Friday, June 30, 2006

A kit for those who like to DIY

"You can't trust anyone these days, not even yourself!"

The DIY Masturbation Kit includes a plastic glove, condom and moist towel. Also comes with a Virility Test with ratings from Wimp to Expert. And the best of all, it is safe and sanitary. LOL. Go get one from eBay today.

(Thanks Johnny Q)

Blogger Registration Act: How China does it

Yesterday, I blogged about the Blogger Registration act and what two Singapore bloggers think if Singapore does implement such an act. One country that has been actively monitoring blogs is China. The Chinese government has been making it compulsory for blogs, other websites and search engines to register themselves with the authorities since last year. Those who fail to do so will have their blogs taken down.

Recently, the Chinese government is stepping up its efforts in controlling blogs. Introducing Chacha and Jingjing (pic above), two virtual cops that will be placed on blogs by mid July. From China Daily:
Jingjing, depicted as a male cartoon officer, and Chacha, a female, went to work on four locally based Websites on Wednesday, a Guangdong newspaper said yesterday.

By mid-July, they will cover the city's major Website homepages and interactive pages, such as blogs and chatrooms.

The city's cyber cops will issue and implement Internet information security, check distribution of malicious information and online illegal activities, and investigate online crimes.

Along with the two virtual officers, an icon of a police station with flashing red light will also appear on Web pages. Netizens can click any of them, linking to the cyber police Website, to report online crimes or submit questions.
Previously: Blogger Registration Act

Biased Chinese football commentator now has his own ringtone

I told you the Chinese are very entrepreneurial. On Wednesday, I blogged about the Chinese football host who came under fire for making biased remarks during the Italy-Australia World Cup match. Now, his famous rant is being sold as a ring tone! From Reuters:
Chinese soccer fans looking to customise their phones with their favourite pastime can now download Huang Jianxiang's reaction to Italy's victory over Australia as a ringback tone -- the sound a caller hears while waiting for someone to answer.

"Goooooal! Game over! Italy win!. Beat the Australians! ... Italy the great! ... Happy birthday to Maldini! Forza Italia!" Huang screamed as Francesco Totti converted a last-minute penalty to send Italy into the quarter-finals.

"The victory belongs to Italy, to Grosso, to Cannavaro, to Zambrotta, to Buffon, to Maldini, to everyone who loves Italian soccer!... (Australia) should go home. They don't need to go as far away as Australia as most of them are living in Europe. Farewell!"
Previously: Biased Chinese football commentator

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Anyone wants to buy World Cup air?

The Chinese dude who once tried to sell land on the moon is back again with his new venture. This time, he is selling World Cup air. From Reuters:
Li Jie, who describes himself as chief executive of the Lunar Embassy to China, is selling his "World Cup air" for 50 yuan ($6.25) a bag.

"The air was packed at the World Cup venues while the workers were cutting the grass before matches," Li told the Beijing Daily Messenger. "You can still smell the grass."

Li suggests soccer enthusiasts who are not able to make the trip to Germany hang the green plastic bag around their necks and breathe in the air while watching World Cup matches on television.

"Whichever stadium you like, I can give you its air," he added.
Ah the Chinese. They are ever so entrepreneurial.

Eagle chicks kill sibling on webcam

Kids please do not do this to your brother or sister. I repeat. Do not do this to your brother or sister. From
One of the hottest web cams on the internet has gained tremendous popularity thanks in part to the soap opera antics of its unlikely stars—two nesting bald eagles and their eaglet children.

The short nesting season has already been rife with drama for the family. Although three chicks hatched, regular viewers noticed one day that a chick was missing and never returned.

Scientists with the National Wildlife Federation (NWF) and the Biodiversity Research Institute in Maine, which run the web cam, suspect foul play.

It is not uncommon for bald eagle chicks to peck their weakest sibling to death in a gruesome display of "survival of the fittest." U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service officials have not said conclusively what happened, but all signs point to murder. Based on their notes, the likely suspect is the biggest and most aggressive of the eaglets, although there are no plans at this time to press charges.
Click here to view the webcam by the National Wildlife Federation.

Biggest Polaroid picture collection

The folks behind Polanoid are building the biggest Polaroid picture collection to celebrate the magic of (what else) Polaroid! Currently they have more than 27,000 Polaroids uploaded by Polaroid addicts all over the planet. Now who says Polaroid is so passe?

(Thanks Tyler)

Lego Singapore "Build it" Ads

This is one of the three magazine advertisements in the Lego Singapore Ad campaign done by Saatchi & Saatchi Singapore that took the Silver award in the Press category of the Cannes Lions 2006, an international advertising festival. Makes me wanna buy some Lego and "Build it". The other two ads can be found here and here.

(Thanks Christine Li)

Blogger Registration Act

Singapore Angle asks what if there is a Blogger Registration Act in Singapore? From Singapore Angle:
Suppose, a particular criminal offence triggered by a blogger's insuination to violence is distilled into the real world, the government has decided to take control after letting things run its natural course. They decide that all the bloggers are required to register themselves under a Blogger Registration Act. In this act, the blogger is required to register his real name and his background with the Ministry of Information, Communication and the Arts (MICA). If you have been blogging under an anonymous identity, will you register under such an act?

There are two schools of thought: the first belongs to the group who thinks that they should have the right to be anonymous and say whatever they like and the second who decide that they should reveal their identities to MICA. Both cases are equally justified in deciding whether to register for the bloggers registration act. What follows, is that the government decides to enact the law and force the opposition to register. If the opposition refuses, they will take them by "force" and deny them their rights. I would really love to ask for a vote among all the bloggers in the Singapore blogosphere which side they would be on. It would show their diversity of opinions on the issue.
The Students' Notebook thinks that such an act is a bad idea. From The Students' Notebook:
The negative implications from any invoking of a Blogger Registration Act in the forseeable future far outweights any benefits it brings (if there is any). Furthermore, most bloggers aren't anonymous. The Singapore blogosphere has the ability to be self-regulating, and to upset its ecology by introducing regulation is not only a bad idea to the blogospehere, but harmful to the country as well.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Poor contact lens care is the cause of fungal keratitis

In April, ReNu a popular contact lens cleanser made by Baush & Lomb was recalled worldwide because it was linked to a rare fungal infection of the eye known as fungal keratitis. A study conducted in Singapore finds that 66 contact lens wearers had the fungal infection between March 2005 through May 2006 and poor lens care may be the reason for the infections. From Forbes:
Using this data, the researchers estimated the annual incidence of Fusarium keratitis in Singapore rose to 2.35 cases for every 10,000 contact lens wearers.

Among the patients, 98.5 percent wore soft, disposable contact lenses, and close to 94 percent said they used ReNu brand cleaning solution. This included 42 patients (63.6 percent) who used ReNu with MoistureLoc. Six patients said they used another Bausch & Lomb brand, Renu MultiPlus, while 11 said they used some type of (unspecified) ReNu multipurpose cleaning solution.

Forty-four of the Singapore patients suffered sight-threatening lesions severe enough for them to be hospitalized for an average of 6.5 days. In addition, five patients had to undergo corneal transplantation...

"This may occur under conditions, for example, where the solution is allowed to evaporate, the solution is not regularly replaced in the lens case, or when the case is not cleaned properly. This may lead to the contact lens becoming contaminated with Fusarium and could create an environment for potential infection," Panzarella said .

Bausch & Lomb spokeswoman Meg Graham told HealthDay that no other reasons for the outbreaks have been found.

The Singapore team agreed that poor contact lens care may have played a role in the infections.
Previously: Beware of Bausch & Lomb ReNu

25 ways to quit smoking

Last week, I included a YouTube video of an animated documentary by Bill Plympton on how to kiss. Bill has this amazing gift of looking at things from a funny and unique perspective. Here's another brilliant work by him - 25 ways to quit smoking. I may just be convinced.

Previously: How to kiss

Who says you can't drink and drive?

Who says you can't drink and drive? Introducing Drive Beer from Italy. Reader cisco says, "You can drink this beer and keep your driving license too." Here are two reviews.

(Thanks cisco)

Top Ten Alien Encounters Debunked

The alien pyramid builders, Area 51, crop circles and flying saucers! Fox Mulder would say the truth is out there but skeptics say that our reported encounters with aliens are just science fiction. lists the top ten alien encounters that have been definitely debunked. From
The phrase "flying saucer," so familiar to Americans and UFO buffs, is the result of a reporter’s error. After interviewing Arnold about his sighting, a reporter from the Eastern Oregonian newspaper reported that Arnold saw round, aerial objects (in fact he said they were "crescent shaped"). Arnold stated that the objects "flew erratic, like a saucer if you skip it across the water"—not that what he saw resembled an actual saucer. Yet that "saucer" interpretation stuck, prompting many eyewitnesses to repeat (and hoaxers to duplicate) Arnold’s nonexistent description. This strongly shows the role of suggestion in UFO sightings; as skeptic Marty Kottmeyer asks, "Why would extraterrestrials redesign their craft to conform to [the reporter’s] mistake?"

Biased Chinese football commentator

Here's one football commentator in China who really doesn't like the Aussies. From People's Daily:
Huang lost his cool as Francesco Totti scored a penalty in the last minute to give 10-man Italy a 1-0 win over Australia.

The 38-year-old Huang screamed "Penalty! Penalty! Penalty!" as Italian defender Fabio Grosso tumbled over Lucas Neill's challenge in the Australian box.

"Grosso made it! He made it! Don't give Australia any chance! Great Italian left back. Grosso alone represents the long history and traditions of Italian soccer. He is not fighting alone," he shouted.

"Totti! He is about to take the shot. He shoulders the expectations of the whole world.

"It's a goal! Game over! ... Italy didn't fall to (Guus) Hiddink's team this time (Hiddink had led South Korea to oust Italy in the 2002 World Cup). Happy birthday to Paolo Maldini (born on July 26)! Long Live Italy!"

Huang then turned to the Socceroos: "Go home! But they don't need to fly back as far as to Australia because most of them live in Europe. Bye-bye."
Don't think he will ever be welcomed to Australia anytime soon or host any football match again.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

My Pet Fat

The guys over at My Pet Fat think that the best way for one to lose weight is to own a Pet Fat, an anatomically correct replica of body fat. You are supposed to keep your Pet Fat close to you everyday while it visually motivates and reminds you to stay on any dieting, exercise or wellness program.

(Thanks Estee)

These shoes were made for walking

"You were born barefoot. FiveFingers encourages you to walk that way."

Vibram FiveFingers has got to be one of the coolest footwear ever made. It has a patent pending Vibram sole designed to follow the contours of your feet and toes, to provide greater dexterity, improving agility, balance and control. And best of all, it feels like you are walking barefoot.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Free World Cup in Singapore

Who says you have to pay StarHub to watch the World Cup live in Singapore? There's always Indonesia's free SCTV. From Channel NewsAsia:
Singaporeans in some parts of the island have been receiving free signals from neighbouring countries. Earlier this month, upon the instructions of the World Cup's media rights distributor, Infront Sports & Media AG, Malaysia's RTM 1 channel encrypted its signals such that only Malaysian viewers could watch the channel.

But the SCTV coverage can still be enjoyed by those with an antenna living in the east, central and south-east areas of Singapore.

While StarHub is aware of the "loophole", there is nothing much it can do about it.

"It's not something that can be mandated. There aren't any agency around that controls or regulates such spillover signals. Neither is there any technology available to block these signals. Besides, blocking signals from other countries can be a sensitive issue," said StarHub spokesperson Huang Shu-Yin.
And the last time I checked, the RTM signal was back to acceptable viewing standards.

The best way to park

Parking your car will be a breeze thanks to this Japanese automated parking garage. Just hope that the system doesn't have a mechanical failure while your car is hanging in the air. According to reader Ryoko, "There are a few occasions when they had to call the engineers because the gears aren't working. And that takes half an hour or more."

(Thanks Ryoko)

Angry Koreans attack

What will you do when you feel that your country was unfairly eliminated from the World Cup? Well, get millions of your fellow citizens to bombard of course. From
Korean newspaper Joong-Ang Daily reported that 4.2 million Koreans bombarded after one particularly disgruntled fan organized a petition suggesting FIFA would have to replay the Switzerland-South Korea match if 5 million people complained.

The newspaper noted that FIFA president Sepp Blatter came from Switzerland.

FIFA's new media department "detected this organized attack coming from Korea and, basically, had to block the messages from Korea to to protect the Web site," FIFA spokesman Pekka Odriozola said Sunday. "It was the FIFA site involved -- the World Cup Web site was OK.
(Thanks Edward)

Sunday, June 25, 2006

World Cup Masks

Now you can look like your favourite football star when you are out watching the World Cup games with these set of World Cup masks. You can be Peter Crouch, Ronaldino, Wayne Rooney, David Beckham, Thierry Henry, Ruud Van Nistelrooy or even Sven himself.

Cadbury chocolates recalled

Cadbury has recalled seven of its products in the UK after some of their products contained traces of salmonella. According to the CDC, people infected with salmonella will develop diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps 12 to 72 hours after infection. From CDC:
The illness usually lasts 4 to 7 days, and most persons recover without treatment. However, in some persons the diarrhea may be so severe that the patient needs to be hospitalized. In these patients, the Salmonella infection may spread from the intestines to the blood stream, and then to other body sites and can cause death unless the person is treated promptly with antibiotics. The elderly, infants, and those with impaired immune systems are more likely to have a severe illness.
Cadbury said in its website that the products recall in the UK is a precautionary measure and it has identified the source of the problem and rectified it. Here in Singapore, the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority has recalled seven Cadbury's chocolate milk product lines. From Channel NewsAsia:
While Cadbury said the recall was "purely a precautionary measure", Singapore's AVA has issued a recall alert for Cadbury chocolates that come from the UK.

The chocolates are Dairy Milk Turkish, Dairy Milk Caramel, Dairy Milk Mint, Dairy Milk 8 chunk, Dairy Milk 1 kilogram, Dairy Milk Button Easter Egg and Freddo bars.

AVA has advised consumers who have these products that are made in the UK, to return them to the outlets they had purchased them from.
Click here to view the Cadbury products that are recalled in UK.

(Thanks Jane Lim)

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Who the bloody hell stole the lift signs?

Only in Singapore will a bunch of stolen lift signs make it to the news. From Channel NewsAsia:
$7,500 worth of lift signage has been stolen from 4 blocks in Marsiling Drive.

A Town Council property officer doing a routine check on the blocks on Thursday morning found 50 signs missing from lift lobbies in blocks 3, 4, 11 and 36.

Each sign is worth $150.

Police are treating this as a case of vandalism.
Who the hell steals lift signs? I say this is a case of lift signage fetish.

World Cup 2006 Photo Pool

Over at Flickr, you can view the world's first and biggest World Cup 2006 photo pool. Now with more than 10,000 World Cup related pics. Photo left: Korean gal getting ready for her country's match.

(Thanks TroyTan)

Are we hot or what?!

Global warming? Yes? No? Scientists say that the Earth is the hottest it has been in the last 400 to 2000 years. From MSNBC:
The panel of top climate scientists told lawmakers that the Earth is running a fever and that “human activities are responsible for much of the recent warming.” Their 155-page report said average global surface temperatures in the Northern Hemisphere rose about 1 degree F during the 20th century...

Many scientists tie warming temperatures to rising emissions of certain gases like carbon dioxide. While essential to survival, carbon dioxide has seen a spike as fossil fuels are burned by cars and factories, leading to concerns that it and other gases are exacerbating the greenhouse effect that keeps Earth inhabitable.
From the press release:
There is sufficient evidence from tree rings, boreholes, retreating glaciers, and other "proxies" of past surface temperatures to say with a high level of confidence that the last few decades of the 20th century were warmer than any comparable period in the last 400 years, according to a new report from the National Research Council. Less confidence can be placed in proxy-based reconstructions of surface temperatures for A.D. 900 to 1600, said the committee that wrote the report, although the available proxy evidence does indicate that many locations were warmer during the past 25 years than during any other 25-year period since 900.
(Thanks Fred Turner)

Let the knockout stages begin

England to win the World Cup or IZ will be eating only fish crackers for the rest of his life.

When the 2006 World Cup in Germany began two weeks ago, there were 32 teams. Now, after the matches for the Group Stages have ended, only 16 teams are left to battle it out for the World Cup. These teams are Argentina, England, Portugal, Italy, Switzerland, Brazil, Spain, Mexico, Ecuador, Netherlands, Australia, Ukraine, Ghana and France.

I did some predictions before the World Cup began on which nations will proceed to the knockout stages and who they will meet. Here are my early predictions for the Second Round matches.

And here are the actual second round matches and my predictions on who will win.

So how did I fare in my predictions so far? Out of the 16 teams that I predicted will make it to the Second Round, only Poland, Croatia and the Czech Republic failed to make it. The only other prediction that I got wrong was the top two positions in Group G- Switzerland tops the group instead of France.

It has been a World Cup with some surprises. It is nice to see Australia (Aussie! Aussie! Oi! Oi! Oi!) making it to the Second Round. Ecuador has been the surprise team in Group A. The likes of Poland and Czech to me are the most dissapointing teams. Don't forget the Czechs are ranked number two in Fifa's absurd world rankings.

The 2nd round matches may be slightly different from the ones that I predicted but they will have no effect what so ever in my Semi Finals line-ups.

And that only means one thing.

England will still meet Argentina in the final. You think I'm crazy? Well, I'm in good company.

Previously: England to win the World Cup!

Friday, June 23, 2006

Star Wars in 3 minutes with action-figures!

I have only one word to say... AWESOME!

(Thanks GeekGod)

The First Fire Festival in South East Asia

Do catch my lovely friend Xyn and her Fireflys performing Heroes of Lala Land at 8pm tonight and tomorrow night at Bornfire 2006, the first ever fire festival in South East Asia. Bornfire 2006 which will be held at the Esplanade from today till Sunday, brings together fire performers, drummers, musicians and dancers together on a stage in celebration of the diversity and ethnicity of our planet. I've been told by Xyn that it will be the hottest show on Earth. Really. So do not miss her performances and the rest of Bornfire 2006.

Single party Singapore more efficient than Australia or NZ

Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said that the single party rule practiced by Singapore is better and more efficient than the democracy practiced by Australia and New Zealand. From Financial Times:
Although the democracies of Australia and New Zealand made for “more exciting” politics, the national interest could suffer in a multi-party system, said Mr Lee...

“Endless debates are seldom about achieving a better grasp of the issue but to score political points,” said Mr Lee about the political systems in Australia and New Zealand.

He said John Howard, the Australian prime minister, “spends all his time dealing with this party politics. The result is you don’t have a lot of time to worry about the long-term future.”

Dominant party rule was the best system for a small, multiracial country like Singapore, Mr Lee said, as he prepared to leave New Zealand, whose population of 4m is similar in size and ethnic complexity to that of the city-state.
Try telling that to the increasing number of Singaporeans immigrating to Australia and New Zealand.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

A condom a day keeps cervical cancer away

A new study finds that women whose partners use condoms during sex, will have a lesser chance of contracting cervical cancer. From WebMD:
Women whose sex partners used condoms less than 5% of the time had an HPV infection rate of 89 infections per 100 patient-years. That is, if 100 of these women were sexually active for one year, 89 of them would have HPV infections. Women who used condoms every time they had sex had an HPV infection rate of 38 infections per 100 patient-years.

This means the women whose partners consistently used condoms had 70% fewer HPV infections, after controlling for the women's number of new sex partners and the male partners' number of previous sex partners.

Penis stew, anyone?

I'm not sure which is worse. People eating whale meat or people eating penis stew? From Bert Christensen's Weird & Different Recipes:
1 pound of penis, ram's or bull's
3 tbls. oil
1 large chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
1 tsp coriander seeds, crushed
1 tsp salt
freshly ground black pepper

Scald the penis, then drain and clean (doesn't say how you clean a penis. Not sure a guy would know since this penis is, well . . . never mind).
Place the penis in a saucepan, cover with cold water, and bring to a boil...
Eeewwwwww. Penis stew, anyone?

(Thanks cece)

Sexy Chinese ladies playing football (Part 2)

Remember those beautifully taken pics of a group of Chinese girls in sexy outfits playing football that I blogged last month? Well, you can view more of them here. Dang. Here's to more sexy Chinese ladies playing football!

(Thanks xXx)

Previously: Sexy Chinese ladies playing football

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

How to curse a referee in the World Cup

We've seen them on TV. Footballers swearing and cursing at referees (and their opponents) when they are unhappy with certain decisions. According to this story, it helps if the player knows a few languages. From Slate:
It helps to know a few choice phrases to throw at your opponents, and players sometimes brush up on their expletives for a particular game. Lalas once regaled an official in Ecuador with the Spanish translation of "son of a bitch." The resulting phrase turned out to be far more offensive than the English version, and he got a red card on the spot.

In a pinch, a player can resort to sign language. Hands together means "dive"—as in, "I didn't tackle him. He took a dive." A finger pointed at the eye tells the ref to "keep your eyes open." Opposing players might earn the international "choke" sign, or the just-as-easily interpreted "I'm a crying baby, boo hoo hoo."

Help to save the Chinese heritage

Blogger Kent Neo wants your help to archive all Chinese architectural heritage and artefacts for the benefit of future generations and conservation purposes. From Historic Chinese Architecture in Singapore:
So far, we have archived 2 buildings of great heritage value - Tong Xian Tng at Devonshire Road and Ying Fo Fui Kun at Telok Ayer Street. As this is a non-profit initiative, our progress has been rather slow due to our involvement of the project only during weekends. We are calling for photographers equipped with 10 megapixel or more digital SLR cameras to participate in this SOCH initiative.
(Thanks Shy)

Time for the Security Council to take action on Myanmar

ASEAN has failed in its diplomatic efforts to bring change and diplomacy to Myanmar (Burma). From Channel NewsAsia:
Southeast Asian lawmakers have called for Myanmar to be hauled in front of the UN Security Council, saying its neighbours were "lost" on how to deal with the country's military rulers.

In a sign of growing frustration across the region, the bloc's main committee on Myanmar said there had been no sign of change despite calls for democracy and the release of political prisoners like Aung San Suu Kyi.

"We urge the United Nations to take the issue to the Security Council," said the chairman of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Inter-parliamentary Myanmar Caucus (AIPMC), Malaysia's Zaid Ibrahim.

"There is no democratic progress in Myanmar and ASEAN is lost on what to do," he said Tuesday in a telephone interview from the Indonesian capital Jakarta where some 20 council members gathered to decide on future action plans.
Finally ASEAN realises that the only solution to the Myanmar problem is to get the United Nations Security Council to take action. They should have realised this sooner. In an earlier post, I wrote that it is time for the United Nations to act on Myanmar and stop its military rulers from terrorizing thousands of families living in the eastern part of the country with cruel and barbaric acts. I also said in a comment:
Ok so what are the actions the world can take? Let's start off with the UN condemning the actions of the Burmese military government. The US should take the lead in coming up with a resolution. The world needs to make their displeasure known to Burma and warn them of consequences. ASEAN member countries must also do their part. We can remove them (Burma) from ASEAN. This will put further pressure on them. Trade sanctions should then take place. Foreign investments in the country must stop. The world must also force the Burmese military government to bring democracy back in the country. The UN can also send a few inspectors and a small peacekeeping force to ensure that the Burmese are adhering to the international community. And the most important thing is to allow the NGOs and other aid organisations to provide help to the victims of the atrocities.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Subbuteo Flick-About Challenge

Think you can bend it like Beckham? Try the Subbuteo Flick-About Challenge and see if you an score a free kick or two. Good game to play while waiting for the 2nd half of a World Cup match to begin.

(Thanks Alex Koh)

It's 20.06 20.06.2006!

To participate in the 20.06 Project on Flickr, just take a pic at 20.06 hrs (8.06pm) at your local time on the 20th June 2006. Try to get your camera's EXIF data to read 20.06 20.06.2006! Then post it to the photo pool on Flickr. Here's my contribution: Blogging away on this historic time/date/year combi.

How to kiss

Cute 1989 animated documentary How To Kiss by American animator Bill Plympton. We must all endeavor to learn the fine art of kissing.

Previously: 14 kissing techniques

Monday, June 19, 2006

Happy Birthday Ah Meng!

Singapore's famous Orang Utan has just turned 46 yesterday! Happy Birthday Ah Meng!!! It isn't too late to send your birthday greetings to her.

(Thanks tlkit)

Japan wants to start murdering whales again

What the fuck?! What the hell is Japan trying to do? The Japanese and other pro-whaling nations have succeeded in taking the first step to resume commercial whaling, an activity that has been banned for 20 years. From BBC:
Pro-whaling nations have won their first vote towards the resumption of commercial whaling for 20 years.

The meeting of the International Whaling Commission backed the declaration by a majority of just one.

Anti-whaling countries say they will challenge the outcome, which Japan has described as "historic"...

Tokyo believes whale numbers have risen sufficiently to allow the hunting of certain species.

However, Japan's Deputy Whaling Commissioner, Joji Morishita, said any future commercial whaling would be on a much smaller scale than in the past.
The Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society which has been running an anti whaling campaign against the Japanese government, says that this is a major blow for the conservationg of the world's whales. From their website:
Not only is whaling incurably inhumane, it has proven impossible to regulate. The IWC’s previous attempts to control commercial whaling under a pro-whaling majority were so disastrous that some populations have still not recovered from the slaughter. Whales need the continued protection of the IWC. If whaling nations remain in the driving seat, the IWC will be pushed rapidly towards a resumption of commercial whaling that will spell disaster for the whales. This is a wake up call for the world to take back the IWC, and wake up to the call of the whales, before it is too late. It also needs to be a wake up call for the people of Denmark that their government is not representing their views in this forum. Denmark’s vote tipped the majority in favour of the whalers.

M1 Singapore Fringe Festival: Art and Disability

The M1 Singapore Fringe Festival is an annual festival of theatre, performance arts, film, dance, visual arts, mixed media, music and forum created and presented by Singaporean and international artists. Themed differently each year, the Festival aims to bring the best of contemporary, cutting-edge and socially-engaged works to the Singapore audience.

The Fringe team which is made up of people from The Necessary Stage is already preparing for next year's festival themed Art and Disability. They also have a blog for the festival. From M1 Singapore Fringe Festival blog:
As a human race, we face a crisis when that which protects us also condemns us. Has media and art, in bringing awareness of various needs to the global village, ironically make us immune to the numerous tragedies we face every day?

In this context, what then is the efficacy of art when confronted with the theme of disability? Does it enable or disable?

The M1 Singapore Fringe Festival 2007 throws the spotlight on Art and Disability as the theme is contemporary and urgent. We hope that you will join us in addressing the complex issues of disability and make this festival a site where different views contest and spar dynamically.

The Singapore Yakult Factory

Expats Jim and Venitha went on a tour of the Yakult factory here in Singapore. Yes, that's right. There's a Yakult factory here! From Singapore Adventure:
Singapore is the only country where Yakult is available in flavors (orange, grape, and apple) other than the original. And here I thought the original flavor was pretty much orange.

The coolest machine in the factory was not the one that fills the bottles and not the one that puts the foil lids on and not the one that plastic wraps them into neat little rows of five. Nope, it was the one that makes the bottles. Sixteen at a time, every couple of seconds, by plastic injection molding. I could have watched that machine for hours.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Oh no! Not the Bird Flu Dance!

If you thought the world should be afraid of the bird flu, wait till you see the bird flu dance - an infectious craze that has hundreds of people in Côte d'Ivoire shaking, flapping their arms, and clucking on the dance floor, imitating the actions of chickens when they are culled.

Geez, I hope it doesn't spread globally.

(via MeFi)

Ancestor of modern birds found

The fossil of a bird that lived 110 million years ago in China could be the ancestor of all modern birds. From New Scientist:
Gansus yumenensis was a foot-propelled diver like modern loons or grebes and about 25 centimetres long, says Matt Lamanna of the Carnegie Museum of Natural History in Pittsburgh, US. Although Gansus was not a direct ancestor of modern birds, it was the closest to modern birds yet found from the early Cretaceous.

The discovery offers new insight into the origins of modern birds, which remain a puzzle because fossils of their ancestors are scarce. Although many fossil birds are known from 125-million-year-old deposits in China's Liaoning province, the most common belonged to a now-extinct group called enantiornithines.

Cute Nat Nat

Today on my photoblog Katoomba Syndrome: Cute Nat Nat

Inside North Korea

Russian dude went to North Korea recently and took stunning and never before seen photos of the country. I'm sure glad I do not live in North Korea. People pissing in public, no lights on the streets at night and worst of all, no internet, how to blog?!!!

(Thanks stickboy33)

Previously: Hair rules in North Korea (in the Best of IZ Reloaded in 2005 part 1)

England vs Trinidad!

No need reminders for this one. It's England vs Trinidad now! Come on England. Let's thrash 'em!!!

Update: It ain't pretty and it ain't a thrashing but England is now through to the knockout stage thanks to two late goals by Peter Crouch and Steve Gerrard. Final score is England 2-0 Trinidad.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Pre-cinema media and devices

Here's a collection of images of media and devices used before the era of the motion picture film industry. This picture on the left is a Lampascope from 1880. It is the ancestor of the modern slide projector.

(Thanks mora)

Clothes peg exhibition

Over in Israel, there's a cool exhibition showcasing 300 clothes pegs from all over the world. Wow! I didn't know there are so many different kinds of pegs. The artists in charge of the exhibition are also looking for more clothes pegs to add to their collection. You can send your pegs to them at the address given in the link.

(Thanks David Nathan)

BBC special series from inside Burma

BBC's Kate McGeown was in Burma to talk to people about life under the repressive Burmese military regime. The BBC is posting her special reports online. From BBC:
I was only in Burma for a short time, but I quickly found out how uncomfortable it is to be under surveillance - albeit by a somewhat amateur spy.

On my first day, a man walked into the lobby of my hotel and pretended to read a newspaper near where I was sitting.

He did not turn the page for 20 minutes, but the real giveaway was that the paper - a week-old copy of The Straits Times - was upside-down.

Despite the obvious personal risks of talking to a foreigner, many Burmese people were still willing to put aside their fears and share their lives with me.
Here's the link to her second article. Future articles can be found here.

NeCoRo the robotic pussy cat

Merv Kwok on yet another pointless Japanese invention, the robotic pussy cat named NeCoRo: Apparently the Japanese company that built this cat thinks everyone is an idiot. Look at how the legs, mouth, and tail are all appropriately labelled. Between me and the lot of you, I would have never guessed that those were legs, a tail, and a mouth. My word how stupid I feel! With this diagram, I feel so much smarter!

(Thanks Shy)

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

The Singapore school bullies

A survey conducted in Singapore finds that 95 percent of students in primary and secondary schools here have experienced bullying in their schools. From Channel NewsAsia:
Out of 4000 students surveyed, almost all said they have experienced bullying.

Majority were victims of verbal bullying such as teasing and name calling.

But over 2800 cases of physical bullying such as being kicked, hit or pushed were also reported...

The survey also found that in primary schools, 46 percent of instances of bullying took place in the canteens, and 42 percent in the school field.

But in secondary schools, 38 percent of bullying instances took place in the classroom, 35 percent in the canteen and 23 percent in the school toilets.
The report by Channel NewsAsia also added that Singapore schools do not have anti bullying programmes like those found in other countries. One good example of such programmes is the Anti-Bullying Network in Scotland. It was established in 1999 so that teachers, parents and young people could share ideas about how bullying should be tackled.

World Cup balls like you've never seen them before

32 footballs designed for each participating country in the World Cup. I like the England, USA and Sweden balls above (from left to right). The Sweden one has to be my favourite. It has pages from the IKEA catalogue on it! And if you think these are so cool, wait till you see Kenny's World Cup ball.

iPod, X-Box 360 and Plasma screens in The Transformers movie

The folks from Movie Reporter got their hands on the Transformers movie script. Guess who's making an appearance in the film. A transforming iPod! From Movie Reporter:
I almost forgot to mention one the most stupid scenes in the script. For reasons that I won't get into we see an I-Pod, X-Box 360 and Plasma screens sprout legs and transform just a bit. We also don't need "More Than Meets The Eye" comments through out the film from different characters.
Previously: Transformers Movie Official Site

Homemade Wrist TV

Anyone wants a homemade wrist tv? Dude selling it on eBay: Comes with a free roll of "Adjustable Self-Stick Grey Wrist Strapping". (Which some people say looks surprisingly like cheap duct tape, blasphemous infidels!)

(Thanks GeekGod)

Have you got your space alien invasion insurance?

I know it is just a matter of time when someone decides to offer insurance policies to protect you against an alien attack. From Weekly World News:
"Our policies range from $25 monthly for basic coverage to $250 monthly for full coverage -- which includes financial compensation for any space alien damage to your house, car, possessions, family members, pets and of course -- yourself, including mental and emotional trauma you experience due to medical experimentation, internal probes, that sort of thing," explained Moss. "Plus, if your entire neighborhood is destroyed, you receive a generous relocation allowance."
Go grab one today. They are coming.

Fast food will make you fatter, just ask the monkeys

Here's another reason why you should stay away from fast food. Scientists experimenting on monkeys, found out that feeding them with food high in trans-fats (found in fast food) will make them fatter. From New Scientist:
After six years on the diet, the trans-fat-fed monkeys had gained 7.2% of their body weight, compared to just 1.8% in the unsaturated group. CT scans also revealed that the trans-fat monkeys carried 30% more abdominal fat, which is risk factor for diabetes and heart disease.

“We were shocked. Despite all our enormous efforts to make sure they didn’t gain weight, they still did. And most of that weight ended up on their tummies,” says Kavanagh, who presented her findings at the American Diabetes Association meeting in Washington DC, on Monday. “This is walking them straight down the path to diabetes.”

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Guns N' Roses rocks UK Download Festival

Guns N' Roses delivered one of the greatest ever performances at the Download Festival held in UK. From BBC:
Guns n' Roses were once proclaimed The World's Most Dangerous Band. On tonight's evidence that danger is still there, which – while at one stage threatening to derail the whole show - has instead focused Axl and the band into delivering one of the all-time great Donington performances.

Yes, Metallica were unstoppable on Saturday night, but they didn’t face the pressure of a world waiting to see them put a foot wrong. What Axl delivered in the face of that expectation was a two-and-a-half-hour masterclass in the light and shade of rock'n'roll.

The new album, Chinese Democracy, is reportedly ready for release. If it lives up to tonight, then Guns n' Roses will once again be the biggest band in the world.
Thanks Axl, Robin, Brain, Ron, Tommy, Richard, Dizzy, Chris and Izzy. You guys made my week.

Video above: Guns N' Roses at the Download Festival performing Used To Love Her.

Australia wins first World Cup match!

Aussie, Aussie, Oi, Oi, Oi!!! Their first goals and first ever win in the World Cup.
Australia beats Japan 3-1. From Soccernet:
Tim Cahill scored twice in the last six minutes and John Aloisi added a third in injury time as Australia made a winning return to the World Cup finals with a 3-1 victory over Japan.

Everton midfielder Cahill came off the bench to score in the 84th and 89th minutes to overhaul a one-goal deficit after Japan had taken the lead following an error by Mark Schwarzer in the first half at Kaiserslautern's Fritz-Walter Stadium.
I didn't pick Australia to progress beyond the group stage but after this win, who knows. Australia's next game: Brazil! Now, where did I stuff my Australia national flag?

Previously: England to win the World Cup!

How can Singapore have anything to teach India?

Rana ponders if Singapore can teach anything to India about the finer points of governance. From Blowing' In The Wind:
Come on, how can Singapore have anything to teach India? The two countries are so different. One is a tiny city state, the other a virtual subcontinent in itself with the world's second largest population. There's no doubt about the foresight and acumen of Singapore's leaders. But could anyone exercise the same authority in India? It is too big to be as well-ordered as Singapore.

We Indians speak different languages, each region has its own problems, there is agitation on one issue or another in some part of the country almost every day. That is inevitable in a big, populous nation. There is agitation and unrest even in communist China, and India is a democracy.

D'J Party in the Park

Sausage of Haro Singapore! was at D'J Party in the Park to take pics of overdressed pretty girls. D'J Party is a J-Rock & Japanese Character/Anime costume parade held annually in conjunction with the Singapore Street Festival.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Transformers Movie Official Site

It only has one page for now but dang, I'm excited! Here's the teaser poster.

Previously: Transformers: Their War. Our World.

When Star Trek meets Star Wars

This brilliantly done video mashup gives us a rare glimpse into what happens when the starship Enterprise from Star Trek meets the Death Star from Star Wars.

(Thanks luvboa)

Freaks Monsters, Prodigies and other Fantastics

The Cornell University Library has an impressive collection of images of the Fantastic and the supernatural. This one is a pic showing the side and front views of a mutant mummy in sitting position. If you like freaks, monsters, angels and demons, then this collection is definitely a must see.

(Thanks James)

How revolutionary can Google's GBuy be?

The title of a Forbes story about Google's new product sure is eye-catching. It says: Google's GBuy Could Be 'Revolutionary'. I'm thinking how revolutionary can one's "GBUY" be? LOL. From Forbes:
Consumers using GBuy, which is set for release on June 28, will be taken off the merchant's site to complete the payment. This will enable Google to capture e-commerce transaction data, driving more precise targeting in future searches.

"If harnessed, the precision of this targeting could be revolutionary," wrote RBC analyst Jordan Rohan in a report Friday.

On its core search results pages, Google will designate each merchant accepting GBuy as a "trusted GBuy merchant."
For those of you who don't understand Chinese, then most likely you won't get it. Say GBuy out loud and fast and it will sound like... C^%$#@i. Well, go ask your Chinese mates.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Watching the World Cup

Today on my photoblog Katoomba Syndrome: Watching the World Cup

Using the iPAQ rw6828: Photo taking and Printing

I have been taking lots of photos using my new HP iPAQ rw6828 Multimedia Messenger and I have to say I'm impressed with its 2 megapixel cam. Just what I need to take those casual snap shots.

Today, I took some photos of me and Rupert using the iPAQ rw6828 and tried out printing one of the photos via its bluetooth function.

Rupert and me. I love the display. It is so big, bright and clear.

For printing, I'm using the HP Photosmart 385. This pic shows me plugging the bluetooth adapter into the printer.


Turning on the bluetooth on the iPAQ.

Printing with bluetooth is so damn easy. Just go to the photo, and select send to Infrared.

And even before I can run to the fridge to get some ice-cream, the printing is done! Now that's fast.

There you have it. Nice!


Sillycelly, me and our babies
More iPAQ porn yeah!
Unwrapping my new baby

Friday, June 09, 2006

Hong Kong pollution worse than Los Angeles

A study carried out in Hong Kong finds that the air pollution there is worse than places like Los Angeles, London, New York and Paris. What is worrying is that the air pollution has contributed to the deaths of more than 1,600 people in Hong Kong. From The Standard:
Researchers said air quality improvements could bring benefits of more than HK$20 billion a year.

In addition, 64,000 hospital "bed days" and 6.8 million family doctor visits could be avoided, findings show.

"If it was an infectious disease, there would be a crisis," professor Anthony Hedley from Hong Kong University's School of Public Health said. "This is a medical emergency."

Unlike infectious diseases, the harm caused by pollution is "unobservable" but this is affecting the health and lung growth of young people, Hedley added.

The study says Hong Kong has poor visibility 45 percent of the time.
Oh man, if Hong Kong is that bad, I'm sure Beijing will be far worse.

(Thanks Yanling)

Yoda Plush Backpack

Thanks to the Yoda Plush Backpack, we can now carry Yoda everywhere we go on our backs just like what Luke Skywalker did in Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back. I think this makes an excellent gift for any Star Wars fan. It would be better if Yoda can speak though. Maybe for the next version of the Yoda Plush Backpack, they should put a button on his hand that will activate his voice when pressed. So cool, it is!

Remember Guy Goma?

Remember Guy Goma? The story goes like this. Guy Goma was at the BBC for a job application and the BBC thought he was Guy Kewney, the person whom they wanted to interview for a live show. The clip (watch it here) has become a classic. In the end, Guy Goma did not get the job at the BBC but he became a superstar. He appeared in various talk shows in the UK. There's a website dedicated to him called The Wrong Guy. He even has his own Wikipedia entry. Now, he is auctioning off his lucky blue shirt that he wore during that BBC interview. Proceeds will go to Oxfam he says. There's even a Youtube video of the BBC interview with a remix of the music from a classic children's television programme 'Round The Twist'. And oh, about his failed job application at the BBC, well, thousands have signed an online petition to give him the job. Guy Goma rocks!

Previously: BBC interviews wrong dude on TV

England to win the World Cup!

The World Cup is just a few hours away so I decided to do some prediction of the matches with a little help from my crystal ball. I will assume the following for the outcome of the First Round Group matches.

Germany, Argentina, England, Portugal, Italy, France, Brazil and Spain will all top their respective groups while Sweden, Mexico, Poland, Holland, Croatia, Ukraine, Czech and Switzerland will come in 2nd in their respective groups. Only the top two in each group will proceed to the next round.

So based on the above, here are the Second Round matches.

First match of the Second Round is Germany (Winner of Group A) versus Sweden (Runner-up of Group B). I do not see how the host nation Germany will lose this game against the Swedes. Germany to win.

Second match of the Second Round sees Argentina (Winner of Group C) taking on Mexico (Runner-up of Group D). No upset here. Argentina will be too strong for the Mexicans.

Third match of the Second Round is England (Winner of Group B) versus Poland (Runner-up of Group A). Both these teams faced each other before in their Qualifying group therefore I expect them to know each of their strengths and weaknesses well. In the Qualifying Group, England finished top above Poland. This will be an easy tie for England. I see England winning by a few goals.

Fourth match of the Second Round sees Portugal (Winner of Group D) taking on Holland (Runner-up of Group C). I feel the Dutch with their speed and attacking play will dump Portugal out of the competition.

Fifth match of the Second Round is between Italy (Winner of Group E) and Croatia (Runner-up of Group F). Italy has always been in the later stages of the World Cup and I don't see them faltering in this match. It will be a tight game though and I see Italy winning it by a single goal.

Sixth match of the Second Round is France (Winner of Group G) versus Ukraine (Runner-up of Group H). France will want to improve on their poor showing in the previous World Cup. The likes of Thierry Henry and Zidane will prove too strong for the Ukrainians.

Seventh match of the Second Round sees Brazil (Winner of Group F) taking on the Czech (Runner-up of Group E). I don't have to tell you who will win this one. Brazil is the defending champion and tournament favourites. Brazil to win comfortably.

Eight match of the Second Round is between Spain (Winner of Group H) and Switzerland (Runner-up of Group G). Spain has more class than the Swiss who are very hardworking as a team. Spain to go through.

So there you have it. The winners of the Second Round matches will move to the Quarter Finals. The World Cup has just got more exciting now.

Germany versus Argentina in the first Quarter Final match. This isn't the best Germany team in a World Cup. They have made it to the Quarter Final with the help of their home support but I think their journey will end in this match. Argentina will be too strong for the Germans.

Italy takes on France in the second Quarter Final match. The French will rely heavily on Thierry Henry who has been superb in the English Premiership. Henry has always fail to deliver in the biggest stage and I think this World Cup will be no different for him. The Italian defence will be too strong for the French forwards. I suspect Italy will win by the odd goal.

England meets Holland in the third Quarter Final match. The Dutch has a lot of youngsters in their team this year. England meanwhile has its best team since winning the World Cup in 1966. The English players are far more experience than their Dutch conterparts and they are at their peak in their footballing careers. England will go through.

Brazil versus Spain is the fourth Quarter Final match. Can Spain provide an upset here? No! Brazil to win comfortably.

So the Semi-Finals will be Argentina versus Italy and Brazil taking on England. I take Argentina to beat Italy and move to the Final. The Brazil-England game will be a cracker! England lost to Brazil in the last World Cup but I strongly feel that if there's any country that could beat the favourites Brazil, it will be England. It is just a shame that these two countries will not face each other in the Final.

So, down to the last two matches of the World Cup. The Third Place match will be between Italy and Brazil, the two losing Semi-Finalists. After losing to England, I see Brazil will be all out to redeem themselves in this match and take the Third Place as a consolation for not winning this year's World Cup.

Ok now finally to The 2006 World Cup Final. Argentina taking on England! These two teams have a long standing rivalry between them. Remember Diego Maradona's Hand of God goal that dumped England out of the World Cup many years ago? But since then, England has triumphed many times against Argentina. The Argentines will provide a hell of a fight for the English and it is anybody's game during a final of this magnitude but surely England will beat Argentina. It will be one hell of a final with lots of goals.

England- World Cup 2006 Winners!!!

Now let the real games begin.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Why you shouldn't drink and drive

Funny video of a dude brought into a police station for drink driving. Another reason why you shouldn't drink and drive.

(Thanks WH)

Six Degrees of Smoking

Six Degrees of Smoking is a cool project by British artist James R Ford. Anyone who smokes or know someone who smokes can take part in this global collaboration. The project aims to find out what happpens to a lighter when it is being passed around. To participate, email him with your address. He will then mail you a lighter with a special note pasted on it. Photograph yourself lighting a cigarette with the lighter and then pass it to a friend or a stranger.

(Thanks Sir Thomas)

Australia's most famous taxi driver

Manjit Boparai is not only a Brisbane cab driver but he is also a singer. Manjit has been playing and singing his most popular track "Song Australia" to his cab customers. To date, he has sold over 2000 CDs from his cab! He is also frequently featured on local radio and television. Over at his Song Australia website, you can listen to a sample of his latest song, watch his music video and more. Who says you can't be famous driving a taxi?

(Thanks Lisa)

Animals love gay sex

Homosexuality is normal and it is a fact of life in the animal kingdom. Sex isn't only about multiplying. There is a suprisingly high number of animal species that participate in gay sex. They do it for fun or to cement their social bonds. From Seed:
Giraffes have all-male orgies. So do bottlenose dolphins, killer whales, gray whales, and West Indian manatees. Japanese macaques, on the other hand, are ardent lesbians; the females enthusiastically mount each other. Bonobos, one of our closest primate relatives, are similar, except that their lesbian sexual encounters occur every two hours. Male bonobos engage in "penis fencing," which leads, surprisingly enough, to ejaculation. They also give each other genital massages.

As this list of activities suggests, having homosexual sex is the biological equivalent of apple pie: Everybody likes it. At last count, over 450 different vertebrate species could be beheaded in Saudi Arabia. You name it, there's a vertebrate out there that does it. Nevertheless, most biologists continue to regard homosexuality as a sexual outlier. According to evolutionary theory, being gay is little more than a maladaptive behavior.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

How to make a paper Millennium Falcon

Click here for instructions on how to make the Millennium Falcon from paper. The dude who made this also has other equally awesome paper vehicles from the Star Wars movies.

World Cup 2006 wallchart

Download and print this World Cup 2006 wallchart courtesy of the BBC. You can use it to chart the progress of your favourite nation as they battle it out in the group stages and beyond. Damn, I'm excited. The World Cup is just two days away. England! England! England!

(Thanks Eric)

14 kissing techniques

The French Kiss, The Eastern Swirl and Poke, The Lover's Pass - these are just some of the various forms of kissing techniques that you may want to pick up to impress your lover. Like they say, there's nothing like a damn good kiss. Heh. From
12- The Snake
Moving on from the Mediterranean "flick," now allow your tongue to flick, lap, poke, and generally imitate that of a snake. This can take place while French kissing, but can also be used all over your lover's body.

13- The Stretch
When French kissing, stretch your tongue up to rub the roof of your lover's mouth. People rarely focus on this area, yet the sensations your tongue can create here can be quite explosive.

14- The Vacuum Kiss
Allow your lips to relax and encircle your partner's lips with your own. Apply a gentle sucking motion that pulls on the much-neglected outer rim of the lips. Release the vacuum seal and then reapply. You're taking control and your lover's lips will yield to yours. You may also apply the vacuum to a single lip -- upper or lower. Also use the vacuum on your lover's tongue during French kissing, which will feel like heaven. If you apply the vacuum more firmly to your partner's body it'll become a love bite.
(Thanks saul)

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Why ATMs break down

Why ATMs break down

Now I know why those ATMs keep breaking down.

Windows! That's why.

Beckham and company in The Last Supper

England's Last Supper

The latest version of The Last Supper has David Beckham and the rest of the England World Cup team as Jesus and his apostles. Simply brilliant! From Manchester Evening News:
Beckham is separated from his team mates, which could show he is one of the few English players to play abroad. His concentration could also show how the England captain has realised the tournament, which starts in Germany this week, could be his last World Cup.

England coach Sven Goran-Eriksson is shown as Mary Magdalene.

The Da Vinci Code film, inspired by Dan Brown's novel, suggests that Jesus and Mary Magdalene had a child and the bloodline survives to this day.

And the England coach is seated next to his successor Steve McClaren, who is rudely blowing a raspberry in the Swede's ear.

Liverpool midfielder Steven Gerrard appears to be having a row with Manchester United defender Gary Neville, possibly about who should be next to succeed Beckham as captain or just renewing traditional Liverpool - Manchester rivalries.

Meanwhile, Wayne Rooney is making a rude gesture to Beckham, possibly a reference to the argument they had at the Northern Ireland game.
(Thanks Sir Thomas)

Today is 666!

Oh no! Today is the sixth day of the sixth month in the year 2006 - 666! We are all doomed. The devil is coming. The end of the world is near. From The Daily Telegraph:
Thirteen may be an unlucky number, but the Book of Revelation claims 666 is the number of the beast.

And not since the Y2K computer scare of December 31, 1999 has a date received so much attention.

Jesuit priest Richard Leonard from the Australian Catholics Bishops Conference said the furore was so great, there were reports some Australian women did not want to deliver their babies on this date.
Apparently the number 666 has scared the living daylights out of ordinary people and even corporate America and Presidents. From Boston Herald:
“I’m flying to New York Tuesday and I’m a little freaked out,” said a Boston publicist who declined to give her name. “I don’t like the devil’s day; I don’t like it when my change is $6.66. I always make them keep the penny. Or if my purchase is $6.66, I pay $6.70. I don’t like it when my mileage is 666. I speed until it’s 667.”

Even corporate America and the U.S. government are not immune. According to business legend, when Intel introduced the 666 MHz Pentium III in 1999, the company called it Pentium III 667. U.S. Highway 666, “the Highway of the Beast,” was renumbered in 2003 after controversy over the supposed reference to You Know Who.

Presidents also have been accused of being the Antichrist. Ronald Wilson Reagan has six letters in each name and he lived at 666 St. Cloud Dr. in Los Angeles. He later changed it to No. 668.
The fear of 666 even has a name of its own - Hexakosioihexekontahexaphobia. From Wikipedia:
Hexakosioihexekontahexaphobia is a fear found in the Western Christian world, which originates in the belief that the Biblical verse, Revelation 13:18, indicates that the number 666 is linked to Satan or the Anti-Christ. Outside the Christian faith, the phobia has been further popularized as a leitmotif in various horror films.

Hexakosioihexekontahexaphobics avoid things related to the number 666, such as a building in which the number is prominently displayed. Rarer is trying to avoid the number as it relates to other numbers. For example, the fraction two-thirds has a repeating decimal of .666. (Note that in base 12, two-thirds is 0.8, and 0.666 is the fraction 6/11.) A severe hexakosioihexekontahexaphobic may avoid this as well as 5/3, 8/3, 11/3, etc. People with this phobia consider it bad luck to get 3 sixes in a hand of poker, even though this is usually quite a good hand.
For those who are really afraid of 666, just take this brilliant advice. From Guardian:
Jack Horkheimer of the Miami Space Transit Planetarium has a piece of advice: ``If it really spooks you, you can stand on your head and it'll be 999.''

Monday, June 05, 2006

Welcome to my yard

Today on my photoblog Katoomba Syndrome: Welcome to my yard

Sex over the phone

Here's a bit of nostalgia for you. Village People is a disco band in the late 1970s. They were famous for their outrageous costumes, catchy tunes and suggestive lyrics. I think they outdid themselves in this music video.

(Thanks Gaylord)

The NoScruf Movement

If the women from the NoScruf movement have it their way, all women in the world will have hairy armpits like this. Gross!

(Thanks arwen76)

Strict parents have fat kids

Parents listen up. Don't want your kids to grow fat? Try not to be too strict on them. From Reuters:
Parents who are strict disciplinarians are far more likely to wind up with children who are fat by age six, perhaps because the youngsters over-eat as a reaction to stress, a study said on Monday.

The report from Boston University School of Medicine also found that the fewest weight problems occur among children whose parents are "authoritative" -- having high expectations for self control but respectful of a child's opinions and who set clear boundaries.

The study also found that children of parents who are permissive, defined as indulgent and without discipline, also have weight problems but not to the degree of the offspring of strict disciplinarians with low levels of sensitivity, the study said.

Researchers also found that children of neglectful mothers and fathers, those who are emotionally uninvolved with no set rules, fared about the same as kids raised by permissive parents.

Genghis Khan is father of globalisation

According to researchers, Genghis Khan started globalisation when he build his Mongol Empire. The ruler played a major role in history by contributing to the integration of ethnicities, nationalities and civilizations in ancient times. From China Daily:
It was under Genghis Khan's empire that the Eurasian landmass began to demonstrate the characteristics of global exchanges, according to Hao Shiyuan, a researcher at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS).

Thanks to the expansion of the empire, "economic and cultural exchanges became possible to the maximum extent and previously isolated civilizations became linked," said Hao, director of the academy's Institute of Ethnology and Anthropology, at an international symposium on the founding of the Mongol Empire held by the CASS in Beijing yesterday.

"This is what globalization features: shrinking space, shrinking time, and disappearing borders," said Hao.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Friday, June 02, 2006

How to do a pop art portrait

Pop art portraits are quite popular nowadays. Over at Family Portrait Artists, you can learn how to convert your photo into a pop art portrait like this one on the left. You can also check out other pop art portraits on Flickr.

Glossary of blog terms

Ever wondered what is an Anonoblog or a Blogroach? This glossary of blog terms will equip you with all the words and slang that are used in the blogging world. From Whatis?com:
A blog maintained by an anonymous author, often under a pseudonym or pen name. Synonyms include anonyblog, faux blog and ghostblog.

Atom is a machine-readable XML-based web syndication format which allows users to subscribe to blogs and other web content subject to frequent change. This XML file may be called an Atom feed, webfeed, Atom stream or Atom channel.

Automated form of podcasting that allows bloggers and blog readers to generate audio versions of text-only blogs from RSS feeds.

A blog where the blogger posts recordings of voice, music or other audio content, often with textual annotation to identify the content for indexing.
(Thanks hammamike)

The Teddy Bear Remote Control

This has got to be the cutest remote control I have ever seen - the Teddy Bear Remote Control. Now you can control your PC or iPod with a remote that is also very huggable.

Live at The PC Show 2006

I'm LIVE at The PC Show held in the Suntec Singapore International Convention & Exhibition Centre. It sure is crowded here and I've been told it will only get worse tomorrow and Sunday. I reckon one of the hottest products at this year's show are the memory cards. They are selling like hotcakes now. I just bought a 1GB Kingston Mini SD Card for my HP iPAQ rw6828 Multimedia Messenger at only S$37.40! Now that's a good buy.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Husband 1.0

Last week, I posted a link to a site which explains what happens when you upgrade from Girlfriend 6.0 to Wife 1.0. Today, here's one for the ladies - Husband 1.0 Tech Support. From the site:
Dear Tech Support:

Last year I upgraded from Boyfriend 5.0 to Husband 1.0 and noticed that the new program began making unexpected changes to the accounting modules, limiting access to flower and jewelry applications that had operated flawlessly under Boyfriend 5.0.

In addition, Husband 1.0 uninstalled many other valuable programs, such as Romance 9.9 but installed undesirable programs such as NFL 5.0 and NBA 3.0. Conversation 8.0 no longer runs and House Cleaning 2.6 simply crashes the system. I've tried running Nagging 5.3 to fix these problems, but to no avail...
(Thanks Lord Kimbo)

Previously: Girlfriend 6.0 vs Wife 1.0

The Foot Kamasutra

All you people with foot fetish will enjoy this video showing the different forms of errrr... foot sex?? I like the crocodile position. Video is safe for viewing at work.

(Thanks Randall)

The Astronomical Toilet Paper

The Astronomical Toilet Paper made in Japan takes the popularization of astronomy to a new level - in the toilet! That's right. Now, you can learn more about astronomy before you wipe your ass clean. There are two versions of the Astronomical Toilet Paper. One with pics and info on the life of a star and the other is about the constellations. The makers even posted the printing plate of the Astronomical Toilet Paper in pdf format on their website so that everyone can print their own Astronomical Toilet Paper.

Listen to Mona Lisa and Leonardo Da Vinci

Dr Matsumi Suzuki, a Japanese acoustics expert has created the voices of Mona Lisa and Leonardo Da Vinci as part of a promotion for the Da Vinci Code movie. From Reuters:
Dr Matsumi Suzuki, who generally uses his skills to help with criminal investigations, measured the face and hands of Leonardo da Vinci's famous 16th century portrait to estimate her height at 168 cm and create a model of her skull.

"Once we have that, we can create a voice very similar to that of the person concerned," Suzuki told Reuters in an interview at his Tokyo office last week. "We have recreated the voices of a lot of famous people that were very close to the real thing and have been used in film dubbing."

The chart of any individual's voice, known as a voice print, is unique to that person and Suzuki says he believes he has achieved 90 percent accuracy in recreating the quality of the enigmatic woman's speaking tone.
The voices of both Leornardo Da Vinci and Mona Lisa in Italian can be heard at this website by MSN Japan. Oh, I need to add that only Internet Explorer users can listen to the voices. Bloody hell MSN!

(Thanks Sato)

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Singapore Haunted: Top 10 Most Haunted Moments Caught On Camera!

A flying ghost at Changi Hospital, a playful tree spirit at Bedok Reservoir and the ghost of a girl who died at the famous Yellow Tower at...