote at the election, in the list of non-voters and pass that to the Registration Officer. The Registration Officer will then remove your name from the certified register of electors.

This means that you cannot vote at any subsequent presidential or parliamentary election, and you are disqualified from being a candidate at any subsequent presidential or parliamentary election.
There's no mention of any other punishment besides the above. So if you don't really want to vote, I would think that you can safely do so as long as you don't mind not being to allowed to participate in future elections. Or maybe there's something else that they are not telling us.

Anyway do our votes really matter? Should every Singaporean be out in full force come May 6 or should we just don't turn up? It is no secret that everyone knows who's going to win aye. Well, it does matter to me. Why? Mainly because my fingers are just itching to mark an X on the spot. See you guys on May 6.

Sex on the road, India style



This is a video shot by someone driving along a road in India. It shows a couple having sex at the side of the road. To me, it looks like the lady is probably a prostitute. Watch closely and you can spot another lady in the video, squatting just a couple of feet away from the couple. I think she is waiting for her turn.

(Thanks Andy)

Thursday, April 20, 2006

The Firefox Bus

You know Firefox is the world's most popular web browser when you start seeing a bus in India sporting a Firefox paint job.

(Thanks SIM)

Your very own vintage Chinese propaganda poster



Now you too can have your portrait painted like a vintage chinese propaganda poster at Maopost.com. Just choose a poster among their selections, send a photo of your face and for a few hundred bucks, a Chinese painter will paint a replica of the poster with your face on it.

I too wanna be a Chinese Socialist Hero. So I decided to use a photo of mine and a bit of photoshop to see how I would look like in such a poster. You can see the result above.

Hear me roar!

"Ba pi lin pi kong de douzheng jinxing daodi!"

or in English, it should sound like this,

"Carry out the struggle of denouncing Lin Biao and Confucius to the end!"

Dang. I feel like a hero already.

How to build a dirt cheap fisheye camera

Here's how you can build a fisheye digital camera that will only cost you US$20, using door peepholes as the fisheye lens and a cheap pen digital camera.

(Thanks K M Johnsen)

Thousands hug Hugging Saint

The latest buzz in Singapore is not the upcoming elections (boring!) but a 53 year old lady from India known as the Hugging Saint. Thousands are expected to queue for hours just to have a 3 second hug from her. From Channel NewsAsia:
Over the past 35 years, she has probably hugged almost a million people a year, many of them on her travels around the world to places like Japan, the US, Europe and the Middle East...

Her assistant, translating from Amma's native Malayalam, explained: "There is a thirst to experience pure love and people are reluctant to give it and when we give it, there is a selfish motive. But Amma wants to love selflessly and awaken that love in others."

Those who have received her hugs agree.

"You have to experience it yourself. I cannot explain it, it's a really good feeling," one person said.

"There is that special energy, that difference. It is difficult to describe," another person said.
Wow.

A really good feeling.

A special energy.

Hmmmm, these are the same kind of reaction I get from people who have hugged me too. Maybe I should be a Hugging Saint. Travelling around the world, giving hugs. What a job. I love hugs!

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Your camera phone can now be a scanner too

Camera phone users can now use their phones to scan, copy and fax thanks to a cool free software called scanR. It uses advanced imaging processing and data extraction technologies to convert photos taken from your camera phone into legible, searchable PDF files. From MobileCrunch:
My experience with ScaR is that it does take a bit of patience to learn the best way to light and photograph your document for optimal results, but when you consider the difficulty of what they’re allowing you to do and when you think about how large the office equipment is that lets you do essentially the same thing that fact that this works at all is nothing short of amazing.

Frankly I was very impressed with the quality of the images that the scans returned. Even in comparison to shooting documents directly with my Nokia N90 I found that the ScanR scans compared very favorably - even when those scans were produced using a much lower resolution camera.
(Thanks GeekGod)

A collection of fart sounds

We all fart. There's no shame to it. People do not realise this but when we eat, we also swallow air. Gas is also produced when our food gets digested. More air! Now, when you have that much air inside you, it has to come out somewhere. That's why we all fart.

Do you know that not all fart sounds are alike? Bad Gas has a collection of 16 fart sounds in wav format. Go listen to them all. There's one that sounds like a motorbike gathering speed just before the engine abruptly cuts out. And another that sounds like a duck having a disturbing nightmare.

"A good fart should be treated like fine wine."

Now what kinda fart is yours? Mine just now sounded like a propeller plane landing in a swamp.

This is how people drive in India



I'm starting to think that over in India, a driving licence isn't enough for you to get behind the wheel. You need lots of balls too.

(via Mr Brown)

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Microsoft's guide to computer slang

Over at the Microsoft website, parents can learn how to understand leet, a popular computer slang that is used by kids today. From Microsoft:
Numbers and symbols often replace the letters that they resemble. The term "leetspeak" could be written as "!337$p34k". The character "!" replaces the letter L, "3" poses as a backwards letter E, and "7" is the letter T, and so on. Other examples of character/letter replacement include using "8" for the letter B, "9" for G, and the number 0 for the letter O. The substitution is limited only by the leetspeaker's creativity.

Letters can be substituted for other letters that might sound alike. For example, the letter Z can replace the final letter S in the word "skillz". With the letter X replacing the letter C or K, the example becomes "sxillz". Then using numbers and symbols, leetspeakers might refer to their computer skills as "5x1llz".
(Thanks Mr Big)

Spell with Flickr



Spell with Flickr is a cute little Flickr hack that allows you to type any word or sentence and it will spell out for you using images of letters and numbers found on Flickr. You can also click on a particular image to change it. Cool!

(Thanks GeekGod)

McDonald's Recipes



'McMenu: Do-It-Yourself McDonald’s Restaurant Recipes' is an alledged authentic list of recipes of McDonald's food products. It teaches you how to choose the right beef patties, how to cook them, how to toast the buns and much more. There are recipes for McDonald's icons such as the Hamburger, the Quarter Pounder, the Big Mac, Filet-O-Fish and even the french fries. From the HTML version of the PDF file:
Peel the potatoes. In a large mixing bowl, combine sugar, corn syrup, and hot water. Make sure the sugar is dissolved. Using a French fry slicer, cut the peeled potatoes into shoestrings. The potatoes should be 1/4" x 1/4" in thickness, and about 4" to 6" long. (You can do this with a knife, but it is a lot of work)

Place the shoe-stringed potatoes into the bowl of sugar-water, and refrigerate. Let them soak about 30 minutes. While they're soaking, pack the shortening into the deep fryer. Crank up the temperature to "full". The shortening has to pre-heat for a very long time. It will eventually liquefy. After it has liquefied and is at least 375°, drain the potatoes and dump them into the fryer. (be careful, it will be ferocious)
Here's the PDF file (hosted by Junkheap) for download. These recipes are based on the old McDonald’s production methods of the 50's, 60's, and 70's.

(Photo above by Slice who also writes a nice burger blog)

25 most difficult job interview questions

This set of questions and tips on how to answer them can be very handy for those going for job interviews. From GoodRecruits:
23. What do you feel this position should pay?

Salary is a delicate topic. We suggest that you defer tying yourself to a precise figure for as long as you can do so politely. You might say, “I understand that the range for this job is between $______ and $______. That seems appropriate for the job as I understand it.” You might answer the question with a question: “Perhaps you can help me on this one. Can you tell me if there is a range for similar jobs in the organization?”

If you are asked the question during an initial screening interview, you might say that you feel you need to know more about the position’s responsibilities before you could give a meaningful answer to that question. Here, too, either by asking the interviewer or search executive (if one is involved), or in research done as part of your homework, you can try to find out whether there is a salary grade attached to the job. If there is, and if you can live with it, say that the range seems right to you.

Monday, April 17, 2006

The Bikini Babe PC



I love the Bikini Babe PC made by Japanese master pc modder Katsuya Matsumura. He has built some really impressive pc mods in the past but I think this time, he has really outdone himself with this sexy piece of work. Check out those curves! Man, I need to get one of these.

Dogs In Duds

Ain't she a doll? You can view more photos of dogs in clothes at Dogs In Duds. Go dress up your dog, take a photo and send it to them.

(Thanks Giselle Loh)

Spurs are the Premiership's kings of England

Tottenham Hotspur are the Premiership's kings of England! The football club now in fourth position in the English Premier League, is chasing for the fourth and last Champions League spot. Martin Jol, the Spurs manager said that his team deserved the fourth spot and that everyone in England should support Spurs to take the last Champions League spot away from Arsenal, their biggest rival. From Mirror:
The whole of England, he insisted, should be proud of what is happening at Tottenham.

That they should salute a policy that has offered a chance to compete at the top level to young, homegrown players of real potential.

Jol believes it is simply not happening enough, and claims too that such a short-sighted policy can eventually have a damaging effect on the future of the national team...

"But last week in the Champions League there wasn't a single English player and that is strange and worrying. "That is why I think everyone in England should get behind us and be proud that we've got an English team with some foreign players thrown in."

You know what? He is right. Spurs play some exhilarating football in the right spirit, and they do it with young English players.
I'm proud of being a Spurs fan. We play with a lot of young English players, something that other clubs do not. For example, during the weekend, we had NINE Englishmen on the pitch! Champions elect Chelsea had only three and Arsenal - zero!

No matter what happens at the end of the season, I think we have done a good job. No one expected us to be challenging for the Champions League spot when the season began and we have been in fourth position for a long time this season. We are very likely to play European football next season through the UEFA Cup competition even if we do not qualify for the Champions League. Our talented English players are still young and they can only get better.

Spurs meet Man Utd tonight and Arsenal this weekend. I think I'm going to have a weak heart after this week.

Parking Idiots in Singapore

Think you can park illegally without being caught? Well, if you are lucky, you could escape a parking coupon and being featured in Parking Idiots in Singapore, a blog about idiots who can't park properly. The picture here was submitted by one of their readers: "It's an epidemic! Idiot Parkers on motorcycle lots. Yet another wannabe motorcycle Parking Idiot, this time a Toyota Vios. Perhaps, next we'll see the revenge of the bikers, when they start parking on carpark lots." So now you think you can park illegally without being caught? Think again.

Exit

Today on my photoblog Katoomba Syndrome: Exit

Sunday, April 16, 2006

You have 30 secs to impress a gal

A research done by Scottish scientists reveals that women need only 30 seconds to make up their mind whether the guy they meet for the first time, is a potential boyfriend. From Scotsman:
Professor Richard Wiseman, of Hertfordshire University, said: "Men are often accused of being shallow and judging women very quickly.

"However, this evidence suggests that women may make up their minds much quicker than men. It suggests men have only a few seconds to impress a woman, thus emphasising the importance of their opening comments."

The study also found that women were twice as picky as the men.
So guys, remember the importance of a good pick up line. Alrighty, go get em.

How to build an atomic bomb

Do you have US$5 000 to US$30 000 to spare? If you have, then you can build your very own atomic bomb according to this article. From Barking Spider:
1.First, obtain about 50 pounds (110 kg) of weapons grade Plutonium at your local supplier (see NOTE 1). A nuclear power plant is not recommended, as large quantities of missing Plutonium tends to make plant engineers unhappy. We suggest that you contact your local terrorist organization, or perhaps the Junior Achievement in your neighborhood.
2. Please remember that Plutonium, especially pure, refined Plutonium, is somewhat dangerous. Wash your hands with soap and warm water after handling the material, and don't allow your children or pets to play in it or eat it. Any left over Plutonium dust is excellent as an insect repellant. You may wish to keep the substance in a lead box if you can find one in your local junk yard, but an old coffee can will do nicely.
3. Fashion together a metal enclosure to house the device. Most common varieties of sheet metal can be bent to disguise this enclosure as, for example, a briefcase, a lunch pail, or a Buick. Do not use tinfoil.
Chey. I didn't know it's that easy. Piece of cake mate.

Important: Please do not try to build one and explode it in your neighbourhood. This is only for educational purpose. I repeat. Only for educational purpose.

(Thanks Rocky)

Lots and lots of airline meals

Wonder what kinda food they served in various airlines? Browse thousands of inflight meals, crew meals, first class and business class menus, and more at AirlineMeals.net. The site also has a meal of the week feature. This week's winner is the Japanese food served onboard Singapore Airlines Flight 1026 (Business Class) from Narita to Singapore on 19 Feb 2006. Yummy.

(Thanks Joline Michelle Wee)

Weekly comic book cover scans

ComicCovers.com has a huge collection of cover scans of comics such as Batman, Star Wars, Transformers and much more! You should be able to find your favourite comic there. On the left is a scan of the cover of X-Men Evolution comic.

(Thanks sgho43)

Friday, April 14, 2006

South Park Cartoon Wars Part 2

In the concluding episode to South Park: Cartoon Wars, Comedy Central decided to stop the show's creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone from showing the Muslim prophet Mohammad. The scene where Mohammad gives a salmon helmet to Peter of the Family Guy was censored and in its place is a statement "Comedy Central has refused to broadcast an image of Muhammad on their network" on a black screen. The last scene where Jesus, Bush and a bunch of Americans crapping on each other was allowed to be shown. Watch Cartoon Wars part 2 below.







(Thanks hitboi)

Update: The last video isn't working because it has been removed from YouTube's server. You can still watch the ending of Cartoon Wars 2 below. (Thanks Rusdie)



Previously: Watch South Park Cartoon Wars Part 1

The USB Bra


What if USB plays an important role in the things we use everyday? That's the question an exhibition in Germany called Universal Connection asked earlier this year. One of the products showcased in the exhibition is the USB bra. For a world without hooks or eyes... unplug and play!

(Thanks Uncle Jim)

24 will soon be a movie

Fans of the hit TV series 24 will soon get to see Jack Bauer on the big screens. Actor Kiefer Sutherland says that the TV series has a film script in development. From MTV:
Leaving open the possibility of several big-screen Bauer missions, the veteran star then explained that the first "24" flick will not be 24 hours long but will instead offer a Reader's Digest-like summary of a whole new day from hell. "The '24' movie would be a two-hour representation of a 24-hour day," revealed the actor, who also stars in the similarly themed drama "The Sentinel" later this month. "That would be the first time that we would not do something in real time, but the characters would obviously all be derivative of the show.

How to sleep on planes

Some people have problem sleeping on planes. Not me. I can sleep anywhere. The Independent Traveller has some useful tips on how to sleep on planes. From The Independent Traveller:
Avoid completely the last row in the plane, and any seats just in front of the exit row. Think twice about bulkhead, exit row, and aisle seats.

Good Seats
Go for window seats near the front of the plane

Window seats:
- Give you something to lean against
- Keep you out of the lines of traffic, so no one has to climb over you or ask you to get up repeatedly
- Give you some control over the window shade

Seats in the front of the plane are quieter, although if the airline boards back to front, you may be skunked when it comes to overhead bin space, pillows, and blankets.
Go ahead and sleep during your next flight. Just don't snore too loudly.

How to make a plastic bag bra

Running out of bras to wear? Why don't you make one out of a plastic bag?! From the site: You will need scissors, sticky tape and some stuffing. The plastic bag, ideally, will be similar in size to one found at any supermarket. Make sure it is reasonably flexible and comes fitted with handles... Please note that standard white plastic bags can be a little 'see-through', so it will pay to check your appearance in a mirror before venturing outdoors.

Ah, the joy of recycling.

(Thanks vince)

Spokes

Today on my photoblog Katoomba Syndrome: Spokes

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Beware of Bausch & Lomb ReNu

ReNu, a popular contact lens cleanser made by Baush & Lomb has been linked to a rare fungal infection of the eye known as fungal keratitis. It is caused by a fungi called Fusarium and it can severely damage the cornea and even cause blindness.

In Singapore, so far there is a total of 75 cases of cornea fungal infections according to the Ministry of Health which also did a study to investigate the infections. They found out that the use of ReNu is linked to the corneal infections. From Ministry of Health:
A comprehensive case-control study (comparing contact lens users with infection and contact lens users without corneal infection) was undertaken in Feb-Mar 2006 to investigate risk factors for the spike in fungal corneal infection. The study found a strong association between corneal infection and the use of ReNu solution. This association remained strong even after taking into consideration socio-demographic, lens, hygiene and environmental factors. The findings are also consistent with recent observations made in the US and Hong Kong.
In the US, 109 people in 17 states had the same infection and yet again ReNu is linked to some of these infections. Bausch & Lomb has decided to immediately and voluntarily suspend all shipments of its ReNu solution. Stores all over US have also started to clear their shelves of ReNu. From Bloomberg:
``This created a lot of confusion'' for customers, said spokesman Michael Polzin of No. 1 drugstore chain Walgreen, based in Deerfield, Illinois. ``To try to alleviate that customer confusion, we are taking out all the ReNu line.''

Wal-Mart, the world's largest retailer, based in Bentonville, Arkansas, is removing ReNu with MoistureLoc from its shelves and has stopped sales ``pending further tests'' by the CDC, said spokesman Kevin Gardner in an e-mailed statement.

No. 3 U.S. drugstore chain Rite Aid, based in Camp Hill, Pennsylvania, will remove the Bausch & Lomb product from its stores in the next 24 hours, said spokeswoman Jody Cook in an interview. Jean Coutu Group Inc., which owns 1,853 Eckerd and Brooks stores, is also removing the product from stores, spokeswoman Helene Bisson said.

Visits to stores yesterday turned up considerable confusion. Even after Rite Aid, Walgreen and Safeway corporate headquarters said the product was being removed, ReNu with MoistureLoc was still on shelves at a Safeway store in downtown San Francisco last night while all but two canisters had been pulled from a Rite Aid store. Walgreen had removed the item from its downtown San Francisco stores as of last night.
So far, reports of fungal keratitis possibly linked to ReNu has only surfaced in the US and South East Asia. Bausch & Lomb will not halt the sale of ReNu in other parts of the world. From Times Online:
Bausch & Lomb (B&L), the US-listed eyecare company, said yesterday that it would not withdraw the solution from distribution in the UK because its supplies for Europe, the Middle East and Africa were made in Milan, Italy.

The eye disease has been linked to contact lens solution manufactured in B&L’s plant in Greenville, South Carolina, which supplies products to the US and South-East Asia. B&L said yesterday that no “unusual trends” in eye disease had been reported in the UK, Europe, Middle East or Africa.
Bausch & Lomb meanwhile has stated that its ReNu products is safe and effective. From Forbes:
In a conference call with analysts, the CEO was quoted by The Associated Press as saying, "As far as speculation about theories, there's a lot of them, we've run a lot of them to ground and come up with nothing." He continued, "Every additional test we've run suggests that the formulation is as safe and effective as anything on the market and in particular with regard to Fusarium."
The company also said back in March 31 that it believes that the root cause of these infections is not related to a specific contact lens or lens-care product. It said that test results show that ReNu proved to be stable, sterile and highly effective in killing the fungus. From Bausch & Lomb:
Product from the lots of ReNu® with MoistureLoc ® multi-purpose solution that were identified as being used by patients in Singapore and Hong Kong, were tested and proved to be stable, sterile and highly effective in killing the fungus.

Product from the lots of ReNu with MoistureLoc and ReNu® MultiPlus ® multi-purpose solutions that were shipped to Hong Kong and Singapore were tested and proved to be stable, sterile and highly effective in killing the fungus.

Product samples collected from the Hong Kong, Malaysia and Singapore markets were tested with a full panel of biocidal challenge organisms and full chemical testing was performed. All testing indicated that the samples were within specification and highly effective in killing bacteria and fungi.
With the exact cause of these recent infections yet to be identified, contact lens users are advised not to use ReNu for the time being. Also keep your contact lenses clean all the time and best, use daily disposable lenses. From Business Week:
Colby says the best way for contact lens wearers to avoid eye infections is to keep their lenses scrupulously clean. Hands should always be washed before touching lenses, the storage case should be cleaned, and a multi-purpose solution should be squirted on the lens 10 seconds to 15 seconds before it is stored.

The eye surgeon's ultimate recommendation: "I really prefer disposable lenses that are thrown away at the end of each day" to avoid storage and cleaning problems.
Update 16 April: Bausch & Lomb's open letter to consumers: "Switch to another lens care solution for the time being"

Previously: Another health hazard: Beware of the pedicure

How to Pick Up Japanese Chicks and Doom Your Immortal Soul

How to pick up Japanese chicks and doom your immortal soul, a book written by a dude who obviously has gotten lucky with plenty of Jap chicks. Guys, you need to get this book if you wanna pick up one. From the book:
You can find Japanese chicks almost anywhere in the world. They resemble cosmic dust motes and lecherous clergymen in this way, and only this way. Millions are abroad at any given moment, working, studying, shopping or just browsing.

This is partly my doing. Here in Japan it is my job, nay my privilege, to prepare Japanese chicks to study abroad in English-medium colleges throughout the world.

It has its benifits; I'm often the recipient of savage, full frontal hugs when our university posts the study abroad scholarship list.

Anyway, thanks to me, you can now encounter Japanese chicks in the environs of universities...
(Thanks Shy)

My LV Desktop



Thanks to Kevin "Macdaddy" Lim, I have decided to pimp my notebook with Loius Vutton! From Theory.IsTheReason:
Until I figure out our fascination for handbags and purses adorned with monograms, geeks with affinity for Louis Vuitton can now take solace in how cheaply they can pimp their Macs likewise. Think free. Whether you own the latest dual-booting MacBook or the ugliest Dell Inspiron, you can at least show some attitude by replacing your vanilla desktop wallpaper with one of these LV monstrosities.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Robert J. Lang Origami

Robert J. Lang must be one of the best origami artists today. His works are some of the finest I have ever seen. Like this one, a Mt Diablo tarantula. It looks so real that it gives me the creeps.

(Thanks S W Wong)

How to draw an Ewok

Over at Starwars.com, Star Wars illustrator Amy Pronovost gives you step by step instructions on how you can draw an Ewok. After you have succeeded in drawing an Ewok, you can try drawing Chewbacca, Kit Fisto and other Star Wars characters.

(Thanks Raymond)

MacbookPro plus Win XP beats PCs

Fans of Windows XP should be delighted with Apple's new Bootcamp software which allows Apple's Intel powered machines to run the Windows operating system. Over at Macworld, they did a Windows XP testing on 2 Macs and 3 PCs. The winner: MacbookPro. From Macworld:
Even with Boot Camp, it still takes a couple of hours to set these systems up. But once running, they’ve been very stable. Here are some WorldBench 5 results, compared to three computers recently tested by PC World...

As you can see, the Macs running Windows gave these PCs a run for their money, with the 2.16GHz MacBook Pro turning in the fastest scores on three of the five individual tests.
Impressive! I want one!

Previously: Macs do Windows too

Yahoo attacks Yahoogle

I think Yahoo's lawyers have nothing better to do with their spare time. They decided to send a cease and desist email to a blogger at Yahoogle.com for infringing the Yahoo trademark. From Yahoogle:
Yahoo claims "your use of the YAHOO! mark in the Domain and on the website located at the Domain constitutes trademark infringement and unfair competition, and dilutes and tarnishes the famous YAHOO! trademark."

After doing a little googling (heh, heh) on the subject of trademarks, it appears that if my domain is confusingly similar to theirs that they may have a legitimate beef. However if you look at all my posts on this site and all the comments, and if you were able to look at all the email I have received (even the penis ones) you wouln't find a single instance of anyone ever confusing my website for theirs.

One factor, according to one trademark website, in determining whether users would be confused or not is the sophistication of said users. What is Yahoo saying about itss users? they aren't sophisticated enough to tell the difference between a "!" and "gle"? I know my visitors can. Sheesh, even AOL'ers would be able to tell the difference.

How to be like Jack Bauer

Fans of the hit TV series 24 listen up. Ever wanted to be like Jack Bauer? This dude teaches you how. From Vergel's Aeneid:
No one can be exactly like Jack Bauer. He's too hardcore. You'd kill yourself even if you dreamt that you were Jack Bauer.

You, however, want to be in his likeness. So, I have compiled a handy list for those Jack Bauer wannabes; perfect for a night out on the town or for saving the United States of America from biological or nuclear obliteration.

There are essential items that Jack Bauer wears that contribute to his overall trademark ruggedness and badassness...

Item 1: the Jacket

Jack uses a variety of suave and sophisticated jackets over the 5 days that we've been following him. A personal favorite of mine is the jacket/hoody. After intense deliberation and speculation, a lot of people have claimed that Jack's jacket is the japanese-made: Supreme Water Proof Hooded M65 JKT Black.

Quarter of species to go extinct by 2050

Scientists predict that a quarter of the world's plant and vertebrate animal species would face extinction by 2050. From LiveScience.com:
"Climate change is rapidly becoming the most serious threats to the planet's biodiversity," said Jay Malcolm, an assistant forestry professor at the University of Toronto. "This study provides even stronger scientific evidence that global warming will result in catastrophic species loss across the planet."

In the most dramatic of the scenarios, for which carbon dioxide levels grow to double that of today's levels, the models forecasted a potential loss of 56,000 plant species and 3,700 vertebrate species in the hotspots.

Such a climate scenario could become a reality in only 50 years, the study estimates.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Helicopter model took 15 years to complete

A replica model of the Mil-24V Hind helicopter took 15 years and more than 8000 hours to complete. The work on building this model began in Kiev in 1986 and it was completed in Canada in 2001. There are over 100,000 parts used in this model, many of them fabricated under a microscope!

(Thanks Dav)

Singapore is top Asian city for quality of living

Singapore has overtaken Tokyo as the top Asian city for quality of living according to Mercer's annual World-wide Quality of Living Survey. Singapore ranks 34th (score 102.5) followed by Tokyo, Japan's highest scoring city, at position 35 (score 102.3). Hong Kong's modern and efficient infrastructure, including its airport which is considered one of best in the world, has pushed it up from 70th to 68th position with a score of 95.4. The top-ranking city in China is Shanghai in 103rd place (score 80.1).

The best city in the world for quality living is Zurich. The city scores 108.2 and is only marginally ahead of Geneva, which scores 108.1, while Vancouver follows in third place with a score of 107.7. Other highly-rated cities include Dusseldorf (107.2), Frankfurt (107.0) and Munich (106.8) in positions 6, 7 and 8 respectively. Athens remains the lowest scoring city in Western Europe, scoring 86.8 at position 79.

London is the UK's highest ranking city and is stable at position 39 (score 101.2). The two other UK cities covered in the survey are Birmingham and Glasgow which both score 98.3 and climb one place to joint 55th position. Dublin has dropped two places to 24th position, scoring 103.8, mainly due to increased traffic congestion.

Auckland and Wellington have both moved up the rankings from 8th to 5th and 14th to 12th places respectively, mainly due to strong internal stability relative to other cities, while Sydney remains at position 9 with a score of 106.5.

And the city with the worst quality of living for the third consecutive year is Baghdad with a score of 14.5.

Free TV shows on ABC.com

Starting May 1, viewers can get to watch TV shows like Lost, Desperate Housewives and Alias online for free thanks to ABC. From MSNBC:
The programmes will be available for download over a broadband internet connection following their network premieres. They will contain advertising – which cannot be skipped – from such companies as AT&T, Cingular, Ford, Procter & Gamble, Toyota, Unilever and Universal Pictures.

It will also supply programmes from its Soap Net and Disney Channel cable networks.
I think this is going to be big and I'm not surprised if more TV networks start to put their shows online and adopting the model that ABC is using . Get ready for TV 2.0!

Monday, April 10, 2006

1978 sex education video for trainables

Here is a 1978 training video for people who need to teach sex education to the mentally disabled.



They sure don't make sex education videos now like they used to back in the old days.

(Thanks Nance)

Vintage Chinese Calendar Cards

Calendar cards are very popular in China back in the '70s. You can view a collection of them here. I like this one printed in 1978 titled "Country little piquet".

(Thanks Joseph Lim)

Common errors in English

Paul Brians is a Professor of English at the Washington State University. Over at his site, he lists all the common errors in English usage. For example, "everyday" should be written "every day" and "lol" shouldn't be used to depict laughter. From Common Errors in English:
“Everyday” is a perfectly good adjective, as in “I’m most comfortable in my everyday clothes.” The problem comes when people turn the adverbial phrase “every day” into a single word. It is incorrect to write “I take a shower everyday.” It should be “I take a shower every day.”

The common Internet abbreviation “lol” (for “laughing out loud”) began as an expression of amusement or satirical contempt: “My brother-in-law thought the hollandaise sauce was gravy and poured it all over his mashed potatoes (lol).” It has become much overused, often to indicate mere surprise or emphasis with no suggestion of humor: “The boss just told us we have to redo the budget this afternoon (lol).” And some people drop it into their prose almost at random, like a verbal hiccup. It is no longer considered hip or sophisticated, and you won’t impress or entertain anyone by using it.

Note that this initialism has had two earlier meanings: “Little Old Lady” and “Lots Of Love.”

Travelling with your iPod

The iPod is your best travelling buddy. Find out nine ways how your iPod can enrich your travelling experience. From National Geographic Traveller:
1. Grab a Playlist
It's no secret that there are millions of songs available at Apple's iTunes and other sites. But busy travelers can also download entire playlists—preselected soundtracks keyed to a certain mood or genre—for their wanderings. Listeners can even find preassembled hits from all sorts of celebrities (on iTunes), such as Jackie Chan's favorite Chinese rock ditties or Aussie Nicole Kidman's selects for that trip to the Outback.

2. Match a Book to Your Destination
It's not just classical music in your earbuds; it's the classics themselves. Audio books, many unabridged, are available at such sites as iTunes and Audible.com, both with extensive libraries of fiction and nonfiction offerings. If you're visiting the English countryside, take along Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice ($28, Audible.com). Heading to Bangalore, you can bone up on the subcontinent's booming economy by toting Thomas Friedman's The World Is Flat ($19, iTunes).
(Thanks sonawand)

Saturday, April 08, 2006

South Park hits out on Family Guy

The latest episode of South Park is on YouTube. In "Cartoon Wars", people are protesting against Family Guy (another popular cartoon in the US) for airing an episode with a cartoon of the Muslim prophet. The dude who uploaded the episode on YouTube split it into three parts. You can watch it below. Warning: Episode may offend some people.







You can also download the episode using Bittorrent via MrTwig's net. I can't wait for Part 2. South Park rocks!

(Thanks hitboi)

Update: South Park Cartoon Wars Part 2

10 video sharing services reviewed

DV Guru reviews 10 video sharing services: vimeo, eyespot, jumpcut, ourmedia, vSocial, Google Video, grouper, Revver, VideoEgg and YouTube. From DV Guru:
To test each service, I uploaded my demo reel (a 15MB Sorenson 3-encoded Quicktime file) to each site and compared video quality, site interface, community features, and functionality. Where applicable I also tried to embed the resulting video in a Wordpress page. Many of these sites are still in beta, and their functionality could change in the coming months, but if you're looking to post and share video today, this is the current state of things.
(Thanks vho274)

Playboy launched in Indonesia

Indonesia finally has its own version of Playboy. The magazine hit the stands on Friday amid calls for a ban on the magazine by conservative Indonesians. I too, am calling a ban on the Indonesian Playboy edition. Why? Because a Playboy magazine isn't a Playboy when it doesn't feature nude babes! This is an outright scam! Ban Playboy in Indonesia! Ban it! Click here for more photos.

Kissing law in Indonesia

On Thursday, I blogged about the ridiculous law in Malaysia that prohibits kissing and hugging in public. Now, Indonesia is also taking steps to curb kissing in one of its cities. From Reuters:
Unrelated people who kiss each other on the lips for more than five minutes at public places in the Indonesian city of Tangerang will face arrest, local media said on Friday.

The government in Tangerang, a suburb west of Jakarta, defended the regulation as a practical guideline for its officers to follow up on tough and heavily criticised anti-prostitution laws passed by the city council last year.

"Please do not dramatise this. We will not arrest people at will as we are not oppressors," Ahmad Lutfi, head of the city's public order department, told the Koran Tempo newspaper.
Here's an advice to those who want to kiss in public in Tangerang: Bring along your stopwatch.

(Thanks xXx)

Previously: No kissing and hugging in Malaysia

Friday, April 07, 2006

IZ Reloaded for Dummies



My new book IZ Reloaded The Blog For Dummies is now out in all major bookstores. Go grab one quick. For a limited time only, when purchasing the book at the counter, shout out "IZ Reloaded Rocks!" and you'll get to buy the book at half price. And if you do the boogie-woogie after you shout "IZ Reloaded Rocks!", you'll get a 70% discount! Now that's a good deal aye.

(Thanks Johnny Q)

Gospel of Judas this Sunday!

One of the most hated men in history, Judas Iscariot, the dude who betrayed Jesus to the cross will most likely be seen in a new light after this Sunday. National Geographic Channel will be airing at 10pm, Sunday (Singapore time) the exclusive world premiere of The Gospel of Judas. From the site:
What if an ancient gospel were rediscovered that offered a radically different perspective on a man that history has painted as the ultimate villain? What if this account turned Jesus' betrayal on its head and in it, the villain became the hero? Tune is for an exclusive two hour global event that traces the incredible story of what has happened to the Gospel of Judas since it was found, the recent authentication process and analysis, and key insight gleaned from its laborious translation and interpretion.
Over at the National Geographic's Lost Gospel site (different from the above link), you can learn more about the project and also view a few pages of the Gospel of Judas in English and Coptic!

Dang. I'm excited. They have been showing the trailer over and over again on NatGeo. This is definitely must watch TV on Sunday. Only one problem. Man Utd vs Arsenal is showing at 11pm. Shit.

Macs do Windows too

Apple has released Boot Camp, a software that allows its Mac machines to run Windows XP! Boot Camp will be included in the next Mac OS and the public beta version is currently available for download. From PC Magazine:
To use the software, users need an Intel-based Mac with a USB keyboard and mouse, or a built-in keyboard and TrackPad; Mac OS X version 10.4.6 or later; the latest firmware update; at least 10GB of free space on the startup disk; a blank recordable CD or DVD; and single-disc version of Windows XP Home Edition or Professional with Service Pack 2 or later.

In an interview with PC Magazine, Brian Croll, senior director of marketing for Apple's OS X, said that the software's Boot Camp Assistant first creates a separate partition for Windows. The user determines how much capacity he or she wants for Windows and how much for OS X, and can set the Windows partition in either FAT32 or NTFS format. It then creates a CD-ROM with the Windows drivers to support the screen, audio, wired and wireless networks, keyboard functions such as eject key, brightness, and other functions. Users must then install Windows using a full Microsoft Windows XP SP2 disk.
This announcement by Apple may be good news for its stockholders. They may sell more Macs. More PC users may buy Macs now. We may see more Macs in the homes and offices. More revenue for Apple. More profit. Surely all these should be good for Apple right? I don't know. I always thought some of the reasons why people want to buy a Mac is because it is cool. It is different. And it DOESN'T RUN WINDOWS! Now with Windows, the Macs will be vulnerable to more virus attacks. From InformationWeek:
"When a Mac is booted into Windows, it can be attacked by the same [exploits] that threaten any Windows PC," said Dunham. "If you're running an unpatched version of Windows XP on any box, it'll be hacked pretty quickly."

Of the two operating systems, "naturally with Windows you're more at risk," said Dunham. Neither Mac OS X or Windows are invulnerable to attack -- the former was the subject earlier this year of its first zero-day bug -- but the latter is, by far, the one that draws most attacker attention.
Over at the BootCamp site, Apple says it best:
Don’t forget to follow best practices for updating and protecting your Windows system.... Windows running on a Mac is like Windows running on a PC. That means it’ll be subject to the same attacks that plague the Windows world. So be sure to keep it updated with the latest Microsoft Windows security fixes.
Thanks very much Apple for opening your world to the rubbish that is Windows.

Singapore launching preemptive strike



Preemptive strike is a military attack designed to prevent, or reduce the impact of, an anticipated attack from an enemy. After the 911 incident, the US has been very vocal about using preemptive strikes to take away any security threats. Countries like Israel and Iran have also warned their enemies that they too will launch their own preemptive strikes if they feel they are threatened. And you know such policies are the in-thing now when you hear that Singapore too is launching a preemptive strike. No enemy countries to launch a preemptive strike? No worries. We launch one against the mosquitoes.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

I want a Strawberry Lolly!

I want a Strawberry Lolly! Click the link to find out how you can make one of these. Yummy. Reminds me of those that my mum used to make for me when I was a boy.

No kissing and hugging in Malaysia

This is fucking ridiculous. A Chinese couple in Malaysia will be charged in court for hugging and kissing at the Kuala Lumpur City Centre Park. The punishment is a fine not exceeding RM2,000 or jailed up to a year, or both. From Daily Express:
The local government has the power to establish by-laws to prosecute citizens who behave in a disorderly manner in public, the Federal Court ruled Tuesday.

Chief Justice Tun Ahmad Fairuz Sheikh Abdul Halim, together with Federal Court judges Datuk Alauddin Sheriff and Datuk Richard Malanjum, unanimously held that the Datuk Bandar of Kuala Lumpur (DBKL) was correct to charge two students for behaving indecently by hugging and kissing at the Kuala Lumpur City Centre Park.

The court ruled that Section 8(1) of the Park By-Laws, the section invoked by the Datuk Bandar to punish persons caught behaving indecently in public was constitutional.
And now tourists in Malaysia are advised not to kiss passionately in public or they too may be brought to court. From BBC:
Chief Justice Ahmad Fairuz commented that hugging and kissing might be "acceptable in England", but he said it was open to question whether Malaysians took the same view.

But a warning from the couple's lawyer that tourists could find themselves hauled up before the courts prompted Kuala Lumpur's mayor to play down the ruling.

Mayor Roslin Hassan told the BBC that officials would simply advise people rather than arrest them if their behaviour was inappropriate.

He says holding hands is OK, but couples should not kiss too passionately in public.
You cannot kiss and hug your loved one in public in Malaysia but you can kiss a cobra 51 times in Genting. What the fuck!

Together Forever II

Today on my photoblog Katoomba Syndrome: Together Forever II

Missing link between fish and tetrapods found

Palaeontologists have found the missing link between fish and four-footed land animals (tetrapods) in the remote Arctic. It has long been thought that our fish ancestors began walking on land some 400 million years ago. Now they have the prove. From New Scientist:
The new animal has been named Tiktaalik after suggestions from Inuit elders in the northern Canadian territory of Nunavut, where the fossil was found. The name means "large freshwater fish", and before long could be as well known as that of another iconic transition fossil, the feathered dinosaur Archaeopteryx.

"We describe this as a 'fishopod': part fish, part tetrapod," says Neil Shubin, a palaeontologist at the University of Chicago, and a member of the team that discovered Tiktaalik.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

My Ultraman Daddy



A young gal posts photos of her and her Ultraman Daddy on Flickr. Cute!!! Everybody deserves an Ultraman Daddy!

(Thanks dre)

Tobacco company sues secondhand smokers

Secondhand smokers are a poor bunch of people. Not only they have to suffer the ill effects from secondhand smoking but if this story is true (of course it ain't), they will be sued for taking in other people's smoke. From Weekly World News:
The B.S. Raleigh Tobacco Company is fighting back. They're tired of people enjoying their products for free. That's why they've filed a $5 billion classaction lawsuit to penalize millions of secondhand smokers.

"If people ain't gonna buy our cigarettes, they shouldn't be able to enjoy other people's smoke," declared Raleigh President Frank Thermal.
Now why didn't Marlboro and other real tobacco companies think of that?

Podcasts banned in General Elections

Bloody hell! Podcasting is not allowed during the elections here in Singapore says the government. It also adds that video casting is also prohibited and that bloggers who want to discuss politics must register themselves with the Media Development Authority. From Channel NewsAsia:
Dr Balaji said: "There are also some well-known local blogs run by private individuals who have ventured into podcasting. The content of some of these podcasts can be quite entertaining. However, the streaming of explicit political content by individuals during the election period is prohibited under the Election Advertising Regulations. A similar prohibition would apply to the videocasting or video streaming of explicitly political content."
Here's another Channel NewsAsia report that talks about the reaction:
One academic believes the ban has the 'potential to scare people'.

"It's a reminder that there are laws, that if you transgress, if you violate the laws, you can be punished," said Associate Professor Benjamin Detenber, Nanyang Technological University's School of Communication and Information.

"A lot of people were hoping that with the new technology, there would be an opportunity to push the boundaries of political discourse a little further, open things up. What we've seen here is that as long as the communication is political, it doesn't matter what technology is being used, it's still subject to the same laws," he added.
I know some of you may ask what is the government afraid of? I pity the opposition parties. They do not have the resources to promote their views and campaigns freely using the local media and now they cannot use podcasting or the internet without fear of the government coming hard on them. And what about people like you and me who have every right to discuss freely about who we want as our leaders? We are talking about the future of our country here and we cannot even do that. So who is really afraid of who here?

Well, I don't care. Fuck the rules mate. No podcasting? Says who. Here's mine (announcing out loud to the government). Go listen to it. Oh once you finish listening to it, you may need to play it backwards to reveal the hidden actual messages.

Warning: Hidden messages contain political views that the government does not want us to hear. Do not play it in reverse unless you are one of those who truly believe that subliminal messages can be hidden in an audio recording.

Jesus did not walk on water

Previously, I blogged about the new book, The Jesus Papers that says Christianity is one big lie. Now, scientists have suggested that Jesus may have cheated others into believing that he was actually walking on water. From LiveScience.com:
The study, which examines a combination of favorable water and environmental conditions, proposes that Jesus could have walked on an isolated patch of floating ice on what is now known as Lake Kinneret in northern Israel...

The results suggest temperatures dropped to 25 degrees Fahrenheit (-4 degrees Celsius) during one of the two cold periods 2,500 –1,500 years ago for up to two days, the same decades during which Jesus lived.
Ah, now we know how he did it.

Previously: What if everything you know about Jesus is wrong?

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Catching the next total solar eclipse in our neighbourhood

Last Wednesday, I did a live blogging of the total solar eclipse visible from Turkey. Some of you later asked me if we can ever see a total solar eclipse here in Singapore and when will be the next one.

I remember talking to a fellow amateur astronomer here in Singapore sometime last year at a star party. He said to a bunch of people that we will never see a total solar eclipse here. He was wrong of course but you can understand why he would say that. You see, because for us in Singapore, total solar eclipses are super rare! Check this out. The last total solar eclipse visible in Singapore was on 4 March 1821! And the next one? Well, only if you can live long enough past October 7 2135!





Totality in Singapore is very rare but that doesn't mean you can't enjoy one in your neighbourhood. There are a couple of total solar eclipses visible in South East Asia. The one closest to us occured in Indonesia on March 18 1988. Before that on 11 June 1983, Indonesia was again treated to a total solar eclipse. Another close one to Singapore was on October 24 1995. That time, the total eclipse was visible from Thailand and parts of South East Asia.





The next total solar eclipse visible in South East Asia and nearby regions will be on March 9 2016. Again, Indonesia will be the best place to view it. There's an earlier one on July 22 2009 but it will only be visible in India and China. The other one worth mentioning is November 13 2012 visible on the northern tip of Australia. Alright now, go ahead and mark your calendars.

(Note: The blue path on the charts depict the path of the total solar eclipse while the red path is an annular solar eclipse which happens when the moon appears slightly smaller than the sun therefore it does not cover the sun completely, leaving a ring of the sun around it.)

(Charts copyright Fred Espenak, NASA/GSFC)

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

Monday, April 03, 2006

A Tokyo Nigger Breakfast



Watch an English speaking Japanese family uses the word "nigger" in their breakfast conversation. Don't watch this if you are offended with the N word but do watch it if you wanna laugh your head out.

(Thanks Mr Big)

How to build a 7 Eleven

Dude photographed the construction of a 7 Eleven store in a town in Japan through a 3 month period. Interesting set of photos for those of you who want to see the process of how a 7 Eleven store is build.

(Thanks Ayumi)
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