Showing posts from October, 2006

Vainglorious attempts at banking application

T he woeful tale of Aleksey Vayner, I-banking applicant . Hell, he's even cited as an example of "what not to do" in writing a CV . Sure, he's a Yalie, and Yalies have been known to tell a fib or two ... but faux inter-school rivalry aside, no matter how weird/sad that video resume was, it certainly shouldn't have been leaked... (Man, Blogger has been acting up on me - was impossible to post anything.)


W oman gives birth to twins, one black, one white (same dad, before anyone besmirches the mother's good name). (Tangent: I love the word "besmirch".) Wonder if such a dichotomous twin birth has happened in Singapore? Anyway, back on point - the two boys really are cute - and really do look like each other.

Linksfest: World gone topsy-turvy

Global ecosystems 'face collapse' (from the Living Planet Report ) The conservative Weekly Standard places a Democrat on the cover and writes a glowing report . More on invisibility , from Popular Science . Salon's Broadsheet blog notes the furore over a Peekaboo pole-dancing kit being inadvertently put in the children's toys and games section at Tesco. Yep = iPhoto for PDFs (via Popagandhi ). Nifty.

On manipulation or the lack thereof

W illiam Saletan (who can at times be insufferable) has a good response to Rush Limbaugh's claims that Michael J. Fox was somehow not playing fair in his campaign for stem cell research ("This is really shameless of Michael J. Fox. Either he didn't take his medication or he's acting, one of the two.") The fact is - once you've established that he's not acting (which by all accounts he isn't), how could it be wrong to display the symptoms of a disease if he's really suffering from it? There's a tendency, as Amanda Marcotte has sharply noted in her critique of Ann Coulter's rhetorical technique , to exploit the culture's valuing of detached observation over experience (would that be the Intuitive/Sensing divide in the Myers-Briggs test?) to try to disqualify those with experience from speaking out: I think the purpose of slandering 9/11 widows is that Coulter needs an outrageous distraction to smuggle in the idea that politics is a game

Die or diet

N ew York has a fascinating article on calorie restriction - not to be confused with anorexia - and how it could potentially double your lifespan. Certainly not my thing - it's entirely possible that I've had more than 1800 calories in a day just from Pepsi/Coke - but the rigour is intriguing. Take Michael, the guy who counts 1913 calories a day - no more, no less. (Clever quip: "Cooking for him is the same elaborate exercise in dietary Sudoku it is for all CR die-hards, only more so.") How much of the extra lifespan is spent weighing and counting calories? I have to say this, though. Michael is cited in the article as having a BMI of 15.6. For the longest time, until I went to America, that was pretty much my BMI (I was a meaty 15.9 entering the army). Consider those dimensions for a moment. Divide Michael’s weight by the square of his height and you get a body-mass index of 15.6. Compare that with the minimum BMI of 18 recently decreed by the organizers of the Mad

Parkinson's and the Fox

If you haven't seen the Michael J. Fox campaign ad yet, the display of his Parkinson's symptoms is pretty shocking. Marty McFly, travelling through time, now reduced to not even having full control of his muscles.

Blog community

M et up with some fellow bloggers - including old friends Kin Mun , Adrianna , and Adrian - at a dinner thing with Richard Edelman tonight (talking about concepts such as the horizontal peer to peer conversation ). 'Twas just nice to emerge out of my work burrow for some blog-related stuff, if only for an evening. And 'twas nice to catch up with Kin Mun and see his spankin' new studio. (A koan: what is the sound of one hand clapping? I don't know, but it has much less echo in a soundproof studio.) And while I admit I almost never talk about the so-called Singaporean blogosphere, I do know that Mr Miyagi has left the Mr Brown show, and it was nice of him to throw in a credit to me for the "Zhng My Car" concept in his post about leaving . (I must stress the scripts and everything else were solely theirs, and I should note that "Zhng My Car" arose out of some goofiness with my friends.) As for the very popular character ‘Johnny’, played inimitably b

You say conundra, I say conundrums

S o, randomly, I decided to look up the plural of conundrum today, and, as this illuminating discussion points out, "conundrum" isn't definitively Latin in origin. I particularly like the correction of the snob who insists that 'octopuses' is wrong: I hope that Philip Moreland says octopodes not octopi, given that octopus is 3rd declension Greek not 2nd declension Latin. Actually I am sure he does, but for anyone to whom this is news, the word octopodes has four syllables.

The Prestige

O ne of the chief aspects of The Prestige is, well, the prestige - the point in the magic show where the magician shows the audience something they've never seen before. And, as Alfred Borden (Christian Bale) warns, a good magician should never reveal his secrets, for without his secrets he is nothing. And yet the best part of this show - just as in Memento , the first film written by the Nolan brothers - is the revelation of all its secrets, the part where the audience figures out how everything is pieced together... A full review will follow when I have the time, but just wanted to note that this was a great film, some fine, solid acting by Hugh Jackman (one does feel sorry for his character in the end) and Christian Bale...

Linksfest: Sunday Randomness

History Shots . What crisp presentation of information. An old one, but Fiona Apple is a sweetheart . Weird Al Yankovic, and what he owes to MTV , as well as why he's not weird.

Barb Wire

Crikey, another stingray-to-the-chest attack .

She Blinded Me With Science

T alk about science fiction - coming up to breathe for a few minutes, I found news about the world's first (non-fictional) cloaking device and then teleportation (between light and matter, no less)... I love how the article on the invisibility device allowed the reporter to bring out his geek-lit side, referencing H2G2: In the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy , Douglas Adams extended the desire for invisibility from people to problems, with the "Somebody else's problem field", which banishes worries by rendering objects inside it someone else's concern.

The Office, worldwide

S late had a fascinating comparison of what different countries' versions of "The Office" reflect about work (and general) culture . (And yes, I do love "The Office" .) What would a Singaporean version look like, I wonder?

Hello, Panda

China wants more pandas. And that involves "panda porn" apparently. Cue sleazy music, scantily clad pandas...

Who Moved My Blackberry

J ust read Who Moved My Blackberry? , the book-length version of Lucy Kellaway's "Martin Lukes" Financial Times column parodying business speak and jargon (the Martin Lukes character loves, loves the concept of 'creovativity', a bastard blend of creativity and innovation). I got hooked on the column in Bonn (the hotel I was in gave me the FT as the daily paper) and it was quite funny to read this tale of the absurdity of corporate life.