Friday, November 20, 2015

Science can be fun!

I love science but never had teachers who inspired me. Now, according to this ST headline below (ST, Nov 20) Singapore is trying to...

Get public to start 'liking' science

I also think science quizzes are an excellent way to maintain one's interest in science. The Huffington Post has this fairly easy one even though the headline says...

Can You Pass The Science Quiz That Too Many Americans Failed?

How can anyone fail a quiz when the questions include one that asks you whether the sun revolves around the earth or the earth revolves around the sun??

I have been waiting for the opportune moment to use these science-themed images below. Here they are:

Haha, that one above was good! In closing...


I will be travelling on holiday, so will take a break from blogging.

Monday, November 16, 2015

The awakened dragon grows in geopolitical confidence...

I posted this comment on Facebook today (Nov 16):

China watchers should sit up when Fu Ying pens a commentary. She is laying out what a China-centric East Asia should become (and how the US and Japan should act). Pity ST Opinion did not project her piece as its primary commentary in place of Jonathan Eyal's "abuthen" piece on the Paris attacks.

Meanwhile, ex-diplomat and current think-tank head Kishore Mahbubani had written this commentary two days ago:

This was my comment on his piece:

So, which ULTIMATELY prevails...power, institutions, or ideas?

Finally, the meeting in Singapore between Chinese leader Xi Jinping and Taiwanese leader Ma Ying-jeou generated a lot of commentaries. This one is pretty good...

The Xi-Ma Meeting: Why Singapore?

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Health nuts!

Someone I know recently celebrated his 80th birthday. We took him to a restaurant where good food was served. Good but not necessarily healthy, so the health nuts would admonish. Who cares!

A health nut posted this one...

Just when you thought it was safe to drink water (and only water)!


There was a recent WHO report about why processed meats such as sausages, ham and bacon are bad for your health...

Well, as even the health nuts would say, everything in moderation. So, should we take health advisories with a pinch of salt, or a huge helping of humour? As I said in a post on Facebook:

Stop wiener-ing. It had been the best of times, it had been the wurst of times, but in these times, you are no longer to bring home the bacon...


Whatever. I must have my dessert...

After all...

Sunday, November 1, 2015

The Law of Unintended Consequences.

This headline caught my attention (Sunday Times, Nov 1, page C20):

I then wrote a Facebook post:

I was bemused by the headline "The economy of snakes and rabbits" in Larry Haverkamp's SunTimes column today (pg C20). Ah, he was regaling the reader with 2 examples of The Law Of Unintended Consequences. Case No 1: Australia imported rabbits so they could shoot Roger and his mates for sport. Well, turned out the animals got lucky in the Lucky Country and scored (with each other) than they were being shot at! So now there are 20 million rabbits Down Under. Case No 2 is about how India tried to control the number of wild cobras there by offering a bounty. Well, people starting breeding cobras and, yes, there are now more cobras than before. 

My own observation? Singapore's failed twist-and-turn population policy. And now China is about to reverse it's One-Child policy. It won't succeed if TLOUC kicks in.

Michael came in with this example:

There is also the tragicomedy of the cane toad in Australia.

To which I responded:

Ah yes. I am sure examples elsewhere abound. To be fair, there are positive examples of TLOUC.

Michael again:

Like Aspirin is now a blood thinner???

Irene offered this solution to the rabbit problem:

What Australia needs is a bunch of talented Cantonese chefs to set up lotsa restaurants dishing up delicious rabbit cuisine.

And I said:

Haha...Rabbit Jumps Over The Wall!


I was curious about this so-called law. I like WiseGeeks' write-up on it:

What is the Law of Unintended Consequences?

Finally, from Quora, is this fascinating item!...

What are the best examples of the law of unintended consequences in action?

Women who have given birth... say thank you to one Dr Ignaz Semmelweis!

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Songs of yearning.

What is yearning? Is yearning a "longing for", a return to what was? But surely yearning may also be a longing for what can be? So someone happy with the present circumstances does not yearn?... until or unless the circumstances change? Then again, one may yearn for something unattainable or not yet attained (and which presumably may be attained). Perhaps there are 50 shades of yearning!

I came across this yearning quote:

There is also a thought-provoking explanation by a present-day song-writer about why the evergreen 1939 song "(Somewhere) Over The Rainbow" is so powerfully evocative to many people:

Why did "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" get into our hearts and stay there?

In a sense, the song "manipulates" us to share in Dorothy's yearning for a wondrous place -- but one in which she knows she must ultimately leave to return to where she had begun her adventure.


I started to think if I knew of other songs from musicals that have this "yearning" motif. Here are five that came off my sleepy head at this moment of writing:

Sunrise, Sunset (Fiddler On The Roof)
The Way We Were (The Way We Were)
Try To Remember (The Fantasticks)
I Dream A Dream (Les Miserables)

And to wrap up on a cheery note:
Tomorrow (Annie).

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Wi-fi humour.

Finally, this last one is not meant to be funny. With the acrid smog now covering much of the region in mind, it is tragic that majestic forests and peatland swamps rich in fauna and flora are being mercilessly decimated...

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Joke overboard...quick, throw a laughline!

My hat! My hat! My knickers for a hat!

Dental on my mind

A guy went to a dentist to have a tooth extracted.
She pulled out a large syringe to give an anesthetic shot.
"No way, no needles! I hate needles!" the man said.
So she started to hook up the nitrous oxide tank, and the man said, "I can't do the gas thing.
Just the thought of having a mask on my face suffocates me!"
The dentist then asked the patient if he had any objections to taking a pill.
"No," he said, "I'm fine with pills."
The dentist gave him two little blue pills and he swallowed them.
"What are those?" he asked.
"Viagra," she replied.
"I'll be damned," said the patient, "I didn't know Viagra worked as a pain killer."
"It doesn't," said the dentist, "But it will give you something to hold on to when I pull your tooth out."

What a dork!

An obituary printed in the London Times...

Today we mourn the passing of a beloved old friend,
Common Sense, who has been with us for many years.
No one knows for sure how old he was, since his birth records were long ago lost in bureaucratic red tape.
He will be remembered as having cultivated such valuable lessons as:

-Knowing when to come in out of the rain;
-Why the early bird gets the worm;
-Life isn't always fair;
-And maybe it was my fault.

Common Sense lived by simple, sound financial policies (Don’t spend more than you can earn) and reliable strategies (Adults not children are in charge).

His health began to deteriorate rapidly when well-intentioned but overbearing regulations were set in place.
Reports of a 6- year-old boy charged with sexual harassment for kissing a classmate; teens suspended from school for using mouthwash after lunch; and a teacher fired for reprimanding an unruly student, only worsened his condition.

Common Sense lost ground when parents attacked teachers for doing the job that they themselves had failed to do in disciplining their unruly children.
It declined even further when schools were required to get parental consent to administer sun lotion or an aspirin to a student; but could not inform parents when a student became pregnant and wanted to have an abortion.

Common Sense lost the will to live as the churches became businesses; and criminals received better treatment then their victims.

Common Sense took a beating when you couldn't defend yourself from a burglar in your own home and the burglar could sue you for assault.

Common Sense finally gave up the will to live, after a woman failed to realize that a steaming cup of coffee was hot.
She spilled a little in her lap, and was promptly awarded a huge settlement.

Common Sense was preceded in death,
-by his parents, Truth and Trust,
-by his wife, Discretion,
-by his daughter, Responsibility,
-and by his son, Reason.

He is survived by his 5 step-brothers;
-I Know My Rights
-I Want It Now
-Someone Else Is To Blame
-I'm A Victim
-Pay Me for Doing Nothing

Not many attended his funeral because so few realized he was gone.

So, was there such an obituary? Here's what Snopes found out...

Obituary: Common Sense

Mind over matter...