Monday, November 27, 2006

How Danes Tackle Speeding

We know speed kills. It's one of the top (if not top) killers in this country. Our Government tried various ways to tackle this problem, among them imposing fines, reducing fines, offering discounts, enforcing speed limits, increasing speed limits, media campaigns and all sorts of attempts that proved futile time and again. Maybe the Government can try out this novel idea by the Danes. I'm sure traffic will start to slow down. Slow down to a standstill even! Watch the clip.

So, what do you think? ;)

Friday, November 24, 2006

Legal Inheritance

Since a lawyer friend sent me this, I have no qualms posting this up.

The madam opened the brothel door to see a rather dignified, well-dressed, good looking man in his late 40s or early 50s.

"Can I help you?" she asked.

"I want to see Natalie" the man replied.

"Sir, Natalie is one of our most expensive ladies.

Perhaps you would prefer someone else." said the madam.

"No. I must see Natalie" was the man's reply.

Just then, Natalie appeared and announced to the man that she charged $1,000 a visit. Without hesitation, the man pulled out ten one hundred dollar bills and gave them to Natalie and they went upstairs. After an hour, the man calmly left.

The next night, the same man appeared again, demanding to see Natalie. Natalie explained that no one had ever come back two nights in a row - too expensive - and there were no discounts. The price was still $1,000. Again the man pulled out the money, gave it to Natalie and they went upstairs.

After an hour, he left.

The following night the man was there again. Everyone was astounded that he had come for the third consecutive night, but he paid Natalie and they went upstairs. After their session, Natalie questioned the man. "No one has ever used me three nights in a row. Where are you from?" she asked.

The man replied, "South Carolina."

"Really" she said. "I also have family in South Carolina."

"I know", the man said.

"Your father died and I am your sister's attorney. She asked me to deliver your $3,000 inheritance."

The moral of the story is: Some things in life are certain, 1. Death 2. Taxes 3. Being screwed by a lawyer

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Follow Up To Online Child Predator Discussion

Just a little heads up regarding the article featured on The Star regarding child abuse in conjunction with World Day for Prevention of Child Abuse. Hope the articles will be of help to the discussion regarding online child predators.
You may add your thoughts regarding this issue here. I've disabled comments for this entry to keep the discussion focused.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Birthday Wishes And All That

Thanks to all for the well wishes. I know this is very much overdue. Wishes came in different shapes and sizes; face-to-face, emails, blog entries, Friendster testimonials, Friendster messages, online cards, SMSes, instant messages, gifts, presents and so forth. The usual really. A few unexpected ones which is always nice. Thanks once again.

Had a very low-key celebration with my family at a Taiwanese restaurant. I prefer it to be this way nowadays. No cakes, no loud noises, no crowds. Just some quiet time spent with people that matters most to me. Not only was the food good (and allegedly healthy), it was really cheap! I really like the ambience. I will definitely go back again.

I guess Friendster still has its uses. I've been contacted a few times recently with the help of Friendster by so called long lost friends in recent weeks, mostly caused by them not taking note of the change in my email address. :P It's good to hear from them though. Still receives the occasional friend requests. I guess I'll continue keeping my Friendster account, at least for the time being. The good thing is, weird, unknown and unwanted people don't come visiting my profile anymore or sends me valentines or smiles. *phew*

Since the launch of the new blog on my birthday as a gift to you meant for more serious discussions, there has been two topics - euthanasia and online child predators. There will be follow-up discussions on these topics in the near future. I would really appreciate it if you could just post your views on these issues at the comments section. All views are accepted and appreciated. No views will be considered more right or wrong than the other and the purpose of the discussions is not to determine what is right or wrong but for us to see things from a different perspective. It would really help the discussions if more views are put forward. I would really appreciate it if you could also spread the word around regarding these discussions. Thank you in advance.

About the new blog layout, I know it's a little dull when compared to my previous layouts. Lack of colours. Lack of graphics. Lots of white spaces. Why change it then? A few reasons really. I wanted it to load faster and I love white spaces. Somehow I find it kinda serene. Very zen. The reason this column is made so narrow is very much due to the Reader's Digest concept. Having fewer words each line makes reading easier and retention better. It may be more work for your fingers to scroll down the page but less taxing on your eyes. Basically, I just grew tired of my old layout.

Anyway, there's a high possibility of fewer postings until the end of the year (as if there hasn't been a lack of updates already :P) but this is not certain yet. I'll post something up if and when I feel it is necessary. I guess you guys must have gotten used to the JSYK withdrawal syndrome by now. :P

Friday, November 17, 2006

Are You Working In The Right City?

Are You Working In The Right City?

Let's all learn French and move to Paris!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Online Child Predator

child abuse

If you are aware of the existence of an online child predator, what would you do? Lighting a candle is just not enough.

What course of action would you take?
Who do you go to with this information?
Who do you tell?
Who do you NOT tell?
Do you confront the person yourself?
Do you take a kitchen knife and thrust it in his abdomen?
Do you just keep quiet about it, hoping he/she will come to his/her senses?
Do you pray to God for some kind of divine intervention?
What would you do if you had information of an online child predator?

As a matter of fact, I do have such an information. I've decided on the course of action but I would really like to hear your opinion and discussion regarding this topic. In fact, this is just a teaser of sorts before I provide more details in an upcoming post which hopefully will lead to further discussion then.

So for now, let's discuss on what your course of action would be. What would you do if you were in such a situation?

Thank you for your comments on the previous discussion topic - euthanasia. If you would like to add further comment, you are very much welcome to do so.

ReviewMe: Get Paid To Blog

I'm getting paid to write this post. Seriously, I am. Well, at least that's what I've being promised. Not much really but something is better than nothing, no? All I need to do is write a review and I get paid. They only ask that you indicate the blog post is sponsored and your review to be at least 200 words long, and from my previous blog entries, you should know that's way too easy. Is that freaking cool or what?


The service is called ReviewMe. It is an advertising network that pays for posts on blogs, obviously a rival of PayPerPost. For those who think I've sold my soul to the devil, fret not. Nobody's bought me. No one will have a hand behind my back and dictate how I blog. I will still be that pain-in-the-ass critic that you all have come to love (or love to hate). How is that so? Well, although I'm being paid to review their products, I'm still able to write negative reviews if I do not like what I'm reviewing. The key here is unbiased reviews. So rest assured, the only agenda I will be pushing in this blog including the reviews I make in future (if any) will be mine and mine only. You will still get the frank and balanced analytical writing seen from a different perspective as you've grown accustomed to in this blog.

(click to enlarge)

A glowing review so far, so where's the beef you ask? I guess the only grouse I have with this service is how they rate your blog. Signing up is easy but getting your blog accepted is not. You may have up to six active blogs at any time. The people at ReviewMe use Alexa and Technorati to determine the popularity and eligibility of your blog to be admitted to this service.
The thing is, not everyone uses Technorati especially bloggers who are not technologically aware and trust me, there are heaps of them! As for Alexa, the traffic they monitor is widely regarded as inaccurate which they have admitted themselves to be biased. I do not want to elaborate too much on this subject since you can read more about it in this article. What I'm trying to get here is using these two sites to determine the popularity of a blog is flawed in many ways considering they are not representative or even indicative of the true nature and behaviour of the internet user population. A blog regarded as not so popular by their algorithm may well be a very popular blog with a niche group of very loyal readers. So, a very popular Chinese cuisine blog all written in Chinese with a huge following of Asian housewives not knowing what RSS is or how exactly the Internet works may possibly not get admitted to this service at all or receive a lowly rating even if admitted.
Your blog rating will also determine how much your review's worth. In my case, I'm at the wrong side of the spectrum from 'top' blogs paid up to USD250 for a single review. It's not exactly a bad thing really. There may be advertisers looking for cheaper alternatives for a particular niche audience, right?

(click to enlarge)

All in all, I think this service is great. I've been offered money to write up articles before but they wanted me to promote their agenda which I'm not so comfortable with. With ReviewMe, I get paid to blog and still keep my soul. That's good isn't it? I get to keep my soul! Now, tell me that's not a great deal. However, it would be great if they were to revise how they rank blogs.
Anyway, don't just take my word for it. Give it a spin yourself. No harm trying, right? After all, they are giving away USD25,000! So what are you waiting for? Visit their website here.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

A Gift For You

It's my birthday and I have a gift for you. How great is that?

Another year has come and gone. Time really flies. Many ups, many downs. Hey, when life gives you lemons, make lemonade! Enough about that. On with the juicy part. Let's face it - the only part of this blog post you are interested in, right? Right, the gift I mentioned earlier.

So what's this present I'm giving away on my birthday? By now you should have noticed the new layout this blog is sporting. The new blog template is not exactly the gift I was referring to but maybe a consolation prize or something? :P

OK, on with the story. Well, you might think the gift is nothing but it really means something to me. It's something I've been wanting to do but have not been able to get the ball rolling until now. It's a new blog called Reverse Hypothesis. [UPDATE: The contents of that blog have been imported to Just So You Know from July 2009]

Being a researcher, you always come up with various hypotheses. Some you eventually prove right. Some you eventually prove wrong. Some proven right gets proven wrong. Some proven wrong gets proven right. The point I'm trying very hard to make here is that there's no absolute right or wrong and everyone should be allowed to speak their mind.

That's where the blog comes into play. I feel that blogs can be a useful avenue for critical minds to come together and discuss the subject at hand openly and rationally. I tried that with this blog but I guess the constant nonsense I post in between kind of diluted the seriousness of any critical topics brought up for discussion, thus the creation of a new blog. A fresh start.

So, what happens to this blog? It will still continue as my personal blog and occasionally, critical issues will still be brought up here. Reverse Hypothesis however will play host to special discussion topics where critical thinking will flourish.

So, I cordially invite each and everyone of you to put on your thinking caps and go right over and have your say on the first topic of discussion - euthanasia. A rather bleak subject to bring up on my birthday but it is such challenging of norms that I hope will be seen regularly at Reverse Hypothesis. All diverging views are welcomed and respected. Just keep it civilised.

There you have it. My gift to you on my birthday. :)

Taking One's Life

I've not had the liberty of watching TV for awhile now but in recent days, I've been presented the opportunity to do so. To be honest, I'm not a TV fan but I find it to be very therapeutic whenever I need my brain to just wander off. The entertainment value is priceless.

couch potato

I have a fixed appointment with the idiot box every Monday night which I try not to miss. I will try my very best not to reach home after midnight on Mondays. If I reach home not having enough time to freshen up, that will just have to wait till after the sitcoms are over. I just have to get my weekly dose of laughter or I'll get really cranky.

Everybody Loves Raymond

That however is not the point I'm trying to make here. Instead, it's something totally the opposite. Very morbid as a matter of fact. An episode from a drama series I'm (technically) following made me think. Very deep thoughts. Very serious thoughts. Thoughts I've never given much thought previously.

If you are paralysed from the neck down, unable to speak, having to depend on someone to attend to your every whim, your mind works in overdrive. That is to be expected since your brain is one of the few body parts left that you have control over. One thought would almost always come to light. Wouldn't it be best for all parties if I were to leave this world? Then the issue of having to care for me wouldn't arise. Then everyone would be able to carry on with their own lives. Wouldn't that benefit all parties?


Euthanasia. The taking of one's life. It's an ethical issue. Whenever one decides to play God, it always is. Who decides we live or die? Do we have a say in this matter? It is after all our very own lives. I'm not saying suicide is alright and everyone should start jumping down from their apartments but technically, this is not suicide, right? Mercy killing is different from suicide, no?

Christopher Reeve

Of course reference to Peter Tan or Christopher Reeve aka Superman would come into the discussion sooner or later but let's not forget that Peter is paralysed from the waist chest down. He still has control over his upper body. Christopher Reeves may be paralysed from the neck down but he could still speak and reach out to the world, although he did contemplate euthanasia once early in his recovery.

If you are paralysed from the neck down, unable to speak, having to depend on someone to attend to your every whim, you won't be faulted for feeling helpless. Matter of fact is, you ARE helpless. And if I were to be in such a condition, I would seriously consider euthanasia and have my organs donated to patients who urgently need them and are able to live a more fulfilling life.

That's just me. What would you do?

Friday, November 03, 2006

Things My Mom Taught Me

Found this email very interesting and funny but somewhat real!

My mother taught me TO APPRECIATE A JOB WELL DONE:
"If you're going to kill each other, do it outside - I just finished cleaning!"

My mother taught me RELIGION:
"You better pray that will come out of the carpet."

My mother taught me about TIME TRAVEL:
"If you don't straighten up, I'm going to knock you into the middle of next week!"

My mother taught me LOGIC:
"Because I said so, thats why."

My mother taught me FORESIGHT:
"Make sure you wear clean underwear, in case you're in an accident."

My mother taught me IRONY:
"Keep crying and Ill give you something to cry about."

My mother taught me about the science of OSMOSIS:
"Shut your mouth and eat your supper!"

My mother taught me about CONTORTIONISM:
"Will you *look* at the dirt on the back of your neck!"

My mother taught me about STAMINA:
"You'll sit there till all that spinach is finished."

My mother taught me about WEATHER:
"It looks as if a cyclone swept through your room."

My mother taught me how to solve PHYSICS PROBLEMS:
"If I yelled because I saw a meteor coming toward you; would you listen then?"

My mother taught me about HYPOCRISY:
"If I've told you once, I've told you a million times - don't exaggerate!"

My mother taught me THE CIRCLE OF LIFE:
"I brought you into this world, and I can take you out."

My mother taught me about ENVY:
"There are millions of less fortunate children in this world who don't have wonderful parents like you do!"

So how many reminds you of your mom? ;)